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  • Gay teen tells tale of fear, bullying, suicide in viral video

    A simple but heart-wrenching YouTube video, originally posted in August, of gay teen Jonah Mowry telling his story, has recently gone viral across the internet. Set to the haunting Breathe Me by Australian pop-singer Sia, a then-13 year old Mowry -- silent throughout -- displays a series of flashcards in the 4min long video titled "What’s goin on..". Mowry tells of how since he started school, he has faced taunts, jibes, and homophobic slurs from bullying schoolmates."Gay. Fag. Dick. Douche. Homo. Asshole," Mowry writes explaining the hurtful names he’s been called throughout his school career. He goes on to say...

  • Facebook finally rolls out Timeline

    Facebook is finally rolling out its long-awaited Timeline feature. The first country to receive the update to the world's largest social network, announced in September, was New Zealand. According to an update on Facebook's official blog, "over a million people have signed up for the developer beta to access Timeline". The beta was initially designed to service developers looking to build apps on the platform. A number of ordinary Facebook users, however, took to the beta after their interest was piqued by the initial announcement of Timeline. The social networking giant says it will be using the wider roll...

  • Review: Infinity Blade II

    The gentle learning curve of mobile gaming is ever-present with Infinity Blade II, the sequel to the addictive, but repetitive, swords and sorcery adventure for iOS. Gone is the repetition (kind of), replaced by a branching structure which turns the once-linear cycle of death and rebirth into a whimsical, steel-plated action. Let me explain. A winning formula Infinity Blade II is all about death. Dying evolves your character, and each time you fight your way to the God King (or a similarly cool-looking boss) and are unceremoniously struck down, you begin again, but retain your items and statistics. Your nameless, gibberish-spewing...

  • Russian ‘Facebook rally’ hailed as success despite arrests

    Thousands of Russians gathered at a so-called “Facebook rally”, protesting the results of recent legislative elections in the country. The elections were won by Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party amidst widespread claims of fraud. Several thousand people reportedly gathered in Moscow, in what news service Russia Today calls, "unsanctioned rallies". Mirroring techniques used successfully in the Arab Spring uprisings, prominent Russian bloggers took to Facebook to organise the rallies. The march received no coverage on mainstream television. In fact one of the few channels to show the march, called Dozhd (meaning rain) is privately owned and broadcasts primarily online....

  • Web’s red light district ‘.xxx’ opens for business

    Following a concerted decade-long campaign, proponents of an online "red light district" -- a specific domain for adult entertainment sites -- can finally celebrate with the sale of ".xxx" websites going live this week. With reports that the web was running out of web addresses sparking off fears that an “iPocalypse” was imminent, earlier this year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) -- a global body responsible for managing the internet’s domain name system -- voted to allow for the registration of new generic top-level domains names such as “.com,” “.org,” and “.net”. While ICANN’s decision allowed...

  • Microsoft app store next Feb – as Android Market hits 10bn

    When you’re this far behind, all you can do is be relentlessly up-beat. Which Microsoft was last night in the barn-raiser to build dev interst in the app store for the cross-platform “Metro” apps for Windows 8 devices. The store will go live in February, and offers developers the ability to hit the countless multitudes of Windows desktop and tablet users out there (should they hopefully upgrade to Win8), and the hoped-for buyers of Windows Phones that have so far been warmly received in their Mango incarnation. At the same time, Google’s director of the Android Developer Ecosystem, Eric...

  • Indian minister proposes screening online posts, says ‘not censorship’

    The government of India has asked some of the world’s largest online players to assist it in blocking out any material it deems offensive and defamatory. Meeting with representatives from the likes of Yahoo!, Google, and Facebook, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal requested that all content be checked before it is uploaded onto social websites. "I suggested that these platforms should evolve a mechanism on their own to ensure that such contents are removed as soon as they get to know of it... I have told them that this cannot go on," the minister said. According to the Hindustan Times,...

