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  • Memeburn’s best moments from SXSW 2012

    With South by Southwest Interactive now all but forgotten in the wake of the tunes from the 2 000 or so musicians who took to stages all over Austin for the music portion of the festival and conference this past weekend, organizers and tech enthusiasts alike are reflecting on another year gone by. For ten days, role-players involved in the tech, film and music fields gathered at the annnual South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, with an eye to discovering new trends and the people driving them. The annual event -- which begins with the Interactive portion and...

  • #CloseTheTap joins the league of campaigns using social for good

    Somewhere at this very moment someone has left a tap running. It is true and it's probably you. To celebrate World Water Day, digital agency Native has introduced a social media initiative to help save water -- #CloseTheTap. The hope is to raise awareness around global water wastage and offer people real, every-day tips for saving water. The campaign runs under For the Love of Water (FLOW). "Just by visiting www.closethetap.co.za, taking a water-saving pledge, tweeting your pledge and sharing it on Facebook, you can help us spread the word, and save fresh water," says Justin Friedman, creator of...

  • 8 things you can do with the Kinect – besides play games

    When Microsoft launched the Kinect in 2010, I think the world must have collectively sighed. Here was a device that recognised your movements and your voice and allowed your body to act as a controller. It was a 3D camera that you could hold in one hand. It recognised who was standing in front of it by analysing their body shape and face. And it was being used for gaming. Really?! var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Iceland goes open source in a big way

    Iceland has a bit of a history when it comes to using tech in innovative ways. In 2011, for instance, it crowdsourced its new constitution using social media. Now the mid-Atlantic island wants to take a number of government departments open source. According to project leader Tryggvi Björgvinsson, the migration project will involve the three biggest public institutions in Iceland: all of the ministries, the city of Reykjavik and the National Hospital. "These are setting a good migration example", he says. The migration will reportedly be done with as much uniformity as possible. Björgvinsson believes that, "This will foster...

  • 3 Great free iPhone games of the day — Save $4

    Check out these great iPhone/iPad games that have been reduced to zero dollars. Snap them up and save four smackeroos. Enjoy. Geared -- US$0.99 FREE Geared is a really addictive puzzle game where you have to place different sized gears with the aim of reaching and turning each level’s blue gear. The difficulty increases as you progress through the levels and you’ll find yourself having to deal with no drop zones, new obstacles and turning multiple blue gears at the same time. Geared has been around for a while now and even has a sequel out, but if you haven’t caught on...

  • Google lets you explore the Amazon with Street View

    We love Google Street View, especially when it crosses over from being a useful tool to delivering stunning images. A series of recently released images from the Amazon basin are a case in point. Google released the images for World Forest Day after travelling along the river, through the forest, and to the communities in the Rio Negro Reserve in August 2011. In official blog post, the internet giant claims you can: Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along...

  • Is the flying bird man real? [Video]

    A video’s been making waves around the web today. It purportedly shows a man achieving flight using nothing but a pair of wings, some muscle-boosting gears, an Android-powered smartphone, and some Wii controllers, but is it real? The flying device’s supposed inventor is a Dutch chap called Jarno Smeets, who claims to have built the prototype over the course of a year and to have been inspired by his grandfather’s design for a flying bicycle. In an official press release, Smeets says that his aim was to disprove the assumption “that it was impossible to fly with bird-like wings...

  • Amazon next step forward: Buying a massive robotics company

    Amazon has announced that it is going to buy Kiva Systems for US$775-million, in order to help further automate many of the processes within its large warehouses. Kiva Systems develops a fairly unique robotic shelving system, where hundreds of mobile robots can plug themselves into various shelves and move them around a warehouse. In fact, the system is so advanced that shelves literally deliver products to the shipping department from around the warehouse as orders come in. Kiva Systems was listed as one of the top 50 of the world's most innovative companies by FastCompany earlier this year, where...

  • Are social networks really killing the web?

    Occasionally I stumble on blog posts describing how social networks are killing the internet. The claim is that people are becoming locked into social media so much that they no longer surf the web like they used to. Instead, they rely on information shared within the closed environment provided by sites like Facebook. These articles annoy me. To begin with, the internet is really the underlying infrastructure on which everything online, including the social networks themselves, exist. But pedantry aside, and assuming that these authors are really referring to the death of the web, is it really true that social...

  • Google lands a harsh blow to sites with too much SEO

    Anyone who has made sure their sites are as search engine optimised as is humanly -- or mechanically -- possible should be quaking their boots right about now. Google has announced a major algorithm change that is going to penalised overly optimised websites. (Are you sweating yet?) This change comes on the back of another algorithm change made recently where Google blocked search results from the co.cc domains. Google Engineer Matt Cutts explains the change as follows: “We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many...

  • AngelHub uncorks a heady bottle of Real Time Wine

    Last month, Memeburn got the scoop on AngelHub’s latest investment, Real Time Wine, the no bullshit 140-character social wine review site. Real Time Wine recently disclosed some more information about the deal. AngelHub’s investment in Real Time Wine is the angel investment group’s second paid out deal in six months and it concludes Real Time Wine’s first round of successful fundraising. Real Time Wine secured private angel funding from angel investors such as Michael Jordaan, owner of Bartinney Wines and Mike Ratcliffe, managing director at Warwick Wine Estate. As AngelHub offer expertise, networks and mentorship in addition to...

  • Want to kill the status quo? Innovate

    I was recently asked, “how do you find innovators?” It’s an odd question really, one that I hadn’t thought about before, but one that is valuable to think through. You have to dig deeper and think why innovations happen at all, and what the power structures are that make them be identified as innovative. After all, innovation is just a new way of doing things than what is currently the norm. In any industry, society or business there are status quo powers at play. These are generally legacy structures, setup for a time and place that needed that design. Think...

  • Low Orbit Server Stations: Is The Pirate Bay trolling, or could it work?

    Trolling, probably. You've heard The Pirate Bay's annoucement that it will be experimenting with low orbit server drones to make its service impervious to Hollywood’s threats. Oft-facetious, it wouldn't surprise us if The Pirate Bay were just scaremongering, but could it actually work? Maybe, but putting such an idea into practice is still a ways off. The world record for a battery powered hover drone in laboratory conditions is currently held by the md4-1000 hover drone which managed to hover for 88 minutes. Quite a bit longer than that, the AscTec Pelican by Ascending Technologies managed a record breaking 12...

  • ‘Webbed Menace’ viral campaign calls Spiderman fans to action

    Batman did it, the Avengers tried it and now the Amazing Spiderman is in on the game, namely viral marketing. This site, WebbedMenace.com is the home for Spiderman hate and fans have been asked to "end this masked hooligan's reign and shine a light on the shadows of vigilantism". Basically, take a picture of yourself acting like a nut, all the while dressed up as Spiderman. It’s a sparse site, but fits well into the viral template set down by so many superior campaigns of the same ilk. For now, the crux of the site rests on a five-minute interview...

  • Review round-up: Blades of Time, SSX, MGS: HD

    Gearburn knows that you don’t have time to play every game out there, that’s why we’ve created a trio of reviews, bite-sized portions to sink your teeth into. Blades of Time, SSX and Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection are all new for the Xbox 360, so let’s see which ones captured our gaming hearts. All games were reviewed on Xbox 360 Blades of Time Blades of Time is utter nonsense, and a derivative rip-off of Tomb Raider, Bayonette and whatever other third-person adventure you can think of. Created by the oddly named Gaijin Entertainment (Gaijin meaning “alien” or “foreigner”), Blades of Time...