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  • BlackBerry unveils new ‘developer friendly’ OS, BBX

    BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has unveiled its next generation operating system BBX, which it claims takes the best of the BlackBerry platform and the best of the QNX platform to connect people, devices, content and services. The ailing smartphone giant unveiled the new OS at its ongoing Devcon Americas 2011 conference, where it is attempting to convince developers that its platforms are still worthwhile investments. Among the features lauded by RIM on BBX is an all new BlackBerry Cascades UI Framework for advanced graphics. The Canadian company hopes the user interface will result in "a new breed of...

  • Pitching perfection to investors: A 10-step guide

    Enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to raise funding must realise that a great business case alone is definitely not enough to guarantee a favorable outcome. Not preparing adequately for a presentation to an angel investor or a venture capital fund is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing failure. The power of a strong, well polished pitch to funders cannot be underestimated and it warrants considerable time and effort to make sure that you hit the mark first off. Here are some tips on what funders might expect from entrepreneurs hoping to make a good impression. 1. Perfect your micro pitch This is your 90-second introduction,...

  • Münchausen by internet — The little known but not uncommon illness

    We all know that one person. One who is either terminally ill, has some or other rare disease or that one who has tried to commit suicide numerous times, sometimes even giving us a blow-by-blow account of how they were doing it. We know these people, perhaps not personally, but we know their Twitter handles, their forum names, their blogs. What many of us don't know is that while these people might indeed be ill, it might not be in the way they claim. Münchausen by internet (MBI) is nothing new. Reports of users pretending to be gravely ill, victims...

  • Five tips for reporting with Twitter

    Real-time communication over the web through Twitter has had an enormous impact on journalism. Twitter is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for reporting. It started out as a simple alarm bell. One tweet about an accident was a wake-up call for journalists to follow-up on the topic and/or get in touch with tweeps on location. Think, for example, about the plane crash on the Hudson River, or the tweets from Cairo's Tahrir Square. Journalists now have more and better tools to monitor and check tweets. But how do you use these tools for good reporting with Twitter? Search Using tweets...

  • Tech-Ed kicks off with Azure, Office 365, Windows 8

    Microsoft is going through an exciting phase of innovation, says Microsoft corporate vice-president for Visual Studio, Jason Zander. The company's aim, he claims, is to build connected devices focusing on elastic resources, composable services and to take away the worry from the cloud by making it more secure through carefully controlled access. Zander addressed an audience of more than 3 000 people at the opening keynote of this year's Tech-Ed conference in Durban South Africa. Tech-Ed Africa is billed as Microsoft's "premier technical education event providing the most comprehensive technical training on Microsoft’s suite of products, technologies, solutions...

  • Google set to host G-South Africa 2.0

    Google has announced that it will be holding its second large-scale web conference in South Africa. The event, called "G-South Africa" aims to provide "training on web and mobile tools to spur innovation, business growth and local internet economy". The internet giant claims the event will see “Over 800 business people, marketers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and web developers, together with over 30 Google experts from around the globe,” gather to “discuss the future of online business and web application development, and receive training on Google’s products”. Google says the G-South Africa represents its "commitment to driving the web forward in South...

  • Facebook, eBay dismiss Google threat

    According to Silicon Valley super-star Sean Parker, for Google to take the title of leading social network, Facebook would have to blunder in a big way. During an interview to open the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Parker said, "Facebook would have to screw up royally and Google would have to do something really smart." Parker's profile in Silicon Valley comes from his co-founding of controversial music-sharing service Napster. Parker was also featured in the Academy award-winning film chronicling the creation of Facebook, The Social Network. "It is tough to compete with network effects," Parker said giving his thoughts on...

