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  • Why ninety-nine cents is still too much for a cellphone call

    South Africa is country with an incredibly high mobile penetration, but which has always suffered from excessively high voice call rates. This week it seemed like all that was changing. The country’s third operator CellC threw the first volley, announcing that call rates on prepaid packages would drop to 99c per minute. Vodacom, the country’s first and biggest operator, responded in kind, saying that it too would reduce its rates to 99c per minute. And the masses rejoiced. My question is simple: Is this a genuine overture to provide a quality service to its clients or simply "just enough" to placate...

  • Cheat sheet: The Facebook IPO

    Chances are, anyone in your office even remotely interested in tech or business is going to be talking about Facebook's IPO today. If you're feeling a little out in the cold, don't worry. We've got your back. Here's everything you need to know about the Facebook IPO in a nutshell. The social network’s initial public offering consists of 421 233 615 shares. Shares will start trading at US$38 apiece. Predict the closing price. There are two classes of Facebook stock. Class A stock is worth one vote, and is available to the public to buy on the open market. Class B stock...

  • Facebook’s IPO will only make Mark Zuckerberg stronger

    Facebook is not interested in reforming Wall Street with its IPO, as Google tried to do with its Dutch auction process and snubbing the big investment firms. So it shouldn't be surprising that Facebook isn't interested in adopting a more open company governance structure either. In fact, Facebook has copied Google's corporate structure as closely as it could, and even improved on it. The two-tier shares where insider's shares have 10 times the voting power is common to both companies. Mark Zuckerberg figured out an additional way of keeping control that Google's founders missed: he managed to...

  • Non Facebook IPO news: Woman divorces husband over status

    While the press scrutinises every move surrounding Facebook’s IPO, it is worthwhile remembering that life goes on. Sometimes it goes on hilariously. According to the Deccan Chronicle, an Indian woman is divorcing her husband for failing to change his Facebook status from “single”. The man meanwhile says he was just too busy settling into matrimonial bliss and running his furniture repair business to change his status. The 28-year-old woman is am IT professional who says she decided to divorce her 31-year-old husband because his failure to change his relationship status means she can’t trust him. A judge has given...

  • We can’t live without the internet, it can’t live without us

    "We have a symbiotic relationship with the internet, we cannot live without it and I am pretty sure if it could think, the internet could not imagine existence without users," says Yasushi Okamura, Global client director at Oracle. Okamura, who was addressing the audience at the Korea Communications Conference, suggests that human beings have undergone a symbiosis with the internet that has enabled both parties to evolve greatly in the last 25+ years. "We have evolved and adapted the internet into our working and personal lives," he says. Okamura reckons that we have come to rely on the internet so...

  • Mark Zuckerberg greeted by standing ovation at pre-IPO hackathon [PICS]

    It’s finally here. Today is Facebook IPO day. You might think that Mark Zuckerberg would be kicking back in his hoodie and slippers. You’d be wrong. Instead, the Facebook CEO was on hand to launch the company’s 31st hackathon -- aimed at building brand new Facebook products. When Zuckerberg arrived at the marathon hacking session at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park California, he was greeted with a standing ovation. Facebook staffer Francis Luu posted these some great pictures of the event. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites, but you can check out the rest on...well, they’re hardly going...

  • Digital innovators to star at 2012 Flux Trend Review

    If you want to meaningfully participate in the world you, never mind change it, you need to know what forces are driving shaping it. Anyone who's still has doubts about how digital online technologies are changing the way we function as human beings need only look at the speaker list for this year's Flux Trends Review, set to take place on 7 June in Johannesburg. The annual event claims to cherry-pick "the best thought leaders to provide a 360-degree look at the hotspots of change, emerging trends globally and in South Africa allowing business to short-cut the process of...

