Amazon offers to pay for employees’ studies — even if they leave after

Wow. This is Big. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos today took over the company's front page to announce that it would be paying for some its employees to study in high-demand fields. According to Bezos, the online giant will pay up to 95% of the cost of courses such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, and nursing for its fulfilment centre employees. These are the people working in the massive warehouses where the company's ...

News, Social media

Chappies uses crowdsourcing to gather the latest ‘Did you knows’

Chappies comp Everyone is reinventing themselves in the social era. Even popular budget bubblegum maker Chappies has decided to join the revolution. The gum-maker's wrappers are popular for their quirky "Did you know" fun facts meant to entertain chewers as they enjoy their gum. The company has decided to launch a new crowdsourcing campaign that allows lovers of Chappies to contribute the latest set of "Did you knows" through its website and Facebook page. Throughout July, users have been posting facts on ...

News, Twitter

Twitter to curate Olympic Games

Worried you'll miss out on all those magical Olympic moments while you're at work? Relax, Twitter claims it's got your back. The social network will be acting as a sort of commentator for the forthcoming London games, set to officially kick off this Friday. Under a deal, formed in partnership with US broadcaster NBC, the social network will curate “millions of Twitter messages from Olympic athletes, their families, fans and NBC television personalities”. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ...


Sina Weibo copies Twitter, takes ‘sponsored tweets’ route

This is interesting. Chinese social network Sina Weibo, which has over 350-million registered users, is taking a leaf out of Twitter's book when it comes to making money. The micro-blogging platform has introduced in-line advertising. On Twitter it's called sponsored tweets, and on Sina Weibo it goes by the name 'Weibo Tui Guang’. According to Tech in Asia, the social network's parent company Sina confirmed that it is using the ad placement product but hasn't put a timeline on an ...


NFC payments set to go big in next few years

NFC's been kicking around for a few years now -- Nokia’s 6131 was the first phone to come with it and launched all the way back in 2006 -- but it's never really fulfilled its potential as a payment mechanism. It seems, however, that the technology's time may finally have come. According to a new report from tech analysis company Juniper Research, NFC retail payments will exceed US$180-billion globally by 2017, more than a seven-fold increase over 2012. The ...

Advertising & Marketing, Social media

Is social media spend spent?

social media Ask anyone in the know where companies should be spending their cash and 98% of the time the answer will be a resounding “on social media!”. But the reported marketing spend doesn’t seem to add up. In June of 2012 Advertising Age and Citigroup spoke with businesses in The United States and most of them have a maximum of 20% of their marketing budget devoted to social media advertising or maintenance. Hang on…. 20%; that can’t be right can it? Social ...

Social media

Social media: we’re not mad, just disappointed

social media sign Social media held such promise. On these platforms, we could create and share content instantly. We could connect on unprecedented levels, entirely breaking down the conventional, lateral flow of information that once held sway. Micro-blogging platforms meant there was no longer a production hierarchy. Content was being made for people by other people, not just by men in suits with overly-gelled quaffs. It was going to be so amazing. But now, all we get is pictures of people we didn’t ...


4 tips for protecting your tech startup idea

Handshake In this month’s Entrepreneur magazine, startup adviser and mentor Ed Hatton provides four tips for turning your idea for a tech startup into a business, without someone stealing it. To develop an idea, founders need to approach service providers and investors. This may require divulging your secret recipe. Unlike offline businesses or products that can be protected by patent laws, internet-based businesses require a different approach. #1 Deal with trustworthy suppliers Check references carefully before picking financiers and advertising agencies. Read more on ...


Why an Amazon smartphone makes complete sense

Amazon Logo You may have seen reports of an Amazon smartphone kicking around recently. Some people, like MarketWatch columnist Therese Poletti, think it's a terrible idea. I think they're wrong. Poletti's report that an Amazon smartphone is in the works and could be available by the end of this year is, by and large, not that much different to most you'll read online. One thing that comes through however is that she's not a fan of the strategy. Poletti quotes an analyst who shares ...


Motorola Xoom 2: the anti-iPad

As soon as the delivery man arrived in the ‘burn offices, I knew we were in for trouble. His demeanour suggested we were to be in possession of something dark and edgy for the next two weeks. We all stared as our hirsute Gearburn editor opened the package. He stared at it for a moment, looked around the room and walked slowly over to me. “Here you go Stu, you like tablets”, he said, in much the same tone as ...






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