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  • #HandsOffSocialMedia: South Africa responds to social media regulations

    In a press briefing yesterday, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo hinted at the possibility of social media regulation in an attempt to counter "false narratives". Mahlobo claimed that instead of bringing people together in a positive way, social media has become a cesspool for negativity, lies and fake news. "Even the best democracies that are revered, regulating . Most of our challenges are coming from that space. We will discuss how we will regulate it," he claimed. For many South Africans, Twitter is a way to let their voices be heard. It can be argued that the democratic system...

  • Cisco Connect South Africa: company affirms pledge to Africa’s growth

    Cisco's SVP Hilton Romanski and country manager Cathy Smith today opened Cisco Connect South Africa with a joint keynote, expressing the company's acute focus on African technology growth and digitisation. Romanski, who is also the country sponsor for South Africa and China, pledged to focus on accelerating the continent's digital adoption rates, both at the consumer and business level. "Technology presents many opportunities and challenges for Africa as the fastest urbanising region in the world," Romanski explains. "Cisco recognises the pipeline of African talent and we are deeply involved in enabling the widespread emergence of tech ecosystems across the continent." Cisco Connect South...

  • To reveal Tor hack or drop child porn charges?

    The US Department of Justice has asked a court to drop a case against a child pornography website. The reason? The department refuses to reveal details of a hack used to identify visitors. According to ZDNet, legal representatives for the Justice Department are requesting that charges be dropped in the case against dark web child porn site Playpen. "The government must now choose between disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment. Disclosure is not currently an option," read an excerpt of the filing, according to the publication. The team is however calling for the case to be reopened when the hack...

  • Weekly Round Up #97: YouTube TV, Xbox Game Pass, Google Launchpad & More

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. In this week's edition, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker, Graham van der Made and Julia Breakey. This time we discuss the possible effects of Trump's "travel ban" and how a Nigerian software engineer was forced to take a test when entering the US to prove he really was who he said he was. Over on Memeburn, we chat about YouTube TV and what it could mean for cable and other online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. We also discuss...

  • Hacker reports free ride Uber bug, ruins it for all of us

    While searching for bugs in Uber's system, white hat hacker and snitch Anand Prakash discovered one that would allow anyone with the know-how the ability to hail a ride without having to pay. But instead of doing the noble thing and spreading the news underground so the rest of us could have a few free rides before Uber found out, Prakash reported it straight to The Man himself. Uber, like many tech companies, offers a bug bounty programme -- meaning they pay anywhere between US$100 and US$10 000 to hackers who report bugs to them. The programmes both strengthens their security and...

  • Big Little Lies S01E02 review: The sexy, violent juggling act

    This week on Big Little Lies saw an unhealthy amount of toxic sexuality and very little plot. But its real issue stems from the way it balances its various characters and storylines. The second episode of the HBO mini-series dove deeper into the relationship between sexuality and violence, and not even the children were immune. Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard (has anyone said their characters' names even) are still on some whack shit, and Madeline (whose name I do know) has a difficult time enjoying the unpassionate relationship she's in now. Even Madeline's daughter -- who has clearly picked up on this...

  • Snap closes IPO on a high, but will it last?

    Snapchat's parent company Snap ended its debut on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday with shares at US$24.48 a pop. With the IPO price of US$17, people who bought shares yesterday saw a 44% premium -- a significant achievement considering most companies price their IPOs for an expected 20% increase. But this first day success does not necessarily mean the company is set for a happy ending. Many have been drawing comparisons between Snap's IPO and Twitter's. The latter finished its first day with a gain of 72.69%, but the following months proved rocky. Facebook, on the other hand, closed its IPO...

  • Google Assistant hits Android 6.0, 7.0 devices

    The Google Assistant is essentially a supercharged take on Google Now, delivering reminders, answers to more specific questions and more. It was initially limited to the Pixel handsets, Android Wear 2.0 and Google's speakers, but now, Google has launched the tool for recent Android smartphones. As of yesterday (2 March), Google has been pushing the service to devices with Marshmallow or Nougat, the web colossus confirmed on its blog. "Your Google Assistant helps you get more done, in your world. And starting today, it's rolling out to Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices with Google Play Services. To get started, touch...

