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  • Television in the social era: It’s not about your audience

    Yes yes we get it, television is getting more social and we can now follow are favourite TV shows on Twitter and Like them on Facebook. Smart TVs allow us to watch and share and that's pretty awesome, but what does all that actually mean for the future of the telly? According to John Cabral of Viacom Media Networks, a new medium is on its way. Speaking at the Korea Communications Conference, Cabral argues that the "current distinctions between the internet and will disintegrate and new medium will be established." Cabral believes this new medium will challenge traditional models of...

  • Standard bank claims ‘world first’ with NFC-enabled debit card

    Standard Bank has rolled out what it claims is the world's first bank card to include both NFC and debit card functionality. The so-called Muvo card was developed in partnership with the South African bank's business development centre and innovation incubator Beyond Payments. The debit card functionality will come from Mastercard, which has given the card the go-ahead. Beyond Payments claims the dual-function card “is believed to be a world first in the realm of cashless payment technology.” The product was designed to meet the specifications of the country's National Department of Transport. This is because the first members of...

  • Twitter meetup results in child rape

    A 13-year-old girl has been raped by a 45-year-old man she allegedly met on Twitter. The young girl had reportedly skipped school to meet up with the accused at her parents home in an affluent suburb of Pretoria, South Africa. "When the girl opened the door, she realised that the man was a lot older than he had pretended to be online", police spokesperson Captain Marissa van der Merwe told the Beeld newspaper. The girl then tried to close the door, but the man forced it open. "She tried to get away from him, but was unable to, and...

  • Pinterest gets $100m cash injection

    Pinterest is about to get a massive cash boost as it looks to expand its international presence. Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten announced that it would be investing US$100-million into the current belle of the social media ball. In a press release, Rakuten said it would partner with Pinterest in growing the social network in 17 of the markets it is most active in. Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Siberman said that teaming up with the ecommerce giant would help it “move a step closer” to achieving its goal of helping “people discover things they love, by connecting people through...

  • Frustrated by your man playing Diablo III? This French store has a solution

    This is hilarious, if a little unfairly stereotypical. A French sex store is offering a free um...toy to any women who feel their boyfriends have abandoned them since the release of Diablo III. The marketing bumpf is especially great once you run it through Google translate: Your man has not left his computer since the release yesterday of Diablo III? Still a long time before you find yourself in his arms during a romantic evening ... You yearn ... You feel abandoned ... Abandoned ... In my imagination, the person selling this thing has greased back hair, a pencil thin moustache and...

  • Google just dropped some knowledge on search

    Sorry what's that Bing? Oh you integrated social with search? Very cute. Now let the big boys show you how it's really done. Google today announced a new search model that it claims "understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another" The internet giant calls the new model "The Knowledge Graph" and says that it is built on the premise that when we're searching we're looking for "things not strings". In order to understand what it means by this, let's say you're looking up Taj Mahal. To a search engine, it's just two words. That's more or less the...

  • Samsung, Android still winning in shrinking mobile market

    Samsung is winning the mobile wars and at the same time helping Android kill in the mobile OS stakes. Thing is all of the players in the game of phones are competing for a smaller market. According to research company Gartner, some 419.1-million mobile phones sold in the first few months of 2012, two percent less than the same period in 2011. That’s more significant than it might seem. It’s the first time the market has gone into decline since 2009. “Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the...

  • Price war erupts among South Africa’s mobile players

    A price war has erupted among South Africa’s mobile operators, as each seeks to increase its slice of the pie in a country where there are nearly as many active SIM cards as there are people. The country’s third mobile operator Cell C recently slashed its data prices, halving them in some cases. It’s followed up this move with a new voice deal for its prepaid customers. South Africa’s first-and-largest operator Vodacom today responded with what it calls the “Freedom 99” plan. Like Cell C’s plan, called “99 Cents For Real”, Vodacom will charge prepaid users 99c a minute...

  • GM pulls Facebook advertising, big deal

    Facebook ads don’t work, not even a little bit. Well that’s if auto giant General Motors (GM) is to be believed at any rate. The company, which spends around US$40-million a year on Facebook campaigns, says it is pulling the US$10-million it currently spends on paid-for Facebook ads. GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick told the Wall Street Journal that the company still views putting up relevant content about its products on the social network as an “effective and important” part of its marketing strategy. In a statement, the motoring giant said: “We regularly review our overall media spend and...

  • 6 things that will guarantee B2B social failure

    Having spent some time participating on most of the popular social networks from a B2B social media marketing perspective, I have listed a number of things you can do to ensure your social media efforts fail dismally. Commit these cardinal sins and some of the scenes from Dante's Inferno will seem like a picnic by comparison. 1. No “buy-in” from the entire organisation Social media is not a one man band. It is something that involves your whole organisation. Your community manager may be the primary voice of your organisation but it requires a collective effort from everyone. It is...

  • It’s complicated: Thoughts on why Facebook doesn’t like you to be alone

    Jane Austen was a big fan of an advantageous marriage, and so it seems, is Facebook. One's changes in relationship status are the most prominent feature on the Timeline after being born, and of course, joining Facebook. Facebook has even designed little icons for these events; I recently saw a friends’ engagement announced with a little blue ring and a neat date underneath. Is meeting the right person such a notable achievement? Irritated singletons might wonder why all the Timeline announcements are necessary, surely getting together with someone special is a chance occurrence, exactly like winning the lottery. Others might...

  • The right to be forgotten: A path to the future

    Earlier this year European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that internet users had a "right to be forgotten" -- the idea being that anyone should be able to delete all the data they have online at any time, except in cases where there is a legitimate interest in maintaining information in a database. According to the new EU policy, the "right to be forgotten" simply "would allow people to request that their information be erased and not disseminated online." Research fellow Pere Simon Castellano from the University of Girona reckons that this new right is key for the future law...

  • The pros and cons of third-party comment systems

    Comment managers are nothing new. Whether or not we use them on our own sites, we’ve all gone to leave a comment somewhere and seen we needed to log in first—whether to Disqus or LiveFyre, IntenseDebate or something else. It happens on blogs about social media, it happens on blogs about gas station processing, it happens on blogs like this one. Why do sites use them? Are they helpful, and if so, how? Should you implement a comment management tool on your site? To help answer that question, here’s a look at the pros and cons of third-party content management...

  • Tomorrow’s online world: Regulating Google & Facebook

    The internet is a big place and companies like Facebook are dominating major parts of it. The concept of regulation has been floating about for a few years now and, more recently, Google and Facebook have found themselves in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) following privacy violations. What regulators are doing now isn't a very accurate approach according to Matthew Howett, Ovum's regulations and policy practice leader. At this year's Korea Communications Conference, Howett explored the new disruptive technological space and what it means for regulators and the need for them adapt by stepping away from the...

  • Aaron Sorkin confirmed as writer for Steve Jobs biopic

    Sony Pictures has signed off on a big screen adaptation of Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Job's authorised biography. Aaron Sorkin, the man tasked with with translating Walter Isaacson's best-selling book into celluloid is no stranger to tech stories either. He wrote the screenplay for The Social Network, for which the Hollywood veteran picked up an Oscar. In a statement to the press, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal explained why Sorkin had been picked: “Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time....