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  • Are banks and social media a good fit? Take a look at FNB

    We love to hate things. Taxi drivers, for example. Cellphone providers. But mostly we like to hate our banks. Bank hatred is a national sport, especially on a platform that lends itself to venting so well: Social media. So when a bank starts to come across as likeable, you pay attention. First National Bank (FNB) is one such bank, gaining considerable kudos for its social media policies. So, what is FNB doing right in social media -- and what can others learn from it? It's responsive. When social media platforms are being substituted for customer complaint lines, a brand cannot afford...

  • Review: Art-ertainment in Ico & Shadow of Colossus HD

    In this age of mindless first-person shooters and endless chasing down of health packs, it’s refreshing to see a game like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus come around... again. They may be remastered, but they hold an important kind of currency in today’s gaming market: originality. Go ahead and look at other reviews for Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (SOTC), they’ll all focus on the same thing - how the PS2 versions have been improved from Team Ico’s original releases. You really only need one line to sum up the obvious changes... so here it is: improved frame...

  • Arabic explodes on Twitter

    Arabic is exploding as a language on Twitter. In a reflection of the social network’s importance to the "Arab Spring" (which saw the overthrow of decades-old regimes in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia) the number of Arabic tweets has grown by more than 2 000% in the last 12 months. A number of prominent bloggers, who admit that social networks like Facebook and Twitter were tools used in the revolutions, were widely praised for their real-time reporting of events on the social network. According to social media analysis firm Semiocast, Arabic is now the eighth most used language on...

  • Google releases long, ‘intellectual’ Google+ TV ad

    Google aired a particularly long Google+ ad during a Thanksgiving day NFL game. In deep contrast to loud football fans cheering on teams while guzzling beer, the ad has a relatively dull tone, dragging on for two minutes. The ad is part of Google’s efforts to promote Google+ as a competitive player in a social space dominated by the likes of Facebook. It basically features a close-up of a computer screen zooming into the various aspects of Google+ and different people talking. An old man says: “I don’t think people have changed that much in thousands of years and I think...

  • Not a review: Logitech M125 in ‘A Lonely Place to Point and Click’

    Rays of sunlight pierced my venetian blinds, sending UV rays lasering into my room. As I raised my trembling hand to shield my eyes, a tiny Logitech mouse cracked me across the bridge of my nose. Why was it tied to my hands? What happened the night before, and where the hell was my coffee? The office, yesterday, 4:30pm The Logitech M125 mouse, a tiny nugget of user interface fun was thrown onto my desk. “Here, review it. Make it shine,” my editor said. “Make it fantastic. I want to laugh. I want to cry.” The mouse is the most important piece...

  • HTC sees gloomy year for mobe sales

    The Taiwanese cellphone mega-manufacturer has cut its immediate revenue forecasts by as much as a quarter, citing continuing global recession and competition from Apple and Samsung. It expects it’s fourth quarter revenues to be $3.4 billion – the same as this time last year. “Due to global macroeconomic downturn and market competition, the assumptions of 2011 Q4 financial forecast provided earlier are no longer applicable,” HTC said. Growth will return in the first half of next year, it said. Read more on Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • Apple pulls ‘Jew or not Jew’ app worldwide

    Apple has pulled the "Jew or not Jew" app from its app stores worldwide following a lawsuit from French anti-racism groups, reports the Register. The app allowed users to measure "how Jewish they were" by cataloguing Jewish personality traits according to how genetically Jewish users considered themselves to be. "Listed for you, thousands of Jewish personalities (through their mother), 'half-Jewish' (through their father), or converts," the app's inventor Johann Levy promised potential buyers on the French Apple Store. The app was pulled from the French app store in September and Europe in October, but was only pulled globally this week. Groups...

