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  • MTN introduces cut price BlackBerry service plans

    South African mobile operator MTN is launching three new low-tier packages aimed at making the BlackBerry service even more affordable. The news comes hot on the heels of RIM’s latest earnings call, during which the BlackBerry smartphone maker singled out South Africa as being one of its strongest and growing markets. For about a quarter of the regular price, the BlackBerry Messaging Plan allows email and BBM use, but no web browsing. Only one email account can be linked to your BlackBerry and it needs to be a web-based one -- think Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and so on. The BlackBerry...

  • Facebook set for big social commerce push

    It's amazing what you can find hidden in a piece of code. The future strategy of the world's largest social network, for instance. The developer who found out that Facebook was working on a "want" button has uncovered a new piece of code that suggests the social giant is working on a new series of actions that would allow people to share what they'd bought, which charities they'd donated money to, and what items they'd bought in games like Farmville. According to Mashable, Tom Waddington, a web developer for the site Cut Out + Keep, reached out to it...

  • SA Tourism confirms site outages due to unpaid hosting bills, blames ‘red tape’

    South Africa's primary online tourism portal has repeatedly gone down over the last week because the organisation behind the site failed to pay its web-hosting bills. A source close to Memeburn said that SA Tourism, which owns the Twitter handle @SouthAfrica and is effectively the face of tourism in the country, had failed to pay hosting service provider Rackspace for several months before southafrica.net was taken down. SA Tourism spokesperson William Price confirmed that Rackspace had taken the site down because of non-payment but blamed it on an "error with the financing". Tourism is an important part of the South...

  • Wikileaks releases 2.5m Syrian emails

    Whistleblowing site Wikileaks has just published some 2.5-million emails from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names. According to Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, the files are “embarrassing to Syria, but also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. "It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it." The Syria Files, says Wikileaks, "shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy", also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another. The range...

  • Angry Birds, Instapaper hit by Apple app store bug

    Developers may prefer iOS to Android, but a few of them aren't going to be Apple's biggest fans. Thanks to a technical issue, a number of newly updated apps are apparently crashing as soon as they're downloaded and opened from the app store. Instapaper developer Marco Arment noticed the glitch after his inbox was flooded with customers complaining about issues with the new version of his reading app. Even though his archived version of the app worked well, the version downloaded from the app store crashed immediately, even after being deleted and reinstalled. This led him to conclude that Apple...

  • Siri gets Apple sued in China

    Sigh. Another day, another Apple suit in China. This time the Cupertino-based giant is being sued by Zhi Zhen Internet Technology over its voice assistant app Siri. According to Nasdaq, the Chinese company is taking action against Apple for infringing on a patent it holds for its Xiao i Robot, a Chinese language, voice automated app similar to Siri. The suit come just three days after Apple paid US$60-million to Chinese company, Proview to settle a spat relating to the ownership of the iPad trademark. Apple recently announced that it would be rolling out Mandarin and Cantonese versions of Siri...

  • The great internet radio swindle

    All media, online or offline, survive and trade on credibility. Trust is everything and it's possibly more of a factor in a media business than any other type of business. You lose this trust, you close your media business down. Rupert Murdoch closed down one of the largest newspapers in the world when trust was broken. It gets that bad. You lie about your numbers, and it's over. Media companies sell audience to advertisers, and if they are paying money for a phantom audience, it's fraud. That's why I guess there has been such a fuss (because some have been wondering:...

  • Africa finally pays its own way — with a mobile phone

    Mobile is big. Even bigger than you think. No technology in the history of mankind has achieved the reach and penetration globally that rivals that of the mobile phone. According to the International Telecommunications Union, at the end of 2011, there were approximately six billion mobile phone subscriptions. This is equivalent to 87% of the world’s population and a huge increase from 5.4-billion in 2010 and 4.7-billion mobile subscriptions in 2009. Initial excitement about the rise of the mobile phone was dominated by talk of the rise of mobile voice at the expense of fixed line operators, and then more...

  • Enter the Nexus: How Jelly Bean saved my life

    I like being right on the cutting edge of whatever is happening in the Android universe and the only way one can do that is by using a Nexus device. I recently acquired my second Nexus, and have had to say goodbye to my trusty Nexus S. When I got my Nexus S it was running Gingerbread and it ran it very, very well. Then the jump came to Ice Cream Sandwich and I was left slightly underwhelmed, but I am happy to report that my brand new Galaxy Nexus has shown me just how good Ice Cream Sandwich really...

  • Vodacom CEO to step down in 2013

    Vodacom CEO and über geek Pieter Uys will step down as head of the African mobile giant in 2013. Uys will be replaced by current Vodafone Spain chief Shameel Joosub, who was previously the managing director of Vodacom's South African division. "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Pieter for his many achievements in establishing a great business.... We are grateful for his vision, leadership and commitment over the past two decades," said Vodacom board chairman Peter Moyo. According to Vodacom, Joosub's appointment will become effective as of 1 September in order to ensure a...

  • Win a Nokia Lumia 800 with Memeburn and Springleap

    We recently told you about how you could win R20 000 just by designing a T-Shirt. If design's not your forte, relax, we've got your back. Together with design site Springleap, Memeburn is giving away a Nokia Lumia 800. We love this phone and we reckon you will too. Here's how to get your hands on it: 1. Check out the designs entered at the Nokia ‘Pimp our Devs’ contest so far. 2. Click on a design that you like to enlarge it. 3. Tweet about it using the button provided in the ‘Sharing is caring’ bar to the...

  • Higgs Boson: Twitter compares to tech launch, slags Comic Sans slides

    Tech events these days are big, glamorous, and full of spectacle. Just look at the Glass demo Google pulled at its recent I/O event. It had everything: skydivers, BMX riders, and abseilers. Small wonder then that the geek world was looking to inject a little bit of tech drama into today's Boson particle announcement at CERN. Parody account Hal9000 probably took the most techie stance on the announcement: The size of the applause Fabiola Gianotti just got at the #Higgs presentation you'd think she had just unveiled a thinner iPhone— HAL 9000 (@HAL9000_) July 4, 2012 So...

  • 21-year-old gives Microsoft a serious, if hypothetical, facelift

    Take your average 21-year-old design student, now give them three days and a brief to completely rebrand a massive company's corporate identity. Most would end up nervous wrecks, but when Andrew Kim took it upon himself do exactly that with Microsoft, the results were astonishing. One of the early points in Kim's conception involved him taking the comparing people's perceptions of Microsoft to those of its big rivals: Apple and Google. This led him to decide that Microsoft "needs to be a brand that represents the future. Be slightly aggressive unlike Google and Apple's friendly marketing. Promise to deliver...

  • If ACTA is a nuclear sub, the European Parliament just sank it

    The European Parliament has rejected Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a proposed piece of internet legislation that threatened to apply restrictions to online freedom. ACTA is an international blueprint for handling intellectual property infringement. More specifically, it provides guidelines — subject to tweaking by a signing country’s own domestic laws — for dealing with counterfeit goods, generic medicines and most importantly for us netizens, copyright infringement on the internet. Designed as a trade agreement by the US, it was signed in October of last year by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. In...

  • Apple gets its lawyers out, goes after iPad 3.com

    It's becoming even more difficult to predict what that fruity company will do next. Early this year, we were all waiting in anticipation for the iPad 3. At the launch, we found out that we were calling it the wrong thing: Apple had decided the new iPad was not the iPad 3, but just the new iPad. So why on earth does it want to become the owner of iPad3.com? For the same reason it owns iPhone5.com and is often accused of patent-trolling: to protect its intellectual property. Fusible reports that the law firm which deals with Apple's patent and...