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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • What the Samsapple trial means for innovation and progress

    I’d just like to say upfront that the Apple vs. Samsung circus currently taking place in the San Jose, California federal courthouse is absurd. It’s not about design elements or wireless patents. It’s about Apple getting whipped by Samsung -- and Android. IDC’s second quarter 2012 figures show Apple trailing Samsung, with 16.9% and 32.6% market share respectively. It might be that demand for the iPhone has cooled off with rumours of an imminent next release swelling, but the IDC indicates a 172.8% year-over-year growth for Samsung, compared to a solid, but significantly smaller 27.5% percent rise for Apple. But, for...

  • iDrifta mobile decoder — new look, same tricks

    Here's what I love about technology. Sometimes it's just too smart for its own damn good. Case in point, the DStv iDrifta. It's a tiny little mobile satellite decoder streaming DVB-H TV for the fair price of R500 and R50 monthly for 14 channels of DStv goodness. Nice idea in concept, but the blurry DVB-H signal holds it back from greatness. Onto the review. Hold me closer tiny gadget Good news about the iDrifta. It's minuscule, no bigger than a box of matches coated in the dreamy shine of an Apple product. Read more on Gearburn. 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");

  • 7 ways to use social media for social change

    Social media plays an integral role in life and business today -- but are we just using this increasingly powerful platform for personal gain and wealth creation or are we using it to do good and better the real world we live in? Instead of following the latest trend, why not use your social media super-powers to make a difference? We already know how to spread news fast, share images and videos, organize friends, and empower others all by using the same social media tools that we use in our everyday lives. Isn't it time we put them to use...

  • How meeting Dropbox’s founder helped an SA tech startup pivot

    Getting your startup off the ground can be intimidating as all hell. Sometimes you can get so obsessed with your vision that you don’t realise it has deeply ingrained flaws. At one point, South African-based startup evly was stuck in precisely that position. That is, until its boss Eric Edelstein met the founder of cloud-storage phenomenon Dropbox. Here’s how one lunch made the company pivot so successfully that it now has a global footprint. After three months of living in San Francisvar 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");

  • International startup competition to hit Cape Town

    This is big. Startup World, an international competition organised by The Next Web, is set to hit Cape Town and several other African cities including Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Cairo, Egypt. The global competition, which is currently in its first iteration, will see the eventual winner receive around US$320 000 worth of prizes, including a year's free web hosting, five-million real-time streams per month for one year worth US$30 000 from Echo and three months of incubation from i/o ventures. Even if you don't win though, there are benefits in just being accepted to take part in the...

  • Google mobile search: now smarter and more interactive

    Google just made searching on mobile even better. The search giant has announced a host of new features to make Googling on your cellphone or tablet more visual and interactive in a bid to make sure you get the answers you're looking for as easily on mobile as you do on a desktop computer. According to an official blog post, a number of quick answer features which weren't previously available on mobile are starting to be rolled out. They include areas such as finance (specifically stock performance indicators), currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday...

  • Disney boffins figure out how to turn plants into multi-touch sensors

    This is ridiculously cool. The brains at Disney's Pittsburgh research lab have figured out how to turn any plant into a responsive multi-touch sensor. The project, called Botanicus Interacticus (which sounds kind of like a spell out of the Harry Potter universe) uses an electrode embedded in the soil below a plant that records the interruption of electronic signals when people touch the plant. Those interruptions can then be programmed into audio and visual responses, programmed back to the user. Imagine walking through a garden of these responsive plants at a Disney theme park one day. You'll know how...

  • UK startup offers Usain Bolt some shares, ‘all the McNuggets’ he needs

    Well that's one way to get attention, UK startup Shutl has offered Jamaican sprinting sensation Usain Bolt a one percent stake in the company, and all the chicken nuggets he can eat. The VC-backed company, which specialises in delivering goods ordered online, sent a letter to Bolt offering him equity in the company and “all the McNuggets” he needs (the sprinter famously ate chicken McNuggets just before his record-breaking 100 metre final in Beijing). According to The Next Web, all he has to do in return is set aside some of his time to help the company break...

  • Prezence Digital set to launch student mentoring initiative

    South African digital agency, Prezence Digital has announced that it will soon be launching a project it calls the 10Teams/10Brands/10Grand initiative. Established in the UK in 1998, Prezence Digital expanded into South Africa in 2002. The agency, which originally focused on the South African music and movie industries, evolved into the digital sphere with services such as mobi, web, digital campaign management, social media and, more recently, apps. Recently, Prezence Digital made headlines for its wildly successful MandelaStory campaign, with the endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. The campaign featured on CNN, ITN and leading...

  • News24 down, ‘technical difficulties’ blamed [Update]

    Africa's largest online news portal News 24 is down. Anyone trying to enter the site receives a standard browser message stating that the site is not available. Update: The site is now back up. The company's Twitter account, which has nearly 180 000 followers, put the outage down to "technical difficulties" but did not elaborate any further: We're experiencing some technical difficulties and we're trying to get the site back up as soon as possible.— News24 (@News24) August 10, 2012 The story is much the same on its Facebook page. It did, however, attempt to keep people on its good...

  • WordPress claims ‘biggest update ever’ with new iOS version

    Expect to see people blogging a lot more from their iDevices in the near future. WordPress today rolled out a new version of its iOS app, calling it the "biggest update ever". According to WordPress, the new app features "a completely re-imagined interface" for both iPhone and iPad that "takes mobile blogging to the next level". Big words sure, but remember that we're talking about the web's most popular content management system (CMS) here. Company founder Matt Mullenweg has spoken about the need to get mobile right before, so it was only a matter of time before his...

  • 90% of social network users in Mexico on Facebook

    When it comes to studying social networks in emerging market countries, Mexico occasionally gets pushed aside by the BRICS. It shouldn't be. The country looks set to overtake the UK for fifth place in Facebook user numbers, despite the fact that only 30% of the population uses it. Those 36.5-million or so Facebook users also account for 90% of Mexico's social network users. It's growth in the country isn't about to slow down either. According to online research company eMarketer, Facebook will continue to expand in Mexico at double-digit rates through 2014. As has been the case in a number...

  • Google Schemer — our new favourite app

    I spend a lot of time customising and tweaking my Galaxy Nexus to try squeeze as much as possible from it, but often this results in me missing the part of owning a smartphone which its mainstream users enjoy, namely apps. Google’s Play Store is jam-packed with apps that can do anything you can imagine, literally anything, and I recently found one that I really like, it’s from Big G itself, and it’s called Schemer. Read more on Gearburn. 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");

  • Battle.net hack: passwords and emails stolen, financial info safe

    Ahem. If you play World of Warcraft, Diablo, or Starcraft you might want to mosey over to Battle.net around now and change your password. Blizzard's multiplayer platform is the latest big online player to be hacked. According to MacRumours, the hackers managed to get hold of email data for gamers outside of China and scrambled passwords. In a letter to Battle. net users, Blizzard CEO and Michael Morhaime detailed what had happened in the hack, saying that the company did not believe that any financial information had been taken: Even when you are in the business of fun,...

  • Chad’s Dad: 8 things we can learn about likeability from Bert Le Clos

    If there were an Olympics of likeability, Bert Le Clos would stand a very good chance of getting gold. Deadspin deemed his BBC interview “the media moment of the games” at the time, and to date it has scored over 353 000 views. #chadsdad trended in the UK and Bert became part of the cultural lexicon: Considering asking Bert Le Clos to form a Government.— Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) August 3, 2012 In fact, his only serious rival would probably be Oscar Pistorius, who manages to be inspiring, humble and nice (and very pleasant to look at too) which makes his a...