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  • Facebook to pay $10-million in sponsored stories settlement

    Ever thought that the ads proclaiming how your Facebook friends "like" some or other fan page are an invasion of their privacy? No? Well, some Facebook users did — and they took Facebook to court over it. Five Facebook members recently filed a class-action suit against the social networking giant, alleging the “sponsored stories” feature in Facebook violated Californian law by publishing users’ “likes” without compensation and with no opt-out function. They agreed on a settlement, which means Facebook will have to pay US $10-million to charity as compensation. California law prohibits the unauthorised appropriation of anyone's name or...

  • Is Amazon trying to steal Microsoft’s thunder with rumoured price cut?

    A secretive "major announcement" from a major tech player tends to put the rumour mill into overdrive. Adding fuel to speculation that Microsoft could be announcing its own tablet on Monday is news that Amazon might well be cutting the price of the Kindle Fire by US$50. The price cut is reportedly to make way for a new seven-inch and a ten-inch tablet. According to tech news site Digitmes (citing supplier sources): To expand its market share, the sources believe that Amazon has a high chance of adopting a similar product strategy to Apple, in addition to a new...

  • 40 ridiculous new generic top level domains — .unicorn, .ninja and more

    I haven’t been this riled up in quite some time, so pardon the candour. To quote the words of the dotfather Tim Berners-Lee: "when it comes to arbitrary new TLDs I am not a big fan". Eloquently put, but not quite acrimonious enough for my taste. The reveal of nearly 2 000 planned new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) makes me want to spit venom. Until now we've had 22 generic top level domains like .com, .org, .gov, .edu and so on. We had order. Now, prepare for bedlam: domain squatting, phishing and superfluity the likes of which the...

  • The 5 stages of your Facebook Timeline

    Before Facebook, people had to rely on outdated things such as photo albums or genuine human interaction to keep track of their progression. Now, the kind of interactions you have on Facebook can help tell you exactly where you are in your life. Which is on Facebook, mainly. But here's what else Facebook can tell you about what stage of development you're going through... 1. The tentative teens Facebook is not yet an extremely important part of your life. You use it mainly for communicating with your bestie after school, because when you get home it's like, totes boring and...

  • Oops — ICANN published the home addresses of new domain applicants

    Whoops. It seems that the people over at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accidentally included the home addresses of the people who applied for new top-level domains when they published the list of the applicants earlier this week. The organisation received almost 2 000 applications for new generic top-level domains (GTLDs), which, once the process is completed early next year, will allow websites include more than the standard .com, .biz, .org, etc, in their web address. ICANN disabled the viewing of the page yesterday after reports of an "issue" with the application details. Shortly after...

  • How to hack your way to your first tech job

    Entering the job market is impossible; at least, it is if you round down to the nearest level of possibility. Getting a first time job for a skilled role or changing jobs without having several winters' worth of experience means that you're in for a tough battle. The problem is exacerbated when the same regurgitated career initiating advice is plastered all over job guides in popular magazines and on Alexa top 100 websites, in articles that are SEO'd to match every job search phrase you can possibly think of. Finding little gems of information that can help you cut...

  • UK council unbans 9-year-old from blogging about school lunches

    One of the great things about blogging is that you're free to write about whatever you want. Unless you're in the UK, and you want to blog about school lunches. A town council in Western Scotland banned nine-year-old Martha Payne from posting entries rating her school lunches. Payne's blog Never Seconds recently passed 2-million page views and gradually became about much more than photos of what came out of her school kitchen. When people from around the globe began submitting their own photos and stories, the young girl tried to capitalise on her popularity and got them to contribute...

  • Online? At work? Your company will soon know what you’re doing

    Big brother watching. Thing is, it's not the made up avatar of an overarching, all-powerful, state. It's far more likely that it's a piece of software implemented by your company to see what you've been doing on social media. In fact, some 60% of corporations are expected to implement formal programmes for monitoring external social media for security breaches and incidents by 2015, up from the less than 10% that currently do so, According to tech research firm Gartner, monitoring employees will soon be viewed in the same way as monitoring social media is for brand...

