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  • A view-through focus could stop the anti-banner ad freakout: here’s how

    There’s been a lot of bad blood about display ads flowing through the marketing industry of late. Some are misguidedly dismissing display advertising’s relevance all together, and even the banner ad’s creators are getting their punches in. Display advertising’s opponents love to point to a study by comScore and Starcom MediaVest that found that 84% percent of internet users never click on an ad, and also that the clicks from the remaining 16% don’t correlate to actual on-site conversions. Those stats are accurate, but they’re not proof that display advertising doesn’t work. Rather, they’re proof that we’re measuring display advertising...

  • Bang With Friends co-founder talks honesty, getting banned by Apple

    I’ve said for a while now (and there are theories and books on the subject) that the general world needs to wake up to lessons the porn world can teach us. While not dealing -- at least directly -- with porn, "Bang with Friends" is the latest in a long line of apps that does not shy away from the fact that people like bumping hips. The latest insight being that people may want to ‘bang’ others in their immediate friend group. It’s a simple premise and one that has not gone unnoticed by the civilised world. ...

  • Secret wars and cyber snooping: top tech stories you should read

    Secrets. They're everywhere -- from the undercover digital battles sweeping the web to accusations around PRISM, the classified programme that surreptitiously collects user information from companies like Apple and Yahoo! in the name of security. Tumblr seems to have found the secret to a massive acquisition and quick payout, and there are lesser-known stories about how illegal pharmaceutical sites have benefited from Google's ridiculously profitable advertising products. These are just some of the things brought to light by our round up of some of the top tech stories on the web. Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading internet...

  • HP Elitepad 900 review: average tablet, crazy price

    It’s difficult to make sense of HP’s Elitepad 900. This 10.1” tablet runs Windows 8 and offers the portability that makes any tablet a smart buy, yet it carries an asking price that puts it in competition with laptops that offer far more operating power. Hewlett Packard has taken a form factor that started as an affordable consumer device, and has turned it into an expensive business machine. When you consider the history of computing generally, it’s going backwards. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • YouTube founders bring video-sharing to the Chinese market with Vine clone

    YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are no stranger to the Chinese market having launched a localized version of social bookmarking site Delicious after their company, AVOS, bought Delicious from Yahoo!. But the newest app from Hurley and Chen is on shakier moral ground as it’s basically a clone of six-second video app Vine for the China market. But that’s fine. Vine’s Chinese doppelgänger is called Wanpai, and it brings the video-sharing fun to Chinese social networks Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Renren. Twitter-made Vine app doesn’t support those Chinese services, and probably never will. So Wanpai is nicely...

  • Facebook kills off Questions and Offers as it streamlines its ad products

    Ever thought there were just too many ads on Facebook? The social network agrees -- but not in the way you think. The company has announced its plans to cull the number of ad versions it offers, in a bid to narrow its focus and avoid unnecessarily complicating the process of placing an ad. Facebook's product manager for advertising Fidji Simo explained that the team has been gathering feedback from brands that use its 27 different advertising products, and decided to streamline the process after they reported there were just too many products which often achieved the same effect....

  • Burning Hot this week: Feathercoin, Xperia Tablet Z and coworking spaces

    There's a lot going on over here at Burn HQ -- from stories about (ahem) interesting new social startups to NFC technology and why 3D printing may be a hit in Africa. But we've got our favourites. This week on Burning Hot, we've rounded up some of the top stories that the Burn Media team loved reading and writing. They include an article about Feathercoin -- the Bitcoin competitor which has generated a great deal of interest as the virtual currency space claims a spot in the mainstream consciousness. Gearburn editor Steven Norris also spent some time with Sony's new...

