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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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  • Chinese tech giants ZTE, Huawei deemed security threat by US

    Products from Chinese tech giants ZTE and Huawei have been deemed a security threat with US lawmakers urging government departments and private companies alike not to use them. According to the Wall Street Journal, a year-long investigation concluded that people shouldn't buy devices from the two companies because they could be used for spying on them. It also recommends that a block be put on any mergers and acquisitions involving the two companies. Both companies maintain that they have been cooperative throughout the investigation and that any attempt by the US to block their products would be detrimental to...

  • Ralph Simon: Memeburn talks mobile’s future with the ‘Father of the Ringtone’

    Mobile is pretty big right now: it's where people are innovating and it's the common denominator device. Gartner predicts that by 2015 there will be more than two-billion smartphones in the world. That's a lot of smartphones. Tech analysis company Juniper Research says that by 2014 240-million people will be watching television on their smart devices. It's a space ripe for innovation and of course the entertainment industry is happy to find ways to meet its audiences on whatever device they have. Mobile entertainment is the next stage in entertainment and it is rapidly growing. Juniper Research also predicts...

  • Why everyone should learn to code… before it’s too late [Infographic]

    Ever think you should probably expand your skills and learn another language? While learning to speak Japanese, French or Spanish would be a great achievement, there could actually be a few other languages you should consider -- like JavaScript, Python or Ruby. And you should probably get started... right now. In a world where the number of developer jobs is growing fast and free online resources like Codeacademy are flourishing, it's hard to deny the value in knowing how to code. Shereef Bishay, founder of Developer Boot Camp, is teaching people how to program and running a startup that...

  • Samsung wireless audio dock review: sounding off

    When I walked into the office and saw the black box sitting on the desk, I thought to myself that it seemed like a cool centre speaker and started looking around for the other speakers of a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. But I was mistaken; it’s not a centre speaker and most definitely is not part of a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. It’s what Samsung claims to be the first dual-docking station. We’ll, I’ve never been much of a docking station fan, I always thought of it as being for those Apple geeks to make them feel good...

  • The patent is indeed mightier than the sword

    This morning I read a rather extensive piece in the New York Times by Charles Duhigg and Steve Lohr titled "The patent, used as a sword". The Apple/Samsung battle has kept tech news sites especially busy with content with suits and counter suits, injunctions and unbannings. It's been a busy 18 months for journalists on the Samsapple beat. The piece is part seven of the New York Times' iEconomy series, a series exploring the American economy through the lens of Apple and other technology firms. Four of the pieces have focused on Apple, taking an in depth looks at...

  • Google makes a play in the credit card market

    Well now. Looks like Google's getting serious about its plays in the financial sector. Very serious. The internet giant has launched its own credit card, with UK businesses the first able to use it. Strictly speaking, the "Google AdWords Business Credit card" to give it its proper name can't be used to go on a spending spree at your favourite retail outlet. In fact, it serves one purpose and one purpose only: buying Adwords. According to Brent Callinicos, Google's treasurer the company decided to launch the product because people “weren’t buying Adwords as much as they need to”. The new...

  • It’s the new iPad mini… or not… yes it is… well maybe

    What started out as rumours many months ago, has now "sort of" been confirmed, according to cnet, as Asian component makers say they have received orders of 10-million units for the last quarter of 2012, for the as yet unconfirmed iPad Mini. Apple has up to date declined to confirm the plans for this quite highly anticipated product. Even though the Cupertino based company is keeping mum, information from a "major Apple investor" who heard from "multiple sources" has told Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-Dewitt that press release invitations will be sent out on 10 October 2012, possibly followed by a...

  • HootSuite targets Asia, adds support for Sina Weibo and traditional Chinese

    HootSuite and its owl have flown into China, adding support for the country’s hottest Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo, in its social media dashboard. This could be of great use to many brands who need to use Sina’s wildly popular Weibo for doing social marketing to Chinese consumers, as Sina Weibo still only has Chinese-language support on its site. Along with the Sina Weibo rollout, HootSuite now also has support for traditional Chinese, as used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and among many overseas Chinese. Hootsuite has been blocked in China for some time (it was a useful workaround for using...

