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  • Why domain name expansion will cause mayhem on the internet

    A year after ICANN announced its plans to expand the TLD (Top Level Domain) namespace, we are finally able to see the application list for new TLDs. There are nearly 2 000 applications, each costing US$185 000. ICANN believes that each suffix will cost owners about US$25 000 per year to maintain and they will be required to commit to a 10-year maintenance agreement. Among the applications are many variations on a theme and conflicts over potential ownership. As a result, these suffixes are all going through a review process. For the next seven months major players will have...

  • Geek out your home with these 10 awesome accessories

    Have you ever thought your home could do with a smattering of app icons, a science fiction artwork or two and a doormat covered in binary code? Did you just cry "it's like you're reading my mind"? Then this list may be the answer to your never-ending quest to make your home look as awesome as your smartphone. 1. Slide to unlock doormat: You may be used to sliding to unlock your phone -- but can you slide to unlock your front door? No. No, you can’t. But I’m sure it’s fun to try on this springy rubber doormat. If you’re...

  • Branson vs The Crimson Bandit: Social skullduggery or advertising genius?

    On 13 June Richard Branson, world-famous founder and leader of the Virgin Group, wrote on his blog that he had lost his diary. In a couple of simple paragraphs, he explains how much he enjoys using a diary, travelling with it and recording his thoughts and he ends by saying “I’ve been travelling a lot recently so I can’t be sure exactly where I left it, and I know it’s a long shot, but if anyone happens to find it I’d be very grateful if they could let me know!” This all seemed like a fairly innocent and honest moment...

  • iOS6 brings out the claws in Apple

    In case you haven't heard, Apple's recent and much-anticipated iOS6 launch at WWDC sounded the alarm for third-party app developers. It's not the small app developers either: Google, Skype and, my tech bunny, RIM, also take a beating in the update. Google Maps got ditched for Apple's own mapping system which is now using Tom Tom's data as its map provider. Where Apple's maps product could fall short is in accurate traffic prediction via crowd sourcing, something Waze (despite its notifications) has been great at. Even though the company is providing some of the data for the new service,...

  • Privly: Organise your next coup online, in total privacy

    There's a Kickstarter project I want you to know about. It's called Privly and it's a defiant kick to the face of oppressive governments. The Privly proof of concept works as a browser plugin and will allow you to view and post encrypted content on any website -- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, even Gmail. Let your imagination run wild. Taking Twitter as an example, you write a tweet -- 140 characters or more -- right click and select "Post to Privly." The text of your tweet gets sent to (and stored on) the Privly servers which return a link, for...

  • Twitter expanded view lets you see link previews before you click

    How often do you scroll past a tweet in your timeline, wondering exactly where that t.co or bit.ly link will take you, cautiously hovering over the URL and rallying yourself for some spam attack? Twitter has felt your pain -- which is why it's rolling out more expanded content views in tweets. In an official blog post, the social media giant said that it has gradually started rolling out expanded tweets -- basically, tweets which allow you to see content previews, view images and play videos from their partner sites. Expanded tweets have previously been reserved for YouTube videos...

  • Nokia lays off thousands, sells luxury brand

    Nokia has announced that it plans to lay off thousands of employees and sell its luxury brand Vertu in a bid to "return the company to profitable growth". The embattled mobile giant apparently plans to reduce up to 10 000 positions globally by the end of 2013. Among the sections of the company highlighted for closure are its research and development facilities in Ulm, Germany and Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland. "These planned reductions are a difficult consequence of the intended actions we believe we must take to ensure Nokia's long-term competitive strength," said Elop. "We...

  • Google, Facebook join alliance to fight bad ads

    Google has partnered with the likes of AOL, Facebook, Twitter and the IAB to form the Ads Integrity Alliance in a bid to stop bad ads online. Unfortunately that doesn't mean anyone's going to do anything about the cringeworthy horrors you're sometimes faced with upon opening a YouTube video. Instead they're going after kind of ads that contravene their various individual policies, or promote counterfeit goods and malware. The alliance falls under the remit of StopBadware, an organisation that aims to "make the Web safer through the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of badware websites". StopBadware has been around...

  • #Steers special goes wrong, causes social media storm

    People clearly love a bargain. When South African fast food chain Steers announced that it would be offering R10 Rib Burgers today, it caused a rush on stores around the country and unleashed a social media storm. Thing is, when long queues didn't get any shorter and outlets around the country started running out of stock, people got angry. And the first port-of-call for rage that needs to be vented is social media. A lot of the Twitter traffic revolved around the long queues: Tweeting Live from #Steers Queues and hungry people everywhere! It's madness!— Roxanne Rhode (@RadioFoxie) June...

  • Skype gets in-call ads

    What's that? You love using Skype to connect with friends and family you would otherwise have to call? And you love doing it for free, with no ads interrupting you? Sorry pal, you didn't think that was going to last forever did you? The Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service today announced that it would begin displaying in conversation ads. These new display ad units will appear within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions when they're making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows. Skype's Sandhya Venkatachalam said the company "was excited to introduce...

  • SA startup to publish Arabic ebooks in deal with major regional online player

    Snapplify, a service that transform PDFs into company branded mobile applications, has signed a deal with Kotobarabia, an online e-book store that specialises in Arabic content. The deal with the South African-based startup has apparently been signed in a bid to make Kotobarabia's content available to a wider audience. In part this is because it's easier to make Snapplify's mobile apps available to a wide range of devices and also because conventional e-publishing forms such as EPUB don't deal well with Arabic text. According to director and co-founder of Kotobarabia Ramy Habeeb: Snapplify's platform is innovative because it is...

  • ICANN reveals who wants hundreds of new domains — from .app to .zulu

    It's reveal day: the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released the list of the top level domains (TLDs) and the names of the applicants who wanted more than .com. ICANN closed applications for new TDLs on 30 May, but we didn't know exactly which domains companies around the world had asked for (except for .lol, of course) until now. Previously, if you wanted to buy a domain name, you could only choose from a (pretty boring) list of just under two dozen options -- including .biz, .org and .net. ICANN received over 1 900 applications for...

  • 5 top tips on making LinkedIn work for your business

    When it comes to social media campaigns, LinkedIn isn't always at the top of people’s minds. Using LinkedIn for business is quite different to all the other popular social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. It is, however, worthwhile. The professional social network boasts more than 150-million members and it gains two new members every second. Unlike most of the social media marketing channels available, LinkedIn can help you achieve your business objectives and goals quite effectively in a professional environment that really doesn't require a dedicated content strategy for getting noticed online. If LinkedIn can help you with...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on birthing World of Avatar, sealing the Mxit deal

    In the third and final extract from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr details how he took World of Avatar from concept to company. As was the case with some of his previous ventures, there were speedbumps along the way. At one point Knott-Craig had less than R2 000 to his name and kept the business afloat with emergency loans. Slowly though, things began to turn around, until he was ready to make another play for Mxit: Africa's largest social network. Things began to move at the speed of lightning. Pete’s development team moved to Stellenbosch, bringing...

  • Onswipe is leading mobile-friendly content with new offerings

    In today's market of mobile-friendly websites, mobi-sites and mobile device apps, it can often be difficult to choose the best medium to showcase a website's content on a mobile device. Enter the concept of responsive design, where a website can be restyled and adjusted to suit varying screen sizes, from large cinema displays down to the smallest of mobile device screens. While responsive design is not always desired by a website owner or by a client, what are the other options? Creating a dedicated mobile device app across myriad mobile devices, all developed on various platforms? Enter Onswipe, a tool...