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  • Sony makes deal to end litigation against PlayStation hacker

    Following an attack by hacktivist group Anonymous, and worldwide bad press, Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony has agreed to cut a deal and drop the lawsuit with a US hacker who in turn agreed to stop breaking into PlayStation 3 (PS3) videogame consoles. "It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier," hacker George Hotz said in a joint statement released by Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). "I'm happy to have the litigation behind me." Sony went to court early this year to stop hackers who figured out how to "jailbreak" PS3 consoles to operate...

  • Social media: What you really need is a strategy

    There’s a saying that goes like this… "If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there." Amen when applied to social media. An analogy came to me one day that I use when explaining social media in context to clients and at learnshops that I run, and it goes something like this… Imagine that your blog or your website is where you have your party. Social media are simply the channels you use to invite people to your party and to share news about your party. So if you spend all of your time on...

  • What digital tribes can learn from Native Americans

    For all our ability to change the world around us with new technology, humans have never been very good at naming our new inventions. Usually we resort to old words, old concepts to explain the very new. And so the word "tribe" has been adopted to describe groups of people, scattered around the globe, connected only by the internet and their passion for a particular topic. So what can these new digital tribes learn from one of the world's oldest surviving tribal societies, the Native Americans? Speaking at last month's South By Southwest Interactive festival, tribal members discussed this idea's...

  • Group-buying craze: Bidorbuy snaps up UbuntuDeal

    Group-buying has really taken hold of the South African consumer market in the last year with the number of Groupon-clones growing every day as companies hasten to get a foothold into this rapidly growing sphere. bidorbuy.co.za, an online auction based in South Africa, has acquired the Cape Town-based group-buying site UbuntuDeal.co.za, highlighting the group-buying craze in the e-commerce sector, worldwide. The acquisition follows hot-on-the-heels of the undisputed king of group buying, Groupon, acquiring local startup Twangoo at the beginning of 2011. Just last month media group, Avusa, announced Zappon. Bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker, explains how the UbuntuDeal complements bidorbuy's existing site: “While...

  • Social distribution of mass media

    I recently pointed out how "social media" has changed from its original promise of challenging the established order of mass media. Where are the brigades of citizen journalists? What's become of the hope of the grass roots revolt against the gate keepers in our national and local media? When I left the Financial Times in mid-2004 to become the first journalist to leave a major newspaper and become an independent "journalist-blogger" there was a lot of hope in the air. I felt I was joining a small but very spirited band of media pioneers, a nascent "Homebrew Club" of sorts, which...

  • New celebrity spotting app launches on Android Market

    Startup Scoopler, a real-time search engine, was inviting owners of Android-powered smartphones to install an application that promises to alert them every time a celebrity is sighted nearby. The free JustSpotted software was available online at the Android Market. "There is no other application that gives you real-time alerts like this with thousands of spottings on our website every day," said Scoopler co-founder AJ Asver. "If you are in a metropolitan area, you are going to be pleasantly surprised by how close you are to the celebrity world." JustSpotted.com launched in October with an online map that pinpoints celebrity whereabouts in real time...

  • Will your digital footprint leave behind a legacy?

    I remember riding my bicycle to my friend’s house. In the summer after school, we'd jump off his house's roof into the pool. The sky was as blue as sapphire. For better or worse, with nary an LCD in sight, this moment began and ended with us. Mix-tapes. I miss mix-tapes. I miss making them, sharing them, and listening to them from start to finish. I bet that if I were to find a box of them them today, they’d convey a lot about what who I was at the time. I remember that love letters used to smell like...

  • 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...