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  • Berlin is the hot new city for internet start-ups

    Already a magnet for tourists and young artists, Berlin is attracting a new generation of internet start-ups, changing the ways scientists interact or musicians store and share music. So much so that US internet giant Google is preparing to open a research centre in the German capital. Based in the top floors of an anonymous building in former communist East Berlin, for example, SoundCloud, launched in 2008, is one of the fastest growing companies in the music world. The online platform allows users to store and share music or sound without format restrictions. It jumped from two to three million users in...

  • Google’s $700 million ITA buy cleared with conditions

    Google’s entry into the online travel sector was cleared for takeoff as the US Justice Department gave the green light to its US$700-million purchase of flight data company ITA Software. The Justice Department’s anti-trust division, however, extracted a number of concessions from Google and imposed conditions on the internet search giant to allow the controversial acquisition to go ahead. The proposed legal settlement, which will need the approval of a US District Court, requires Google to notably develop and license ITA’s travel software to other companies. Several online travel sites, including Expedia, Kayak and Travelocity, had sought to block the Google-ITA deal,...

  • Connect with Xbox LIVE and Kinect to set a Guiness World Record

    Xbox LIVE would like you to help us make history and become record breakers! On Saturday 23rd April we will be attempting to join hands across the world and break the Guinness World Record for the ‘largest online 100m sprint’ via Kinect Sports and Xbox LIVE. Brought to you by Xbox LIVE and Kinect Sports, the record attempt will challenge millions of our members across the world to create a new record for the ‘largest online 100m sprint’. To be part of the Guinness World Record attempt, join us and thousands of Xbox LIVE members at 8pm local time on...

  • Google’s latest feature: Smartphone ‘check-in’ deals

    As far as location based networking is concerned, Google has been ahead of the game in several ways. Early last year the corporation secured a patent for location-based advertising and last month, Google took a shot at the popular location-based social network, Foursquare by offering users check in rewards at the SXSW conferences in Austin. Now, Google has taken it a step further and added a Latitude feature that allows iPhone or Android users to get rewarded for loyalty to shops or restaurants via their smartphones. The feature that Google rolled out across the United States late Thursday lets people unlock discounts by regularly using...

  • Your brand and mobile: How to make it all happen

    Advertising campaigns used to be every marketers logistic nightmare. From the initial executive pitch to allocating resources, time, banners and newspaper ads, logos, video and radio editing and more, within a significantly minuscule budget, had brand marketers at an often panicky edge. In an earlier time marketers were generally known as salesmen, the main driving force behind ensuring revenue. In today’s technology-driven times, we coin the term “marketer” or “e-marketer” but the  salesperson title still holds. Revenue is still generated from sales and selling your brand to a specific target audience is essentially vital to the success of your company. But, what has...

  • Android VP tries to allay fears of developer community

    The Android mobile platform is a runaway smash hit with users around the world. Research firm Gartner has released a report predicting that nearly half the world’s smartphones will run Android by the end of 2012. But a backlash has been developing in recent months from developers over Google’s perceived reluctance to release its latest Android code, encapsulated in an article in Business Week that described “a scenario where Google could have total control over what sort of tweaking can be done to Android’s user interface and that soon Google would begin dictating which chipsets are best optimised for...

  • Duke Nukem Forever: Capture the controversy

    Video games are no strangers to controversy and recently, there’s been a bit of a brouhaha over one of (the endlessly-in-development-but finally-going-to-be-released) Duke Nukem Forever’s multiplayer modes. Like many First Person Shooters, Duke Nukem Forever has a “capture the flag” mode, where the object is for one team to infiltrate the opposing team’s territory, abscond with a flag and then carry it to a designated area for points. So far, so normal. Duke Nukem Forever’s variation on this mode sees the flag replaced with a woman, or in Duke Nukem parlance, a “babe”. For those unfamiliar with the franchise,...

