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  • TWR Podcast: Cape Town’s water rationing, Pixel 2 XL’s screen burn-in & more

    Welcome to The Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons is joined by Andy Walker and Daniel Mpala in studio. Daniel opens the floor by discussing the 15 South African tech startups that have concluded deals valued at over $137.7-million so far this year -- 12 of which are Cape Town-based. We then move over to Gearburn, where Hadlee discusses the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone, which has been experiencing screen burn-in after only days of personal use. Could it result in a product recall? Sticking to smartphones, we...

  • Uber debuts its very own credit card

    Tech companies very rarely remain in their niche. Over time, we've seen Google become a hardware company, Microsoft transform into a creator of Android apps, and now Uber is introducing a credit card. Yes, that's right. Uber, the on-demand transportation company, is introducing a credit card. Powered by Barclays and Visa, the Uber Card will operate similarly to other credit cards. Only available in the US for now, users can sign up via the app. According to TechCrunch, the card will be available to use immediately on Uber services once credit worthiness is approved, and a physical card will be issued at...

  • 13 Twitter accounts to follow for #FeesMustFall2017

    Fees Must Fall 2017 has already kicked off on three South African campuses, marking the third year of protests for free tertiary education. So if you're looking to stay on top of the events at the various universities, here are 13 Twitter accounts to help you keep up with the quickly unfolding situation. The official accounts CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) Campus update This week has been punctuated by sporadic flare ups in violence which private security have... https://t.co/8UVmyEdQMr — CPUT (@CPUT) October 26, 2017 CPUT's official account mainly offers links to official statements on Facebook. It provides updates on previous happenings (like how security was "forced...

  • UCT scientists find ‘first for Africa’ dinosaur footprints in Lesotho

    A team that included scientists from the University of Cape Town has discovered a new set of footprint fossils that suggests a large carnivorous dinosaur roamed southern Africa around 200-million years ago. The three-toed dinosaur footprints were discovered on a dirt road near the Lesotho capital of Maseru, measuring 57cm in length and 50cm in breadth. Moreover, the size of the footprint suggests that this dinosaur was about eight metres from head to tail, or around four metres shorter than the tyrannosaurus rex. The discovery is a "first for Africa", noted Lara Sciscio, a Postdoctoral research fellow in Geological Sciences, at the...

  • Google Trends uncovers America’s fascination with Halloween

    It's nearly Halloween, the time of year that dentists must absolutely love, and neighbourhood watch organisations absolutely hate. After all, how do you know if a criminal is dressing up for Halloween? Beyond these tough questions, the world -- and particularly the United States -- just loves preparing for the final day of October. The day has become as important as Thanksgiving and Christmas in the States (see below graph), and this year, Google Trends is shedding some interesting and spooky light onto people's habits taken from 3 October to the present. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"/m/03lq2","geo":"US","time":"today...

  • Use genre codes to access oddly specific genres on Netflix

    From original TV shows to blockbuster movies, Netflix has a solid variety of content. But what if you're looking for something more specific? Sure, you can drill down by categories or use the search functionality... Or if you're feeling adventurous, you can try the old genre code trick. Not following me? Well, every Netflix genre page ends in a sequence of numbers. So the URL for the comedy section ends in "6548" (www.netflix.com/browse/genre/6548). But what if you fancy critically acclaimed violent independent crime movies? Then change the four digits to "8121" (thus giving you the following URL: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/8121). On the hunt for Japanese sci-fi and...

  • EFF kicked out of Parliament (again), politicians react to Gigaba’s speech

    On Wednesday Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba delivered his first mid-term budget report to Parliament. But while it should be a relatively smooth process, it was anything but. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were asked to leave Parliament once again after the party members were ruled to be disrupting proceedings. They didn't go quietly. Calling Gigaba "a Gupta puppet" and labelling Speaker of the House Baleka Mbete "biased", it took just 20 minutes for the party members to walk out. While ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu and Mbete weren't quite in agreement with the EFF's claims that Gigaba was implicit in state...

