Gearburn

How an HTML 5 mobile game reached millions on Mxit

It’s a hit on Mxit, millions have played it and HTML 5 powers it. This is Moonbase from Maxxor. Gearburn spoke to one of the directors at Maxxor, Adrian Frielinghaus and found out how this cross-platform game hit the big time. Presented below is an extremely off-the-cuff conversation with Frielinghaus and as per his request, we won’t be using his image in the interview. Frielinghaus, “hates corporate images” and would prefer that we show a picture of Moonbase instead. Read more on ...

Ventureburn

TaxTim will dramatically change your opinion on filing tax returns

Death and taxes. Both certain and both capable of evoking equal measures of despair. When tax season lumbers around, it’s hard enough to recount the cost of living lawfully, without the filing process being tedious and daunting. Take heart though, a South African startup called TaxTim is about to throw all your preconceptions about filing taxes out the window. Launched in November of last year, TaxTim is an approachable, virtual tax assistant who helps you complete your tax return by asking ...

News

Religious hardliners request Russian Facebook ban

Things are not looking good for online freedom in Russia. First the country's parliament approved a controversial web censorship bill and now religious hardliners want to ban Facebook. According to Russia Today, activists from the Orthodox Church are angry at the social network's decision to launch same-sex marriage icons, calling them "gay propaganda”. The activists apparently believe that the icons could make young people tempted to explore homosexuality. In fact, the church in the city of Saratov, southern Russia, asked ...

Emerging Markets, News

More ‘social television’ in China: Sina is launching a web tv service today

sina web tv Chinese online media giant Sina is set to expand the amount of multimedia content on its popular micro-blogging platform today with the launch of its own social television service. A deal with BesTV New Media will give Sina Weibo's 300 million users more reason to stay on the country's most popular social network. According to Bloomberg, the web tv service will be launched today in Shanghai and will hopefully bolster Sina's social media efforts against competitors like Tencent. Mao Taotao, ...

News

Digg pulls a Myspace, sells for $500 000

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Social media news aggregator Digg is being sold for less than a tenth of what it used to be worth reports the Wall Street Journal. The company, which was founded in 2004 by entrepreneur turned angel investor Kevin Rose, was once worth US$160-million and managed to raise US$45-million from big name investors such as Facebook investor Greylock Partners, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. The site works much in the same way ...

News, Twitter

Twitter: still no plans for IPO

You know when a tune gets so ingrained in your head that you recognise it instantly, even if you haven't heard it in years? That's what Twitter's stance on the possibility of an IPO is starting to feel like. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said the company still had no plans to go public: “We are going to remain private as long as we want. I like being private for all sorts of ...

News

Ever wanted to get ‘tweeps’ in the dictionary? Now’s your chance

new twitter logo blue Depending what your feelings on language are, this story will either make you celebrate the evolving nature of English or weep into your coffee. Publishing house Harper Collins is giving people the chance to officially get their favourite social media terms into the Collins English Dictionary. Yup, that means words like "tweeps" could officially become part of the English language. The publisher says that after it saw words and acronyms (like OMG and LOL) emerging from technology and social media ...

News

Meet Siri’s relative Lola, she’s smarter and likes banking

So you're an iPhone 4S user. Your love for Apple's voice assistant Siri obviously knows no bounds. You'd never cheat on her right? What if we introduced you to her more intelligent, financially savvy cousin? Her name's Lola and Spain's second largest bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) reckons she could save it a ton in staffing costs. The voice assistant was built by the team behind Siri and, according to Technology Review, she can handle some pretty complex tasks. ...

Emerging Markets, News

Russian parliament approves controversial web censorship bill

internet censorship The Russian parliament has approved a bill which will allow the government to shut down websites hosting content they deemed "harmful." If signed into law, it will see the creation of a system to monitor and blacklist websites. An amendment to Russia's Act for Information, bill 89417-6 was put forth by a committee concerned with internet security. They say it was designed to allow the government to remove pornography, suicide advice and content which encourages drug use, but it has ...

Africa, Google, News

Google Maps gives 44 African countries walking directions

google maps walking directions Google Maps is great. Even if you don't have the app on your smartphone, you can look up your destination on your PC and get turn-by-turn directions. Thing is, in most African countries those directions were limited to driving. Not ideal on a continent where large sections of the population don't drive. All that's just changed though. Google has announced that it's implementing walking directions in 44 African countries. Google does caution however that walking directions are currently in beta. ...

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