  • 7 parody and satire sites guaranteed to entertain

    In today’s society, whether you are a conservative or are a liberal, the emotions that you experience from the news can range from simply infuriating to downright depressing. It’s in this very space that we need the help of satirists. Just as watching the news can bring us down, parodies and satirists can bring us up by allowing us to laugh at the absurdity in the real-life, very-serious issues, and in many cases, politicians that plague us. What follows is a list of seven out of the more brilliant parody and satire sites that you can find online to help...

  • FSMS.co.za: Q&A with the new mobile messaging startup

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch right? There’s got to be a catch somewhere within a so-called free service? Think of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. These are all based on “freeconomics”. They are free tools. These services are subsidised by advertising and that model has, obviously, proved extremely successful. Why not apply the same model to mobile messaging? Launched last year, FSMS.co.za is doing just that. Memeburn had a chat with FSMS CEO Daniel Schwartzkopff to find out more about the start-up and their future plans. How did you come up with the idea for FSMS? Daniel: After looking...

  • Toyota motor vehicles powered by Microsoft?

    The internet highway is about to get a major boost as Microsoft and Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) announced on Wednesday that they would be working together to incorporate digital capabilities into the Japanese auto maker‘s vehicles. The US$ million partnership will see telematics in Toyota’s upcoming hybrid vehicles infused with Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing system. The joint investment into a Toyota subsidiary is devoted to automotive digital information services which includes navigation, energy management, and other “smart” features in the next generation of Toyota vehicles. “Today’s announcement… is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and...

  • Facebook — Making journalism more social

    Journalists everywhere are beginning to understand not only the reach of social media but also its potential as a newsroom. The rise of social media has allowed journalists to begin sourcing for news and discussing a different way of using alternate tools. News-gathering and news consumption have become more social… and so has the medium. Social media journalism, or journalism through social media, is no longer a new concept; it is simply journalism in 140 characters. Understanding the role social media plays in journalism today, Facebook unveiled a new Facebook Page and ‘Meetup program’ for journalists. The Page, Journalists...

  • Twitter undergoes another facelift

    The “face” of a website is its homepage, and for microblogging service Twitter—still trying to lure in as many new users as possible—it is doubly important. As such Twitter has redesigned its homepage yet again. Like the last major overhaul of Twitter’s interface last year, this change is being implemented slowly as opposed to wholesale. There are the superficial changes, such as the repositioning of the search bar and most popular accounts now featuring in a bar of avatars, the image Twitter accounts upload to represent themselves, near the bottom of the page. However, the most evident change is in...

  • Social media overload [Infographic]

    Social media is a wondrous place to get lost in for a few hours. Though for some people they have been plunged into an abyss of no return thanks to their social media usage. It is true that social media has changed the way in which we interact with each other. We have become a society that can articulate ourselves in 140 characters or less. A society that shares everything we read, watch or listen to. We are a society that can communicate mountains of emotions and thoughts with a simple click — we are the ‘Like’ button society....

  • US sees internet as a way to reach China

    The US broadcasting agency said it saw the internet as the future for reaching China despite its firewall, as it came under fire from lawmakers for slashing short-wave radio service. Under a budget proposal for next year, Voice of America would close its longtime radio and television broadcasts in Mandarin and eliminate its Cantonese service entirely, cutting 45 jobs and saving US$8-million. The belt-tightening comes as China ramps up global distribution of its own state-run radio and television, an effort symbolised by the official Xinhua news agency’s efforts to secure a spot in New York’s Times Square. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a staunch...

  • There are only nine Googles left in the world

    There’s an interesting analysis of the advertising industry and Silicon Valley’s growing bubble in new media by Rick Webb. In his analysis, Webb argues that Silicon Valley is heading for a cliff in funding too many startups to provide new media channels for advertisers. He writes that there seems to be a perception that there will be far more money in online advertising than there really is. “Brands don’t actually want or need any more media channels. As far as they’re concerned, the internet can stop now. We have enough channels. We were happy when we had like seven (TV, print, outdoor,...