  • Nedbank launches third ‘branch of the future’ for boutique-style banking

    In the race for Africa's most technologically advanced bank, Nedbank has just opened up its third tech-savvy so-called "branch of the future." This boutique-style branch is situated in Hyde Park, Johannesburg and shares many of the same features of its counterparts. Hyde Park Nedbank's "Branch of the future" will provide customers with state-of-the-art technology to do banking in a ‘boutique’ like, ‘laid back’ self-service environment. Much like the branch found in KwaZulu-Natal's La Lucia Mall, this free WiFi environment will feature iPads and video banking to add to its philosophy of queue relief and casual self-service. “Innovation is driven by a...

  • Yandex’s new idea for search: take action from the results page

    Russian search giant Yandex might not be all that well-known in the West, but unlike many emerging market clones, it's capable of more than just copying Google. The latest innovation from Yandex is a feature that allows you to search entries on the results page. As TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher notes, this means you could, for instance, see live prices and availability when you search hotel rooms. The new feature is rolling in out in Turkey, where Yandex has an on-the-ground operation, before it expands to the Russian market. Yandex completely dominates the Russian search market, with over...

  • We are in the process of becoming data [LeWeb]

    We're making far more data than we can derive actual value from, says John Battelle, Chairman and CEO of Federated Media Publishing. Battelle reckons that, as human beings, we are in the process of "becoming data" ourselves. Speaking at this year's LeWeb London conference, the author and internet media enthusiast says that "we change our behaviour based on the technologies we endorse". The more we use technology and interact with certain technologies the more our behaviour changes and we adapt. "When we have data on everything: cars, bodies -- we'll have to ask what kind of a culture we...

  • Twitter inks deal with ad giant WPP

    Twitter has just signed a deal with global advertising giant WPP, which will apparently see the two collaborating more closely in future. The deal is the second that the social network has inked with a major advertising outfit in recent months, after partnering up with Starcom in a deal said to be worth "hundreds of millions" of dollars back in April. As AllThingsD notes, WPP's press release doesn't put a figure on the deal, but it does sound pretty similar to the one struck with Starcom. Essentially, Twitter will make it easy for WPP to spend a lot...

  • YouTube triples mobile ad sales in six months

    YouTube has tripled its mobile ad sales in the past six months, pulling in an estimated US$350-million for the Google-owned video-sharing platform. In an interview with Bloomberg, YouTube vice president of sales Lucas Watson revealed that a quarter of the platform's one-billion global users now access the service via handheld devices, pushing advertisers to pay more attention to the medium. “The commercial business has exploded,” Watson said in the interview. “It’s a huge part of our business, and we know that’s where it’s headed.” As has always been the case however, Google would not provide an exact break down...

  • Absa launches mobile cash rewards system

    African banking giant Absa today launched a new programme which will allow South African customers on its mobile rewards scheme to redeem cash rewards on its mobile banking platform. Accessed through the bank's mobi site, the new initiative gives Absa Rewards customers the ability to redeem their rewards and view their cash balance on the fly. Absa claims that its rewards programme, which it calls a "South African first" has around a million users and reckons that the changes will enhance their experience as well as entice new users. Arrie Rautenbach, Absa’s Head of Retail Banking described the announcement...

  • PR’s digital makeover means it’s more crucial than ever

    For a while now PR has moved steadily towards securing a seat on the board. The fact that reputational damage is a huge business risk means that the role of PR in the organisation is now more critical than ever before. The PR industry will continue to play a key role not only in the marketing mix but as custodians of their client’s reputation. However, the industry still has a lot of work to do on the perception and value of public relations. The distortion lies in PR people who position themselves as specialists but in fact fall short...

  • Is 3D printing the key to Africa’s dire manufacturing sector?

    It’s not just a gimmick you often see on Kickstarter. 3D printing technologies have the ability to provide local communities with the access to facilities they need to produce and market their own products. It could enable the much-needed manufacturing industry to be personalised as well as democratised. What entrepreneurial opportunities could this “over-hyped gimmick” create for developing countries? Imagine a doctor from the DRC who can make a prosthesis with materials found in his backyard. What if an engineer could design the newest African tablet or smartphone with metals found at a neighbouring mine? From shoes to toilets, from...