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  • MTN Mobile Money launches debit card-based online shopping solution

    eCommerce service provider, MTN Mobile Money, has launched a mobile payment mechanism, which will enable users to purchase products online using a debit card. MTN Mobile Money says the mechanism, called payD, will enable millions of South Africans to make secure, online payments using only their pin-based debit cards. It is hoped that payD will provide a boost to South Africa's lagging ecommerce market. World Wide Worx's Online Retail in SA 2011 report shows that retail ecommerce hit R2 billion last year. "This sounds big", says Dave Parratt, head of new business development at MTN Mobile Money, "but it’s...

  • Hackers gain access to data of 35-million South Koreans

    Hackers using an Internet address registered in China have gained access to major South Korean websites and may have stolen the private information of 35-million users, authorities say. They breached the systems of Nate and Cyworld, both run by SK Communications, the Korea Communications Commission said. Nate is a search engine with 25-million users and Cyworld is a social networking website with 33 million users in a country with a population of 48.6-million. From the two sites combined, information on about 35-million users including names, web IDs, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and resident registration numbers appear to have been leaked, the commission...

  • Yes there’s a tech bubble, but will it burst anytime soon?

    "This time it's different". It's always different. When Cisco hit US$80 a share in 2000, making it the most valuable company in the world (worth US$555bn), it was different. It was also different when Goldman traded at US$235 in 2007 (and when AIG hit over US$2000 in 2000 and around US$1500 just four years ago). Perhaps in the original bubble, Dutch Tulip mania in 1637, it wasn't different. With the latest flurry of tech IPOs on Wall Street: LinkedIn, Pandora Media and Zillow (with Groupon, Zynga, LivingSocial polishing their prospectuses), it's different too. At least that's what we keep hearing. "This time there's...

  • Blink Tower: Making money by explaining ideas

    If a picture says a thousand words then, some may argue, a video packs in a million. In the internet age, concentration spans are increasingly shrinking. An effective message makes a point and keeps attention. The fact that there are arguments that social media may be causing attention deficit disorder is perhaps enough to underlie the issue. Enter Blink Tower, which believes it has a solution. Its founders, including Skyrove's Henk Kleynhans say they turn ideas into simple videos which "even your grandmother can understand". The company simply titles its videos "explainers", a term which came up frequently during an...

  • Google Engage SA: An attendee’s perspective

    Leave it Google to begin a product launch with "speed dating". Ten minutes with someone from Google South Africa. Agencies and individuals had the opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies for their clients. This is how Google Engage SA kicked off. Google Engage is a partner program which has been available in the USA, Canada, Middle East and UK for several years now and is aimed at online marketers, advertising agencies, designers and SEO experts. Engage is designed by Google to help online and search engine marketing companies make the most of Google's tools and services,...

  • The cheetah generation is using social media to revolutionise the continent

    In 2008, an article on socialmediatoday.com titled "Why Social Media in South Africa Will Fail", made a rather daring assertion: ...social media and social media marketing and social media strategy is an almost pointless pursuit for businesses in South Africa... Perhaps the image projected of Africa may, in times past, have led one to believe that there are other more pressing issues to deal with in Africa. I mean, this is Africa we're talking about, there's hunger and disease to be dealt with before we can consider the social media as something of significance to the continent, right? Well, that may have...

  • Netflix users mainly connect through game consoles, finds Nielsen study

    Half of all Netflix users connect to the popular US video streaming service using a game console, according to a recently published Nielsen survey. The Nielsen survey looked at the viewing behaviour of users of Netflix and Hulu, a website owned by Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp which offers movies and television shows on demand. Forty two percent of the 12 000 people surveyed by Nielsen in March said they watch movies and TV shows from Netflix directly on their computers. A majority of Netflix users, though, said they watch the service on a TV screen, connecting using a Nintendo Wii,...

