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  • Samsung prepares a preemptive strike in its war with Apple

    You might remember Samsung vowing to continue its fight with Apple a couple of days ago. Well it's just struck a big preemptive blow. The South Korean electronics giant has announced that it will take Apple to court if it launches an LTE phone in the near future. The announcement comes as Samsung looks to strengthen its ties to US carriers in a bid to avoid a repeat of the trial that saw it ordered to pay US1.049-billion in damages to the Cupertino-based giant. “Samsung has been in talks with major U.S. carriers to jointly develop modified design technology....

  • China set to pass US in smartphone shipments… and India, Brazil are next

    The latest report from research firm IDC yesterday showed that in contrast to its March’s report, China will surpass the United States in terms of smartphone shipments quite comfortably by 8.7 percent compared to the previously forecasted 0.1 percent for 2012. Other players such as India and Brazil are tipped to become some of the hottest smartphone markets in the future, and may pass the US a few years down the line. According to Wong Teck-Zhung, a senior market analyst at IDC, China’s subsequent growth will be mainly due to growth in the sub-$200 Android segment. He added that the...

  • Standard Bank, MTN lose major mobile money patent trial

    Banking and mobile giants Standard Bank and MTN Mobile have lost a major mobile patent trial to tech company 3MFuture Africa. A patent court in the South African capital of Pretoria ruled that Standard Bank and MTN had infringed on the Cape Town-based 3MFuture Africa’s payment card security technology patent, which that allows users to switch their payment cards on and off with their cellphones. 3MFuture claims that the technology eliminates the problems of card cloning, skimming and theft. The presiding judge Mr Justice Tati Makgoka found that the technology was used by Standard Bank and MTN in their MTN...

  • Google expels Grooveshark from the Play Store…again

    Looks like the music industry might've got to Google. Free music streaming service Grooveshark has again disappeared from the Google Play Store after returning earlier this week. According to The Next Web, the app had returned after more than a year's absence in the wake of lawsuits from the major music labels. The labels had accused of it infringing on copyright by allowing people to share tracks regardless of whether or not they had license to do so. The app had been up less than 48 hours before it went was taken down and is no longer available via its...

  • AfricaCom Awards 2012: recognising African tech innovators

    The AfricaCom Awards 2012 ends off the 15th annual AfricaCom congress and exhibition and celebrates innovation in the African tech industry. This year, several new categories have been added, giving a wider array of companies the opportunity to be recognised. Entries close 7 September. Awards will be presented to companies with initiatives in the following categories. Best Network Improvement -- an eye-catching, successful initiative that has significantly improved a network in Africa, since the end of November 2011. Most Innovative Service -- a popular new offering which, from conception to execution, has been an innovation. It could be...

  • Rolling Stone joins the AR magazine cover brigade

    This is one of the cooler magazine world versions of Augmented Reality we've seen in a while. When people scan the latest edition of Rolling Stone South Africa, they'll get a free music video. The September issue uses AR app Layar to allow readers real-time access to watch former Springbok Nude Girls singer Arno Carsten’s new music video, “Two Dogs” as well as preview its interview with him. They'll also be able to share the story with friends on Facebook and Twitter. The magazine partnered with specialist agency Jarvis and Layar affiliate Layarstudio Cape Town. "It is great to be...

  • Apple kills drone warning app

    Let's level for a moment. Armed military drone attacks are terrifying. So you can see why someone might want to know exactly when one happens. The natural solution, as far as New York University graduate student Josh Begley was concerned, was to build an app. Thing is, he claims that Apple has repeatedly shot down his attempts to publish the app on the app store. "I just wanted to make a simple app that would send a push notification every time there is a drone strike," Begley said. "I was thinking about how hidden the drone war...

  • The Loeries: why SA’s top ad awards are still relevant in a digital world

    As usual, around Loeries time, the assaults have begun in the media, social and otherwise. As a past subscriber to the criticisms leveled at South Africa's pre-eminent advertising awards, and now a committee member of them, I feel that I need to break my silence and say a few things in their support. Take that as a disclosure if you must. I sit on the Loeries Committee, which is to say, I volunteer my time as a representative of the Digital Media and Marketing Association to assist in the formulation and execution of these annual awards. The Loeries themselves are...

  • Google, Facebook won’t be your next bank and here’s why

    Everywhere you look, big tech players are looking to get into the financial services game. But that doesn't mean Apple, Google, Facebook will replace your bank any time soon. Not by a long way. Certainly digital has lowered barriers to entry into the financial services space, but it hasn't killed banking and it won't for some time to come. According to Gartner research vice president Alistair Newton, saying that Google is the bank of the future is like trying fit a square peg into a round hole. That's not to say that they don't have a...

  • Obama on using Reddit: ‘not bad’

    US president Barack Obama took to Reddit yesterday evening for an hour-long session of the “Ask Me Anything” series. In the process, he became the first sitting head-of-state to do so and added a huge dose of credibility to the social news website. The site was inundated with visitors and the surge in traffic made sure that the session wasn't as productive as the president would have liked, but part of the strategy was surely to divert a whole lot of media time from the Republican presidential campaign that was happening at the same time. Obama and his team...

  • Get paid to tweet, for real

    Ever wished you could tweet for money? Well now you can. And you don't have to become a social media manager either. A new product from advertising network company Ad Dynamo allows ordinary people to monetise their tweets. The service today announced the launch of its Sponsored Tweets service, which enables Twitter users from around the world to get paid for sending tweets that promote advertisers' products and services. In order to take part in the service, people have to respond to briefs prepared by advertisers. People who are influential within their social circle, particularly if they have a large...

  • Twitter ads: now targeted to your interests

    So you might notice something a little different about your Twitter stream from here on out. Well, if you pay attention to the promoted tweets and accounts that is. The social network announced that from now on its two biggest advertising streams would be tailored according to your interests. While the service has been available to a select beta group for a while, it's now open to all advertisers. It says that by targeting people’s topical interests, advertisers "will be able to connect with a greater number of users and deliver tailored messages to people who are more likely...

  • Has technology really killed marketing?

    The Harvard Business Review is one of the most respected and watched academic journals in the world. So when it publishes a piece with the simple title “Marketing is dead”, then the world of PR, marketing and advertising is going to sit up and take note. The story, written by author and consultant Bill Lee, begins by asserting the various ways in which traditional marketing has fallen apart before going on to explain what actually is working in the 21st Century. Lee attacks traditional marketing on three fronts: He believes that ‘buyers are no longer paying attention’ -- that...

  • Online piracy: how African innovators are tackling music’s biggest scourge

    Despite a cat’s cradle of challenges around digital rights and payments, not to mention the constant threat of piracy, digital music is seen as a large opportunity for African musicians and mobile industry players, according to speakers at the Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012 conference held in Cape Town this week. General sentiment is that making digital music more available will go a long way to thwarting piracy. According to Yoel Kenan, founder and CEO of AFRICORI, a digital music company specialising in emerging markets, up to 90% of music consumed online is not strictly legal, thanks both to piracy and...

  • Where is mobile headed in the next five years?

    The next couple of weeks are going to be incredibly busy in the mobile world. Nearly all the big players are set to announce new products, culminating in the launch of the iPhone 5. More than just providing cool tech though, these launches will influence what direction mobile heads in leading up to 2017. While we can't be entirely certain what's going to happen over the next five years, we can make some reasonable guesses says Leif-Olof Wallin, a research vice president at tech analysis company Gartner. Smartphones will keep winning While the global mobile market as a whole...