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      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Steve’s gone, now what?

    Apple’s reign as king of the high-end consumer tech world is assured in the short term but the long-term outlook is hazy without the leadership of visionary co-founder Steve Jobs, analysts said. “The Jobs legacy will continue to influence products for at least two to three years out,” independent technology analyst Carmi Levy said. “That’s how big the pipeline is of products developed during his watch. “The real test of Apple’s post-Jobsian mettle will come after the pipeline of products conceived under his influence runs out,” Levy said. “Will Apple still be capable of conceptualising and introducing category-killer products like the...

  • Pilots ditch paper, switch to iPad for nav and checks

    United Airlines recently announced it was replacing the hefty flight manuals and chart books its pilots have long used with 11 000 iPads carrying the same data. Now instead of ruining their backs carrying 17 kilograms of paper instructions, data and charts, they can ruin their nerves trying to get the devices past TSA security screeners. The popular tablet computer will carry the Mobile FliteDeck software app from Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary which provides navigation tools for air, sea and land. “The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight...

  • ‘The privilege of a lifetime': Tim Cook sends his first memo as Apple’s CEO

    Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, has sent out his very first memo to Apple staff as CEO of the tech giant. The memo was sent to all Apple employees the morning after Steve Jobs announced his resignation from the post. Cook who says he shares “Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future” ran Apple while Jobs was on medical leave and has essentially been running day-to-day operations since early this year. The memo, first published by Ars Technica, reassures the staff that Jobs will continue to have a large presence at the company as he moves into the role of Chairman....

  • ‘One more thing': A look at Jobs’ time at Apple [Videos]

    Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple’s CEO has set the tech world ablaze. Consumers have already begun speculating about Apple’s future without its fearless leader. Even if you don’t use a Mac, iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you have in some way been influenced by the products developed under Jobs’ prolific reign as chief executive of Apple. Memeburn decided to take a look back at some of his iconic moments as lord and master at Apple’s helm. Sporting his famous black polo neck and blue jeans, Jobs stepped forward time after time to announce the future to audiences: Steve Jobs demos Apple...

  • A ‘business superhero': Tech leaders praise Jobs following resignation

    Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO heralds the end of a more than 30 year association with the tech giant. No more polo necks, no more “one more thing” at the end of his now famous keynote speeches. Reactions from the tech world have ranged from shock to heartfelt tributes. Memeburn takes a look at how some of the industry’s leading voices have responded to the announcement through social tools like Twitter and Google+: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who initially left his company after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, made direct reference to Jobs’ health, saying: Ethernet co-founder Bob...

  • Why Kenya’s M-Pesa won’t work anywhere else

    It’s the runaway success story: From a standing start just four years ago, over 15-million Kenyans now use the M-Pesa mobile money service to transact. Billions of Kenyan shillings have been moved through the system. It’s this success which leads to M-Pesa being held up as a case study of mobile payments in emerging markets (try researching mobile payments without reference to M-Pesa!). It’s also made financial services companies and rival operators salivate. True, the growth rates are staggering. There are only 40-million people in Kenya, which illustrates just how many economically active adults in that country use M-Pesa (practically...

  • Steve Jobs’ resignation a boost for competitors

    Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned his position as the company’s CEO. The man, widely credited with taking Apple from a laggard in the tech world to the most successful company on earth, will be replaced by acting CEO Tim Cook. Jobs announced his decision via a brief letter to the company’s board, which was subsequently released to the press. Jobs has held the position of CEO since his return to Apple in 1996. The Apple co-founder is seen as the heart and soul of Apple, with analysts and investors repeatedly expressing concern over how the Cupertino, California-based company will...

  • What really makes a social media campaign successful?

    Corporations and small to medium companies are pouring money into social media. For many of these companies social media also entails a lot of time and energy. The challenge lies in measuring success. Do we look at the number of Likes and retweets or perhaps just the bottom line on sales? Memeburn takes a look at some of the key ideas in the media industry around just what success is. The Classic Graph – anyone can create it Clay McDaniel, managing director and co-founder of Spring Creek Group is a leading social media marketing agency based in Seattle, Washington....

  • BlackBerry’s cloud-based music service launches in beta

    Following recent rumours that BlackBerry was set to launch a new product called BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Music, Research In Motion (RIM) announced the arrival of a cloud-based music service. The service launched this week with closed beta trials in Canada, the United States and the UK. The news came in the form of a press release from RIM stating that the new service is aimed at socially connecting music fans. The service, BBM Music is an easy-to-use cloud-based service that enables social and viral music discovery by allowing users to build a continuously evolving, community-based music library that is shared...

  • What lies ahead: Online mobile payments and Africa’s small merchants

    I’ve been pondering small business, payments and incentives quite a bit recently. Partly because of the web startups I’ve been seeing crop up locally, partly due to the inefficiencies in the system, and also because I’m a bit of a merchant at heart. Specifically, I think that small business in Africa will bring a major wave of activity in the online space. That some smart startups will take advantage of mobiles and the internet, and will be beneficiaries of this growth. We’re all quite impressed with the peer-to-peer mobile money growth on the continent, but such numbers pale in comparison...

  • The rise of the app and Asia’s digital publishing future

    The penetration of sophisticated handsets into Asian markets is growing rapidly, as is the demand for content. Ahead of the upcoming Apps World Asia 2011 in Singapore, two of the show’s experts share their thoughts on what the trend means for publishers. The race is on for content creators, publishers, news organisations and everyone in between to meet the ever changing needs of their audiences. Olivier Legrand, General Manager, Asia Pacific for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Digital Network, says his team has stayed ahead of the curve by ensuring that the newest techniques are implemented quickly. WSJ has...

  • Facebook, RIM, & Twitter to discuss ‘social media ban’ with UK government

    Following statements by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in the wake of riots which rocked England, suggesting that social networking sites and services should possibly be shut down in times of civil unrest, representatives from Facebook, Research In Motion, and Twitter are today set to meet government officials. Though Cameron’s initial statement that the “free flow of information can be used for good, but it can also be used for ill… it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality” had some worrying about infringements...

  • iPhone 5 – now launching 2012?

    Recent rumours suggesting that Apple’s iPhone 5 will appear in October, have been usurped by a new set suggesting that the phone will now appear in 2012. Sources report that the iPhone 5 will appear early next year with a slightly revamped design. This rumoured late appearance of the much-anticipated mobile technology is in direct contrast to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon’s, supposed fall launch of the iPhone 5. Industry analyst Scott Sutherland believes that the launch of the new phone will only take place next year. He has also said that the iPhone 5 will be heavily tied into...

  • Why emerging markets need startup accelerators to produce gold

    While I was living in Silicon Valley for a couple of months earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see how a number of the startup accelerators over there function, and also to speak to a number of tech entrepreneurs that passed through their programmes. The formal definition of an accelerator is a “programme designed to assist startup businesses with financial and/or operational resources that will increase their chance of growth and success”. After seeing them for myself, my definition is slightly different. I would suggest that: “Accelerators are schools for entrepreneurs, primarily tech entrepreneurs, where you can do your...

  • Social, mobile and the cloud are the future of collaboration

    Companies are looking for easier and more cost-effective ways to collaborate within their organisations. The death of Google Wave left room for more innovative ways of collaborating. The future of collaboration seems to lie in the convergence of mobile, social and the cloud. “By 2014, all smartphones will transparently synchronise local data with at least one cloud service. By 2014, most organisations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores”, says vice president of Gartner Research Monica Basso. The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2011 kicked off in Cape Town on Tuesday 23 August with a heavy focus on...