  • Online store starts taxing Internet Explorer 7 users

    It's about time someone took a stand against archaic browsers. Online gadget store Kogan decided enough was enough, and has started taxing customers who use Internet Explorer 7. According to the store's official blog, visitors who use the "antique browser" to navigate the shop will be taxed 6.8% on all their purchases. They'll also be met with a delightful pop up box, approved by the international authority on all things web, the "Department of Internet Justice", warning them to upgrade to Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera, or face the penalties. Why the tax? Well, the developers spent so much time...

  • Microsoft to buy Yammer for $1bn: Could this be its big reveal?

    Microsoft is set to buy business-focused social network Yammer for US$1-billion, according to a Wall Street Journal article, citing the ubiquitous people "familiar with the matter". The news comes just hours after the Redmond-based company sent out an event invitation for a “a major Microsoft announcement”, sparking speculation that it would announce the deal at the event. According to the Journal however, "it is unclear when the Yammer acquisition will be completed and announced". Microsoft and Yammer representatives both refused to give any comment to the news outlet. Some have speculated that Microsoft's announcement could include a partnership...

  • Naspers continues OLX rollout, scuppers Dealfish Nigeria and Kenya

    Naspers is shutting down Dealfish, its Nigerian and Kenyan free classified sites, and replacing them with OLX. The move comes as the emerging markets giant attempts to make the most of the service which it owns a 71% stake in. According to Nigerian tech news site Techloy, the two major reasons for this consolidation are: technology and branding. Given that OLX has a presence in more than 90 countries, and is doing well in most of them, it's logical that the tech behind it would be more robust and sophisticated than that of Dealfish. Having a global name like...

  • 8ta slashes BlackBerry BIS offering, concentrates on social

    South Africa's fifth mobile operator 8ta today announced that it would be offering a BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) package for around half its usual price. There is a catch though, but it's not a big one. Under the 'BlackBerry Social & Email' plan you still get full access to online browsing to BlackBerry's native messaging app BBM, BlackBerry mail, internet browser, social networking, and BlackBerry App World. The only real difference between it and the full BIS offering is that you get one web-based e-mail account from 8tamail, Gmail or Yahoo mail instead of 10. That makes...

  • Virgin’s Crimson Bandit revealed

    After apparently losing his diary a couple of days ago, Virgin founder Richard Branson sent the company's global social media following on a hunt for the book. The thief it, it seemed, was a mysterious actor called The Crimson Bandit. After an initial period of uncertainty over whether there was genuine social skulduggery at play, Sir Richard made another appeal, saying the company would offer rewards to anyone who helped find his beloved diary. At this point, it became clear that there was a whole new campaign playing out across Virgin's Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts. The the...

  • SA retailer set to launch social book selling programme

    Exclusive Books is set to launch a new, more social, way of selling books called "Stickers". The new programme will reportedly be integrated into the South African-based book franchise's existing website, and will launch late next week. Users will reportedly be able to earn achievement points by sharing and rating products either as an individual or a group. With enough points people will be able to earn discounts on books. These can be earned faster in groups. “To start with we will support standard social media platforms,” Exclusives' digital boss Ben Williams told MyBroadband. The retail group is owned by...

  • Why WordPress’ Facebook plugin is actually a big deal

    One of the key success factors of blogging is the ability to share. Facebook are the masters of sharing. Small wonder then that on 12 June Facebook launched its latest blogging application. By downloading the Facebook for WordPress plugin bloggers and administrators can now publish content to WordPress directly from Facebook. Nice. “The plugin was built by Facebook engineers in collaboration with open source partners, and makes it simple for anyone to make their WordPress site more social -- no coding required,” Facebook engineer Matt Kelly wrote in a blog post introducing the tool. The best of the...