  • UberEATS Cape Town gains weight, expands again

    It was just over a month ago that UberEATS launched in Cape Town, coming a few months after the Johannesburg launch. Since then, we've seen the service expand to five other Cape Town suburbs (Bishopscourt, Claremont, Mowbray, Newlands and Rondebosch). Now, the service has used its newsletter to quietly announce its second expansion in the city. "Love free food? Now is the perfect time to share your referral code as we've expanded into Plumstead, Constantia, Wynberg and Tokai," the company wrote in the email. "When you refer a friend to UberEATS, they'll get R50 off their first order and you'll get R50...

  • Facebook Live implements suicide support

    Facebook's suicide prevention tools are being extended to Facebook Live in an attempt to decrease the number of people taking their own lives on the platform. In January this year, aspiring actor Jay Bowdy used Facebook Live to threaten suicide. Despite friends and family contacting police, Bowdy took his own life an hour after the livestream. In the same month, a 12-year-old and 14-year-old livestreamed their deaths on two separate occasions. Facebook has featured suicide prevention tools for 10 years, but the new Live platform has presented a new set of issues to tackle. "Our suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts will now...

  • #Xenophobia: what Twitter can tell us

    South Africa has been hit anew with a spate of xenophobic attacks, and it is clear that until something substantial is done, foreigners will continue to be blamed for major systemic issues within our society and government. In the 21st century, social media is able to shed a light on social crises that has never been available to us before. So we thought it might be interesting to break down exactly how South Africans are talking about xenophobia on Twitter. We asked Crimson Hexagon if they could send us an analysis of #xenophobia to see how the hashtag was being used. The analysis...

  • Uber CEO admits he needs leadership help after disrespecting driver

    On 28 February, Bloomberg released a video of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver after a ride. The argument (which starts around the four minute mark) shows Kalanick and the driver, Fawzi Kamel, arguing about lower fares for UberBLACK. Kamel takes the rare opportunity to discuss his worries about his job to the company's CEO. He notes that Uber is "raising the standards" for drivers to qualify for Black, but "dropping the prices" for riders. Kalanick begins calmly stating that they have to keep ahead of competition, but when Kamel gets heated about being bankrupt because of Uber, Kalanick's...

  • You can now mute ‘egg’ Twitter accounts and more

    Twitter is really, really trying. The company announced yesterday that it is rolling out even more features to help users filter out what they don't want to see. This is yet another move to address the criticism that was lobbed at them last year as a result of the way it handled the US presidential election -- which saw the rise of general Nazism and nationalist Pepe accounts on the platform. "During the past few weeks alone, we've made a number of changes on this front including updating how you can report abusive Tweets, stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, implementing safer search results,...

  • Has Trump, USA’s entry policy caught out Nigerian software engineer?

    A Nigerian software engineer says that he was given a test at US customs to prove that he was indeed a software engineer. Celestine Omin, working at startup Andela, had just landed in the USA when he was quizzed by a border agent, according to a post on LinkedIn. He was then taken into a small room, where an hour passed before another agent entered the room. "Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?" the agent asked Omin, who described the official's tone as "accusatory". The agent then took out a pen and paper and asked him to "write a...

  • Pretoria’s #TruckProtest disrupts city’s traffic (and not in a good way)

    Update, 11.38am: Truck drivers in Pretoria engaged in the strike have seemingly left their trucks, and have boarded taxis and bakkies on their way to the Union Buildings. The trucks have been reportedly parked in Marabastad, Pretoria West. #TruckDriverProtest truck drivers now heading to Union Building using bakkies & taxis. Trucks parked in Marabastad. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/Smy2pt749r — Mr_Stuurman (@Sipho_Stuurman) March 1, 2017 #TruckDriverProtest drive into Marabastad, their assembly point before heading to the Union Buildings @News24 pic.twitter.com/8VzGg2fmY4 — lizzee (@lizTandwa) March 1, 2017 Traffic as a result is at a standstill in Arcadia, Pretoria East. Traffic on Hamilton and Madiba also at a complete standstill...