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  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #107: Cape Town’s water crisis & JUMO

    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 Julia Breakey and Stephen Timm as Hadlee Simons parties it up at a work event. The team's main focus today is on the Cape Town water crisis, as we discuss ways we personally are doing our bit, how Derek Van Dam has put us in the international spotlight, and how one startup wants to solve the crisis with fog. Over on Gearburn, we talk about waterproof cellphones, and how much Julia thoroughly despised the Hisense C-30 Rock (whose...

  • Uber, Snapchat giving custom filters to riders in African markets

    Great news for you antisocial riders who never bother chatting to your Uber drivers. The transportation company has today announced a collaboration with Snapchat, which allows riders to "personalize their riding experience" using a number of custom filters. "Riders will be able to have a little extra fun by unlocking custom Snapchat filters so they can Snap while they ride," the press release continues. These custom filters include ETA filters, a number of custom Uber ride filters and a mystery filter for an "added surprise". 'Riders will be able to have a little extra fun by unlocking custom Snapchat filters so they can...

  • Facebook will pay up to $250k for original content from Buzzfeed and Vox

    Facebook has signed a deal with entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to create original video content for the platform, and is paying willing to pay up. The deal will bring scripted and unscripted content to the platform, in a bid to compete with premium content creators like YouTube Red and Snap. The scripted shows are intended to last between 20 and 30 minutes (and will include ad breaks), while the unscripted shows will average between five and ten minutes. According to Reuters, Facebook will pay up to US$250 000 for the scripted shows, which will also grant it full ownership...

  • Will Game of Thrones’ season 7 survive its writers’ egos?

    In the beginning, there were Dan Benioff and D.B. Weiss, two men eager to turn George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire into an epic TV show. They won over the author with their answer to the question "Who is Jon Snow's mother?" and sold the concept to HBO. It was intended for each novel (of which there were four at the time) to create content for a season's worth of episodes. And it started well. A Game of Thrones was turned into Game of Thrones' first season, and was met with high ratings and critical acclaim. But the...

  • Twitter adds 230+ new emoji for your enjoyment

    Twitter's 300-million strong user base can look forward to a treat today. The social network's UX designer Bryan Haggarty announced this week that users can look forward to seeing and using a slew of new emoji on the social network. 69 new Emoji 5.0 icons are now usable on Twitter for those who have supported platforms, and if you include the variations of these emoji, the number rises to 239. 🆕 🤩 We've just added all the new emojis to https://t.co/LOTAlBvtUR and updated our Twemoji open source repo 🥡 https://t.co/lD0IvE7ifj — Bryan Haggerty 🤩 (@bhaggs) May 23, 2017 If you use Twitter's website regularly,...

  • Afrihost cuts price of fibre packages in wake of Openserve announcement

    South African internet service provider (ISP) Afrihost has today announced that it will cut the prices of its fibre packages. This moves comes after the recent reduction in IPC costs announced by Telkom's Openserve division. "Depending on the IPC capacity purchased, ISPs can now benefit from price reductions of up to 32%, effective from 1 June 2017," Openserve wrote in a release issued earlier this month. Afrihost is one of the first ISPs to adopt the decreased costs, and plans to reduce the "monthly costs of all Openserve fibre packages to pass this saving onto all current and future clients," the...

  • Snapchat introduces group sharing feature for Stories

    Social sharing platform Snapchat has today debuted a nifty group sharing mechanic to its Stories feature. "Today we’re announcing a new way to create custom Stories – about anything, with any of your friends, even for a specific location! It's perfect for a trip, a birthday party, or a new baby story just for the family," it writes on its blog. Heading to a gig with friends? Going to the big game on the weekend with chums? Or heading to your local canyon for some paddling with your besties? Snapchat now lets users create custom Stories to capture the moment with...

