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  • Space shuttle embraces social networking as its Swansong approaches

    As NASA winds down its Space Shuttle programme, it is using social media to grant the public unprecedented access to the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Having already retired the Space Shuttle Discovery, this is the last mission for Endeavour. The public access currently given to the Endeavour via social networks, gives off a feeling of a zoo trip to see the last of a dying species. Except the whole time you’re there the zoo keeper has a rifle aimed at the back of the animal’s head. Nonetheless, you too can join the pope and the children of...

  • Ubisoft going online with ‘Ghost Recon’ videogame

    Ubisoft is crafting a free-to-play online version of its popular “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” shooter videogame. “Ghost Recon Online” is a deviation from the French videogame titan’s roots making packaged titles for videogame consoles and comes with the rocketing popularity of online “social games” supported by ads or in-game transactions. “The online market is an exciting new frontier for videogames and for gamers,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a press release. “With ‘Ghost Recon Online,’ and other major upcoming projects, Ubisoft … Read more on Gearburn.com

  • SA mobile ad revenue to reach a billion rands by 2012

    Predictions from upcoming Mobile Mindblast conference suggest that mobile ad revenues in South Africa totalled approximately R500-million in the last year. Year-on-year growth trends indicate that this figure will double by 2012. Estimates on mobile ad spend include display, search and message-based ads. Jason Probert, Head of Vodacom Mobile Media, a conference partner, says: “Previous estimates have dramatically underestimated the size of the mobile advertising industry as they focused on reports submitted to the DMMA by online publishers. When you take into account the entire mobile advertising ecosystem and include mobile ad networks like AdMob, operator services like Apple, mobile...

  • Mac Defender — The phishing scam that rocked Apple

    Apple’s biggest selling point for its Macs has always been the perceived imperviousness to “malware”. The fact that what some regard as the world’s first virus, “Elk Cloner”, was a Mac virus seems to have exited people’s minds. However, in the last couple of weeks reports of what may come to be seen as the first widespread piece of Mac malware have been filtering through. Mac Defender, discovered at the start of this month by antivirus firm Intego, is a phishing scam that targets Mac OS X users through Safari with the aim of gaining personal data (such as credit...

  • Dark Knight Rises: The mysterious viral campaign

    Thanks to the efforts of the Twitter community, new images of the film “The Dark Knight Rises” are now floating about the internet. It’s a nonstop cycle these days, Twitter breaks the news, leaks photos and channels campaigns. That nonstop nature of continuous tweets is what makes Twitter so appealing to us. As an audience we lap up every bit of information that flutters though our Twitter feeds. By feeding on this frenzied source of content, next year’s potential blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises has begun to employ the services of Twitter in what could be referred to as...

  • Cage dancing, Doctor Who, Tesla coils and some Gaga

    Last year’s blockbuster release of Nicholas Cage’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice featured the phenomena of musical Tesla coils. The spectacular scene when the male lead wows the female lead with his musical Tesla coils catapulted the concept into the mind of the masses. The audio modulation of the output sparks from solid Tesla coils has been an alternative musical phenomena since 2005 when performance art group ArcAttack debuted their custom musical Tesla coils. The coils fire at such a high frequency that they create sound waves though the air. The band’s concerts have left audiences in awe and mesmerised...

  • Twitter vs BBC over UK gagging-order lawsuit article

    If you thought that a lawsuit seeking to individually sue more than 30 000 people for sending out 140-character-long messages in one fell swoop was ridiculous and would be thrown out, think again. Seeing as the trial seems to be progressing, Twitter has now in its own way — through tweets — officially stated its position on the matter. Speaking at the niftily named “eG8” summit in Paris yesterday, Twitter’s recently appointed GM of European Operations Tony Wang, seems to have raised some controversy. A BBC report stated: “Tony Wang said people who did ‘bad things’ needed to defend themselves.” Under...

