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  • HP open sources WebOS, may retry tablets in 2013

    HP has decided to make lemonade from the lemon it couldn't sell for $500 (June 2011), then $490 (July), and then $99 (August). The fire-sales saw a pile of TouchPads sold, and HP even did another production run, which hit the stores last week and were pretty much sold out at time of writing. So a bunch of TouchPads in the market - and now with an Open Source operating system. In an internal email published on TechCrunch, HP chief exec Meg Whitman said the webOS platform will be released to the developer community (under which licence is not clear...

  • Top Chinese official urges ‘more forceful’ online controls

    China needs to be "more forceful" in the way it manages the web. That's according to one top government official, as the country attempts to tighten online controls amidst fears of social unrest. Government officials should also use the web to "guide public opinion and promote positive social values," said Wang Chen, head of the State Information Office -- a newly set up government department to supervise online content. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, Chen also said "All regions and departments must... use more forceful and effective measures to strengthen the construction and management of cyber culture." Chinese...

  • Student wins international award for generator built from used hard drives

    A student from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a prominent South African tertiary institution, has won an international innovation award for a wind generator built using components from recycled hard drives. Harmut Jaigu, a master’s student in electrical engineering, won the Student Poster Presentation award at the 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Energy Conversion Congress & Exposition that was held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Jagau’s design reuses the permanent magnets from discarded hard drives to create a sustainable wind generator. “From a young age, I was always shocked at how much useful stuff we actually throw...

  • Nokia’s Lumia 710 landed — Taiwan, then Russia, India, H-K, world

    Taiwanese Nokia fans will be the first to get their hands on the Lumia 710, the surprisingly agile Windows Phone and digital brother to the Lumia 800. The Lumia 710 is priced at US$322 and ships to Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Russia over the coming week, then globally in early 2012. Why should you care about the Lumia 710? As Nokia puts it, the Lumia 710 is an “affordable Windows Phone experience,” based on the surprisingly awesome Windows Phone 7.5 Mango build. It uses a unique design which distances itself from the N9 build of the Lumia 800.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var...

  • Too many VCs, not enough good entrepreneurs: Sean Parker

    Billionaire internet investor Sean Parker took the stage in Paris at LeWeb with a simple message for his audience: There are "too many venture capitalists in the world and not enough entrepreneurs". Parker has a CV that would blow the mind of most people. He was co-founder of that great music industry disrupter Napster, and more recently an investor in Facebook and Spotify, among many other things. But don't call Parker an "investor", he finds the term a bit insulting. He still sees himself primarily as an entrepreneur: "I don't just invest in a company, I take an operating role."...

  • Six ways the ‘new new’ Twitter changes everything

    The launch of a major new version of Twitter’s service signals one important thing: Jack Dorsey is back. And Jack is in charge. His strength has always been in the "product" and up until now, there's been an obvious void at Twitter. In many ways, it was trying to do everything for everyone -- Evan Williams’ strength was never in product (think “lists”), and temporary boss Dick Costolo was never going to be a visionary when it came to the platform. 1. Consistency New New Twitter finally delivers a consistent experience across all platforms: web, mobile, apps. The service has always...

  • The next Facebook, Google, Twitter to come from Latin America?

    Fernando Madeira is the co-founder and CEO of Terra, the largest internet company in Latin America. He boasts that the "next Twitter, Google, Facebook" will come from this part of the emerging market world. "We are seeing huge activity in Latin America," he says. "In Latin America we have a special sauce in the people... we love electronics and electronic chips." The stats, presented at the LeWeb conference in Paris, back up what Madeira is saying. There are 90-million broadband connections alone in Brazil. Almost 220-million people use the internet there every month, says Madeira. Penetration of social networks in Latin...

  • Twitter relaunch a quest for ‘simplicity’, says Twitter Platform Chief

    So the "new, new Twitter" has rolled out and there are the lovers and haters. But what does Twitter say about the rollout? Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform for Twitter, said the new Twitter was informed by a philosophy of "simplicity", a strategy to keep it differentiated from the two other major social networks in the Western World, Facebook and Google+. "In a world where Facebook and Google are competing on features -- Twitter wants to focus on being simple. We want to be consistent, simple and fast," said Sarver at the LeWeb conference in Paris on Friday. Twitter, now about 700...

