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  • You just got served … via Facebook

    Most of us think of Facebook as a positive, fairly innocuous, tool for social engagement and peer-to-peer networking. But courts and lawmakers are increasingly seeing the potential of this platform for issuing legal summons where no other avenue of communication is viable or even possible. “There are people who exist only online,” Joseph Demarco, co-chair of the American Bar Association’s criminal justice cyber crime committee, told Bloomberg.com. It is these kinds of online-only individuals – itinerant workers who move between jobs and countries and seldom retain a fixed address for any meaningful period of time – that the...

  • IMF admits cyber attack seeking ‘insider info’

    The International Monetary Fund was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack earlier this year, according to senior IMF officials quoted by the New York Times. The global financial institution, which has been spearheading the response to the euro-zone crisis in recent months, has detailed and market-moving information on the fiscal shape of the world's economies. "This was a very major breach," the Times quoted an IMF official as saying. The attack, which lasted months, began before Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF, was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in Manhattan. An internal memo from the IMF's Chief...

  • IBM: Carbon nanotech coming soon to a phone near you

    A research team from IBM has managed to produce an integrated circuit on a sheet of graphene, a sheet of carbon a single molecule thick. Until now scientists have managed to fabricate discrete components such as transistors, but have struggled to find a technique that allows them to be integrated and fabricated as a wafer. Graphene, like its cousin, carbon nanotubes, exhibits fascinating electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal qualities – but finding ways to use them in commercial technology is... Read more 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");

  • Why most startups fail … and here’s how not to

    It’s easy to think of the latest startup like a pimple in the middle of your forehead: you wake up one morning and it’s all you can see. And then, one day, for no specific reason, it’s gone. “Anyone know what happened to Whatchamacallit?” After some enquiry, all you’ve got is a handful of rumours and a bucket of spin. All we know for sure is that it’s over. Truth is, most of the time, it failed because of the same reasons so many other startups fail. There will always be special individuals who find exceptional ways...

  • Facebook tests Twitter-like real-time update feature

    Facebook is dabbling with a Twitter-like feature that alerts members in real time to what their friends are up to on the social network. The feature, reportedly called "Happening Now," is being tried by a "fraction of a percent" of Facebook's more than 600 million members, according to the world's leading online social network. "We are currently testing a feature within News Feed that gives people the ability to see what their friends are commenting on and 'liking,' as these actions are being taken on Facebook," the California company said. "In the coming weeks, as we learn more from this test, we'll...

  • Myows: managing your copyright online

    Creative people are generally not well known for being legally switched on. But the challenges of protecting original work in the digital age means bloggers, freelance writers, photographers and web designers should all be prepared to interact with the law to protect their intellectual efforts -- and their businesses. Luckily, the concept of copyright is pretty straightforward: as soon as a work is created in a tangible form – be it on paper, film, online or in sound – it is eligible for copyright. It is automatic and, unlike patents or trademarks, official registration is not required. If, however, there is...

  • The social web increasingly not the ‘people’s web’ – Berkeley study

    A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the social Web is becoming more of a playground for the affluent than an empowering tool for digital democracy. Internet evangelists will often tell you with misty eyes that the internet has made media and content accessible: Anyone with Internet access can generate online content and influence public opinion. But despite the rapid growth of social media – with Twitter and Facebook touted as playing key roles in the Arab revolutions – the bulk of today’s blogs, websites and video-sharing sites represent the perspectives of college-educated, Web...

  • How much will a Gareth Cliff tweet cost you?

    When radio jock and Idols judge Gareth Cliff describes Playboy magazine on his Facebook page as “classy” and “riveting”, does he mean it — or is he being paid to say it? A good word from Gareth Cliff could cost you R20 000, but his 400 000 Facebook friends and Twitter followers may not know that they are reading advertising. Fan or not, there's no denying that Cliff is a character. Whether he’s celebrating the death of a controversial politician, or interviewing Jesus on his radio show, he creates controversy and makes a show of it. For his social media...

  • How HuffPo beat NYTimes.com

    Traffic to the spunky Huffington Post has surpassed visitors to the New York Times for the first time, according to tracking firm comScore. This time last year, the NYTimes’s 32.5-million figure overshadowed the Huffington Post’s 23.8-million. But HuffPo broke through the 30-million barrier this month, receiving 35.6-million unique visitors in May, up from 29.9-million in April. The NYTimes.com received 33.6-million, up from 32.9-million. ComScore’s figures show that traffic figures for the mega US news blog have surged over the past year, while those of NYTimes.com have remained relatively steady. The New York Times began charging readers for full access to...

  • The mobile app dilemma: An electric case study

    Last week saw the Apps World Africa conference, where a bunch of different people stood up to talk about the business of mobile apps. The conversation revolved around: How to build them, how to market them, how to make money out of them? And this is the hardest part -- if you build it, they may not come. Unlike Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams, just being really, really passionate is not enough in the real world. Enter Sebastien Lacour from Powertime, a company that is currently turning over more than R2-million per month on its mobile app, which allows...

  • Is Apple loosening its grip on its apps?

    The word on the street is that Apple is about to relax its iPad subscription rules, a move likely to be welcomed by newspapers and magazine publishers. MacRumors, a site much trusted by insiders, says Apple will no longer require publishers to offer subscriptions through its app store at the same price or less than offered elsewhere. Apple currently takes a 30 percent cut of subscriptions bought through its app store. Some publishers, including members of INMA, the international news industry association, have been critical of the size of the cut. They expressed their displeasure about some of the guidelines laid...

  • ‘Apple created Android’

    “Apple created Android, or at least they created the environment to allow Android to happen.” Those were the words of Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop when he addressed the Open Mobile Summit in London on Thursday. The statement seems fairly innocuous until you start asking exactly what the head of the embattled Finnish communications giant meant by this?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");

  • HP’s TouchPad on sale in US on July 1

    Hewlett-Packard announced on Thursday that its rival to Apple’s hot-selling iPad, the HP TouchPad, will go on sale in the United States on July 1. The touchscreen tablet computer, which is powered by the webOS software platform bought from Palm, will be available in Britain, France, Ireland and Germany a few days later and in Canada in mid-July, HP said in a statement.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");

  • Wii U & Me

    So now we know what Nintendo had up its sleeves. The Wii U controller-tablet hybrid. There was talk that the new Nintendo console would be called simply “Nintendo”. I favoured of that name, since it brought back memories of the days when that word itself was a synonym for video games. Instead, the new Nintendo console is called Wii U, most likely to capitalise on the positive brand image of the original Wii. I was never a fan of the name Wii, and this isn’t lighting my fire either. Name aside, however, I’ll admit that I am intrigued by Nintendo’s...

  • Visa snaps up SA mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110m

    Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card network, has snapped up South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110-million in cash. The Cape Town-based Fundamo is a privately-held company which has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company has been operating since 1999 and has a number of funders which include Cape Town venture capitalists and emerging market investment group PoweredByVC, investment company Remgro and financial services corporate Sanlam. PoweredByVC is also linked to dot.com billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo’s deployments currently have...