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  • Nando’s offers Helen Zille a tastier alternative to a foot in the mouth

    If anyone shows how easy it is to go from the highest of highs on Twitter to the lowest of lows, it’s Helen Zille. Late last year, people were talking about how well she used the medium. Some even suggested she could be an example to everyone from major brands to Kim Kardashian. How things have changed. Zille’s seemingly uncensored rants, troll feeding and lobbed insults are a far cry from the tweets she was sending out in 2011. In fact, Zille has now reached the point where she's become the punchline in a Nando's campaign. If you’re wondering...

  • Twitter mourns feminist poet Adrienne Rich

    News of the death of American poet Adrienne Rich reverberated across Twitter, becoming a top globally trending topic just moments after it was first tweeted. The news broke on Twitter before it was published by any mainstream media. My deepest bows to Adrienne Rich, 4the power of her life, her presence, her words. May we all work toward her "dream of a common language."—T Tempest Williams (@TempestWilliams) March 28, 2012 Just got very sad news: the poet Adrienne Rich has died.— John McMurtrie (@McMurtrieSF) March 28, 2012 Given Twitter’s propensity for killing off high-profile people on regular occasions, it’s hardly surprising...

  • ‘Pull to refresh’ — Yep, Twitter is patenting that

    No? Seriously? I was just reading Sarah Perez's latest column over at TechCrunch and it seems Twitter wants to patent "pull to refresh". You know that thing your official Twitter client does when you need to refresh your feed? Yep, Twitter is getting a lock down on that. I never really noticed that you couldn't do it with other apps, especially core iOS or Android ones. As Perez points out, however, none of these companies can actually implement this while Twitter is in the middle of a patent application. The application is titled: "User Interface Mechanics" and the inventor...

  • Konza Technology City: Does Kenya really need it?

    Konza Technology City, better known simply as, “Konza City”, is a multi-billion dollar totem of Kenya’s vision of a “Silicon Savannah”, a hat tip to the legendary Silicon Valley in the US. It’s an ambitious 20 year, 2 000 hectare, US$14.5-billion new town project endorsed by the Kenyan government which aims to make Kenya a middle-income country by 2030. The city will be built 64 kilometers South of Nairobi, in Konza, Machakos county and will feature a technology park, science park, university campus, international business district as well as space for other commercial and residential properties. Konza City and the technology...

  • 4 Reasons someone should get Helen Zille away from Twitter

    Last year I wrote a piece for Memeburn about ways I felt Helen Zille was using Twitter well. She was controversial even back then, but I liked her for four reasons: She was responsive She was unscripted She was active and She had a sense of humour Overall, I loved the fact that she was both accessible and real. No PR gloss: you got Helen pretty much undiluted. I didn’t mind the sarcasm; somehow it lent her a certain appealing authenticity. A year later and Helen Zille is still all of those things, but something has changed. From being appealingly frank,...

  • 10 Reasons mobile coupons are here to stay

    People want mobile coupons. Although vouchers are already very popular online, the overflow into mobile has now grown rapidly. In part due to mobile’s convenience and the global recession’s after-effects but mostly because everyone loves a bargain. The appeal of having a bargain specifically targeted to you, and delivered to your own mobile phone when and where you need it, and even when you didn’t know you need it is very powerful. Brands are now able to appeal to people’s need to engage and their desire to have unique, personalised experiences. Here are some of the reasons mobile coupons are...

  • HTML5, smartphones will change the way we interact with companies

    HTML5, together with massive growth in smartphone penetration, could see a lot more people interacting with companies using their mobile devices. Many companies -- such as banks and telcos -- already enjoy major business benefits by allowing customers to transact with them, perform routine service tasks, manage their own accounts and conduct research through Web-based Self-Service systems. Up until now, self-service has largely been limited to internet-connected desktop users. The rise of the smartphone is about to change all that. The new, richer, apps will give people the flexibility and convenience to interact with companies wherever they are,...

