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  • Google’s hurdle doodle is a return to form

    You might recall that we weren't exactly enamored with Google's doodle on the opening day of the Olympic Games. It wasn't bad or anything, just really boring. Today's effort though is a very definite return to form. The doodle plays out as a fairly straightforward mini-game, with you as a hurdler. The controls are about as basic as you can get: Press the right and left arrow keys in rapid succession to run and space bar to jump. Once you've run the track, Google will give you a time that you can share on Google+, or just carry...

  • How Mark Zuckerberg inspired a new generation of Chinese hackers

    Most people know Mark Zuckerberg as founder of Facebook. A lot fewer people know that one of his first projects prior to Facebook was a service called FaceMash. A new generation of Chinese hackers though, are much more interested in copying it than the 955-million strong social network. The site crudely pitted photos of Harvard's female student populace against each other and, just occasionally, farm animals. In order to get at those photos, his hoodiedness had to hack into the university student database -- an important part of what would become Facebook. According to Chinese site TechRice...

  • Happy 21st birthday world wide web [Video]

    So the web is 21 today, and what's a 21st without something unique to mark the occasion? This year, in celebration of this momentous occasion, a South African startup as created a tribute video to Sir Tim Berners-Lee to thank him for inventing the web. After many proposals to use hypertext "to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will", on 6 August 1991 Berners-Lee and Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau gave life to the web. Moneysmart, the startup in question, is an online personal finance manager (PFM)...

  • 10 of the quirkiest tweets from the Mars Rover landing

    When the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars earlier today, it represented humanity at its best. The mission, designed to see if Mars ever supported microbial life, pushes to the technological boundaries of what is possible. So naturally when Curiosity touched down on the planet's surface, anyone in the know celebrated. And then Twitter got involved. Sure most of the tweets were appropriately celebratory, but as is the case with most celebrations there were a few jokers in the pack. Some were a bit lame, but there were a good few pearlers out there. Memeburn picked out some some of...

  • Will the real journalists please stand up?

    The internet, and specifically the recent meteoric rise of social media platforms like Twitter, has irreversibly disrupted the status quo with regards to journalism. Gone are the days of desks cluttered with coffee-stained research material, the "man on the beat", "the old hack" with a byline you could trust to produce the goods. Or have they? Milo Yapiannopoulos raises some telling points in his article deriding the role social media has played in journalism, the major one being that the anticipation is gone. The fact that breaking news can be “broken” within five minutes thanks to Twitter means that newspapers...

  • Has TED become a place for useless technobabble and ‘meme laundering’?

    TED (the Technology Entertainment and Design conference) has expanded its brand across the globe over the past two years, with hundreds of local TEDx conferences, and more recently, with its own books imprint, TED Books. TED organisers always choose their speakers well and there is rarely a dud among them. It is excellent curation under the aegis of "Ideas Worth Spreading." But choosing which authors to publish under the TED Books brand appears to be more challenging than booking a speaker for a 17 minute talk. Evgeny Morozov, writing in The New Republic, tears TED Books a new binding with his...

  • Best and worst sub-Saharan African countries for startups

    We decided to delve into the World Bank's Economy Rankings for 2012, released earlier this year, to see which sub-Saharan African countries have economies that are the most conducive to startup growth. We also identified some aspects of economies in Africa that make it really hard for entrepreneurs to prosper. First let's take a look at the countries in the region that have aspects that are likely to attract startups. Be sure to have a look at the full detailed report for complete rankings and methodology. 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");

  • HP Envy 17: defying the skeptics

    When it comes to reviewing laptops I prefer to stay away because they’re basically all the same, with a few exceptions. So when it came time to replace my ageing Acer Aspire with Core i5, I had a long hard look at the options. I wanted Full HD display, the latest Quad Core processor, good graphics, Blu-ray and no plastic in sight. Then HP updated its Envy range and, since I work with these things, I had a few happy clients praising the notebook. So I jumped. 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");

  • Baidu sacks employees who deleted forum posts for cash: 3 arrested

    Three now former employees of Chinese search giant Baidu have been arrested for accepting bribes to delete posts from the company's TieBa forum service. According to Global Times, the three are suspected of colluding with people outside the company to delete the posts. A fourth employee was also fired by Baidu but has not been arrested after also attempting to delete posts for cash. "Baidu has fired the four. If we discover such cases, we will severely punish staff. Baidu will close the loopholes by strengthening management to maintain order in our communication platform," Baidu spokesperson Li Guoxun...

  • Kindle ebook downloads now outnumber printed book sales in the UK

    The day has come. The masses who have switched from paper to an E Ink display are starting to influence Amazon's sales so significantly that the retail giant now sells more Kindle ebooks than 'real' printed books in the United Kingdom. According to The Guardian, the company has confirmed that it now sells more ebooks than paperback and hardcover books combined, just two years after launching in the UK. They hit the same landmark in the United States four years after the Kindle was introduced in the country. Amazon said that from the start of this year, for every...

  • Curiosity Rover lands on Mars: NASA geeks go wild [Video]

    "Touch down confirmed, we are safe on Mars." How thrilling was it to hear those words? Admit it, when you were a kid you wanted to space and see what wonders it had to offer. The men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) work hard to fulfill those childhood dreams. It's all over the internet, the only thing more popular than Justin Beiber's hair and Lady Gaga's latest outfit is the one-ton rover that NASA landed on Mars earlier today. The little curious robot known as the Curiosity Rover was gently let down onto the planet...

  • First photos from Mars Curiosity Rover reach Earth

    Take a moment to reflect on what I'm about to tell you. Just 30 minutes after it landed, the Mars Curiosity Rover sent back its first images from the Martian surface. Thirty minutes? That's how long it takes some of us to eat our breakfast cereal in the morning. The NASA mission is designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. The exploratory vehicle today landed inside the Gale Crater and was sending pictures back to Earth within minutes. The craft's first image from the Red Planet has already been...

  • Latest Mars Rover lands: check it out live

    No self-respecting geek doesn't get a little excited when it comes to space. Add in a trip to Mars and the ability to remote control a vehicle on its surface and you're in tech heaven. The latest adventure to the red planet sees NASA's Curiosity Rover land today, having launched in November last year. There's some pretty cool stuff going on when it comes to earthbound technology. Anyone with a fast enough internet connection can watch a live stream of the landing: Watch live streaming video from spaceflightnow at livestream.com If your connection is little more restricted, you can...

  • Google Glass: the examined life

    Google's Glass Project made a spectacular debut last month by skydiving from a helicopter and joining the press on stage while documenting the whole event live with their ‘Google headsets’ (no official name has been given to the product.) It does make you wonder though; what would the hype have been without such a dare-devilish stunt? Instead of just dominating the digital realm, the Google Glass Project is one of Google’s next steps into entering the physical realm. Other examples of where Google has begun to make headway are with its new Google Nexus 7 tablet and, of course, its...

  • 4 Online services that are desperately needed in real life

    Sometimes we go about our daily business online, blissfully oblivious to the many services that make our lives easier. Services that make us realise that there are many aspects of our real lives that we don’t have similar innovations to help us with. Here are a few of the things that we take for granted online and that would really enrich our lives offline. Inventors of technology, I hope you’re reading this. We need all of the ideas below implemented as soon as possible. The world is depending on you. Make it happen! 1. Real Life Reputation Management Online Reputation Management...