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  • Google mobile search: now smarter and more interactive

    Google just made searching on mobile even better. The search giant has announced a host of new features to make Googling on your cellphone or tablet more visual and interactive in a bid to make sure you get the answers you're looking for as easily on mobile as you do on a desktop computer. According to an official blog post, a number of quick answer features which weren't previously available on mobile are starting to be rolled out. They include areas such as finance (specifically stock performance indicators), currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday...

  • Disney boffins figure out how to turn plants into multi-touch sensors

    This is ridiculously cool. The brains at Disney's Pittsburgh research lab have figured out how to turn any plant into a responsive multi-touch sensor. The project, called Botanicus Interacticus (which sounds kind of like a spell out of the Harry Potter universe) uses an electrode embedded in the soil below a plant that records the interruption of electronic signals when people touch the plant. Those interruptions can then be programmed into audio and visual responses, programmed back to the user. Imagine walking through a garden of these responsive plants at a Disney theme park one day. You'll know how...

  • UK startup offers Usain Bolt some shares, ‘all the McNuggets’ he needs

    Well that's one way to get attention, UK startup Shutl has offered Jamaican sprinting sensation Usain Bolt a one percent stake in the company, and all the chicken nuggets he can eat. The VC-backed company, which specialises in delivering goods ordered online, sent a letter to Bolt offering him equity in the company and “all the McNuggets” he needs (the sprinter famously ate chicken McNuggets just before his record-breaking 100 metre final in Beijing). According to The Next Web, all he has to do in return is set aside some of his time to help the company break...

  • Prezence Digital set to launch student mentoring initiative

    South African digital agency, Prezence Digital has announced that it will soon be launching a project it calls the 10Teams/10Brands/10Grand initiative. Established in the UK in 1998, Prezence Digital expanded into South Africa in 2002. The agency, which originally focused on the South African music and movie industries, evolved into the digital sphere with services such as mobi, web, digital campaign management, social media and, more recently, apps. Recently, Prezence Digital made headlines for its wildly successful MandelaStory campaign, with the endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. The campaign featured on CNN, ITN and leading...

  • News24 down, ‘technical difficulties’ blamed [Update]

    Africa's largest online news portal News 24 is down. Anyone trying to enter the site receives a standard browser message stating that the site is not available. Update: The site is now back up. The company's Twitter account, which has nearly 180 000 followers, put the outage down to "technical difficulties" but did not elaborate any further: We're experiencing some technical difficulties and we're trying to get the site back up as soon as possible.— News24 (@News24) August 10, 2012 The story is much the same on its Facebook page. It did, however, attempt to keep people on its good...

  • WordPress claims ‘biggest update ever’ with new iOS version

    Expect to see people blogging a lot more from their iDevices in the near future. WordPress today rolled out a new version of its iOS app, calling it the "biggest update ever". According to WordPress, the new app features "a completely re-imagined interface" for both iPhone and iPad that "takes mobile blogging to the next level". Big words sure, but remember that we're talking about the web's most popular content management system (CMS) here. Company founder Matt Mullenweg has spoken about the need to get mobile right before, so it was only a matter of time before his...

  • 90% of social network users in Mexico on Facebook

    When it comes to studying social networks in emerging market countries, Mexico occasionally gets pushed aside by the BRICS. It shouldn't be. The country looks set to overtake the UK for fifth place in Facebook user numbers, despite the fact that only 30% of the population uses it. Those 36.5-million or so Facebook users also account for 90% of Mexico's social network users. It's growth in the country isn't about to slow down either. According to online research company eMarketer, Facebook will continue to expand in Mexico at double-digit rates through 2014. As has been the case in a number...

  • Google Schemer — our new favourite app

    I spend a lot of time customising and tweaking my Galaxy Nexus to try squeeze as much as possible from it, but often this results in me missing the part of owning a smartphone which its mainstream users enjoy, namely apps. Google’s Play Store is jam-packed with apps that can do anything you can imagine, literally anything, and I recently found one that I really like, it’s from Big G itself, and it’s called Schemer. 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");

  • Battle.net hack: passwords and emails stolen, financial info safe

    Ahem. If you play World of Warcraft, Diablo, or Starcraft you might want to mosey over to Battle.net around now and change your password. Blizzard's multiplayer platform is the latest big online player to be hacked. According to MacRumours, the hackers managed to get hold of email data for gamers outside of China and scrambled passwords. In a letter to Battle. net users, Blizzard CEO and Michael Morhaime detailed what had happened in the hack, saying that the company did not believe that any financial information had been taken: Even when you are in the business of fun,...

  • Chad’s Dad: 8 things we can learn about likeability from Bert Le Clos

    If there were an Olympics of likeability, Bert Le Clos would stand a very good chance of getting gold. Deadspin deemed his BBC interview “the media moment of the games” at the time, and to date it has scored over 353 000 views. #chadsdad trended in the UK and Bert became part of the cultural lexicon: Considering asking Bert Le Clos to form a Government.— Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) August 3, 2012 In fact, his only serious rival would probably be Oscar Pistorius, who manages to be inspiring, humble and nice (and very pleasant to look at too) which makes his a...

  • Forget the US: emerging markets are the future of online adspend

    There is a great deal of focus placed on the American market when we look at ad spend numbers and marketing budget distribution; but the US market is not the only one where significant amounts of cash are being spent. Online adspend is increasingly beng driven by emerging market countries, suggesting that they represent the future of one of the web's biggest money spinning sectors. A new survey from online research company eMarketer looks at the ad spend figures from 2010 to the projected figures of 2016 throughout the world. It suggest that by 2016, online ad spend could...

  • Do all those flashy tech launches work? Yup, just ask Google

    Remember Google I/O? No? Let me refresh your memory. At the tech giant's annual developers conference, it launched not one, but two new products -- its Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus Q music player. Then it announced the new version of the Android operating system (Jelly Bean). Then Google co-founder Sergey Brin walked on stage to and casually started a Google hangout with some skydivers, who then leapt from a plane wearing pairs of Google's augmented reality glasses and live-streamed the descent. Unsurprisingly, the event generated huge buzz around Google, Android and those futuristic augmented reality glasses....

  • Top 10 videogame weapons of all time

    Videogames have long been about shooting dudes in the face. It’s a game mechanic we take for granted. And we all appreciate a good, realistic gun that recoils appropriately -- a firearm straight from the pages of Guns and Ammo magazine. Yet sometimes we harbour an itch for something more; a gun both bombastic and outlandish, that forgoes realism for a little fun. The list below scratches that itch. Enjoy. 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");

  • Samsapple: Samsung is nothing like Apple [Video]

    Apple and Samsung's patent warfare is becoming one of those Lindsay Lohan/Hillary Duff type things where everyday is something new and someone allegedly stole something from someone and someone is saying "oh no you didn't". It's all too much. That's what makes Conan O'Brien's take on the issue so awesome. Forget all the evidence that Apple and Samsung have been introducing in court and all the back and forth "we patented that" and "no we had the idea for the iPad a million years ago" nonsense. This is video speaks truth. The video which was released by O’Brien’s web...

  • Samsung: the Galaxy SI could’ve been better… if it was more like the iPhone

    A fair few skeletons have emerged from the latest trial between Samsung and Apple. One of the most rattling revelations to date shows that Samsung thought its Galaxy SI smartphone could've been better if it had been just a little bit more like the iPhone. As part yesterday's court proceedings, Apple produced a 2010 internal memo from Samsung comparing its then flagship smartphone with the Cupertino-based giant's signature device. When we say comparing, we really mean it too. The report, translated from Korean, runs to 132 pages compares every single element of the two phones. As AllThingsD notes...