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  • Kony 2012 director, Jason Russell hospitalised after irrational behaviour

    One of the filmmakers behind the viral Kony 2012 film, Jason Russell, was hospitalised following alleged irrational behaviour. A man was found in his underwear running through the streets of San Diego on Thursday morning, screaming and acting irrationally. San Diego police declined to release the identity of the 33-year-old man, but CNN reports that an official familiar with the case confirmed him to be Russell. TMZ released a video of a man the site claims to be Russell, fully naked and pounding on the pavement. Warning, the video contains explicit material. Police confirmed that at 11:28AM on Thursday morning, various...

  • Spammers target Pinterest, take over boards

    There’s no doubting Pinterest's popularity -- it flew past the 10-million unique visitors a month mark in near record time. There’s also no doubting it’s a great referer of traffic -- better even than Twitter. But is it about to become a haven for spammers? According to online news site GigaOm “some kind of spam-exploit injected JavaScript code” started replacing photos on the highly visual social network with ads for US-based retail outlet Best Buy. Most social network users will be familiar with a variety of spam attacks. These can be anything from someone’s Facebook account being...

  • Mozilla’s tech evangelist on the web’s immortality: The Memeburn interview

    Robert Nyman could be the geek of all geeks. As the Swedish-based Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, Nyman is a strong believer in HTML5 and the Open Web. In the app era, while everyone is slagging off the web, he remains a big fan and feels it will flourish. Nyman argues that the web is neither dead nor dying. He sees the app evolution as a way to bridge the gap between the current web experience and to offer "findability and monetisation in a simple way". The web will always be there, he says, because it offers "openness and...

  • Growing up Google: 6 pivotal moments that changed Google for the worse

    Leaving Google was a very tough thing to do: the technological innovation remains immense, the people are smart and the perks aren't bad. "Goldman Gate" and James Whittaker's Microsoft Blog rant have, however, raised the level of attention that a company's culture has on how it operates. Whittaker mentions Google pre and post Google+; the truth of the matter is that Google changed culturally long before the launch of its social network. Let's look at some pivotal moments that changed the culture of Google for the worse. The arrival of Patrick Pichette Pichette replaced long-standing CFO George Reyes in August 2008...

  • Solving the problem of social discovery, lessons from SxSW

    The web people are better dressed than the music people this year, futurist Bruce Sterling remarked in his SxSW closing remarks. Not just better dressed but wealthier, hungrier, more optimistic, I thought. Austin, Texas is where thousands of representatives and enthusiasts of technology, film and music gather every year to talk about their craft and make a dent in the global tequila supply. I attended in 2012 for the second time and these are the trends that I think are worth reporting on. A new generation of social, local, and mobile apps -- SoLoMo, for short -- are trying to solve the...

  • 6 Reasons your PC is not going anywhere

    Memeburn recently featured a story explaining why your PC is dead. It made some interesting points. It made some valid points. Cloud. Virtualisation. Abstraction of application and data from device. But it missed the point. Sure, smartphones and tablets will take over from PCs for many. The PC will return to its place as a powerful tool for those that know how to use it. Those that used it at the start: the geeks, the nerds, the hobbyists, the musicians, the architects, the gamers, the engineers, the designers, the layout artists. The people who need to get real work done....

  • Y Combinator: Investors should back the jockey not the horse

    Y Combinator, a leading seed investment incubator, recently announced that it would be accepting startup applications for this years fund from startup founders WITHOUT an idea. Here's how the incubator describes itself on its website: Y Combinator does seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you're getting started. Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer. How much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start. It appears that the technology investment market arrived...

  • Groupon given three months to turn its act around

    Groupon is in trouble. We’re not talking about its easily replicated business model or its shaky IPO either. The group-buying giant is being taken to task by UK regulators. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which enforces consumer protection and competition law in the UK, has given the company three months to improve the way it operates. The OFT made the ruling after conducting an investigation that found “widespread” examples of Groupon breaching consumer protection law. More specifically, the OFT expressed concerns over "pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants". “Groupon acknowledges that...

