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  • Charlottesville: Twitter slams Trump’s response, lauds Obama and Clinton’s

    It has been a landmark weekend for the United States. On Saturday at a "Unite the White" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car ploughed into a group of counterprotestors, killing one woman and injuring at least 34 people. A slew of messages, views and comments flooded social media regarding the white supremacist rally itself and the aforementioned incident. The most notable of these messages stemmed from three particularly powerful political figures: former US President Barack Obama, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current US President Donald Trump. The latter led with this tweet: "What is vital now is...

  • To go with Rain’s LTE-A or not: a few questions to ask yourself

    A general rule of thumb is that fixed-line internet connections are more reliable than wireless connectivity. But here in South Africa, fixed-line connections are anything but a certainty. ADSL from Telkom isn't a guarantee, owing to widespread copper theft. And even though Telkom and several other players are deploying fibre across the country, these are often restricted to wealthier suburbs. So we're glad to see LTE-A actually rolling out across the country, courtesy of wholesale provider Rain and Internet Solutions. As a result of the network, quite a few ISPs have hopped on the bandwagon and started offering near-identical LTE-A packages,...

  • Rain and LTE-A congestion: here’s what you can expect…

    Rain's LTE-A network has made headlines in the local tech space lately, as ISPs offer wireless data packages via the service (in conjunction with Internet Solutions). With prices ranging from R549 a month for 55GB to R1599 for 330GB, it doesn't seem like a bad deal at all if you lack ADSL or fibre in your area. However, the one major concern with wireless networks is congestion -- and it's not without precedent. When Cell C launched its HSPA+ network back in 2010, the first few months were speedy, followed by big speed and reliability issues owing to over-subscribed towers. Then there's Telkom Mobile, which also...

  • Snapchat’s owner publishes its latest chapter of troubling financial results

    Judging by its latest batch of financial results, Snap is seemingly driven to outdo Twitter as one of the worst performing social media companies of the year. This week the owner of Snapchat published its Q2 2017 earnings report, and it missed a number of Wall Street estimates. Let's start with those all important user numbers. While Instagram earlier this year announced user numbers topping 700-million, with 250-million using Instagram Stories, Snapchat added just seven million users this quarter. That growth rate is down by 0.8% from 5% growth of the previous quarter. In terms of a global breakdown for Q2 2017, it...

  • Uber now lets you message your driver through in-app chat

    Uber has just solved another small but niggling problem with its service. The transportation company has announced a new chat system, that allows drivers and riders to communicate through the Uber app, sans phone number. Previously, drivers and riders would require a mobile number and an outside app to converse. This communication also wasn't standardised, as some drivers preferred messaging rather than phone calls. Number sharing also had security implications too. But with the new chat feature, Uber riders can message their drivers from within the Uber app itself. A "Contact" button now opens a Facebook Messenger-like screen which allows riders to...

  • Opera: Women in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya use more data than men

    How do women in Africa use the internet? This is what a study conducted by Opera and Worldreader aimed to answer. The study took the form of a poll, and surveyed 1500 women aged 14 to 44 from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. The results were then compared to Worldreader's database of 50 000 app users in these countries. And overall, they shed light on a few interesting differences in internet usage habits between the continent's men and women. For one, women seemingly use more data than men. In Kenya, "nearly half" of women spend over US$9.62 on mobile megabytes. Just a third...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #117: Cape Town water calculator & SnapnSave scores big

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. After a week's sabbatical from warming your ears, the Weekly Round Up is back. This week, Hadlee Simons is on engineering duties as Andy Walker and Stephen Timm chat all things Memeburn, Gearburn and Ventureburn. Covering the latter first this time around, Stephen and Andy discuss SnapnSave's latest big investment of R14-million from Kalon Venture Partners (formerly Grotech) and retail solutions company Smollan Group SA. It's a massive wad of cash for a company that has been riding the wave of the South...

  • Uber SA drivers can now choose to accept your cash trip or not

    Paying for an Uber is usually a seamless affair involving a credit card and electronic fairies transporting cash around the ether. But what if you forget your card at home, and only have cash? Uber South Africa has announced that it will debut a "cash indicator" feature for its drivers, which will allow them to choose to accept a trip paid using cash or decline it. "We've received a lot of feedback from driver-partners expressing their need to be able to choose the kind of trips they want to accept," Uber SA's GM Jonathan Ayache notes in a press release. "This feedback...

