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  • PayPal’s Dr Who charity gaffe causes social media outrage

    PayPal doesn’t exactly have the greatest history when it comes to people collecting charitable projects. Last year, for instance, it tried to get one user to refund the almost US20 000 they had collected to buy Christmas toys for needy children. That incident was brought to the world’s attention by the incident's victim and Regretsy user Helen Killer. That was bad. Now though, the online payments system has managed to anger two sections of the online community: people who care about charity and Dr Who fans. Ben Morris and Steve Berry are regular contributors to Dr Who magazine. For the past...

  • Your car is getting smarter

    Nevermind talking on your cell phone while driving – soon your smartphone could be so integrated into your car that you could be doing much more than making a phone call. A report by Juniper Research predicts that 92 million vehicles will incorporate the smartphone into the head unit by 2016. “Integrating the smartphone into consumer cars represents a new route for the mobile Internet and infotainment to enter the vehicle,” says report author Anthony Cox. Prototypes like MirrorLink – which links your smartphone to a screen on your dashboard via Bluetooth or USB – will become almost standard, allowing your...

  • #OccupyDemocracy: Sean Parker and Al Gore talk social credit at SXSW

    Former US Vice President Al Gore and Napster co-founder Sean Parker tag-teamed a presentation at South by Southwest Interactive, urging Americans to use their social media credit for furthering democracy, especially as the country heads towards presidential elections. While they concentrated on America, the pair’s words are pertinent to any democracy and the role new media can play in strengthening it. "Our democracy has been hacked," Gore announced to the packed auditorium. “It no longer works to serve the people of this country.” He says he wants to see the hash-tag #OccupyDemocracy come about; showing how the internet can truly...

  • 5 Things you should know about Google’s new terms and conditions

    We all know that Google recently updated its terms, conditions and privacy policies. The company argued that the change would ensure that all Google services would be consolidated under one, simple to understand, universal set of conditions, rather than expecting users to navigate a multitude of separate policies for each of their services. Few analysts have been convinced, with many citing that Google is more concerned with turning a profit than protecting user privacy; either way, Google has gone ahead with its changes and, as Memeburn columnist Rowan Puttergill recently wrote, "if Google feels that its applications will function better...

  • 3 Reasons the new iPad is actually a huge deal

    Apple's iPad launch hype has come and gone. A number of the speculations were proven wrong: there is no smaller iPad, there are no 3D glasses. In fact, the new iPad is essentially the same as before. There are, however, a few changes such as the high-resolution screen, fast LTE connectivity in the USA, and for some that’s all there is to the new iPad. Wrong. The new iPad is a big deal, a very big deal. In fact, in many ways all the iPad competitors were just dealt another huge blow as Apple continues to forge the tablet market....

  • SA Gmail users get free SMS…at last

    Gmail users in South Africa are reporting that they can now send free SMSes from Google chat. The reports are coming through even though South Africa is not listed among the countries supported by the service, which has been around since 2008. At present, however, the service only allows you to send messages to MTN and 8ta numbers. According to MyBroadband, any attempts to SMS Vodacom and Cell C numbers resulted in an error message. Quite why Vodacom isn't supported isn't clear as the supporting website lists it as being supported in Mozambique, the DRC, and Tanzania. ...

  • Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman talks social media at SXSW

    Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan took to the stage at South by Southwest -- not to perform, but to be interviewed by social media guru Brian Solis -- on his views about how social media has changed the music business. Corgan, who has over 100 000 followers on Twitter, wants fans to step up their support and help create new ways of sustaining the music industry. Corgan, whose band found great success in the 90s and helped break stereotypes with their diverse make-up of musicians, essentially believes the state of the music industry has created an erosion of culture, to...

  • TED launches initiative to bring ‘lessons worth sharing’ to high schoolers

    TED, the organisation behind the popular conference series with the same name, launched a new initiative that aims to bring TED-like video content to high school students. The idea here is to repackage existing TED talks as well as videotaped lessons from teachers around the world with additional graphics and effects to make them more palatable to a younger audience. As TED's curator Chris Anderson notes, the organisation doesn't claim that TED-Ed, as this new program is called, will "transform education." Instead, he says, the organisation wants to help teachers by making these videos available, but also by providing...

  • Data journalism: where coders and journos meet

    How do you make sense of a growing data pile spit out by the internet? The number of journalists who can analyse and write stories based on this data is still relatively small. At a time when large numbers of journalists are being laid off -- because print newspapers are closing or decreasing the number of editors -- data journalism is becoming a great way to get value out of journalistic work. Newspapers are also exploring it, and data journalism could potentially attract more readers to print or online editions. In Europe, The Guardian’s data page is an example of how...

  • How influential is your company on social? Brandometer thinks it knows

    How do you know how well your brand’s doing on social media? Awards are one way, but they tend to be chosen by industry “experts”. They also tend to roll around on a fairly irregular basis, so you can’t be sure if your latest campaign has put you ahead of your competitors. What you need is a way of benchmarking yourself across a variety of platforms, against your closest competitors and the best practitioners of social media. A new tool called Brandometer claims to provide exactly that service. Powered by social media monitoring company Fuseware, Brandometer calls itself “an official...

  • Siri gets her Led out, sings ‘Stairway to Heaven’ [Video]

    We know Apple’s celebrated voice assistant Siri can do a whole lot, but did you know she could soon be the voice of the entire iTunes catalogue? Apple-centric parody news site Scoopertino has imagined a present in which Tim Cook and co. have become so enamoured with Siri that they decide to drop musicians entirely and let Siri take over on vocal duties for every song ever licensed to iTunes. “Apple started a revolution by signing the major music companies. Now it’s re-igniting the revolution by throwing them out,” the site says. Scoopertino reemphasised the massive love Apple has...

  • Highlight: the app that lets you know who’s nearby

    A brand new iPhone app has been released that alerts people when they’re near someone they share a connection with. Actually the app, called Highlight, does a little more than that. According to its App Store description: If someone standing near you also has Highlight, their profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight...

  • Win online fashion vouchers with Memeburn and Zando.co.za

    Love online fashion? Want to win one of 10 fashion vouchers to the tune of R100 each? Why wouldn't you? Shopping online is better than walking into an actual brick-and-mortar store. This is the future, baby, and Memeburn and Zando.co.za wants to help you realise your online shopping fantasy. Zando, which went from a humble startup to a successful online clothing store, knows the online arena. It stocks a mixture of local and international brands, including Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Gucci, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana -- and you can buy them all online from the safety of your computer. Best...

  • Facebook announces ‘next wave’ of Timeline apps

    Facebook has announced a slew of new apps for Timeline including ones from Foursquare, Nike, The Onion, VEVO, Fandango, Viddy, Endomondo and RootMusic. The announcement takes the tally of apps on Timeline close to the 3 000 mark. It says the new apps “give people more ways to add their location, fitness, video and media interests to their timeline and share what they love with friends”. Let's take a closer look at what Facebook says some of these new apps can do: Foursquare: Foursquare users can now reportedly “add their Foursquare check-ins to their timelines and maps”, share their badges and see...

  • Yahoo! confirms intent to sue Facebook

    Yahoo! has confirmed that it will be suing Facebook for patent infringements. At present, details are scant on exactly what patents the troubled internet giant feels Facebook has infringed upon and why it has taken so long in filing a suit. Yahoo! has, however issues an official statement on the issue: Yahoo! has invested substantial resources in research and development through the years, which has resulted in numerous patented inventions of technology that other companies have licensed. These technologies are the foundation of our business that engages over 700-million monthly unique visitors and represent the spirit of innovation upon...