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  • BlackBerry’s continuing ‘partial outages’ in Europe, Africa, & Middle East

    BlackBerry users in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region have found themselves cut off from online-communications for three days running, following a failure of BlackBerry's Internet Service. The first outage of the service, which allows BlackBerry users to browse the internet, send and receive emails, instant message using BlackBerry Messenger, and access a wide range of apps at a monthly fee, was on Monday and lasted over 12-hours. Tuesday’s outage struck at approximately the same time Monday’s began. This outage, however, has lasted much longer with some users cut off from services for more than 17-hours. Once again, the...

  • Social advertising, gaming spur massive growth in social media revenues

    Worldwide social media revenues are on track to reach US$10.3-billion this year, a massive 41.4% increase from the US$7.3-billion achieved in 2010. That’s according renowned research firm Gartner. According to the Connecticut-based firm, the biggest growth area is, unsurprisingly, in advertising. Interestingly, however, the next biggest area of revenue growth is in social gaming. Social media advertising revenue, which includes display advertising and digital video commercials on any device including PCs, mobile and media tablets is forecast to total US$5.5-billion in 2011, and grow to US$8.2-billion in 2012 Social gaming revenue, meanwhile, is on track to reach US$3.2 billion in...

  • The Memeburn Interview: Q&A with Prezi CEO on ‘non-linear’ presentations

    With five-million users, Prezi is becoming the online presentation tool of choice. The service is a cloud-based (SaaS) presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual whiteboard. It has gained enough momentum to rival other presentation tools like Microsoft's PowerPoint. Prezi is stylish and slick and turns presentations into a creative exercise. Prezi is used as a platform for bridging linear and non-linear information, and as a tool for both free-form brainstorming and structured presentations. Text, images, videos are transformed into a zooming, panning, moving whirlwind of media. The service has been used by numerous...

  • Getting to grips with Twitter advertising

    Twitter’s advertising model kicked off more than a year ago in April 2010, and it is already starting to get a lot of traction in the market, albeit a lot less than where Facebook and Google ad revenues are pitched at the moment. But how are marketers taking advantage of Twitter ads? Twitter revenue This year Twitter will bring in US$139.5-million in revenue, which is a 210% increase on the US$45-million that it brought in over 2010. By 2013 it is predicted that this number will increase again to nearly US$400-million. At present the Twitter advertising model is most...

  • YouTube, Lenovo to send student experiments into space

    YouTube and Lenovo, in cooperation with Space Adventures and space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), today announced YouTube Space Lab, a worldwide initiative that challenges 14-18 year-old students to design a science experiment that can be performed in space. The two winning experiments will be conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and live streamed on YouTube. YouTube claims that Space Lab is part of its larger commitment to highlighting and providing access to the wealth of educational content available on YouTube...

  • Facebook iPad app released into the wild

    The long-awaited Facebook app for the iPad 2 is finally here. The app gives an official platform to the world’s leading social network on one of the world's most popular tablets. A number of analysts believed that the iPad 2 Facebook app would have launched last week during the iPhone launch event. iPad owners have been “forced” to deal with unofficial applications to access Facebook such as the surprisingly excellent Flipboard and MyPad. An interesting piece of additional info is that Facebook has now launched its HTML 5 platform dubbed “Project Spartan”. This has led to a drastic overhaul of the...

  • How Firefly could inspire Africa’s tech future

    When I was a kid of around 10 years old, I used to collect small motors and electrical components with my school friends in Nairobi. We’d find some batteries and create small rotating and whirling contraptions, dreaming of how we’d one day make a walking robot that we could sit in and control -- no doubt inspired by the Star Wars AT-STs. I’ve always enjoyed tinkering. It’s what drove my interest in telling the stories of Africa’s innovative hardware hackers in the jua kali sector, writing on AfriGadget. It’s why helping to organise and be a part of Maker Faire...

