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  • Online piracy: how African innovators are tackling music’s biggest scourge

    Despite a cat’s cradle of challenges around digital rights and payments, not to mention the constant threat of piracy, digital music is seen as a large opportunity for African musicians and mobile industry players, according to speakers at the Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012 conference held in Cape Town this week. General sentiment is that making digital music more available will go a long way to thwarting piracy. According to Yoel Kenan, founder and CEO of AFRICORI, a digital music company specialising in emerging markets, up to 90% of music consumed online is not strictly legal, thanks both to piracy and...

  • Where is mobile headed in the next five years?

    The next couple of weeks are going to be incredibly busy in the mobile world. Nearly all the big players are set to announce new products, culminating in the launch of the iPhone 5. More than just providing cool tech though, these launches will influence what direction mobile heads in leading up to 2017. While we can't be entirely certain what's going to happen over the next five years, we can make some reasonable guesses says Leif-Olof Wallin, a research vice president at tech analysis company Gartner. Smartphones will keep winning While the global mobile market as a whole...

  • Trinity, lord of the Nexus Kernel, speaks out

    In the Android world there are a number of developers who help make the user experience even better. They’re the magicians that sit in dark corners and tinker with Google source code to provide users with free to use software, whether it be a kernel, or an entire ROM. If you’ve ever owned a Nexus handset you will know that the development community for these devices is bustling and constant expanding, you will also know the name Trinity. 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");

  • Yes, improving content could really hurt your site’s search ranking

    My recent post about Google's battle with spammers seems to have confused some people in the Search Engine Optimization industry. There's a perception that I'm advising web sites not to improve the quality of their content. I'm not advising anything, I'm reporting that a little known Google patent appears to be playing a major role in how a post-Panda Google now ranks web sites and web pages. It also explains some of the bizarre, random changes in rankings that have bedeviled SEO efforts by webmasters. If Google detects that a web page has been changed between visits from its spider, it...

  • Twitter launches certified products to help businesses tweet smarter

    Do you need help engaging with your customers on Twitter, making sense of what users are saying and understanding your followers so you can make sure you actually share content they'll find valuable? Well, you're in luck. Twitter has just made your life easier... or, at least helped some businesses building tools for the platform get a stamp of approval and extra attention. In an official blog post, Twitter's business development manager Doug Williams announced the company's new certified products program, which is designed to make it easier for brands to identify third party services that can help them...

  • 7 myths about mobile finance that need to be busted

    Mobile finance is massive. In fact, mobile payments alone are set to be worth US1.3-trillion by 2017. In emerging markets, mobile financial services have been disrupting the banking norm for years now. Developed markets have pretty much caught up now, and the field's about to explode. Thing is, there are still a lot of misconceptions about mobile finance and, according to Gartner research vice president Alistair Newton, they desperately need to be corrected. Newton reckons there are seven myths that particularly need to be addressed. 1. Mobile money is fine the way it is The mobile money...

  • Is iTunes really set to launch in South Africa next?

    Speculation is rife that Apple’s famous iTunes Store will become available for South African users in September. This could possibly be in-line with the release of the iPhone5 (the New iPhone?) and iOS 6.0 which is also slated for release in September. The announcement was made by Yoel Kenan at the Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012 Conference currently on the go in Cape Town, before being spread on Twitter by the likes of Stuff Magazine editor Toby Shapshak. The Apple iTunes Store allows users of Apple products to hire or purchase video and audio content directly online. Using iCloud the content is...

  • Business in 2012: is it a case of go mobile or go home?

    eBusiness has gained traction, as companies are conducting more transactions, improving digital content and expanding the amount of services on offer online. But the industry has also diversified into the mobile marketplace. For over a decade, mobile retail has been viewed as a niche market, with profitable but somewhat insignificant products such as ringtones and wallpapers. The industry was scattered and unstructured, facing several challenges (including a somewhat shaky reputation due to a number of unscrupulous merchants). Read more on Ventureburn.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");

  • The jury: why Apple was never going to lose against Samsung

    So Apple won its patent claims against Samsung in the United States, big surprise there. Those of us really invested in the patent war between Samsung and Apple have sat in our various circles debating the decision and tweeting our approval or disapproval of the jury's decision. But I am not done. Some background The case focused around Apple’s claim that Samsung "slavishly" copied its mobile products (specifically the iPhone and iPad). Samsung countered with a defence that it didn't. The US jury mostly agreed with Apple, ruling that several of Samsung’s devices had infringed on Apple's software and...

  • Who really inherits your digital legacy when you die?

    Many people will accumulate vast digital libraries in their lifetimes. The ease of buying titles from Amazon, iBooks and iTunes has meant more people are beginning to consume media digitally than ever before. Last month Amazon.com announced that it now officially sells more books via it’s Kindle than print books in the UK. As the popularity for digital books grow, the trend is sure to follow in other areas. But who exactly owns your digital assets when you die? And can you leave them for your decedents? In the "good old days" you could leave your library or LP collection to your...

  • Gartner: Google and Apple are disrupting Microsoft

    Apple and Google have the potential to disrupt the status quo of the tech industry says Gartner analyst Jeffery Mann. Google Business and Apple's entry into enterprise are paving the way for these two tech giants to seriously shake things up for the likes Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, IBM and SAP. The way Mann sees it, Microsoft wants to replicate its technology platform and ecosystem success in the "emerging battle for cloud-based platforms and services with its Windows Azure infrastructure platform and Azure Services Platform". The way the company is hoping to achieve this is through a set of...

  • Black hat, White hat: everyone could be an SEO spammer

    I've always advised people not to worry about search engine optimization (SEO) with the explanation that it's the job of the search engine to optimize its performance -- not yours. Over on SEOBook, there's a great article pointing out how Google is now measuring any attempt at raising the rank of a web page as the work of a spammer -- no matter the quality of the content -- and it will penalize the site. Any attempt to modify the rank of a web page, after it's been ranked, could spell disaster for the site owner. A little known Google patent called...

  • Nexus 7 — the realisation of Google’s dreams

    Each fingerprint is a mark of love Google's Nexus 7 worries me. As an iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook owner, I've been snobbish towards genuine Android tablets. Now, and as the Nexus 7 gently lands on my desk, I've seen the light. If you're going to own a tablet, it should be this one. Thin, light and fast, this is everything the upcoming iPad Mini should be. But it's the unique "Googleness" of the tablet that warms me to it. 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");

  • Muscle Music: check out Old Spice’s new interactive ad

    Old Spice doesn't do half-assed when it comes to its video adverts and the latest one is no exception. The latest ad takes a turn away from Isaiah Mustafa-fuelled rapid paced ads Old Spice fans have become accustomed to. The new ad stars former American football star Terry Crews, I'm afraid there's no other way of putting this, playing music with his muscles. You can also use an interactive player to record your own remix. So if using a muscular man to play a bunch of percussion instruments then go ahead. While the video went live a few days...

  • Election Insights: Facebook and CNN’s real-time display tool

    Facebook and international news outfit CNN have unveiled Facebook-CNN Election Insights, following their partnership earlier this month to bring a “uniquely social experience” to this year's US elections. A tool that displays the real-time number of people talking about the candidates for the election. Facebook-CNN Election Insights displays dynamic, real-time charts and visualisations using Facebook Insights to gauge the volume of Facebook activity surrounding the election and candidates. The news network will use the tool, which also allows people to view data by geography and demography, during their coverage of the presidential election. Through social integration platform Mass Relevance, Facebook...