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  • Facebook, eBay dismiss Google threat

    According to Silicon Valley super-star Sean Parker, for Google to take the title of leading social network, Facebook would have to blunder in a big way. During an interview to open the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Parker said, "Facebook would have to screw up royally and Google would have to do something really smart." Parker's profile in Silicon Valley comes from his co-founding of controversial music-sharing service Napster. Parker was also featured in the Academy award-winning film chronicling the creation of Facebook, The Social Network. "It is tough to compete with network effects," Parker said giving his thoughts on...

  • RIM woos developers as it looks to rebuild reputation

    The Blackberry software developer’s conference begins today and RIM faces the difficult battle of gaining traction in light of its global BBM blackout. App developers will be given training sessions during the Blackberry DevCon which takes place in San Francisco. RIM filled the conference with seminars, informative sessions and discussions which are aimed at rebuilding the status of Blackberry’s applications on its Playbook tablet and smartphones. Co-founder of RIM, Mike Lazaridis opened the conference for the developers, mobile partners and "passionate enthusiasts" that will show off what Blackberry "has in store" for the world. RIM plans on creating games which can compete...

  • China’s Alibaba halts fee hike after massive web protest

    Chinese internet giant Alibaba says that it will delay a fee hike for some sellers on its online shopping site after a storm of protest over the planned rise. The group also announced that it will invest 1.8-billion yuan (US$284-million) in its Taobao Mall site. This as the firm looks to help disgruntled small vendors. The announcement came after tens of thousands of users attacked big brands on the site, threatening to place massive orders online and immediately cancel them in protest against the service fee hike. The move was aimed at denting the customer ratings of large retailers, which...

  • China restricts eBay trade

    Online auction giant eBay is mourning the loss of Chinese customers as it was recently revealed that the East Asian country is now banning foreign internet users from selling goods in China. Chief executive of eBay, John Donahoe spoke of the ordeal during the Web 2.0 Summit. "The domestic China market for internet-based service is, in essence, closed. The Chinese government is not going to allow a non-Chinese Internet company to succeed in China...it is a weapon in national security," he said. Connecting China to the rest of the world was exceptionally important to eBay but it has now been...

  • How Google Earth is being used to track Typhoid in Nepal

    For most of us, going a day without using a Google product is unimaginable. The internet giant serves up our news, email and maps. It gives us the internet on a platter, all from a single domain. Occasionally you'll use it to do something you'd never thought of before and you'll think you’re pretty damn clever. Chances are, though, you never thought of using a Google tool to track a deadly disease in a remote mountain kingdom. That’s precisely what a team of scientists working in Kathmandu have done. Using Google Earth and gene sequencing technology, the researchers...

  • Man jailed for Facebook hate-speech

    Stephen Birrell, a 28-year-old man, has been jailed for eight months in Glasgow Scotland after pleading guilty to posting hate-speech statements on Facebook. According to media reports, Birrell made multiple posts on a Facebook page titled, "Neil Lennon Should be Banned". Neil Lennon is the current manager of Glasgow football club Celtics FC. The first post to garner notice said, "Hope they (Celtic fans) all die. Simple. Catholic scumbags ha ha". The second employed regional slurs for Catholics, and stated, "Proud to hate Fenian tattie farmers. Simple ha ha." The last message brought before the court also referred to Catholics disparagingly,...

  • BlackBerry shutdown: Are networks avoiding lawsuits?

    If you are a BlackBerry user you're probably quite aware of the BlackBerry Crash that crippled millions of phones across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For three whole days BlackBerry Internet Service died and many people were out of touch with their emails and their sacred BBM. As an iPhone user I chuckled away at the poor misfortune of the BlackBerry user (as one is wont to do at such troubling times), but as reality set in (after the second day) I began to ask myself about the economic repercussions of the crash. Many of the business owners I...

