06.22.21

Elon Musk wants his Berlin Tesla factory to be covered in graffiti

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

Berlin is known as one of the graffiti capitals of the world. In an ode to this, Elon Musk wants talented young graffiti artists to help give his Berlin Tesla factory a makeover.

Berlin is known as one of the graffiti capitals of the world. In an ode to this, Elon Musk wants talented young graffiti artists to help give his Berlin Tesla factory a makeover.

Known as Gigafactory, the plant is currently undergoing construction. Several buildings are coming to completion while numerous others are set to be built in the near future.

In a Twitter post recently, Tesla invited artists to submit their portfolios if they’d like to be apart of the project.

The company made the announcement on Twitter: “If you want to help cover Giga Berlin in awesome graffiti art, send us your work at [email protected]

Source: EVANNEX; Casey Murphey
Source: EVANNEX: Casey Murphey

In the past, the West side of Berlin’s wall was once covered in political graffiti. Today, both the East and West side are covered in art, and forms an integral part of German urban culture.

The aim of this project is not only to bring together the Tesla car plant with local German citizens, but also instill a sense of character and livelihood into the buildings.

06.21.21

Nokia is making a comeback with C10 and C20 smartphones

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

HMD Global, the creator of Nokia phones, has announced that their latest smartphones – the C10 and C20 models – will now be available in South Africa.

HMD Global, the creator of Nokia phones, has announced that their latest smartphones – the C10 and C20 models – will now be available in South Africa.

Then entry-level smartphones, which were announced at a global event in April, are aimed specifically at budget-conscious consumers, and provide great bang for your buck.

“The C-series makes high-quality smartphone technology accessible to everyone. The latest additions to the popular range bring forward much-loved features like the wide 6.5” HD+ display, at amazing price points,” said HMD in a statement.

Nokia C20

Nokia C20 is an ultra-wide smartphone with powerful smartphone technology and standout features. It features a 5MP front and rear camera with low light functionality as well as a front and rear LED flash to capture important details in your photographs.

It sports 4G connectivity and an octa-core processor to enable online games without a WiFi connection. A 3000mAh battery with a 6.5” HD+ screen means more usage and longer-lasting battery.

A strong polycarbonate body comes in sand and dark blue colour options.

Nokia C10

The Nokia C10 also sports all-day battery life, 6.5” HD screen, and front and rear LED flash along with HDR cameras. It is equipped with Android 11 (Go edition), which offers more memory and consumes less data, as well as two year’s worth of quarterly security upgrades.

Both devices also have 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, are dual-sim and are powered by a 3000mAh battery.

However, the Nokia C20 has a faster processor which is the octa-core CPU with speeds up to 1.6GHz and the C10 has a quad-core CPU with speeds up to 1.3 GHz.

Patrick Henchie, head of product and operations for HMD Global in Sub-Saharan Africa: “Following the popularity of our ultra-high value C-series, we are expanding the range to continue our mission to provide accessible connectivity to everyone. You get that peace of mind with the rigid and sleek Nokia phone build quality and all-day battery life, complimented by that premium feel with a removable unibody back cover with micro-texture finishing.”

06.17.21

Maserati unveils new GranTurismo electric vehicle in prototype form

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

Maserari’s latest sports car, the GranTurismo coupe has just been unveiled in its prototype form.

The Italian automaker has been testing numerous prototypes of the vehicle, which will also be the company’s first car available in a fully electric version. Gasoline and hybrid version will also be available.

The new GranTurismo, which will be available in 2022, may be covered in camouflage in the pictures, but its not hard to imagine what the finished form will look like. In fact, the car will have a similar design as its predecessors, with its long hood and sloped roofline, and will also borrow features from Mesarati’s new MC20 supercar – most notably, the striking full-LED adaptive matrix headlights.

While Maserati hasn’t released much details on the car, we can expect the new GranTurismo and GranCabiro to be quicker than the old model, which reached 60 mph in the mid four-second range.

