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  • Eric Schmidt: Android-Apple fight will define industry, MS Surface could be big

    Eric Schmidt thinks the battle between Google's mobile platform Android and Apple could be the "defining fight in the industry today.” He also believes that Microsoft's Surface could be a "big deal", if it works and that riding in a self-driving car is life-changing. “We've not seen platform fights at this scale,” he said in an interview with AllThingsD. “The beneficiary is you guys (i.e., consumers). Prices are dropping rapidly. That’s a wonderful value proposition.” While the Google chairman was willing to speak about the importance of the fight, he was more reluctant to talk about how patents might affect...

  • What would China be like if the Great Firewall came crashing down?

    Everyone knows that China’s internet is censored. There’s the government-run firewall that blocks and interferes with unwanted sites, and then there’s the extensive network of self-censors at all of China’s internet companies who delete content they fear might incur the wrath of the regime. But what if that wasn't true? What would happen if tomorrow, the “Great Firewall” was torn down and Chinese internet companies were told they no longer needed to censor their content? It’s a fascinating question, and quite an important one. In a recent speech, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said that China must open up or die, especially...

  • Obama beats up Romney, on Facebook that is

    US President Barack Obama has laid a sucker punch at his chief rival in the race to the White House Mitt Romney by adding of more than one-million "likes" on his Facebook campaign page this week, according to tracking website "Inside Facebook". Started in September, this shows the largest number of once-off "likes" for either of the two candidates. To date, the largest single day spike in "likes" was 189 000 for Obama. Paid messages, or "sponsored" posts, can help to boost visibility on Facebook, yet the Obama campaign management has given no indication of any such strategy. "There are...

  • Rockmelt launches social browser for iOS

    There are only a few big names in the browser wars: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. At a stretch you could throw Opera in there too. At least people have heard of it, if only because they use its mobile offering. Among the smaller browsers that have tried to stake a claim in the market, Rockemlt stood out. In part this was down to its built-in integration of social media. But it also had serious backing in the form of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. In the last little while though, things have been quiet...

  • Steve Wozniak: FNB innovations are ‘game-changing’

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has described the innovations put out by South African banking giant First National Bank (FNB) as "game-changing". Speaking at the bank's annual leadership conference, Wozniak said he was impressed by the kind of thinking he saw in action at FNB: I have addressed many conferences, but this is one of the first where I felt that I was so impressed by financial innovations, some of which we have not seen in the US, and are truly game-changing for all other banks. This is one of the few occasions where I have met bankers who think...

  • LinkedIn’s 4 tips for getting people to notice you

    Look, we all know that LinkedIn is incredibly important. That it's gone beyond being an online CV is obvious. It's also much more than just a place for making online business connections. The professional social network is a great place for promoting content, your business, and most importantly yourself. But with over 150-million registered users, getting noticed can sometimes be a little tricky. Most of use recognise that merely filling out a profile isn't going to cut it. As LinkedIn's Nicole Williams notes "being part of an online community means engaging regularly to make an impact." Knowing where...

  • Social media, mobile and the internet in Asia: by the numbers

    You may have heard that China has the world's largest mobile phone user base (at just over a billion) or that social media platforms like Sina Weibo have more than 300-million users. When it comes to Asia, you're almost always talking numbers with lots of zeros. But what numbers are these, exactly? If you take a flip through the masses of stats compiled by digital agency WeAreSocial, you may feel like the term 'million' has lost its potency. There are now over three-billion mobile phone users in Asia (around one in five people have a smartphone), and 12...

  • Windows 8 ad leaked onto YouTube — Apps will be new focus

    The first batch of Windows 8 ads have been leaked to the public via Youtube. This development comes before the operating system's official release, scheduled for 26 October. The ad was uploaded not by some hacker hailing from the US or China, but rather the the Techo-hub that is Israel. Yes Israel. Israeli website, Techit, has leaked four separate videos all of which showcase the enhanced interactivity that Microsoft's new OS offers. Its displayed on a tablet device, most likely the Surface, which is also set for release on 26 October. The visuals look strong and are designed to give...

