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  • Facebook wants to improve on social games in 2012

    Facebook wants to use its Open Graph make it easier for people to build social games, particularly in the mobile space. The social network may, however, have to do a little more to convince developers disgruntled by the low conversion rate from free to paid users. At the Inside Social Apps 2012 conference in San Francisco director of product management at Facebook Carl Sjogreen spoke about the social network’s desire to make it easier for people to build cross-platform apps. “If you are building a social application...it’s really important to think about cross-platform,” he said. Previously, said Sjorgreen, “You sort...

  • Indian eCommerce giant Flipkart buys out competitor Lets Buy

    Indian ecommerce powerhouse Flipkart has bought out rival Lets Buy. That’s according to Indian tech site Medianama. The site reports that Flipkart could have paid anywhere between US$20-million and US$30-million for its rival. Medianama reports, however, that the terms of the deal are not yet known and that it had not been confirmed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. LetsBuy investors, meanwhile, were reluctant to comment on any possible buyout. Vin Network co-founder Manish Vij, for instance, simply said: “LetsBuy is the second largest player in the country, and is the strongest competitor to Flipkart. From a comscore standpoint, it...

  • Chrome 17 features safer downloads, smarter prerendering

    Google has released version 17 of its popular Chrome browser. Given its rapid release schedule and its various beta and developer channels, there are no major surprises in this release. The new features in this update, however, are well worth the update. Aside from the usual bug and security fixes, Chrome 17 introduces Google's download scanner to ensure the executable files you download aren't known malware or viruses. In addition, Google's browser now features smarter pre rendering when you are typing a URL into the omnibox. This update came just a day after Google also launched Chrome for Android. Prerendering The...

  • Google ScreenWise pays you for your data

    You're the product! I hear this over and over on all of the geeky sites that I tend to frequent. It's a direct response to every article that comes out describing how yet another "free" online service is gathering every last shred of data on its users, in order to gain access to some of that precious advertising revenue. Now, Google is finally acknowledging that your data is worth a lot of money. In fact, it's willing to pay you for it. All you have to do is install the Google ScreenWise extension and then carry on with your every...

  • Apps4Africa looks to tech for climate change solutions

    Apps are important. After all, they're everywhere: on our smartphones, tablets, PCs and even TVs. There’s a reason people talk so enthusiastically about the so-called "app economy". One initiative is looking to recognise that with a global completion. Apps4Africa claims to encourage “individuals to develop technological solutions to environmental challenges” The latest iteration of the competition offers people the chance to win US$15 000 if they can provide a winning technological solution to the problem of climate change. So prominent was the first Apps4Africa competition in 2010 that US secretary of state Hillary Clinton congratulated the winners. ...

  • 5 Gum promotes Two Door Cinema Club tour using only social media [Update]

    There are a few things you need when it comes to organising a major music tour: the band, venues, equipment. If the tour is to be a success, however, you need a major across-the-line marketing campaign right? Chewing gum brand 5 Gum is looking to question that logic. The brand is organising a South African tour for up-and-coming UK band Two Door Cinema Club. Here’s the kicker though, 5 Gum is marketing the tour exclusively via social media and word of mouth. Fair enough. Social media has a guaranteed, quantifiable reach without the expense of traditional advertising. 5...

  • The Amazing Spiderman looks set to sling a web of viral proportions

    Yes it's going mad. It's all most of the internet is talking about it. Peter Parker's return to the big screen in the all new movie, The Amazing Spiderman. The last Spiderman franchise ended with more of fizzle than a bang, but this new "untold story" has all the geeks excited. Starring Andrew Garfield of The Social Network fame, the movie promises to be a 3D spectacular. With a YouTube count of more than 2-million views, this trailer is well on its way to some viral love. The trailer is one of the most discussed topic on aggregation site...