In the released images, the prototype shows a little peak of a chrome exhaust pipe, suggesting that this particular prototype is powered by a traditional internal combustion engine. The previous-generation GranTurismo used a 4.7-liter V-8 engine.

More information abou the new GranTurismo sports coupe will be available next year, and the GranCabrio convertible will arrive not long after.

06.11.21

4 talking points from Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), which took place this week from 7 – 11 June, is the biggest showcase of the year for Apple developers.

This year’s event was no different, as the technology company unveiled a slew of new updates across its entire ecosystem.

Apple users can look forward to new releases for iOS 15 on the iPhone, MacOS on the Mac, iPadOS for its line of tablets, WatchOS on Apple Watch, and more.

“We’re excited to share our latest technologies with you and with the incredible community of millions of Apple developers around the world,” said Apple CEo Tim Cook. “Your creativity and groundbreaking apps continue to deliver new and meaningful ways to enrich people’s lives,” “We’ve continued to look for ways to cultivate the next generation of developers, with an emphasis on those underrepresented in technology.”

Here are the top upgrades Apple users can look forward to in the coming months:

Revamped Safari

Apple’s Safari search engine has always played second-fiddle to the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox but now the company is touting a sleeker design, faster response time and longer-lasting battery life for the platform. In addition, Apple said they have been reworking Safari by adding more sync features, enabling tabs to sync between devices.

They are also bringing the tab bar to the bottom of the page rather than at the top. This makes it easier to reach and use.

Apple will also bringing Safari’s desktop app extensions to iPhone and iPad. Apple said extensions can share code across an iPhone, iPad and desktop, making them easier to develop as well.

Focus on personalised health

Apple’s Health app is becoming even more perceptive. A few years ago, the company introduced a feature on Apple Watch that allowed you to call for help if you fall. Now, the health app can identify what the likelihood will be of you falling in the future. This new datapoint, called Steadiness, is based on the pace of your walk throughout the day, and if the likelihood of you falling increases, Apple will send a notification to warn you.

The company is also building a ‘trends’ feature into its health app – showing when your activity level has increased or decreased.

In addition, sharing data with family has also been a big focus. The company said people will now be able to share health data with other iPhone users, giving them access to whatever selected data you want. The idea is that it is meant to be particularly helpful for families with elderly people and children.

Build your own apps

The intention of Apple’s Swift Playground app was to teach people how to code. Now, the company is taking it one step further by making it possible for users to build their own apps too.

On the iPad OS 15 on the Swift Playgrounds app, people will be to write code, test out the apps, and even submit apps to the App Store. Although Apple has not added its Xcode developer tools to the iPad, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

FaceTime for non-iPhone users

Apple is planning a bunch of changes for FaceTime in iOS15 – the biggest being that FaceTime will now work on web, allowing non-iPhone holders to participate in calls.

The way it works is that iPhone holders send a link to their friends which, when they click on it, takes them to a webpage that looks similar to FaceTime on an iPhone.

06.10.21

DNA Brand Architects wins big at Prism Awards

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

DNA Brand Architects wins Prism award for Best Large PR Consultancy of the Year 2021.

Headed up by marketing maven – and previous cover star of Fast Company SA – Sylvester Chauke, local agency DNA Brand Architects has won the prestigious Prism award for Best Large PR Consultancy Agency for 2021.

The agency made history by being the first 100% black-owned agency to win the award. It also comes off the back of consistent Prism awards for the company over the last five years.

In 2019, they were awarded the accolade for Campaign of the Year for their for its AB InBev Lion Lager digital series campaign, iLobola Nge Bhubesi.

The Prism Awards, which celebrates excellence in the public relations and communications industry, took place on Friday 4 June in a virtual ceremony, and hosted by TV personality Thabiso Makhubela.

Now in its 24th year, the Prism Awards remains the most sought-after accolade for PR agencies and professionals. The platform honours those who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity and professionalism in their strategies and campaigns.

