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  • 9 apps to make you lose faith in humanity

    Applications; what a few years ago was something we filled in when we wanted a job, has become an integral part of the way we use technology. In the war between Android, iPhone and BlackBerry, apps are tossed about like hand grenades. What started out as an honest effort to make our phones more versatile, has turned into a silly festival. Don't get me wrong, I delight in the sheer unnecessary entertainment offered by fmylife or damnyouautocorrect and am grateful to all those YouTube video creators who spend hours lipsyncing politicians to dodgy lyrics, but I'm not always satisfied....

  • Google’s Larry Page wants to change the world

    Steven Levy, a senior editor at Wired, spent a lot of time at Google researching his new book, "In the Plex". He also spent a lot of time with the new CEO Larry Page. Mr Levy says Google is now in the hands of "a true corporate radical". In an article for Wired, "Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots" he reports that Mr Page has said many times, that he has always "wanted to change the world". He sees the historic technology boom as a chance to realise such ambitions and sees those who fail to do so...

  • Objectophilia and animism: Falling in love with a gadget

    Gadget lust. I've had it. I have it a lot actually, and if you're reading this then chances are, so have you. I've heard you emphatically proclaim your love for your iPhone; yes, loud enough to make the Android geek three cubicles down solemnly roll his eyes. Gadget man Joshua Topolsky called the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 "Pure sex", and even the traditionally staid Walt Mossberg, from Wall Street Journal fame, lauded the Vaio P, calling it "sexy", way back in 2009. Read more on 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");

  • How to move to the cloud in an emerging market

    The majority of businesses in emerging markets are still quite hesitant when it comes to moving their organisational processes to the cloud. This is in part due to the perception that a comprehensive move to cloud-based services is a viable option only for those organisations able to pay for high-quality bandwidth, and partly because companies and their IT departments are hesitant to leave the "legacy paradigm" of their current infrastructure. The move to the cloud starts with a paradigm shift from complexity and expensive infrastructure to a cloud mentality focusing on the end-user to ensure satisfaction. Businesses interacting in the...

  • Penny drops on new Honeycomb display tech

    After a blog post to the Android developers blog, the penny has dropped as why the Honeycomb 3.2 update is actually a big thing. It allows proper support for 7" screens. Until now, mid-size tablets fell into the cracks between smartphones and full-size tablets, with apps often unable to swap smoothly between portrait and landscape, or not displaying properly. Read more on 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");

  • Nintendo shares fall 20% on back of weak console sales

    Shares in Japanese gaming giant Nintendo have fallen more than 20 percent after it posted a first-quarter loss, cut forecasts and slashed the price of its 3DS handheld console less than six months after its launch. Shares tumbled to 11 170 yen on the Osaka Stock Exchange to hit six-year lows, the day after the gaming giant booked a net loss of 25.5-billion yen (US$327.9-million) for the April-June quarter. Nintendo cut its forecast for the year to March 2012 to a net profit of 20-billion yen, 82 percent down from a previous forecast. The company will slash the price of its 3DS...

  • Twitter confirms it will begin in-stream advertising

    Twitter has confirmed that it will begin placing advertisements known as "Promoted Tweets" in the timelines of users who follow a particular brand or company. Twitter said it will begin testing the new advertising offering with a number of companies including Dell, Gatorade, Groupon, JetBlue, LivingSocial, Microsoft, Red Bull, Starbucks and Virgin America. Promoted Tweets from non-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the American Red Cross will also be shown, the San Francisco-based Twitter said in a blog post. "When we decide to follow a favorite brand, business or charitable organization, we expect to be among the first to get a...

  • Users losing interest in Google+ as traffic drops, research firm reports

    Google+'s explosion into the social networking sphere may be slowing down, Bloomberg reports. While growth for the social network continues to grow in terms of user numbers -- 10-million in two weeks and 20-million in a month -- a report shows that traffic to the site does not reflect the same trajectory. Experian Hitwise, a company which tracks internet behaviour, has found that the initial interest shown by users seems to be waning. Bloomberg quotes the research company as finding that total visits to Google+ dropped some three percent to 1.79 million in the US in the week ending 23 July from...

