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  • 340m people to transfer money via mobile by 2016

    Kenya gave the world hope for the future of mobile money with MPesa. After all, over 20% of the country’s GDP is moved through the service. Replicating that success outside Kenya has, however, been difficult. That may all be about to change though, with the number of people using their mobile phones for person to person (P2P) transfers expected reach 340-million by 2016, up from 84-million last year. According to UK-based tech analysis company Juniper Research, the most likely new adopters of mobile money transfers are unbanked people in emerging markets. While there are opportunities in the space both...

  • Google has a cracker of a first quarter for 2012

    Google announced an amazing first quarter for 2012, with growth of 24% over the same period last year. Total turnover for the quarter was US$ 10.65-billion and its cash stockpile grew to US $49.3- billion. Of greater significance was the more than doubling of the search giant’s net income which rose 60% to US$2.89-billion, compared to the same period in 2010. That this performance came from a traditionally subdued quarter makes the results even more impressive Google surprised the market a little with such a strong turnaround from a challenging 2011 where investments in many new areas, notably Android, Chrome...

  • Online music licensing: The good, the bad and the ugly

    Rumour has it that Spotify is looking around for yet another huge round of investment, one that would take the company’s valuation from around US$1-billion to over US$3-billion. One might ask why a company that seems wildly successful to most always needs new investment. How, with over 2-million paying subscribers, does Spotify continuously end up far in the red? How much in the red you may ask? 2010 saw it post a reported loss of US$42 million... (up from US$26 million in 2009). The numbers aren’t out for 2011 yet, but it’s expected that the losses are still increasing....

  • 5 Tips for using social blogging to grow your business

    "Why do we need a blog" is often the reaction when some suggests it as part of a business’ strategy. The thing is, your blog is your most powerful tool and a key driver of your social media strategy. Why? Well continuous updates and punchy messages can easily increase user heighten interest, provide ongoing regular information and give you a reason to engage with them on an ongoing basis. Social media is no longer an outcast in the business world Social networking has been embraced by the big dogs in the market place, but don’t forget the little guys....

  • Shifting from social media to social business thinking

    The term social media refers to a set of web-based and mobile tools, technologies and platforms that enable connection, communication and collaboration in ways never before possible. Hopefully you’ve cottoned on to this by now. The problem is that this definition doesn’t encompass the undeniable impact social media has had on society and business. I’ve been saying for years now that social media is not about tools, but about people. I believe that companies that grasp the ethos behind social media -- and the behavioural changes resulting from the integration of these tools into daily life -- will easily differentiate...

  • North Korea’s rocket fails, the memes roll in

    You could sense a nervous tingle as North Korea announced plans to send a rocket into space. Was it real, or just a front for deploying intercontinental nuclear missiles? Then one of the world’s most isolated nations invited foreign press in for the launch. It was hoping to show off in a big way. It all suddenly seemed legit and, for some, a little more frightening. Then the whole thing blew apart less than a minute after take-off. While some breathed a sigh of relief, the web went into meme mode. Some poked fun at the country’s fearless leader:...

  • Oooh, Julian Assange’s TV show is on the horizon

    This was inevitable, in fact I am a little surprised it took this long. Wikileaks infamous leader will be coming to a small screen near you in a few short days. At least that's according to a tweet from the organisation's official Twitter account. THE WORLD TOMORROW:NEW ASSANGE TV SHOW AIRING ON Tuesday 17 April 2012Julian Assange has completed (cont) tl.gd/gunqv7— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 13, 2012 Assange -- who has been under house arrest for 500 days -- has completed shooting of a 12 episode television show that will air on RT, a Russian 24-hour television station. Titled, "The...

