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  • Why competition for the SKA Telescope is important for tech

    A recent article in Nature states that South Africa has won the backing of the SKA Site Advisory Committee to host the SKA Telescope. Although the report states that the victory was by a very narrow margin, it is great news for South Africa and many of the other participating African nations. If you're wondering what this has to do with your usual dose of IT news, it's actually very important. The SKA Telescope is a radio telescope that consists of over 3 000 radio dishes with a total surface area of one kilometer squared. In order for it to...

  • 4 Tips for pitching your great idea to a blog

    Part of being a blogger is constantly advertising your ideas as unique. Even if you maintain your own site, you have to establish credibility. Writing guest blogs on other prominent sites is one of the most effective ways to make yourself known as a thought leader in your niche. Here are a few tips for pitching ideas to other bloggers. 1. Know the blog You’ve got an amazing topic in mind, and you want a reputable site take a chance on you. You can increase your odds of being picked up by doing some research. Don’t pitch your ideas blindly. You could...

  • 5 Ways real estate agents can use social media to sell houses

    Real estate agents aren't exactly renowned for their tech-savvy, and being listed among the 10 most hated professions, next to bouncers and motorcycle couriers, is a bit embarrassing. Looking for ways to turn this perception around, estate agents, like so many professions before them, are turning to social media. Memeburn decided to take a look at a few ways they can use the medium to sell houses. 1. Taking offline skills online In the world of estate agents open houses, listings and viewings are crucial to selling property and going digital is making it easier. WellcomeMat is a great example of this....

  • Review: Griffin Protector case for iPhone 4 and 4S

    The Griffin Protector case for iPhone 4 and 4S is a $US20 piece of silicone rubber that wraps around your phone to protect the back, sides and bezel and has a matte texture on the exterior which improves grip. It has cutouts for the front and back camera, headphone jack and noise-cancelling microphone, mute switch, ear piece as well as speaker/microphone grills and Dock Connector at the bottom. The Protector is part of Griffin’s ruggedised Armored line, so it falls into the same category as the extreme-duty Survivor case. Incidentally, the Survivor case meets US and UK Departments of Defense standards....

  • What Firefox has planned for 2012

    Last year, Mozilla managed to get Firefox back on track. While the long delay of Firefox 4 gave competitors like the up-and-coming Google Chrome a chance to gain quite a bit of market share. Mozilla adapted to the changing environment and switched to a Chrome-like rapid-release schedule that is focused on releasing a new version every six weeks. Given these short release cycles, it's good to keep the larger picture in view sometimes and, thankfully, Mozilla today provided us with a nice overview of what we can expect from Firefox over the coming months. The organisation has discussed most of...

  • Google claims it’s winning the war on bad ads

    Google is at war. This time it’s not with Facebook, Apple, or any of the other tech giants. No, this time its target is bad ads. According to an official blog post, the internet giant wants is looking to take the same approach to ads that appear on it and its partners sites as it does to spam on Gmail and malware on the Google Play Store. Google claims that. “Like all other internet companies, we’re fighting a war against a huge number of bad actors”. These bad actors, it says, range from “websites selling counterfeit goods and fraudulent...

  • FBI requests Google help after failing to unlock pimp’s cellphone

    Here’s one for the books. A US judge has approved request from the FBI that Google give up information on a pimp’s Android phone -- starting with how to get past the pattern screen lock. According to The Verge, the device belongs to one Dante Dears, who was arrested in 2005 for pimping out teenage prostitutes and beating a 15-year-old girl. Following his 2011 release, Dears was reportedly still directing prostitutes running using the phone in question. The FBI then seized the phone in an attempt to get information from it. The pattern lock was, however,...

  • Anonymous-OS goes live, download if you dare

    Hey, remember when Anonymous created its own um... anonymous social network? Well the lovable hacktivist scamps behind it seem to have made another go at building something. This time it’s an OS. The Linux-based operating system is called, rather imaginatively, Anonymous-OS. According to Source Forge, the OS was created “for educational purposes, to checking the security of web pages”. A Tumblr blog dedicated to the OS claims it has been downloaded 4 600 times since going live. The User Interface (UI) actually doesn’t look too bad if headless suits, Guy Fawkes masks and lots of black are your thing. Then again, if...