  • New music streaming collaboration between Facebook and Spotify

    According to Forbes magazine, Facebook and Spotify will be collaborating on a streaming music service at the world’s largest online social network. A Facebook spokesman said on Wednesday that it had no news to announce on that front, but pointed out founder Mark Zuckerberg commenting at a G8 summit that the California company is interested in making the music and film industries more social. “Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we’re constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations,” the Facebook spokesman said. “Specific to Spotify, we consistently point to...

  • S-oh no!-ny hacked. Again

    Sony on Tuesday said its websites in three countries had been hacked with 8,500 Greek user accounts compromised, in a blow to efforts to restore confidence after a huge data breach affecting millions. Websites in Thailand and Indonesia had also been affected, it said. The Japanese entertainment and technology giant said data taken from Greek accounts included email addresses, telephone numbers, names and passwords but that credit card data had not been stolen in the latest attacks. Analysts say such breaches threaten to… Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Online shopping is the ‘it’ thing for the fashion conscious

    Online shopping is a growing trend and an aspect of it that has seen a remarkable growth recently is the fashion sector. People are increasingly shopping online to find good deals especially with the recent introduction of group buying. South Africa’s online marketplace, bidorbuy.co.za, reported a growth in its clothing, shoes and accessories section of 73% from early 2010 to the same period in 2011. “Clothing is one of the large growth areas that we have seen on our site and we expect this growth to continue”, explains Jaco Jonker, CEO of bidorbuy. Men’s clothing, shoes and accessories had a...

  • Faster fingers are making us weaker

    For the emergent generation of adolescents and pre-adolescents, at least in developed economies, constant high-speed internet access and online networking have become the very air they breathe. A new study, however, has some cautionary advice. The study, published in Acta Paediatrica, has renewed concerns about how digital life has led children off the playground and into the computer room… permanently. The study concludes that the average 10-year-old today is far weaker physically than his counterpart just a decade ago. His arm strength has fallen by 26%, he can do 27% less sit-ups, and he is less likely to be...

  • App of the week: Listbook

    This week I take a look at Listbook, an app that helps to boost productivity through its absolute ease of use and simple, but effective, design. I am, like all of you out there (but probably a lot more so), very guilty of falling into the habit of procrastination. Small and seemingly insignificant tasks, be it at home or at work, simply just don’t get attended to because they are just that: small and insignificant (and probably don’t need to be … Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Reports: Google to announce smartphones will replace credit cards

    If one thought that Google would take a minute’s rest after yet another highly successful I/O conference earlier this month where a slew of new Google products and developments – most notably Google Music – were announced and released, think again. According to “a source familiar with the matter”, Google is expected to launch what just may be its most groundbreaking innovation yet – smartphones that we’ll use like credit and debit cards. According to these sources, on Thursday, in a New York press conference the California-based internet giant has called to see its “latest innovations” — but will not...

  • Turning your business into a social community

    Social media has reduced the barriers to entry. Today any business can access the internet and begin an online market where transport costs, logistics and advertising co-ordination simply don’t matter. Whereas previously capital stood as a barrier, getting started is much easier. But with more competition, the loyalty factor has become even more crucial. However, how do you gain a following? With the internet spreading, it’s also spread something less tangible but no less crucial: ideas. When philosopher Richard Weaver said Ideas Have Consequences in a book by the same title he may as well have been speaking to businesses. Today...

  • Experts discuss social media and CRM ahead of #SMWF Cape Town

    Social media marketing has slotted nicely into many African businesses’ marketing mix. But in this two way conversation, both parties decide the direction and purpose of the channel, and it would appear that, far from happily wolfing down a stream of social media marketing messages, consumers actually want to talk back. Unfortunately, some of them are angry, and what they want say to you shoots straight into the public domain, and might stay there forever. Fortunately, some companies are working on changing this. Social media can present more than a fresh new marketing opportunity. With the correct approach, channels...