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  • Omidyar-backed Africa entrepreneurship award launched

    The 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, open to entries from every country in Africa, is awarding up to $350,000 in prize money to successful entrepreneurs. Owners of profitable, growing enterprises (with annual revenues between US$1 - 15 million) can submit entries online until August 24, 2011. The Grand Prize Winner will receive US$ 100,000 and five other companies will receive awards of US$ 50,000 each. The awards are backed by the Omidyar Network and Legatum, a private investment group. The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people...

  • Six politicians who have epically failed on Twitter

    Thanks to Barack Obama's successful use of social media in the 2008 elections, all politicians seem to have discovered Twitter and Facebook. From Cory Booker, the US mayor who tweeted his way through his city's snow crisis, to South African political parties sometimes brilliant use of social media in the recent 2011 Local Government elections this message has clearly spread. It does not always hit the mark though. Just as brands have sometimes "failed" in their social media usage, so have politicians. We seem to be a society that is entertained by the fall of political figures. And what...

  • Nicholas Carr on how the internet is damaging our brains

    US technology writer Nicholas Carr is worried about what the internet is doing to our brains. "The seductions of technology are hard to resist," Carr says in his new Book 'The Shallows', which has sold an estimated 50 000 hardback copies in the United States alone. But he thinks it's time to start trying. In a speech at last week's Seoul Digital Forum, Carr restated his concerns that the web is affecting the way people think and feel -- and even changing the physical make-up of their brains. Every new technology in history -- like the map and the clock -- has...

  • Facing court order, Twitter hands over names and data of UK users

    When looking at the "Ryan Giggs case", in what some are referring to as a landmark ruling regarding free-speech and the internet, Twitter has released the details of UK users to a British local council. The particulars are that four officials of South Tyneside Council, unhappy with a blog run by a certain "Mr Monkey", decided to take action. Since the blog has now been taken down, exactly what it was that was written is difficult to ascertain. Reports vary from "libelous statements", to others describing the blog as a "whistle-blower." The four decided to approach the Superior Court of California...

  • 3 reasons why SEO does mean something to group buying

    In my travels along the social commerce road so far in South Africa, I’ve often been told that SEO plays no role in bringing in traffic to to group buying site. There are generally two kinds of sites, when you look at traffic: those where you want to rank well on SERPs to get the traffic in, and those where you pay through your nose on Google or Facebook to bring visitors. Unless, of course, your website has such an attractive deal on it, you might say. Group buying has traditionally taken the latter stance – pay for a massive PPC...

  • US military contractors face cyber-attacks, Lockheed Martin confirms

    Like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, the US military's largest contractor, Lockheed Martin in a recent statement confirmed that it had faced cyber-attacks. The US-based multi-national defence contractor described one of the attacks as "significant and tenacious". The attack which apparently occurred on the 21st of May was immediately detected by Lockheed Martin's security team. The team leapt into "quick action" using "aggressive actions" to protect systems and data to successfully repel the attack. The statement continued that in spite of the attack, the company was still confident in the strength of its "robust, multi-layered information systems security." As per Lockheed, "no...

  • PlayStation services to be restored this week

    On Tuesday Sony announced its plans to restore PlayStation Network services worldwide except in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea, after being targeted in a massive online attack in April. The electronics and entertainment giant said users in the Americas and Europe and much of Asia will again be able to buy and download games online, and will also receive "welcome back" packs of services and content. The company said that since being hacked in April, it had "implemented considerable security enhancements to the network infrastructure, as well as conducted testing of the payment process and commerce functions". Sony was attacked...

  • Will Bitcoin be another failed global eCurrency?

    Memeburn already ran an article on Bitcoin before, where Matthew Stone brought us up to speed on this new crypto-currency that seems to be taking the world by storm. Stone voiced some concerns about governmental clampdown on the new currency, and not without good reason. Firstly, at its anarchic root, Bitcoin robs government of its control over currency generation and its ability to track transactions. This has major implications in terms of controlling inflation within a country. Furthermore, the anonymity afforded by Bitcoin has strong tax implications. Ultimately, having capital tied up in BitCoins makes it incredibly difficult for...

  • As black as Vader’s heart

    It would be easy to damn the Toshiba Satellite Pro L650 with faint praise. It’s alright. It’s a midmarket fairly powerful notebook with a pleasantly understated design. If you’re looking for a work or home or college laptop PC in the US$600-odd range (closer to US$1000 in developing markets), you could do a lot worse. Decent specs, pretty enough. Could be better. The most striking thing is the design. Toshiba has gone all minimalist on us. The Satellite Pro range has always been the more business-centric models, so less flash than the Qosmio multimedia/gamer units, but this one is (depending...

  • Ten of the coolest TED talks [Videos]

    The Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conferences bring together luminaries from a wide range of fields. They come to delight and entertain us with stories of their endeavours -- told in less than 18 minutes. We have hand-picked ten of the coolest videos: Featured below are journalists, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs who have “ideas worth spreading”. Joshua Klein: The amazing intelligence of crows Joshua Klein has spent the last 10 years obsessing about crows. These birds traditionally known as harbingers of doom and death are revealed to have a remarkable intelligence. Klein built a vending machine that harnesses this intelligence, in the...

  • Mac Defender becomes MacGuard, gets sneakier

    The Mac scareware that started popping up recently has got a little more insidious. Not quite a full-blown virus, it still requires a clueless or distracted user to install it, but the latest version does not require an administrator password to be entered. It started on May 2 (timeline here), where fake antivirus began to spread though poisoned Google image search results. It was pretty primitive, causing Safari browsers to run a piece Javascript that threw up a fake anti-virus scanner... 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");

  • Sony wants to bring software to its hardware

    Sony's reputation has been shredded by the recent cyber attacks from hackers and it's struggling to recover. Sony, in the wake of what could possibly be the largest ever cyber attack, it is facing a more worrying problem -- it has lost the knack of innovation. The April hacker thefts of millions of customers' personal records have been a bruising experience for the Japanese consumer electronics giant, not least because its network security failures have left it with a potential bill of up to US$1-billion. But also under threat is its core strategy of growing online revenues to replace income from...

  • GetGlue brings social check-ins to media and entertainment

    People like to be rewarded for things they would probably do anyway. Hence it stands to reason that sooner or later someone would capitalise on this. And that is what entertainment check-in network GetGlue did -- by offering real and virtual incentives for consuming media online. GetGlue, founded in 2009 by New York City entrepreneur Alex Iskold, has pioneered the media check-in space, piggybacking on the Foursquare phenomenon with more than one million users earning stickers and discounts as they watch, read and listen. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have come a long way offering virtual “badges” to complement the...

  • What are the emerging trends in SEO?

    If there is one thing that every user knows, it is that search engines are consistently changing their algorithms in order to keep one step ahead of everyone else. The reason why they do this is to ensure that no one is able to manipulate their algorithms in order to rank well, which is important, because this ensures that the end users are able to get the most relevant results from their listings, and that these relevant results also consist of high quality content. Due to this consistent change, emerging trends in both search engine optimisation and link building will...

  • Tablets, 3D in focus at future-shaping Taiwan IT show

    The question of how to get 3D technology into every living room and a tablet computer into every hand is set to dominate Asia's largest IT fair which opens in Taiwan next week. Around 1 800 exhibitors from across the world will descend on Taipei for the Computex fair, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday, hoping to generate an estimated US$23 billion of sales from 36 000 buyers, organisers say. Under the slogan "Shaping the future!" the fair will showcase a cascade of new ... 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");