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  • When should you worry about Google punishing you for backlinks?

    The SEO industry is abuzz once again over recent news which broke around a patent that Google owns. The patent states that any attempt to artificially manipulate the ranking of a pre-ranked page will result in that page being “punished” (basically). This story was covered a few times on Memeburn; most notably here and here (I know, that is awful link text to use for SEO). Essentially, these two posts looked at the on-site manipulation of a site to effect its rankings; but what about the off-site manipulation? In other words; what about backlinks? Every SEO worth their salt knows...

  • Does Google’s smackdown on Aliyun mean it’s becoming like the mafia?

    So, you’ve heard about the Google smackdown on Acer’s planned partnership with China’s Alibaba to make its latest flagship Aliyun OS phone. Where does that leave the cloud-oriented, Linux-based Aliyun mobile OS now? In further comments on this saga, the SVP of mobile at Google, posted on his G+ yesterday (via AllThingsD): Hey John Spelich -- We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you’re under no requirement to be compatible. However, the fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including...

  • iFamily Stickers: rush hour traffic is for showing off your Apple fanaticism

    Machead? This will make your iSensibilites go haywire. You know those family stickers you often see on rear windshields? Designer Graham Shillington, a longtime Apple geek, decided to create a range of stickers to represent each device in the Apple range, from the hefty Mac Pro tower to the tiny iPod shuffle. Rear vehicle windscreens used to be a place where you describe your family -- sometimes in Star Wars attire -- but now, Apple fanatics can show everyone in traffic how big their iFamilies are with iFamily Stickers. It's quite brilliant. Apple is one of the world’s most iconic brands...

  • Nando’s gives South Africans 25 reasons to love their country

    Nando's has a knack for integrating online and offline advertising. Its "Last Dictator" campaign is probably the most well-known example, although its latest one looks like it has some serious potential. The campaign, in celebration of the chicken outlet's 25th birthday, asks the people of South Africa to give 25 reasons they love their country. The franchise has also created a board on Pinterest, typically tongue-in-cheek, detailing the reasons it loves South Africa. It's also asking people to make their own Pinterest boards titled #25Reasons. They can re-pin their favourite reasons from the Nando's board, or create their own.The...

  • Yahoo! is giving its staff free smartphones… but not BlackBerrys

    So you thought Microsoft was the place to work if you wanted free gadgets? It seems there might be a second option: Yahoo!. According to Business Insider, the search engine's new CEO Marissa Mayer sent round an internal memo late last week to inform her employees that they could have their pick of a new Apple, HTC, Nokia or Samsung smartphone -- but not a BlackBerry. Yahoo! isn't giving its staff middle-of-the-range tech either. They're being given the choice of an: Apple iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S III HTC One X HTC EVO 4G LTE Nokia Lumia 920 Yes, Yahoo! employees...

  • Retro love: Bill Gates shows off Excel in 1987

    Millions of people around the world use Microsoft Excel. Large portions of those people will never have used anything else for their spreadsheets. Although they're aware that there was a time before Excel, they're probably not sure what that entailed. That time was the mid 1980s: the glasses were big, the computers were beige and Bill Gates dressed like the ultimate geek stereotype. When Microsoft launched Excel for Windows in 1987, it effectively replaced Lotus 1-2-3 in one foul swoop. If the rest of the world was as enthusiastic as the Microsoft founder was back then, it's easy to...

  • WPP wants a slice of Native? [RUMOUR]

    Memeburn sources can reveal that the world’s largest advertising and PR conglomerate WPP has been sniffing around high-profile digital agency Native with a view to buying it. A source close to Memeburn says a deal between the two companies is in the works and should be completed soon. When we approached Native MD Jarred Cinman for comment however, he denied that any acquisition deal was in the works. “I don’t know where you’re getting that information from, but it’s absolutely not true,” he said. Read more Ventureburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Facebook needs to show it is a ‘real business’, says Gartner research boss

    There is a lot of talk around the future of social, what Facebook's plummeting stock means and what Apple's win against Samsung will mean for innovators. A few people have pontificated about these questions and come with phrases such as "post-social" and "social bubble". There's even talk about Apple and Samsung and the death of innovation. We spoke to Gartner's global head of research, Peter Sondergaard, to get the get the skinny on some of these issues. Gartner is a New York Exchange-listed information technology research and advisory firm based in United States. Gartner knows everything. It has predicted...

