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  • Moneysmart – a better way to manage your money

    Zulfiq Isaacs and Tobie van Zyl want to help you to understand your money better. Moneysmart, their startup, is a user-friendly financial management platform. Users aggregate their banking information into a single place, outlining budgets and setting goals. For those who were once scared of their finances, the enthusiastic founders reckon Moneysmart will put the control back into your hands and help you to "reach your financial dreams". I visited the Moneysmart offices in Gardens, Cape Town. Their workplace is akin to a renovated iStore, starkly white and divided into rows of gleaming laptops. From here, we travelled to...

  • We’re in a Jacuzzi: digital and the Loeries

    Steve Jobs once said: "We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life." Excellence -- recognising it, rewarding it, inspiring it -- is the aim of the Loerie Awards. This year, the most excellent creative digital agency of all -- based on the amount of silverware they get to take home -- is HelloComputer. Following them are Gloo Digital Design, NATIVE, Pixel Project, Prezence, Digital Fabric, Leftfield and Strike Media. Gloo won the most individual awards, including golds for Design Indaba XIV microsite and Brandhouse Drive...

  • Google and the Israel Museum bring the Dead Sea Scrolls online

    The Israel Museum launches its Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project today, allowing users to examine and explore these ancient biblical manuscripts at a level of detail never before possible. Developed in partnership with Google, the new website gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. Dating from the third century BCE to the first century CE, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea. The manuscripts are generally...

  • Unlocking Android’s true potential

    Android allows users full control and customisation of its devices through a process known as “rooting”, however, there are some risks involved. The big question, therefore, is whether it is worth rooting your device, possibly voiding your warrantee, just for a few more options? Simply put, yes. Here’s why. When I received my HTC Desire earlier this year, a lot of time and effort had gone into researching which phone I would upgrade to. I choose the Desire, not because I thought it was the best device (spec wise it definitely wasn’t), but rather, because seemed like the natural successor...

  • How to get your personal data back from Facebook

    European law allows every individual to get access to all data that a company holds about them. Austrian Max Schrems has created europe-v-facebook.org to help Facebook users get a copy of all their Facebook data. Schrems has started analysing some of the data that users have shared with him with interesting results. Here are the highlights: According to Facebook's privacy policy, messages will never be deleted. Messages include chat messages and Facebook emails. If you delete a message it only becomes invisible to you. According to europe-v-facebook.org "US law enforcement agencies can access this information at their own liking, without judicial...

  • How mobile money is bridging the gap to online payments in Kenya

    Mobile Money has come a long way in the last few years. Kenyan mobile network operator, Safaricom, introduced its MPesa service in 2007 and the service literally took off, setting the stage for a veritable revolution. Safaricom’s MPesa is today the most successful mobile money operation all over the world, and its numbers definitely prove it. There have been attempts to transplant this success elsewhere with varying degrees of success. Other mobile operators soon caught on both within Kenya and across the continent. The attempt to implement MPesa in the South African market did not go as well as would...

  • WhatsApp rocks and will kill SMS

    It’s an open secret that SMS is a cash-cow for operators. They can charge obscene amounts for messages (compared to the cost of delivering them), obscene amounts that become crimes against humanity when they rape you for sending SMS when roaming. WhatsApp is one of the best alternatives -- and one that may actually have a future when compared to much earlier incarnations like MXit that have millions of users but are still trying to find a way to make money. First, WhatsApp’s functionality. Quick to cover, there’s not an awful lot to it. Once you’ve installed the app (for...

  • MTN SA to offer uncapped mobile broadband

    African mobile giant MTN is stepping up to the broadband plate and releasing an uncapped, throttle-free product from October till January, as reported by MyBroadband The company will introduce a broadband package that removes the "uncapped without speed throttling" fair usage policies for a period of four months, but will most likely apply the policy once the trail period is over. Speculation is that MTN is testing the waters to see if a legitimately uncapped offering could be possible on its network. Currently users of the "unlimited packages" can only download 3GB and 10GB on its "Lite" and "Pro" offerings respectively....

  • Dow Jones lists Samsung as “world’s most sustainable technology company”

    The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) annual review has named Samsung as the "world's most sustainable technology company". According to the report, Samsung received the highest score of the 52 technology companies listed. Byungsuk Choi, executive VP at Samsung said of the report, "Samsung is delighted that our sustainability efforts have been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index." “This result is a reflection of Samsung’s belief that we can deliver positive value by protecting the environment and contributing to communities in which we operate, while generating economic performance.” The DSJI noted certain "company highlights" such as its Climate Strategy, Environmental Reporting...

  • Woman decapitated for social network postings

    Mexican authorities found a woman's decapitated body in Nuevo Laredoa, a Mexican city that borders the United States. Alongside the body, a handwritten sign saying she had been killed as retaliation for her postings on a local social networking site. A website dedicated to covering Mexico's drug conflict which it calls "the neglected war", believes the killing to be the third instance of an emerging trend of people being murdered for talking about the conflict on social networks. According to the Associated Press (AP), a Mexican government official identified the victim as Marisol Macias Castaneda, a newsroom...

  • Samsung Galaxy SII sales hit 10-million mark

    According to Samsung, the Galaxy SII has sold over 10-million devices since its April launch. The phone has seen a particularly strong surge in sales since July, when sales were sitting on just under five million. Samsung’s premium smartphone debuted in South Korea in late April and May in various European countries. It finally went on sale in China in July and in the US markets in September. JK Shin, chief of Samsung mobile devices said, “In just five months the Galaxy SII has seen tremendous growth, reflecting strong support from carrier partners.” Sales in South Korea have been the most positive,...

  • Nokia launches N9 — Its only Meego smartphone

    Marko Ahtisaari is the head of Nokia’s design unit and the man tasked with presenting the new Nokia N9 to a captivated audience at a glossy launch event. The Minority Report style setting invokes one word, “design”. The N9 is a device torn between two worlds: Cultural relevance and OS irrelevance. It is a beautiful device, cast in polycarbonate from end to end and finished off with an Active-Matrix OLED screen otherwise known as AMOLED. The user interface is minimalistic to a tee, with the user getting from screen to screen simply by swiping from any edge of the device. Pattern...

  • Groupon COO heads back to Google

    Groupon announced via its blog that its chief operating officer, Margo Georgiadis, would be leaving after just five months for a job with her former employer Google. Georgiadis left her position as Google's vice president of global sales back in April to work for the group buying giant. According to the blog post, she will return to the search giant as president of the Americas. "Groupon is a great company and I feel privileged to have worked there even for a short time," Georgiadis said in the blog. "It was a hard decision to leave as the company is on a terrific...

  • Early Facebook app developer claims hidden agendas killed his app

    A social music service is among the updates being rolled out by Facebook in the wake of its f8 developers' conference. This audio service does, however, have a predecessor and its developer claims the project was killed for reasons very different to the ones reported on at the time. Former Motorola exec and entrepreneur Numair Faraz dropped a nuclear bomb in a blog post about his experiences as an early Facebook platform developer. Faraz launched "Audio" on Facebook shortly after the developer platform was released. On 30 July 2007 Facebook removed "Audio" from their platform for...

  • iPad losing market share with increased competition — Gartner

    Apple's iPad is projected to account for 73.4% of worldwide media tablet sales in 2011, down from 83% share in 2010, says respected research company Gartner. But beyond Apple's platform, known as iOS, and Android's operating system, Gartner does not expect any other platforms to secure more than a five percent share of the tablet market in 2011. “We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50% of the market until 2014,” says Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience...