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  • Zimbabwe’s first Facebook arrest

    Zimbabwe is a new addition to the list of countries where governments are arresting users of popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Bloggers and social media users in Egypt, Syria, China and Libya have faced arrest for statements seen as a threat to the ruling governments. Beware of what you post if you are in or travelling through Zimbabwe. A Bulawayo-based user of the giant social network site has been arrested after posting an innocent message on a Facebook page allegedly belonging to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Vikas Mavhudzi posted the following rather jumbled message on February...

  • Social networking and your health: What’s the big deal?

    The benefits of social media need no further explanation, but what about the drawbacks? Is there really an associated health risk? The verdict is not yet out, but two British scientists think too much time online may be bad for your body - and your brain. "My fear is that these technologies are infantilizing the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment," says Susan Greenfield, a pharmacology professor at Oxford University and the director of the Royal Institution of...

  • Evolution of social media in China [Infographic]

    Six months ago Ogilvy's China social media team created an infographic to show some of the local platforms thriving in place of the major international equivalents. Since then, new social media platforms have become relevant – on both sides of the Great Firewall – and so the team reworked the infographic. They have also widened the scope to include more platforms within some of the categories. Major changes include: Three new categories: professional social networks, which may become more important with LinkedIn’s China future still uncertain, mobile chat, and online music. GroupOn’s Chinese platform: Although just launched, if their planned investment is anything...

  • A maturing Google relies on startups to keep it young

    In a move seen as recapturing its youthful roots, Google co-founder Larry Page is taking charge of the maturing internet giant in the face of competition from hip upstart startups like Facebook. The California firm isn't waiting for Page to formally take the chief executive chair being emptied by Eric Schmidt in April, it is tapping into the energy of nimble entrepreneurs bought with Google's ample war chest. "Any engagement that Google can have with the startup community, with entrepreneurs, we learn and we are inspired," said David Krane of Google Ventures, an arm of the firm that invests in new...

  • WordPress back to normal after attacks ‘from China’

    On Sunday WordPress was running normally after suffering cyber attacks suspected to have originated in China. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg told TechCrunch, a leading Silicon Valley technology blog powered by WordPress, that the first distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks began on Thursday and continued into Friday. In a typical DDoS attack, a large number of computers are commanded to simultaneously visit a website, overwhelming its servers, slowing service or knocking it offline completely. WordPress, which powers millions of websites, said it had been hit by an "extremely large" DDoS attack "affecting connectivity in some cases." Mullenweg said that 98 percent of the...

  • Why the iPad 2 is actually the iPad 1.5

    The amount of hype leading up to the iPad 2 launch by Steve Jobs earlier this week may have been an unprecedented favourable push in publicity and trends for Apple, but also slightly anti-climactic as many tech enthusiasts shared the same overall synopsis on the unveiled final product: It simply failed to deliver. Now before all the fanboys start blasting me for defiling their consecrated Apple gadget-gardens, let me further say that I'm an avid enthusiast of the iPad, the father of all tablets. I even happen to own one. Yet, with the transition from iPad 1 to iPad 2, it's only...

  • Twitter: 13 follow-worthy CEOs

    Why would a high profile Chief Executive Officer need to make use of a microblogging system such as Twitter? Considering that their very words, sans the 140 character limit and bit.ly encoding, are already an accepted dictum in their respective organisations, what added benefit could a meager tweet further provide? Maybe it's the effectiveness of building on that all-important customer relationship model. Maybe it's the necessity of engaging with employees and providing a more humane side to the otherwise mundane concrete corporate world. Or maybe it's to expose products through a social company mouthpiece. Or maybe, just maybe, it's all about waving...

  • What developments can you expect from email marketing in 2011?

    2010 has come and gone and arguably the biggest industry prediction that came to pass was the rise (and rise) of social media and its relevance and impact on how we use email. Towards the end of the year many marketers were left mumbling when Gmail announced its Priority Inbox and Facebook unleashed Messages, both of which have added a heap of new email deliverability issues, to which answers are still being sought. As far as 2011 goes, I’m loathe to use the word "predictions" when I talk about email marketing, simply because I am not a fortune...

  • Multiple DDOS attacks threaten WordPress and int’l governments

    In a day of multiple cyber-attacks across the web, WordPress, the government of South Korea and 29 international government agencies were threatened by DDOS attacks. South Korea issued a cyber security alert as the websites of 29 government and other agencies came under attack Friday, the Korea Communications Commission said. A commission spokesman said the DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks had initially been expected to hit 40 websites but only 29 were actually affected. They included those of the presidential Blue House, the US forces, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, the ministries of foreign affairs, defence and unification, parliament...

  • The Daily, Murdoch’s digital newspaper is a hit

    Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has fared well with the success of The Daily, a digital newspaper created for Apple's iPad by his company, News Corp. It requires users to pay for the content they view, and has already tallied hundreds of thousands of downloads since its launch a month ago, according to the latest reports. "It's going great," Greg Clayman said at the PaidContent 2011 conference in New York. "We're not disclosing the exact numbers (of downloads) but it's in the hundreds of thousands." Although The Daily has extended a free trial period until March 21, Clayman said a number...

  • Real Time Wine: Wine in 140 characters or less

    We live in the age of the Twitter mindset. If you cannot say it in 140 characters, chances are it's not worth saying. All around the globe, social media wine communities are emerging to educate the masses about wine. US-based social network Snooth, has built an online community for wine drinkers. Users of the site can review and shop for wine. Wine-life in the UK engages audiences with topics, reviews and tales of winemaking in society today. South African site Spit or Swallow allows users to rate and review wine farms along popular wine routes. South Africa's wine community is...

  • Five steps to looking good online

    "The first ten Google results on a search of your name are now your resume," says author and reputation.com CEO, Michael Fertik. If online reputation management is the third-wave in the evolution of the internet security industry, then taking pro-active steps to manage your safety and reputation are increasingly crucial. Here are 5 steps to protecting your personal brand online: First impressions are made online. Check your search engine regularly. It’s a new form of personal grooming. Look at the image of you the world is seeing. If it’s not the result you want people to see, then you have...

  • The ‘baby boomers’ are taking over Facebook

    When 54-year-old Sister Maria Jesus Galan was ousted from her convent in Santo Domingo after 35 years of service, it wasn’t for any grave mortal sin or the renunciation of her orderly vows. In fact, Sister Maria was about as industrious as a nun could be behind the walls of her Dominican abbey. Her apparent misdeed? An over-reliance on social networking, which had made life for fellow Sisters "impossible". Like many of the best laid schemes of mice and men (and nuns), this story started with the best of intentions. Some 10 years ago, the Santo Domingo convent had...

  • At TED, new technology unveiled to end need for kidney donors

    The shortage of organs for kidney transplants has been met with a tech solution that eliminates the need for donors. The latest touted breakthrough took place live on stage at the latestTED conference in California. A surgeon specialising in regenerative medicine on Thursday "printed" a real kidney using a machine that removes the wait for donors when it comes to organ transplants. "It's like baking a cake," Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine said as he cooked up a fresh kidney on stage at a TED Conference in the California city of Long Beach. Scanners are used to...

  • Is Charlie Sheen on his way to becoming the new king of Twitter?

    How do you follow up a bizarre television appearance that becomes an instant viral hit and coins the new phrase "bi-winning"? Which is already a follow-up to the news that you went on a 36-hour drink and cocaine bender that ended up in hospitalisation. Well, if you're Charlie Sheen, the highest paid television star in the world who's just been fired from a hit TV show, it's easy. You join Twitter and attract over 1.2-million followers in a little over two days, and break the Guiness World Record for the "Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers". Sheen has...