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      Startup news for emerging markets
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  • The great internet radio swindle

    All media, online or offline, survive and trade on credibility. Trust is everything and it's possibly more of a factor in a media business than any other type of business. You lose this trust, you close your media business down. Rupert Murdoch closed down one of the largest newspapers in the world when trust was broken. It gets that bad. You lie about your numbers, and it's over. Media companies sell audience to advertisers, and if they are paying money for a phantom audience, it's fraud. That's why I guess there has been such a fuss (because some have been wondering:...

  • Africa finally pays its own way — with a mobile phone

    Mobile is big. Even bigger than you think. No technology in the history of mankind has achieved the reach and penetration globally that rivals that of the mobile phone. According to the International Telecommunications Union, at the end of 2011, there were approximately six billion mobile phone subscriptions. This is equivalent to 87% of the world’s population and a huge increase from 5.4-billion in 2010 and 4.7-billion mobile subscriptions in 2009. Initial excitement about the rise of the mobile phone was dominated by talk of the rise of mobile voice at the expense of fixed line operators, and then more...

  • Enter the Nexus: How Jelly Bean saved my life

    I like being right on the cutting edge of whatever is happening in the Android universe and the only way one can do that is by using a Nexus device. I recently acquired my second Nexus, and have had to say goodbye to my trusty Nexus S. When I got my Nexus S it was running Gingerbread and it ran it very, very well. Then the jump came to Ice Cream Sandwich and I was left slightly underwhelmed, but I am happy to report that my brand new Galaxy Nexus has shown me just how good Ice Cream Sandwich really...

  • Vodacom CEO to step down in 2013

    Vodacom CEO and über geek Pieter Uys will step down as head of the African mobile giant in 2013. Uys will be replaced by current Vodafone Spain chief Shameel Joosub, who was previously the managing director of Vodacom's South African division. "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Pieter for his many achievements in establishing a great business.... We are grateful for his vision, leadership and commitment over the past two decades," said Vodacom board chairman Peter Moyo. According to Vodacom, Joosub's appointment will become effective as of 1 September in order to ensure a...

  • Win a Nokia Lumia 800 with Memeburn and Springleap

    We recently told you about how you could win R20 000 just by designing a T-Shirt. If design's not your forte, relax, we've got your back. Together with design site Springleap, Memeburn is giving away a Nokia Lumia 800. We love this phone and we reckon you will too. Here's how to get your hands on it: 1. Check out the designs entered at the Nokia ‘Pimp our Devs’ contest so far. 2. Click on a design that you like to enlarge it. 3. Tweet about it using the button provided in the ‘Sharing is caring’ bar to the...

  • Higgs Boson: Twitter compares to tech launch, slags Comic Sans slides

    Tech events these days are big, glamorous, and full of spectacle. Just look at the Glass demo Google pulled at its recent I/O event. It had everything: skydivers, BMX riders, and abseilers. Small wonder then that the geek world was looking to inject a little bit of tech drama into today's Boson particle announcement at CERN. Parody account Hal9000 probably took the most techie stance on the announcement: The size of the applause Fabiola Gianotti just got at the #Higgs presentation you'd think she had just unveiled a thinner iPhone— HAL 9000 (@HAL9000_) July 4, 2012 So...

  • 21-year-old gives Microsoft a serious, if hypothetical, facelift

    Take your average 21-year-old design student, now give them three days and a brief to completely rebrand a massive company's corporate identity. Most would end up nervous wrecks, but when Andrew Kim took it upon himself do exactly that with Microsoft, the results were astonishing. One of the early points in Kim's conception involved him taking the comparing people's perceptions of Microsoft to those of its big rivals: Apple and Google. This led him to decide that Microsoft "needs to be a brand that represents the future. Be slightly aggressive unlike Google and Apple's friendly marketing. Promise to deliver...