DNA is home to some of the industry’s most talented young professionals, many of whom were recognised at this year’s awards. DNA allstar Sicelo Vilakazi walked away with coveted Prism Young Voice of the Year, while Yenziwe Khuzwayo was also selected as one of the 10 Prism Young Voices to judge this year’s awards.

The agency’s work on the groundbreaking Tastic collaboration with internationally reknowned designer Laduma shone bright at the awards. The campaign won Gold in the Food and Beverage category as well as a Silver award for campaign of the year.

“We are extremely proud of a stellar performance at this year’s awards. The Tastic x Laduma True Generosity campaign not only created powerful conversation that delivered incredible PR results, but it also drove sales for our client during a difficult time. This would have not been possible without a willing client and an incredible team of allstars who brought it to life,” says Sylvester. “If we are to build strong Black-owned agencies, we need to compete against the best and let our work speak for itself.”

06.08.21

This McDonald’s chicken nugget sold for $100 000

BY farah khalfe < 1 MINUTE READ

A story that’s amusing McDonald’s lovers across the globe – a single McNugget has sold for just under US$100 000, simply based on the fact that it resembles a character from the popular video game, Among Us.

The seller, who goes by the name Polizna on eBay, originally listed the nugget at 99 cents when the online auction opened on 28 May.

In the eBay listing, Polizna explains the McNugget was discovered inside a McDonald’s BTS Meal – a promotional meal launched in collaboration with K-Pop band BTS. The meal includes a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, fries, a Coke and two dipping suaces. However, none of the meal’s other components are being sold with the nugget. The McNugget is also listed as being in a “used” condition.

The official Twitter account for the Among Us game commented on the auction when bidding reached over $34 000 earlier this month.

XBox, a popular platform on which the game is usually played, responded to the tweet, suggesting that the McNugget be sold with Szechuan Sauce, a historically coveted condiment that McDonald’s has only offered in limited runs.

Polizna confirmed that the McNugget would come with Szechuan Sauce at the buyer’s request.

The auction ended Friday 4 June, selling for $99,997 with 184 bids.

05.26.21

4 money traps we’re guilty of falling into – and how to avoid them

BY farah khalfe 4 MINUTE READ

In today’s fast-paced, consumption-focused world, hidden fees lurk everywhere. From cellphone contracts to car finance, you are probably paying fees that could be avoided

By spending a little extra time identifying these unnecessary charges, you can redirect that money towards something worthwhile, such as a retirement fund or other long-term savings goals.

MONEY TRAP 1: TELECOMMS

It is difficult to go a day without sending a message from your smartphone, browsing the internet or posting to social media. Unfortunately, the costs of these seemingly everyday activities can add up, especially if each service is with a different provider.

What to do: Be aware of what you use and when. Then, shop around for the best provider and package for your needs. That uncapped anytime mobile data contract might sound attractive, but if you’re using your office or home Wifi most of the time, you probably only need a fraction of what it offers for those days when you’re out and about.

If you’re often on calls, opt for a bundled data and voice call package at the same price or less. Third-party subscriptions such as “free ringtones” or horoscope services, could be the reason you find yourself always having to buy airtime or data. Contact your service provider and ask them how to opt-out.

For smartphone users, apps running in the background could also berating your data. Go to your device’s settings and check which apps are using data then turn off background data for apps that don’t require this. The money you save on these repeat services could be working hard for you in a long-term savings account.

MONEY TRAP 2: CAR FINANCE

Succumbing to peer pressure and buying a fancy car could mean you’re paying thousands every month on a depreciating asset. When choosing a car, consider the additional costs of owning a vehicle: Insurance, fuel, tyres, and servicing, to name a few. A car with a monthly premium of R10,000 can end up costing R15,000 per month all-in.

