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  • Sweden hands over Twitter account to its people

    Sweden’s Twitter account, @Sweden, has been taken over by ordinary citizens to make it “the world’s most democratic Twitter account”. Each week will see one individual Tweeting about whatever he/she likes. The citizens to whom the account have been handed to, are chosen if they "represent values, skills, ideas and are passionate about a number of areas" Jack Werner, the first citizen to take over @Sweden started tweeting on 10 December. On his profile he writes: “After finishing school with questionable grades, I discovered that nobody cared about them anyway. Since then I have been an editor for Lista.se,...

  • Five ways to prepare for a social media crisis

    Brands make a lot of noise about entering the social media foray and communicating with their communities online. But what happens when this goes wrong? What happens when the community bites back and starts to either attack the brand, or simply disagree with what the brand is saying? A Process is needed! Jeremiah Owyang, a renowned web strategist and partner at the Altimeter Group of San Meto, California in the United States, a group that prides itself on being a research-advisory firm that assists companies in coming to grips with disruptive technologies such as social media, has put together a Social...

  • Is Linux finally ready for the desktop?

    For the last eight years, I have seen articles proclaiming that Linux is almost ready for the Desktop. In fact, on sites like Slashdot, comments along those lines tend to get modded as 'Funny'. But the tide seems to be turning. AMD is reportedly backing an open-source project that is looking to port the Android operating system onto PCs powered by x86-based processors. If this sort of initiative gains momentum, will it finally see Linux make it to the mainstream market for desktop computers? And if so, is it too late? Nowadays the tech-media would have us believe that...

  • Google Zeitgeist 2011: The world really loved Rebecca Black

    Google has released its 2011 Zeitgeist, a look back at what was popular in search over the past year. This Zeitgeist marks Google's 11th release, fitting. "This year marks our 11th annual look back at the searches that compose the year’s Zeitgeist—the spirit of the time. With Zeitgeist, we look at the most popular and the fastest rising terms—the terms with the highest growth in 2011—in many categories across many countries around the world," writes Google Fellow, Amit Singhal. This year's Zeitgeist site has been reworked with improved visualisation and a easy to navigate user-interface. This is year, Rebecca Black...

  • India set to reach 1.36bn mobile subscriptions by 2020

    India will have an estimated 1.36-billion mobile subscribers by 2020, up from 812-million connections in 2011. That’s according to research from Analysys Mason, a company that claims to provide “market intelligence worldwide to leading commercial and public-sector organisations in telecoms, IT, and media”. The company reckons, however, that just over half these subscriptions will belong to unique users. A combination of factors, all related to what Analysys Mason calls “affordability constraints in rural areas”, mean that unique subscriptions will only reach 54% in 2020, up from 34% in 2011. Among the factors slowing the growth in unique subscriptions is...

  • Jimmy Kimmel’s Christmas prank [YouTube challenge]

    Jimmy Kimmel has yet again managed to convince American parents to prank their kids, this time with bad Christmas presents. Just a few months ago he asked parents to hide their kids' Halloween candy and upload a video of their reaction to YouTube. This time parents were asked to allow their children to open one "bad" present two weeks before Christmas. The parents then had to, as before, upload a video of their children's reaction to YouTube with the title "Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I gave my kids a terrible present". As you can probably imagine, parents took to the task...

  • Communication, Matt Cutts and SEO: Three reasons not to hate Google

    I recently attended the annual media party at the Googleplex. A few of years ago I reported that Google was deliberately avoiding hiring journalists or experienced PR people and recruiting straight from universities for its corporate communications teams. That policy has changed as shown by the hiring of the very impressive Maggie Shiels, a veteran reporter for the BBC. The annual media party has changed a lot from the early days, I've been attending it for nearly a decade. Larry and Sergey used to mingle, and so did a lot of the senior executives. They rarely turn up now, and...