  • Catchy ‘Under The Sea’ parody teaches Cape Town how to save water

    You might think Katy Perry's Swish Swish is catchy, and when you throw Backpack Kid into the performance it sure is difficult to shed that jam from your psyche. But let's be real: does Perry's track help Cape Town citizens save water? No. No, it doesn't. But this gem of a jingle does. Written and performed by teacher, rock band member and Capetonian Emma Engers, this parody of Under The Sea from Disney's The Little Mermaid teaches residents how easy it is to save water. Cape Town, seriously now, don't flush when you pee Although it's a parody, it does pack some pertinent...

  • Facebook doesn’t want you to know its censorship policies

    Facebook still won't tell the world what its censorship policies are, despite receiving a slew of criticism from experts and users alike for its ambiguity. While the controversy of what Facebook allows on its site has been around its entire existence, the criticism turned to uproar last year when the platform censored an iconic picture from the Vietnam war. It subsequently defended its decision, declaring it in line with its policy on nudity. Eventually, Facebook acknowledged that graphic images for the service of public interest are important enough to remain on the platform. This amended policy came into play last month, when videos of dying...

  • Second BotCon Africa takes place this week [Sponsored]

    BotCon Africa returns on 25 May for what is expected to be another sell-out conference dedicated to the state and future of conversational interfaces in Africa. Following on from the highly successful inaugural conference held in Johannesburg in November last year, this year’s event will take place in Cape Town on Thursday 25 May 2017 at Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront. BotCon Africa is essential for software developers, businesses and marketers working with natural language processing, machine learning and AI, offering a chance to interact with top-end experts and peers. Last year’s sold-out event drew over 130 participants and featured speakers...

  • Donald Trump and the Western Wall star in an unlikely Twitter meme

    Donald Trump staring longingly into the Western Wall might just be the meme 2017 needs. On his state trip to Israel this week, the president of the United States visited the sacred Jewish site along with daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. But while it should've been a moment of reverence, Twitter just couldn't help but turn it into an ironic meme. Because, you know, Trump's obsession with walls. "'Who paid for you?" he whispered. But the old wall keeps her secrets," the viral tweet read, posted on Monday. "Who paid for you?" he whispered. But the old wall keeps her secrets. pic.twitter.com/xplQhXvzQ3 —...

  • Sir Roger Moore dead at 89 after battle with cancer

    Sir Roger Moore, the British actor best known for his role as James Bond, has died aged 89. Moore's family took to Twitter to announce the news around midday on Tuesday 23 May. With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg — Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017 "It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer," the tweet's attached obituary, written by his...

  • Shiba Inus borking at fidget spinners is YouTube’s next viral craze

    Although we've seen some pretty incredible things done with fidget spinners, some people still believe they're a waste of time, and potentially deadly. It seems that Banana, a lovable but derpy Shiba Inu has just joined the latter camp. A clip of the fluff ball and his human went viral this week after YouTube channel ShibeNation republished it. That version of the clip has over 730 000 views, and 21 000 likes. And it's easy to see why. Not sure whether to bork at it loudly or destroy it with his bare teeth, Banana has a mild internal conflict between his natural...

  • Zack Snyder steps down from Justice League after tragedy

    Director Zack Snyder has backed away from DC's Justice League as it enters its final stages of post-production to spend time with family. His wife, Deborah, a producer on the film, has also pulled out of the project. Tragedy struck the Snyder family in March when their daughter, 20-year-old Autumn, took her own life. The film took a two-week-long hiatus for the Snyders to mourn, but the director told The Hollywood Reporter that he initially wanted to keep working. "In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it," he said. But when...

  • That Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o heist film is happening

    A movie based on a tweet based on a Tumblr post has been bought at Cannes Film Festival, and it's the news 2017 needed. It all started in 2015, when Roxy Macdonald reblogged a Tumblr post of Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna at a Miu Miu fashion event. http://elizabitchtaylor.tumblr.com/post/90856351997/they-look-like-theyre-in-a-heist-movie-with Two years later, Twitter user @1800SADGAl took up the concept and posted it to Twitter -- this time adding that the two look as if they don't just scam anyone, but rich white men to boot. Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans...