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  • TripAdvisor adds badge to properties where sexual assault has occurred

    A damning report by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal on 1 November showed how travel website TripAdvisor was removing hotel and resort reviews that included rape and sexual assault claims. The report found that the website labelled such reviews "inappropriate, not "family-friendly", and "hearsay" when they included third-party medical diagnoses -- and now TripAdvisor is responding by placing symbols "designed to identify health, safety and discrimination issues", The New York Times reports. "These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive," company spokesperson Kevin Carter told NYT. In reality, the badges offer a vague way for the company to justify its intent on continuing to remove claims of injury and violence...

  • This is how Snapchat’s UI will likely change come December

    Snapchat's app redesign, first announced by CEO Evan Spiegel earlier this week, will debut on 4 December according to a report by Business Insider's Alex Heath. Quoting sources "familiar with the matter", the publication claims that Snap employees were notified internally regarding the planned release date. Along with said date, details of the actual redesign of Snapchat's app have also been outed. On the face of it, nothing will change. Snapchat's home screen will still open on the camera screen, but it's what lies either side of the app that does receive a nip-tuck. The left-hand side of the app will house...

  • Russia to ban Facebook if it doesn’t comply with data storage laws

    Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor will check to see if Facebook is abiding by a Russian data storage law -- and the result may lead to the company blocked from the country altogether. "In the near future Roskomnadzor will plan a series of supervisory activities aimed at analyzing the activities of the administration of Facebook in terms of the processing of Russian users’ personal information, the terms of services for users, and the content of existing legislation," it said in a statement Wednesday carried by the Interfax news agency, according to Reuters. The law, which came into effect last year, requires websites that store citizens' personal data to do...

  • Truecaller reveals the top spam callers in South Africa

    Spam calls are part of daily life for most with a cell phone in South Africa, but which industry is most responsible for making them? These statistics and more were this week provided by Scandinavian company Truecaller, best known for its spam alert and management app. For Truecaller, South Africa has become an integral market. It's where the company is experiencing its fastest growth (120%) on the African continent, and boasts around 3.2-million users. With that growth and user pool stems some interesting statistics regarding spam calls in the country. South Africa ranks fifth on its list of countries most affected by spam...

  • MiniMeme Podcast #10: The sombre sides of social media

    Welcome to MiniMeme, the biweekly podcast about anything that tickles the Burn Media junior staff's fancy! On today's episode, Julia Breakey and Daniel Mpala sit down and talk the sombre sides of social media -- including the psychological manipulation, distraction techniques, and the ways it forces you to stay logged in. But, like, in a chipper way. Recommended reading: 'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia How Facebook rewards polarising political ads Facebook told advertisers it can identify teens feeling 'insecure' and 'worthless'

  • This Chrome extension reverts Twitter’s character count changes

    Some people are really, really against Twitter's 280 character tweets. The list includes one Iggy Azalea, the Chrissy Teigen and a Steven King. But if you also really miss living in 2006, there's a Chrome extension that might help. "Whipped up in one night" by Slate's dev team, the aptly named 140 is a snarky, buggy solution to clipping Twitter's wings down to a more manageable and familiar length. "Install our new Chrome extension, 140, and keep the horrifying world of 280-character Twitter at bay for a bit longer," reads the extension's description. "If you’re visiting Twitter in Chrome, 140 will cut everyone’s...

  • NASA, Uber are serious about bringing flying taxis to cities by 2023

    In an unlikely partnership, NASA has sought the services of Uber to build air control software that will manage the flying taxis of the future. Yes, flying taxis. The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either. In April 2017, the company announced plans to launch a flying taxi programme -- dubbed UberAIR -- in Dubai and Dallas by 2020. Now Los Angeles will also be added to the roster. Uber has also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber...

  • Instagram now lets you upload throwback photos, videos to your Story

    Do you have gigs and gigs of previously captured photos and video you just wish you could publish to your Instagram Story? Well, now you can. If you're running version 22 on iOS or version 18 on Android, you can now publish video clips and photographs that are more than 24 hours old to your Instagram Story roll. This is a stark departure to Instagram Stories' initial focus on ephemeral and live content. "Just like you normally would, swipe up from the camera to open your camera roll or tap the gallery icon. Scroll to choose your photo or video, and tap...

