• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Exclusive: Talking internet freedom with Obama’s top official

    On the back of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for global internet freedom late last year, Daniel Baer was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour in November. Memeburn spoke to the new appointee of the current Obama administration, taking on issues ranging from the WikiLeaks controversy to internet accessibility in emerging markets. Baer began by outlining that internet freedom has become a US foreign policy issue for the first time. He argues that the implications of this internet-oriented foreign policy approach is unprecedented. “Internet freedom is the application...

  • The effect of the tsunami on Japan’s tech industry

    Japan is still assessing the scale of Friday’s devastating tsunami, but in many parts of the country production has ground to a halt, and any long-term production issues could have a ripple effect on the technology industry. Many computer and mobile device manufacturers, including Apple and Dell source digital imaging and storage parts manufacturing out to Japan which supplies about 40% of the world’s NAND memory – which is used in products such as Apple’s iPad. Japan is also responsible for a fifth of the world’s semiconductor supplies, and produced about 14 percent of the world’s computers, consumer electronics and...

  • Sowambe! 1st social media awards launches in SA

    Are you there? Are you in the social media space? Are you a social web addict? That’s exactly what the organisers of the first Social Media Awards in Africa are asking. Founded by young, vibrant and socially-savvy entrepreneurs, Sowambe! is a Nigeria-based social media lifestyle brand aimed at promoting trends and talents in Africa’s emerging digital media industry. The Sowambe Awards is pan-African and recognises the best social media adopters, talents, agencies, celebrities, politicians, personalities and professionals as well as social media-based web platforms in Africa. The awards which launched in Nigeria in February have also been announced in South Africa and nominations...

  • Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack available for download today on Xbox Live

    Last week, Microsoft announced that its Xbox 360 flagship shooter, the critically acclaimed Halo Reach may be expecting a new map pack but refused to comment any further on the matter. Now, fanboys, spartans and gamers worldwide can rejoice as the secrecy has been lifted to unveil three new action-packed multiplayer environments bundled together as the Halo: Reach – Defiant Map Pack which becomes available for download today on Xbox LIVE. The Halo series has gathered worldwide success with its intuitive gameplay and engaging storyline and has received a positively high Metacritic score of around 91%. Halo: Reach, a prequel to the original series,...

  • Teenage pop singer goes viral for all the wrong reasons

    Be careful what you wish for. That seems to be the bottom line when it comes to the sorry tale of Rebecca Black and her already disastrous pop career. When the young songstress woke up on Monday morning, her YouTube song “Friday” had only had 10 000 hits. But by the end of the day she had become an internet legend for all the wrong reasons, racking up over 2-million hits and becoming a worldwide trending topic….for all the wrong reasons. The auto-tuned vocals, the disastrous lyrics, the dance moves, the overage rapper and the underage actors….it all comes across...

  • Schabir Shaik trending worldwide on Twitter after re-arrest

    News of the re-arrest of convicted fraudster and former businessman Schabir Shaik has spread like wildfire across popular microblogging social network Twitter with “Schabir Shaik” currently a trending topic worldwide. Tweets have been pouring in following the breaking news with a majority of users in favor of the re-arrest, some sarcastic tweets around his ‘failing health’ and some who are not in the least surprised. Take a look at some of the top tweets that sent Schabir trending: Correctional Services minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has confirmed the arrest and told Eyewitness News that Shaik will be held for 72 hours until his recent...

  • The devastation of Japan, as told on YouTube [Videos]

    The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan and the tsunami that followed sent shockwaves around the world. The news of the quake sent people scrambling for information online. Japan dominated Twitter with at least four trending topics and, at one stage, with 1 200 tweets per minute. The quake was recorded as the largest to hit Japan since the Hanshin-Awaji quake of 1995. Many followed the devastating event via YouTube. The videos included snippets for new reports and citizens videos taken off the ground. We have picked some of the most awe-inducing videos that captured the magnitude of the destruction...

