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  • Life after Mashable, one sci-fi novel & a mysterious startup: Q&A with Ben Parr

    Famed for his prolific commentary on social media and tech, Ben Parr was a key member of the Mashable team, an award-winning social media and technology news site, for three years before his axing in 2011. The former editor-at-large, who refuses to go into details about why he was asked to leave the company, now pens a weekly column for CNET, another technology news site. He was recently named the coolest social media geek in Silicon Valley by SF Weekly, a San Francisco-based weekly newspaper. The 27-year-old American technology journalist and entrepreneur has been busy since leaving Mashable. He completed his first...

  • 24 must-have widgets for your blog

    One of the best features of blog platforms is that they’re so customisable. Through plugins and widgets, you can easily add handy sharing capabilities, lists of recent posts, a live Twitter feed, whatever you like -- adapting your design to your needs, setting it apart from the competition and making it distinct. Here’s a look at some of the coolest WordPress and Blogger widgets out there, to help you spice up your blog with the features that are right for you. For WordPress Better Recent Posts Pro Enhanced way to list recent posts in a widget, complete with control over which posts...

  • Facebook rolls out promoted posts: Goodbye Edgerank limits

    Facebook is rolling out its new innovative advertising medium, called Facebook Promoted Posts for Facebook pages. If you own a Facebook page you can now promote your status updates to your fans, forcing them to see it in their newsfeeds. Facebook works with an algorithm called Edgerank, which determines who sees status updates from Facebook pages. Normally only a limit number of your fans are reached with a new status update. With promoting posts you now can guarantee a number of fans to see your updates. What does this mean for businesses that have Facebook Pages? This means you no longer have...

  • Is Facebook looking to buy Opera?

    Things could be about to get even more interesting at Facebook HQ. The social networking giant is rumored to be eyeing a takeover of Norwegian mobile and desktop browsing company Opera. Tech news site Pocket-lint cites a "man in the know" who says that the social networking giant is looking to expand into the browsing space in order to give it a fair go at the like of Google, Microsoft, and Apple who all have their own browsers. It says the browser would allow you to "keep up to date with your social life from in-built plug-ins and features...

  • Between: the world’s most popular private network for couples

    If you are among those who think social networking is becoming too noisy and intrusive, then there is a solution. It's a private social network that allows you to communicate with your partner in a private, intimate way. No it's not Pair. In fact, it predates the cutesy social effort that's been grabbing headlines in the tech press. Between is an app developed by South Korean startup VCNC. It provides a quick chat option between couples, as well as photo album and messaging functions. Although there are other similar apps gaining popularity, it is by far the most successful...

  • SA to host majority of SKA: Twitter celebrates

    The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) of telescopes is to be split between South Africa and Australia and New Zealand. That's according to an announcement made by the nations belonging to the SKA organisation at an airport in Amsterdam today. The 1.5-billion Euro project has massive financial and tech implications for both countries. As we've previously pointed out, in order for the 3 000 radio dishes to operate effectively in real-time, they will need some pretty impressive networking and processing power. They will, after all, be looking at the early Universe, testing Einstein's theory of gravity and searching for alien intelligent...

  • Extra shares could spell more bad news for Facebook’s Wall Street gamble

    Facebook's IPO is considered a failure in that the share price was too high to attract retail investors. There's more bad news. More than 1.7-billion shares owned by insiders, such as employees, etc, will be "unlocked' over the next six months and will be eligible for trading. That's a huge overhang considering that Facebook floated 421-million shares in its IPO. It's equivalent to an additional four Facebook IPOs. The largest block of shares, about 1.3-billion, unlocks in six months time. Also, the late November unlock date means that shareholders will have just a few weeks to sell shares for tax reasons, and...

  • SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft captured successfully by ISS

    History has just been made. Space X's Dragon Capsule has docked successfully with the International Space Station. It is the first privately built spacecraft in history to do so. After launching earlier this week, the spacecraft gradually made its way to the space station, eventually flying in formation with it. Before the Dragon docked, it turned its engines off, signalling that it was ready to be brought in on the space station's robotic arm. Here's the moment it happened: After the ISS' robotic arm captured the craft, Astronaut Don Pettit said, "Looks like we caught a Dragon by...

  • Eskimi: A social network for feature phones crosses 7m user mark

    Mobile social networks have a habit of thriving in emerging markets. You only have to look at the likes of Mxit from South Africa -- with over 50-million users -- and China's Tencent QQ mobile, with over 200-million users, to see that. One relatively new contender making waves is the Lithuanian-based Eskimi, which recently went past the 7-million user mark. Bear in mind that half of those users are from Nigeria, and that it's only available on feature phones at the moment and you can see how much potential for growth it has. Eskimi claims that this makes it...

  • Twitter geeks out for Towel Day

    What is the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything? Don't Panic if you notice your colleagues and friends carrying towels around with them today. It's not because they've gone crazy. It's just Towel Day. And the answer to the question, the ultimate question is 42. Every 25 May fans of science fiction writer, Douglas Adams, honour his memory by celebrating Towel Day. Towel day is being celebrated around the world with various events according to TowelDay.org. The site features a list of events being held in honour of Adams such as a "Vogon Poetry Slam" session...

  • Logitech iPad Speaker Stand [Review]

    In swag-factor alone, Logitech's iPad Speaker Stand succeeds. The iPad (or iPhone if you're daring or stupid enough) cradles into the dock, charges and blasts music out of the ultra-loud speakers. For US$60 or so, it is a worthy purchase. Best part, the click when the iPad is rotated in place. Here, I've filmed it for posterity. Why's my arm so hairy? The speaker is stable, pumps out incredibly loud music without distortion and turns the iPad into a hot, sexy display of tech goodness. Sound is full stereo, the arm of the base is pitch adjustable and looks damn...

  • Africa Gathering: London event to celebrate African startups

    People tend to get excited around startups. It's probably something to do with the manic energy and will to succeed possessed by the people running them. And if the reaction to articles like this and this are anything to go by, people are really excited by African startups. In fact, people around the world are starting to talk about startups on the continent in a big way. One example of this is the Africa Gathering annual conference to be held in London in mid June. The conference, organised in collaboration with the Indigo Trust Foundation, aims to give people the opportunity...

  • Facebook launches camera app that’s totally different to Instagram, promise

    It takes great photos that you can instantly share, comes with a range of cool-looking filters and is owned by Facebook. But it's not Instagram. The 900-million user strong social network today announced the launch its own social camera app, which it claims was built before it shelled out US$1-billion for Instagram. According to Facebook the standalone app allows you to upload multiple photos to your albums rather than having to do them one at a time. You can also add a caption, say where you were and tag friends before you share. As well as the aforementioned filters, you...

  • China hits 1 billion mobile phone users

    Yes, there are over a billion mobile phone users in China. Considering the population of the country is around 1.3-billion, that means that more than 76% of Chinese citizens have one. Wow. The latest stats, released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), show that there are approximately 1 030 052 000 mobile users in the country. The new information, reported on Chinese language site Sina Tech and later picked up by Tech in Asia, confirms previous speculation about China's huge mobile phone market. Mobile phone subscriptions were above the 900-million mark in January, so it...

  • Mullenweg: Future of WordPress is ‘shorter, simpler, faster’

    WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg reckons that the platform he founded is going to have to radically evolve if it's going to succeed on tablets and smartphones. The social media entrepreneur took to his blog to explain what changes the blogging platform, turned Content Management System (CMS) would have to make. In the post, he expresses his belief that WordPress "is seeing growth and innovation in being used as an application platform (I think we’re about a third of the way through that), and just now starting to embrace social and mobile". He calls this embracing of social and mobile...