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  • Amazon’s Kindle Fire is not an iPad killer, but boy it changes the game

    Content. Content. Content. Apple gets it. And Amazon gets it. Is it any coincidence then that tablets created by these two companies will be the category leaders for the next few years? In launching the Kindle Fire, Amazon instantly created a hit. Not because it was selling support for Flash. Or dual quad-processors with eleventy hundred gigs of storage or two different-megapixel cameras. There aren’t five different models for all kinds of mobile networks. And you don’t have to choose between “Honeycomb” or “Gingerbread”. Consumers don’t understand this. What is Android 2.2? What is Android 2.3? Why do I even need to...

  • Review: Cheerfully video-tastic Samsung BluRay home theatre

    This thing is seriously compact. The Samsung HT-D6750W is a Blu-Ray player and an audio/video receiver/amplifier/media center/post-space-age statement — all in one small box. It has four tall skinny speakers that take up no space, and it’s wireless. What’s not to love? Well, the sound quality, but let’s not get picky. Small house? Love movies? On a budget? This one’s for you. It’s a svelte 6cm high, and 43cmx33cm wide and deep, so it can slide into a pretty small shelf. It has no air vents on top, so you don’t need to worry about leaving a big gap, although...

  • ‘Unfunny, unlike': Joke causes furore in US

    Satirical news publication The Onion gets a lot of laughs by crossing the line. Even some of the most devoted fans of the popular humour outlet, though, were recently left complaining that it may have gone too far. The Onion posted a cryptic update to its 3.1-million Twitter followers and 1.9-million Facebook fans: Following the posts, the Onion feed remained silent for 10 minutes. In this period, discussion was rife on both Facebook and Twitter as to whether the Onion was being serious, had been hacked, or was being satirical. Subsequent tweets and Facebook updates, however, made it clear the message...

  • The landscape of the Kenyan mobile scene [infographic]

    The research team at the iHub put together some stats on mobile numbers in Kenya. A special nod to Leo Mutuku for gathering it all from so many sources, and to Patrick Munyi for creating this cool visualization of it. Explaining the infographic, they write: The arrival of the undersea fiber cables in Kenya in 2009 has revolutionized the technology and economic sectors. Kenya is one of very few countries in Africa with a comprehensive framework set up in this regard. Average national download speeds have increased from 670.89 kbps in 2009 to 3 806.03 Kbps in 2011. Further, mobile...

  • Twitter study indicates world is happiest in the morning

    People all over the world are happiest in the morning, at least that’s what the results of one US study indicate. The results came via an analysis of hundreds of millions of messages on Twitter. The study was conducted by a team of sociologists from Cornell University who used language software to detect the presence of positive words in 509-million tweets from 2.4-million users in 84 different countries over a two-year period. According the study, mood peaks were detected early in the morning but began to dip at around the time that most people start their working days. A...

  • ‘PlayBook death pure fiction’ — RIM

    Rumours that Blackberry was discontinuing its line of PlayBook tablets have been dismissed by Research in Motion (RIM). Research in Motion has assured its users that it remains committed to the production of the PlayBook. The rumours spread after analyst John Vhin stated that production on the tablets had halted. Vhin said, "We believe (RIM) has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market. Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIM has cancelled development of additional tablet projects."var 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");

  • ‘Big Alcohol’ releases new social media marketing guidelines

    A group of leading distillers in the US and Europe will adopt a new code of conduct aimed at limiting which websites they can market their products on. According to the guidelines, developed by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and the European Forum for Responsible Drinking, distillers will have to limit marketing to websites in which “at least 71.6% of the audience is reasonably expected to of the legal purchase age”. In much of the US, this is 21. The distillers will still, therefore, be able to advertise on Facebook, where the estimated over-21 audience...

