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  • Internet innovation failing in Africa, Europe, and here’s why: Koos Bekker

    Where are the world's next internet entrepreneurs and innovators going to come from? This question was posed by Koos Bekker of Naspers, a global emerging markets giant that has invested heavily in internet properties around the world, at the Highway Africa conference held in Cape Town this weekend. Among the 129 companies it has invested in world-wide, Naspers owns a stake in one of the biggest Instant Messaging/Social Networking properties in the world, Chinese TenCent. The company indirectly landed up with a chunk of Facebook, via a 28.7% stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST) (a Russian internet company that has invested...

  • The rise and rise of reddit

    Earlier this month, social news site reddit became operationally independent from its owner Condé Nast Publications, forming Reddit Inc. as a subsidiary of Advance Publications, Condé Nast's parent company. Condé Nast acquired Reddit in October 2006, when reddit was still considered the smaller, tighter knit, cousin of Digg. Back then reddit was receiving around 700 000 page views per day. Now reddit "routinely gets that much traffic in 15 minutes". Over the last four years reddit has been steadily growing into one of the less well known, but more influential online social communities. Probably most impressively, it is...

  • Gmail fast becoming viable alternative to Outlook for big business

    Google's Gmail, popular with individual users and smaller start-ups across the world, is now fast becoming a viable option for big business. Microsoft's Outlook has traditionally been the email client of choice for business, but that is changing says research firm Gartner. Gartner says Google's enterprise Gmail is building momentum with businesses that have more than 5 000 employees, opting for the service instead of the popular Microsoft Outlook. "The road to its enterprise enlightenment has been long and bumpy, but Gmail should now be considered a mainstream cloud email supplier," said Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner. "While Gmail's...

  • Four emerging market considerations for raising funds

    Backing your case for investment often rests on making a strong case for why you will make money and beat others to opportunities. But managing your company also requires an understanding of ways to comply with legislation easily and grasp shifts in the world economy. At this point in the ongoing conversation on raising venture capital, Memeburn recommends four tips for emerging market entrepreneurs. 1. Demonstrate understanding of the law In emerging markets, studies like the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report demonstrates inflexibility in many counties. Hiring and firing is a rigorous process and being stuck with a...

  • The holy grail of marketing — Tapping into the social matrix [WordCamp]

    "Community means building a grid. Attracting, converting and retaining loyalty. Community marketing means building an active social matrix which ultimately allows the community to work for you." These were the words of Fred Roed, one of the many speakers at Wordcamp Camp Town 2011. WordCamp is an informal gathering of WordPress bloggers, developers, programmers, designers, podcasters, coders and tech-heads. We investigated both tracks of the conference, the publisher track which focused on blogging, content creation as well as light SEO elements and the tech track which appealed to programmers, plug-in creators and web developers. In truth, attendees could chop...

  • Location-based services: The new social currency for teens

    Location-based services such as Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla are more popular than ever. Recent stats from youth marketing research firm YPulse reveal that location-based services are more popular amongst teenagers in the United States. Four in 10 students (40 percent) have ever checked in via social media, with high school students slightly (45 percent) more likely than university students to have done so, according to Ypulse. The report was drawn from 1 326 interviews conducted among high school and university students in the US. "“It is a minority of young social media users who have done so, but the...

  • How a flexible and scalable website is key to prolonged success [WordCamp]

    The combination of scalability and flexibility is becoming more and more prevalent, encouraging a single web presence that is not only ubiquitous but adaptable to almost any platform available. This and similar notions were common in most speaker presentations at this year's WordCamp held in Cape Town, South Africa. A resounding concept brought to light by Jason Bagley, was introduced to the crowd in the form of some insightful rendering of CSS to provide websites with a flexible architecture. The responsive design methodology, he mentioned, takes into account relative values for html elements as opposed to the current fixed...

  • Research In Motion: If government asks we’ll shut down BlackBerry Messenger

    BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion (RIM) announced that should the UK government ask, it would, in times of civil strife, shut down its "encrypted" BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. The statement was made by RIM executive Stephen Bates before a UK parliamentary committee tasked with investigating whether or not BBM played a key role in the riots which rocked England in August. Also appearing before the committee were executives from Twitter and Facebook. "From our perspective we comply with the law and if the instruction ... would be to close down the mobile networks which is the method by which that...

  • Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

    Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators. The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter. The acronym "kwik" stands for "know what I know". A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher. Courses, or "Kwiks" are broken out into two types: content only or interactive,...

  • IE10 bids farewell to Flash

    First Apple snubbed Flash, now Microsoft. Flash has now been effectively banned in Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8, specifically the Metro version of IE10. Speaking at the Microsoft BUILD conference, IE team leader Dean Hachamovitch said: Running Metro-style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers. Plug-ins were important early on in the Web's history. But the Web has come a long way since then with HTML5. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro-style UI. This echoes almost exactly the...

  • Al Gore kicks off climate ‘reality’ campaign

    Former US vice president Al Gore is spearheading a global internet campaign aimed at raising awareness around climate change. The "Climate Reality Project", which aims to bring the "facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it," kicked off with an event called "24 hours of reality". The event featured an online multimedia presentation showcasing how extreme weather events like floods, fires and storms are linked to climate change. The presentation was broadcast every hour, over 24 hours, representing 24 time zones and 13 languages. According to the organisers,...

  • PS Vita will land in Japan before Christmas

    Handheld gamers rejoice. The Playstation Vita will be released on the 17th of December in Japan. Sony's anticipated handheld gaming machine and the successor to the PSP will go on sale for 24 980 yen (US$325) for the Wi-Fi version and 29 980 yen (US$390) for the 3G model. The announcement was made at a pre-press conference before the Tokyo Game Show. Previously, Sony had said that it aims to release the console before the end of the year in Japan. The late arrival date outside Japan may damage its sales across the ocean in the European and North American...

  • Intel looks for Google leg up in smartphone chips

    Intel, left badly behind in the market mobile phone processors by comptitors like ARM, is looking for a fast catch-up by teaming with Google to tailor chips to get top performance out of Android-powered smartphones. "Our collaboration with Google will bring a powerful new capability to market that helps accelerate industry innovation, adoption and choice," Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said at the opening of the US chip maker’s developers conference in San Francisco. The alliance with the world's largest computer chip maker comes in the wake of Google ramping up its push into the hot smartphone market with a deal...

  • App of the week: Dolphin Browser

    This week I take a look at Dolphin, a highly intelligent smartphone web browser that Safari can learn a lot from. When it comes to browsers, I'm quite a weird guy. On the Macbook I use at work, I just can't decide which one I like more: Firefox is incredibly stable and supports tree-style tabbing (it'll change your life), but looks a bit too rigid. Chrome has the awesome "speed dial" screen when you launch and the aesthetically pleasing tabs with soft corners delight me (it's the little things that count), but it doesn't perform so well under pressure. I...

  • Three reasons I love Android

    Open source. Free information. The power to customise what I want, when I want. These are not simply words used to describe one of the biggest unheralded revolutions in modern times, Google’s Android, they also sum up my ethos as a person. This comparison between operating system and personal philosophy may be a strange one, but considering how mobile devices have become essential tools to survive modern society, I believe it a very relevant one. Who is not affected? Consider the number of people you know that own have a smartphone, whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile device? We’ve...