  • If ACTA is a nuclear sub, the European Parliament just sank it

    The European Parliament has rejected Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a proposed piece of internet legislation that threatened to apply restrictions to online freedom. ACTA is an international blueprint for handling intellectual property infringement. More specifically, it provides guidelines — subject to tweaking by a signing country’s own domestic laws — for dealing with counterfeit goods, generic medicines and most importantly for us netizens, copyright infringement on the internet. Designed as a trade agreement by the US, it was signed in October of last year by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. In...

  • Apple gets its lawyers out, goes after iPad 3.com

    It's becoming even more difficult to predict what that fruity company will do next. Early this year, we were all waiting in anticipation for the iPad 3. At the launch, we found out that we were calling it the wrong thing: Apple had decided the new iPad was not the iPad 3, but just the new iPad. So why on earth does it want to become the owner of iPad3.com? For the same reason it owns iPhone5.com and is often accused of patent-trolling: to protect its intellectual property. Fusible reports that the law firm which deals with Apple's patent and...

  • Hitler displeased about revelations concerning SA internet radio stats

    If you thought you've heard the last of the internet radio racket caused by IT sleuth, Shaun Dewberry's sensational exposé on listenership stats, think again. A German radio station conglomerate with radio stations in South Africa has now caught wind of the revelations and thanks to a tipoff, we have a video depicting the drama as the station's boss comes to terms with the station's true listenership numbers. Take a look as its moustachioed boss prepares for the ruin of the station he had so proudly boasted about. Evidently giving back those sponsored Pumas really smarts. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • User-generated content: How customers form opinions

    Anyone who regularly shops online knows how influential customer reviews of products have become. This form of user-generated content (UGC) shows up on the e-commerce sites of internet giants such as Amazon as well as up-and-coming web entrepreneurs across the globe. And there's good reason why businesses have encouraged the growth of customer reviews. These little nuggets of opinion do more than company-produced content to help people make up their minds about products. Consider these statistics from a recent MarketingSherpa case study: Customer reviews resulted in a 125% higher conversion rate Visitors who read customer reviews spent 157% longer on the...

  • 3 key factors to bear in mind when developing a social strategy

    Facebook believes in "social by design." In other words, something is not social unless your deigned it to be social. Social needs to be a core part of what you do and not just utilising social websites. Understanding this concept is key to designing social media strategies. A strategy becomes social when it leverages the social aspect of life rather than uses a social network. There are three primary social elements that we should be thinking about when we develop a social strategy. 1. Personalisation A social strategy will look to customise a campaign with a personalised interface for the user that enhances...

  • Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’: a fundamental guide to business

    Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a timeless, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, both rich in symbolism and conspicuously relevant in its contemporary application. As a parable for entrepreneurs, it is practically without parallel. A simple tale that sees a man set out to achieve a goal, and tackle the challenges that befall him and his determination to realise his ambition. The Old Man and the Sea's succinct, powerful grit registers as a fundamental guide to business. It’s a book I have read many times, and with each new reading I feel a stronger kinship with the...

  • Are we underestimating Skype’s potential as a social network?

    One thing missing from most social networking sites is the most basic form of communication: talking. Sure, conversations are happening all the time, but generally take on a written form as opposed to a verbal one. Online sharing platforms (that don’t involve actual speech) are increasingly becoming the commonly and socially accepted way to converse. To let people know where we are, we check in. To arrange or RSVP to a party or event, we do so on Facebook, or Google+. To tell our friends about an awesome new product, we tweet it, and to give our boyfriends birthday present...

  • Social wine discovery service Real Time Wine uncorks delicious mobile apps

    The world of wine is about to get super social and dramatically less snooty. Real Time Wine, the 140-character wine blog is now available in the form of beautiful apps for iPhone and Android phones. Real Time Wine makes it easy for those who don't consider themselves intrepid wine connoisseurs to venture out and try something new “Most wine buyers are not wine experts,” says founder Andy Hadfield. “The challenge of discovering new wine at the right price is so great that we tend to stick to the old and familiar. Real Time Wine makes the process of choosing, drinking...