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  • New virtual prepaid card looks to bring online shopping to the masses

    There was a time when you needed a credit card to shop online. Then a few pioneers engaged in some technical wizardry and brought out products that allowed you do use your debit card. But what if you have neither? A solution that allows for people who don’t have either to shop online would be particularly useful in emerging market economies, where large numbers of people might not have credit cards. Triloq Payment Services claims to have developed precisely such a solution in the guise of a “simple, single-use virtual prepaid card system called 1-2-Pay-Online”. The product was...

  • Yahoo! joins the patent wars, sets its sights on Facebook

    Yahoo! claims that Facebook is infringing on between 10 and 20 of its patents -- and if the social networking site doesn’t pay licensing fees, it will pursue legal action. According to a report by the New York Times, Yahoo! accused Facebook of using its patented technology without paying license fees in areas such as advertising, messaging, social networking and personalised webpages. Some of the technology is reportedly used in Facebook’s news feed and privacy settings. “Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property,” said a Yahoo! spokesman told the New York Times....

  • 5 Factors that could be very dangerous to a post-IPO Facebook

    As part of the preparations for its looming IPO, Facebook has to disclose in its SEC filing some risk factors which could materially and adversely affect the company. These kinds of disclosures make for interesting reading, especially so because the destinies of tech companies can turn on a dime and change rapidly from day to day -- just look at what happened to MySpace and Yahoo!. Let’s take a closer look at some of these issues that Facebook, itself, has brought up: 1. Revenue Facebook may lose advertisers or technology may enforce the blocking of ads and it doesn’t advertise...

  • Why the medical industry could do with a healthy dose of social media

    One area that we spend a lot of time talking and often complaining about is our health. So it’s surprising that the healthcare industry is lagging behind when it comes to social media as this is where the conversation today is happening. It’s believed that the healthcare industry is almost 10 years behind other industries that are actively engaging with consumers and taking part in conversations in the social media playground. It seems prevalent to say that “Apple each day keeps doctors away” as many doctor offices and hospitals have been overly cautious when approaching social media, where the...

  • Vodacom’s big bet on the app economy

    Apps are the future. We all know that. Some even believe a new “app economy” may replace the web itself. But what about the app stores, the places we go to buy the apps? The Android Market and Apple's App Store have hundreds of thousands of apps. Even smaller stores like Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry’s App World have tens of thousands of apps. Does the sheer scale of OS-specific app stores mean there’s no space for a different of store, one that serves a specific country or market? South African mobile giant Vodacom thinks not. It launched its...

  • The people’s tablet — The Netsurfer Touch

    The Netsurfer Touch is a R2000, 7-inch tablet running Android 2.2 (commonly known as Froyo). It’s the first of its kind really; a proudly South African device aimed at the little people aching to get their tablet groove on. Can it compete with the Kindle Fire and the BlackBerry PlayBook, two other 7-inch tablets with similar specifications? Does it even want to compete? We take a closer look at the Netsurfer Touch, the first tablet from Future Mobile Technology and a 3G/Wi-Fi ready device which is definitely going to make an impact on the sunny shores of South Africa.var...

  • Budgeting goes social with new financial challenge

    Anyone who knows what it’s like to live on peanut butter and toast at the end of the month also knows that budgeting isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world. But what if R10 000 for a charity of your choice was riding on your ability to save? Financial startup Moneysmart has challenged 10 South African journalists -- including Memeburn’s own Steven Norris -- to test their financial savvy in a challenge which will see them marrying their budgeting and social media skills. Moneysmart says the competition will be heavily weighted toward the contestants’ budgeting skills. They are,...

  • Nascar driver tweets from car, gains 100 000 followers

    Imagine you’re a Nascar driver. If you’re battling think, speed, an oval track and dozens of luminously painted cars driving as fast as they can all around you. Now imagine one of your fellow drivers crashed and the race ground to a halt. What would you do? If you’re Brad Keselowski the answer is simple: start tweeting. According to the New York Times the accident occurred when former Formula 1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya crashed in to the safety truck. The truck "which holds 200 gallons of jet kerosene", then reportedly "burst into flames". Both Montoya and the safety truck...

