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  • Facebook and Twitter: Key moments in social media law [Infographic]

    Every day one tech company or another seems to be embroiled in some kind of legal battle. The rocketing growth of prominent social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook seems to have, in some way, influenced the legal system. The more we immerse ourselves in social media and the more these platforms define our we lives, the more issues around how we use them change. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have given rise to new regulations in privacy, user rights and the ownership of intellectual property. Below is an infographic courtesy of the Socially Aware Blog was created by...

  • Nando’s wants you to respect your mother tongue

    A number of South African state schools using English as their medium of instruction, are reportedly considering scrapping their syllabi in African languages such as Xhosa and Zulu. All pupils in South African state schools are required to learn two language. The proposed move would force pupils in such schools, no matter what their background, to study Afrikaans as their second language. This is a particularly controversial idea given the country’s past experiences with language in schools. The forced use of Afrikaans in Township schools helped spark off the infamous 16 June 1976 protests, during which police fired on school...

  • ‘Operation global blackout’ — Anonymous targets Facebook

    Facebook has once again caught the attention of everyone's favourite hacktivist group, Anonymous, reports Business Insider. The group has been on a retaliation quest over the past few days, following the takedown of MegaUpload. In a weekend of mass attacks, the group diverted all traffic away from CBS.com, took down Universal Music Group and various government sites. A new video posted on a supposed Anonymous-affiliated YouTube account, has singled out Facebook as the group's next target. The video, which encourages people to download a linked program that they can use to attack Facebook, was only uploaded a...

  • File sharing sites shutter operations following MegaUpload arrests

    In an effort to mitigate the potential fallout, file sharing sites with affiliate programs are shutting down regular operations. In the wake of the MegaUpload crackdown, FileSonic, FileServe and numerous others have disabled their affiliate rewards programmes and now only allow users access to their own files. The programmes rewarded members for uploading content -- pirated or legal. Many other file-sharing sites are following suit and some are taking drastic measures, blocking incoming traffic from the US, deleting incriminating content or just going offline completely. Derek Labian CEO of popular file-sharing site, MediaFire said in an interview with Venturebeat about its...

  • YouTube hits 4-billion daily videos

    YouTube is now streaming 4-billion videos a day, a 25% increase over the past eight months, according to a report from Reuters. The number represents daily videos viewings across all platforms including mobile devices and PCs. The company has also revealed that roughly 60 hours of video are now uploaded to YouTube every minute, compared with the 48 hours of video uploaded per minute in May 2011. YouTube is seen one of Google Inc's key opportunities for generating new sources of revenue outside its traditional internet search advertising business. Of the 4-billion videos viewed a day on YouTube, though, only...

  • SA Space Agency looks to cyberspace for help with real space

    The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has put out a call on Facebook and Twitter for the country’s citizens to have a say in the drafting of the National Space Programme (NSP). According to agency’s website, the aim of the NSP is to "make South Africa a leading space player by 2030". The site also invites South Africans to share their "thoughts on 'Space Vision 2030' via the face book or Twitter". Speaking to Business Day, a leading South African newspaper, Arthur Goldstuck of internet research firm World Wide Worx said SANSA's move was something of...

  • How I would have stuffed up Twitter: Usability’s quest for simplicity

    I've often wondered what it was like in the early days of creating Twitter. It must have been interesting times working out what the social network would be, what it would look like and how it would function. Of course, no-one then knew for certain it would be the slam-dunk success of today. In those early, startup days of rapid development and innovation, there must have been countless arguments, debates and jousts over how it would look and how it would work. It must have been an exciting, creative and nervous time, with endless testing, trial and error. I've often wondered...

  • We don’t talk about brands online — so what are we talking about?

    Social media is not about brands. It’s throwaway headlines like that which make brands and businesses -- especially SMEs -- shy away from social media and from entering into a conversation with their potential clients online. At first glance this reinforces a marketing manager's preconceived notion that no good can come from his brand engaging online, but what is the truth behind this kind of sentiment? Offline discovery still works Brands are still largely being discovered offline -- this is through word of mouth as well as radio, TV, print and billboards. In a US survey by eMarketer, 30.1% of respondents...

