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  • Journalist sues music director over Facebook rant

    A South African music journalist is suing a freelance music director linked to popular South African rock act, the Parlotones. The suit comes after the director threatened to physically harm the journalist on Facebook following a negative review. According to the Cape Argus, the threat came after the journalist, Diane Coetzer wrote a review of the Parlotones big-budget stage show, "Dragonflies and Astronauts" for the Daily Maverick. The article, subtitled “Lousy theatre, great music”, criticised a number of aspects of the show's production. The director, Eban Olivier, was involved in the show and reacted to the review with posts...

  • Chinese police get microblogging

    The Chinese government has issued an order to its police force: “Start using social media.” “Ensuring social openness and dispelling misunderstandings” is the goal of the Chinese state government according to the Xinhua news agency. At a conference earlier this week, Huang Ming, vice-minister of public security said that the aim was to assist law enforcement officials in using microblogs or weibos. Weibos can be compared to Twitter and include websites such as Sina which has some 200-million users. Haung said, "Internet users are one of the major groups of our society and they are not satisfied. Public security microblogging...

  • Facebook changes: What ‘the public’ thinks [infographic]

    Very little can get netizens around the world up and ready to riot like the discovery that Facebook has (yet again) changed its interface, and with the latest updates on the world's largest social network, the reaction has been no different. As Memeburn reported, The hashtag "#newfacebook" was where much invective and anger on Twitter was hurled at Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg as the revamped news-feed was rolled out. With even further changes in the pipeline the world's largest social network can expect even more anger. With this in mind, SodaHead, a website which polls its community on anything...

  • Amazon’s Kindle Fire launching soon

    Amazon is expected to unveil an Android powered tablet which may or may not go by the name of the “Kindle Fire” this week. According to reports, the Kindle Fire will be a 7” tablet which will look very similar to the Blackberry Playbook. The report continues by saying that the Kindle Fire will ship in the second week of November. Analysts predict that the Kindle Fire could become a rival to the iPad 2 and ensure that another competitor is able to enter the rapidly expanding tablet market. Independent analyst Carmi Levy said, "More than any other recent tablet...

  • Michael Arrington, ‘unpaid blogger’ launches Uncrunched

    TechCrunch founder and former editor-in-chief Michael Arrington has launched a new blog. The site, called Uncrunched, recently went live with a solely user-generated post entitled “Here I am”. The post generated some 503 comments. Following this, however, a second post was put up explaining exactly what Arrington aims to do with Uncrunched now that he is, to quote the T-Shirt he wore at the recent Disrupt conference, an "unpaid blogger". The answer, it would seem, is pretty much the exact same thing he was doing with TechCrunch but without the corporate bulk of AOL breathing down his neck: I'm going...

  • Four big obstacles for cloud computing

    Everybody seems hyped up about "the cloud," so there's a good chance you might be wondering whether your business should be getting ready to migrate many of its day-to-day functionality to a bunch of online services. Certainly, there is a fair chance that you already make use of a bunch of cloud-based services. If you're using Gmail or Google Calendar, then you're already making use of software in the cloud. Externally hosted Microsoft Exchange services have been around for a while and, once again, using these may be considered to be taking advantage of the cloud. The thing is...

  • 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...