  • Check out these jaw-dropping photos from Nokia’s 808 PureView

    Nokia’s 808 PureView camera phone with its 41-megapixel sensor blew people away at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. It combines Nokia’s highest performing Carl Zeiss optics with Nokia’s new pixel oversampling technology to deliver jaw-dropping photos. What makes the PureView technology really special, is that the 41MP sensor isn’t used to deliver billboard sized pictures, instead it creates pictures of normal, manageable sizes with amazing picture quality. The 41MP sensor uses an oversampling technique to combine seven pixels into one “pure” pixel without the visual noise found in most phone cameras. Even better, Nokia says you’ll get 3x digital zoom...

  • ‘iTunes of India’ goes live

    Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart recently announced plans to expand its offering to include a retail MP3 download offering. The store, called Flyte, is now officially live. Flyte has been billed as the "iTunes of India" and allows people to download DRM free MP3s capable of working on any device. The offering reportedly comes courtesy of Mime 360, a startup bought out by Flipkart, as well as a massive Bollywood back catalogue from Chakpak. According to TheNextWeb, "Mime360 manages content for a number of the country’s biggest publishers and services, and together they give Flipkart links to much of the music...

  • New record for Skype as 34M people use it concurrently

    Have you ever taken a moment in the middle of Skype conversation to think how many people might be using the service at exactly the same time as you? If you’d done so yesterday, the answer would have been 34-million. That number of concurrent users is a new record for the Microsoft-owned communications service. Even Skype doesn’t seem particularly clear about what caused the sudden user spike, less than a week after it announced a then-record 32-million people using it concurrently. In a post on the company’s official blog, Jennifer Caukin shared a few ideas: “It's a quick jump...

  • Tegra 3 GPU delivers console-level gaming to your mobile device

    Tablet and mobile gaming, the final frontier. Can mobile gaming surpass consoles with the Tegra 3 GPU? Nvidia hopes so, and with the advent of the Fujitsu quad core Tegra 3 prototype phone, mobile gaming is about to get a kick up its ass. The Mobile World Conference is the venue for Tegra 3 goodness and a barrage of titles has been unveiled. Games which have been announced include Sonic the Hedgehog Episode III, Eden to Green (a Plants VS Zombies clone), Dark Kingdom and Golden Arrow which should rub the RPG fans the right way. Watch this space for...

  • Clickatell scoops honours at Silicon Valley event

    Clickatell, a world player in the Online SMS mobile messaging gateway game, has scooped the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal Idea and Innovation award for Social/Economic Impact for providing a service that improves people’s daily lives. The event, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, featured winners from the biotech, software, hardware and consumer products industries. "The goal of the Idea and Innovation Awards was to recognise some of the most innovative products and people here in Silicon Valley," said publisher James MacGregor. "Several of the honorees have achieved a lot in a very short amount of...

  • Can you own the sound of birds chirping? YouTube thinks so

    The sound of birds chirping in a video of a man picking a wild salad and has apparently been identified as copyrighted material after being uploaded to YouTube. The company that YouTube's software thinks the apparently natural sound of birds chirping belongs to is music and soundtrack licensing firm Rumblefish. The user who uploaded the video posted a complaint about the incident on the YouTube forums, asking if it was a common occurrence: I posted a video which is basically just me walking and talking, outdoors, away from any possible source of music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPBlfeuZuWg And apparently youtube identified my video...

  • Mozilla bets big on open Web devices

    Mozilla’s pretty big on open source. The existence of a number of its products depends on it. Hardly surprising then, that it’s betting that the open Web will soon be coming to a device near you. The company claims that its goal is to “further the cause of promoting an open, people-centric Web for consumers and developers across all devices and platforms”. Today it announced a couple of partnerships which it claims are critical to achieving this. The first will see Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider Telefónica lending its support to Mozilla’s quest to have the first Open Web...