Innovation, Video

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. ...

Startup news

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, ...

Ventureburn

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 ...

News

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 ...

News, Wordpress

WordPress claims ‘biggest update ever’ with new iOS version

wordpress 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 ...

Social media

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 ...

Gearburn

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.

News

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 ...

Memes, Social media

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

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, ...

Advertising & Marketing

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

map-emergingmarkets2005 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 ...

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