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  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #111: Spur CEO speaks out & #SocialMediaBlackout

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Andy Walker hosts Stephen Timm, Julia Breakey and Matthew Alexander. Stephen opens the floor with a Ventureburn story about how the Spur founder, Allen Ambor, did not sell his shares despite reports to the contrary. Ambor also refused to make a firm statement on that allegedly racist incident in March. Over on Gearburn, Andy talks of the claim that Steve Jobs created the iPhone in response to a Microsoft executive who he hated. Finally, Andy talks us through the attempted #SocialMediaBlackout...

  • This Google Doodle lets you create calming musical animations

    Today would have been Oskar Fischinger's 117th birthday, and Google is using its latest doodle to celebrate his abstract animations. The German-American was notable for his abstract musical animations long before computer graphics and the concept of music videos came into play. In 1936, Fischinger and his wife fled Germany when it became clear he could not pursue his art under Hitler's regime. When he arrived in the US, Paramount Pictures offered him a job. He went on to animate sequences for Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. The artist's work was largely created between the 1920s and 1940s -- and the lack of digital technology meant he often spent...

  • South Africa’s politicians react to Secret Ballot ruling with subtweets

    The Secret Ballot (or #SecretBallot) ruling has come and gone but the reaction from politicians are only now filtering through social media. To clarify, Chief Justice Mogoeng has ruled that Baleka Mbete does in fact have power to declare a secret ballot during the motion of no confidence against President Zuma. Previously she cited the law as a limiting factor. For some, this is a clear win for South Africa's justice system, but it also now puts emphasis on Mbete -- she can now declare a secret ballot, or choose not to. As for South Africa's other politicians, the ruling was a...

  • #SecretBallot: SA’s ConCourt ruling becomes a worldwide Twitter trend

    Yesterday might've been the darkest, longest night of the year for South Africans, but today is surely one of the brightest. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng today ruled that the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete does have the power to declare a secret ballot during the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. Previously, Mbete stated that she did not have the power to declare a secret ballot. #SecretBallot began trending Thursday prior to Justice Mogoeng's ruling, and hit Twitter's worldwide trend list too In the ruling passed at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, the Chief Justice also stated that members are Parliament...

  • Snapchat now makes it easier to stalk friends using ‘Snap Map’

    Snapchat has added a new feature that allows you to see where your friends -- and other featured stories -- are on a map. The Snap Map is accessed by pinching the screen to zoom out, and adds another layer to Snap's already complex interface. Once on the map, the user can choose who can see their location, with the options of all friends, select friends and Ghost Mode (no one but them.) If their friends have chosen to make themselves visible, users can view where they are and the stories that go along with that location. Along with their friends are other...

  • Everything, Everything movie review: a serious Bubble Boy

    Everything, Everything is every bit your typical teen romance about a sick girl and the boy who loves her. The film is cheesy. It loves love and rejects reality. In other words: it's exactly what you expect it to be. But what sets Everything, Everything apart from other teen romances is that the film is also somehow Bubble Boy (2001). Nearly every beat it hits mirrors that of the ridiculous sixteen-year-old comedy. In Everything, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is an 18-year-old suffering from SCID, an immunodeficiency that keeps her locked up in her stringently sterilised house. In Bubble Boy, Jimmy is born without an...

  • Explaining Feenix: the Standard Bank-backed solution to #FeesMustFall

    There’s been a lot said about #FeesMustFall — at least in terms of the hashtag and the social movement it propelled. But in its wake, not many solutions have been penned by private institutions or government. That is until now. Feenix isn't known to many in South Africa, even if the initiative was making itself known across universities as early as July 2016. But this week it officially launched to the wider public, backed by an industry heavyweight in Standard Bank. Having some trouble understanding what we do? Here is a step-by-step guide to your future! pic.twitter.com/zGS2h1XxTv — Feenix.org (@Feenix_org) July 6, 2016 What...

