• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Google announces Umbono winners

    Google’s startup incubator, Umbono, has officially launched with the announcement of its first set of winning teams. The pilot programme based in Cape Town, South Africa presented the teams in their new office space at an event on 1 November. The programme, a Google first worldwide, is being tested in Cape Town, South Africa which was chosen because Google believes the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”. Google's vice president of engineering, Nelson Mattos said that the Umbono project is part of Google's effort to grow its ecosystem in Africa. "We...

  • Is HTML 5 the olive branch for the Open Web?

    The web is in a state of transition where the experience and more so, the language of the web is receiving a makeover. This update, however, does not just improve the functionality, but promotes everybody to speak the same language. The open web, or a standardised architecture, is very promising and this doesn't necessarily need to happen in one extreme and daunting overhaul. That's according to Robert Nyman, Technical Evangelist for Mozilla. The experience of the Web is evolving along with our expectations and the capabilities of the current level of technology. So as our computers and phones become faster...

  • Location-based convenience is cool but don’t forget security

    Mobile adoption rates are going through the roof and the sheer ease of use of the devices is driving this adoption even harder. Devices are now able to allow coupon redemption with location tracking and even credit card purchases. The danger is in becoming too enthusiastic with the use of mobile devices for their convenience and cool factor and allowing the security of information to be a little lax. Where is the security issue? People using their mobile devices to complete transactions or redeem coupons are generally considered to be sophisticated users. These self-same sophisticated users have their emails, contacts and...

  • Journalists, get yourself a geek

    "Get a geek, or geekify yourself." That was the message to journalists from storyful's Gavin Sheridan. He was conducting a workshop on crowdsourcing news content at the 2011 FoME symposium. FoME is a German network of institutions and individuals who promote media development cooperation. The subject of the symposium was "Hype or Hope: The impact of digital media on journalism and development", and I was there to speak about everything from the iconic image of a defeated Gaddafi filmed on a cellphone, to the role that Twitter can play in nation-building. The Open Society Foundation was there at the...

  • ‘Apple is a digital vampire,’ says rock legend Pete Townshend

    Legendary lead guitarist for rock icons The Who, Pete Townshend, has attacked Apple’s iTunes music store accusing it of bleeding musicians like a "digital vampire". "Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can't provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire... for its enormous commission?" The 66-year old rocker made the startling statements at the inaugural John Peel lecture in Manchester, England. Townshend berated iTunes, which he also recognised as a "fantastic piece of software," saying that...

  • Google Street View invites you inside businesses

    From the air, to the ground and now to the inside of our businesses, Google is inching ever closer to its dream of giving people a chance to view each and every part of the world. Google Maps, the free online mapping engine, is now giving small businesses the capability to let users view the inside of their establishments. The panoramic images were tested last year April as volunteers within each business, be it a fast-food chain, a gym or a restaurant took images and stitched them together for the Google Street View experiment. As with Street View, Google will...

  • News Transparency looks to hold journos accountable

    A brand new website has launched with the aim of providing people with information about the journalists behind the bylines. News Transparency operates off a Wikipedia-type model and is the brainchild of Ira Stoll. Stoll is the founder of another website called FutureOfCapitalism.com and a former managing editor of the now defunct New York Sun. In a statement on the site's front page, News Transparency said that its aim is to help "you find out more about the people who produce the news," and allow "you to hold them accountable, the same way that journalists hold other institutions accountable,...

  • Politicians, tech leaders to meet in London for cyberspace conference

    Politicians and high-profile tech leaders from over 60 countries are heading to London to discuss the benefits and security risks of cyber-space. Among those attending the two-day conference are US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and the heads of Chinese tech firms. The event has attracted around 900 delegates, although few commentators expect unity from participants who frequently disagree about the exact opportunities and challenges presented by cyber-space. The conference has a broad agenda and covers everything from access to the internet, the economic impact of cyber-space, its social benefits -- including fuelling democracy...

  • Sister’s touching eulogy for Steve Jobs reveals final words

    "OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW," the last words uttered by the iconic Steve Jobs have been revealed in an incredibly moving eulogy by his sister Mona Simpson, in the form of an op-ed published in the New York Times. In the piece, Simpson -- who is Jobs' biological sister -- tells the story of how she first met him after a lawyer contacted her with a cryptic message saying that "his client was rich and famous and was my long-lost brother" and was looking to meet her. Jobs was put up for and adopted at birth. Simpson and Jobs...

  • When piracy goes mainstream

    I was quite taken aback to discover a very interesting article posted on the ABC news network's Technology Blog, called The Case For Piracy. What I found surprising about this, was that a mainstream media company had actually published an article that presents an argument defending piracy. What is also quite interesting is the sheer number of positive comments about this article. After taking some time to read through the article, I felt quite split in my opinion on the matter. I want to question whether this really is a legitimate case for illegally copying and sharing digital content....

  • Five tricks for making your Halloween email campaign a treat

    Halloween is here and little children will surely be marching up and down your block dressed as ghouls and vampire movie characters in just a matter of hours. The holidays always show the unique strategies that companies come up with for their promotions. Scarily enough, no one ever complains that Halloween has become commercialised to the point where its meaning has become obscured. In fact, if there ever was a holiday that is just howling to become more sales-oriented, it's Halloween. Halloween is hot as any savvy marketing person will tell you. Halloween is a marketing scream which has grown to...

  • Six ways to combine mobile marketing with social media

    We're all spending more and more of our online lives on social networks. For many, these services have become the hub of their online activities, and mobile devices are a major tool for accessing these social networks and the campaigns we've recently seen provide examples of how major brands are using social media to market their products. Whether you own a hair salon or a restaurant, or work at a local retailer or manufacturer, you can apply these ideas to your business in ways that will benefit your bottom line. What’s with Social Networks? Though it may seem obvious to those...

  • BatteryGate? Apple déjà vu as reports of iPhone 4S battery issues increase

    Following the recent release of the iPhone 4S, UK newspaper The Guardian has run a series of articles investigating severe battery drain issues discovered in the latest iteration of the smash-hit smartphone. In the first of the articles, published a mere week after the global launch of the smartphone, the Guardian questioned why it was that the iPhone 4S had dropped 100 hours of standby time compared to its predecessors -- the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. Apple, a company famed for its secrecy and recalcitrance to speak with media, as was to be expected, refused to answer "repeated" enquiries....

  • Samsung to introduce flexible smartphones, tablets by 2012

    Flexible screens have been knocking around trade shows and gadget events for ages now. It took Samsung, one of the world’s most successful electronic developers to make it a palatable reality. Last week, Samsung said that it is aiming to have tablets and mobile phones with flexible displays by 2012. Following on the monumental success of the Galaxy S II, which has sold well over ten million phones in half a year, Samsung is now well on its way to manufacturing a flexible screen for the masses and is spurred on by its own success. Despite its operational profit soaring almost...

  • US web censorship tools sold to Iraq being used by Syrian regime

    As the uprising in Syria, one of the last and most brutal of the Arab Spring movement, continues unabated, a US firm specialising in internet censorship equipment has confirmed that web censorship tools sold to Iraq have now been traced to the Syrian regime. Any sale of such equipment to the oppressive Syrian regime is barred by US law. According to the firm, Blue Coat Systems, systems used to filter the internet which it sold to the Iraqi Department of Communications are being used by the Syrians. Blue Coats was quick to point out that it had no idea how...