  • Not free, not open: The Memeburn interview with WhatsApp’s Brian Acton

    In one of only a handful of public interviews ever given by WhatsApp, co-founder Brian Acton talks exclusively to Memeburn about simplicity, speed and simplicity, and what it takes to make some cash. The fact that WhatsApp is so popular is no surprise, and yet to become the number one smartphone messaging app in a sea of same-same services is mysterious. Sure, people like to communicate, and will latch onto a service that lets them do it easily and cheaply. But for every WhatsApp, there are ten other flavours that have cuter logos, more features, more platforms, do more,...

  • Your Twitter following — more than friends

    You see it everywhere: “Follow us on Twitter!” For good reason, too. Businesses correctly recognise Twitter as a major marketing tool – a way to reach users who are increasingly active in social media. Companies and websites alike are constantly seeking new followers as a means to get out a specific message. However, the composition of your following, in many ways, is more important than the total number of followers you have. Below, read about some basic strategies used to attract the right kind of followers. Lead by following Since the dawn of Twitter – some six years ago – this...

  • 5 Reasons we need new specialised social platforms for business interaction

    Utilising social networks to benefit your ideas or business can be tough. Fortunately, there are more options out there than we tend to exercise. We decided to take a look at the reasons why our current social platforms just don't cut it anymore, and what we can do to combat the war zone of tweets, stumbles and pins -- to come out on top. 1. So you don’t get lost in the mix Existing social platforms are excellent for tapping into a hugely flooded network of people. Today, you can reach almost anyone on one of the main portals. The disadvantage...

  • Jump Shopping launches new eCommerce price comparison tool

    Jump Shopping has launched a brand new price comparison tool aimed specifically at the South African ecommerce market. The tool, called FindPrice, is reportedly aimed at helping shoppers keep track of the deals they find online. According to Jump Shopping, it does this by listing products from a number of stores by category. The ecommerce platform also claims to have built “new and extensive filters” into FindPrice. These filters, it claims, allow for offers to be "matched and grouped on a single page". They also mean that customers will be able to "compare prices and make decisions knowing...

  • Logitech Wireless Touchpad: reinventing the wheel

    Who ever thought that turning a mouse on its belly and rubbing its little rubber nubbin would be preferable to standard mouse control? The trackball actually predates the mouse, so screw that antiquated form of movement and embrace the gleaming future of control with the Logitech Wireless Touchpad. Overall design With the colour scheme of a killer whale, the Touchpad is a thing of refined beauty. Logitech knows how to design desktop gadgets. The Touchpad's smooth surface feels dense and resilient, it's like rubbing my finger against the surface of fine leather wallet. The back is made of pure ivory-like plastic,...

  • Silicon Valley’s dirty little startup secret

    In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups. And there's lots of money being made, especially among the Super Angels, the incubators such as Y Combinator, the micro-VCs, and people such as Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, who have made fortunes selling startups to larger companies. Sometimes startup teams can go from seed to exit in under a year. For the investors, making dozens of $10K to $25K seed investments, can be tremendously...

  • Meanwhile, in Korea… LG Optimus Vu with 5-inch, 4:3 display

    With everyone running Android on 16:9 aspect ratio hardware these days, it’s really hard for consumer electronics companies to create devices that grab our attention. LG’s upcoming 5-inch 4:3 display LG Optimus Vu has my attention. The Vu is different, yes, but I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not. The device is yet to launch, but already people’s initial reactions seem to be mixed. Is it a big phone or a small tablet? LG’s thinking here is logical. The iPad is the world’s most popular tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio display. The 5.3-inch 16:9 display Samsung...

  • Apple makes more in day than Twitter does in a year

    The hype surrounding Facebook’s IPO filing was huge and the recent forecast that Twitter’s ad revenue is set to hit US$540-million by 2014 was news in and of itself. Here’s the thing though, Apple makes way more than either of the social networking giants. In fact, it pulls in more in a day than Twitter does in a year. The pertinent reminder comes courtesy of Forbes, who base their figures on the Cupertino-based tech giant’s stellar financial results from the first quarter of 2012. Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$46.33-billion and record quarterly net profit of US$13.06-billion. Thing...