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  • Is it tickets for the web?

    For an industry focused on the future of information, the internet is surprisingly prone to old fashioned maladies such as superstition, rumour and wild speculation. We’ve heard the latest doomsday prediction before — the World Wide Web is dying — but there’s never been much convincing evidence, until now. Ben Elowitz, a web entrepreneur, took usage statistics for the web and compared them to Facebook’s usage numbers. The results are startling. While Facebook continues to grab an ever larger share of time spent online, the rest of the web is actually losing so called “attention share”. In March 2011, for...

  • The media centre Dilbert’s company built: Stor.E TV+

    Review: The Toshiba Stor.E TV+ is a one or two terabyte external drive cum media centre. It’s got a clumsy name, it’s clumsily built, and clumsily supported. So at least Toshiba is consistent there. It would make a great story device for a Dilbert special – the grubby fingerprints of corporate politics are all over it. The base engineering work is absolutely fine. It’s solidly built, well specced, with some nice features. What is not fine is the user interface, the attention to detail, and the user interface. Did we mention the user interface and lack of attention to detail?...

  • The importance of the ‘long tail’ in SEM campaigns

    At a recent digital marketing conference I attended, I heard one speaker talk about the irrelevancy of the ‘long tail’ and how concentrating on ‘head’ terms was the key to building an effective campaign using search. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but does qualify for some explanation. First, some facts from a Google presentation I got sent the other day: Some analysts have even gone as far as to say more than 1/3 of all the queries Google processes haven’t been processed before, or in, the past 6 months, with Google’s VP of Engineering, Udi Manber pegging...

  • Following ultimatum, WikiLeaks credit card donations reinstated

    Mere days after issuing an ultimatum to Visa and Mastercard to lift their seven-month ban on donating to Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing website has claimed victory. Datacell, the whistle-blower’s data hosting service provider in a statement announced that, “…we have observed that an alternative payment processor that we have contracted with, has in fact opened the gateway for payments with Visa and MasterCard”. The statement also read, “We choose to interpret this as that Visa and Mastercard in fact given in to our demand that the payment services reinstated”. It added that payments by American Express, which...

  • Apple App Store downloads hit 15-billion mark

    Apple announced on Thursday that more than 15-billion applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch have been downloaded from its App Store since inception. The California based tech giant also said the App Store now carries more than 425,000 free and paid applications for the 200 million iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches in use worldwide. Over 100,000 applications have been developed for the iPad alone, Apple said. “In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,” Apple senior vice president Philip Schiller said in a...

  • How will Google+ make money?

    Google+ is clearly Google’s most successful foray into the social web thus far, and it looks set to get a lot of usage. One thing puzzling many commentators, however, is the business model. Google have stated that they will not be putting advertising on Google+, so its primary business model is seemingly being foregone. Other very successful Google services and products, like Google Docs also don’t have advertising on them, but Google Docs is by no means as obvious a choice for advertising space as Google+ is. So…what’s the deal? There is no doubt that the choice not to put...

  • Is it time to bury Flash for good?

    Flash is something which has wowed clients for some years now. It looks impressive on your developer’s desktop, and fantastic in client pitches. New clients are impressed with some agencies’ design capabilities because Flash sites look attractive. That is pretty much where pure 100% Flash websites belong, on power points, in pitches but not in real web designs. Look, of course Flash does have its uses. Some online gaming is driven with Flash, along campaign driven micro sites which have above the line viral concepts. Flash does work, but only in targeted strategies. Apple does not support Flash, most...

  • Startups to ‘Ignite’ Tech4Africa 2011

    Tech4Africa, one of the continent’s most prominent web and emerging technology conferences, has launched an initiative called Ignite, which will provide leading African startups with the opportunity to pitch their products to a carefully curated panel of Angel investors, mentors and business leaders. Startups selected to partake in the Tech4africa Ignite pitches will be given five minutes to showcase their products, with the opportunity to gain not only potential investors but also invaluable exposure to the wider Tech4Africa audience of thought leaders, decision makers, journalists, influential people and potential recruits. From the initial applications, a select group of the most...

  • Check Facebook on the sly in the office with “excel”

    Take a look around your average office and what do you see? Chances are, rather than the office serf toiling away for the capitalist boss, you’ll see him or her pretending to toil whilst furtively “checking” Facebook. In 2007 a widely-reported study found that “233 million hours are lost every month as a result of employees ‘wasting time’ on social networking”, equalling over £130million in lost revenues. Like we needed to be told that. It’s hardly surprising that companies around the world have been blocking access to Facebook. But with more than 257-million quick-and-ready tips from Googling “how to get around...

  • The Five is coming: New iPhone set for launch this year

    Apple plans to launch its next-generation iPhone later this year, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the situation,” said Apple has placed orders for key components to used in the new version of the iPhone and that it would be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4. Ahead of every major iPhone launch there is frenzied speculation about what the phone’s new features will be. Gearburn offered a few of its own predictions recently. Apple released the iPhone 4 in June 2010. “Apple’s sales estimates of the new iPhone is quite aggressive,” the Journal quoted a source...

  • Facebook add Skype video chat feature

    Facebook has added a Skype video calling feature in the face of a direct challenge from Google in the social networking arena. “We think this is awesome because we’re using the best technology that’s out there for doing video chat with the best social infrastructure that’s out there,” said Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The new Skype feature comes with improved group text chat, which allows for multi-person conversations and a camera icon which can be clicked on for instant one-on-one video calls with friends. Google+, which the Internet search giant launched last week, includes a group video calling feature called “Hangouts” which...

  • Twitter valued at $7billion, but based on what exactly?

    Twitter is looking to raise another round of private financing, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, quoting “people familiar with the matter”. This time the value is US$7billion, almost double of what it was valued at the end of 2010. Clearly there’s still a hunger for tech stocks in the market. We’ve seen this in the spectacular Wall Street debuts — though not in the press — of tech companies like Groupon and Zynga which also filed for their IPOs recently. It’s well and truly open season in the investment world for tech companies. After the staggering valuation of US$3.7billion for...

  • Is tweeting cheating? 18 ways social media has impacted on our relationships

    A “desperate, adolescent narcissism”. That’s the internet’s “defining vice”, according to New York Times op ed columnist Ross Douthat. He is not the first to make this observation, and when American politicians accidentally tweet embarrassing photos of themselves (thus demonstrating that, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean you’re not about to make a gruesomely public mistake), the tut-tutting only grows louder. Anthony Weiner’s marriage is presumably taking some strain as a result of his digital dalliances, and the entire debacle raises questions – again – of how much impact social media has on those who are closest to...

  • FabFi does fabulous things in Afghanistan and Kenya

    Something interesting is happening in Afghanistan. It’s also happening in Kenya. I think that it is proof that it is possible to open the Internet to every developing country in the world. Back in December 2008, a group of individuals in Jalalabad, Afghanistan started working on a project to bring high-speed internet to a village, hospital, university, and an NGO in the city. The group was known as FabLab Jalalabad and they modelled their project on a system which was designed to track sheep in Norway. The remarkable thing about this project was that they were designing an incredibly...

  • Narcissism in phone form

    Desiring something that you want for no reason needs some explaining. Perhaps it is beautiful and honest, doing only what it says. Perhaps it makes your desk look hotter. And it definitely looks hotter to cradle a retro modern soft-touch plastic handset than hold a tiny cellphone to your ear to talk into like a chimp. The Moshi Moshi telephone handsets are a whole new class of cellphone accessory: designed to be bigger, heavier and less function-rich than they thing they connect to.