  • Huffington Media explosion continues with launch of ‘Le Huffington Post’

    The explosion of titles under the Huffington umbrella continues unabated after it was announced that , Le Huffington Post, a French version of the US news and opinion portal will be going live in November. The site will be run in conjunction with The Le Monde Group According to The Huffington Post Media Group, Le Huffington Post will combine the local editorial resources of Le Monde with The Huffington Post's pioneering combination of original reporting, aggregation, a leading-edge commenting forum and dynamic social engagement tools, and a vibrant platform for a wide range of bloggers. In an interview with Le Monde,...

  • Facebook acquires social Q&A service friend.ly

    Facebook has acquired friend.ly, the firm behind a social question and answer app on the social network. "We're excited to announce that we recently acquired friend.ly, a Silicon Valley startup that created a really compelling way for people to express themselves and meet others through answering questions," a Facebook spokesman said. "The friend.ly team will be focusing on new projects at Facebook, but friend.ly will continue to operate as a separate service," the Mountain View, California-based startup said in a blog post. According to the blog, the friend.ly team will focus on new projects at Facebook, but “will continue to...

  • Steve Jobs tribute turns into plagiarism debate

    Since the death of Steve Jobs, a photograph which features the late Apple founder's silhouette -- incorporated into the bite of a white Apple logo on a black background -- has become an internet sensation. The design, which has now come under accusations of plagiarism, was the sombre tribute of a Hong Kong design student to the Apple visionary. Jonathan Mak, the student in question, denies that he had copied another artist's work. The 19-year-old Mak said he was not the first to come up with the design after comments surfaced on Twitter that a UK-based designer Chris Thornley, known...

  • Tablet computers set to become ‘the brains’ of all devices

    Tablet computers are set to become the central brains of almost all electronic devices. For example, a tablet computer could be docked into a car dashboard, effectively replacing the vehicle's dedicated navigation device, in-car entertainment and environmental controls. This is according to a new "special report" by US research company Gartner. Gartner says that one tablet may also replace multiple dedicated electronics devices by connecting with different peripherals. An example of this would include a tablet that wirelessly connects a blood pressure cuff, a bathroom scale and an oximeter to create a home health monitor that can plot personal health trends...

  • BlackBerry services fail across Europe, Mid-East, & Africa

    Users of BlackBerry smartphones midday Monday began noticing that services accessed using BlackBerry’s Internet Service (BIS), were down. Initially it seemed that the service failures were localised to particular networks, then entire countries, before it emerged that this was a problem being experienced across the entire Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. The blackout, Blackberry users reported, lasted for more than 12-hours. According to a report by The Telegraph, this entire region is served by a Research In Motion (RIM) data centre in Slough, England. RIM is the maker of the popular smartphone. Carriers across the EMEA region were forced to...

  • Security by obscurity returns to online cryptography

    It seems that a new research paper released by the Royal Holloway, University of London, and University of Twente is ready to change the way that people think about security. The paper is entitled "Gaming security by obscurity" and Professor Dusko Pavlovic, its author, presents an incredibly strong argument that Kerckhoff's Principle, an aphorism that is generally accepted across the security industry, no longer fully applies to modern computing environments. Kerckhoff's Principle claims that a system should be secure even if everything except the key itself is publicly known. In Claude Shannon's words, "The enemy knows the system". Or to...

  • Lead generation through email marketing

    Direct digital marketers are always under constant pressure to generate sales leads. Lead generation tactics have evolved over time and become more sophisticated, and marketers have been able to take advantage of the latest tools and platforms for cultivating leads. Regardless, generating high quality, sales-ready leads is a difficult objective. The great news for Mr. & Mrs. Direct is that good old email marketing, if done right, is still one of the most effective ways to generate, nurture and qualify leads. Today, rather than sitting at a trade show table for hours on end, or setting up a display in...

  • Review: LG Flatron IPS 236V

    Sleek, black curved edges melding into a clear Perspex strip designed to house a single light. A bespoke amber arm, sitting off-centre, joins the ensemble to a raised circular base. No, it’s not some concept piece from a high-profile design house. It’s the LG Flatron IPS 236V. So, you may be thinking, it looks pretty but how does it work as a monitor? The short, simple answer: Brilliantly. The longer, slightly more complicated answer: Brilliantly, but with limitations. Although LG has other products which are LCD/LED hybrids, this one is riding the LED train all the way. In fact, the Korean...