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  • 14 International events and a startup exchange for your calendar

    The last post I wrote featured seven, which later became nine, South African events worth attending to grow your startup. If you have started building a product or platform that you deem worthy of international exposure, which I’m sure it is, then you may want to attract the attention of investors, mentors and innovators worldwide. Here is a list of 14 events and a startup exchange programme you may want to consider: 1. South by Southwest (SXSW) One of the most talked about conferences is SXSW, whose focus is in music, independent films and emerging technologies. It is renowned for being...

  • How should everyday users feel about Windows 8?

    The only constant in life is change, and the digital world is no exception. Just when you get the hang of one operating system and start to think you’re pretty smart they go and change everything. Just to keep you on your toes. Apple does it. Facebook does it. Google+ just did it, and now Microsoft is getting on the band wagon. The creators of the Nike slogan would be so proud. Having not been one of the millions of consumers who consider Apple to be the greatest thing since the dawn on internet, I’ve stuck to my...

  • Pebble smartwatch sets Kickstarter record

    If Double Fine Adventure brought crowdfunding site Kickstarter to the world’s attention, then the Pebble smartwatch shows how much people are willing to pay for a good idea. The watch, which connects either to an iPhone or Android smart device and uses e-paper technology, has raised over US$3.3-million with a month of funding set to go. That’s a record for any Kickstarter project and comes fresh off the back of the Pebble having raised US$1-million a day after it went up on the site. The watch connects to smart devices using Bluetooth and an app. The makers of the...

  • Twitter won’t copy Facebook in buying photo-sharing app

    When Facebook acquired Instagram for US$1-billion, some felt that Twitter had missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Despite this, the social network says it isn’t about to go shopping for a photo-sharing app of its own. That people felt Twitter had missed out is hardly surprising when you consider the fact that the company had looked into buying Instagram in 2011 and that co-founder Jack Dorsey had invested US$1-million of his own money into the photo-sharing service. CEO Dick Costolo said it would be a mistake for Twitter -- and any other company for that matter --...

  • HuffPo wins Pultizer

    In journalistic circles, the Pulitzers are more than a big deal -- they're probably the biggest deal. This year, online publishers have made a stronger showing than ever. The Huffington Post's David Wood won in the category of national reporting for his 10 part series on the struggles of wounded American soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. The site appears to view the award as an answer to everyone who has criticised it over the years. Its founder Arianna Huffington said “It’s the culmination of what we started to build almost seven years ago,” adding that the Pulitzer...

  • Samuel L Jackson, Zooey Deschanel star in new Siri spots [Video]

    Apple’s not exactly renowned for using celebrity endorsements in its adverts (unless you count Santa’s Siri spot). Seems like that’s changing with Samuel L Jackson and Zooey Deschenel making appearances in the latest video spots for Siri. Jackon’s spot features him in sensitive date mode, rather than the badass action star we’ve all come to know so well: Deschanel’s spot meanwhile features her in archetypal, ridiculously cute mode, ordering soup on a rainy day: Personally we would have preferred to see Jackson saving the world with Siri. Seriously, if you have enough money for a Hollywood A-lister, you have enough...

  • Coachella brings Tupac back to life with hologram tech [Video]

    The death of Tupac Shakur shook the hip hop community to its core in 1996. Conspiracy theories abounded. Some said the government had ordered a hit on the rapper, others that he was still alive and in hiding. Dead or alive, the wonders of technology have seen 'pac make a comeback performance. The organisers of the Coachella music festival resurrected the rapper in hologram form. This is way beyond the little blue figures you thought were so cool, the first time you watched Star Wars. Impressive as the tech is though, there’s still an element of the uncanny valley...

  • South Africa’s 10 most influential political tweeters [Infographic]

    Twitter matters. There’s no doubting that. It can help effect social change, make stars, or pariahs, out of politicians, and make or break a brand. Makes sense then that mattering on Twitter also matters. But who matters? In South African politics, the most influential people on the social network turn out to be a mix of politicians, journalists, activists and academics. At least, that’s according to a list compiled by PR and communications company Burson-Marsteller. The company compiled the list using Klout as a standard of measurement. Klout analyses engagement across social networks and creates a Klout Score...

  • See if you can spot who Nando’s is ripping off with its new campaign

    Nando’s is renowned for tilting its sword at everyone from dictators, to politicians, and young pretenders. This time it’s taken a stab at an entire industry. The latest ad from the fast-food outlet, satirises the tone and setting of a certain kind of financial service. You know, the kind that thinks its product has you covered for every possible eventuality? The kind of businesses that make adverts which are intended to make you go “These people are smart. I’m also smart. I should take my business to them. Then we can be smart people together”. See if you can...

  • Is LinkedIn a glorified recruitment tool or is there more to it?

    Goldman Sachs recently upgraded LinkedIn to BUY as the social network derives income from subscriptions as opposed to advertising. This is wonderful news for those that have invested a lot of time and money in LinkedIn. What concerned me was that the article went on to mention all the recruitment companies who are using LinkedIn, which I think is great, but is this all that LinkedIn is good for? I have a number of questions for LinkedIn: Are the future plans for LinkedIn going to support the individual and business interests of all users, or are you quite happy to...

  • 8 Things to consider when building a digital strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Africa has the fastest growing internet usage in the world Internet growth has increased at over 2 500% between 2000 and 2011, largely driven by incredible growth in mobile phone use (695-million mobile subscriptions in Africa, according to the latest GSMA statistics). But with around 12% penetration, Sub-Saharan countries still have some of the lowest internet penetrations in the world and internet growth is likely to continue growing fast, particularly with smarter, more affordable and more intuitive phones becoming more accessible and with cheaper data costs Africa is a youthful continent and so internet users are young At least two out of...

  • Great lessons on amazement, interactive shopping, products and people

    There was a lot of information floating around the recent PSFK Conference in New York and it took some time to digest the insight given out by speakers. The information imparted was well worth the tech time-out and there some good advice retailers can take from the world of tech. Amazement is key! Futurist and filmmaker Jason Silva -- who speaks at a gazillion kilometres a second -- says technology can quickly manifest our ideas and desires but that to really see and experience the world in new ways, we need to take a step back. “Tom Robbins says you can’t...

  • App of the Week — MoneyWiz

    This week I take a look at MoneyWiz, an amazing new personal finance app available on both iPhone and iPad. "Really? Another damn expense app?" I hear you say. Yes, but I can promise you that this is the last one, I really have found what I've been looking for since I became so obsessive about recording my expenses. So before you click back to Pinterest, or continue importing your photos from Instagram before Facebook uses them without your permission, educate yourself in the fine art of perfection. 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");

  • Sergey Brin: Apple, Facebook are stifling innovation with ‘walled gardens’

    Facebook and Apple are a threat to internet freedom. That’s according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Brin made the comments in an exclusive interview with UK newspaper The Guardian, adding that he and Larry Page would not have been able to make success of Google on an internet dominated by Facebook. The 38-year-old billionaire said that there were "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world". Those powerful forces include governments around the world that have put restrictions on the web, and social media in particular. In the interview,...

  • Zimbabwean builds site in internet cafe, grabs international attention

    A young Zimbabwean who built an online hip hop community is grabbing the world’s attention, having appeared on the front page of Y Combinator’s Hacker News. The man, who goes by the name of Munyukimanatsa online, decided to build the site, called mixdem, after struggling to find employment once he graduated from university. There were a couple of obstacles he had to overcome first though. For one thing he didn’t have an internet connection. His coding skills were, by his own admission, a “bity rusty”. Munyukimanatsa was also out on his own if anything went wrong and he had...