Uber, the mobile application that connects individuals with private drivers, has launched the budget version of its service, UberX, in Johannesburg. UberBlack originally launched in South Africa late last year and now operates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
UberX connects users with drivers of lower-end vehicles (typically Toyota Avanzas or Corollas) rather than the luxury BMWs, Mercedes and Audis used by the UberBlack service and costs substantially less. For example, the minimum fare for UberX is R20, compared to UberBlack’s R50.
Every second Friday I contribute to a music Tumblr called Noonday Tune which, as the name suggests, posts a song every day at noon. Once in a while Noonday puts out a call for submissions, both to showcase new acts and to give the regular contributors a break, like over the December holidays. One such submission almost tripped me up.
Earlier this year, Apple announced that a small number of iPhone 5 handsets shipped with a faulty power/lock button and that it would replace said button for free. That was great news for US residents, but not much use to the rest of us. Now, South African mobile device repair company iFix has stepped in to match Apple’s offer.
Despite numerous attempts to shut it down, Hollywood’s worst nightmare, Popcorn Time, just won’t die. It’s little wonder it’s been the target of studios’ ire: the service lets users stream high-quality movies and series for free, and its attractive and intuitive user interface means its popularity grows daily.
It’s been called the “Netflix for pirates”, but Popcorn Time offers even more for even less. A wider catalogue, more recent content and a price that can’t be undercut — free. Originally the service only offered movies, but last month it added TV series. Frankly, the only thing it lacks is a recommendation engine, but for that one can always turn to the likes of IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.
The Orbit jazz club and bistro officially opens its doors this Friday (14 March) in Braamfontein’s De Korte Street, in the space that formerly housed European fusion restaurant, Narina Trogon.
Envisioned as a home for Johannesburg’s own jazz community and a venue that can attract and accommodate international performers, the fact that The Orbit has managed to book artists for every available slot for its first three months is testament to the dearth of live music (and particularly jazz) venues in Johannesburg.
Telegram is another in a string of competitors hoping to unseat the reigning champion of mobile instant messaging, WhatsApp. Promising unprecedented security and protection from prying eyes, it also claims to be speedier than its rivals and assures users it will remain completely free and devoid of ads, forever. But with WhatsApp promising to add voice functionality in coming months, can Telegram realistically compete with the current darling of the tech world?
To the detriment of online advertisers and publishers there’s an ever-growing number of apps designed to strip online content to its bare bones — nothing but body text and inline images — whether for reading later or simply to cut out the clutter of ads, links and widgets.
Readability has plenty of competition, but its simple, elegant interface and integration with third-party apps makes it my pick of the bunch, for now.