  • Spotify launches ‘Spotify radio’ to its 2.5-million paying subscribers

    Daniel Ek, CEO of online music service Spotify took the stage at LeWeb in Paris to announce 'Spotify Radio' a new app for the service. Ek's announcement so caught the attention of LeWeb attendees that it resulted in an immediate Twitter trending topic. The new radio app will allow users to create their own custom radio stations with the option to skip through an unlimited number of songs. This feature is not yet available on Pandora, Spotify's leading competitor in the space. "The new 'Artist Radio' experience brings Spotify on par with services like MOG, which have long offered a...

  • So the web will die, but what exactly will it be replaced by? [LeWeb]

    The web will die says George Colony, the rather insightful boss of Forrester Research -- and here is why. He says that fundamentally the web is a waste and inefficient. It fails to take advantage of the incredible processing power and storage abilities of the powerful gadgets and computers we use. It makes no sense to leave these out of the equation. Rather the best use of the technology at our disposal today is to use both the internet and the processing power of our devices -- what Colony has dubbed the "app-internet". Both the old and new architectures are dead Colony...

  • The next Silicon Valleys? How French, UK govts stimulate the startup scene

    Governments are often seen as a nuisance in business, but this is a jaded view. Responsible and engaged governments are able to do amazing things for a country's startup scene. Most countries outside the US want to mirror the success of Silicon Valley, the undisputed king of tech innovation. Nicolas Princen is French President Nicolas Sarkozy's "digital man". He has spoken about the ways the French government is stimulating its local startup scene and "helping startups grow". The internet economy contributes about 6% to French GDP, he estimates, but affects and enhances more than 80% of the economy. Tax cuts...

  • TweetDeck ditches Adobe, launches new HTML 5 Twitter apps

    Coinciding with the launch of a new Twitter interface, TweetDeck has also undergone a drastic redesign. Along with the redesigned desktop version of the client, TweetDeck has also finally launched a web-based version 1 after months in beta. The web-based service is designed for those unwilling to install the serive on their hard-drives. Previously, the only way to access TweetDeck without downloading the client onto your computer was to install a Google Chrome plugin. With this new service, any browser can be used to access TweetDeck. At the time of writing, no changes had been made to the TweetDeck for...

  • Why Google Trader could leave other classified platforms in the dirt

    Google Trader, the internet giant's classifieds and trading service, is making waves, especially in emerging markets. The aim of Trader is to make it easier for businesses to post classified-type ads for their services, products and jobs. Listings are accessible from the web, the mobile web and via SMS. The listings also now include price, locations, and short snippets of content based on what is being advertised. Google expanded its Trader product footprint to Kenya in October and Nigeria in November, following on from successes in Uganda and Ghana. Africa News even went as far as to say that...

  • Online auction site Bidorbuy launches app for iDevices

    Online auction site Bidorbuy has launched an app designed to work across a range of Apple's iDevices. The South African-based site, which claims to be “Africa’s largest online marketplace”, says the app has a number of the same features as the full-blown site. According to Bidorbuy, the app will allow people to "take part in an online auction", "buy items at a fixed price", add items to their watchlist or cart "and proceed to checkout". The app’s release is so far limited to South Africa and Kenya and, if needs be, users are required to switch between the apps...

  • 7 Innovation secrets from Steve Jobs [LeWeb]

    What are the secrets behind Steve Jobs' success? I'll bet you want to know. Author and communications coach Carmine Gallo thinks he knows, and at the LeWeb conference in Paris, he provided some insight into them. In fact, he's written a book entitled "Innovate the Steve Jobs way: 7 insanely different principles for breakthrough success". Here are Gallo's 7 secrets: 1. Do what you love For Jobs "being the richest man in the cemetery" didn't matter, what mattered was "going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful". Without passion your business won't work, passion is everything. You cannot inspire people unless...