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  • Google announces 400-million Android devices, 20bn app downloads

    There are now 400-million devices running Android and they're downloading apps like crazy. That massive number was announced by Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gondutra at the internet giant's I/O conference. This, says Gondutra, translates to one-million new Android device activations every day and around 12 device activations a second. That's substantial growth even from the 700 000 activations Larry Page said the mobile OS was getting in January during an earnings conference call. Google says much of that growth occurred in emerging markets such Indonesia. Android is the world's most popular smartphone OS and owns 56% of...

  • Does Google have big plans for cloud specialist CliQr?

    CliQr Technologies emerged from stealth mode with the announcement of a cloud based service that can port large enterprise applications to any cloud platform in under one day. If the Palo Alto based startup can deliver on its promise it could result in significant IT cost savings. Enterprise applications are notoriously difficult to rewrite for cloud platforms and their performance can be unpredictable. "With CliQr we can port an app in under one day," said Gaurav Manglik, co-founder and CEO. "You can also test run your application across different vendor platforms and choose the one with the best price/performance." CliQr itself is...

  • NetDynamix responds, moots industry standard for internet radio numbers

    The company at the centre of an internet radio readership row says it is engaging with industry experts to set up a forum to verify internet radio statistics, and that it issued a letter of demand to blogger Shaun Dewberry because it was aggrieved that he had not engaged with them on his findings. In an official statement, the company says it does not agree with the methodology or the basis of Dewberry’s arguments and they stand by their stats. The audio streaming company further indicated it would be interested in getting involved with the development of a “standard”...

  • 5 great examples of sites that use links creatively

    Every website needs incoming links (back links) to achieve high search engine positioning and they’re essential to build, regardless of how difficult it may be for the particular industry you’re targeting. Creative link building, or thinking outside the box to achieve links, is the ideal way to entice users into linking to something unique. Link building has changed and it is no longer sufficient to submit your website to a 1 000 directories, build links on forums, comment on posts, use link lists and offer reciprocal links. These strategies, while still relevant in many instances, are all becoming old hat...

  • Will the real African startups please stand up?

    With so much focus on advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystems around African startup hubs at the moment, more and more Africans are starting their own businesses by choice as opposed to necessity. But, not all interesting ventures that launch can automatically claim ‘startup’ status. While the essence of successful innovation-driven Silicon Valley startups can be found in the African spirit of Ubuntu, African ventures are still mostly backed by efficiency-driven entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, game-changing startups from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana have led the technology revolution on the continent with homegrown innovations, highlighting the contribution Africa can make as an emerging...

  • How do we nurture Africa’s next great innovator?

    Globally, the discussion around innovation has been one of great interest especially in the wake of troubling economic times in the recent past. The discussion is strong in relation to Africa’s situation as well. Innovation sometimes can be a bit hard to describe in exact terms but one thing is for sure, you always know genuine innovation or innovativeness when you see it. Yet, it is a critical component to our ability to deal with the challenges of today and the future, as a continent as well as the world as a whole. If this is true, then societies or nations...

  • What’s the next billion dollar idea?

    A couple of months ago, Facebook acquired the wildly popular photo sharing social network, Instagram, for a cool US$1-billion. Popular yes, profitable? Nope. With zero revenue to speak of, hacker-CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw something in Instagram and its thirteen employees that justified spending a chunk of Facebook’s newly acquired change after its record-breaking, yet troubled IPO. What’s the next billion dollar idea? It’s anyone’s guess, but here are our favourites. Pinterest Pinterest, the social scrapbooking darling has seen its user base shoot past the 104 million mark in March. Just one year ago, the site was managing a comparatively meager 500 000...