  • Pair: The cutesy social network for couples that looks set to go big

    Less than a week after going live, a new social network called Pair has been downloaded over 50 000 times and seen more than a million messages sent. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t connect with everyone you’ve ever known. It isn’t even a great professional networking tool. In fact, the only person it connects you with is your significant other. Geez, the only way you could stretch the definition of a social network any further is if you made one for the voices in my head. Anyway, Pair has been getting attention from a couple of big-name Silicon Valley investors. Perhaps...

  • What if you could have more Twitter followers than Lady Gaga?

    What if you could have a million Twitter followers for a day? What would you do? Well, you might just have the chance to find out. A new site, called Fame, selects a winner from the pool of people who’ve connected to it via Twitter every day. Everyone on the site is then automatically followed to the daily winner before being automatically unfollowed the next day. It’s a pretty nifty idea. If you’re the daily winner, and people like your tweets, chances are at least some of them will stick around and keep following you. If you’re one of...

  • Give us your Facebook password or we won’t hire you [Comic]

    The issue of employers demanding that current and future employees hand over their Facebook passwords has been causing a bit of a stir of late. Even Facebook itself got in on the action. We imagine the words "I quit" echoing across many a boardroom if more companies started applying the policy. In the United States, two lawyers have decided that enough is enough and intend sticking it to the man. Good for you lawyer boys. Even Senator Richard Blumenthal has had enough of this talk of snooping about people's Facebook pages so he intends to introduce a bill that...

  • Mozilla shows off HTML 5, other new tech with MMORPG

    Mozilla, in cooperation with French developer Little Workshop, launched a new MMORPG called BrowserQuest today to demonstrate what developers can do with HTML5, WebSocket, Canvas and other advanced web technologies, including Node.js. The game, which is actually quite fun in its own right, should work with virtually every modern desktop browser (except for Internet Explorer), as well as Safari on iOS and Firefox on Android. The mobile version is, in Mozilla's words, "more experimental," but should be seen as "an early glimpse of what kind of games will be coming to the mobile Web in the future." var 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...

  • Google helps put Mandela archive on the web

    Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) have created a new Nelson Mandela Digital Archive on the web that is freely accessible to the world. Google donated about US$1.25-million to the Johannesburg-based Centre in 2011 to help preserve and digitise thousands of archival documents, photographs and videos about Mandela. Along with historians, educationalists, researchers and activists, users from around the world now have access to extensive information about the life and legacy of this extraordinary African statesman. The new online multimedia archive includes Mandela’s correspondence with family, comrades and friends, diaries written during his 27...

  • The new Doctor Who trailer — because geeks like stetsons and guns

    Popular British science fiction show Doctor who is ready to once again roll through time and space with a brand new season coming soon. BBC America released a teaser trailer of the upcoming season setting the Doc Who fan world into a froth of anticipation over what is to come. The show follows the adventures of a Time Lord, a time-travelling, humanoid alien, known only as the Doctor, who explores the universe in a sentient, telepathic time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior appears as a blue police box. Only a day up and...

  • Major Silicon Valley VC to deliver lecture in SA

    A major Silicon Valley VC is set to return to South Africa, the country of his birth, to deliver a lecture at Stellenbosch University. Roelof Botha made his name as one of the people fundamental to the early development of ecommerce payments system PayPal. He was named CFO in 2001, when he was 28. When eBay bought out PayPal in 2002, Botha moved to Sequoia Capital, where he has remained ever since. He sits on the boards of companies such as Eventbrite, Jawbone, Mahalo, Meebo, Nimbula, Square, Tokbox, Tumblr, Unity and Xoom. He also sat on YouTube’s board prior...

  • Google to go into third-party comments

    Google is launching a third-party commenting system. Thing is, it’s not trying to enter into the space of specialist industry players such as Disqus, but take another swipe at Facebook. Tech news site TheNextWeb cited a source close to the development of the product as stating that the system would feed off Google+ . The site also cites Tech WD blogger Saud Al-Hawawi who reported that several yet to be released technologies, including the new commenting system, were discussed at a Google conference in Saudi Arabia. The new service would reportedly also index any comments in Google’s...