  • YouTube is going global with 50 more original channels

    About year ago YouTube introduced its original programming strategy with content being produced by celebrities in the United States. Now the video sharing site is going global with country-specific content coming in France, Germany and the UK. "A lot has happened since we announced nearly 100 new original channels coming to YouTube: 7-year-old Ruby taught Amy Poehler about feminism. Rainn Wilson interviewed Deepak Chopra in the back of a mysterious van, and Phil DeFranco’s SourceFed became one of the hottest comedy news shows on the Web or TV," said YouTube's VP, Global Head of Content, Robert Kyncl in...

  • Jack Dorsey’s role at Twitter reduced because he’s ‘difficult to work with’

    Given that Jack Dorsey helped found Twitter, you'd expect him to have an integral role in running the company. There's a reason that current CEO Dick Costolo brought him back into the fold after a two and half-year hiatus. Except it's not that simple. Costolo has, in fact, had to scale back Dorsey's responsibilities. That's because Twitter employees find him "difficult to work with" and are frustrated by the fact that he constantly changes his mind about the direction a project should take. According to a profile on Costolo by the New York Times, Dorsey has effectively...

  • West Indies cricket team rocks Gangnam Style… Novak Djokovic not so much

    It was bound to happen eventually. After making its way out of YouTube (where it's the most watched video in history) and onto dancefloors around the world, Psy's Gangnam Style has become a sporting celebration. This past weekend saw two contrasting examples of sports stars doing the "horsey dance" as they celebrated their respective tournament victories. First off, the West Indies cricket team, which won the 2012 ICC World T20 championship against host team Sri Lanka: Look at the spontaneity, the natural poise and rhythm. Man those guys are cool. Now let's take a look tennis world number one...

  • 7 of the best knock-off gadgets China has to offer

    With the recent release of the iPhone 5, users found themselves trawling the internet for any leaked tit-bits that would give a sneak peek at Apple's latest creation. The majority were "photo-shopped" images either too blurred and distorted to recognise, or too weird and crazy to be believed. Some of the weirder rip-offs came from China. The country thrives on the ability to mass produce replicas of popular products. It specialises in re-branding with an often unique and disturbing twist. 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");

  • Can Myspace really come back from the dead?

    Could Myspace’s new re-brand finally give it the competitive edge needed to really challenge the dominance of Facebook? If the new design, launched by new owners Joseph Mark (and backed by Justin Timberlake) is anything to go by, it seems a likely assumption. By giving users a unique opportunity to enter a social network that caters to a specific niche demographic -- musicians, filmmakers, photographers, and their fans -- it deviates from the clutter that litters Facebook, and the abundance of lolcats and wedding dresses on Pinterest. More importantly, it bears no resemblance to Facebook’s Timeline (a tool...

  • From the Pirate Bay to Google’s self-driving cars: 5 stories you have to read

    Sometimes, even well-meaning advancements in technology can cause unintended ripples. Sure, autonomous cars will change lives -- but what effect will they have on the world when humans are no longer needed behind the wheel? How can you promote your product now that your audience has moved online, where banner ads are ignored and traditional strategies are all but redundant? Keeping tabs on suspicious activity in your area through a Twitter stream sounds great -- but will it fill you with unnecessary paranoia or inadvertently tip off criminals? These are just a few of the questions raised by the...

  • Missed WordCamp Cape Town? Here’s a complete recap

    330 WordPress hackers, fans and the CMS curious made the pilgrimage down to the fourth annual Cape Town chapter of WordCamp, the informal community-driven conference that sinks its teeth into everything WordPress. If you couldn't make it, here's everything that happened on the day in a nutshell. We're told the presentations used by each speaker will be uploaded to the WordCamp site soon, along with video of the event. Event organiser and founder of WordPress development company LightSpeed, Ashley Shaw, kicked things off before handing the stage over to Eric Clements, founder of Kazazoom, a niche development company specialising in Mxit...