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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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  • The ‘Maker Movement’ will produce the next Steve Jobs

    I used to meet with Steve jobs in the 1980s, when he was lauded as a visionary. To be honest I wasn't that impressed with him. Sure, he deserved credit for the Apple I and then Lisa, which turned into the Macintosh but it was too early to tell what he was capable of doing. Lots of people are successful in Silicon Valley and he was among them but you never know how much luck is involved. In the case of Steve Jobs it wasn't about luck. Steve Jobs stands out because of his consistent success, he's hit more balls...

  • Facebook Deals shuts down

    After five months of running its online deals program, Facebook is now shutting it down for good. Facebook Deals, which supplied users with online coupons in line with similar deal sites like Groupon, will now be shut down in the US, according to a statement by the social networking giant. The service was also available in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and was recently launched in South Africa. "After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We think there is a lot of power in a social approach...

  • Idea Bounty: Turning crowdsourcing into cash

    How could you get paid to add to the crowdsourcing debate? It's simple, according to Daniel Neville, Brand Co-ordinator at Idea Bounty. Just do it. Idea Bounty is a global crowdsourcing platform connecting clients with thousands of creatives around the world in order to help "solve marketing and communications briefs and challenges", says the company. Clients pay for only the ideas they use and creatives receive a "bounty" for winning submissions. It's an idea clearly seeking to cash in on the crowdsourcing phenomenon, one that until now has been associated with profit in the popular imagination. Nic Ray and Rob...

  • Play it again Sam, play the top 5 great game remakes

    True remakes in games. Why so few? Hollywood loves remaking the same stuff ad nauseum, whereas game studios just rewarm or port over. While I was contemplating the metaphysical implications of rehashes, it occurred to me that this is something you don’t often see in videogames: The straightforward remake. Not a reboot or port to a handheld. Taking an existing game and making it all over again using the latest technology, but keeping the same plot and gameplay elements and changing as little as possible. Sort of like an HD directors cut, if you will. Read more Gearburn.comvar 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...

  • China’s Sina Weibo bans users for spreading ‘false rumours’

    China's largest microblogging service has contacted millions of its users warning them to ignore any false reports spread over the network. The move is being viewed by some as a sign of growing unease over the rise of social networking sites in the country. Sina sent at least two messages to its Weibo (pronounced Wei-bohr) users refuting rumours which had spread through the network. One such rumour stated that the suspected murderer of a 19 year old woman had been released on bail because of his father's connections. The social network said the bloggers who had posted the...

  • Google’s Eric Schmidt bashes Britain

    Addressing the annual Edinburgh International Television Festival, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, lambasted the United Kingdom for allowing itself to throw "away your great computing heritage". Organisers billed Schmidt's speech as a "first in history", as it was the first time in the festival's 35 year history that that the MacTaggart keynote speech was delivered "by someone not directly involved in the TV industry". Schmidt was invited to discuss the impact of the internet revolution on the television industry with statements such as, "almost every invention that has reinvigorated and helped the media industry thrive was at first forecast to...

  • The ‘Chinese Room’ and why computers can’t figure out sarcasm

    Econsultancy.com, which recently launched its Twitter for Business Guide, suggests that, contrary to popular belief, most of the sentiment posted about brands on Twitter is positive. This piece of data is also contrary to Brandwatch's Customer Service Index, which states that out of the 16 000 tweets it studied 48 percent were negative, 16 percent positive and 36 percent were neutral. The survey found that 26 percent of consumers say they have complained about a brand on Twitter compared to over half (58 percent) who have praised a brand on the site. Whilst the two documents definitely differ in terms...

  • EULA regret signing away your life to play a game

    Imagine for a moment that you’ve decided to spend your money on… something, anything really. A car, a cellphone, an iPad, a haircut, pay TV service, whatever. Now imagine for a second that an intrinsic part of that transaction gives whoever you are trading with the right to enter your home and rummage through your personal belongings and those of your kids. And they can do this with impunity. Furthermore, not only would they be able to do that, they would be able to extend that right, perhaps at a price, to anyone of their choosing. Would you still participate...

  • Ex Naspers exec talks emerging markets and entrepreneurship

    Former Naspers executive Kim Reid is the man behind Takealot. This South African online retail site is looking to gain significant market share in a sector where Naspers-backed Kalahari.net is the country's predominant force. Memeburn sat down for an exclusive interview with Reid, tackling his views on emerging markets, entrepreneurship and the shift from corporate -- alongside his perspective on the future of eCommerce and what his latest venture seeks to achieve. Emerging Markets to Watch When it comes to BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa), Reid feels that Brazil is flying: "There are many fantastic entrepreneurs in...

  • A throwaway smartphone – Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

    Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X8. A big name for a candybar-sized smartphone that will barely register in your hands (note: have gorilla-sized paws, but even so). This teeny, tiny Android phone is a ‘starter’ smartphone – it comes with all the features you would expect from its grownup counterparts (like the Xperia X10), but at a lower price-point. It comes with a selection of colourful back-plates, clearly marking it a phone for the “fun” side of the market. Getting around With a three-inch 320×480 screen you aren’t getting much viewing space for your cash, and the phone feels rather cramped as...

  • SMS and its role in the future of mobile marketing

    Today, mobile marketing is the fastest and most effective way to reach your audience and is an area of intense fascination for marketers and advertisers and users alike. The mobile revolution is happening and mCommerce is changing consumer behaviour in much the same way eCommerce has. With its high level of consumer acceptance, mobile marketing provides instant communication, since the mobile phone is always on person and always active. There are now far more people in the world who connect through the mobile web than there are connected PC users, and so, one of the biggest current decisions for mobile...

  • Is ‘quality content’ a Google red herring? [Analysis]

    I've been writing about Google's Panda algorithm change and the huge amount of pain that it's caused for content websites since it was introduced in late February. Before the launch of Panda, Google spent months bad-mouthing "content farms" and boasting about how the new algorithm would weed out the bad content. The first version was called "Farmer" as a reference to "content farms" -- sites that scrape or produce low quality content just to game search rankings. Who could argue with such a noble goal? When the Panda "Farmer" algorithm hit the internet, though, it failed to highlight "quality" content. Quality sites,...

  • Mobile internet on the rise as Gaddafi’s reign ends

    As the world's eyes fix on Libya and the capture of its infamous leader, the country’s mobile networks are beginning to operate again. This according to figures released by mobile advertising network, Buzzcity. In the last few months, Libya has been in headlines over the refusal of its controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down from the office he has held since 1969. On Wednesday, however, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli when rebel forces captured his Bab al-Azizia compound. Libyan traffic peaked in January 2011 with 110-million ads served but has dropped each month since, to an all time...

  • Video Review: LG Optimus Black

    Black and blocky – you’re not going to get a much bigger screen this side of a tablet, and it’s got some pretty serious innards to power its Androidy goodness. Gearburn weighs up the iffy build quality against the sheer value for money. For more see Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • First National Bank app now available on BlackBerry Curve

    One of South Africa's top four banks, First National Bank (FNB), has announced that its successful mobile banking application is now available for download on the majority of BlackBerry smartphones. Users of the popular BlackBerry Curve and Bold series will also be able to download the app which was featured as app of the week on Gearburn.com. Farren Roper Head of Products and Markets at FNB Connect says "we launched our App with touchscreen BlackBerry smartphones and had an overwhelming response from keypad device customers to make the app available to them as well." Roper went on to say that,...