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  • Former eBay head Meg Whitman is new HP CEO

    Struggling technology giant Hewlett-Packard has named former eBay head Meg Whitman as its new president and CEO. She replaces Leo Apotheker at the helm of the world's largest computer maker. HP shares have fallen more than 40 percent since Apotheker replaced Mark Hurd, who resigned following a sexual harassment accusation. Whitman stepped down from eBay in 2008, before making an unsuccessful run at replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California in 2010. We are fortunate to have someone of Meg Whitman's calibre and experience step up to lead HP," said Ray Lane, who was named executive chairman of the computer...

  • No Samoa gag at RWC despite ‘holocaust’ tweet

    The Samoan rugby team will not be joining their All Black counterparts in a complete Twitter ban, team management announced. This despite a controversial tweet from centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono comparing the team’s gruelling World Cup schedule to slavery, apartheid and even the holocaust. Assistant coach Tom Coventry said that Samoan management would prefer not to gag players, even after Sapolu Fuimaono's tweets saw him having to make an official apology to World Cup officials. "We try not to gag anyone. Obviously guys have their opinions and we want them to have their opinions, it's just how they express them...

  • Mxit, other local apps added to Samsung app store

    Samsung plans to introduce three new local apps to its app store. The three apps are Mxit, DStv Mobile Decoder and PriceCheck. These apps will be available for download on all of Samsung's Android devices, excluding tablets. Brett Loubser, the B2C Apps Development lead at Samsung says, "There is no doubt that the need for locally relevant content is growing among consumers and that this growth demands a larger variety of apps across different interest areas. It is with this in mind, that we have partnered with leading brands locally in increasing the access to locally relevant apps for our...

  • Exclusive: Alan Knott-Craig buys MXit, Herman Heunis steps down

    A few weeks ago Memeburn revealed that instant messaging platform MXit was rumoured to be in sale talks with startup investment firm World of Avatar. We can now confirm that those rumours are true. The acquisition will see current MXit head, Herman Heunis step down, with Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, the World of Avatar boss, taking over as CEO. The deal, which was finalised earlier yesterday, involves World of Avatar buying out both Heunis and Naspers, an US$18-billion emerging market media giant. Naspers, which also has stakes in Chinese IM TenCent and an indirect stake in Facebook, acquired a 30% interest in...

  • Facebook to ‘change the world of social media’ (again)

    Facebook has already rolled up a number of updates in the lead up to its f8 developers' conference. The world's largest social network claims, though, that it has more in store. A lot more. According to Mashable "editor at large" Ben Parr, who claims to have seen what Facebook plans to unveil at f8, "it's going to change the world of social media”. Parr revealed that the technology blog had been give a sneak preview of the features but was unable to reveal specific features owing to a press embargo. He stated, however that “The Facebook you know and (don’t)...

  • What happens when you fire your Twitter ghost-writer

    Memeburn has previously warned its readers about taking (often self-declared) "social-media experts/ninjas/gurus" too seriously, and Mark Davidson is the perfect example of why. On Google+ -- where he is yet to post anything -- Davidson describes himself as an "internet sales and marketing professional, public speaker and master of communicating in 140 character bursts". In truth, this "master of communicating in 140 character bursts”, however, seems to be a something of a fraud. At about midday GMT, Davidson's Twitter account -- boasting close to 55 000 followers, including the likes of Stephen Fry and the official Mashable account...

  • One Wallet to rule them all, but will it be Google’s?

    Google launched its smartphone Wallet service this week, adding long overdue impetus to the mobile payments movement. Teaser videos of George Costanza carrying an exploding, over laden wallet, landed on 16 September causing much speculation from industry analysts. Whilst some are quick to cite Google’s historical dominance in other tech areas as a reason Wallet will dominate, others are more sceptical. They point to a few telling issues surrounding the technology, saying it won't be the tour de force that is expected. The one thing that stands out for me is the slow rate of adoption of cellphone payments...

