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  • Email marketing and the challenges of the Freemium model

    Freemium is a business model that works by offering a product, such as software, at no cost while charging a rate for advanced features and services. Though ideas about the value of free offerings have been the source of much debate, it's important to brush past the trivia and look deeper and more critically at why some internet companies are successful at employing the Freemium model while others are not. There are different types of free strategies, but a key factor in making Freemium work is the structure of the offering. Since Freemium is an entry-level module that could...

  • Vodacom SA to throttle Blackberry speeds

    South African cellular network Vodacom will now throttle the speeds of Blackberry users in a bid to curb the behaviour of those it claims "are abusing the service". According to Vodacom, such users will now face their connections being downgraded from 3G to 2G (GPRS or EDGE) once they hit 100MB or more. There is currently no known date of when the speed cap will come under effect. Users of Blackberry Enterprise Services will remain unaffected. A statement from Vodacom's official Facebook page explains the reasoning behind the decision: "Vodacom also studied usage patterns to better understand the causes of...

  • AOL and Yahoo! in possible merger talks following Bartz’s axing

    A recent report from Bloomberg claims that AOL and Yahoo! are in early merger talks just a week after the firing of former Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz. The report claims that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong approached former Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz about a merger of the two companies last but year but was rejected. Carol Bartz's firing seems, however, to have opened the door for AOL to make a second attempt. According to Bloomberg, "Yahoo! is unlikely to be interested in a deal for AOL at this time given the company's losses and declining revenue, according to one person familiar...

  • Alibaba CEO discusses future with Yahoo!

    Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba was recently questioned regarding the future of Yahoo's stake in his firm. He gave no insight as to what may happen down the line. One point that he is adamant about is that Alibaba was in no way responsible for the very recent dismissal of Yahoo! chief Carol Bartz. Speculation has been rife that Yahoo! is now planning to dissociate itself from its Asian acquisitions, which include companies such as Alibaba. This may be part of the "strategic review" following Bartz's departure. At an annual Alibaba gathering of entrepreneurs, Ma said, "These days, we have...

  • Congress fiddles while patents burn us

    American politicos both Republican and Democrat agreed that something had to be done about patents, and the costly, innovation-choking mess they were making of American success. The new America Invents Act represents the most sweeping changes to the US' law in decades, but the bill is not expected to end the courtroom wrangling between technology giants. Experts rated it as pretty good tinkering, but not game-changing. "My feeling is that it won't change the dynamics much of the ongoing patent wars," said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "The problem is with patents in general, in that there's way too...

  • NBC Twitter feed hacked, spreads false 9/11 reports

    Hackers very briefly gained control of the official NBC News Twitter feed over the weekend. Their aim: To send false messages preceding the 9/11 anniversary. The hacking group Script Kiddies released these messages during Friday evening on Twitter: NBC quickly moved in to quell any concerns and instantly condemned the attack. The tweets were sent in quick succession before any action could be taken. On Saturday morning, the account was back in the control of NBC news and Vivian Schiller, NBC's chief digital officer released a statement on her Twitter account, mentioning that an investigation was now under way. ...

  • Top 5 gaming laptops you should want

    Laptops can be divided into three rough and ready categories: casual, business and gaming. Casual laptops are often fragile and sometimes barely as powerful as a tablet. Business models are often tough and fast, but lack the meatier graphics processors to satisfy the hungry gaming market. So the niche of gaming laptops was born -- and is taking off. Buyers are starting to cotton on to the potential of gaming laptops, and bigger markets means less expensive models are emerging. Today we are not going to bury you in stats, we are going to show you why you want one....

  • The BBM debate: Can speech ever be consequence free?

    The latest call to intercept messages on the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) platform, by South African Deputy-Communications minister, Obed Bapela, threw the veritable cat amongst the pigeons with regard to freedom of speech and privacy. This call resonated globally, with TechCrunch and other media houses worldwide commenting on the statement. South Africa's own level-headed communications minister Roy Padayachie was quick to clear the air. He has stated categorically that there is no current plan to intercept or regulate BBM specifically, but did add rather ominously, that the government was still drafting a policy statement that "will review current regulatory and...

