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  • 11 massive startup lessons Om Malik learned building an online news empire

    Six years ago, Om Malik decided to leave his position at a magazine to build an online news startup. The startup would become GigaOM, which today is one of the web's most frequented destinations for tech news and in-depth analysis. Before founding GigaOM, which has now grown to a staff of writers in 12 cities in four different countries, Malik faced inner turmoil -- as most entrepreneurs do -- about which direction to pursue in life. At the time, he was writing for Business 2.0, the monthly magazine co-founded by renowned entrepreneur Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired until 2012). Read...

  • Gartner: expect the $50 smartphone to hit emerging markets this year

    A few years ago, there was a lot of hype in emerging markets technology was around the US$100 laptop. Getting laptops down to that low cost-point proved tricky but a number of programmes providing people with affordable laptops in emerging markets did roll out. These days, the ambition is the US$50 smartphone and it's much more achievable. Vodafone, Samsung and Nokia all have devices that can justifiably be called smartphones available for significantly less than US$100 these days. Chinese brands like Huawei and ZTE, meanwhile have driven down the cost of smartphones even further. In fact, tech research company...

  • Dell confirms it has gone private in a $24bn buyout

    It's official: Dell has gone private, according to New York Times DealBook. After weeks of rumours and speculation, the computer marker has announced that it will go private in a US$24.4-billion deal led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake. Microsoft confirmed its participation in the deal, saying that it "provided a US$2-billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private". "Microsoft is committed to the long-term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We're in an industry that is...

  • Twitter looks to increase security after recent hack

    When 250 000 of your accounts are hacked, you know it's time to step up security. In the wake of the attack late last week that exposed hundreds of thousands of Twitter usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted passwords, the social network is recruiting engineers to focus on implementing multifactor authentication and locate potential weak spots in its system. According to a job listing, Twitter is interested in building "a more secure platform and user experience." During the recent "sophisticated" attack (which Twitter suggests may be linked to the security breaches at the New York Times and Wall...

  • Meet Facebook’s potential new (and creepy) location-sharing app

    It seems Facebook is in the process of developing an app that tracks the locations of its users. The application, which is expected to be released in March, will be able to track and load your whereabouts in the background and -- without being opened -- will send your location to nearby friends. Similar to Foursquare, Highlight and Google’s Latitude, this unnamed app will be Facebook’s standalone attempt to the mobile tracking ‘realm’. To date not many people have joined these applications and Facebook's 1 billion userbase may make the chances of this app succeeding more likely. This app will...

  • North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un (supposedly) owns a HTC smartphone

    It may just look like a black curved blob to the eyes of the average viewer, but apparently the South Korean Ministry of Unification has analysed photos taken at one of Kim Jong-un's latest national security meetings and determined that he is the proud owner of an HTC smartphone. Really. North Korea's supreme leader, who rules a country with strict mobile rules which up until recently required foreigners to leave their phones at the border, was pictured with the smartphone next to him in photos published by North Korea's official Central News Agency. According to the Taipei Times, the South...

  • Defying Facebook: which emerging market social networks will stand tall?

    Social networking stalwart Facebook claims one-billion users. That’s around a seventh of the population of the planet. Sometimes it’s easy to believe the internet is comprised solely of Google, Wikipedia and Facebook. But what about more regional social networks, mobile social networks and specifically those with a strong foothold in emerging markets? How do they stack up against the behemoth that is Facebook? According to Italian social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza although Facebook’s star is still ascending around the world, there are pockets of the globe where the social networking giant does not claim number one position. Cosenza’s been tracking these...

  • 3 simple things to remember about being influential on social media

    Millions of updates are shared on social media every day and years worth of content is spread along with it. When we log in to Twitter we are greeted with "What's happening?" On Facebook it's with "What's going on?” Social media demands content from us and is driven by user-generated content, but it adds a lot of noise across the social media channels we are using and on the social web. Some organisations sport hundreds of followers and unique visitors to their blog every month while others have thousands of followers and generate so much more unique traffic. Which one...

  • 10 VCs you should be pitching to right now

    So you're a startup, and you have a great idea. In fact, your idea is going to change the world. It's better than Facebook. But you have no money. You need a venture capital firm to take pity on your poor soul (and make a truck load of cash from your great idea). South Africa's venture capital space is growing quite nicely. With startups funded by the country's firms exiting to big multinationals like Visa, it's no wonder the startup scene in South Africa has a seemingly cool visage. Read more on Ventureburn. 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");

  • 10 gadgets you never knew you’d always wanted

    Geeks, we love our gadgets and in honour of 2013, and just because it’s so damn cool, we've listed the hottest, weirdest and coolest gadgets for the year. Onwards to glory. JetLev Flyer It’s a jetpack, but instead of using weapons-grade rocket fuel, it uses regular water which is obviously much cheaper and can be acquired without some sort of government agency interference. It’ll cost you about R2-million (with free delivery, what a deal), but think of all the cash and bureaucratic inconvenience you’ll save in the longer term. Plus you’ll always be remembered as that guy who spent a couple...

  • Did BlackBerry miss a trick with the launch of BB10?

    BlackBerry might just have missed a trick with the recent launch of BlackBerry 10. No not with the devices -- those were largely well-received -- but with the countries it chose to hold the launch in. The launch event represented a new start for the company that once ruled the smartphone roost. Out went the name Research in Motion (RIM) and all the negative connotations that came with it. In came a couple of exciting new devices. At the time, the decision to launch almost simultaneously in seven countries (USA, UK, South Africa, India, Indonesia, France...

  • Forget native versus web: half of all apps to be hybrid by 2016

    When it comes to building apps, there are two dominant lines of thought: go native -- that is build an app specifically for an OS -- or build a web app (most likely using HTML 5). The fight between the two hasn't always been easy. Facebook used HTML 5 for its mobile apps for a long time. When it went native, Mark Zuckerberg said he regretted not doing so sooner. “The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native,” he said. “It just wasn't ready”. There is however a...

  • Twitter buys social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs

    Twitter is really taking this social television business quite seriously. Last year it partnered with research house Nielsen to launch "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating". The project was launched for the US market and allowed the companies to deliver a metric for gauging TV conversation reach on the social network. Now Twitter has acquired Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company, reports Business Insider. Rumoured to be in the region of US$800-million, this is the social network's largest acquisition to date. If the rumours are true it means a big pay day for investors. "Bluefin Labs has raised US$20.5-million to date,...

  • A farewell to clones? China’s first Dropbox copycat closes

    China’s first major Dropbox clone was created by Chinese web company Shanda back in 2010. Shanda was previously best known for its e-book store and online gaming, but with the Shanda Everbox file storage service the company started to push into cloud-oriented apps. But Shanda has now announced that Everbox is shutting down, effective March 1st. A notice on the Everbox site suggests that users migrate their data this month before the closure deadline. New registrations, as well as new uploads for current users, have been ceased. The announcement says that the cloud storage capabilities will be “incorporated into the...

  • Chrome and Firefox talk to each other

    Here is one for the developers. It's always nice when tech companies play nice together, especially when both companies are in direct competition. Google and Mozilla decided to have a bit of chat via WebRTC, says the Chrome blog. According to the blog post, Web-Real-Time Communication is a new set of technologies that brings clear crisp voice, sharp high-definition (HD) video and low-delay communication to the web browser. It has proven quite popular in open source circles. The service allows developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities into their products. "In order to succeed, a web-based communications platform...