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  • TEDx Soweto: ‘Delve deep into the conversation about our future’

    TED started out as a group of bright minds meeting up every year in Monterey, California 25 years ago. The principle behind it was simple: "Ideas Worth Spreading". These days it’s an international phenomenon with conferences bearing the famous TED logo taking place all over the world. These conferences include the TED Global and TED X streams. The TEDx stream, while licensed by TED is independently organised. Soweto, Johannesburg will be hosting its second TEDx conference at the end of September. The event organisers claim that it will "delve deep into the conversation about our future". Some of the topics...

  • Google Wallet goes live

    Ever imagined a future without the inconvenience of having to carry around cash, or credit cards, or any wallet at all? Google has brought that future one step closer with the official launch of its smartphone wallet service. The internet giant's latest mobile product has gone live, with owners of the Nexus S 4G from US carrier Sprint being the first able to pay for purchases with a simple tap of their phones. "With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC)," said Osama Bedier, vice president of payments at Google. Wallet...

  • Google facing antitrust war of attrition as US Senate hearing looms

    Adding further credence to notions that Google is the new Microsoft, Google CEO Eric Schmidt will face a US Senate hearing which looks to investigate whether the company is now so large and dominant that it now constitutes a monopoly. The primary issue in this hearing is whether Google gives preference to its own websites or products in search results. Whilst what the outcomes of this particular hearing, titled "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?", may not be clear, history might provide some clues as to what might occur. In March 1998, then Microsoft CEO Bill...

  • Umuntu Media receives $1M investment boost

    In the digital age, news is all about getting information quickly and on demand. While getting this kind of information is relatively easy with global or even national news, it isn't always the case locally, especially in the developing world. Umuntu Media, which claims to provide exactly this kind of fast, hyper-local information with its iNamibia and iZambia portals, has raised US$1-million in Series A funding from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA fund). The money will be used to expand the online media company’s existing information portal model to an additional nine African countries. The South African-based firm...

  • Breaking – Telkom to give you more data for your buck

    From the 1st of October, South African telecommunication provider Telkom will be increasing its data caps by up to 6GB for certain packages, with prices remaining the same per package. A source close to Memeburn gave us an internal memo which outlines the higher caps for the certain internet packages. The increases are as follows: 3GB becomes 4GB, 6GB becomes 8GB and 10GB becomes 16GB. The internal memo carries on by saying how the website and billing will reflect the older details, but customers will still receive the new data packages. The memo also advises resellers to "upsell" their customers...

  • Funding your business: 8 ways to win over VCs

    In the world of venture capital (VC), ideas are plentiful but fundable businesses are hard to find. Despite the perception, VCs do not fund ideas alone, no matter how solid passionate entrepreneurs believe they are. To negate risk, VCs evaluate proposals based on several characteristics, often in-line with their specific funding mandate, to bridge the huge divide between a cool idea and a fundable business. Differentiated VC funds are inundated with requests for capital to get start-up businesses to the next critical level but very few offer significantly differentiated product or service in the eyes of their target market. The tech...

  • China’s Sina Weibo to tighten controls

    Chinese online media firm Sina is tightening controls over its Twitter like Weibo service. The increased regulation comes amidst concerns over growing government interference on the web. According to the state run China News Service, Sina's CEO Charles Chao announced that the measures were put in place in a bid to curb the spread of malicious rumours on the Weibo service. "There are lots of false information and rumours on Weibo, and this will cause great challenges to the government as well as vendors on our platform," Chao was reported as saying. In a bid to justify more robust action...

  • The key to USSD growth in Southern Africa

    USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), has enormous potential to deliver new products and services to mobile customers in sub-Saharan Africa, but has yet to come into its own as a mature, fully-fledged service. Like SMS, USSD has a low barrier to entry for subscribers and customers. It is intuitive, menu-driven and works across all handsets, yet unlike SMS, USSD services and availability varies greatly across Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and regions in sub-Saharan Africa. "Just about every handset made in the last 10 years handles USSD sessions and menus, and all GSM handsets will at least handle basic USSD, which...