  • A new era of leadership is dawning in Silicon Valley

    With the recent departure of the foul-mouthed, gun-slinging Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, the resignation of ex Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the stepping down of Apple's CEO Steve Jobs -- a new era in Silicon Valley has dawned. Apart from the old guard at Microsoft, all of the Valley's major technology companies are under 'new' management. Seasoned veteran Bartz, who had a distinguished career including being the CEO of Autodesk and being on the boards of both Cisco and Intel, was brought in to replace Jerry Yang. At the time of her appointment most analysts in the know cited...

  • Twitter: Would the real Darren Scott please stand up?

    When it was revealed that South African DJ Darren Scott had used the "K-word" after losing his temper with a colleague, it became a globally trending topic on Twitter. A large portion of the anger on the social network was, however, directed at the wrong Darren Scott. According to South African news site, News 24, much of the venom surrounding the incident was directed at @darren_scott, a British citizen and editor of Gay Times magazine. According to the report, Scott was shocked to find that he was trending on Twitter, with one of his tweets saying "I wondered if...

  • 22 Rugby personalities to follow on Twitter

    When the last Rugby World Cup kicked off in 2007, Twitter was barely a year old. As the current tournament kicks off in New Zealand, the situation is very different. The social network has more than 200-miilion users and a number of the players at the tournament will be tweeting voraciously (The notable exception to this being hosts New Zealand, who have been banned from tweeting). In celebration of the world's most prestigious rugby tournament, Memeburn decided to take a look at some Rugby personalities that will be tweeting away. Current Players: 1. John Smit: Followers: 57 103 The Springbok captain keeps...

  • ‘Rugby World Cup’ also a 419 lottery scam

    The hype surrounding the Rugby World Cup has set off a series of 419 scammers says Symantec Intelligence. A new scam claims that the recipient has been awarded US$2.5-millon in a lottery connected with the 2011 Rugby World Cup has spread around the internet. The global software security firm also reports that 419 or advance fee fraud scammers are highly skilled at using current events to their advantage. "Recently we have seen scams taking advantage of unrest in Libya, the devastating March 2011 earthquake in Japan, and other events. 419 or advance fee fraud works by promising the recipient a...

  • Motorola’s Facebook phone revealed

    The Motorola EX225 marks the mobile giant’s latest foray into social gadgets. Motorola is seemingly forgetting the mistakes it made with the Motoblur and instead emulating mobile phones such as the HTC ChaCha and the recently launched Vodafone Blu 555 by adding in a dedicated Facebook button. This has come to light after UnwiredView dicovered the new mobile phone within the Bluetooth SIG database. The phone will be socially connected, with Facebook features deeply integrated into the handset. For those who are unaware of how the Facebook button works, it is a customisable input which allows for one-touch status updates,...

  • Fired Yahoo! CEO forfeits $10million to say: Yahoo! ‘f—ed me over’

    Anybody with even the slightest knowledge about the recently axed CEO of Yahoo!, Carol Bartz, knew that sooner or later her tough-as-nails attitude would come to the fore, and in an explosive interview with Fortune it did. A source speaking with Fortune also informed the magazine that Bartz had a non-disparagement clause, a promise to not speak ill of the company, and that by giving this interview she forfeited US$10-million of her severance package The interview, Bartz's first since her dismissal, explained what led up to her getting fired over the telephone by board Chairman Roy Bostock. According to Bartz, in...

  • Google’s green energy usage exposed

    Search giant Google has revealed how much power its products such as Gmail, Youtube, Google+ and its cloud services consume. Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure said, "Google products for a month...our servers use less energy per user than a light left on for three hours. And, because we've been a carbon-neutral company since 2007, even that small amount of energy is offset completely so the carbon footprint of your life on Google is zero." On the Google Green website, a new section called “The Big Picture” has been added to offer further insight into how Google saves...