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  • Anonymous hacks MIT site in response to Aaron Swartz suicide

    Hacker collective Anonymous has responded to the suicide of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz by hacking a number of MIT sites. The group took over the cogen.mit.edu and rledev.mit.edu sites (both of which appear to have since been returned to normal), posting a tribute to Swartz and calling for reforms to existing online law. Their message is however still available through a release on Pastebin: Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting...

  • Samsung’s rise continues as Galaxy S range sales hit 100 million

    Global domination: all but complete. Samsung's Galaxy S range of flagship smartphones (as in the Galaxy S I, II and III) has passed the 100-million sales mark, according to the Korean manufacturer. Yes, Samsung has sold more than a 106-million units of its top-tier phones in less than three years -- according to local site Yonhap News, that number is composed of 25-million original Galaxy S phones, 40-million of its award-winning S IIs and 41-million units of the hugely successful follow-up, the S III. What's interesting to note is the acceleration in the pace of sales -- the company...

  • Bing managed to steal 0.2% of Google’s search market share in December

    Looks like all of Microsoft's Bing marketing stunts are starting to have an effect. Sort of. The search engine everyone loves to laugh at managed to steal a little ground from Google in the search market during December. According to recent research from Comscore, Google still leads the market it helped redefine with 66.7% market share Bing managed to get 16.3% of the US search engine market. Yahoo! meanwhile accounted for 12.2% (up 0.1 percentage points) of the market, with the rest being made up of smaller services. As The Next Web points out though, raw market share...

  • Major Chinese angel investor calls for more online freedom

    Like most of China’s big tech investment gurus, Xu Xiaoping is on Sina Weibo. And although fellow tech investor Kaifu Lee just spent some quality time with China’s State Security officers for advocating more press freedom in China, Xu Xiaoping has apparently not been intimidated into silence, and recently posted this call for greater internet freedom to his weibo account: As China opens the door to development, it needs to reduce the internet is closed off. For example, the extremely valuable international movie database imdb.com; at the very least that ought to be unblocked. China wants...

  • 17 movies to geek out to in 2013

    No matter what we say about the current state of Hollywood and the movie industry in general, one thing is for sure: it has never worked harder to bring geeks entertainment. The last year saw some great geek oriented films including The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and Judge Dredd. There were also the not-so-great offerings such as the disappointments that were Prometheus and The Amazing Spiderman. This year there are quite a few movies that the geek community is expecting. This list could go on forever if every single movie was included so we've chosen a few of...

  • Funding piracy by mistake and killing Netbooks: top stories you should read

    Yep, pirates and assassins. And tech. But our latest round-up of top tech stories also outlines the problem with seeing online advertising as a numbers game, the man behind one of tech's biggest companies and the plan behind Google+. Can social media sell soap? This opinion piece uses the analogy that traditional advertisers were like Mad Men's Don Draper: they thought about what people would respond to, and were successful, because there were no metrics to prove otherwise. But online, most things could be tracked and neatly quantified -- until social media arrived. You may not get a direct...

  • Getting it right: 5 things to tick off your social media checklist for 2013

    As 2012 fades into our rearview mirrors, it is time to reflect on the past year to identify what we did right (and wrong) and changes we need to make in 2013 to derive more value out of our social media efforts. I have listed a number of behaviours below which I have noted on a number of platforms which people should either do more of or stop immediately. By doing so, it will make these environments better for all. Broadcast vs conversation Twitter was developed specifically to support online social interaction. This implies bi-directional dialogue between many or multiple entities....

  • Can BuzzFeed usher in a new golden age of journalism and advertising?

    It was just over a year ago that BuzzFeed hired editor-in-chief Ben Smith away from Politico to help build the cat-happy publication into a major media company. In the intervening months, it hasacquired a Facebook advertising company, hired a longform editor, set up a video division led by Ze Frank in a new Los Angeles office, and launched an entertainment section. Last week it closed a Series D round of US$19-million, even though the US$15-million it raised in a Series C round sits in the bank, virtually untouched. The new round brought the total funding raised to US$43.6-million and reportedly valued BuzzFeed at US$200-million. More...

  • Event tech startup Virtuvent to ‘set industry standard’ and ‘spark copy-cats’

    If you've ever watched a stable, HD webcast of a product announcement, easily registered for an event or enjoyed a high-speed internet connection while venturing around a trade show floor, you'll appreciate the companies that work behind the scenes to make it all work efficiently. Virtuvent, an events tech company with a strong South African connection, has a strong integrated approach and some notable events under its belt. Officially launched in October last year, Virtuvent is a B2B startup that targets large or enterprise events, with cloud-based software to manage the logistics, communications and video of the events. Read...

  • The giants are here: 4K Ultra HD TVs dominate at CES

    There was one thing predominantly clear at CES 2013. Actually it's two things: 3D TV is dead/dying, and enormous living-room-dominating Ultra HD and OLED TVs are the next big thing. Ultra HD, also termed 4K, has been on everybody's lips with the three main competitors Samsung, Sony and LG displaying TV sets that almost defy logic, and making the oft-used phrase "world's first" into a cliché. And believe it or not, an 8K TV snuck in there too... 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");

  • The opposite test: how to tell if your business is worth talking about

    The way most businesses talk about their advantages is so boring. How many companies are "the best", "faster", "biggest", "most trusted", and so on? These vague adjectives that we use to describe our businesses are meaningless and boring to customers, and they give no good reason to actually prefer your brand over another. If you'd like to craft a better differentiator, one that may even affect what you do and how you do it, then ask yourself: Are any of your competitors doing the opposite of what you claim to be doing? 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");

  • SAP gets into the realtime business apps game

    SAP, the world's largest business software company, launched a suite of enterprise business applications running on its real-time platform HANA, that it says provides massive increases in performance and advanced analytics capabilities. The company provides most of the world's largest business groups with enterprise IT applications used to run their core business operations. SAP co-founder and chairman Hasso Plattner announced the business software suite at SAP's Silicon Valley Research campus, as part of a global launch in New York, and Frankfurt, Germany. He said that the increase in business app performance is so great that SAP had been accused of "hype" by...

  • Why Chinese companies censor users overseas even though they don’t have to

    A few days ago, I wrote about a rant posted to Sina Weibo and spotted by Global Voices Online in which an alleged member of Sina’s censorship team explains the company’s censorship in part by saying that Sina doesn’t want to censor weibo posts, but it is required to do so in order to follow Chinese law. That’s a refrain we hear from Chinese internet companies over and over again when it comes to censorship: ‘we don’t want to be doing this, but these are the rules of the game in China, and we have to play along.’ That is...

  • BlackBerry services down for Vodafone users in Europe, Middle East, Africa

    Yes, BlackBerry is having connection issues again -- but it's not the type of widespread outage we saw back in 2011 when BIS was down for days on end. In what seems to be a carrier problem, BlackBerry users on Vodafone networks are experiencing down time in large parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. RIM alerted its users and customers in the UK via twitter account, posting the following: "Vodafone service issues are impacting some BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are supporting their efforts to resolve." The fault is considered to be a router...

  • Apple will not be making cheap smartphones says Schiller

    So the rumours aren't true. In an interview with a Chinese newspaper, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said that cheaper smartphones are not in the company's future. In the interview, the SVP remarked that with "every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available. This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market." The rumours hit tech sites earlier this week with reports in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. According to the Bloomberg report: "Apple plans to sell a smaller, cheaper...