  • Win a Parrot AR. Drone with Gearburn and TAKEALOT.com

    Imagine controlling one of the most sophisticated flying machines ever made from the comfort of your smartphone. The Parrot AR.Drone is the revolutionary hand-held quadricopter which flies through touch alone. Portable, easy-to-use and most importantly, endlessly exciting, the Parrot AR.Drone is being offered to one lucky winner thanks to TAKEALOT and Gearburn! Founded in 2002, TAKEALOT is a leading South African online retailer. TAKEALOT offers an extensive range of locally supplied and imported Books, DVDs, Music, Games, Electronics, Beauty products and Toys, giving people access, in South Africa, to the widest variety of online products delivered directly to their doorstep....

  • Review: Samsung D550 is a great TV and 3D is rubbish

    Spend any time with Samsung's latest plasma beast and you will be convinced of two things. First: plasma is far, far superior to LCD or LED in any way but for sheer nuclear brightness. Second: 3D TV is a crock best consigned to bleeding-edgers and those who've not yet spent any time with it. And maybe a third thing -- when did the bloody TV become the home theatre hub? This is a TV to write home about -- it's a great size that seems imposing in a modest lounge at first, but once you go big it's really hard...

  • A new path to internet privacy: Breaking the SSL addiction

    Last week, I wrote an article titled Is it time to rethink SSL?, where I pointed out that SSL's reliance on Certificate Authorities is inherently flawed due to the fact that there is no guarantee that a CA will never be compromised. One of the key problems with the CA model of certificate authentication is that once an application decides to trust a CA, there is no realistic rollback from that decision if the CA eventually proves to be untrustworthy. Sure, the CA certificate can be removed from the list of trusted certificates, but this is done at the...

  • Facebook lands multi-million dollar ad deal

    Facebook has landed a multi-million dollar advertsiing deal with alcoholic beverages company Diageo, which owns a diverse portfolio of brands, including Smirnoff and Guiness. According to the Financial Times, the deal is the latest move by the world’s largest social network to strengthen its ties with marketers. The newspaper states that the deal will see the two companies sharing skills and pooling resources in an attempt to figure out new ways of harnessing the activity of Facebook's 750-milion or so users. Diageo, the FT says, is especially interested in the large audience Facebook has in emerging markets such as...

  • Google predicts Indian web explosion

    With smartphones becoming cheaper and telecom carriers investing in high-speed wireless infrastructure, Google expects that by the number of people using the internet in India will have tripled by 2014. Currently, according to Google India chief Rajan Anandan speaking with the Wall Street Journal, India has about 100-million web users, and in 2014, will have at least 300-million. Those 100-million users, however, represents only eight percent of India's 1.2-billion strong population. Despite this, India is still the world's third-largest internet market (by users), after China and the United States. Anandan, a former Microsoft India head who took over Google's Indian operation noted...

  • Research In Motion stock punished for weak sales

    Shares of Research In Motion (RIM) plunged almost a fifth on Wall Street on Friday after reporting sales and profits that fell short of expectations. The company's signature BlackBerry mobile phones have been selling like hotcakes in many developing markets, largely thanks to the budget-friendly low, fixed data price for messaging and browsing from the phone, but are struggling in the Americas and Europe. RIM shares lost 19 percent on the Nasdaq stock exchange to close at US$23.93. It had a market capitalization of more than US$30-billion at the start of the year, but the latest declines have reduced its...

  • Gamers’ ingenuity unfolds AIDS enzyme

    Gamers have taken to a purpose-written computer game called Foldit to twist open the secrets of an enzyme of an AIDS-family virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade – in a record three weeks. The exploit was published on Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where — exceptionally in scientific publishing — both gamers and researchers are honoured as co-authors. Their target was a monomeric protease enzyme, a cutting agent in the complex molecular tailoring of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV. read more at Gearburn.comvar 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");