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  • Google Music hits the Android market

    Google has finally opened its online music offering, via its Android store, to US residents after months of beta testing. "Today we are happy to announce you can buy millions of songs right from Android Market," Google product manager Paul Joyce said at Google's Android event. At the moment users can only purchase music via a desktop web browser but the internet giant is set to rollout the service for Android devices in the coming days. The beta version of Google Music was launched earlier this year. The service allows users to store personal music collections in the "cloud" for...

  • Bloggers steal limelight at Asian political meeting

    On the sidelines of a meeting of the Southeast-Asian economic and political grouping, ASEAN , around 200 bloggers from the region met to offer each other support in the face of government restrictions on freedom of speech. With news and information tightly restricted by some governments in the regional bloc, social media and blogs have seen a sharp increase in popularity. In August, one Vietnamese blogger was arrested and charged with "subversion" after having been involved in protests denouncing the authoritarian Chinese government. In May, a Thai-born US citizen was charged with insulting the monarchy after he posted material deemed...

  • Apple in talks with Chinese environmental groups

    Apple has been deemed the worst offender when it comes to flouting occupational safety regulations by a coalition of Chinese environmental groups. Included in this coalition is Beijing-based environmental NGO, Institute of Environmental and Public Affairs, who released a damning 26-page report called "The Other Side of Apple" (in Chinese). The report apparently documents cases where Apple's mainland suppliers violated environmental and health protections, reports PC Mag. Following the accusations, Apple has decided to go into talks with the environmental groups. Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ma Jun, praised the talks as a "step forward" but criticised...

  • Aurasma, Taiwanese news giant launch ‘first Augmented Reality’ newspaper

    The world’s leading augmented reality platform, Aurasma has teamed up with one of Taiwan’s biggest newspapers, the United Daily News, to create the world’s first augmented reality newspaper. Placing a mobile phone's camera over images, advertorials and featured editorials makes them fully interactive. Martina King, Managing Director of Aurasma, explained how readers would be able to identify the ads: "Look at any newspaper today and chances are advertising inside will be carrying the 'A' logo - identifying to readers that it is Aurasma enabled.” "It is an incredible achievement just four months after our launch," she added. Launched...

  • Nokia to have Windows 8 tablet by June 2012

    Off the cuff comments by Nokia’s new France head honcho Paul Ansellem have got the rumour mill into high gear. Speaking to Les Echos, he said, “Et en juin 2012, nous aurons une tablette fonctionnant sous Windows 8”. So that seems pretty open and shut. Since then the Nokia Thought Police have kicked in, and no more is coming out of Espoo. This does confirm very elliptical comments by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was quoted in BusinessWeek a few days ago hinting at a tablet. Read more on 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");

  • Is iOS 5 a data vampire?

    I have mixed feelings about iOS 5, and I could probably write another article based on my meandering anecdotal experiences with Apple's latest mobile OS, but this one is about the data usage, and in particular that of iCloud, iMessage and Location Services. iCloud is enchanting, and maybe one day when I can afford an unlimited data plan, I can fully enjoy its wonders, but for now I'd like to share my experience -- a cautionary tale perhaps -- to give you an idea of what you can expect should you choose to ascend into the cloud. ...

  • The ghost in the machine — Inside Siri

    It didn't take long for hackers to crack the Siri protocol and discover exactly how Siri works. The beautiful thing about the hack was that it used a weakness in SSL that Moxie Marlinspike talked about some years back. After forcing all of Siri's internet traffic through a packet-sniffer, it became apparent that Siri communicates over HTTPS with a server at Apple. By simply creating a certificate that looks like Apple's but uses a a fake CA which could be installed onto the iPhone, it was simple to trick the iPhone into communicating directly with an internal server. Once...

  • Google+ Pages and its place in the social inbox

    Google has finally unveiled Pages for Google+, allowing organisations and brands to join the social network and let their followers engage with them. When the internet giant first launched Google+, brands immediately jumped at the opportunity to gain additional exposure, but unfortunately, Google prevented these companies from creating profiles for business use. Offering an advertorial-free zone to mingle online may have seemed like reasonable strategy at the time for G+ to help differentiate itself. This initial decision to champion an ecommerce-sterile platform, however, quickly became controversial enough to force Google's hand in accepting and accelerating plans for business pages. In the...

