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  • App of the week: Phraseology

    This week I take a look at Phraseology, a fully featured word processor for iPad that I have recently switched to for all my freelance writing tasks. Word processors are funny things aren’t they? With most of us being brought up on a staple diet of Microsoft Word and Notepad, we’ve been conditioned to expect certain things like red and green squiggles underneath incorrectly spelt words and grammatically incorrect sentences, absolute confusion when it comes to setting your page margins and configuring your printer setup and of course, word art, the quickest way to drain your brand new color ink...

  • Seven top tips for verifying tweets

    Twitter is like the coffee machine in the newsroom. Get a shot of caffeine, chat with colleagues, exchange useful information, but also get the latest gossip and rumours. The difference is that you probably won’t publish what you hear at the coffee machine. Twitter works differently: gossip, rumours, and other unverified information are published and sometimes cause a hoax. A tweet about the suspension of the famous CNN talk show host Piers Morgan over the phone hacking scandal is a recent example of a Twitter hoax. Another one from the beginning of 2011 saw a single tweet spreading...

  • Only two of 2011’s top apps are available for BlackBerry

    I have mad love for BlackBerry. In a world of beige, it is black. Much as I want the company to succeed, like you, I’ve been watching the slow motion car crash that is RIM. Thorsten Heins has his work cut out for him, and I want nothing more than to see the company make a Lazarus-esque comeback. Until that happens, developers will continue to have little confidence in the platform. There’s a lot of trash talking about this topic, but it’s a fact that BlackBerry is one of the least desirable platforms for developers. Developer interest is such an...

  • Entertainment apps rule Android store downloads, not games

    iOS users have fun, Android users get down to business, according to mobile app search company, Chomp. In its first ever annual app search analytics report, Chomp has revealed search data from the one-million-plus app searches per month which outline what the top apps are, what the trends are in apps and what the average price per app is. Chomp begins with the category share trend. Gaming, it seems, is on a downturn in the Android market. For iOS though, gaming is on the rise. In December 2011, games accounted for 36% of all iTunes downloads. For Android, only 22% of...

  • Wifis.org – the Wi-Fi social network

    Founded late last year in Berlin, Wifis.org aims to help neighbours get in touch. The free service connects people through a unique URL that replaces your current Wi-Fi network name (SSID). Wi-Fi network names have been used in a number of creative ways: Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Facebook IPO may come this week

    Facebook’s long-awaited initial public offer (IPO) may come as early as this week, if media reports are to be believed. Reports that the world’s largest social network was readying itself to go public first surfaced in the Wall Street Journal. The offering is widely anticipated to raise around $10-billion for Facebook, giving it a valuation of between $75-billion and $100-billion — a record for a company in the internet sector. By comparison, Google’s 2004 IPO raised $1.9-billion, giving it a valuation of $23-billion. In fact, the offering would be the fourth highest for a US company, behind Visa Inc.,...

  • Sony to releases holy trinity of new CyberShots

    Sony has unveiled three new CyberShots. The TX200V, WX70, and the WX50. Price-wise, the TX200V is the dearest at US$500. The WX70 and WX50 cost US$200 and US$230 respectively. The TX200V is priced close to a high-end smartphone for a simple reason. It looks exactly like a high-end smartphone. Somehow, Sony has made the TX200V mirror the iPhone as much as legally possible. Read more on Gearburn.com

  • New startup 22seven under fire from banks [Updated]

    The high-profile launch of new financial management startup 22seven has faced some early criticism, from the very institutions it relies on: The banks. Prolific tweeter and CEO of First National Bank (FNB) Michael Jordaan tweeted yesterday that he thought 22seven was a “cool concept”, but warned “against disclosing password(s) to any 3rd party”. He ended his tweet with this ominous warning: “Risk all yours”. Getting tweets re 22seven. Cool concept but have to advise against disclosing password to any 3rd party. Risk all yours. — Michael Jordaan (@MichaelJordaan) January 26, 2012 The innovative startup is the brainchild of Twenty20 founder Christo Davel, and...

  • A woman’s world: How social media has changed gaming

    When one mentions gaming, your mind is generally flooded with images of washed-out nerdy white guys, sitting in a darkened room, hunched over their computers for days on end. But if recent research is anything to go by, the stereotype is changing, as more and more female gamers enter the fray. A recent study conducted by PopCap Games (most famous for Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled) found that women were the most active gamers on social networking sites, making up over 55% of gamers. The study implies that there is a direct correlation between the rise in popularity...

  • Could Daily Feats reward the web into doing good?

    I recently came across an online rewards programme called Daily Feats. It got me thinking about how being rewarded for completing a task makes us feel as human beings and how that experience translates into the online space. Most people like being rewarded when they do something good. Whether it is performing well at work, in sports, helping a friend, academic or just doing a good deed, it boosts our confidence and makes us feel damn good about ourselves. This has been pounded into us since childhood. The gold star scheme is a typical reward system...

  • Twitter changes its policy on global censorship

    Twitter announced on Thursday that it would be implementing the ability to withhold content from users in a specific country. Before the announcement, Twitter’s only option was to remove the content globally. Despite being held by critics to its lofty ideals, the manner in which Twitter is implementing its geographic censorship is rather elegant. For a start the company is being honest and open about the change. While some argue that Twitter should draw a line in the sand, the company can be more influential by having a presence in a country, rather than none at all. About expanding its...

  • GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards nominees announced

    The GSM Association(GSMA) has announced the nominees for the 17th annual Global Mobile Awards, a ceremony that honours “excellence and innovation in mobile communications”. The GSMA, founded in 1995, is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardizing, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system. Out of the 600 entries received by the GSMA a total of 158 nominees have been shortlisted for this years Global Mobile Awards. “Reflecting the intensity of competition and innovation across the mobile ecosystem, we saw a record 600 entries and an exceptionally high-quality field of contenders vying for...

  • Die Antwoord parody proves you can’t beat the original

    A teaser for Die Antwoord’s second full-length album Ten$ion — set to drop on 7 February — has been viewed nearly 250 000 times (correct at time of writing) since being uploaded a few days ago. The widely anticipated album is a follow-up to 2010’s $0$, which featured the hit song Enter the Ninja. The teaser video features singer and rapper Yolandi Visser made up in white body paint and sporting pointed ears and a snow-white wig. Uploaded at much the same time as the new teaser trailer is a parody of the song that made Die Antwoord famous, entitled...

  • Gearburn’s pick — top 16 multiplayer iPad games

    The iPad is custom-made for full-screen, HD multiplayer titles. Casual titles work exceedingly well on the world’s most popular tablet and, given the lack of physical controls, these “pick-up-and-play” games work even better with swipes and flicks. There are four types of multiplayer: same device (where two or more players share an iPad), local multiplayer (via a wireless ad-hoc or Bluetooth connection), online multiplayer (peer-to-peer, where one user remotely hosts a gaming session) and massively multiplayer (one server which hosts a large amount of users). In this article, I’m going to focus on the first three types of multiplayer. Read more...

  • PowerTrekk — Power anywhere, just add water

    So this is interesting. Swedish fuel cell technology company, myFC, is bringing the world’s first portable hydrogen fuel cell charger to market. It’s called PowerTrekk and it’s aimed at outdoor enthusiasts who spend time away from the electricity grid. It’s actually a 2-in-1 charging solution combining a fuel cell and a portable battery pack. The fuel cell is called a PowerTrekk Puck and converts hydrogen into electricity. The puck remains dormant until water is poured into the fuel cell’s water tank — approximately a tablespoon is needed. The chemical process instantly creates 5W of electricity which can charge any USB...