  • Watch: #UCTShutdown protestors trigger fire extinguishers, disrupt exams

    It has been a tumultuous week for the University of Cape Town (UCT). Although a wave of #FeesMustFall protests have swept through South Africa's universities this month -- including CPUT, the University of the Free State and the Tshwane University of Technology -- #UCTShutdown protests this week propelled the institution's disquiet into the spotlight. A fresh spate of protests began Monday after students demanded a 0% increase to fees for the 2018 academic year. This comes after an 8% hike to fees in 2017. Update:25 Oct 2017, 11:30 The developments regarding attempted shutdown of UCT Read: https://t.co/Mj2vvyFtqa Listen: https://t.co/5JipWNFa5k pic.twitter.com/bcGetDLikT — UCT (@UCT_news) October 25, 2017 On...

  • Cape Town’s new buses will be all-electric come 2025

    Cape Town, along with 11 other major world cities, has vowed to shirk purchasing fossil fuel-powered buses in favour of electric models for its inner city transport networks by 2025. The cities, which include Auckland, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan and Seattle, signed the agreement which is an extension of the already established C40 Clean Bus Declaration Act. C40 cities, of which Cape Town is a member, is an initiative that aims to reduce harmful emissions in city centres and promote green practices. The agreement also ensures that "major areas of the city" will be declared...

  • ‘Cape of Storms to Come’ uncovers the origins of Cape Town’s water crisis

    You must be so sick of hearing about Cape Town's water crisis right now. But it's a huge problem -- and a potential catastrophe -- that isn't about to go away at the snap of a finger. We've seen dam levels gradually rise since June, however five months later, some have yet to breach the 50% mark. The largest dam in the system -- the massive Theewaterskloof -- has yet to breach 30% of its total storage. Considering that plans to augment the surface storage with ground water extraction, desalination and water reuse are still plans, this summer is set to...

  • Infographic shows North Korea’s scary nuclear capabilities

    North Korea's ballistic missile programme has stepped up in a big way under leader Kim Jong-un, as tensions between it and the United States continue to boil. It would be foolish to suggest the hermit kingdom has an arsenal equal to the USA and Russia, but it would be equally foolish to dismiss their capabilities. Now, we've come across a rather fascinating infographic by ABC, showing us what it could (and can) be capable of. North Korea's short-range ballistic missiles are its most reliable category, capable of targeting all of South Korea and Osaka, Japan, for starters (as seen in the featured...

  • Video: Bristol man flies balloon-powered camping chair above Joburg

    We know that some on planet Earth believe that Pixar's Up is a simply brilliant movie. We're not about to challenge that sentiment, but there is a point at which using balloons to fly a house across the world becomes markedly unfeasible. But what about a camping chair? That's what this particular Bristol man decided to do north of Johannesburg this week. Tom Morgan, the founder of British adventure-cum-charity company The Adventurists, enjoyed a two-hour flight around 2.5km above Gauteng while sitting in a balloon-lifted camping chair. According to the Bristol Post, the flight wasn't a realisation of Morgan's Pixar fandom, but...

  • Instagram friends can now broadcast Live videos together

    Making a clown of yourself alone on Instagram Live can get boring or even be "intimidating", but the social network wants to change that. It today announced that users can now go live with a friend on Instagram Stories "whether you’re just doing homework or catching up on your day". Stories has been one of the company's big success, ahem, stories. Launched in November 2016, Insta claims that over 250-million people use the feature daily. Adding live broadcasts with friends seems like a logical addition to the feature's repertoire, at least after allowing users to add face filters to live video just...

  • Facebook’s AI led to the wrongful arrest of a Palestinian man

    Facebook has been touting its artificial-intelligence services as a way to quickly identify those promoting terrorist content on the platform, but not all of these services are as foolproof as the company would have us believe. Last week, Israeli police arrested a Palestinian construction worker when Facebook's translation tool mistakenly translated the Arabic for "good morning" to "attack them" in Hebrew, and "hurt them" in English, according to Gizmodo. Police were notified of the post, and were suspicious of the accompanying image that showed the worker leaning on a bulldozer, which has been used as a weapon in previous terrorist attacks. No Arabic-speaking police officer...

  • #CrimeStats: South Africa’s year of crime outlined in tweets

    The South African Police Service has today unveiled the results of its 2016/17 crime statistics report in Cape Town, and the numbers are anything but comforting. In a precursor to the stats release, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula issued a brief statement on Twitter. "The SAPS national crime statistics measure twenty-one serious crimes. Seventeen of these crimes are reported by the community and the other four are detected as a result of police-initiated operations," he tweeted. He added that because of this, the 17 are "supposed to decrease" while the other four -- "illegal possession of firearms and ammunition; driving under the...