What to do: Ask the salesperson about balloon payments, extended warranties, insurance costs and delivery charges. Add-ons can cost a lot, but some can also be big money savers in the long run. Ask questions, read the fine print and choose carefully. You can also consider buying a demo model or a secondhand car. It’s well-known that a new car loses value as you drive it off the showroom floor and, according to the Automobile Association (AA), a new car will have lost around 40% of its value by the end of the first year. Why not let someone else take that loss and buy a car that’s a year or two old? You can then take the money you save and put it towards your retirement fund instead.

MONEY TRAP 3: BANK CHARGES

Banking fees can be complicated and confusing, with some charges included in transactions as a set fee or a percentage of the bill, and other fees levied monthly or annually. It can be difficult to know what your bank account is costing you, especially if you aren’t regularly checking your statements.

What to do: Download three months’ worth of statements (or get printouts from the bank or an ATM) and go through them line by line. Understand what every entry is, then use spreadsheet columns or different coloured highlighters to group essential and non-essential spending. Tally up all the bank costs for each month to see the average amount you’re spending. Some bank fees are only levied after you’ve reached a specific threshold, so be sure to note this as well. If in doubt, call your bank’s customer service line and ask for help breaking down the line items. It might be a big wake-up call to see how all the little items add up. Perhaps you could be saving a couple of hundred rands every month by withdrawing less frequently, using only certain ATMs or accessing online banking instead of receiving paper statements. Almost everyone who does this exercise for the first time realises they have duplicate insurance cover or forgotten subscriptions and memberships they thought they’d cancelled. If there are costs that still look unfamiliar, chat to someone at the bank. You could be the victim of a bank error, duplicated charges from a service provider, or even fraud.

MONEY TRAP 4: RETIREMENT PRODUCTS

When it comes to your retirement fund, fees are the single most reliable predictor of investment performance. According to Morningstar, the respected global financial research firm, “the cheapest funds” are “two to three times more likely to succeed than the priciest funds”. Despite the significant role played by fees in building up wealth, 10X Investments’ Retirement Reality Report 2020 found that nearly half of South Africans (49%) did not know what fees they were paying on their retirement savings funds, the most significant investment many of them would ever make. Over 40 years, every 1% increase in fees per annum can reduce your outcome by 30%. (R10,000 earning a nominal 10% per annum for 40 years will grow to R453,000, but only to R314,000 at 9% p.a.)

What to do: Ask your financial advisor or a consultant from your fund to break down the fees you’re paying. Ask for the EAC (equivalent annual cost), which is the industry standard and will mean that you see a total of all the fees. If you’re paying more than 1% all-in, start researching low-fee products where you’ll be able to save more.

Small fees make a big difference over time. Once you’re ready to scrutinise your monthly bills, become a more informed consumer and neutralise unnecessary hidden fees, you’ll find that you have some extra cash that could be put to work for you.

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05.24.21

How Minimalist Chocolate is enhancing cacao to its full potential

BY farah khalfe < 1 MINUTE READ

No sugar, no additives

You might know David Donde as the man responsible for bringing specialty coffee roasting to South Africa, but he is now pioneering a new venture.

Off the success of his Truth Coffee expertise, David has transferred these skills to cacao, creating a minimalist chocolate made with just two ingredients.

In collaboration with Ken Walton, David founded Minimalist Chocolate. Their ethos lies in the fact that cacao is naturally sweet and delicious — and, if roasted correctly, requires no extra additives or sugar to be enjoyable.

Similarly to Truth’s speciality brew, their secret once again lies in the roasting process. With this unique technique, Minimalist chocolate is able to reach its most flavourful form without the use of sugar, additives, soy lecithin, fructose and any other sugar alternative found in regular chocolate.

The classic chocolate bars are made with just two ingredients: cocoa & milk – resulting in a smooth, creamy texture.

The cocoa beans used by Minimalist are Fair Trade.

All products are made from “bean to bar”.

A vegan dairy-free oat milk bar is currently in the works.

Decadent Bon Bons in five different flavours: Hazelnut, salted caramel, Truth coffee, dulce de leche, and Christmas cake.