  • Gearburn Award: Best Innovation in Hardware 2011

    Being a gadget site we’re not looking at core hardware innovations that shake the world, we’re looking at the awesome innovations that knocked our socks off – or will soon. 2011 was largely a year of incremental improvements – but often the impact of radical innovations don’t become apparent for a few years. Accurate, reliable capacitive touch-screens, for example. So we’re reaching a bit, but these are the innovations we think you’ll look back on in a year and say, “Phew – that’s where our gadget world leaped forward.” Read more on Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • Naspers’ Kalahari dumps own classifieds site for renowned OLX

    Naspers, an emerging markets internet multinational based in South Africa, is abandoning its local classifieds service for the internationally-renowned OLX, the world's largest free classified site with over 130 million unique visitors per month. The move is mainly one of consolidation because Naspers took a stake in OLX in August 2010. OLX is used in more than 90 countries and 40 languages. The company was co-founded in March 2006 by millionaire internet entrepreneurs Fabrice Grinda and Alec Oxenford. OLX has more than 150 employees across offices in South Africa, Argentina, USA, Russia, China, Brazil and India. Kalahariads.net has been facing...

  • iOS 5.1 beta fixes iPhone 4S battery vampire

    The battery vampire plaguing certain iPhone 4S users will be staked by iOS5.1, the version just released to Apple developers as a beta. iOS 5.1 will run on iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, the iPads and the most recent iPod Touches. Known as “Batterygate”, iPhone 4S users complained about the intense levels of power drain which their phones experienced. Fingers were pointed at Siri, the personal voice assistant for the iPhone 4S, as well as the inability for the A5 CPU and the various phone systems to play nice. The iPhone 4S battery draining issue is not the only bug being quashed,...

  • Gearburn’s Top Tablets of 2011

    Tablets exploded onto the scene in 2011. The iPad 2, the previous benchmark by which tablets where judged suddenly found its back up against the wall when Motorola, Asus, BlackBerry and countless others trickled out of the development cycle. Here's Gearburn's roundup of the killer tablets of the year. BlackBerry PlayBook It made a splash, but for all the wrong reasons. The PlayBook is powerful, sturdy and excellent for content viewing but a chore in the usability department. Forced to sync to a BlackBerry phone in order use the email and calender? Come on. A tiny selection of PlayBook apps for...

  • KLM’s innovative use of social media to match-up perfect flight partners

    Whether long or short haul, if you’ve done any kind of travel, you’ve experienced the awkwardness of being stuck next to the kind of person you would not care to be spending any time, much less hours, with. Looking to alleviate this, Dutch airline KLM, may soon announce the launch of "Social Seating," if reports are to be believed. A simple concept; using your social media profiles, Facebook and LinkedIn according to USA Today, you will be able to pick your seat partner according to your interests. The program, though not officially announced by the airline, was mentioned in a...

  • Egyptian blogger sentenced to two years after retrial

    An Egyptian man who criticised the ruling military on his blog has been sentenced to two years in prison after going on a hunger strike in protest against his initial three-year sentence. "In the name of the people, Michael Nabil has been sentenced and punished with two years in prison and fined 200 pounds ($33)," the court said after a retrial. As well as using his blog to criticise the military, Nabil encouraged Egyptians to avoid the draft. At the time, the trial was widely criticised. The blogger has reportedly been on hunger strike since August, although his brother...

  • American Airline pilots take iPads onboard

    American Airlines (AA) has become the first airline approved by the FAA to use iPads throughout the duration of all flights. Ironic, after Alec Baldwin got kicked off for refusing to turn off his phone on an AA flight. Since 2010, AA has been running tests using iPads as "electronic flight bags" and for all phases of flight. "During that period they have to show that it doesn't interfere with crew duties and especially that it does not interfere with the communication and navigation systems of the aircraft," said Les Dorr, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. Other carriers including United...

  • Retailer @home caught with its pants down on Facebook

    A high-end home equipment store has been caught with its pants down... so to speak. @home -- a South African-based retailer that sells furniture, bedding and kitchen ware -- had pornographic content on its Facebook page for three hours before it was taken down. The post featured an image of a woman performing an act of fellatio on a male, and has spurred a slew of comments on the retailer’s Facebook page. "Come to @home this Christmas, the prices will blow you away”, commented one user. "This could put you guys 'ahead' of the pack," said another. The post and...