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  • How to hitchhike across the US in 162 seconds [Video]

    How do you condense a year of hitchhiking around the US into 162 seconds? Well, if your name is Benjamin Jenks, you take a load of photos, making sure your camera is at exactly the same angle for each one, stitch them all together and set it to a funky dance beat. It’s sort of like one of those videos that were really popular a couple of years back. You know, the kind that had someone taking a photo of themselves in exactly the same sport for three years. The difference is, this is a lot more dynamic and,...

  • One in 10 to pay bills via mobile by 2016

    Hey, remember when online banking came along? Suddenly you were spared hours in bank queues and dealing with bank employees. Thing is you were largely tied to your desktop. The next logical step was mobile banking. Smartphones have seen mobile banking take off in a big way. Banks even have apps that take you pretty damn close to the full online experience. Small wonder then that nearly one in 10 mobile users (in other words, pretty much all of us) are expected to pay their bills using mobile devices by 2016. According to tech analysis company, Juniper Research, smartphone...

  • Tablets aren’t taking off in emerging markets? Think again

    As the new iPad goes on sale in Apple’s 10 priority markets, the excitement around the world is palpable. Not because this people can't wait to be in line for the first tablet featuring something called Retina Display, but because of something far more important. Lurking among many features of the new device announced by Tim Cook two weeks ago was a golden nugget for this market: the previous version, the iPad 2, would remain in production, and its price would immediately be cut by $100. Two days later, the impact of this price cut became clear. In South Africa...

  • All aboard the StartupBus: The pressure cooker startup incubator on wheels

    Bottle the following ingredients: the electric buzz of a Red Bull fueled hackerspace, the interpersonal caterwauling of a reality show and pressure, loads of pressure. Now, let it loose on a bus travelling at 60 miles an hour and you get StartupBus. StartupBus has been around for over two years now and it continues to bring together intrepid tech entrepreneurs, designers and developers who present ideas and develop working prototypes while in transit. Buses carrying these enterprising tech geeks meander towards a final destination, at which time a judging ceremony is held, recognising the best prototype. This all happens in...

  • How to avoid hidden agendas on Pinterest

    Unsurprisingly, many retail and fashion brands are jumping on the Pinterest band wagon. Fast. The latest brand I’ve noticed penetrating this space is GUESS. Interestingly, I came across the competition on Facebook. This is a nice example of a brand cross-pollinating to drive traffic to their Pinterest platform, but not all brands, and users, out there are using Pinterest for the greater good. Integrity vs. Originality? I think type of competition works well for GUESS in that their encouraging engagement between the user and the brand and making the brand relevant to consumer lifestyles, although not rocket science. But I would question the integrity...

  • Memeburn’s best moments from SXSW 2012

    With South by Southwest Interactive now all but forgotten in the wake of the tunes from the 2 000 or so musicians who took to stages all over Austin for the music portion of the festival and conference this past weekend, organizers and tech enthusiasts alike are reflecting on another year gone by. For ten days, role-players involved in the tech, film and music fields gathered at the annnual South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, with an eye to discovering new trends and the people driving them. The annual event -- which begins with the Interactive portion and...

  • #CloseTheTap joins the league of campaigns using social for good

    Somewhere at this very moment someone has left a tap running. It is true and it's probably you. To celebrate World Water Day, digital agency Native has introduced a social media initiative to help save water -- #CloseTheTap. The hope is to raise awareness around global water wastage and offer people real, every-day tips for saving water. The campaign runs under For the Love of Water (FLOW). "Just by visiting www.closethetap.co.za, taking a water-saving pledge, tweeting your pledge and sharing it on Facebook, you can help us spread the word, and save fresh water," says Justin Friedman, creator of...

  • 8 things you can do with the Kinect – besides play games

    When Microsoft launched the Kinect in 2010, I think the world must have collectively sighed. Here was a device that recognised your movements and your voice and allowed your body to act as a controller. It was a 3D camera that you could hold in one hand. It recognised who was standing in front of it by analysing their body shape and face. And it was being used for gaming. Really?! 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");

  • Iceland goes open source in a big way

    Iceland has a bit of a history when it comes to using tech in innovative ways. In 2011, for instance, it crowdsourced its new constitution using social media. Now the mid-Atlantic island wants to take a number of government departments open source. According to project leader Tryggvi Björgvinsson, the migration project will involve the three biggest public institutions in Iceland: all of the ministries, the city of Reykjavik and the National Hospital. "These are setting a good migration example", he says. The migration will reportedly be done with as much uniformity as possible. Björgvinsson believes that, "This will foster...

  • 3 Great free iPhone games of the day — Save $4

    Check out these great iPhone/iPad games that have been reduced to zero dollars. Snap them up and save four smackeroos. Enjoy. Geared -- US$0.99 FREE Geared is a really addictive puzzle game where you have to place different sized gears with the aim of reaching and turning each level’s blue gear. The difficulty increases as you progress through the levels and you’ll find yourself having to deal with no drop zones, new obstacles and turning multiple blue gears at the same time. Geared has been around for a while now and even has a sequel out, but if you haven’t caught on...

  • Google lets you explore the Amazon with Street View

    We love Google Street View, especially when it crosses over from being a useful tool to delivering stunning images. A series of recently released images from the Amazon basin are a case in point. Google released the images for World Forest Day after travelling along the river, through the forest, and to the communities in the Rio Negro Reserve in August 2011. In official blog post, the internet giant claims you can: Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along...

  • Is the flying bird man real? [Video]

    A video’s been making waves around the web today. It purportedly shows a man achieving flight using nothing but a pair of wings, some muscle-boosting gears, an Android-powered smartphone, and some Wii controllers, but is it real? The flying device’s supposed inventor is a Dutch chap called Jarno Smeets, who claims to have built the prototype over the course of a year and to have been inspired by his grandfather’s design for a flying bicycle. In an official press release, Smeets says that his aim was to disprove the assumption “that it was impossible to fly with bird-like wings...

  • Amazon next step forward: Buying a massive robotics company

    Amazon has announced that it is going to buy Kiva Systems for US$775-million, in order to help further automate many of the processes within its large warehouses. Kiva Systems develops a fairly unique robotic shelving system, where hundreds of mobile robots can plug themselves into various shelves and move them around a warehouse. In fact, the system is so advanced that shelves literally deliver products to the shipping department from around the warehouse as orders come in. Kiva Systems was listed as one of the top 50 of the world's most innovative companies by FastCompany earlier this year, where...

  • Are social networks really killing the web?

    Occasionally I stumble on blog posts describing how social networks are killing the internet. The claim is that people are becoming locked into social media so much that they no longer surf the web like they used to. Instead, they rely on information shared within the closed environment provided by sites like Facebook. These articles annoy me. To begin with, the internet is really the underlying infrastructure on which everything online, including the social networks themselves, exist. But pedantry aside, and assuming that these authors are really referring to the death of the web, is it really true that social...

  • Google lands a harsh blow to sites with too much SEO

    Anyone who has made sure their sites are as search engine optimised as is humanly -- or mechanically -- possible should be quaking their boots right about now. Google has announced a major algorithm change that is going to penalised overly optimised websites. (Are you sweating yet?) This change comes on the back of another algorithm change made recently where Google blocked search results from the co.cc domains. Google Engineer Matt Cutts explains the change as follows: “We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many...