  • Anonymity is not cowardice, says 4chan founder (SXSW2011)

    He arrives late, sidling awkwardly onto the stage. With his baby face and blond mop it’s easy to believe Christopher Poole is 24 years old. What’s harder to believe is that he founded 4chan – one of the web’s most creative, influential and infamously anarchic communities – when he was barely 15. Speaking at this year’s South by South West festival, Poole outlined what 4chan has taught him about building online communities, and how he is applying that to his new project, a collaborative platform called Canvas. “Most of you know 4Chan because of our “random” /b/ board – more than...

  • 10 of the most innovative Kinect hacks

    Now that the dust has settled over the Kinect bounty wars that had the open source community in a ‘Kinect-driver’ development frenzy and had Microsoft tap-dance around the whole debacle, we can safely return to the comfortable position of reviewing some of the most innovative features to have spawned from last year’s hack-the-Kinect phenomenon. The release of an open-source Kinect driver for Windows has seen a huge spike in the number of “hacks”, which range from simple 3D user interfaces to robotics, physical science applications and much more. Here’s our extended list of some of the better Kinect Hacks: Autonomous Robotic...

  • Virtual surgery: Training without pain (SXSW 2011)

    Surgery is one of the most difficult and dangerous professions to train for on the planet. Before you’re skilled at operating you can kill someone, but you can only really learn those skills by operating. Virtual surgery has long held the promise of allowing apprentice surgeons to learn from mistakes without killing patients, but until recent advances in technology, it hasn’t had much success. Now two different groups of researches are redefining the technology. Speaking on a panel at this year’s South By SouthWest interactive festival, Professor Gregory Wiet of Ohio State University, as well as Frank Sculli and John...

  • Drowning out internet noise through human filters

    You may have a friend or two who you can always trust to tell you, with impeccable taste, which new films, albums, gadgets or restaurants are worth your time and money. This information is priceless if you don’t have the time or patience to sample everything available to find the good stuff among the many options flooding the market for yourself. This principle is gaining traction in the online space, largely as the result of the rise of social media. Increasingly, internet users are depending on trusted members of their online social networks and media environments to help them find...

  • Social media sites rally to Japan’s aid

    Friday’s earthquake off the coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami has proven, yet again, how the internet and social media tools offer an information lifeline to the world in a time of crisis. The internet was designed so that US military communications could withstand a nuclear war, but is proving equally resilient in the face of natural disasters and even seismic shifts in global politics. As the waves smashed into the Japanese coastline following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake 130 kilometres (80 miles) east in the Pacific ocean on Friday, a tsunami of images was also soon hitting the web. In scenes worthy...

  • Russia could do for high-tech engineering what India did for IT

    The US Vice-President Joe Biden laments the fact that trade between the US and Russian amounts to just a few days of trading between neighbours Mexico and Canada. Change is on the horizon however. American companies are showing they believe Russia’s human resources can soon do for high-tech engineering what India did to the IT sector two decades ago. And that means a big shift in the way global technology operations take place. Executives at some of North America’s biggest companies are taking on a vision of a 24-hour production cycle in which Russian engineers zip their drafts to board room...

  • 6 psychology findings for social media marketing

    Social media and marketing are simultaneous in any plan to build an enterprise or advance a cause. So when it comes to your business, there are six psychological facts you may want to consider to get inside the mind of your customer before you rush off to reach them. Reticular activating system: Essentially this refers to the structure in the brain that drives selective attention: we naturally orient to information or ideas that we are invested in. According to psychologist Dr. Rachna Jain, adults are much more interested in content that addresses a specific problem they are having right now....

  • Friending the constitution: a social media bill of rights (SXSW2011)

    When does a technological revolution become a part of the fabric of society? If it’s just about pure numbers, then social media passed that marker some time towards the end of the last decade, when the combined audience of social media platforms breached the 1-billion user mark. But with ubiquity often comes regulation: if Facebook or Twitter are truly social “utilites” then do they need to be policed in the same way that electricity or water providers are? One vital component missing from the wild west of the current social media landscape is any kind of universally accepted guidelines about...