• 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!
  • Nintendo faces billion dollar loss

    Nintendo’s US$925 million losses are staggering, with the Kyoto videogame company blaming a lack of stellar titles and an ever-climbing Yen. For Nintendo, this is a full-year loss and for any other company would surely be a nail in its coffin. Nintendo issued a statement preceding the sales report. “Profits suffered due to re-evaluation of assets in foreign currencies, exchange losses totalling 52.4-billion yen (US$711 million) occurred”. Read more at 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");

  • Android triumphs over iPhone app store

    The endless war between Apple and Android has seen a decisive victory, for the Android app store at least. In the second quarter of 2011, more Android apps were downloaded than iPhone apps, according to a recent report. ABI researcher, Lim Shiyang said, "Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success. Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores. These conditions alone explain why Android is the new leader in the mobile application market”. The growth figure...

  • Endless choices for gamers this holiday season

    For gamers, the dry season is over. The time leading up to just before Christmas is usually filled with triple-A titles and 2011 is no exception. In no particular order, the following games will be played on consoles across the globe this holiday season. Rage, available for multiple systems is many years in the making and comes from the same stable asDoom and Quake. Id Software has created a startling version of our world, only one set years after a nuclear apocalypse. Rage is currently available. Read more at 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");

  • Big Data: It’s both about size and technique

    We're in the age of the petabyte, exabyte and zettabyte. We're being overwhelmed with information, and we don't know what to do about it. There has been a data explosion in the internet age, brought about by the digital era where entry barriers have been lowered, allowing the masses to publish, to tweet, to build open source applications. The age of automation has also resulted in information generated by computers on an automated basis. Former Google CEO Eric Shmidt says that we now, every two days, create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until...

  • Five ways Africa can move up technologically [Tech4Africa]

    Africa is lagging in technological innovation says TED Fellow, Ndubuisi Ekekwe. The continent's obsession with consuming technology has left it lagging as a technological creator. Ekekwe emphasises five things that can pull Africa from a "technological downstream to a technological upstream" at this year's Tech4Africa conference. He calls on all African technological enthusiasts to "Think. Invent, Redesign Africa". This is how he proposes going about this redesign: The right ecosystem Ekekwe believes that Africa needs an ecosystem for ideas, a comfortable space where Africa's young innovators can come together to share and implement ideas. He also believes...

  • Naspers closes African eCommerce sites

    Emerging markets media giant Naspers is set to discontinue a number of African ecommerce platforms. In a brief statement on dealfish.co.ke, the company's investment arm MIH said it would be closing down Kalahari Kenya and Nigeria. According to the statement, the decision was made because "the performance of the service has been below expectation since launch and reaching profitability was not a reasonable near-term prospect". MIH launched online retail services in Kenya and Nigeria under the Kalahari brand in October 2009 and January 2010, respectively. In South Africa, Kalahari is the company’s flagship ecommerce site and like Amazon.com runs on...

  • UX: 5 Pearls of Wisdom from UX Designers [Tech4Africa]

    As far back as the days of ENIAC and old-school IBM punch-card computers, users have been trained to adapt their experience to the capabilities of the computing devices available to them. And, as we all know, there has been a 30-year evolution of usability and functionality that has been working towards the clear goal of making every aspect of the tech experience easier. Whether it be a device, an operating system, a web-site, or a dozen of the every-day amenities of life, the shift in priorities is clear -- User Experience Matters. This was the overwhelming message from Cennydd...

  • Death is the default for startups, and your little idea means nothing

    Death is the default for startups, reckons Amazon Web Services Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi. Apart from having a really cool Twitter handle @Simon, Brunozzi has founded a few startups himself, so speaks with some authority. Speaking at a Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg he mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion at what constituted a "startup". He emphasised that most new businesses in the world were actually not startups, but were "service companies". I guess they like to call themselves "startups" because it's very funky and trendy to call yourself one these days. But to qualify as a startup, says...

  • Angry Birds means Nokia will win in emerging markets

    The headlines from Nokia World in London have centred around two things: Its new smartphones running Windows Phone (the new Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710), and a persistent message around "connecting the next billion". While its marketing message has the convenience of a Really Big Number, connecting a healthy portion of those next billion will keep Nokia relevant. This is not about smartphones. It needs to attract those customers in "high-growth" markets (its term for describing emerging markets) because those customers on more basic devices will be the smartphone users of the future. Its new Asha range of phones...

  • Sony buys Sony Ericsson for $1.5-billion

    Sony has announced that it will buy out Erricsson's 50% stake in Sony Erricsson and turn it into a subsidiary by January 2012. In an official press release, Sony said that Ericsson will receive US$1.5-billion for its stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. The transaction will most likely be completed by the beginning of 2012. Included in the deal are sets of related patents as well as cross-licensing agreements for various intellectual properties. Since 2001, both brands have released their line-up of phones under the Sony Ericsson banner. The new deal will allow Sony to better integrate its new and existing...

  • Africa’s ‘Bill Gates’ on technological innovation

    As the co-founder of SOFTtribe limited, one of the leading software houses in West Africa, Herman Chinery-Hesse has been described by the BBC as "Africa's Bill Gates". Chinery-Hesse is known for designing software that is "tropically tolerant" in that it takes into consideration Africa's specific environmental, political and societal challenges. In a recent interview with the BBC, Chinery-Hesse said: "I think that there is so much opportunity in Africa, there is so much underdevelopment, there is so much that hasn't been done, that it's not rocket science. If you have the discipline, take the dive. It's doable, and I think...

  • Seven rules for writing a stellar email subject line

    Writing the subject line is often the last and most hurried step before sending an email, when it should actually be the other way around. These are very much a mission-critical element of your communications strategy that you shouldn't leave until deadlines are looming. In fact, those first few characters are the doorstep to your emailing success; since it’s all you have to catch the attention of your reader, entice them to open your message and take action. As you plan an email send, thinking first about what will go into the subject line is crucial. Potential recipients use...

  • Social media fatigue, Radiohead and QR Codes: Q&A with Josh Spear

    As one of the youngest and most influential marketing strategists in the world, Josh Spear owns Undercurrent, a New York-based consultancy that applies a digital worldview to the challenges and ambitions of complex corporate organisations. Nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Spear serves on the Global Agenda Council on Marketing and Branding. He has been an active participant in the World Economic Forum in Davos since 2008. Most recently, he has been advising Millennium Promise, helping apply digital technology to the eradication of extreme poverty and the completion of the Millennium Development goals. Speaking to...

  • Africa: Turning the tech world upside down (Part 1)

    In business white space is defined as a place, "...where rules are vague, authority is fuzzy, budgets are non existent, and strategy is unclear..." It's the space between the organisational chart, where the real innovation happens. It's also a great definition for what we see in Africa, and it's one reason why it's one of the most exciting places to be a technology entrepreneur today. Recently, I gave with a talk at PopTech where I talked about "The Idea of Africa" and how Western abstractions of the continent are often mired in the past. It's not just safaris and athletes,...

  • BlackBerry delays PlayBook OS update

    BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has decided to delay the release of an update to its PlayBook OS until further notice. In a blog post, senior VP of the PlayBook tablets, David Smith said: As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users. For the enterprise, we're addressing many barriers to tablet adoption, including device manageability and enterprise application deployment. RIM stock dropped five percent on the NASDAQ stock exchange in...