• 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!
  • Why your startup’s product offering should look like a McDonald’s menu

    While some might question the logic behind Alan Knott Craig Junior's purchase of MXit, one can only stand up and applaud the astuteness of his first actions as the instant messaging giant's new Owner, CEO and all round Big Cheese! His first steps were simple, focus on what MXit's core product offering is and make sure it is the best at it. I liken this to the experience when you walk into McDonald's where, despite years of success around the globe, Ray Kroc's original idea for the McDonald's product offering that "you'll get the best hamburger you ever...

  • If Android’s so popular, where are all the Android phones?

    It’s "all Android, all the time". That's what they’ll tell you. It's "totally blowing away the competition". According to Gartner, Google's pet project (which as we all know, doesn't generate any meaningful revenue) Android now commands 52.5% of the global smartphone market. Huh? Where are all these Android phones? On the face of it, the market share numbers make sense. You have a powerful operating system and ecosystem (second in number of apps only to Apple). You have numerous device makers, including HTC, Motorola, Samsung, SonyEricsson (now just Sony) and LG, pegging their future (at least on the high-end) on Android....

  • Breaking news: Visa, Fundamo unveil emerging markets MCommerce product

    Visa, the world’s largest credit and debit card network, has unveiled a new product that allows people to access a prepaid account through their mobile phone. The product, which appears to be nameless, was developed in conjunction with Fundamo, a leading South African mobile money platform bought out by Visa for $110m earlier this year. The mobile banking solution is aimed specifically at emerging markets and, according to Visa, offers "unbanked and under-banked" people in those regions a "secure, reliable, globally interoperable electronic payment account". "Reaching consumers who have previously lacked access to formal financial services with secure...

  • LeapPad: The completely rubbish tablet you have to get

    This is an odd review for me to write, because my opinion doesn’t count. It’s not designed for me, it’s designed for kids. But kids suck at writing gadget reviews, so I dug deep into my inner toddler to seek out any childish delight in the LeapPad, a low-tech iPad for kids that’s packed with educational apps. As a geek-tastic adult, my first instinct was to label the LeapPad a complete failure. It uses outdated technology. Its touchscreen is an old skool “resistive” panel instead of the smart, smooth capacitive touchscreens used by most of today’s modern tablets and phones. Moreover the...

  • This Army: Gunning for the big time

    This Army first launched Tank five years ago as a hosted site-builder application in an already competitive DIY web publishing arena. Slowly but surely it gained a following in the local market, mostly spread by word-of-mouth amongst the creative crowd. The simple, minimal designs and a certain “less is more” approach has seen it gradually being adopted by everyone from photographers to galleries and wine farms. Tank empowered those with little to no web development skills to quickly and easily setup and create their own sites. Following this success This Army has spent the past 18 months developing...

  • The top five mistakes people make in developing a digital strategy

    Digital strategy is often sidelined as the poor cousin of traditional planning and strategy. Even when it isn't overlooked it still seems that many forget about why they are actually creating a digital strategy in the first place. I want to highlight five of the top mistakes made when developing a digital strategy. 1. Not Clearly Understanding the Business Objectives Seems pretty straight forward - you'd be surprised at how badly wrong this stage of the process can go. Clearly defining the business objectives is key in understanding how to plot the way forward with a digital strategy. You need to be asking...

  • 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...