Future Trends

Where spam is going in 2012 and what to do about it

Spam Over the years Spam has evolved from consisting of annoying but otherwise harmless advertisements, to becoming a carrier of viruses and malware that can damage your computer and make you vulnerable to identity theft (a.k.a. “phishing”). Despite major developments in the area of anti-spam software and measures such as filters, blocks and blacklists for dubious senders, the negative effects of spam are still being felt by individuals and businesses alike. How spam affects you Spam is more than just a minor rash. According ...

General Tech

Privacy? Why you should actually be concerned about being tracked online

Private Sign Hilton Tarrant recently wrote a piece on Memeburn entitled, "Privacy? Why you should let Google, Facebook and others track you online". I had a few issues with the piece. My feeling is that he's uninformed on the matter, made bad assumptions owing to a technical error and decided to ignore some legal complexity, then presented us with a false-dichotomy between ugly display ads and personalised advertising. Let's pick these apart one at a time. Uninformed In general, Hilton makes a common error when ...

Social media

SXSW opening weekend: rain, social, comedy

Thurston There wasn't much sun around for the opening weekend of the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas -- actually there was none -- but that fact, like many of those attendees new to the overwhelming schedule that makes up the annual event, soon found itself lost, among the dozens of other facts -- about social media, about the future of video blogging, about online journalism -- that were offered up by this year's panels in the festival's first days. An embodiment ...

News

Crowdsourced traffic app Waze to launch in SA

Crowdsourcing seems to be all the rage. It’s been used for everything from funding startups to forming national constitutions. But what about traffic? If the people behind Waze, a free, user generated traffic app, are to be believed then that’s been taken care of too. Waze calls itself the world’s first community-based traffic and navigation app for smartphones. The app allows drivers to outsmart and beat the traffic together by sharing the information the app passively transmits about a user’s speed ...

Startup news

ZunguZ wants to turn Facebook into a bank

Facebook’s great for a lot of things. Keeping up to date with friends, promoting your brand, and organising your social diary are just some of the things you can do on the world’s social network. But what if you need to pay someone you know on Facebook? Surely you’d have to at least have their banking or PayPal details right? That might have been true in the past, but a company called ZunguZ is looking to change all that. The ...

News

CNN to buy Mashable for $200-million [Rumour]

Rumour has it that international news giant CNN is in possible talks to buy popular tech news site Mashable for upwards of US$200-million. The rumour comes courtesy of Reuters reporter Felix Salmon, who said a "little bird" informed him of the possible purchase. According to Salmon, citing unnamed sources, the announcement should come as early as Tuesday. CNN seems to be following AOL's acquisition trail. The news giant already acquired iPad magazine publisher Zite for US$20 million to US$25 million back in ...

News

Youku, Tudou put aside rivalry in merger deal

Chinese online video giants Youku and Tudou have announced plans to merge. According to Tudou the deal will take the form of a 100% stock-for-stock transaction, with the new company to be called Youku Tudou Inc. "We intend to lead the next phase of online video development in China. Youku Tudou Inc. will represent a differentiated leader in the online video market in China with the largest user base, most comprehensive content library, most advanced bandwidth infrastructure and strongest monetisation ...

News

Marvel unveils next line of AR comics

Geeks of the world rejoice. Marvel is going high-tech. The comics giant has announced a partnership with Autonomy’s Aurasma platform. According to TechCrunch, the new partnership will allow people to view video trailers of the books they see in store. The AR app will also reportedly allow people to view, among other things, 3D animations and recaps by holding up their phones to the comics. Speaking at South by South West, Marvel representatives said they hoped “build out DVD and Blu-Ray extras into ...

Gearburn

Instagram for Android will be ‘better than iOS app’, coming really soon

Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, revealed at SXSW yesterday that the Android version of Instagram is coming very soon and "in some ways, it’s better than our iOS app." It's no secret that the world's favourite photo social network is headed for Android, but we seem to be getting very close to an actual release. Systrom showed off Instagram for Android running on a Galaxy Nexus at SXSW yesterday, but didn't give a full demo. During a Q&A session, Systrom promised the Android ...

News

Blog looks to list all the banned words on Sina Weibo

We all know China is strict when it comes to online censorship. We also know that it’s getting stricter, particularly on the country’s various microblogs, known as weibos. What you might not know is precisely what terms are banned on them. One blog is looking to change that, by listing every single term not allowed on Sina Weibo -- China’s biggest microblog. Blockedonweibo is a tumblr that exhaustively lists the banned terms on Sina Weibo and explains why they are banned. Some of ...

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