  • The ‘boring’ iPhone 5 and life inside Anonymous: the week’s top tech stories

    It's been a busy week in the world of tech. Of course, the biggest smartphone launch of the year may have had something to do with the fact that most of the headlines included the words 'Apple' or 'leak', but in other parts of the web, life went on. Memes were generated, Gangnam Style exceeded 163-million views, and journalists hit 'publish' on thousands of stories. Here are our picks for the best of the week. The iPhone 5 is completely amazing and utterly boring It's not just us -- Wired's Mat Honan also thinks the iPhone 5...

  • iPhone 5: Expectations, hype, and the art of what’s possible

    Apple has spoken, the dust has barely settled, and the new iPhone 5 is almost upon us. Predictably the world’s press and the blogging community was completely abuzz with the launch event. Sentiment ranged from delirium that the new iPhone was finally here, to underwhelmed disappointment that the new iPhone did not innovate or include the magic carpet Sinbad App in the Maps function, so you could “flyover” all that freshly launched traffic information. To be upfront here, I don’t believe that Apple with all its hundreds of billions of dollars could have made a better or more innovative iPhone...

  • What the ‘iYawn 5’ reveals about the dire state of tech journalism

    Tech journalists swarmed into Yerba Buena in San Francisco earlier this week to cover the much-anticipated Apple iPhone 5 launch. Some news organisations sent multiple reporters, Fortune sent five. That's quite an over kill to cover the launch of a product that turned into an iYawn. The iPhone 5.0 is about 20% thinner and lighter than the previous model, with a slightly larger display. This small improvement in a mass-produced consumer product resulted in a flood of news coverage. Yet just yards from where the legions of the tech press were packed into a dark theater for a very long Apple...

  • iPhone 5: Why I am not excited and where we’re heading next

    I've spent some time reading about the iPhone 5 and I must say it feels more like an iPhone 4S+. For the first time I am not excited to get a major release of an iPhone. That said, I think it's more a function of smartphones maturing and less about Apple doing a bad job. With Apple giving developers more horsepower, expect to see a big push around apps. Yes there are millions of apps in the App Store but very few are integrated into our day-to-day lives and even fewer are integrated into the hardware we use; cars,...

  • Why your startup shouldn’t be afraid to scupper a flagship project

    Something special happened on the tech scene recently. A well-respected company publicly admitted that its flagship project was no longer working right and discontinued it. German task management startup 6Wunderkinder announced that it would no longer be pursuing the development of its project management app, Wunderkit, choosing instead to focus on its list management app Wunderlist which has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. It’s not a particularly unusual story but the way that it was handled was both graceful and revealing. Read more on Ventureburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Interview with the dev: The need for custom kernels

    This week I am really excited about my interviewee, not only because I really love his work, but I do appreciate his frank approach to everything he does. I’ve used thalamus’ kernels on all of my Android devices and his kernels have improved the performance and battery life of my HTC Desire, Nexus S and now my Nexus so I’m very familiar with his work and the benefits his kernels offer. On occasion he can be brutal towards ignorant users, and it often results in me having a chuckle simply because I do find it funny when people who are...

  • Microsoft is giving all its employees free Windows 8 phones and tablets

    Right so, who wants to work for Microsoft? I bet its 90 000+ full time staff members were pretty glad to be employed by the Redmond-based company this week: its CEO announced that they will all receive a free Microsoft Surface, a work station upgrade and a Windows 8 smartphone. At the company's annual employee meeting, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer apparently became the new Oprah. While it's unclear if he stood around saying "You get a Surface! And you get a Surface! And you get a Surface!". Forbes reports that he announced that all of the company's full time direct...