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  • What the porn industry can teach us about digital media in emerging markets

    Analysis of the pornography industry provides fascinating insight into how consumer ideology shapes online behavior. When we look at the industry in terms of emerging markets we get to catch a glimpse of new forms of media consumption as they blossom. In emerging markets like Brazil, South Africa and India, the industry is thriving and will follow international mobile trends when it comes to adult entertainment consumption. It's big business, in fact it's the number one commercial industry online. In spite of it not being able to promote itself in traditional channels. One of the biggest online mobile porn distributers...

  • You wouldn’t download a car… or would you?

    I recently came across an interesting blog post which states that the Pirate Bay (by the way, if you support the kind of thinking behind SOPA you shouldn't click on that link, it takes you to a site that encourages copyright infringement) has created a new download category -- 'Physibles'. According to the Pirate Bay, physibles are digital objects that can be converted into tangible physical objects. Huh? It took me a few seconds to work out what the hell these guys were talking about, but it's not that complicated. You see, most of the design work that people...

  • Young mobile users responsible for most Twitter growth in Africa [Infographic]

    New research suggests that Twitter’s growth in Africa is being driven primarily young people using mobile devices and that South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt are the continent’s leading tweeters. The research is a collaboration between Portland Communications, a strategic communications consultancy and specialist media platform Tweetminster. The two claim to have "analysed over 11.5-million geo-located Tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011”. The analysis, they say, was "complemented by a survey of 500 of Africa’s most active Tweeters". Some of the study’s key findings include: South Africa is the continent’s most active country by...

  • Triloq paves the way with virtual credit cards, email bill payments

    Online shopping was a pain before I got my first credit card. Painstakingly transferring money from my bank account to an online vendor is not ideal. With a credit card though, online shopping becomes easy. For the unlucky few who cannot get a credit card, online shopping dreams are dashed. Not so, says Triloq Payment Services. Its products, 1-2-Pay Online  and AcceptEmail have been in development from January 2011 and aim to “free” the user from online shopping payment grief, allowing users to add funds from their bank accounts into a virtual credit card, and email bill payments. This month,...

  • Review: Logitech Pure-Fi Express Plus — Has… potential

    Within the confines of the audiophile spectrum exists a passel of audio listeners with varying degrees of auditory discernment. Somewhere an insomniac just likes to hear the voice of the 3AM DJ on a kitchen radio, in the apartment below some hipsters are having existential debates about 1Q84 while streaming Bon Iver’s latest over a Bluetooth speaker, while further down the street a bass woofer with a car passes a bunch of guys busting moves to the beat of Run DMC on an old boombox from the 80s. Then there’s the iGeneration. Until the iPod came along, a simple 3.5mm...

  • Angry Birds set to smash into Facebook

    Rovio’s hit franchise Angry Birds is set to smash beak first into Facebook come Valentine’s Day. According to Asia Tech News, the company is planning a massive launch in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to Rovio head Peter Veserbacka, the decision to launch in Jakarta is a fairly obvious one, given that it is the "global capital of Facebook". The country does, after all, have the second largest Facebook population, after the US. Angry Birds is already available across a number of mobile devices running a range of operating systems and as an app in Google Chrome. Downloads across those...

  • Symantec releases ‘hotfix’ for Anonymous hack

    Symantec has released a "hotfix" for customers affected by an Anonymous hack that targeted its pcAnywhere software. The fix comes after the security company released a statement confirming that the Anonymous hacktivist group had gained access to its source code, which was a "result of a theft of source code that occurred in 2006". The source code theft affected PCAnyWhere -- a tool that allows customers to remotely connect to other computers --, as well as Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security and Norton SystemWorks. Earlier this month, Cnet reported that hackers in India, who claimed to be...

  • Facebook halts trading in secondary markets, IPO to follow?

    Facebook has reportedly halted trading in secondary markets, possibly indicating that the world’s largest social network may finally be ready for its long-awaited IPO. According to Bloomberg, representatives from Facebook’s law firm, Fenwick & West, sent a letter to one of the markets explaining the decision. The decision to halt trading on secondary markets is not necessarily an indication that Facebook is on the verge of going public. An analyst speaking to Bloomberg, feels that this may, however, be the case. “Facebook and companies who do this don’t want to expose themselves to lawsuits related to the fact that some...

  • Twitter opens up translation for right-to-left languages

    Twitter has added languages written from right-to-left to its Twitter Translation Centre. The languages available for volunteers to translate are Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. At least three of these languages are spoken across the Middle East, where Twitter was frequently used as a means of spreading the message of the so-called Arab Spring revolutions. Against the background of these revolutions, which saw the overthrow of decades-old dictatorial regimes, Arabic was one of the fastest growing languages on Twitter. This despite not having any official presence on the social network to date. According to an official blog post from Twitter,...

  • 10 Things Facebook is doing that will guarantee its future dominance

    Jack Welch once said, "Change before you have to". Few other companies today have applied this wisdom with more consistency than Facebook. For better or worse, Facebook has always believed in pushing the envelope when it comes to making to changes to the platform. It is this willingness to constantly challenge both themselves and their users that some have credited with Facebook's eventual dominance of the social media space. To be sure, some changes have certainly been more popular than others, with Facebook sometimes drawing the collective ire of its now more than 800-million plus users. Despite the numerous...

  • How Facebook’s Open Graph could take f-commerce to a whole new level

    So did you get up at the crack of dawn to get your free Wimpy breakfast last week? I didn't, but driving into work I did hear it being discussed at large on various radio stations and they too shared my sentiment of not fully understanding the fascination and dedication of people to get up so early, use their petrol and rush to stand in a queue for breakfast that would have cost them less than R20. The human race fascinates me. But at the same breath, after reading some of the top predicted social media trends for 2012...

  • Google+ ‘doesn’t give a damn’ about real names, just don’t use pseudonyms

    Ever since it launched, Google+ has been criticised for strictly enforcing a real name policy. You couldn't just use your gamer tag or other name you would use to signify your online or offline identity. Instead, you had to use your real name to use the service (though you could obviously just make one up of you felt like doing so). Google recently announced that its naming policy was going to become more "inclusive," but that doesn't mean you can now just become CmdrBurrito on Google+ because you felt so today. Show Me Your Papers Instead, the only way to use...

  • Three (indie) reasons to use Steam

    Steam has transformed the industry. As the most comprehensive games digital distribution platform available, they’ve created a space for indie developers to flourish. Recent years have seen some fantastic indie titles get the exposure they deserve, simply thanks to Valve and Steam. Here are three games that best portray the value of the mighty indie and give good reason for why big studio titles aren’t the only way forward. Gemini Rue (Available through Steam or on the official site) Gemini Rue came out officially in February 2011. After being launched at the 2010 Independent Games Festival it picked up a publisher...

  • My, Google, how you have grown [Infographic]

    Google is one of the largest companies in the world, not just online but offline as well. The internet titan has come a long way since it started as a research project way back in 1996. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin met, I wonder if they could have dreamed that their little college project would become one of the web's most formidable companies? Following Page and Brin's humble beginnings as PhD candidates at Standford University, back when only 36-million people were online, this interactive infographic tracks Google's growth. Out of a web crawler named BackRub, Google was born. By...

  • Like it or not, you’re getting Facebook Timeline

    Some people love Facebook’s new Timeline feature. Others have been less certain. In fact, scam artists and spammers capitalised on some users who were desperate to get rid of the new feature. Your feelings on Timeline, however, no longer matter. In the next few weeks, like it or not, your profile will have Timeline incorporated. Facebook made the announcement in an update of the blog post in which it announced the new feature would be made available worldwide. The post makes it clear that "Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline". It adds that users will "have...