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  • Great lessons on amazement, interactive shopping, products and people

    There was a lot of information floating around the recent PSFK Conference in New York and it took some time to digest the insight given out by speakers. The information imparted was well worth the tech time-out and there some good advice retailers can take from the world of tech. Amazement is key! Futurist and filmmaker Jason Silva -- who speaks at a gazillion kilometres a second -- says technology can quickly manifest our ideas and desires but that to really see and experience the world in new ways, we need to take a step back. “Tom Robbins says you can’t...

  • App of the Week — MoneyWiz

    This week I take a look at MoneyWiz, an amazing new personal finance app available on both iPhone and iPad. "Really? Another damn expense app?" I hear you say. Yes, but I can promise you that this is the last one, I really have found what I've been looking for since I became so obsessive about recording my expenses. So before you click back to Pinterest, or continue importing your photos from Instagram before Facebook uses them without your permission, educate yourself in the fine art of perfection. var 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");

  • Sergey Brin: Apple, Facebook are stifling innovation with ‘walled gardens’

    Facebook and Apple are a threat to internet freedom. That’s according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Brin made the comments in an exclusive interview with UK newspaper The Guardian, adding that he and Larry Page would not have been able to make success of Google on an internet dominated by Facebook. The 38-year-old billionaire said that there were "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world". Those powerful forces include governments around the world that have put restrictions on the web, and social media in particular. In the interview,...

  • Zimbabwean builds site in internet cafe, grabs international attention

    A young Zimbabwean who built an online hip hop community is grabbing the world’s attention, having appeared on the front page of Y Combinator’s Hacker News. The man, who goes by the name of Munyukimanatsa online, decided to build the site, called mixdem, after struggling to find employment once he graduated from university. There were a couple of obstacles he had to overcome first though. For one thing he didn’t have an internet connection. His coding skills were, by his own admission, a “bity rusty”. Munyukimanatsa was also out on his own if anything went wrong and he had...

  • Pottermore: Harry Potter’s social network goes live

    After months of collating and beta testing, J.K Rowling's interactive website, Pottermore, for Harry Potter fans has finally gone live to the public. According to Rowling, the "unique", "online reading experience" will be a home for "fans of all ages" to interact and share their views on "Potter-verse". "Get ready to begin your Pottermore journey, because Pottermore.com is now opening to everyone. Over the coming days, we'll be inviting new users onto Pottermore.com. We're expecting to be really busy to start with and plan to activate new registrations in a steady stream. This means that you may not get access...

  • Creepy employers want your Facebook password [Infographic]

    Imagine this: you’re on your way to a job interview, safe in the knowledge that even though your prospective employer has probably been Googling you like a machine, there’s no way they can see anything you don’t want them to. You’ve double-checked your privacy settings, so you know your Twitter rants and crazy Facebook photos are safe from the interviewer’s prying eyes. Until you walk into their office and they ask for your username and password. No, this is not a nightmare; this is apparently becoming a common practice. And it’s not just employers -- universities and government departments are...

  • 340m people to transfer money via mobile by 2016

    Kenya gave the world hope for the future of mobile money with MPesa. After all, over 20% of the country’s GDP is moved through the service. Replicating that success outside Kenya has, however, been difficult. That may all be about to change though, with the number of people using their mobile phones for person to person (P2P) transfers expected reach 340-million by 2016, up from 84-million last year. According to UK-based tech analysis company Juniper Research, the most likely new adopters of mobile money transfers are unbanked people in emerging markets. While there are opportunities in the space both...

  • Google has a cracker of a first quarter for 2012

    Google announced an amazing first quarter for 2012, with growth of 24% over the same period last year. Total turnover for the quarter was US$ 10.65-billion and its cash stockpile grew to US $49.3- billion. Of greater significance was the more than doubling of the search giant’s net income which rose 60% to US$2.89-billion, compared to the same period in 2010. That this performance came from a traditionally subdued quarter makes the results even more impressive Google surprised the market a little with such a strong turnaround from a challenging 2011 where investments in many new areas, notably Android, Chrome...

  • Online music licensing: The good, the bad and the ugly

    Rumour has it that Spotify is looking around for yet another huge round of investment, one that would take the company’s valuation from around US$1-billion to over US$3-billion. One might ask why a company that seems wildly successful to most always needs new investment. How, with over 2-million paying subscribers, does Spotify continuously end up far in the red? How much in the red you may ask? 2010 saw it post a reported loss of US$42 million... (up from US$26 million in 2009). The numbers aren’t out for 2011 yet, but it’s expected that the losses are still increasing....

  • 5 Tips for using social blogging to grow your business

    "Why do we need a blog" is often the reaction when some suggests it as part of a business’ strategy. The thing is, your blog is your most powerful tool and a key driver of your social media strategy. Why? Well continuous updates and punchy messages can easily increase user heighten interest, provide ongoing regular information and give you a reason to engage with them on an ongoing basis. Social media is no longer an outcast in the business world Social networking has been embraced by the big dogs in the market place, but don’t forget the little guys....

  • Shifting from social media to social business thinking

    The term social media refers to a set of web-based and mobile tools, technologies and platforms that enable connection, communication and collaboration in ways never before possible. Hopefully you’ve cottoned on to this by now. The problem is that this definition doesn’t encompass the undeniable impact social media has had on society and business. I’ve been saying for years now that social media is not about tools, but about people. I believe that companies that grasp the ethos behind social media -- and the behavioural changes resulting from the integration of these tools into daily life -- will easily differentiate...

  • North Korea’s rocket fails, the memes roll in

    You could sense a nervous tingle as North Korea announced plans to send a rocket into space. Was it real, or just a front for deploying intercontinental nuclear missiles? Then one of the world’s most isolated nations invited foreign press in for the launch. It was hoping to show off in a big way. It all suddenly seemed legit and, for some, a little more frightening. Then the whole thing blew apart less than a minute after take-off. While some breathed a sigh of relief, the web went into meme mode. Some poked fun at the country’s fearless leader:...

  • Oooh, Julian Assange’s TV show is on the horizon

    This was inevitable, in fact I am a little surprised it took this long. Wikileaks infamous leader will be coming to a small screen near you in a few short days. At least that's according to a tweet from the organisation's official Twitter account. THE WORLD TOMORROW:NEW ASSANGE TV SHOW AIRING ON Tuesday 17 April 2012Julian Assange has completed (cont) tl.gd/gunqv7— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 13, 2012 Assange -- who has been under house arrest for 500 days -- has completed shooting of a 12 episode television show that will air on RT, a Russian 24-hour television station. Titled, "The...

  • Facebook rolls out merged email and Timeline addresses

    Facebook announced that it will be updating the vanity urls of its users to match their Facebook email addresses. What’s that you say? Facebook forcing change on people without giving them an opt-out option? Queue the pitchfork-waving virtual mob. Before you go storm castle Facebook though, bear in mind that this change won’t actually do much more than give your timeline a url that actually makes sense. It’s also a not-so-subtle attempt by Facebook to push its email service, which was launched in 2010 and was a runaway success. Oh wait no, that’s wrong. Most users were happy with...

  • Apple: price-fixing allegations ‘simply not true’

    Apple’s has rejected claims from the US Justice Department that it colluded with some of the world’s biggest book publishers to fix prices. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the charges were “simply not true”. The US government has previously sued Apple, along with five other publishers, for conspiring to fix the price of ebooks. It later negotiated a compromise with three of the publishers, which could result in cheaper ebooks for consumers. Kerris defended the way Apple works with publishers, saying it was comparable to the way it deals with the...