  • 3D printing for kids with Origo

    When I was a kid, you could give me a stick and a puddle of mud and I would be entertained for hours. In fact, one of the most beautiful things about the world I grew up in, was that we were positively encouraged to use our imaginations and to invent our own games. Nowadays, kids seem to compete for the latest and greatest toys, and these toys are getting increasingly hi-tech, which begs the question "are modern toys teaching our kids not to use their imaginations?". That's why I was really excited to come across Origo, a project that...

  • 10 Response management tips for email marketing

    Today's B2B and B2C communicators are subject to a daily digital bludgeoning of email queries. In the years before email became popular, senders shouldered the burden of mail. The writing and mailing of a letter was a lot of work, and each new addressee meant more postage; so businesses and individuals needed to be more thoughtful and specific about whom to send things to. Since cost-effective sending to an infinite number of people is now a reality, every little impulse can become an instant global communication, and it’s the readers who are now bearing the burden. The result: Information...

  • Warhammer 40 000: Space Marine — A dumb game for smart gamers?

    The Warhammer 40 000 series has a go at a next-generation console title. But what does this mean for diehard fans of the series and Relic Entertainment’s direction for the Warhammer Universe? “…We aim to make smart games for smart gamers” is part of Relic Entertainment’s philosophy. The Canadian developer behind the Warhammer 40 000 video games has finally taken a stab at stripping the strategy element the series is so well-known for, and finally put the gamer firmly in the action –– in the shoes of a Space Marine. But why have Relic taken this direction, and does the...

  • Apologetic BlackBerry offers free services, apps to customers

    Following the three-day failure of BlackBerry services across the world, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, Research In Motion (RIM) has outstretched an olive branch to disgruntled customers offering "premium apps" and other services for free. In press statement, RIM explained that the selection of premium apps, "worth a total value of more than US$100," will be offered free of charge to subscribers "as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions". "Our global network supports the communications needs of more than 70-million customers," said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. "We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our...

  • Facebook’s failures, criticisms & missteps [Infographic]

    Facebook finally released its long-awaited iPad app last week. Most celebrated the fact that the social networking giant had broken out of the deadlock in its negotiations with Apple. WordStream Inc., a provider of search marketing software and services, seems to have been left particularly cold by the app, claiming that it was "too little, too late". The company has released a "Facebook Wall of Shame" infographic detailing Facebook's criticisms, missteps and outright failures in the seven years since its inception. The social networking giant boasts approximately 800-million active users worldwide and an estimated US$4.27-billion in estimated annual...

  • Samsung reeling after European loss seeks iPhone 4S ban

    Samsung has made the latest move in the patent war between itself and Apple. The South Korean company filed papers in Japan and Australia looking to have sales of the new iPhone 4S banned. In a statement released by Samsung, in Tokyo and New South Wales, Australia, the electronics giant filed papers alleging that Apple's iPhone 4S infringed on Samsung's technology patents and should therefore not be sold. Samsung also announced that it was seeking a ban on the sale of iPad 2, also for alleged patent infringements. In a statement which pulled no punches, Samsung said Apple "has continued to violate...

  • Google denies killing newspapers, which still have wider reach than the web

    Google insists that it is not stealing business away from print media, even as it becomes a dominant source of news on the web. "We are not making money on the back of newspapers," Stefan Tweraser, head of Google Germany, told a media industry conference in Vienna. According to Tweraser, the company pays six billion US dollars for news services worldwide and draws content from some 50 000 publishing companies around the world. Tweraser disclosed the figures at an annual gathering of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). "Google's real business model is partnerships... Google News lives because...

  • Google kills Buzz, hedges bets on Google+

    Google has announced that it will kill its social networking tool Buzz as it seeks to put its energy into the young, but fast growing Google+ community. "We aspire to build great products that really change people's lives, products they use two or three times a day," Google product vice president Bradley Horowitz said echoing a sentiment frequently expressed by chief executive Larry Page. "To succeed you need real focus and thought -- thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don't work on," Horowitz continued. "It's why we recently decided to shut down some products, and...