  • MTN Mobile Money launches debit card-based online shopping solution

    eCommerce service provider, MTN Mobile Money, has launched a mobile payment mechanism, which will enable users to purchase products online using a debit card. MTN Mobile Money says the mechanism, called payD, will enable millions of South Africans to make secure, online payments using only their pin-based debit cards. It is hoped that payD will provide a boost to South Africa's lagging ecommerce market. World Wide Worx's Online Retail in SA 2011 report shows that retail ecommerce hit R2 billion last year. "This sounds big", says Dave Parratt, head of new business development at MTN Mobile Money, "but it’s...

  • Hackers gain access to data of 35-million South Koreans

    Hackers using an Internet address registered in China have gained access to major South Korean websites and may have stolen the private information of 35-million users, authorities say. They breached the systems of Nate and Cyworld, both run by SK Communications, the Korea Communications Commission said. Nate is a search engine with 25-million users and Cyworld is a social networking website with 33 million users in a country with a population of 48.6-million. From the two sites combined, information on about 35-million users including names, web IDs, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and resident registration numbers appear to have been leaked, the commission...

  • Yes there’s a tech bubble, but will it burst anytime soon?

    "This time it's different". It's always different. When Cisco hit US$80 a share in 2000, making it the most valuable company in the world (worth US$555bn), it was different. It was also different when Goldman traded at US$235 in 2007 (and when AIG hit over US$2000 in 2000 and around US$1500 just four years ago). Perhaps in the original bubble, Dutch Tulip mania in 1637, it wasn't different. With the latest flurry of tech IPOs on Wall Street: LinkedIn, Pandora Media and Zillow (with Groupon, Zynga, LivingSocial polishing their prospectuses), it's different too. At least that's what we keep hearing. "This time there's...

  • Blink Tower: Making money by explaining ideas

    If a picture says a thousand words then, some may argue, a video packs in a million. In the internet age, concentration spans are increasingly shrinking. An effective message makes a point and keeps attention. The fact that there are arguments that social media may be causing attention deficit disorder is perhaps enough to underlie the issue. Enter Blink Tower, which believes it has a solution. Its founders, including Skyrove's Henk Kleynhans say they turn ideas into simple videos which "even your grandmother can understand". The company simply titles its videos "explainers", a term which came up frequently during an...

  • Google Engage SA: An attendee’s perspective

    Leave it Google to begin a product launch with "speed dating". Ten minutes with someone from Google South Africa. Agencies and individuals had the opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies for their clients. This is how Google Engage SA kicked off. Google Engage is a partner program which has been available in the USA, Canada, Middle East and UK for several years now and is aimed at online marketers, advertising agencies, designers and SEO experts. Engage is designed by Google to help online and search engine marketing companies make the most of Google's tools and services,...

  • The cheetah generation is using social media to revolutionise the continent

    In 2008, an article on socialmediatoday.com titled "Why Social Media in South Africa Will Fail", made a rather daring assertion: ...social media and social media marketing and social media strategy is an almost pointless pursuit for businesses in South Africa... Perhaps the image projected of Africa may, in times past, have led one to believe that there are other more pressing issues to deal with in Africa. I mean, this is Africa we're talking about, there's hunger and disease to be dealt with before we can consider the social media as something of significance to the continent, right? Well, that may have...

  • Netflix users mainly connect through game consoles, finds Nielsen study

    Half of all Netflix users connect to the popular US video streaming service using a game console, according to a recently published Nielsen survey. The Nielsen survey looked at the viewing behaviour of users of Netflix and Hulu, a website owned by Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp which offers movies and television shows on demand. Forty two percent of the 12 000 people surveyed by Nielsen in March said they watch movies and TV shows from Netflix directly on their computers. A majority of Netflix users, though, said they watch the service on a TV screen, connecting using a Nintendo Wii,...