  • Facebook rolls out merged email and Timeline addresses

    Facebook announced that it will be updating the vanity urls of its users to match their Facebook email addresses. What’s that you say? Facebook forcing change on people without giving them an opt-out option? Queue the pitchfork-waving virtual mob. Before you go storm castle Facebook though, bear in mind that this change won’t actually do much more than give your timeline a url that actually makes sense. It’s also a not-so-subtle attempt by Facebook to push its email service, which was launched in 2010 and was a runaway success. Oh wait no, that’s wrong. Most users were happy with...

  • Apple: price-fixing allegations ‘simply not true’

    Apple’s has rejected claims from the US Justice Department that it colluded with some of the world’s biggest book publishers to fix prices. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the charges were “simply not true”. The US government has previously sued Apple, along with five other publishers, for conspiring to fix the price of ebooks. It later negotiated a compromise with three of the publishers, which could result in cheaper ebooks for consumers. Kerris defended the way Apple works with publishers, saying it was comparable to the way it deals with the...

  • Loopers trailer: Time travel, big guns [Video]

    You know we love geeking out to some of Hollywood's latest offerings, so of course we weren't ballistic when we saw the trailer for Loopers. It's a time travel assassin flick with corporate influences, high-tech time travel and a bit of film noir. Oh, and did we mention the time travel? The upcoming film is directed by third time director Rian Johnson and stars the smoldering Joseph Gordon-Levitt, action veteran Bruce Willis, and ever-present Emily Blunt. In a futuristic but not post-apocalyptic gangland, a killer (Gordon-Levitt) works for a mob in the year 2042. His job,...

  • YouTube opens up partner programme to everyone

    YouTube’s partner programme is what allows people to make money -- real money that is -- from the video-sharing platform. For most of its existence, it’s been available to a select few. All that’s about to change. The Google-owned service announced that it would be opening up the programme to all YouTube users. YouTube claims that, as long you live in one of 20 eligible countries, the process of becoming a partner is fairly simple: YouTube uploaders in these countries can become YouTube partners by enabling their YouTube accounts, and successfully monetising at least one of their videos. The video-sharing...

  • iPads still own the tablet market, but is Microsoft onto something big?

    Apple’s been dominating the tablet scene ever since the first iPad came out. Given the record sales figures for the new iPad it’s hardly surprising that dominance is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Even a soaring market -- sales are up 98% from 2011 -- and a slew of cheap new devices such as Amazon's Kindle Fire can’t put a dent in the Cupertino-based tech giant’s dominance. According to tech research company Gartner, tablets running iOS are expected to account for around 61.4% of tablets sales in 2012. That share is expected to slip to around 45%...

  • Facebook is giving you more of your data, how nice

    Facebook has decided that it will allow users to download more of their private data. This, it claims, will allow them to back up more detailed information from their Facebook account. In a short post on its privacy page, the social networks explain what data it intends to make available to users: Starting today, you will be able to download an expanded archive of your Facebook account history. First introduced in 2010, Download Your Information lets you get a copy of what you've shared on Facebook, such as photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations. Now you...

  • StumbleUpon joins the Facebook Timeline party

    Web users the world over love StumbleUpon as a procrastination tool. Now the social discovery engine has become the latest big name to launch a Facebook Timeline app. In an official blog post, the company says it hopes to bring "the things in life you're most passionate about...to life" with the app. Stumbleupon claims its app is like a number of other Timeline apps in as much as it groups your activity "in a more streamlined format". Rather than being displayed one at a time, it says, your likes will be grouped together. StumbleUpon says the app...

  • Nando’s wishes Jacob Zuma a happy 70th in typical style

    He shares initials with a famous rapper, loves to dance, and always seems to have forgotten where he put his machine gun. Yup, it’s South African president Jacob Zuma and he turns 70 today. Fast-food chain Nando’s decided to celebrate the occasion with one of its trademark ads. The ad makes light of Zuma’s efforts to keep the ANC Youth League under the control of the party as well as his numerous wives and children. Full Size Come to think of it: four wives, and 20 or so children and we’d also forget where things were. Happy Birthday Mr Pres....