  • Video-less rooted Kindle Fire sorted

    Those who purchased the Kindle Fire and the swiftly proceeded to root it to allow the installation of unapproved apps would have swiftly hit an error message when trying to play videos. “Your device is no longer configured correctly to play Amazon videos. For more information see Help & Feedback under Settings.” Naturally, the hacker community swiftly swung into action to create a workaround. One of the biggest selling points of the Kindle Fire is its ultra-low price of US$200, which places it far and beyond the US$449 iPad. Read more on Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • How did your email do in 2011?

    It’s that time of year when we give our email stats a gander to see how well our campaigns have performed over the past 12 months; gauging successes and failures, and gaining insights into emerging trends and challenges. So how have your 2011 email campaign efforts measured up against other people’s worldwide? Enter email marketing benchmarks by various industries: Benchmark email marketing statistics offer a glimpse into the broad performance of various industries and industry sectors. These studies usually go beyond traditional metrics reports to provide top-level observations which enable companies to gain a better view of where they stand. The metrics on...

  • What’s it like to work for Twitter? Not that great spills ex-employee

    With soaring stock valued at over US$7-billion, Twitter, a veritable startup success story, has without doubt been one of the most desirable employers in Silicon Valley. However, revelations from recent ex-employee Adrien Gaarf may change that. The San Francisco-based company’s ranks have, in a relatively short space of time, swelled from 150 to over 750. But in recent months, despite an expected IPO announcement which would be a windfall for those with stock options, it has seen a run of departures including founders, early investors, and key employees. When quizzed about the decision to leave the company, the stock response...

  • New Nando’s campaign: Even dictators need company

    South African fast food chicken outlet, Nando’s, has struck again with a holiday-themed campaign. This time it has taken its hunger for parodying current events to the world of dictators, with a new YouTube video featuring a man who bears a striking resemblance to long-standing Zimbabwean commander-in-chief, Robert Mugabe. The ad features "Mugabe" sitting at a dinner table alone reminiscing about the good times he had with his "friends" -- all deceased dictators. The star-studded cast features Uganda's one and only Idi Amin Dada, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and South Africa's P.W Botha. This is not the first time the aged leader...

  • Three things BlackBerry has to fix to stay in the game

    BlackBerry is soaring ahead in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In July, it disclosed that it had added one-million new subscribers across this region in less than three weeks. This is huge. Balance that out with a net decline in subscribers in its mature North American markets, however, and the outlook isn’t fantastic. Basically, it needs to keep adding more (net) subscribers in emerging markets than ones it’s losing. So far, it’s keeping pace. But the company and platform are undergoing a fundamental transition. Right now, there are three things RIM needs to get right to ensure BlackBerry...

  • Is the Sneaky Hat meme something we need to worry about?

    Early this month, a bunch of kids in Queensland, Australia, created a Facebook fan page called "Sneaky Hat". The original page has since been taken down, but it has quickly been replaced with alternatives such as this one. If you thought Planking or HorseManing were weird, I have to warn you that clicking on a Sneaky Hat link while at work may be somewhat risky. The new photo fad started with young men taking photographs of themselves naked except for a carefully placed hat covering their genitals. Of course, not to be outdone, young women adapted the fad to...

  • Microsoft joins a consortium in a bid for Yahoo!

    Microsoft has joined a small league of companies in a bid for Yahoo!. The software giant signed a non-disclosure agreement making a deal to review the internet pioneer's financial books, reports The New York Times. According to the report Microsoft has been collaborating with private investors to raise a multi-billion-dollar offer to purchase the internet firm that spurned its initial takeover bid in 2008. (Microsoft was publicly humiliated when Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang rejected a generous bid for the company at US$33 a share, a valuation of more than US$45-billion.) The proposed deal would see the software veteran contributing billions of...

  • China overtakes US to become largest smartphone market

    China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest smartphone market in terms of devices sold. That’s according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics. Although China has overtaken the US when it comes to smartphone volumes, the latter still leads when it comes revenue. According to the research firm, shipments hit 24-million units in China during the third quarter of 2011, compared to 23-million in the US. "China is now at the forefront of the worldwide mobile computing boom," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston, adding that the Asian powerhouse has “become a large and...