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  • A throwaway smartphone – Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

    Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia X8. A big name for a candybar-sized smartphone that will barely register in your hands (note: have gorilla-sized paws, but even so). This teeny, tiny Android phone is a ‘starter’ smartphone – it comes with all the features you would expect from its grownup counterparts (like the Xperia X10), but at a lower price-point. It comes with a selection of colourful back-plates, clearly marking it a phone for the “fun” side of the market. Getting around With a three-inch 320×480 screen you aren’t getting much viewing space for your cash, and the phone feels rather cramped as...

  • SMS and its role in the future of mobile marketing

    Today, mobile marketing is the fastest and most effective way to reach your audience and is an area of intense fascination for marketers and advertisers and users alike. The mobile revolution is happening and mCommerce is changing consumer behaviour in much the same way eCommerce has. With its high level of consumer acceptance, mobile marketing provides instant communication, since the mobile phone is always on person and always active. There are now far more people in the world who connect through the mobile web than there are connected PC users, and so, one of the biggest current decisions for mobile...

  • Is ‘quality content’ a Google red herring? [Analysis]

    I've been writing about Google's Panda algorithm change and the huge amount of pain that it's caused for content websites since it was introduced in late February. Before the launch of Panda, Google spent months bad-mouthing "content farms" and boasting about how the new algorithm would weed out the bad content. The first version was called "Farmer" as a reference to "content farms" -- sites that scrape or produce low quality content just to game search rankings. Who could argue with such a noble goal? When the Panda "Farmer" algorithm hit the internet, though, it failed to highlight "quality" content. Quality sites,...

  • Mobile internet on the rise as Gaddafi’s reign ends

    As the world's eyes fix on Libya and the capture of its infamous leader, the country’s mobile networks are beginning to operate again. This according to figures released by mobile advertising network, Buzzcity. In the last few months, Libya has been in headlines over the refusal of its controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down from the office he has held since 1969. On Wednesday, however, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli when rebel forces captured his Bab al-Azizia compound. Libyan traffic peaked in January 2011 with 110-million ads served but has dropped each month since, to an all time...

  • Video Review: LG Optimus Black

    Black and blocky – you’re not going to get a much bigger screen this side of a tablet, and it’s got some pretty serious innards to power its Androidy goodness. Gearburn weighs up the iffy build quality against the sheer value for money. For more see Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • First National Bank app now available on BlackBerry Curve

    One of South Africa's top four banks, First National Bank (FNB), has announced that its successful mobile banking application is now available for download on the majority of BlackBerry smartphones. Users of the popular BlackBerry Curve and Bold series will also be able to download the app which was featured as app of the week on Gearburn.com. Farren Roper Head of Products and Markets at FNB Connect says "we launched our App with touchscreen BlackBerry smartphones and had an overwhelming response from keypad device customers to make the app available to them as well." Roper went on to say that,...

  • Steve Jobs is a God: Chinese web users

    From tech leaders to lovers of Apple products, the shock resignation of Apple magnate Steve Jobs triggered an outpouring of praise. For some Chinese web users, however, Jobs is something far greater. For these users, the visionary co-founder of Apple is in fact, a "god". Just as on Western social networks, Jobs' shock decision to step down as Apple CEO ranked as the most discussed topic on Chinese social networks, particularly on the Twitter like microblogging sites. Some web users said his departure would rip the "soul" out of the high-tech gadget maker. "Jobs is the god we worship, I cannot imagine...

  • Google kills off social gaming company Slide

    Google has announced that it will be shutting down Slide, the social gaming company it bought for around US$200 million less than a year ago. Slide produces social gaming apps for Facebook and MySpace such as SuperPoke! Pets and Top Fish. Max Levchin, CEO of Slide is to leave Google for personal reasons, according to a spokesperson for the search engine giant: “Max has decided to leave Slide and Google to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him the best. Most of the team from Slide will remain at Google to work on other opportunities.” Google has also decided to...

  • Steve’s gone, now what?

    Apple’s reign as king of the high-end consumer tech world is assured in the short term but the long-term outlook is hazy without the leadership of visionary co-founder Steve Jobs, analysts said. “The Jobs legacy will continue to influence products for at least two to three years out,” independent technology analyst Carmi Levy said. “That’s how big the pipeline is of products developed during his watch. “The real test of Apple’s post-Jobsian mettle will come after the pipeline of products conceived under his influence runs out,” Levy said. “Will Apple still be capable of conceptualising and introducing category-killer products like the...

  • Pilots ditch paper, switch to iPad for nav and checks

    United Airlines recently announced it was replacing the hefty flight manuals and chart books its pilots have long used with 11 000 iPads carrying the same data. Now instead of ruining their backs carrying 17 kilograms of paper instructions, data and charts, they can ruin their nerves trying to get the devices past TSA security screeners. The popular tablet computer will carry the Mobile FliteDeck software app from Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary which provides navigation tools for air, sea and land. “The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight...

  • ‘The privilege of a lifetime': Tim Cook sends his first memo as Apple’s CEO

    Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO, has sent out his very first memo to Apple staff as CEO of the tech giant. The memo was sent to all Apple employees the morning after Steve Jobs announced his resignation from the post. Cook who says he shares "Steve's optimism for Apple’s bright future" ran Apple while Jobs was on medical leave and has essentially been running day-to-day operations since early this year. The memo, first published by Ars Technica, reassures the staff that Jobs will continue to have a large presence at the company as he moves into the role of Chairman....

  • ‘One more thing': A look at Jobs’ time at Apple [Videos]

    Steve Jobs' resignation as Apple's CEO has set the tech world ablaze. Consumers have already begun speculating about Apple's future without its fearless leader. Even if you don't use a Mac, iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you have in some way been influenced by the products developed under Jobs' prolific reign as chief executive of Apple. Memeburn decided to take a look back at some of his iconic moments as lord and master at Apple's helm. Sporting his famous black polo neck and blue jeans, Jobs stepped forward time after time to announce the future to audiences: Steve Jobs demos Apple...

  • A ‘business superhero': Tech leaders praise Jobs following resignation

    Steve Jobs' resignation as Apple CEO heralds the end of a more than 30 year association with the tech giant. No more polo necks, no more "one more thing" at the end of his now famous keynote speeches. Reactions from the tech world have ranged from shock to heartfelt tributes. Memeburn takes a look at how some of the industry's leading voices have responded to the announcement through social tools like Twitter and Google+: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who initially left his company after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, made direct reference to Jobs' health, saying: Ethernet co-founder Bob...

  • Why Kenya’s M-Pesa won’t work anywhere else

    It's the runaway success story: From a standing start just four years ago, over 15-million Kenyans now use the M-Pesa mobile money service to transact. Billions of Kenyan shillings have been moved through the system. It's this success which leads to M-Pesa being held up as a case study of mobile payments in emerging markets (try researching mobile payments without reference to M-Pesa!). It's also made financial services companies and rival operators salivate. True, the growth rates are staggering. There are only 40-million people in Kenya, which illustrates just how many economically active adults in that country use M-Pesa (practically...

  • Steve Jobs’ resignation a boost for competitors

    Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned his position as the company's CEO. The man, widely credited with taking Apple from a laggard in the tech world to the most successful company on earth, will be replaced by acting CEO Tim Cook. Jobs announced his decision via a brief letter to the company's board, which was subsequently released to the press. Jobs has held the position of CEO since his return to Apple in 1996. The Apple co-founder is seen as the heart and soul of Apple, with analysts and investors repeatedly expressing concern over how the Cupertino, California-based company will...