  • Attention entrepreneurs, diarise this: LaunchCapeTown

    If you’re an entrepreneur looking to network, polish your elevator pitch, hone your product or simply learn from big names in the tech industry, diarise LaunchCapeTown, the five day event that starts on 23 March in Cape Town, South Africa and brings together startups, entrepreneurs, and digital tastemakers. The event includes the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition (CTEC), as well as startup-related speakers, get-togethers, mentoring sessions and keynotes from big name speakers such as Nimeshh Patel, COO of AOL Europe. Attendees will be able to mix with "trailblazers", media representatives, as well as digital creatives from the interactive industry. The competition...

  • PayPal’s new mobile card reader targets Square, world domination

    PayPal is going after mobile payment service Square in big way. The ecommerce giant announced that it is looking to go global with its new payment app and card reader. They new product, called PayPal Here, (not quite as catchy as Square right?) reportedly allows merchants to accept payments by swiping cards in the card reader, scanning cards and checks using their phone cameras, or manually entering card information into the app. PayPal’s vice president of mobile, David Marcus claims the decision to launch the new product was down to demand from small business owners: We’ve heard small businesses loud and clear. They don’t...

  • Tweet your way to cheaper pizza

    Everyone loves a good pizza -- but what people love more is a discount. Pizza outlet Col’Cacchio has just launched its "Slice the Price" viral campaign which has seen it take to Twitter, encouraging people to tweet the hashtag associated with the campaign (#priceslice) to generate a buzz around the brand. The more someone tweets #priceslice the greater the discount they receive on their next pizza. The campaign has only been launched on social media platforms and in order to redeem their discount patrons need to whisper the tag line “Price Slice” when ordering. Taking cognizance of...

  • Pinterest rolls out redesigned profile pages

    Up-and-coming social player Pinterest has gone live with the first major update to its profile pages since launching a couple of years ago. The redesign lends profiles a new, more streamlined look. This is much the same approach that Facebook and Twitter took with their most recent updates. In fact, our first reaction on seeing Memeburn's new profile was something along the lines of “Hey, it looks like Timeline!” We noticed, however, that the redesign hasn’t quite been blended seamlessly into the rest of Pinterest’s design The updates also allow you to reorder your boards, gives you a clearer view of activity,...

  • Anonymous-OS is fake, ‘wrapped in trojans’

    When we found out about Anymous-OS, we had our suspicions that it might not actually be from everyone’s hacktivist group. The worse-than-usual English was one warning sign. The warning directing users not to attack any websites was another. A warning from The Hacker News that “the OS “is not developed by any Genuine Source, can be backdoored OS by any Law enforcement Company or Hacker” didn’t help either. Now one of Anonymous' official Twitter accounts has rubbished the legitimacy of the OS, adding that it was “wrapped in Trojans”. The Anon OS is fake it is wrapped...

  • Tencent set to expand into search, other markets

    Chinese internet giant Tencent is already a dominant player in the online space. It owns a number of chat properties, microblogging sites, social networks, and multiplayer online gaming portals both in China and around the world. Turns out that’s not enough. The company, which is part-owned by emerging markets internet giant Naspers, says it wants to expand into new business areas including search and ecommerce. "We will continue to invest selectively, but forcefully, in emerging growth opportunities, notably ecommerce and search," the company said in a statement. It claims that it is making these investments in a bid...

  • TED brings ‘ideas worth spreading’ to Android

    This is very cool, if a little long in the making. TED, the organisation behind the renowned conference series of the same name, has just launched its Android app. The free app features over 1 200 talks from a wide variety of people, including “education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus, and music legends”. It also includes curated audiostreams The apps launch has not yet been tweeted out by the non-profit’s official Twitter account, or by its curator Chris Anderson. TED’s tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading” and it seems to believe that Android’s position as the world’s number one...