  • Technology, a language not an industry: Discovery Invest Leadership Summit

    "We have technology that not even the wildest science fiction writers could have believed," said Adrian Gore, opening the Discovery Invest Leadership in South Africa yesterday. Al Gore's comment that the iPhone version is due for release next month generated headlines across the web, but the context of the summit contained some far bigger themes: notably the rise of technology and emerging markets. The environmental crusader and former US Vice-President (who is also on the board of Apple), joined economist Nouriel Roubini and Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson along with five other internationally renowned speakers who spent the day talking trends...

  • Four ways to become an SMS copywriting stud

    SMS promotions work because they provide a one-on-one dialogue with customers. It is the most targeted and personalised means of communicating, yet also the most challenging, since it forces you to squeeze the core message of your campaign into a mere 160 characters. With SMS marketing campaigns you don’t have the luxury of leading up to anything; writing for mobile in this format means distilling down web copy even further than before. SMS demands that you get straight to the point (unless, of course, you incur additional campaign costs and send multipart SMSs). So, how does one pack an...

  • Taking on a continent: Android’s African invasion

    Mobile phone manufacturers, operators and of course Google started a big push on Android into Africa this year. Samsung, HTC and Huawei are moving Android phones into the market. Some operators are seeing the signals and starting to subsidise Android handsets to get them to a price point that is palatable by a larger number of buyers. Google continues to push for local content, works with developers, does g- events and puts on contests. While the primary phones in Africa are still feature phones, Android has made a beachhead on the continent and will continue to roll forward. I believe...

  • Twitter buys real time search startup Julpan

    Twitter has bought Julpan, a startup specialising in sifting relevant or important data from blogs, tweets, rss feeds and other online social content. Julpan, just a year old, is the brain-child of Israeli-born computer scientist Ori Allon, best known for his work on the widely praised "Orion" search engine. The rights to Orion were bought by Google in 2006 and incorporated into the internet titan's own technology. As part of the deal, Allon worked at Google until leaving to start Julpan in 2010. His latest venture, based in New York City, was devoted to insightfully determining in real-time what people are...

  • Facebook music feature leaked in accidental tweet

    A feature of Facebook's much-anticipated music-based service has been revealed thanks to a tweet from a high level employee. The social network has been tight-lipped about the product since it was announced and is due to officially launch it at its F8 conference, which kicks off on Thursday. It has been known for some time that the service is on its way, but exactly what it will do remains a mystery. This now deleted tweet is one the first insights to the service. Techcrunch reports that Ji Lee, creative director at Facebook tweeted: "The 'Listen with your friend' feature in...

  • Julian Assange fails in attempt to keep memoirs secret

    Despite months of Julian Assange trying to keep it off bookstore shelves, the Wikileaks founder's autobiography will hit stores on Thursday. Assange -- known for his passion for transparency and letting all be aired to the public -- decided he no longer wanted the book published. This despite already having taken an advance said to be worth hundreds of thousands pounds from Canongate publishers. Assange had worked with a ghost writer to pen the book. According to Canongate, it would have simply been a matter of Assange returning the advance for them not to publish the book. Assange however, failed to...

  • User backlash over Facebook’s new features

    Facebook's latest updates have caused some backlash from its users. Users of the social network have taken to the web to complain about its brand new updates, with users across the world expressing their feelings towards the "radical" new changes. The hastag "#newfacebook" is now being used by those on Twitter who wish to complain about the revamped user interface. In response to the theory that Facebook is changing too frequently, a user wrote: Others believe that the new "Ticker" too closely resembles Twitter with users saying that: People expressed their ire through an array of online avenues including a "Petition against...

  • Google aggressively pushing revenues amid Senate scrutiny

    Google has adopted an aggressive program of stuffing its search pages with paid listings as the financial quarter draws to a close -- a risky strategy as the US Senate holds hearings on its industry dominance. Google's search pages are being flooded with paid search listings from its AdWords advertising network in the final weeks of the Q3 financial quarter, possibly to boost revenues to meet, or exceed Wall Street analyst estimates. Aaron Wall, in a post on the web site SEOBook: "Endless AdWords Profits" notes that a search for "7 for all mankind" shows a massive AdWords box with ten...