  • The post-E3 game drought is no more

    While dawdling along on the interwebs the other day, I stumbled upon a list of games released in September. And I have to say, even though I was aware of it on a subconscious level, it was really surprising to the see this list of top-tier titles coming out ahead of the Christmas crunch. Take a look at this list: Dead Island Resistance 3 Warhammer 40 000: Space Marine Driver: San Francisco Gears of War 3 FIFA 2012 Though it was released in August, I am going go ahead and include Deus Ex: Human Revolution in with that list as well as most people would have...

  • 5 more great pieces of geeky design

    Last time around we covered everything from origami mouses to Tron-stlye duct tape races. This time we decided to give you some ideas on how you might harvest renewable energy on the table in your lounge or let your jeans break down road and industry pollutants. Or add a playful touch to gardening with a greenhouse made of Lego bricks. Step through the three-storey Timber Wave or melt away in a sculpted chair. Algae energy Designers and scientists at Cambridge University are collaborating on a project that creates devices capable of producing renewable energy from the photosynthesis of algae...

  • QRPedia: Wikipedia makes visiting museums more fun

    Wikipedia is looking to tap into the rising popularity of Quick Response (QR) codes. The free encyclopaedia recently introduced QRPedia, a QR code creation service that lets users snap a picture of a QR code and be automatically directed to a linked mobile Wikipedia entry. The is possibly one of the most innovative ways QR codes have been used. The initiative allows users to create multilingual QR codes that link to Wikipedia articles. In a recent blog post the Wikimedia foundation said: "

  • China’s online population hits 500-million

    China's online population, the largest in the world, has topped the half-billion mark, reports the state-run Xinhua news agency. The agency quoted Wang Chen, chief of the information office of China’s state council as saying that more than 15-million people had gone online since the release of the last figures were released in July. The continuing growth of China’s internet population and the rising use of online tools to criticise authorities has seen an increasing concern in Beijing about the internet’s potential as a tool for generating unrest. The government blocks any content it considers politically sensitive in a...

  • Those 8-million smartphones are just the beginning

    The massive growth in smartphones in emerging markets -- in South Africa the number has doubled in the past year -- has led to many suggesting that the market is close to "saturated". Take into account that there are between 50-million and 55-million active SIM cards in the country, and suddenly 8-million number doesn't look like such a big number any more. There are also well over 2-million “data-only” SIMs in South Africa, but you can easily assume that the majority of these are secondary devices (more often than not, company issue) and these users have smartphones. Pieter Uys, the chief...

  • We are on the verge of an eCommerce revolution

    If you have recently spent any time in the United Kingdom or United States, you will no doubt be aware of the vast difference in eCommerce between South Africa and those countries. In statistics, the difference is made clear: In 2010, UK shoppers spent GBP£58.8bn (US$92bn) online, while South Africans did a paltry ZAR2bn (US$254-million). Even accounting for population differences that's a significant differential. So, why is South Africa so far behind? It's certainly not that eCommerce itself is without benefits. In fact, it's often chosen over traditional retail for three main factors: range, price and convenience. No need for...

  • Is Facebook dying? What the statistics say

    Amidst Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the many new features on Facebook at the recent f8 conference, the young CEO confirmed that the world's most popular social network had hit the 800-million user mark. This figure seems to fly in the face of the many reports on blogs and mainstream media announcing Facebook's "imminent death" despite the anecdotal evidence of a "backlash" against Facebook. Memeburn contributor, Amanda Sevasti explains why people are opting out of Facebook: "Today we have those who delete their Facebook accounts or refuse to have one at all. And I’m not talking about the over-40s, but Millenials...

  • Google looks to capitalise on rising Asian IT market

    Internet giant Google is set to build three data centres in Asia at a cost of more than US$200-million. The centres are being built to help the company cope with rapidly increasing user numbers in the region as well as stiff competition from rivals. The new centres are planned for Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong and are anticipated to take up a collective total of 22.6 hectares of land. Google currently owns and runs data centres in the US and Europe but none in Asia. "The number of users and the amount of internet use in Asia is growing...