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  • Google to offer Wi-Fi opt-out tool

    Internet giant Google will allow the owners of Wi-Fi hotspots to opt out of sharing data that helps pinpoint the locations of smartphones. The move is widely seen as an attempt to appease European officials who have expressed concerns around privacy. Google uses publicly broadcast data from Wi-Fi access points to quickly figure out where smartphones are located. The process is designed to provide information such as the mapping of routes and finding out what kind of retailers and attractions may be nearby. "Even though the wireless access point signals we use in our location services don't identify people,...

  • The ‘closing’ web: The Memeburn interview with Chris Anderson Pt I

    With additional reporting by Michelle Atagana and Steven Norris. If you don't know who Chris Anderson is, you don't really understand the internet. He's one of the great technology thinkers of our time who has given us new ways of understanding how the medium has influenced business and society, and where it is all going. Anderson is the editor of Wired Magazine, an authority on tech culture, trends and innovation. Time Magazine called Anderson one of the world's 100 most influential thinkers. The Wired editor is best known for popularising two key ideas that have helped shape internet thinking today: The Long...

  • Breaking news: Vodacom SA backs out of Blackberry speed capping

    When Vodacom SA announced that it would be throttling the speeds of Blackberry users in South Africa, the company experienced a phenomenal backlash of complaints. In the face of the backlash Vodacom has backed off from its initial plans. The retreat was led by CEO Pieter Uys who tweeted: There is also an official release from Uys on Vodacom's Facebook page: I'm very concerned that the steps we were planning to put in place were interpreted as punishing normal users. This is not at all our intention and no changes have been implemented to slow down any customer's BlackBerry service. We...

  • Perceptions of women online are stuck in the Dark Ages

    We have a real obsession with labels in our society. We like to put people into nice little boxes and categories, so we can package them, pop them on a mental shelf, and not worry about them. And we tend to do this far more with women than with men. The ancient literary trope of "maiden, mother, crone" seems to be alive and kicking online. And I, for one, am sick of it. A literary metaphor for representations of the female online may seem a little academic, but I believe this has serious ramifications in the real world. The internet...

  • Is Brazil the next ‘startup nation’?

    Startup Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle is a must read for entrepreneurs and policy markers alike. This incredible book details how the country's 5 000 startups have driven the once emerging market to a leading position in a number of fields. In the emerging markets context, though, Brazil is rising as a growing market where startups and SMEs are making their mark. As one of the top ten countries globally for entrepreneurship, Brazil is growing its share of startups in the technology space. According to data gathered by Endeavor Brazil, groups working to promote high-growth entrepreneurship, young enterprises play...

  • Microsoft gives most detailed preview of Windows 8 so far

    Microsoft has given audiences the most detailed view yet of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The preview came in the form of a two and a half hour presentation at the Washington based software giant's BUILD developers' conference, which runs through to Friday. Leading the presentation team was Windows division president Steven Sinofsky. In his presentation, Sinofsky stressed, as he has on the Windows 8 development blog, that the new OS is about reimagining Windows. "From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise," he said. Sinofsky was also boasted about...

  • SaaS industry now worth US$12.1-billion — Gartner

    Software as a service (SaaS) has changed the way we're using computers, with the applications and services we use increasingly moving online. People are checking their email online, doing their word processing online, and even running their entire businesses online. This service is worth billions and by the end of 2011, will be worth even more according to a report from research house Gartner. In fact, the research firm's statistics suggest SaaS is now worth US$12.1-billion. By 2015, North American shares of SaaS will have dropped from 63.6 percent to 60.8 percent. This is as a result of the...

  • A failure to Kinect

    One of the first pieces I wrote for the .Burn suite of websites was titled "How the Nintendo Wii is ruining gaming", an admittedly unnecessarily sensationalist title. The piece basically laid out my fears that the introduction of Microsoft's ground-breaking Kinect (and to a lesser degree Sony's Move) would follow a similar trajectory as the Wii before it. Almost a year on? I was right. Read more on Gearburn.com 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");

  • Download the Windows 8 developer build now

    Windows 8 is here, for developers (or anyone at all) to download right now. Well, a pre-release version at any rate. Microsoft launched the developer version alongside a preview of Windows 8 at BUILD, its Windows hardware and software conference. The OS aims to bring touchscreen user-friendliness to an intuitive environment. There are no limitations on who can download it, and all that stands between the user and an early build of Windows 8 is a 4.8GB file. Microsoft has lowered the bar of entry as far as system specifications go, with a 1GHZ, 1GB of RAM computer...

  • FNB app has processed more than R160m since launch

    When FNB launched its banking app in July it was a South African first. Since then, the app has gone from strength to strength, processing increasing numbers of transactions over an increasing number of devices. The South African banking giant announced that in the two months since its launch, the FNB Banking Application has been paired with close to 30 000 devices. FNB claims that the app now averages more than 500 downloads a day, although FNB expects this number to grow now that the app is available across the full range of BlackBerry devices. Blackberry users do...

  • Facebook gets smart with friends

    Facebook has introduced "smart lists" -- functionality that automatically sorts your friends into categories and prioritises news from those dearest to you. The rollout of smart lists starts today and comes as rival Google+ seeks to win over users by providing sharing in "circles" that mirror real-world social groups such as family, friends, and co-workers. "This is really something we have been working on for four years," says Facebook director of product management Blake Ross. "We think this is the way people will make lists going forward," he continued. On Facebook's official blog, Ross announces two other improvements to Facebook's friends...

  • Nintendo throws games at sinking 3DS

    Nintendo unveiled a string of new software titles at a highly anticipated Tokyo trade show as it attempts to boost sales and reignite interest in its struggling 3DS handheld games console. But Nintendo shares tumbled more than 5 percent on the Osaka bourse with investors underwhelmed by the videogame giant's attempt to boost the 3DS, after it slashed the console's price by up to 40 percent six months after launch. The company will also strengthen the functions of the console to enable its camera to take 3D movies, while releasing a pink-coloured version in what it said was an effort to...

  • Google launches new flight search service

    Internet giant Google has launched a flight search tool in a potential challenge to online travel services. Flight Search is the first travel product from Google since its US$700 million acquisition of ITA Software earlier this year. "Since then, our engineering teams have been working closely together to build new travel tools that provide faster, more flexible, and more useful results to online travel searches," Google said in a blog post. A "Flights" link will appear on the left-hand side of the page when a Google search user types in a query for flight information. Flight Search can also be directly accessed...

  • Engaging with Twitter marketers in the real world

    Are marketers going too far when it comes to abusing your social media profiles to try and solicit interest in their products and services? With social media meant to be about conversation where do we draw the line between being in a conversation and being broadcast to? What constitutes spam? Spam is defined as any unsolicited contact by a brand through any form of personalised communication platform in an effort to try and sell a product or a service to you. This can be taken further with malicious spam which is designed to try and trick you out of...

  • Coming soon: Exclusive Memeburn interview with Wired’s Chris Anderson

    Memeburn will on Wednesday publish a fascinating two-part interview with prominent internet commentator and Wired Magazine editor, Chris Anderson. Anderson was named by Time Magazine as one of the world's most 100 influential people. He is due to speak at Discovery's Leadership Summit in Sandton with other luminaries such as former US Deputy President and prominent environmentalist, Al Gore. The Wired editor is most known for popularising two key ideas that have helped shape internet thinking today: The Long Tail and Freemium. Companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix are longtail companies, using the internet's ability to reach a wide, varied...