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  • Cuban singer wants free internet for the developing world

    Making the internet more accessible to developing countries is a cause Cuban folk star Silvio Rodriguez has targeted at US President Barack Obama and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. On Monday, the celebrity famed for his style of music in the post-Cuban revolution era, says providing free internet to developing countries is a moral issue. “It’s a simple proposal: the world is very unequal, and a lot of pain could be avoided with action that could turn into a worldwide qualitative step forward,” Rodriguez said in a blog post. “I am sure that it is something within reach of privileged minds...

  • Social media: A tool for revolution

    Cellphones, social media and easy internet access ( in some cases), energetic youth and years of pent-up anger seems to be a toxic mix for authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. In clip after clip of footage from the street protests that have been sweeping the region, demonstrators — mostly young men — can be seen among the crowds holding mobile phone cameras aloft to document the scenes. The shaky footage of peaceful protests — and images of horrific carnage — have been uploaded to Facebook, Twitter,Flickr, YouTube and other sites and aired on pan-Arab satellite television stations like Al-Jazeera. Google-owned YouTube...

  • 7 advantages cloud computing holds for your business

    Cloud computing is gaining traction globally. The practice refers to data access and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system delivering a particular service. Trends in cloud computing indicate software may cease to become the tangible product we are used to buying in stores or through online shopping. Companies and individual users can access software that resides on their servers in the “cloud” or the “grid,” enabling users to acquire that software and information from any device with internet access. There are seven clear reasons cloud computing is...

  • Top two Alibaba execs resign over fraud allegations

    China’s largest e-commerce group, Alibaba.com, has confirmed that two of its top executives, Chief Executive David Wei, and Chief Operating Officer, Elvis Lee, have resigned following a probe that uncovered over 2 000 cases of fraud. The Guardian reports that “an internal investigation showed sales staff ‘intentionally or negligently’ allowed more than 2 300 fraudsters to set up verified stores.” While neither of the execs were directly implicated in the probe, “it took senior management at the online marketplace at least nine months to take action”, a delay which has resulted in the resignations of the two executives. Alibaba has...

  • iPay: The future of Apple’s subscriptions plans

    There has been much written lately about Apple‘s rules for apps, that they must provide an in-app purchase function. For example, Jason Kincaid wrote: Why Are You People Defending Apple?, MG Siegler wrote: Apple’s Big Subscription Bet: Brilliant, Brazen, Or Batsh*t Crazy? and Frédéric Filloux wrote Apple’s bet on publishing | Monday Note – among many posts on the subject. Much of the focus on Apple’s move has been on the 30% cut it takes on purchases made through its online stores. That’s a big chunk for providing a payment service, and for many companies, such as media organizations that re...

  • 5 ways startups can cash in on the emerging markets wave

    Africa is the final frontier. The subject rose quickly on CNBC after the Wall Street downturn. It has also been a major topic on the World Economic Forums on Africa‘s agenda since 2007. While consumers were buying less in established developed markets, finding new consumers meant taking advantage: Emerging markets have over three billion people startups can target. At the very least, most people have mobile phone access. At best, disposable income on average is on the rise like never before, according to McKinsey, a global management consulting company. So how do you take advantage? 5 ways start here: Be part of...

  • U2 brings the concert online via Facebook and Twitter

    A U2 concert is said to be one the most spectacular and memorable entertainment events on the planet. For fans who want to relive the memories over and over, there is a whole new way to keep the memories alive, via Facebook. The Irish supergroup that has consistently thrust itself to the edge of technological innovation with every new album, recently launched an innovative new social media project. This cutting edge project allows concert goers to tag themselves at the U2360 degrees concert via email, Twitter or Facebook. The band has taken one of the essential component of social media,...

  • Chinese social media’s US$500-million Renren offer to investors

    China’s Renren, which launched as a Facebook clone, is eyeing a US listing that could make it the first social networking site to go public, a report on Monday revealed. Renren, which currently has 150 million registered users, is the biggest social network service in China. Renren is owned by Oak Pacific Interactive who plan to raise about $500 million in an initial public offering managed by Deutsche Bank, among others, the Financial Times reported, citing two unnamed people close to the situation. Officials from the company were not immediately available for comment. The Chinese site, whose name means “everyone” and...

