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  • SA Gmail users get free SMS…at last

    Gmail users in South Africa are reporting that they can now send free SMSes from Google chat. The reports are coming through even though South Africa is not listed among the countries supported by the service, which has been around since 2008. At present, however, the service only allows you to send messages to MTN and 8ta numbers. According to MyBroadband, any attempts to SMS Vodacom and Cell C numbers resulted in an error message. Quite why Vodacom isn't supported isn't clear as the supporting website lists it as being supported in Mozambique, the DRC, and Tanzania. ...

  • Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman talks social media at SXSW

    Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan took to the stage at South by Southwest -- not to perform, but to be interviewed by social media guru Brian Solis -- on his views about how social media has changed the music business. Corgan, who has over 100 000 followers on Twitter, wants fans to step up their support and help create new ways of sustaining the music industry. Corgan, whose band found great success in the 90s and helped break stereotypes with their diverse make-up of musicians, essentially believes the state of the music industry has created an erosion of culture, to...

  • TED launches initiative to bring ‘lessons worth sharing’ to high schoolers

    TED, the organisation behind the popular conference series with the same name, launched a new initiative that aims to bring TED-like video content to high school students. The idea here is to repackage existing TED talks as well as videotaped lessons from teachers around the world with additional graphics and effects to make them more palatable to a younger audience. As TED's curator Chris Anderson notes, the organisation doesn't claim that TED-Ed, as this new program is called, will "transform education." Instead, he says, the organisation wants to help teachers by making these videos available, but also by providing...

  • Data journalism: where coders and journos meet

    How do you make sense of a growing data pile spit out by the internet? The number of journalists who can analyse and write stories based on this data is still relatively small. At a time when large numbers of journalists are being laid off -- because print newspapers are closing or decreasing the number of editors -- data journalism is becoming a great way to get value out of journalistic work. Newspapers are also exploring it, and data journalism could potentially attract more readers to print or online editions. In Europe, The Guardian’s data page is an example of how...

  • How influential is your company on social? Brandometer thinks it knows

    How do you know how well your brand’s doing on social media? Awards are one way, but they tend to be chosen by industry “experts”. They also tend to roll around on a fairly irregular basis, so you can’t be sure if your latest campaign has put you ahead of your competitors. What you need is a way of benchmarking yourself across a variety of platforms, against your closest competitors and the best practitioners of social media. A new tool called Brandometer claims to provide exactly that service. Powered by social media monitoring company Fuseware, Brandometer calls itself “an official...

  • Siri gets her Led out, sings ‘Stairway to Heaven’ [Video]

    We know Apple’s celebrated voice assistant Siri can do a whole lot, but did you know she could soon be the voice of the entire iTunes catalogue? Apple-centric parody news site Scoopertino has imagined a present in which Tim Cook and co. have become so enamoured with Siri that they decide to drop musicians entirely and let Siri take over on vocal duties for every song ever licensed to iTunes. “Apple started a revolution by signing the major music companies. Now it’s re-igniting the revolution by throwing them out,” the site says. Scoopertino reemphasised the massive love Apple has...

  • Highlight: the app that lets you know who’s nearby

    A brand new iPhone app has been released that alerts people when they’re near someone they share a connection with. Actually the app, called Highlight, does a little more than that. According to its App Store description: If someone standing near you also has Highlight, their profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight...

  • Win online fashion vouchers with Memeburn and Zando.co.za

    Love online fashion? Want to win one of 10 fashion vouchers to the tune of R100 each? Why wouldn't you? Shopping online is better than walking into an actual brick-and-mortar store. This is the future, baby, and Memeburn and Zando.co.za wants to help you realise your online shopping fantasy. Zando, which went from a humble startup to a successful online clothing store, knows the online arena. It stocks a mixture of local and international brands, including Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Gucci, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana -- and you can buy them all online from the safety of your computer. Best...

  • Facebook announces ‘next wave’ of Timeline apps

    Facebook has announced a slew of new apps for Timeline including ones from Foursquare, Nike, The Onion, VEVO, Fandango, Viddy, Endomondo and RootMusic. The announcement takes the tally of apps on Timeline close to the 3 000 mark. It says the new apps “give people more ways to add their location, fitness, video and media interests to their timeline and share what they love with friends”. Let's take a closer look at what Facebook says some of these new apps can do: Foursquare: Foursquare users can now reportedly “add their Foursquare check-ins to their timelines and maps”, share their badges and see...

  • Yahoo! confirms intent to sue Facebook

    Yahoo! has confirmed that it will be suing Facebook for patent infringements. At present, details are scant on exactly what patents the troubled internet giant feels Facebook has infringed upon and why it has taken so long in filing a suit. Yahoo! has, however issues an official statement on the issue: Yahoo! has invested substantial resources in research and development through the years, which has resulted in numerous patented inventions of technology that other companies have licensed. These technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700-million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon...

  • Twitter acquires Posterous

    Popular blogging platform Posterous has been acquired by Twitter. Posterous announced on Monday that it has been acquired, but that Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption and that users will receive ample notice should there be any changes to its service offering. Alluding to possible upcoming changes, Posterous said in its blog post that it would share instructions on how users can back up their content and export data to alternative services like Wordpress, Tumblr and Blogger in the coming weeks. The company posted an FAQ for more information on what can be expected as well as information...

  • Kony 2012: The most viral video in history

    Invisible Children wanted to make Joseph Kony's name known around the world. Well the organisation has succeeded. The 30-minute documentary "Kony 2012" is now the most viral video in history according to analytics platform, Visible Measures. Hitting more than 100-million views in six days across the web, the documentary about the Ugandan warlord and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader is the most discussed topic on the web. In its report, Visible Measures found that Kony surpassed other record-setting "viral legends" such as Susan Boyle and the Old Spice Guy. Visible Measures created a chart to outline the time it...

  • How to create your own hidden network

    For us privacy loons, it's always interesting to find ways to communicate with friends and family on the internet without having to worry about somebody watching everything we're doing. With the battle against piracy heating up, its interesting to watch the technological fallout that is taking place in the software arena. A newsworthy newcomer on the P2P stage is just starting to grab media attention. After installing it and setting it up, I can see why. RetroShare takes advantage of a variety of technologies to provide a simple way to set up your own DarkNet. For most people, a DarkNet sounds...

  • Where spam is going in 2012 and what to do about it

    Over the years Spam has evolved from consisting of annoying but otherwise harmless advertisements, to becoming a carrier of viruses and malware that can damage your computer and make you vulnerable to identity theft (a.k.a. “phishing”). Despite major developments in the area of anti-spam software and measures such as filters, blocks and blacklists for dubious senders, the negative effects of spam are still being felt by individuals and businesses alike. How spam affects you Spam is more than just a minor rash. According to a study by the Radicati Research Group, spam costs businesses US$20.5-billion annually in decreased productivity as well as...

  • Privacy? Why you should actually be concerned about being tracked online

    Hilton Tarrant recently wrote a piece on Memeburn entitled, "Privacy? Why you should let Google, Facebook and others track you online". I had a few issues with the piece. My feeling is that he's uninformed on the matter, made bad assumptions owing to a technical error and decided to ignore some legal complexity, then presented us with a false-dichotomy between ugly display ads and personalised advertising. Let's pick these apart one at a time. Uninformed In general, Hilton makes a common error when it comes to discussion of privacy, and online privacy in particular; he assumes he knows what he's talking about....