  • Google’s adorable Doodle celebrates the summer (and winter) solstice

    Google's doodlers really know how to capture a moment in an adorable GIF. And what might the latest moment be, you ask? The summer and winter solstice, of course. Depending on which side of the equator you're on, you'll today experience the longest day of the year (north) or the longest night of the year (south). Much like these two mice in Google's GIF. Celebrating the new season—in both hemispheres!—with a #GoogleDoodle for summer and winter solstices. https://t.co/ioInwGI6Fv pic.twitter.com/cZvjSOE0os — Google (@Google) June 21, 2017 "Today’s Doodle celebrates the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere," Google explains. "As the longest day of the year, solstice...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #2: Films that inspire us (the youth)

    Welcome to MiniMeme, the podcast brought to you by Burn Media’s junior staff as they tackle the topics that tickle their fancy. This week Julia Breakey and Matthew Alexander use Youth Day as a reason to discuss films that inspire them, the mouthpieces of South African youth. Matthew comes to terms with his obsession with Will Smith, and the fact that the Taken actor's name is, in fact, Liam Neeson. Julia discusses films that have inspired her both as a woman and an aspiring filmmaker. The team touches on the idea of identity, the depiction of mental health in film and TV, and...

  • #SocialMediaBlackOut ironically trends on Twitter in South Africa

    Yesterday we wrote about #SocialMediaBlackOut -- a hashtag that trended on South Africa's Twitter timeline for much of the week. Today it culminate in a 24-hour boycott of all social media activities. But judging by my timeline, some users aren't playing ball. The hashtag, which appeared on Monday as a spinoff of #DataMustFall -- aims to lurch people into taking action against steep data prices in South Africa. As a campaign, the blackout centres on two notions. Firstly, if users refrain from purchasing data, it affects telecommunication companies' bottom line. Secondly, not camping on social media for a day renders social...

  • Uber promises drivers tipping, paid wait times & more

    Just before news of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's resignation surfaced, the company was trying to grab attention in a more positive light -- with promises to its drivers. The company sent out an email to its drivers yesterday announcing the launch of its 180 Days of Change. The email detailed the "meaningful changes and improvements" it was bringing to drivers' experiences with the app. The campaign appears to be a six month project that reveals a new improvement every month. The first month, Uber assured, was dedicated to earnings. The biggest improvement it focused on was tipping -- "the feature asked for most." Only...

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns – report

    Travis Kalanick has resigned as CEO of Uber due to pressure from investors, it has been reported. The Uber CEO resigned after five of the firm's key investors demanded he do so, the New York Times reported, citing "two people with knowledge of the situation". It's claimed that several investors sent a letter to Kalanick in Chicago, demanding that he step down. The Uber CEO had been on an indefinite leave of absence after the death of his mother in a boating accident last month. "I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life...

  • Cape Town dams 23% full, CoCT ponders ‘reverse osmosis, desalination’ plants

    The good news continues this week, Cape Town. Dam levels have increased for the second week in a row, signalling the start of winter... albeit in the middle of winter. The largest three dams in the system experienced sizeable gains. The Theewaterskloof Dam is now 17.3% full, up by 2% week-over-week. The Berg River Dam is also up by 2% to 34.2%. The Voelvlei Dam is up by 1.4% to 18%. Both Steenbras dams saw a slight increase in its storage, while Wemmershoek remained steady. Overall, Cape Town's dams are now a combined 23.1% full, up from 21.2% last week. The City of Cape...

  • #SocialMediaBlackOut: South Africa, here’s everything you need to know

    If you were scrolling through your Twitter timeline Monday, you might've noticed the hashtag #SocialMediaBlackOut out the corner of your eye. Don't worry though. It isn't some death knell for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- they're probably still function as per normal come Wednesday. But there might be considerably fewer users from South Africa on them if the hashtag's primary narrative is to be believed. What is #SocialMediaBlackOut? The thought of one might strike fear into amateur breakfast photographers, but the content isn't the reason for the campaign. It's largely how South Africans access said content. #SocialMediaBlackOut can be seen as a spinoff...

  • South Africa’s box office: Cars 3 buries The Mummy

    Lightning McQueen had one last chance -- one last dream -- and South Africa refused to let him do it alone. If there's one thing we understand, it's loyalty -- and not allowing Tom Cruise to thrive. This weekend saw Cars 3 debut at number one, pushing The Mummy down to third place after just one week at the top. I guess the rebooted franchise... ran out of fuel? Got a flat tire? Look, I don't know a thing about cars, but I do know about movies -- and here's how the others fared in the top ten this weekend. (16 to 18 June) Wonder Woman clung...