  • RIM woos developers as it looks to rebuild reputation

    The Blackberry software developer’s conference begins today and RIM faces the difficult battle of gaining traction in light of its global BBM blackout. App developers will be given training sessions during the Blackberry DevCon which takes place in San Francisco. RIM filled the conference with seminars, informative sessions and discussions which are aimed at rebuilding the status of Blackberry’s applications on its Playbook tablet and smartphones. Co-founder of RIM, Mike Lazaridis opened the conference for the developers, mobile partners and "passionate enthusiasts" that will show off what Blackberry "has in store" for the world. RIM plans on creating games which can compete...

  • China’s Alibaba halts fee hike after massive web protest

    Chinese internet giant Alibaba says that it will delay a fee hike for some sellers on its online shopping site after a storm of protest over the planned rise. The group also announced that it will invest 1.8-billion yuan (US$284-million) in its Taobao Mall site. This as the firm looks to help disgruntled small vendors. The announcement came after tens of thousands of users attacked big brands on the site, threatening to place massive orders online and immediately cancel them in protest against the service fee hike. The move was aimed at denting the customer ratings of large retailers, which...

  • China restricts eBay trade

    Online auction giant eBay is mourning the loss of Chinese customers as it was recently revealed that the East Asian country is now banning foreign internet users from selling goods in China. Chief executive of eBay, John Donahoe spoke of the ordeal during the Web 2.0 Summit. "The domestic China market for internet-based service is, in essence, closed. The Chinese government is not going to allow a non-Chinese Internet company to succeed in China...it is a weapon in national security," he said. Connecting China to the rest of the world was exceptionally important to eBay but it has now been...

  • How Google Earth is being used to track Typhoid in Nepal

    For most of us, going a day without using a Google product is unimaginable. The internet giant serves up our news, email and maps. It gives us the internet on a platter, all from a single domain. Occasionally you'll use it to do something you'd never thought of before and you'll think you’re pretty damn clever. Chances are, though, you never thought of using a Google tool to track a deadly disease in a remote mountain kingdom. That’s precisely what a team of scientists working in Kathmandu have done. Using Google Earth and gene sequencing technology, the researchers...

  • Man jailed for Facebook hate-speech

    Stephen Birrell, a 28-year-old man, has been jailed for eight months in Glasgow Scotland after pleading guilty to posting hate-speech statements on Facebook. According to media reports, Birrell made multiple posts on a Facebook page titled, "Neil Lennon Should be Banned". Neil Lennon is the current manager of Glasgow football club Celtics FC. The first post to garner notice said, "Hope they (Celtic fans) all die. Simple. Catholic scumbags ha ha". The second employed regional slurs for Catholics, and stated, "Proud to hate Fenian tattie farmers. Simple ha ha." The last message brought before the court also referred to Catholics disparagingly,...

  • BlackBerry shutdown: Are networks avoiding lawsuits?

    If you are a BlackBerry user you're probably quite aware of the BlackBerry Crash that crippled millions of phones across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For three whole days BlackBerry Internet Service died and many people were out of touch with their emails and their sacred BBM. As an iPhone user I chuckled away at the poor misfortune of the BlackBerry user (as one is wont to do at such troubling times), but as reality set in (after the second day) I began to ask myself about the economic repercussions of the crash. Many of the business owners I...

  • 3D printing for kids with Origo

    When I was a kid, you could give me a stick and a puddle of mud and I would be entertained for hours. In fact, one of the most beautiful things about the world I grew up in, was that we were positively encouraged to use our imaginations and to invent our own games. Nowadays, kids seem to compete for the latest and greatest toys, and these toys are getting increasingly hi-tech, which begs the question "are modern toys teaching our kids not to use their imaginations?". That's why I was really excited to come across Origo, a project that...

  • 10 Response management tips for email marketing

    Today's B2B and B2C communicators are subject to a daily digital bludgeoning of email queries. In the years before email became popular, senders shouldered the burden of mail. The writing and mailing of a letter was a lot of work, and each new addressee meant more postage; so businesses and individuals needed to be more thoughtful and specific about whom to send things to. Since cost-effective sending to an infinite number of people is now a reality, every little impulse can become an instant global communication, and it’s the readers who are now bearing the burden. The result: Information...