  • Facebook, Google benefit most from Pinterest shares

    We know Pinterest is great for driving traffic to sites, but who’s actually benefitting the most from the up-and-comer’s surge in popularity? Logically, it should be sites that share some of the visual appeal of Pinterest, or those selling the kind of objects people like to pin -- lifestyle brands in particular should be doing well. A couple are, but according to new data from Experian Hitwise, the company benefitting the most from Pinterest is actually Facebook. That’s a little surprising given that it isn't among the top sources of content on the visual social network (despite Facebook wanting to associate Pinterest’s...

  • #ArsenalLive: Arsenal players talk to fans on Twitter

    In what could be a very cool trend for football teams around the world, English professional football club Arsenal F.C held a question and answer session on Twitter. The football club gathered some of its top players to answer questions posed by fans in what it calls a "live Twitter takeover". Takeover seems about right given that hashtag in use #ArsenalLive was the top trending topic on Twitter. Each player, whose identity was kept a secret until the moment they stepped into the "hot seat", got five minutes to answer questions posed by fans. Some of the players involved...

  • InstaGamer brings gaming to Instagram

    We all know Instagram is great. There’s a reason Apple named it App of the Year for iPhone in 2011. But even with all its filters it has limited entertainment value. What if you took the photos from your Instagram feed and turned them into a game? That could be fun right? Turns out there’s an app for that too... InstaGamer made its way onto the app store a few hours ago and works sort of like the card memory game Pairs. Like pairs you can make your game thematic by choosing to play with photos from specific feeds available on...

  • The mechanics of a Facebook breakup [Case Study]

    Susan Sontag said that photographs "furnish instant history, instant sociology and instant participation." Nowhere is this truer than on Facebook. A user’s photos create an "instant history". "Instant society" is created by who is tagged in the photographs and where, and "instant participation" by the ability that all the friends have to comment on the photographs even if they were not part of the moment that has been captured. When I first started studying the Facebook profile of the beautiful and popular Emma FB, I was struck by a photo taken on the way to her Matric Ball. She is...

  • Fabhunter: The new visual bookmarking startup with big dreams

    Tastemakers. Trendsetters. Fashionistas. Fabhunter aims to become a nexus where these fashion aficionados collide. Launched in January of this year, Fabhunter is a new “social fashion discovery engine” that relies on user generated content to facilitate fashion discovery and trend forecasting. As a collective, Fabhunter aims to become a harbinger for fashion trends, but also a platform where individuals can become tastemakers by showcasing their fashion sense and intuition about trends through visual bookmarking. Fabhunter is self-funded and was founded by Werner Geyser who previously served as the business development manager at World of Avatar, the South African VC-incubator hybrid that...

  • Over a third of China’s online population are mobile-only users [Report]

    China has the world’s largest online population, topping out at over 500-million users. That’s interesting enough in its own right. More interesting though, is the fact that over a third of those users only use mobile devices to access the internet. That’s one of the key findings of a new report from research company On Device. If the report is to be believed, then around 38% of China’s online population only access the internet on mobile devices. If that isn't proof enough that mobile is pushing online growth in the Asian superpower, then bear in mind that 45% of...

  • SXSW: Spotify’s Ken Parks talks about the future of music consumption

    It's a favourite topic of discussion in these new-frontier times -- the future of music and how it's consumed by fans. Spotify, the digital music service, is driving this conversation forward by providing a music discovery and sharing platform that has resonated with both artists and fans. According to Spotify's Chief Content Officer Ken Parks, we're only just getting a glimpse now of how those two elements fit together and can be mutually beneficial. Parks says there are 10-million active users on Spotify, and having just launched in Germany on Tuesday, the company is expecting that number to increase. The...