Minimalist Chocolate Bars will be available from Truth Coffee, online and at selected retail outlets. Hot Chocolate, Bon Bons and gift boxes are exclusive to Truth Coffee in Cape Town.

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Read more in our latest digimag here.

05.21.21

Daily Media Diet: Aisha Baker

BY farah khalfe < 1 MINUTE READ

Social media influencer and founder of the clothing brand Baked Collection, Aish Baker shares her Daily Media Diet – a few apps she can’t get through the day without.

I work on Instagram so it’s naturally my go to daily used app! I prefer IG to most social media apps, mostly because I enjoy being able to consume and shop content in a curated platform that doesn’t feel too oversaturated with ads (yet).

Instagram

I work on Instagram so it’s naturally my go to daily used app! I prefer IG to most social media apps, mostly because I enjoy being able to consume and shop content in a curated platform that doesn’t feel too oversaturated with ads (yet).

Calm

Another post-Covid download suggested to me by my life coach. I absolutely love Calm and use it everyday. There’s really something for everyone and I find it really affordable since my entire family can make use of it. I use the app for guided meditation or to find relaxing music to listen to in the evenings when I am reading or having a bath. They’ve also got great stories to fall asleep to for both adults and kids!

Pinterest

Another obsession of mine has always been creating visual journals. As I have grown, this has sort of migrated to Pinterest because I don’t have the time to make visual journals anymore. I use Pinterest for everything from party planning, recipe collection and deciding what I want to wear in the morning.

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Read the full article on our latest Fast Company digimag here.

05.17.21

All about Mercedes Benz’ new electric vehicle: The EQS

BY farah khalfe 2 MINUTE READ

Mercedes Benz is entering the electric vehicle arena with their all-new electric EQS

The vehicle will be the flagship of the German automaker’s electric future, and is said to be one of the most luxury electric vehicles ever.

The EQS is in fact the third Mercedes benz EQ model, following the EQC and EQA – which are essentially electric versions of the GLA and GLC SUVs.

The EQS however, is pioneering the electrification of the new S-Class, which has only been on the market for a few months. Customers will have a choice between the standard version and the EQS.

The EQS has a curvaceous body, spacious cabin and state-of-the-art features, including extensive ambient interior lighting, headrest pillows for front and back passengers, and adjustable back seats with massage functions, neck and shoulder heating, and an individual tablet to control the infotainment system.

A most notable feature however, is the Hypescreen – a giant wall-to-wall panel of glass that stretches across the entire dashboard to encompass the digital infotainment system. Other features include face recognition cameras, fingerprint authentication and the “Hey Mercedes” command that is able to recognise vehicle occupants by the voice.

According to the luxury vehicle maker, the EQS has 40 new innovations above the S-Class. This includes artificial intelligence that is able to learn the owner’s habits such as phone calls you make often, to whom, and at what time, in order for the vehicle to make pre-emptive suggestions. It also has four automatic doors that can open remotely.

In addition, the EQS features 350 sensors that make up the Automatedx Valet Parking feature. This allows the owner to leave the car while the vehicle goes and parks on its own as they head inside to their location. A command on an app will see the EQS return on its own to a designated area where the owner will leave the venue.

At 5220 mm long, Mercedes Benz estimates that the car has a 770km driving range on a full charge.

The EQS will launch with two driving options: The EQS 450+ with a single 245kW and 585Nm electric motor positioned at the rear axle. This will allow for 6.2 second dash from 0-100km/h and a 210km/h top speed.

The EQS 4Matic h an extra motor added to the front axle and has a total system output of 285kW and 855Nm. It accelerates from rest to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds.

The charging time for both models is approximately 31 minutes at a rapid direct current charging station. Charging at an AC wall box takes around 11 hours. However, a 15-minute charge at a public station will yield a 300km range.

South Africans can expect the EQS to be available in the country in 2022.