• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Video Review: Olympus XZ-1

    Video Review: The US$500 XZ-1 looks serious. Little adornment, and a clever selection of materials and textures means it looks like a sturdy metal bomb-proof camera of yore (i.e. about 1980), even though most of the body is a rugged plastic. So it’s tough, but not too heavy — and sports a big light-gobbling Zuiko lens. Roger Hislop reviews Olympus’ return to the enthusiast compact camera market. For more, see Gearburn.com

  • Games from the ether: Xbox & PlayStation downloadable collection

    Even though I’ve been connected to Xbox Live and the PSN network for a while now, there is one aspect of those services which I’ve never got around to taking advantage of: Downloadable games. Both the Xbox 360 and the PSN have marketplaces that offer a number of games which are only available through them. Downloadable games tend to be smaller in terms of spectacle and “ooh-aaah” visuals, but many of them pack it in where it’s most needed: gameplay. The best part is that many of these games are way cheaper than full retail games, sometimes as much as...

  • Facebook, Twitter, and BlackBerry reply to proposed UK social media ban

    Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry have responded to suggestions by British Prime Minister David Cameron that police and intelligence services should be empowered to shut their services down in times of national emergency. Speaking before an emergency sitting of parliament, the first since violent riots broke out across English cities, David Cameron announced a decision to explore ways in which perhaps social networking services might be shut down. “… when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would...

  • Facebook messenger app and phone number hoover

    Earlier this week Facebook launched a mobile messaging app for iPhone and Android, creating some buzz and lots of angry buzzing. It’s not a dramatic move, but almost certainly a very important move for Facebook as it looks to become even more entrenched in our daily lives – and make ever more connections between Facebook members and their real-life identities. The app does roughly what the messaging feature in the existing Facebook app does — except that it takes a few clicks out of the sending and receiving of messages. It also now ties Facebook’s messaging into the non-Facebook SMS...

  • HTC wants a piece of Beats by Dr Dre

    Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC plans to pay about US$309 million for a 51 percent stake in Beats Electronics, the celebrity-centric marketing operation for higher-end headphones, fronted by hip hop artist and producer Dr Dre. According to HTC, the company is working with Beats Electronics LLC to create a line of HTC headsets offering “high performance sound” to be available this fall, a company statement said. Manufacturing for Beat’s headphones is done by Monster with lines including Beats by Dr Dre and Heartbeats with Lady Gaga. Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Google+: Now with games

    Google has added games, including the wildly popular Angry Birds, to its exploding social network Google+. “We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life”, Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said in an official blog post. He went on to say that the new feature was gradually being rolled out on the new social network. “When you’re ready to play, the Games page is waiting.” Along with global game sensation Angry Birds, the initial array of offerings available at Google+ includes Bejeweled Blitz, Zynga Poker, and Dragon Age Legends. A...

  • The group buying collapse is coming

    Group buying. Daily deals. Social commerce. Call it what you will, but the sheer number of blatant knock-offs that have sprung up in global markets following the “success” of Groupon and LivingSocial should give you a hint that all is not well. A fair number of these startups are nothing more than two or three people, a few laptops, an internet connection and phone line. They’re strangely reminiscent of those outfits that sold small businesses those five-page microsites a decade ago. Small businesses got ripped off with websites based on cookie-cutter templates. Users/customers got ripped off because they actually couldn’t...

  • Online behaviour tracking and the erosion of your privacy

    Marketing and media companies are always looking for innovative ways to gauge consumer behaviour and activity online. It affects how accurately they’re able to market their products according to age, gender, cultural demographics, and geography. There’s a fine line, however, between savvy market research and bypassing the principles of consumer privacy. Many technology companies make it their mission to develop new technologies that practically deauthorise user choice about what is tracked and, even more subversively, how it’s tracked. A recent example comes in the form of ETag tracking, which can store information about your online behaviour in your browser’s...

  • Markets fall: What will happen to Silicon Valley recovery?

    Turmoil in global financial markets and economies is never good for Silicon Valley despite the fact that the regional economy has its own boom and bust cycles that operate on a different timetable. Currently, Silicon Valley has been booming, recapturing the trend that was in place in the second half of 2008, before the financial meltdown, of growing VC investments and jobs. It has to be asked though, whether like that recovery in 2008 which ran smack into an economic crisis, this recovery will again be nipped in the bud. Maybe. Profits at the large Silicon Valley companies such as Google...

  • Hulu streaming to hit Japan

    Online streaming giant Hulu is set to make its first move outside the US as it plans to offer film and TV streaming services in Japan. Hulu has always aimed to expand globally, as stated in its official blog. “We recognize that entertainment fans beyond the US have the same desires as those on our home shores: find and watch the world’s premium content when, how, and where they want,” says the blog. Hulu’s Japanese streaming services, much like its offerings in the US, will be subscription based with monthly fees. Industry watchers have labelled Japan as a country...

  • Apple becomes world’s most successful company

    Based on the value of its global stock, Apple is now the most successful company on the planet. The stock exchange may currently be painting a grim picture for many businesses, but Apple continues to thrive with a total market capital of US$337-billion and a share value of US$363. The multinational company beat off companies like oil giant ExxonMobil in terms of overall corporate value. ExxonMobil’s stock fell to US$68 per share; this lowers their total valuation to US$330.8-billion. While Google may still have the most valuable shares at US$549 per unit, their total market capital is US$177-billion, which...

  • Five ways social media was used during the London riots

    Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have been blamed for augmenting the recent violent riots in London and other English metropoles. Speaking to British newspaper The Guardian, Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said that “inflammatory” and “inaccurate” messages on Twitter helped fuel the riots. “Social media and other methods have been used to organize these levels of greed and criminality,” Kavanagh said. Social media has also been used to help those who have been affected by the riots. Below, Memeburn looks at five ways in which social media was used during, and in the aftermath...

  • Big data, social TV, gamification and ‘Internet of things’ is the new black

    Activity streams, wireless power, internet TV, NFC payments and private cloud computing are some of the technologies that are being hyped at the moment, says IT research company Gartner. But some of the new technologies at the start of the hype curve include trends like social analytics, gamification, big data, social TV, natural language question answering and the “Internet of Things“. Gartner’s now-famous 2011 Hype Cycle Special Report provides an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 1 900 technologies, grouped into 76 distinct Hype Cycles. The Hype Cycle graphic, pictured below, has been used since 1995...

  • Huh? Why is BlackBerry being blamed for the London riots?

    In recent days, the streets of London have descended into bedlam as riots and looting spread, sparked by a protest organised around the shooting of an alleged gang member. Scotland Yard reported that a total of 44 officers have been injured during running battles with angry youths and, as has become tradition, social networks such as Twitter have come under fire for enabling the orchestrations of public violence. This time, however, there has been much finger pointing at BlackBerry Messenger, the proprietary instant messaging service from Research In Motion. Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police,...

  • 8 comic book movie viral campaigns that rocked

    Almost better than any film adaption of a comic book, is the anticipation built up from the viral campaigns which leak out from the silver tap of Hollywood. The internet has become a bridge which connects the public to their childhood memories and marketing agencies are quick to pounce on our nostalgia in the form of videos, online games and interactive websites which slowly reveal the next major blockbuster. In the past decade, the internet has assisted in marketing the release of a number of comic book films. Memeburn decided to take a look at some of the best....