  • Using social to get top electro acts A-trak, HudMo to SA: #5GumExperience

    Chewing gum brand #5Gum isn't exactly averse to doing things differently when it comes to hosting big music events. Forget the stadiums, the massive across-the-line marketing campaign and queuing for tickets. In fact, you can't even buy tickets for its latest event. As it did with British Indie Band Two Door Cinema Club, 5Gum is marketing its latest #5GumExperience events, featuring international electro acts A-trak and Hudson Mohawke (HudMo). Anyone wanting tickets will have to listen to the 3D audio journey via Facebook, with headphones (NB) here if you are on a desktop and here if you are...

  • FNB named world’s most innovative bank

    Innovation isn't a word that you readily associate with banks. They're staid, big institutions not prone to easily accepting change. First National Bank (FNB) is proving that perception needs to change. The South African banking giant has been named the world's most innovative bank at the BAI Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards. The awards are designed to honour banks globally for game-changing products, services, practices and other achievements. The most innovative bank is driven by market insights, existing and emerging consumer preferences and has a culture of innovation which includes an innovation framework and/or processes that are supported...

  • 10 reasons Google+, Skype should be used in the classroom: A teacher’s view

    Traditionally a classroom has always been recognised as a portal to knowledge. It is a venue where ideas and content are shared, experienced and digested. But who says you have to physically be in a classroom to achieve the same objective? I teach a few thousand students a week in about 30 schools. The programme I'm a part of provides maths enrichment, extension and remedial classes to students from grade R-12. Over the last 10 years, we have always had some of our past grade 12 students making the top 20 individuals in the province. We...

  • Haitians read #FirstWorldProblem tweets to raise awareness of real issues

    The nature of social media has allowed us to broadcast our lives to the world with little to no care about what we actually say... at least, sometimes it feels that way. The use of hashtags on Twitter has helped spear revolutions and highlight important issues around the world -- these hashtags are important. So you know when you complain about frivolous things on Twitter, like the fact that your skinny cappuccino just isn't quite skinny enough and it's cause to boycott your local coffee shop? Yes, those tweets that you so proudly hashtag "first world problems" or "middle class...

  • Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — 3 big moves from 3 big players

    Latest news on the interwebs is that Facebook has just hit one-billion users, and launched its first brand ad, LinkedIn has just launched an influencer following tool and Twitter has joined forces with Nielsen. In case you missed all of that, here is a sum up to get you in the loop. Facebook’s first brand ad and one-billion user mark If you’re a brand that still thinks Facebook is a fad, it’s really time to get a reality check. In celebration of its global domination, the social network launched its very first ad campaign. It's an interesting move for a...

  • Google brings Steve Biko’s life, apartheid, holocaust online

    This is very cool. Google is today bringing 42 historical exhibitions online telling the stories behind some of the major events of the last century. Among them is one telling the story of South African apartheid activist Steve Biko's political awakening as a 15-year-old. According to Google, the exhibition features "nine online documents never released in the public domain, including his 1973 banning order and his Black People’s Convention membership card". Obenewa Amponsah, Director of Fundraising and Partnerships at the Steve Biko Foundation, said: The Steve Biko Foundation is pleased to partner with Google on this initiative. We decided to participate...

  • CEOs beware: there are perils to sharing your LinkedIn password!

    Thou shalt not share your LinkedIn password with your colleagues at work, unless you are happy to face the prospects of having your account hacked and stolen right under your nose. A New York court recently ruled that an employer did stay within the legal realm when it hijacked the previous CEO’s LinkedIn account after booting her out of the company. After being fired by the company she founded, Linda Eagle learned to her horror that not only her LinkedIn account had been compromised but her picture and name had been replaced by those of her successor. Eagle had made the fatal...