News

The War on Drugs comes to Google+

It’s time to end the War on Drugs. That's the motion to be debated in an upcoming live Hangout on Google+. The Hangout is set to be the first in a series called Versus, and has been organised in partnership with Intelligence2 -- an organisation that claims to be committed to revitalising the art of live debate. Among those lending their voice to the debate are business tycoon Richard Branson, comedian and actor Russell Brand, and Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, ...

Gearburn

App review: PocketCloud

Wyse, a company better known for offering remote desktop solutions to enterprise companies than for its consumer offerings, is now bringing PocketCloud Explore, its app for easily managing files across multiple desktops, operating systems and mobile devices, to the iPhone (it was already available on Android). I got a demo of the app at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week and it's quite an impressive service that indeed works as seamlessly as the company promises. What makes Wyse's solution ...

News

China’s Baidu introduces Weibo posts into search results

China’s most popular search engine Baidu has taken what could be a big leap forward in making search more social. In an official blog post, the company announced that it would be including posts from the country’s wildly popular microblogging service Sina Weibo in its search posts. According to the company, “Baidu will now return up-to-date Sina Weibo content that matches keyword searches for breaking news or popular trending topics”. Baidu claims that it will also show results from “the other three major ...

News

Death of former Drudge Report editor Andrew Breitbart echoes across the Web

cats The death of former Drudge Report editor Andrew Breitbart at 43 is echoing across the web. Breitbart’s website Big Government announced his death, saying that Breitbart "passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles". Once the news went public, it was picked up the Twittersphere and became a globally trending topic. A number of mainstream media outlets tweeted out news of Breitbart’s death: REPORTS: Andrew Breitbart dead, Age 43 tpm.ly/AlY9FD— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) ...

Google

Google’s new privacy policy now effective

Google's new privacy policy went into effect today, despite requests from European regulators asking the search giant to delay. The move by Google to consolidate its privacy policy has raised some concerns around the information the company has on its users. "The new policy doesn’t change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren’t collecting any new or additional information about users. We won’t be selling your personal data. And we will continue ...

Social media

Can social media determine how trustworthy you are?

As more and more services focus on the arbitrage of consumer-to-consumer transactions and rentals, the problem of trusting a stranger becomes a significant drag on success. The rent-out-your-home service Airbnb had a very bad and very public problem last year when a renter trashed and robbed a home. A new API designed for collaborative applications called Whit.li. claims to be addressing this very problem. It does so by looking at a person's social media activity and determines a trust score. Whitli Trailer SXSW ...

News

And the most virused phone is…

When it comes to making sure your desktop is safe from viruses you have a couple of options: Load it up to the hilt with protective software that you have to update obsessively, or opt for more secure systems such as Linux. But what about your phone? That’s totally safe right? Think again. Incidences of Malicious Software (Malware) designed specifically to attack phones are on the rise and Android is the prime target. New data from internet security company Kaspersky ...

News

South African academic sparks racism in cricket debate on Facebook

A row involving cricket, racism and a top South African academic has broken out on Facebook. After South Africa defeated New Zealand by six wickets in yesterday’s One Day International, leading political scholar Steven Friedman wrote a post expressing his concern about the fact that de Villiers had not mentioned the names of players of colour in his post-match presentations. For those of us who follow cricket -- have you noticed that our limited overs captain AB de Villiers has ...

Social media

How much online influence do you have?

influence image A number of years back, I read Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point which presents his thesis on why things "go viral". Its a very powerful book, even if it has received some interesting criticism. Bells started ringing for me as soon as I started reading a recent publication from a group of students at Oxford University titled The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network. The paper is a bold attempt to monitor the spread of information about ...

Humour, Social media

5 Tips for making it big on social media

Flowchart on a chalk board with world globe "Going viral": the holy grail of geeks everywhere. The process is deceptively simple and organic reshares and reposts take many forms depending on the platform. A good way to think of the process is as if social media behaves like an amplifier for content created by other media, then chains of retweets by many users lead to observed trends that can then be monitored and capitalised on. So what are the drivers and mechanics behind self-replicating content? Here are five suggestions ...

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