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  • LoyalT: Bringing check-in rewards to sport

    We're always looking for hot startups and so it was with great glee that we were introduced to LoyalT, which brings location-based reward programs to life for small businesses by offering users special deals based on checking in, similar to Foursquare and Scvngr. The first implementation of LoyalT's technology is called SharksFrenzy for The Sharks Rugby Union in Durban, South Africa. According to Justin Raleigh, New Media Director at LoyalT, the concept of SharksFrenzy was started in August 2010 with a need to develop a sports rewards programme that not only rewards fans for their support to a...

  • Foursquare gets extreme makeover, finally adds a ‘like’ button

    Popular location-based social network Foursquare has added a fresh coat of paint to the platform. The company has been hinting at a redesign for while now and it comes as no surprise that version five is finally here. The new version is set to change the app experience drastically and allow users to interact more with people they know and people they don't know. "After today, no one will be able to call Foursquare just a "check-in app" any longer -- in fact they’ll have a hard time even finding the word 'check-in' within the app," writes commentator Chris Thompson....

  • How to tell if your LinkedIn password was hacked

    When you heard about some 6.5-million of LinkedIn's password's being leaked, you may have felt a twinge of panic (even if you hadn't been on there in months). Some opportunistic developers have built a tool called LeakedIn, which allows you to to check if your password was one of the ones compromised. All you do is feed in your password, which the tool hashes with JavaScript. It looks legit enough but, as always, you use it at your own risk. Whether you password comes out clean (like mine) or compromised, it's still probably a good idea to go and...

  • Dating site eHarmony joins LinkedIn in password saga

    Online dating site eHarmony has confirmed that it too suffered a hack on its password database. In an official blog post, the company said that the attack had affected a minority of its user base: After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected. We are continuing to investigate but would like to provide the following actions we are taking to protect our members. In the wake of news that some 6.5-million LinkedIn passwords had been leaked, eHarmony immediately reset the afflicted passwords. It also sent out an...

  • Google Earth mobile gets radical 3D makeover

    Google is set to give Google Earth for mobile a radical 3D makeover. The internet today announced that it will begin adding 3D models to entire metropolitan areas to Google Earth on mobile devices. According to Google's VP of Engineering for Google Maps Brian McClendon, this is possible "thanks to a combination of our new imagery rendering techniques and computer vision that let us automatically create 3D cityscapes, complete with buildings, terrain and even landscaping, from 45-degree aerial imagery". He says that Google is aiming to have 3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of...

  • New Die Antwoord video is solid Zef Gold

    Viral sensations Die Antwoord have dropped the latest video from their album Ten$ion. The video for "Baby's on Fire" swaps the gritty black and white scenes of "I Fink U Freeky" for the bright neon of white trash, working class suburbia. In the video, Ninja plays Yolandi's overprotective brother who is constantly outwitted by her collection of lovers. Oh and each of them has some insane skill in one form of vehicle or another. Looks like a return to classic Die Antwoord then. Die Antwoord shot to fame, at least in part, by using social media to...

  • Twitter kills bubble font, replaces with minimalist bird symbol

    Twitter's growing up. At least that seems to be the message coming from the social network as it announced changes to its design. For a start, the bubbled typeface and lower case "t" are being chucked out, because there's "no longer a need" for them. Twitter you cold, cruel bastard. Throwing innocent typefaces out onto the street like that. You should be ashamed. From now on, the social network will only be one "universally recognisable" symbol: that little blue bird. As Twitter says: "the bird is everywhere, constantly associated with Twitter the service, and Twitter the company". Clearly it's been...

  • Google makes Maps for Android available offline

    Google Maps is cool, but it does have its limits, as anyone who's ever travelled anywhere even vaguely remote will tell you. Now the internet giant looks to make the Android version of its popular navigation tool available offline. Huzzah! Users will however be required to have a modicum of forethought and planning, as they'll need to download the map, to use offline later. If you want to do so, simply click on "My Places" tab and you'll be given the option to download an offline map. The feature has reportedly been available from Google Labs for some time...

  • Sim City comes to Facebook

    Hey, remember playing Sim City as a kid? Chances are you were playing it on a computer that would now function better as a museum piece. Well the city building simulator is back and now you can play it on Facebook. According to the game's owner Electronic Arts, SimCity Social has no linear paths and cities evolve as a direct result of player-driven choice allowing for more creative freedom: As mayor, players will deal with unforeseen issues like fires, crime and pollution, and will make crucial decisions that will help them discover how their cities take shape. Social interactions...

  • YouTube, IOC to livestream Olympics to Asia, Africa

    Before you start reading this post take a moment and watch the beach scene from Chariots of Fire. If that doesn't get you in the Olympic spirit then nothing will. If you're all hyped up but afraid that you'll be missing out on the action because you're at work at all day, don't worry, YouTube's got your back. The video-sharing platform says that it will be broadcasting the Summer Games to 64 territories in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa on the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s official YouTube channel. YouTube claims that the channel will offer fans in these countries...

  • Facebook advertising does not equal a social success story

    So Facebook has finally gone public (that's old news). But now it actually has to start making money to keep its shareholders happy. That might be a little bit harder than originally anticipated as new research shows that Facebook advertising is not all that popular. Sponsored stories and advertising are how the recently listed social media giant plans to make its money. But in a recent survey conducted in the United States by Greenlight, a search engine marketing company, this could prove to be a very difficult road for Facebook to travel successfully. Forty four percent of internet users worldwide said...

  • What does running a startup feel like?

    Someone recently asked what it felt like to run a startup. It's an interesting question, because you constantly get peppered with advice on how to choose your partners, what sins to avoid committing, and what events to go to but never get told how you'll feel. It's not an easy subject to tackle with any brevity -- emotions are, after all, complex -- but I've given it my best shot. First off, it's very tough to sleep most nights of the week. Weekends don't mean anything to you anymore. Closing a round of financing is not a relief. It...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on missing his first shot at Mxit, founding World of Avatar

    In the second in a series of extracts from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr reflects on the first encounter he had with Mxit founder Herman Heunis. At that stage the company was worth a lot less than Knott-Craig would eventually end up paying for it. He also describes the bits of luck, opportunities, cups of coffee, and marital difficulties that put him on the path to leaving wireless broadband company iBurst and starting World of Avatar -- the group of startups that would come to include Mxit in its list of properties. ...

  • Rocket Internet’s Nigerian Amazon clone blasts off

    German cloning giant Rocket Internet has officially launched Kasuwa, its Nigerian Amazon-style ecommerce site. The company made its first big forays onto the continent with a number of properties in South Africa. These include a stake in Groupon, shoe and clothing site Zando, and make up testing service Glossybox. Prior to the launch, Nigerian tech blogs had speculated on what kind of site Rocket Internet might launch in the country. Techloy were right in the end, punting for an ecommerce site selling DVDs, books, and consumer electronics. Technesstivity meanwhile said that the company was launching an online clothing store. While...

  • Facebook commerce is dying? Not so fast cowboy

    If the headlines from a couple of months ago were anything to go by, Facebook commerce was as good as dead. Major US players were shuttering their storefronts and in the words of one commentator, "the entire ecosystem was painted a very ugly colour". Thing is, we probably shouldn't be so quick to hammer the last nail into Fcommerce's coffin. A number of the stores that failed said their people simply preferred shopping on their websites to their Facebook storefronts. According to the co-founder of customer experience specialist Consology, Kevin Meltzer that might be because some product offerings are...