  • Memeburn going Solomo at LeWeb

    LeWeb Founder Loïc Le Meur speaks at a previous conference in 2009 LeWeb is a special place for Memeburn. The site was founded at the conference in Paris about two years ago with one of its legendary contributors Nur Bremmen. The very first few lines of code and the initial design was put together during the conference. LeWeb this year features the major internet players you know, including Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Sean Parker (Napster and Facebook -- played by Justin Timberlake in the Social Network movie), and Kevin Rose, among others. It's not all geeks -- the famous fashion...

  • Five reasons businesses suck at using social media to talk to each other

    Social media has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Although it retains its primary function as a platform where mates can get together and talk about their likes and dislikes, it is also a brand-infested pool of self promotion and general product marketing. But how are brands and businesses failing to engage with one another? 1. Failing to understand where they are in the B2B buying cycle When a brand is looking for a product or service, it has to go through various channels and different people within the organization are involved in making the purchasing decision. I will illustrate...

  • Steve Jobs: Being an asshole is okay when you’re a genius

    He was adopted and resented the rejection by his birth parents, but abandoned a daughter of his own born out of wedlock. Steve Jobs was a complicated man as it turns out. "The saga of Steve Jobs is the Silicon Valley creation myth writ large: Launching a startup in his parents' garage and building it into the world's most valuable company. He didn't invent many things outright, but he was a master at putting together ideas, art, and technology in ways that invented the future," Walter Isaacson pens. "He designed the Mac after appreciating the power of graphical interfaces in...

  • Mixing user experience and usability so that everyone wins

    I recently introduced myself to someone and when I explained that I'm a User Experience Designer, his eyes lit up and he said "Ah, you’re the usability guy." "Yeah, kind of" I responded. He looked at me, confused. "What’s the difference?" he asked. For apps and websites, usability refers to how easily your site visitors can complete a given task e.g. filling in a checkout form. In the emerging markets particularly, usability is still a differentiator. This is why the savvier industry players have started to focus on creating work that people will find usable. They know that simple usability...

  • Kicking off LeWeb 11 in Paris

    From the cold and slightly wet heart of Paris, Memeburn is gearing up for one of the biggest tech conferences of the year, LeWeb. LeWeb is a gathering of key industry players, from executives to influential pioneers, focusing on "key issues and opportunities in the web marketplace". This year's star-studded line-up is headed by Google's former CEO and now Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt. Tech industry bad boy, Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook movie fame, will also be here as a General Partner of Founders Fund. The impressive speakers' list also features recently-ousted Mashable Editor-at-large Ben Parr, and angel...

  • Jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 now!

    A sickly feeling crawls up my spine as my iPhone refuses to reboot. Damn you Apple, damn you for making it so difficult to Jailbreak iOS 5.0.1. Three days and a hundred reboots later, the Cydia icon happily nests on my iPhone's desktop, the sign of a successful Jailbreak. For hackers, it seems that no wall is too high too climb and no version of iOS is too tricky to crack. Jailbreaking iOS 5.0.1 Apple is proud of its latest iOS, especially its over-the-air (OTA) updates which limits the amount of time iDevice users spend updating their hardware. This is what...

  • Millions of Chinese vent online over Beijing smog

    Millions of Beijing residents are going online to vent their anger over thick smog that has blanketed the Chinese capital in recent days. Conditions in the already polluted city have become so bad that hundreds of flights in and out of Beijing’s main airport -- the world’s second busiest -- have been cancelled. Health fears have been raised with the US embassy ranking Beijing's air as "very unhealthy". China’s popular microblogging platforms, called weibos, have been at the forefront of the complaints. Sina Weibo, which has well over 200-million users, recorded some 4.4-million comments relating to pollution in 24...

  • Win the Steve Jobs biography

    THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED Memeburn together with Penguin are giving away three copies of the new Steve Jobs biography, written by acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson. Want to win a copy? To stand a chance of winning, see below for more details. How to enter: Tweet @memeburn and your favourite Steve Jobs quote. Use the hashtag #MEMESTEVE. Please note that you MUST be following Memeburn on Twitter to qualify for the competition.The competition runs for two weeks, from today. Tweet About Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson...