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  • Startup Weekends hit South Africa

    In what could be a potential boon for tech entrepreneurs in the region, Startup Weekends have arrived in South Africa. Startup Weekends are established in Silicon Valley, but until recently, South Africa had missed out on the benefits of this exciting 54-hour weekend phenomenon. The initiative involves teams gathering from Friday evening to Sunday night to set up a business, ultimately vying for the top position as judges assess the best business ideas at the end of the weekend. The first weekend took place in Cape Town, with Johannesburg having its own Startup Weekend soon after. ...

  • Apple & Samsung’s legal wrangles land in Australia

    Computer giant Apple has launched legal proceedings in Australia against Samsung Electronics, accusing the South Korean firm of infringing its patents with its Galaxy Tab 10.1, papers show. Samsung is already embroiled in a patent dispute over smartphones and tablet computers with Apple in the United States, in which both sides have filed infringement claims against the other. Documents presented to the Federal Court of Australia show Apple is seeking to permanently ban the sale or promotion of the latest Galaxy Tab 10.1, which would compete with Apple's iPad, in Australia. Apple says Samsung's tablet infringes 10 of its Australian patents, according...

  • Facebook Deals SA ‘biggest launch in emerging markets’

    As Facebook Deals South Africa goes live, it is being touted as the "biggest launch in emerging markets in the next year". Those are the words of South African marketing company Habari Media’s commercial channel manager, Michael Krynauw. Facebook has teamed up with Habari for the launch of Facebook Deals South Africa. Krynauw says some 350 000 South Africans currently using Facebook Places, the service through which users will check in to the stores of participating merchants, will now be able to make use of the location-based deals service. When questioned on the validity of these stats, Krynauw states that...

  • iCloud beta ready for testing

    Apple's iCloud beta is here. Users with Apple ID are now able to use the cloud service. iCloud is Apple’s answer to unshackling its users from reliance on storage devices. Within iCloud, your mail, contacts, calendars, iWork applications and Find My iPhone will be accessible. Since it is in beta, it does not include certain functions such as the cloud music gallery, known as iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes Match, the ability to add your own music files to the cloud is also absent from iCloud beta. The service can be accessed via iCloud.com for those using iOS 5 (available...

  • Keeping up with Google’s Panda

    Google has been making significant updates lately. Google Panda 2.3 Update is now live as part of a commitment to “return high-quality sites to Google users”. Judging by comments on forums such as Webmasterworld, keeping tabs on this is very tricky business. The initial premise was to weed out so-called “content farms” and other low quality sites from the SERPs. Along with some high profile casualties, a significant number of sites have been experiencing a massive drop in their rankings and consequently traffic. A couple of months ago Google stated that 12 percent of search results were to be affected...

  • The genie is out of the bottle, and he’s tweeting now

    Six weeks ago I wrote a piece for one of South Africa's Sunday papers, the Sunday Times, on the role that Twitter plays in the lives of those who use it. “This collective stream of consciousness can be both disarmingly intimate and disconcertingly public,” I wrote. “For those who tweet, Twitter at its heart is about sharing with the imagined other: venting about a bad day, letting on that they've just had their heart broken. It's the emotional equivalent of parading around naked on stage and yet people are happy to do it… Twitter is your agony aunt, your...

  • Making real money playing Diablo III

    Blizzard is planning on implementing an auction house within its heavily anticipated game Diablo III, that will transact in real currency, the game developer said. What this essentially means is that while playing, if gamers slay a monster and pick a super-rare item, they will be able to sell it off and make real money. That's right, it is now possible for anyone to make money while playing a videogame. The Diablo III Auction House will be implemented via Blizzard's Battle.net service allowing in-game loot earned while playing the game to be put up for sale for real money. The player...