  • Twitter officials agree to new UberSocial

    Twitter late Sunday night announced it has reactivated UberMedia‘s access to its API. This reactivation follows the block of Friday night when Twitter revoked the Pasadena-based company’s access citing violations of its terms and conditions. Specifically relating to privacy, monetization and trademark violations. The popular Blackberry app, UberTwitter, is now officially known as UberSocial while the Android app twidroyd will make no name changes. Both apps have complied with Twitter’s requests to correct the violations. The mircoblogging site’s support team posted a message to users informing them of the developments: “We’ve given the developers of twidroyd and UberSocial for Blackberry (formerly...

  • South Africa’s top magazines according to Facebook

    Last week, I was interested to read a post by MediaSlut that listed the top South African magazine brands in terms of Twitter followers. I decided to do a corresponding survey of SA magazine brands on Facebook. I used the Audit Bureau of Circulation(ABC) list of South African consumer magazines and searched for more than 100 of the titles on Facebook. Unfortunately, Facebook’s search is not great and there are many unofficial pages and groups. I also looked on magazine websites for links to their fan pages. Where publications have international versions, the numbers given are for the South African titles’...

  • Myanmar’s Suu Kyi demands access to social media tools to spread her message

    Drawing her inspiration from the revolutions driven by social media in Tunisia and Egypt, Myanmar’s long-suffering opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she wants to join other pro-democracy activists by using Twitter and Facebook. For most of the past 20 years until her release from house arrest in November, virtually all communication with the outside world had been denied the Nobel peace laureate by the military regime that rules the country. Now she wants to catch up by joining the global online community, she said in a telephone interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper published Saturday. The pro-democracy icon said...

  • China state-controlled media dismiss Middle East-style protest calls

    China’s state media has snubbed calls for Middle East-style protests, calling the efforts “performance art”. Authorities are urging the public to have patience in light of a number of contentious social problems. “The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have spread in the Middle East, and some in the West want China to become ‘the next Egypt’. This is simply impossible,” said the English-language Global Times. The commentaries hinted at growing official concern among China’s Communist rulers over the potential for Arab-style unrest – which has been facilitated by the use of the internet – to trigger similar uprisings in China. Police in...

  • Facebook Deals and Places could help your brand

    Facebook is constantly innovating and introducing new services that have an impact on the social media environment at large. Most notably marketers and brand managers can look forward to Facebook Places and Facebook Deals – innovations that make an even stronger case for social media in the mobile arena. Already launched in the UK and US, local companies can look forward to having access to these services in the next couple of months. Used independently or together these services are powerful tools. Facebook Places, a location based service, gives brands the capability to set-up their “place” on Facebook. Users can...

  • No more UberTwitter say Twitter officials

    Millions of Twitter users, including top celebrities and sports stars, are without access to the microblogging site. The application which allows BlackBerry to tweet from their phones, UberTwitter, was suspended late Friday evening. Twitter officials blocked the popular UberTwitter app from being able to use its services due to violations to Twitter’s terms and conditions. According to the Washington Post , UberTwitter holds a 20 percent share of all Tweets globally – with some of the most followed users on the Twitter-sphere, including celebrities and professional sports stars. It is suspected violations include UberTwitter’s ability to lengthen the maximum 140...

  • Future of Smartphones: Motion control?

    Over the past decade mobile phones have evolved from contemporary feature phones into pocket-sized powerhouses that have completely redefined global telecommunications, web browsing, social networking, peer-to-peer communication, navigation, wireless connectivity, instant messaging, augmented reality, social gaming, applications development and marketplaces and so much more. It suffices to say that, given the world’s mobile consumer-base statistics, everyone from the tech-savvy to the business executive to your Gran is sporting a high-end mobile device or smartphone. Comparing global trends, RIM and Apple clearly dominate the US markets with the Blackberry and iPhone smartphones while Android devices are quickly pulling in a fair...