  • British police arrest suspected LulzSec spokesman

    British police have arrested an 18-year-old man in a remote Scottish archipelago on suspicion of being a spokesman for the Lulz Security (LulzSec) and Anonymous computer hacking groups, Scotland Yard said. Officers from a London-based cybercrime unit detained the man in a "pre-planned intelligence-led operation" on the Shetland Islands, off the northeast coast of Scotland, London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "The man arrested is believed to be linked to an ongoing international investigation into the criminal activity of the so-called 'hacktivist' groups Anonymous and LulzSec, and uses the online nickname 'Topiary' which is presented as the spokesperson for the...

  • White House ‘Rickrolls’ Twitter followers

    In the midst of a stalemate in talks surrounding the raising of the US debt ceiling, tensions are high in Washington. The White House is, however, keeping a sense of humour. Along with other US politicos, the White House has taken to Twitter to spread its message on the debt talks. White House officials were replying to questions on Twitter when a Tennessee man named David Wiggs, who describes himself as an "Energy tech enthusiast and mediocre golfer" in his Twitter bio, made a complaint about the daily White House Press briefings. The White House quickly fired off a reply. The link is...

  • Mobile incubator ‘mLab Southern Africa’ opens for applications

    In what it is expecting to be a boon for mobile development across the region,mLab Southern Africa -- which is positioning itself as Southern Africa's new incubator for mobile entrepreneurs and innovators -- has announced that applications for membership of the lab are now open. The lab, which is to be situated at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria, will be officially opened on 15 September. mLab intends to provide support to mobile developers and entrepreneurs through a number of services. In a statement, mLab says that these services will include: "subsidised office space with meeting rooms – to allow...

  • Anonymous and LulzSec coordinate global anti-PayPal movement

    Marking a change from the usual DDoS attacks, hacking and other tactics, Anonymous and LulzSec have issued a call to their legion of supporters, asking them to close their PayPal accounts as a act of protest. In an "official communique from Anonymous and Lulz Security in the name of AntiSec", they cited the recent global arrest of a number of alleged Anonymous operatives and the continued denial of PayPal to allow donations to Wikileaks as reasons for the "operation". In recent weeks, we've found ourselves outraged at the FBI's willingness to arrest and threaten those who are involved in ethical,...

  • 8 ways music subscription services are rocking our worlds

    I'm in the midst of a love affair with a music subscription service. No sooner had I thought of a song than it began playing. From synapse to speaker in an instant. As a listener, this is amazing and I’m well aware of what a privilege it is. Why a privilege? Well, for artists, music subscription services aren't a particularly good deal. In fact, of all the ways you can monetise your work as an artist, music subscription services are the least profitable. According to the beautiful infographic by David McCandless which visualises the different monetisation methods available to...

  • How HTML5 follows in the footsteps of Java’s proven WORA

    Java was released by Sun Microsystems back in 1996. As a new programming language, it entered a space long dominated by the likes of C; C++; Perl and many others. Java needed to bring something new to the table. At the time, every compiled programming language needed to be recompiled on every platform you wanted to run it on, often with particular fixes to handle the idiosyncrasies of different operating systems. Java was different in that it had the benefits of a compiled language, but thanks to the cross-platform 'virtual machine' it ran on, it could run anywhere without...

  • Jack White – you’re a musical genius but you’re wrong

    An excellent piece is doing the rounds in musician and audiophile circles -- Jack White of the White Stripes and sundry other artistic vehicles, explaining why producers master albums the way they do. Mr White makes some excellent points and gives interesting views into the makings of an album from the technical side, but commits three grievous sins: confusing "levels" and "loudness", being pretty smug about how smart the recording engineers he uses are, and falling for the groupthink lie that louder records sell better. Read more on Gearburn.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");

  • US politicos turn to Twitter in midst of debt debate

    With Democrats and Republicans locked in a tense showdown over the US debt, both sides have taken to social network Twitter in a bid to score points in 140 characters or less. Since talks began, leading the Democrats, President Barack Obama's communications team and their Republican counterparts on House Speaker John Boehner's staff have scrambled to get out their message the traditional way -- in print, on talk radio and in televised addresses. With time running out for a deal to raise the US debt ceiling by a 2 August deadline, however, all parties have rushed to post soundbite-friendly updates on...