  • Snapchat is ‘redesigning’ its app, hits 178m daily active users

    After seeing its growth stunted by Facebook's similar products, Snapchat is pondering a number of changes to the app. In a Q3 2017 investors presentation, CEO Evan Spiegel announced a forthcoming "disruptive" change to the app that will reportedly make it simpler to use. "One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use," said Spiegel. "There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our...

  • Facebook suggests users upload nudes to avoid revenge porn

    Worried that an abusive ex may upload intimate images of you to social media? Facebook may have a solution for you, though maybe not in the way you expect. The company is testing a feature in Australia that lets users send their images to themselves on Messenger, allowing the platform to store the images' digital footprints and prevent anyone else from uploading them in the future. While this feature may set all your danger instincts on high alert, the company says that it isn't actually storing your images (which are secured by end-to-end encryption) but rather their hash values or links. Facebook then uses the photo-matching...

  • It’s official: Twitter’s 280 character tweets are rolling out worldwide

    Christmas has come early for talkative tweeters. Starting this week, Twitter will roll out its 280 character tweet limit to all 330-million of its users. The trusty 140 character limit -- which has been in effect since Twitter's launch back in 2006 -- will now become a thing of the past for users not tweeting in Japanese, Korean or Chinese. The company decided to make the change official after a limited trial period in September. During said trial, a select number of users experienced double the number of characters available to use in a tweet. Granted, some didn't quite take it as...

  • A list of Kevin Spacey’s sexual misconduct accusers so far

    Amid mass claims of sexual misconduct actor Kevin Spacey has been "suspended" from House of Cards (he's essentially fired), and his film All the Money in the World is reportedly being held from awards circuits. According to reps, Spacey is undergoing "evaluation and treatment" -- but for what, exactly? These are the accusations levelled against the Oscar winner so far. Anthony Rapp Claim: Climbed on him as a minor Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp was the first to speak out about Spacey's unwanted sexual advances. Rapp told Buzzfeed News that in 1986, when he was 14 and Spacey 26, the older actor picked him up, dropped him on a bed,...

  • Driving innovation and productivity through effective communication

    Innovation is a driving force behind business improvement and increased productivity. The internet and mobile technology, for example, now enable employees to work from anywhere and to collaborate with colleagues in other offices with ease. Virtualisation and cloud have made businesses more agile and effective. Automation software frees up employees’ time by enabling them to focus on doing their core jobs without getting bogged down performing simple, repetitive tasks. When used properly, technology presents a wide range of ways for businesses to work more efficiently and, in doing so, to be more productive. Those modern businesses that tap into current innovations...

  • Uber’s wildly odd ad will resonate with Capetonians stuck in traffic daily

    Uber's first advertisement highlighting the plight of commuters in southeast Asia may just trigger a nerve for those stuck in traffic in Cape Town and Johannesburg daily. Filmed in Bangkok with 200-odd extras, the company's ad trades automobiles for Flintstone-inspired box cars. But that doesn't mean there's any less chaos. From drivers stealing parking spots, to others cutting in ahead of lanes, to those select few who believe one-ways are in fact safe for bidirectional traffic: the video is practically what every road user experiences every day. Perhaps with less cardboard. While the ad is undoubtedly stupid, remarkably silly and deliberately extra,...

  • Konnect Africa debuts SmartWiFi satellite broadband hotspot service

    Satellite broadband provider Konnect Africa has today announced its new hotspot service dubbed SmartWiFi. The announcement was made by the Eutelsat-owned company at AfricaCom 2017 in Cape Town. SmartWiFi will use Konnect Africa's satellite network to provide connectivity to the likes of hospitals, schools and retailers across South Africa. Unlike traditional access points that usually serve a small area, Konnect Africa's SmartWiFi will be "able to access the internet from a distance of several hundred meters around the hotspot". It can also be expanded further through the use of repeaters. This allows SmartWiFi to be employed in non-urban areas, explained Laurent Grimaldi, the...