  • Facebook Watch is a social video service for mobile and beyond

    As it slowly transforms from a social network into a media company, Facebook Watch is the company's latest step into the latter. With its website and apps running out of space for ad placements, an entirely new video app which feeds off the Facebook name seemingly makes business sense. The service is the company's social video platform, which will host a number of Facebook-funded shows, sports and shows from outside creators. There's no word on whether the entire swathe of video on Facebook will be available on Watch. "Shows are made up of episodes -- live or recorded -- and follow a...

  • Disney is launching its own video streaming service in 2019

    The Walt Disney Company will launch its own streaming service as soon as 2019, the company announced. Following this week's acquisition of BAMTech -- the company behind live streaming of major US sports, including Major League Baseball, WWE and the National Hockey League -- Disney noted that it will also lunch an ESPN-branded "multi-sport video streaming service" in early 2018. The deal sees Walt's company dropping an additional US$1.58-billion to secure an additional 42% stake in the firm. It previously owned just 33%. This values BAMTech -- which was owned by Major League Baseball's internet company, MLBAM -- at around US$3.75-billion. "The...

  • 8+ portable apps you should keep on your flash drive

    Portable apps are one of the coolest things ever, allowing you to run PC apps off your flash drive without having to install them on the host PC. There are loads of supported apps out there, so we chose a few that you should slap on your flash drive. Google Chrome Maybe you're using a friend or loved one's PC. Maybe you're at an internet cafe. Maybe you're travelling and using a hotel computer. Either way, why use Edge or Internet Explorer when Chrome will do better? The portable app means that you can use Google's browser on another machine, complete with your...

  • Bonang’s book is so full of typos Exclusive Books is offering refunds

    Exclusive Books is offering full refunds to readers dissatisfied with socialite Bonang Matheba's book From A to B. The book was allegedly full of grammatical errors, and a reedited version should be on the shelves soon. In the meantime, Exclusive Books is so keen on saving its image its not even asking for receipts in exchange for refunds. All customers please take note of the following. pic.twitter.com/dFypasaKbx — Exclusive Books (@ExclusiveBooks) August 8, 2017 It has also cancelled all signings and events. In the two weeks since its release, From A to B has rocketed to the top of the store's bestselling list. Bonang's rapper boyfriend AKA tweeted...

  • Migos is coming to South Africa, and the web can’t wait

    US hip-hop trio Migos is making its way to Durban and Joburg this October, and South Africans are excited to say the least. Rain drop, drop top! @Migos Culture Tour hits SA this October! You coming?? #MigosCultureTour pic.twitter.com/qaQz9jYkT4 — BET Africa ch. 129 (@BET_Africa) August 8, 2017 The band, known best for track-turned-meme "Bad and Boujee", was trending in second on Twitter behind the #ZumaVote by noon Tuesday -- which didn't escape South Africans' notice. Engathi the Migos tour dates where released today to distract the youth from the vote of no confidence? — Menzi Xonx 🥂 (@Menzi_Xonx) August 8, 2017 There's no doubt that the youth...

  • Here’s how to follow South Africa’s No Confidence Day online

    It's a big day for South Africa (and not just because it's a public holiday tomorrow). It's No Confidence Day, as some political parties are labelling it, and that could signal a shift in political power in the country. But you might not be able to follow proceedings from the comfort of your television or AM/FM radio. Instead, you're probably at work slaving away over a hot keyboard. If that's the case, don't worry. This article aims to highlight the various ways to follow the No Confidence motion as it happens in Parliament, and beyond. Some must-bookmark information first: The voting procedure...

  • South Africa’s box office: Girls Trip arrives at number one

    Chick flick Girls Trip has smashed into first place this weekend despite its small budget and macho competition. Opening just ahead of Edgar Wright's much-hyped Baby Driver, the women-led film surpassed expectations both locally and abroad, pulling in US$90-million on a US$20-million budget in two weeks. Baby Driver has hardly had a bad run, though, and has so far made US$154-million from US$34-million in just over a month. But how did the other films fare this weekend? (4 to 6 August) The tag-teaming opening duo fought well and pushed Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed Dunkirk (review) down to third after just one week at the top. The war epic places Harry Style's...