  • Review: The Xperia Neo, shiny like a Chinese stereo

    Looking for a midrange smartphone, want Android, don’t want to shell out iPhone prices? Look no further than the Xperia Neo. Just don’t look at it too closely: Sleek and modern lines, but with chrome accents that wouldn’t look amiss on a 1995 Panasony clock radio. Deeply flawed, but also deeply functional — good value for money, but could be better. Now that the high end of the smartphone market is pretty much locked in a Galaxy vs iPhone vs Motorola neck-and-neck, the ding-dong battle is to crack the midrange smartphone market. And it’s all Android, here. This has given...

  • LinkedIn strengthens Indian presence

    LinkedIn Corporation, the company behind the world’s largest social network for professionals, says that it has opened up a research and development centre in India. The centre, based in Bangalore is the company's first such office outside North America. The centre will reportedly support the tech infrastructure used to build core products and features on LinkedIn. According to the company, the decision was made to set up the centre, at least in part, to keep up with the rapid membership growth on the network. "India is one of the fastest-growing member bases in the LinkedIn network," it said in...

  • BlackBerry unveils Bold 9790, Curve 9380

    BlackBerry has unveiled two new phones designed to run on the BlackBerry 7 OS: The Bold 9790 and the Curve 9380. Bold 9790 BlackBerry describes the newest Bold as "both powerful and compact". The Bold combines a touchscreen with the traditional “tactile keyboard”. BlackBerry also describes it as "powerful, full-featured and built with premium materials and finishes". The processor is meaty enough at 1GHZ and features enough onboard memory (8GB) to store ample content. As usual, power users can upgrade by adding in a 32GB memory card, the largest size the Bold 9790 supports. Read more on 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");

  • Microsoft chief, Steve Ballmer heralds the everlasting ‘Windows Era’

    Microsoft chief, Steve Ballmer proclaimed an everlasting “Windows Era”, as the software giant's current board swept to an easy victory at an annual meeting of shareholders. Along with Ballmer, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, Bill Gates and several others secured their positions on the Microsoft board with an overwhelming 92% of votes cast by investors. When questioned about the "post PC-era" heralded by Apple visionary Steve Jobs, Ballmer said, "We are in the Windows Era, We were, we are, and we always will be." Ballmer's remark was a deliberate jab at the notion that mobile devices such as tablets, and smartphones...

  • The South African Twitter landscape [Infographic]

    A recent study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx titled South African Social Media Landscape 2011 revealed that, along with several other social networking sites, Twitter continues to show phenomenal growth in South Africa. In fact, the study showed that Twitter has seen the most dramatic growth of any social network in the past year. Head of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck pointed out that Twitter, "coming off a very low base is therefore seeing the greatest growth". Using this data and more, Ivan Colic, who tweets with the username, @ivanisawesome, created this inforgraphic on "Twitter in South...

  • Legendary assassin’s tale climaxes in final instalment

    Stealthy death-dealer Ezio Auditore takes his noble crusade to the 16th Century Ottoman Empire with the release of Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game -- his last appearance as the trilogy comes to an end. In a blend of historical truth and narrative fiction, Assassin's Creed: Revelations traces Auditore’s exploits in thwarting an age-old grab for global domination reaching into modern times. "Revelations" is the fourth instalment in a franchise that has sold more than 31-million copies since it launched four years ago. The game is the third and last centred on Auditore. Read more on 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");

  • .mobi is dead, and it’s back to the future

    There was a time where it made sense to have a separate mobile site, running in parallel with your old faithful desktop website. We put these mobile-only sites under domains like "m.myveryspecialsite.com" or "myveryspecialsite.mobi". The argument was that because our online offering was being accessed via a different medium with different capabilities, we therefore needed clearly distinct sites. Mobile phones then were simple beasts, because they were mainly just phones with a bit of web browsing thrown in. These phones were not capable of showing complex, visually busy sites, so it made sense for website owners to just "start...