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  • From Advogato to Zoopa: The ultimate list of social networks

    Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. These social networks we all know. However, they are not the only social networks striving for your attention. Memeburn's already looked at the 29 professional niche social networks you should know about, and we also have a list of our favourite offbeat social networks. This list, however, is the ultimate list of all: As many social networks as we can find. We've ranked them alphabetically picking the most popular to lead each letter. How many are you on? A Advogato.org Advogato, in existence since 2000, bills itself as "community site and social networking site for free software developers". See...

  • Is it time to rethink SSL?

    The recent attack on the lesser-known certificate authority known as DigiNotar, and previously on Comodo, has security experts pondering the future of certificate-based encryption and authentication. For many people, SSL or what is now generally known as TLS is some arcane security measure that involves certificates and usually results in an 's' being appended to the protocol they are using. Occasionally, it raises its head when you visit a website and your browser notifies you that a certificate is not trusted for some reason or another. Actually, certificate based authentication and encryption is not that difficult to get your...

  • Malema ‘shoot the boer’ ruling divides South African tweeters

    The judgement delivered Monday in Julius Malema's hate-speech trial has sharply divided South African tweeters. The Equality court has found that the controversial ANC Youth League (ANCYL) President’s singing of an ANC revolutionary song containing the lyrics "dhubula ibhunu" (loosely translated to mean "shoot the boer") constitutes hate speech. Penned by Judge Collin Lamont, the ruling which has received attention from international news outlets, was unequivocal. He found that "The singing of the song by Malema constituted hate speech", and that "No justification exist allowing the words to be sung... the words were in any event not sung on a justifiable...

  • Review: Tunebug Vibe stalks flat surfaces for sweet music

    Imagine you’re somewhere fairly quiet. Your den on a Sunday afternoon. A cubicle in an empty office*. A hotel room in a strange city. You only have your phone to play music on, and it’s got a sucky built-in speaker. You don't want to wear headphones. Plug the Tunebug Vibe into its headphone socket and make the music player or phone's sound output a bazillion times better. Remembering that this massive, massive number of 'a bazillion' is calculated off a low base (phone speakers' outputs are generally rated at about SFA**) so while the Tunebug is way better, don’t get...

  • A decade on: The world remembers 9/11

    The events of September 11 2001 reverberated around the world. They affected everyone, American and non-American alike. It was to be expected, therefore, that various forms of social media would be flooded with memorials and remembrances as people marked the tenth anniversary of the fateful attacks. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, recognising the power of technology, created an official application "as a guide to understanding 9/11 through the eyes of who witnessed the events". Similarly, the New York Times created an interactive tool where people across the world could record where they were that day and their thoughts...

  • 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...