• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Wii U & Me

    So now we know what Nintendo had up its sleeves. The Wii U controller-tablet hybrid. There was talk that the new Nintendo console would be called simply “Nintendo”. I favoured of that name, since it brought back memories of the days when that word itself was a synonym for video games. Instead, the new Nintendo console is called Wii U, most likely to capitalise on the positive brand image of the original Wii. I was never a fan of the name Wii, and this isn’t lighting my fire either. Name aside, however, I’ll admit that I am intrigued by Nintendo’s...

  • Visa snaps up SA mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110m

    Visa, the world’s largest credit and debit card network, has snapped up South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110-million in cash. The Cape Town-based Fundamo is a privately-held company which has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company has been operating since 1999 and has a number of funders which include Cape Town venture capitalists and emerging market investment group PoweredByVC, investment company Remgro and financial services corporate Sanlam. PoweredByVC is also linked to dot.com billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo’s deployments currently have...

  • Nokia’s technology chief ‘quits over strategy’

    Nokia has watched its global market share dwindle in recent years, and another nail hovered over the mobile giant’s coffin on Thursday. Finland’s leading daily Helsingin Sanomat reported that Nokia’s head of technology has taken a leave of absence and is not coming back after disagreement over a new group strategy. “Two independent sources for the Helsingin Sanomat say (Rich) Green will be gone until the end of the year and is unlikely to return to Nokia,” the newspaper said. The Finnish company told AFP that Green “had taken leave to attend to a personal matter” but did not provide further...

  • Work the look: 5 tips for online clothing retailers

    Clothing is one of the biggest growth markets for online retail, with more people welcoming the obvious benefits of online clothes shopping: no battling the crowds, saving time and often money; not having to faff around in changing rooms; and the confidence of knowing you can always return it if it doesn’t fit just right. And yet apparel is still one of the most difficult things to sell online — a hard truth not helped by the fact that, for the most part, online fashion retailers still don’t do it really well. Reading some of the headlines around the fashion/tech...

  • Can Chinese microblogging sensation Weibo trump Twitter?

    Chinese online media company Sina Corporation is set to launch an English version of its microblogging site Weibo (pronounced Wei-bohr), and it’s worth seeing how the site stacks up against Twitter, its Western counterpart. China is often berated for the facsimiles it produces of Western technological innovations. It’s no laughing matter. In fact, the Western world can only marvel at the speed and efficiency at which these products are copied, manufactured and then distributed in China &#151 although admittedly the quality is often variable. Whether or not you agree in principle or not is irrelevant. Human progress has been built...

  • M-Pesa’s rollercoaster ride

    M-Pesa, the world-famous mobile payment system, has effectively become a type of credit card for poor communities in East Africa. The payment system has had unbelievable success in this region and other emerging market regions, prompting interest in it from many sectors in the world. But M-Pesa is much more than a mobile payment system. It’s a blueprint for a future mobile-based currency, used by every corner and every community in the world. It’s also testament to how emerging market countries are using technology and innovation to overcome barriers. It’s an example of how countries, that are largely behind the...

  • Facebook under fire for photo tagging feature

    Facebook is coming under fire for a feature that uses facial-recognition software to allow members to tag pictures of their friends on the social network. The “Tag Suggestions” feature uses facial recognition software to match newly uploaded photos to photos that have been tagged elsewhere and suggests the name of the friend in the photo for tagging. The feature made its debut on Facebook in the US six months ago and has been steadily rolled out in other countries ever since. But this week, security firm Sophos issued an alert. Expert Graham Cluley raised objections to the fact that the...

  • Alibaba to help Japan crack Chinese market

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba says it has launched a service to help Japanese manufacturers crack the fast-growing Chinese market. The Tokyo-based arm of Alibaba.com said the new service &#152 which uses Taobao, China’s largest retail website &#151 would help Japanese consumer goods makers cut through red tape. “High-quality Japanese products are popular on the Taobao site, so we have been receiving requests from users to directly buy the products from Japanese firms,” said Taobao CEO, Jonathan Lu. Alibaba.com Japan president Makoto Koyama said: “It is indispensable for Japanese firms to capitalise on brisk demand in China and other emerging economies to...

  • Google and the Chinese Phisherman

    It’s like something out of a spy movie: On the 1st of June, Google announced that it had uncovered a “campaign to collect user passwords” that was aimed at the personal Gmail accounts of “senior US government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.” The origin of these activities? Jinan, China. Google outlined the details of the case in a blog post on Thursday, and offered reassurance to its customers along with tips on how to improve their security online. Google is naturally at pains to point out that its security...

  • Mobile may help heal Africa

    With the world’s highest rates of HIV and TB, health care provision has to be at the top of most African countries’ agendas — and innovative use of mobile technologies may be just the salve they are looking for. Misha Kay, who examines cellphone technology for the World Health Organisation (WHO), recently told the Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town that there was a “fairly healthy groudswell of activity” in mobile-health initiatives. There are more than 5-billion mobile phone subscribers in the world, and 85% of the planet covered by a commercial wireless signal. In a recent global survey, the WHO...

  • What the web thinks of eBay’s Magento buyout

    When auction giant eBay announced this week that it was buying out the well-known ecommerce platform Magento, reaction was varied. In announcing the buyout eBay President and CEO John Donahoe stated that Magento would merge with the company’s own open source, online retailing platform X.Commerce. Precisely how X.Commerce will work, and what part Magento has to play in it will only be revealed in October during eBay’s X.Commerce Innovate Conference. Here’s what some of the web’s commentators had to say: Mashable: Mashable’s Christina Warren noted the uncertainty around the fate of Magento’s open-source Community Edition, which is currently a...

  • Turning users into customers

    Social media sites have spent the better part of the last year drastically focusing on how their users can turn fellow users into customers. Using digital advertising platforms are critical. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed recently that U.S. online advertising grew by 13.9% in 2010, reaching a record US$25.8 billion, as Fox Business reports. Globally 10.2% of the US$79-billion invested in online advertising next year will be in the social media space. Perhaps the most interesting of all these developments is the advertising that is not recorded amongst: growing number of businesses using social media as...

  • iBorg: three new ways Apple will eat you

    Apple has done it again – it has an amazing knack of taking technology that’s been on the market for years, packaging it, integrating it, and presenting it to the world as a revolution. While Jobs-haters have a point that Apple has done very little in the way of actual innovation (name almost any Apple technology and you’ll find a non-Apple variant that predates it significantly), the company has the magical ability to make it work. Seamlessly, easily, intuitively – and cleverly integrated so that it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. There are a host of new...

  • App of the week: Moneybook

    This week I take a look at Moneybook, a simple yet powerful personal finance app that looks great and is unrivalled in ease of use. Pay day: the long-awaited day of the month that sees your bank account being credited for all the hard work that you’ve put in over the last four weeks. For me, the week leading up to this pivotal day is a bit of a weird time, kind of bittersweet, actually. On the one hand I’m excited… Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Daily Maverick reveals ‘iPad-only’ daily newspaper

    The proposed iMaverick iPad app. Looks very much like a magazine. For the past week, readers of South African upstart news and analysis site, Daily Maverick, have been teased with ads promising: “A tablet to improve your mental health” and the launch of “something to make the news a pleasure to digest”. Now the news is out. Launched from the ashes of the failed Maverick Magazines, the Daily Maverick is looking to shake-up the local digital-journalism scene with the launch of a new daily news-based iPad app which it describes as “South Africa’s first daily newspaper specifically designed for the iPad.” This...