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  • Apple wins against Motorola in slide-to-unlock patent suit

    The topic in the latest Apple patent war is the slide-to-unlock feature on some of Motorola Mobility’s Android devices. A Munich court ruled in favour of Apple, who patented the feature in 2010, and placed an injunction on the sale of Motorola devices with the technology in Germany. It’s unclear how long the court-ordered ban will last, as Motorola has already indicated it plans to appeal the judgement. The slide-to-unlock feature (which allows users to unlock their phone by swiping their finger across the screen) is featured on some of Motorola’s Android smartphones, as well as Apple’s iPhone. A spokesperson...

  • Baidu wants to dominate Chinese mobile in 2012

    Chinese search giant Baidu wants to dominate the country's exploding mobile market in 2012. That’s according to CEO Robin Li, who was speaking during a fourth quarter earnings conference call. During the call, Li explained why the company needed to push its mobile monetary focus, an area he admitted it had neglected in the past: "We do think mobile will become a very important channel to distribute our products and that has increasingly become true over the past quarter. And we think during the coming year, mobile will represent an ever larger percentage of our total traffic," Robin Li,...

  • Crowd-funding pushes lone startup into spotlight

    Another crowdfunding project has hit South Africa's Angel investment landscape. Crowd-funding.co.za, a site aimed at raising money for startups in South Africa, recently launched. For those not in the know,crowdfunding is chiefly a product of the internet, where individuals come together to support private or commercial ventures. This follows a crowdfunding initiative by Eve Dmochowska, Crowdfund, which didn’t see the light of day. Dmochowska's project website has been shut down, and no further news has been heard from the founding members. Hopefully this new crowdfunding venture will fare better, and possibly reach the heights of successful sites such as Kickstarter, a successful...

  • Anonymous is shutting down the internet

    Everyone's favourite hacktivist group is back again and this time its target is bigger than ever. Anonymous has declared war on the internet, yes save all your files now, download all those movies you keep pretending you're not downloading because, the internet is about to be shutdown. In a Pastebin post, the group that has managed the breakdown of big corporates and threatened the safety of government websites has decided it needs to teach Wallstreet a lesson by taking Operation Global Blackout to new heights: "To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the...

  • Facebook (finally) allows verified accounts

    Facebook will start allowing public figures to verify their accounts and include pseudonyms from today, according to a report by TechCrunch. This means that public figures will be given the option to be listed under their nickname if they supply the site with a copy of personal identification, like a driver’s license or passport. In return for supplying Facebook with their documentation, celebrities like Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta), Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus) and Pink (Alecia Moore) can receive higher rankings in the suggestions for "people to subscribe to". Facebook will also accept combinations of a user's birth certificate, credit card,...

  • Why being a Linux geek could make you more employable

    I love Linux and I have been fortunate enough to have been able to use it as my base operating system in all of the different companies that I've worked for the last ten years or so. But, I know that unless you're a systems administrator, most fans of the OS find themselves battling against corporate IT if they even try to run a non-Windows system at work. Just recently, I noticed a post on Slashdot where a user was asking where he could get a job in the FOSS industry. So, I was quite relieved to see that...

  • 8 Reasons hiring at a technology startup is tough

    I like to define a startup in a way that goes something like this: A startup in my world is a young company in a new, fast growing and evolving industry that could swing, change or be disrupted very quickly. The reason that it's relevant for me to lay out how I define a startup is because this definition is extremely important when considering hiring a team. It is often not as simple as hiring the best person for the job. It's much deeper and more complicated than a simple contract with leave allowances and a stable income. Hiring is tough...

  • Bees Awards to honour best in social media marketing

    Twenty-one of the most renowned social media marketing professionals from around the globe will gather to honour the best social media marketing has to offer at the third edition of the Bees Awards in San Francisco. The Award organisers claim that the jury was handpicked “on the base of their expertise, the references they received from peers, their passion for social media and their geographic location.” Entries will be judged according to 26 categories ranging from best “Best use of Micro-Blogging Platform” to “Best Branded Viral Video” and “Best Social Media Marketing Theory". Four of the categories are new,...

  • Don’t Google it: 9 Alternative search engine options

    In a world where Google is the most visited website, and “just Google it” is an answer to many questions, are there any up-and-coming search engines with something more to offer than the usual round-up of Google, Bing/Yahoo and Wolfram Alpha? While Google and its specialised search options (like Google Scholar and Google Blogs) have the monopoly, there are other choices for those looking for a search provider that doesn’t track your queries, store your personal information or fill their results pages with advertising. Blekko: Blekko is a spam-fighting search engine where the search results are biased towards ‘higher quality’...

  • Mobile online video play sees phenomenal growth

    More and more people are using their mobile devices for watching online content. In fact, the latest stats from online video service provider Ooyala suggest that non-desktop video plays more than doubled in the final quarter of 2011. Intuitively you’d think that much of that growth would be driven by short-form videos. It’s just more difficult to pay attention to a long video on a smaller screen right? Ooyala’s stats, however, suggest that people actually prefer watching longer videos on their smartphones and tablets to their desktops. The screen size rule of thumb still seems to apply to some...

  • Gearburn picks: 5 Great social games for iOS

    Social games: the end of hardcore gaming or its untimely saviour? Decide for yourself as we look at the top social games for iOS, which are all incidentally, free to play. CityVille Hometown Zynga, the kings of copying original titles, know how to reel the suckers in. CityVille Hometown, an updated version of FarmVille, offers little in the way of innovations, but has the same emotional hook which reels users in for that elusive “one more game”. Users or “residents” remain active by engaging with in-game characters, who just happen to be Facebook friends building their own neighbouring communities. Players are...

  • Orange to bring Facebook to ‘every phone in Africa’

    Mobile telecommunications giant Orange has launched a brand new service which it claims will make Facebook “accessible on every phone in Africa”. The French-based company says that it will allow its subscribers across the continent to via USSD -- a technology used by all GSM mobile devices to send information across a 2G network. It is already used widely in Africa for services such account information and callback services. This means that even the most basic of handsets without an internet connection or data plan will be able to use the service. Orange reckons that the familiarity with USSD...

  • More apps pinned in ‘Address book-gate’ as Apple tries to make good

    Revelations that Path had been uploading users’ address books without their permission seem to have opened up the metaphorical floodgates as more and more social apps are revealed to have been doing the same. The latest to admit to harvesting user contacts is social networking giant Twitter. According to the BBC, Twitter’s iOS app gains access to people’s address books when they click on the "Find Friends" feature. Unlike Path, which admitted to wrongdoing and at least claimed to fix the problem with an update, Twitter has only promised to alter its privacy policy to more explicitly state what...

  • Guinness World Records names Black Ops as ‘best game ending’

    The Guinness World Records 2012 Gamer's Edition has named Call of Duty: Black Ops the game with the "best ending ever". The game topped a poll of well over 13 000 gamers. Gas Deaves, Guinness World Records Gamers Edition editor, speaks out on the choices. "Everyone has an opinion on how to end a game whether it's an epic boss fight, a clever plot twist or a 90-minute movie. This list recognises some of the greatest endings and hopefully will get gamers talking about what are their favourites and why." The top 50 games below were voted in by the Guinness...

  • Street Bump app detects potholes, couldn’t care less about your tyres

    Pothole reporting apps are nothing Street Bump is different. Over in Boston USA, they’ve figured out a way to report potholes in their city without all the tedious manual labour of, you know, typing and stuff. Through a collaboration by the city of Boston, The New Urban Mechanics and crowdsourcing platform Innocentive, Street Bump uses a smart phone’s accelerometer and GPS to automatically detect and report potholes to the city.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");