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  • JK Rowling’s Twitter persona is weirdly fake

    In 2015, Noma Dumezweni was cast as Hermione in the then-upcoming Cursed Child. Harry Potter fans, who had long been asserting that black Hermione made more narrative sense, were ecstatic. So, too, it seemed was JK Rowling. Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015 The Twitterverse went crazy, retweeting Rowling 77 000 times, lauding the author for her progressive stance. But for many, the tweet didn't make sense. She was taking credit for being progressive without acknowledging where she went wrong in the first...

  • Update: London suffers another disaster as #GrenfellTower burns

    Update, 12.40pm SAST: London's Metropolitan Police has confirmed that at least six people have died in the blaze that swept through North Kensington's Grenfell Tower Wednesday morning. "I can confirm six fatalities at this time but this figure is likely to rise during what is a complex recovery operation over a number of days," commander Stuart Cundy explains in a press release. Latest statement re fire at #GrenfellTower. Call Casualty Bureau if concerned about a loved one or if they've been found safe 0800 0961 233 pic.twitter.com/UvM41bFiuO — Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 14, 2017 Original article: Hashtags #LondonFire, #GrenfellTower and #NorthKensington were trending...

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes indefinite leave of absence

    Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced that he will take an indefinite leave of absence after the company's tumultuous past year. The announcement comes after a slew of issues regarding policy, leadership and prejudice plaguing the transport company in 2017. "For the last eight years my life has always been about Uber," Kalanick wrote in a letter to employees, announcing his move. "Recent events have brought home for me that people are more important than work, and that I need to take some time off of the day-to-day to grieve my mother, whom I buried on Friday, to reflect, to work on...

  • SuzelleDIY creators, ShowMax team up for service’s first original show

    Julia Anastasopoulos of SuzelleDIY fame is joining forces with ShowMax in its first original production, the company today announced. The streaming service revealed that filming for the show, dubbed Tali's Wedding Diary, is currently underway in Cape Town. The eight-part show will take the form of a mockumentary, with Anastasopoulos starring as titular character Tali. "Building on the phenomenal success of her SuzelleDIY character, Anastasopoulos stars as Tali, a self-obsessed Sandton princess who’s moved to Cape Town and has hired a documentary crew to film the build-up to her wedding to property-agent fiancĂ© Darren," reads ShowMax's press release. Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger...

  • Last week in trailers: Black Panther & more Tom Cruise

    Last week saw few new trailers released, and it's probably for the best because what we got was hardly of a high standard. So if you're looking to immerse yourself in the wonders of upcoming films, you can sit this one out. But if you're keen to revel in the terror that is the unending tide of Tom Cruise films, then welcome aboard. Let's get started. Black Panther We'll start with the good: The first trailer for Marvel's first ever black superhero film is out, and it looks fun. What won't be fun is sitting through any more of what is presumably that Afrikaans accent, but,...

  • Cape Town Railway Station trends on Twitter after riot, train fire

    Update #2, 10.40pm: Cape Town's Metrorail service again took to Twitter suggesting that it cannot at present confirm how the train fire will affect Tuesday's commute. "Too early to predict service changes. MorningPeak service advisory at 04:30 tomorrow morning," it wrote. Too early to predict service changes. MorningPeak service advisory at 04:30 tomorrow morning — Metrorail W/Cape (@CapeTownTrains) June 12, 2017 Update #1, 10pm: Cape Town's Metrorail service has now issued an update via the Metrorail Western Cape Twitter account. "Problems with Metrorail electrical power feeds were responsible for major delays experienced this afternoon," reads the statement. "Teams if technicians are currently working across the...

  • Winter in the Western Cape: Instagram laced with weekend snow pictures

    Last week's cold front brought some extreme weather to South Africa's Western Cape. Along with driving rain and gale-force winds in Cape Town, it also drove hot berg winds to the Garden Route, which fuelled the catastrophic Knysna fire. While the latter is now largely under control, there was another weather phenomenon that some took the time to capture with their smartphones and upload online -- snow. People are uploading their weekend snow adventure pictures in the Western Cape on Instagram The Western Cape's higher peaks this weekend -- including the Matroosberg, the Hottentots-Holland and the Hex River Mountains -- were laced...