  • Facebook confirms stock price ahead of much-hyped IPO

    The wait for one of the most eagerly anticipated public debuts in tech history ends tomorrow. Anyone currently biting their nails in anticipation has to be content with the titbits of information coming through from the social network. The latest nugget to come through is that Facebook has confirmed what it will be pricing its stock at. When it enters the NASDAQ tomorrow, ordinary members of the public will be able to buy shares in the world's largest social network for US$38, raising US$16-billion. The company has twice expanded its share offering in the lead up to the IPO...

  • Google’s Knowledge Graph: Nothing is new under the sun

    Google has just announced the launch of Knowledge Graph, which it sees as a smarter way to search. Knowledge Graph is a way of tying together pieces of meta-data about things, such as their relationships to other things within the world. What this means is that when you search for something that is available in the Knowledge Graph, Google will display additional information about the thing that you searched for, so that you can directly access facts before having to browse through a bunch of web-pages. So, for instance, if you search for "William Shakespeare" you will be able...

  • All you need to know about Facebook’s gigantic IPO [Infographic]

    Eight years ago, Facebook was started in a dorm room at Harvard University. Now it's about to become a public company, valued at US$100-billion. Those must have been the craziest eight years of Mark Zuckerberg's life. As the social network's initial public offering (IPO) is scheduled for tomorrow, it seems like a good time to reflect on what the company has become, and ponder if you'll be one of the investors to snatch up a little part of Facebook for somewhere between US$28 and US$35. This infographic offers a concise summary of everything that's been going down in the world of...

  • Four aspects of technology I really don’t understand

    I am, admittedly, not as bad as my mother when it comes to understanding the technological trappings of our modern world. I am even sometimes able to provide her with technical support when she calls me with her problems and queries (examples include "how do I like something on Facebook?" and "where is on?"). But, for someone who was born sometime after 1940, I am somewhat of a technological retard, and here are some of the things I struggle with the most… 1. Smartphones I have a BlackBerry. Apparently this is classified as a smart phone, but I have to say...

  • The dramatic fall of BitCoin: No end in sight

    We've discussed BitCoin at some length on Memeburn, including how it works, its potential downfalls, and its genuine merits. BitCoin has experienced its ups and downs in the few years that it has emerged as an online currency. Last year, a major 'pick-pocketing' scandal when an anonymous BitCoin user claimed that thieves had managed to steal nearly US$ 500 000 worth of BitCoin. Although the case was unverified, a series of similar incidents caused the BitCoin exchange rate to crash at the time. This year, a number of new attacks on BitCoin have raised further concerns for the online...

  • ORM: It’s non-negotiable

    As any successful company will tell you, building a good reputation is not an easy process and it usually takes years of hard work to get it done. With the explosion of Web 2.0 in the last couple of years, many companies are focusing on social media experts (brand ambassadors) and trusted PR agencies to build them a positive online reputation around their products, services, and their brand. Everyone that has access to the online universe can be a "citizen journalist" and has the ability to share anything with the community on their social web channels. A negative comment, review,...

  • Television in the social era: It’s not about your audience

    Yes yes we get it, television is getting more social and we can now follow are favourite TV shows on Twitter and Like them on Facebook. Smart TVs allow us to watch and share and that's pretty awesome, but what does all that actually mean for the future of the telly? According to John Cabral of Viacom Media Networks, a new medium is on its way. Speaking at the Korea Communications Conference, Cabral argues that the "current distinctions between the internet and will disintegrate and new medium will be established." Cabral believes this new medium will challenge traditional models of...

  • Standard bank claims ‘world first’ with NFC-enabled debit card

    Standard Bank has rolled out what it claims is the world's first bank card to include both NFC and debit card functionality. The so-called Muvo card was developed in partnership with the South African bank's business development centre and innovation incubator Beyond Payments. The debit card functionality will come from Mastercard, which has given the card the go-ahead. Beyond Payments claims the dual-function card “is believed to be a world first in the realm of cashless payment technology.” The product was designed to meet the specifications of the country's National Department of Transport. This is because the first members of...