  • Reviewed — Magic: The Gathering 2013

    Magic: The Gathering, released in the early 1990s, is the most widely played trading card game in the world. With numbers in the region of 12-million players and fans, Magic has expanded each year with new cards, rule tweaks, global tournaments and, more recently, tapping into the digital market. The aim of the game is to take out your opponent(s) by casting spells, creatures and artefacts to ultimately reduce their life to zero. The decks of cards come in different colours: green, red, blue, white and black -- these represent the type of mana a deck uses. For example, white...

  • Standard Bank quietly launches mobile banking app

    The mobile banking wars are hotting up. Just a day after Nedbank released a beta app to its staff, fellow South African banking giant Standard Bank quietly slipped out one of its own. The app, which is currently available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry launched yesterday without any official announcement from Standard Bank. The launch comes just under a year after First National Bank (FNB) launched the country's first mobile banking app. Like FNB's effort, Standard Bank's app comes with a number of the functions people would be familiar with from internet banking, including the ability to: View...

  • New trojan makes you think Facebook and Google want your bank details

    Ever tried to log into your Facebook or Google account, only to be asked to enter your credit card details? Of course the two most popular websites in the world would be a prime target for anyone looking to plant some malware, but according to a new study, it's getting more difficult to detect the threats. The latest report from cybercrime security company ThreatMetrix describes how a new version of the Zeus Trojan is targeting Facebook and Gmail log in pages in order to trick their users into submitting their credit and bank account details. Users log into their...

  • Brouhaha as blogger takes on SA’s internet radio numbers [updated]

    A spat has broken out between a blogger and two high-profile internet radio stations, with new threats of legal action. On Monday, Shaun Dewberry wrote a blog post calling the listener figures of South African online radio stations, including 2OceansVibe Radio and Ballz Radio, "complete fabrications. Utter nonsense. Lies, even". Dewberry, who describes himself as "probably the first South African on Twitter" and has the Twitter handle @shaun is a techie at Interwebsradio, a Rock and Indie streaming radio station. Shaun DewberryNetDynamix, the company which hosts the stations' streams and provides their listener statistics...

  • SA blogger served with legal papers in internet radio stats row [updated]

    Shaun Dewberry, the blogger at the centre of an escalating internet radio listener stats storm has been served with legal papers by the company who provides these stats to a number of high-profile internet radio stations. Dewberry, who describes himself as "probably the first South African on Twitter" and has the Twitter handle @shaun is a techie at Interwebsradio, a Rock and Indie streaming radio station. On Monday, Dewberry wrote a blog post calling the listener figures of South African online radio stations, including 2OceansVibe Radio and Ballz Radio, "complete fabrications. Utter nonsense. Lies, even". NetDynamix, the hosting company for the...

  • Flipboard gives China a peek behind the ‘Great Firewall’

    This is interesting. Very interesting. The launch of Flipboard for Android in China is giving users in that country access to Twitter. As The Next Web points out, the social network is usually blocked in the country except to people using a virtual private network (VPN). Flipboard allows users not on a VPN to tweet from their accounts. Admittedly iOS users have been able to do so since the app launched for the iPad in December 2011 and the iPhone in March this year. The fact that the same functionality exists on Android, means that Twitter could be opened...

  • 6 must-follow rules for using social media in customer service

    It is a well-known fact that if a customer has a negative experience with a service or brand, they are more likely to share it than one that is satisfied. Sharing experiences is now an everyday task to many with the birth of the social web where everyone is a public journalist. That said, anyone can post anything at any time to their favourite social media channel for the world to see. With the fast digital landscape we are busy moving in; your reputation can be made or broken within 140 characters (Twitter) or less. A few years ago, an...

  • Do links from social media sites really hold any SEO value?

    In a recent article, I commented that “many SEO’s know that a link from a social media site holds substantial value insofar as the ranking score is concerned”. A guest commented that this statement was not necessarily true. I am not sure if he or she meant that it was not true that SEOs actually know that, or that it was not true that links from social media sites hold any Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) value. Either way, this comment led me to write this article where I will delve deeper into the details surrounding the perceived value of social...