  • YouTube videos capture devastation of Cape Town storm, Knysna fire

    We use the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook extensively when covering stories across South Africa, but when the Cape Town storm rolled across the peninsula this week, citizens took to YouTube to upload their clips. Although some of the videos were hoaxes, clearly edited to incite viral reactions from those all too eager to hit like and retweet buttons, other videos were genuine. And genuinely scary. At the time of writing, nine of the top 12 trending videos on YouTube in South Africa is related to the Cape Town storm or Knysna fires. Read more: Memeburn's in-depth coverage of the #CapeStorm and...

  • GoFundMe campaign for Knysna Fire relief smashes crowdfunding goal

    A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign created to help the victims of the Knysna fires has raised three-times its goal amount in a single day. The fund, started by Knysna resident Natalie Grundlingh, was initially set with a ÂŁ5 000 goal on the crowdfunding site, but in less than 36 hours more than ÂŁ15 000 has been raised from around 300 donations. GoFundMe has also marked the campaign as "trending". Read more: Memeburn's coverage of the #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire The Knysna Fire swept through the Southern Cape district on Wednesday, ahead of the intense cold front that lashed Cape Town, killing five people and...

  • Corbyn vs May vs Twitter: UK elects a hung parliament, the internet reacts

    Yesterday, the United Kingdom voted in their snap election called for by Prime Minister Theresa May. May, who was hoping to increase her Conservative Party's majority in the House of Commons, has seen the opposite take effect and the UK are now looking at a hung parliament. Their biggest opposition, the Labour Party, has gained 29 seats, assuring that the Conservatives do not have a house majority despite their lead. This could lead to May's resignation. Naturally, the liberal-leaning Twittersphere took to this news quite well. When the Brexit clock is ticking, you blow £143000000 of taxpayer money on a snap election after years of austerity,...

  • Katy Perry, Taylor Swift’s latest tiff spills over onto Spotify and Twitter

    Taylor Swift has caused quite a stir after releasing her discography to Spotify years after claiming she never would -- and just in time to coincide with the release of Katy Perry's new album. Swift has had beef with Spotify's free tier in the past, claiming that musicians didn't work hard just to give their music away for free. Her official fan Instagram claimed that this derision had been set aside to celebrate 1989's 10-million worldwide sales. In celebration of 1989 selling over 10 Million Albums Worldwide and the RIAA's 100 Million Song Certification announcement, Taylor wants to thank her fans by making...

  • Spree adds AI-powered image search to iOS app

    Online retailer Spree has today announced an app feature that allows users to find clothing items that are similar to uploaded images. Available now on the iOS app version, the retailer says it's the first in Africa to offer the feature that employs "the latest artificial intelligence technologies". The move, Spree explains, is a bid to remain ahead of disruptive trends in the retail industry. "Searching for items with photos and images saves consumers from having to type keyword combinations, which is especially challenging on mobile devices," Spree's head of customer experience Sven Schoof, explains. "In a world where words are commonly replaced...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #109: Cape storm, Knysna fire & WWDC

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons hosts Andy Walker, Stephen Timm and Matthew Alexander in studio. The team opens the floor with a discussion on the Cape Storm that rocked the Mother City this week. Along with the storm came the spreading of fake photos (either photoshopped or pulled from other natural disasters) and Andy Walker talks us through how to differentiate between the truth and the lies. Hadlee then talks about Haven Night Shelter's Buy A Bed campaign that allows people to donate R60...

  • #KnysnaFire: locals turn to Facebook, WhatsApp for help

    Social media, for all its pitfalls and swathe of untruths, is seemingly the best way to keep abreast of new information emanating from a disaster. Take the #CapeStorm and more recently the #KnysnaFire for instance. Read more: Memeburn's ongoing coverage for the Cape Town storm and Knysna Fire The fire, which ravaged areas around the town of 70 000 people, is now heading towards Plettenberg Bay, the Eden District Municipality announced on a Facebook post Thursday morning. "Knysna looks much better, but our new high risk area would be the Bitou area. Currently people in Harkerville , portion of Kranshoek and by...

  • Cape Town brands look to profit off hashtags #CapeStorm and #KnysnaFire

    With every tragedy comes an outpouring of love and support from social media. Thoughts, prayers and tangible help are all offered to those in need. But with the good comes the bad too, and businesses and social media opportunists often look to cash in on destruction with profit and likes. These users take a hashtag, which others can view for information on events or for calls to action, and use it for their own personal gain, disregarding lives lost or homes destroyed. Take, for instance, this Instagram post using the topical #CapeStorm. Happy Thursday!!! Hope you have a good one and that...