  • $800-million worth of fresh funding for Twitter

    In a blog post modestly titled "Your world, more connected" Twitter announced on Monday it has closed a deal for a "significant" round of new funding led by Russian investment company Digital Sky Technologies (DST). Twitter did not reveal the amount raised for the wildly popular real-time microblogging service but based on reports from tech site All Things Digital, speculation has placed the deal to be worth US$800-million, pushing the value of the company up to US$8-billion. According to AllThingsD, US$400-million of the total investment will go to the company and US$400-million will be used to cash out current investors and...

  • Social media is not corporate media

    There's a gold rush going on as legions of self-proclaimed experts are working with corporations to help them monetise the potential riches in exploiting social media. I look at the links and articles that social media "experts" are sharing all day long on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks and it all boils down to this type of message: "Here are ways to turn social media into a lucrative corporate marketing/sales channel." There are lots of services such as Klout that help corporations identify the people in social networks that should be targeted as part of online marketing programs. And there...

  • Troubled Taiwanese iPhone producer replacing Chinese workers with robots

    Taiwan IT giant Foxconn -- hit by a spate of suicides at its Chinese plants -- has announced plans to replace 500 000 human workers with one million robots in the next three years. Foxconn -- the world's largest maker of computer components, which assembles products for Apple, Sony, and Nokia -- plans to use one million robots to do "simple work", China Business News quoted chairman Terry Gou saying. Gou announced the plan to 10 000 staff at a company event in Shenzhen China on Friday, various media reports said. China is where the majority of Foxconn's production occurs. Foxconn currently...

  • iPhone 5 release date delayed? [Rumour]

    The iPhone 5 is now rumoured for release in October not September, this according to a report on AllThingsD.com a US-based technology news site . The AllThingsD report contradicts a tip received by Gizmodo, surrounding the blacking of AT&T employee leave dates for September in preparation for an iPhone launch: From: ************ Date: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM Subject: Iphone 5 release time To: Tips@gizmodo.com I'm an att employee and my boss just announced that vacation requests for the end of september will be denied due to an "event blackout". Historically the only time they've done this was for an iphone release. So...

  • The end is here for traditional telecommunications

    Recently, Dutch telecoms operator KPN reported an 11 percent drop in net profit for the second quarter of this year, blaming the rise of internet based telecommunications software. A couple of months back, Deutsche Telekom announced a massive 37 percent drop in its net profit. Etisalat, the UAE's largest telecoms provider, saw its second quarter profit drop by 14 percent. New Zealand's Telecom watched its profits drop by 32 percent. South Africa's Telkom reported a 35 percent drop in its full year profit, a month ago. The telecommunications giants are struggling. While each player presents different reasons, it is...

  • The Google graveyard: 20 products that failed

    In the web world, failure is as much a feature of innovation as success. You have to fail to succeed. When you're a company with practises as innovative as Google's you're bound to fail along the way. The search giant's well-documented policy of having its employees dedicate 20 percent of their time to projects they feel passionately about has resulted in some of the company's biggest successes. Gmail, GTalk, Google News and AdSense are all web products that have emerged from this "20 percent time". In a company that produces as many products (and it has produced many, many...

  • 6 tips to secure your privacy on Google+ [Infographic]

    With around 20-million users making over a billion shares a day in the short time it's been around, it certainly looks like Google+ is here to stay. Though recent reports have shown that current users may be losing interest in the new social network, it must be remembered that Google+ is still an invite only service and as such, the moment it opens up to the public at large, it will be the buzz all over again. From the outset, it has been clear -- probably as a result of Facebook's numerous privacy gaffes -- that protecting a user's privacy was...

  • Nintendo’s surprise sticker slash

    Nintendo has announced it will be cutting the price of its 3DS handheld game console. In the US it has been slashed from US$250 to US$170, in Japan prices fell by 40 percent, and in Europe the cuts are expected to see at least a third of the retail price taken off. A price drop for a console isn't new; every videogame console has been discounted at some point in its life cycle. Doing so within a four month window? That is unusual, but it isn't unprecedented. When the original Xbox launched in the UK in March 2002, it retailed for...