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  • Four aspects of technology I really don’t understand

    I am, admittedly, not as bad as my mother when it comes to understanding the technological trappings of our modern world. I am even sometimes able to provide her with technical support when she calls me with her problems and queries (examples include "how do I like something on Facebook?" and "where is on?"). But, for someone who was born sometime after 1940, I am somewhat of a technological retard, and here are some of the things I struggle with the most… 1. Smartphones I have a BlackBerry. Apparently this is classified as a smart phone, but I have to say...

  • The dramatic fall of BitCoin: No end in sight

    We've discussed BitCoin at some length on Memeburn, including how it works, its potential downfalls, and its genuine merits. BitCoin has experienced its ups and downs in the few years that it has emerged as an online currency. Last year, a major 'pick-pocketing' scandal when an anonymous BitCoin user claimed that thieves had managed to steal nearly US$ 500 000 worth of BitCoin. Although the case was unverified, a series of similar incidents caused the BitCoin exchange rate to crash at the time. This year, a number of new attacks on BitCoin have raised further concerns for the online...

  • ORM: It’s non-negotiable

    As any successful company will tell you, building a good reputation is not an easy process and it usually takes years of hard work to get it done. With the explosion of Web 2.0 in the last couple of years, many companies are focusing on social media experts (brand ambassadors) and trusted PR agencies to build them a positive online reputation around their products, services, and their brand. Everyone that has access to the online universe can be a "citizen journalist" and has the ability to share anything with the community on their social web channels. A negative comment, review,...

  • Television in the social era: It’s not about your audience

    Yes yes we get it, television is getting more social and we can now follow are favourite TV shows on Twitter and Like them on Facebook. Smart TVs allow us to watch and share and that's pretty awesome, but what does all that actually mean for the future of the telly? According to John Cabral of Viacom Media Networks, a new medium is on its way. Speaking at the Korea Communications Conference, Cabral argues that the "current distinctions between the internet and will disintegrate and new medium will be established." Cabral believes this new medium will challenge traditional models of...

  • Standard bank claims ‘world first’ with NFC-enabled debit card

    Standard Bank has rolled out what it claims is the world's first bank card to include both NFC and debit card functionality. The so-called Muvo card was developed in partnership with the South African bank's business development centre and innovation incubator Beyond Payments. The debit card functionality will come from Mastercard, which has given the card the go-ahead. Beyond Payments claims the dual-function card “is believed to be a world first in the realm of cashless payment technology.” The product was designed to meet the specifications of the country's National Department of Transport. This is because the first members of...

  • Twitter meetup results in child rape

    A 13-year-old girl has been raped by a 45-year-old man she allegedly met on Twitter. The young girl had reportedly skipped school to meet up with the accused at her parents home in an affluent suburb of Pretoria, South Africa. "When the girl opened the door, she realised that the man was a lot older than he had pretended to be online", police spokesperson Captain Marissa van der Merwe told the Beeld newspaper. The girl then tried to close the door, but the man forced it open. "She tried to get away from him, but was unable to, and...

  • Pinterest gets $100m cash injection

    Pinterest is about to get a massive cash boost as it looks to expand its international presence. Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten announced that it would be investing US$100-million into the current belle of the social media ball. In a press release, Rakuten said it would partner with Pinterest in growing the social network in 17 of the markets it is most active in. Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Siberman said that teaming up with the ecommerce giant would help it “move a step closer” to achieving its goal of helping “people discover things they love, by connecting people through...

  • Frustrated by your man playing Diablo III? This French store has a solution

    This is hilarious, if a little unfairly stereotypical. A French sex store is offering a free um...toy to any women who feel their boyfriends have abandoned them since the release of Diablo III. The marketing bumpf is especially great once you run it through Google translate: Your man has not left his computer since the release yesterday of Diablo III? Still a long time before you find yourself in his arms during a romantic evening ... You yearn ... You feel abandoned ... Abandoned ... In my imagination, the person selling this thing has greased back hair, a pencil thin moustache and...

  • Google just dropped some knowledge on search

    Sorry what's that Bing? Oh you integrated social with search? Very cute. Now let the big boys show you how it's really done. Google today announced a new search model that it claims "understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another" The internet giant calls the new model "The Knowledge Graph" and says that it is built on the premise that when we're searching we're looking for "things not strings". In order to understand what it means by this, let's say you're looking up Taj Mahal. To a search engine, it's just two words. That's more or less the...

  • Samsung, Android still winning in shrinking mobile market

    Samsung is winning the mobile wars and at the same time helping Android kill in the mobile OS stakes. Thing is all of the players in the game of phones are competing for a smaller market. According to research company Gartner, some 419.1-million mobile phones sold in the first few months of 2012, two percent less than the same period in 2011. That’s more significant than it might seem. It’s the first time the market has gone into decline since 2009. “Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the...

  • Price war erupts among South Africa’s mobile players

    A price war has erupted among South Africa’s mobile operators, as each seeks to increase its slice of the pie in a country where there are nearly as many active SIM cards as there are people. The country’s third mobile operator Cell C recently slashed its data prices, halving them in some cases. It’s followed up this move with a new voice deal for its prepaid customers. South Africa’s first-and-largest operator Vodacom today responded with what it calls the “Freedom 99” plan. Like Cell C’s plan, called “99 Cents For Real”, Vodacom will charge prepaid users 99c a minute...

  • GM pulls Facebook advertising, big deal

    Facebook ads don’t work, not even a little bit. Well that’s if auto giant General Motors (GM) is to be believed at any rate. The company, which spends around US$40-million a year on Facebook campaigns, says it is pulling the US$10-million it currently spends on paid-for Facebook ads. GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick told the Wall Street Journal that the company still views putting up relevant content about its products on the social network as an “effective and important” part of its marketing strategy. In a statement, the motoring giant said: “We regularly review our overall media spend and...

  • 6 things that will guarantee B2B social failure

    Having spent some time participating on most of the popular social networks from a B2B social media marketing perspective, I have listed a number of things you can do to ensure your social media efforts fail dismally. Commit these cardinal sins and some of the scenes from Dante's Inferno will seem like a picnic by comparison. 1. No “buy-in” from the entire organisation Social media is not a one man band. It is something that involves your whole organisation. Your community manager may be the primary voice of your organisation but it requires a collective effort from everyone. It is...

  • It’s complicated: Thoughts on why Facebook doesn’t like you to be alone

    Jane Austen was a big fan of an advantageous marriage, and so it seems, is Facebook. One's changes in relationship status are the most prominent feature on the Timeline after being born, and of course, joining Facebook. Facebook has even designed little icons for these events; I recently saw a friends’ engagement announced with a little blue ring and a neat date underneath. Is meeting the right person such a notable achievement? Irritated singletons might wonder why all the Timeline announcements are necessary, surely getting together with someone special is a chance occurrence, exactly like winning the lottery. Others might...

  • The right to be forgotten: A path to the future

    Earlier this year European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that internet users had a "right to be forgotten" -- the idea being that anyone should be able to delete all the data they have online at any time, except in cases where there is a legitimate interest in maintaining information in a database. According to the new EU policy, the "right to be forgotten" simply "would allow people to request that their information be erased and not disseminated online." Research fellow Pere Simon Castellano from the University of Girona reckons that this new right is key for the future law...