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  • Can you use BBM to fight pollution? One community thinks so

    BlackBerry’s native messaging service BBM hasn’t always had good press. It’s been blamed for inciting riots, and a number of governments have sought to control it. But how effective is it when it gets used for good? The answer, apparently, is very as one South African community found out for itself. The residents decided to harness BBM in their fight against the pollution of a man-made lake. When the lake began giving off a foul smell, the suburb’s Residents and Ratepayer’s Association was asked to investigate. As a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation, it realised that it would need a cost-efficient...

  • Lou Ferrigno says gaming is sexy [Video]

    Readers of our sister site Gearburn might recall an infographic detailing how many gamers were dating other gamers. But what if you wanted to make the information from it better, what would you do? Add Ferrigno. Lou Ferrigno, that is. The former Incredible Hulk star straps a pug to his chest and feeds a deer in this video explaining why online gaming is now sexy. Ferrigno cautions, however, games like World of Warcraft “may be a more effective medium for meeting your significant other than OK Cupid or, you know, real life, but don’t be too quick to assume...

  • Transform an iPad into a MacBook Air with ‘Brydge’

    According to rumours, the MacBook Air will phase in as the MacBook Pro is effectively killed off. There’s no better time then for an iPad which morphs into a MacBook Air, care of this dazzlingly innovative Kickstarter.com project named "The Brydge". The description on Kickstarter.com sounds promising. Read more on Gearburn.comvar 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");

  • Linked Content Coalition — The answer to online copyright law woes?

    SOPA/PIPA/CISPA/ACTA. Intellectual property (IP) and copyright laws are hot right now, but none of the proposed laws are sticking. Why? What should be exercises in altruism usually provoke incendiary public outcry as these laws either threaten the fundamental tenets of the internet that made it what it is today, or reveal underlying motivations rooted in greed. Legacy IP and copyright laws awkwardly extrapolate to the Information Age. The power has shifted. No longer do traditional media companies have the final word, instead, the internet empowers us to all have a voice. It's uncharted territory for lawmakers and big media...

  • Ad Dynamo goes on a Brazilian adventure

    There are a good few people who think that the next big thing in tech could come from Latin America. It makes sense that foreign companies would want to invest there too. The latest to do so is Ad Dynamo, an online and mobile advertising marketplace with a global presence. The company today officially announced its entry into the Brazilian market, with CEO Sean Riley saying the country represents "an enormous growth market in both online and mobile advertising". Ad Dynamo isn't going it alone in Brazil either, announcing that it would be working in partnership with native outfit...

  • Premium WordPress theme developer WooThemes hacked

    WooThemes is a bona fide South African startup success story. The premium WordPress theme developer was already raking in over US$2 million in sales in 2010. The latest news from WooThemes is less rosy. Adriaan “Adii” Pienaar, WooThemes co-founder released a statement today, confirming that WooThemes were the target of a recent “very malicious & severe hack, which has been the reason for WooThemes.com being offline for this time.” Pienaar notes that despite possible data loss related to recent user accounts, no sensitive or confidential data were seized and that users’ encrypted credit card details are safe and hosted elsewhere. For...

  • ‘Lessons worth sharing’: TED’s super cool educational videos

    Have you ever sat in a classroom and listened to a fantastic lesson that piqued your curiosity, and wished you could share the experience with other students that may not be as lucky as you? Or, conversely, have you sat in a really boring class and thought that physics would be a lot more interesting if your teacher was that guy from Mythbusters? TED may have found the answer. The global non-profit organisation recently took another step into the world of education when it announced its new TED Education (TED-Ed) YouTube channel in March. Now the organisation has launched a...

  • Brandcast: Google’s bid to help brands target YouTube audiences

    YouTube has stealthy launched Brandcast, a new site that gives brands insight on the best ways to reach their audience through the video sharing platform. The launch comes on the heels of Google's announcement of an ad sponsorship model for brands which will help them target their audience through specific packages. These packages will relate to original content shared on YouTube. Google seems to be working hard to make it easier for brands to find the right fit for them on YouTube. YouTube Brandcast is made up of three sections. Each providing brands with critical information. The first gives brands access...

  • Women in tech: Leading the geek world one stiletto at a time

    It seems no matter how much society evolves, women are always left just that little bit behind. No, this is not an article about gender equality -- this is a tech site for crying out loud. As Google's Marissa Mayer recently wrote about IBM CEO Virginia Rometty for her inclusion in TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2012, "women in the workplace and women in technology will be key drivers of global competitiveness and innovation in the future." Interestingly, Rometty and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are the only two tech company heads on the list which included 38...

  • Are smartphones encouraging self-diagnosis?

    I'm going to start this post with a little disclaimer to save my own ass: if you're ill, go see a doctor. Of course, sometimes we all have little aches and pains that we don't want to bother our hard-working GPs with, and the temptation to get on the net and start Googling the answer is just too great. In fact, even when I do plan to a see a doctor, I don't think I've ever not Googled first -- just to set my mind at ease first. Given how much easier it is to type in a few symptoms than...

  • Digital wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft [Infographic]

    I've been listening to Charles Arthur every Tuesday on the Guardian pod-cast, Tech weekly, for the past year. Arthur would mention his upcoming book whenever the tech giants of Apple, Google or Microsoft were pitched against each other in the news. Hearing Arthur in my car once a week makes me feel like I know the dude, so when he announced that his book had just been published I downloaded a copy for Kindle. The book got me thinking in pictures, so rather than review the book, I thought I'd illustrate it. Each frame is drawn from a chapter....

  • App of the Week – Drafts

    A while back, I wrote a piece on one of my favorite and most frequently used apps, Phraseology, developed by the guys over at Agile Tortoise. This week I take a look at its latest creation, the aptly titled quick launch note taking and text prepping app, Drafts. So as I am not (yet) a full-time writer, I can unfortunately not spend as much time on my craft as I would like to. This means that I can only devote small amounts of time to thinking about and researching the pieces while I am at the office. But as anybody...

  • Google’s Page and Schmidt backing asteroid mining startup

    Wired is reporting that a group of intrepid billionaires will soon announce their new venture called Planetary Resources, Inc, “which plans to send swarms of robots to space to scout asteroids for precious metals and set up mines to bring resources back to Earth." Nope, this is not a movie, this is actually happening. “The resources of Earth pale in comparison to the wealth of the solar system," Eric Anderson who founded the commercial space tourism company Space Adventures, told Wired. Anderson is co-founder of Planetory Resources along with Peter Diamandis, who started the X Prize foundation, which offers prizes for...

  • The sarcasm machine: Measuring sentiment in social media mentions

    At the end of last year, I wrote a few posts on measuring social media, at the time when Google Analytics had recently launched Social Engagement Reporting (SER) in order for site owners to measure the impact of social media mentions in and outside of the website, as well as “real-time” which allowed users to see what was happening on their site at that exact moment. The real glitch, however, was how we expected computers to accurately report on social media metrics like sentiment when there are complex semantic occurrences like sarcasm. Thankfully, we can park the Chinese room analogy I used, by casting...

  • Chicken? Santam hits back at Nando’s [Update]

    About a week ago Nando's, in its usual cheeky way, ripped off a Santam ad, the one that features famed thespian Ben Kingsley. The fast-food outlet's ad satirised the tone and setting of Santam's original ad. But Santam is not upset. Quite the contrary -- the group is flattered. So in the spirit of fun Santam decided two could play that game. The financial services provider released its own ad that challenges the fast-food outlet to donate to a charity chosen by Santam. In this new ad, Santam gives Nando's a date, time and place to deliver a large order...