  • Provocative student poster causes sensation on social networks

    A campaign by the student wing of South Africa’s official opposition party is causing a sensation on social networks. The campaign by the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) features a topless white man and black woman embracing. The poster, which is an advert of the organisation’s 2012 membership campaign, also comes with the tagline: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice”. Since hitting Facebook a couple of hours ago, the poster has generated around 150 "likes", 75 shares and 370 odd comments. A number of the comments have reacted negatively to the implied nudity in the poster. “I don't get...

  • RIM co-CEOs throw in the towel, COO becomes new CEO

    Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, released a statement today announcing that co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down in a management shuffle. As a result of mounting pressure by shareholders who watched RIM’s stock price tumble 75% last year, eventually falling below book value, RIM announced that Lazaridis who founded RIM in 1984 will become vice chairman, while Balsillie will continue to sit on the board forgoing any operational roles. Chief operating officer Thorsten Heins will take over as CEO starting today. Heins started at RIM in 2007, having previously worked at Siemens Communications. He took up...

  • Sina Weibo smashes Twitter’s traffic record over Chinese New Year

    The most popular of China’s microblogging services Sina Weibo, saw record traffic over the Chinese New Year. According to Chinese tech site Do News, an average of 32 312 messages were sent per second, while 481 207 messages were sent during the first minute of the year. This smashes Twitter's record 25 088 tweets per second -- achieved when Japanese users took to the social network en-masse during a national TV broadcast of the classic Anime series Castle in the Sky. According to The Next Web, the volume of messages sent this New Year, "is three times higher than...

  • ‘Right to be forgotten’ — EU’s new plan for internet freedom

    The European Union is in the process of proposing new laws on how large corporations handle users' personal data. Speaking at the Digital Life Design(DLD) conference in Germany on Sunday, EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, said she thinks governments need to find a balance between policing the internet to protect copyright and upholding freedom of expression. Reding was reacting to a US crackdown on hundreds of websites accused of offering pirated music or movies or counterfeit goods, as well as calls for new legislation to guard intellectual property. "The protection of creators must never be used as pretext to intervene in...

  • Light, sexy and daring, its the Nokia 700

    The Nokia 700 is a beautiful phone, with a dreadful OS and some redeeming features. I tear it apart like a rare fillet in a New York diner. Overall design In a word, solid. In a longer word, rock-solid. The 700 smacks of passion. Its diminutive proportions may be too tiny for my meaty paws, but in a normal sized hand it rests comfortably, like a shivering metal kitten. The 0.9kg weight combined with a length of 11cm is a masterstroke of design. While I hated the shape of the N9, I feel as if Nokia has struck gold with the 700....

  • Interrupted viola player plays Nokia ringtone [Viral video]

    A five-month-old video has a new, viral, lease on life. The video features Slovakian violinist Lukas Kmit, being interrupted by a Nokia ringtone. Rather than storming off or histrionically berating the phone’s owner, Kmit simply started playing the ringtone. The interruption took place while Kmit was giving a recital at a Jewish Orthodox Synagogue in Presov, eastern Slovakia. According to Cnet’s Chris Matyszczyk, the video went viral after a recent incident in which the marimba ringtone of an iPhone brought the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to a complete halt. “In the case of the Philharmonic,” says Matyszczyk, “the marimba...

  • New FFT math could equal 10X faster LOLcat downloads

    I feel like we take compression for granted. It’s like the bass player in a band. While the lead guitarist or singer gets decorated with undergarments from the ladies, the unsung bassist grooves in the background, playing the vital role of filling out the low end of the frequency spectrum and blowing your hair back. Compression technologies and the network infrastructure upon which they function are key to delivering our LOLcats, Nyan Cats, Honeybadgers and Rebecca Blacks, but with all the attention given to terrestrial broadband and 4G, it’s easy for new advances in compression techniques to slip under the radar. Read more on Gearburn.comvar vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var...