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  • A second glance: Nokia’s Lumia 800

    Nokia has had a rough couple of years in the eye of the public but in the emerging markets it's still the king of the castle. Their dominance in markets such as Africa has remained mostly unchallenged in recent times. Nokia was the phone that taught me about mobile. I had the Nokia 6310 back in the day and that was definitely the most stable and effective communication device I've ever used, ever. I have an historical affiliation to its brand and their phones but I have to admit, it's lost me recently. I've tried Android, Blackberry, Samsung and...

  • Memeburn columnist goes high tech for marathon

    One of our regular columnists, Rowan Puttergill, is running a marathon to raise money for a rural school in South Africa. Memeburn has agreed to donate toward the cause, so we decided to interview Rowan to find out more about his efforts and to discover what technology he has been making use of during his training. Memeburn: What inspired you to run your marathon? Rowan Puttergill: During one of my visits to South Africa, I spent some time up in the Limpopo region, near Tzaneen, where I visited a rural school called Thelifa Combined School. The school is built on some...

  • ZTE: Launching eight new phones at MWC, plots world domination

    ZTE wants to be a top three manufacturer by 2015 and it's launching eight new phones at MWC next week to kickstart its plan for world domination. The Chinese manufacturer is coming out guns blazing, announcing in a press release today that its new range of Android and Windows Phone devices will boast high-end features such as LTE and quad-core processors. The presser didn’t contain information about which phones will be introduced, but we have an idea of what to expect. First, there’s GSM/LTE band PF200 running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which will feature a 1.5GHz processor, 4.3-inch qHD (960...

  • The LG Optimus 4X HD, world’s first quad-core smartphone

    Two cores, boring. Three cores, passé. Four cores, now we’re talking. The Optimus 4X HD, a 4.7-inch monster of a phone boasts an impressive 1.5Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 CPU. Too much, too soon? LG doesn't think so. The LG Optimus 4X HD is one of the billions of new smartphones which will be shown off at the MWC 2012 and while it may not be the sexiest, it damn well should be the most powerful. It is also one of the few phones to launch with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.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");

  • SA house artist gets social media love for Joy Division cover [Video]

    A cover of the classic Joy Division track “She’s Lost Control” by South African artist Spoek Mathambo has begun getting social media traction again after being uploaded to YouTube a year ago. Since being uploaded the video has been viewed over 185 000 times. The video appears to have been revived by Twitter: “@hex The video for Spoek Mathambo's "Control" (a cover of Joy Division) is 1 of the best I've seen in a long time. youtu.be/UKfwSFI8LhQ” +1— Paul Cartmel (@PaulCartmel) February 22, 2012 Richard Starkey who edited @SPOEK_MATHAMBO video Control is giving us a masterclass on video editing check...

  • Microsoft launches no holds barred attack on Google apps [Video]

    Microsoft has abandoned even any hint of civility toward Google in its latest video ad. The campaign, called "Googlighting" mocks the search giant for being "the world’s largest advertising business" and selling productivity software on the side. The ad portrays Google as a highly successful businessman moonlighting in productivity apps, "Googlighting" if you will. Microsoft claims that Google’s productivity apps are nothing more than a trifling side project, constantly subject to random changes. This central premise of the ad isn’t unique to the video and also appears on its Why Microsoft site: “Google Apps is an...

  • Smartphone sensors to be $6bn business by 2016 [Report]

    When you think about smartphones driving revenue your mind generally jumps straight to the devices themselves, or how mobile operators are using them to make money. Well it turns out that all the bits and pieces that go into your smartphone are big business too. A new report from tech analysis firm Juniper Research, predicts that Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) -- think sensors, audio, displays and RF -- will generate over USz$6-billion in revenue by 2016. The research firm reckons there are three different opportunity categories for MEMS: Current devices: including accelerometers, magnetometers & gyroscopes....

  • Online censorship is the new black

    Online censorship, it would seem, is no longer the preserve of governments bandying around acronyms like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. Google and Twitter both recently announced censorship measures that are going to be put in place on Blogger and Twitter respectively and one isn’t wrong in thinking that the days of the internet being an open and free place to find and share information are over. Twitter’s censorship of its tweets is in accordance with the laws of the countries in which people use the service. So if (any) Twitter users reside in China (where Twitter is banned) they are...

  • Why we shouldn’t be worrying about Google’s personalised ads

    Through Google Apps for Business, Google is quickly building a new business model and new revenue stream. But for the time being, Google still makes the bulk of its money, as in more than 90% of its revenue, from advertising. Its business model can be described as: build products that people want use, keep the products free by selling advertising, and attract millions of users. It’s a model that works, is resilient, and helped Google survive what is now referred to as the dotcom bubble burst of the year 2000. A period when a lot of internet companies...

  • Stellenbosch: How a small university town is giving everyone free Wi-Fi

    The small Western Cape student town of Stellenbosch is perhaps best known for the wineries that surround it. But now it’s looking to become one of the most connected places in South Africa by offering free, universal Wi-Fi internet access. The initiative is reportedly a partnership between Stellenbosch, the University of Stellenbosch, and popular instant messaging platform MXit. According to MyBroadband, the service will be available to anyone without registration. The only activity prohibited on the network will be large downloads. A trial area for the network will reportedly go live on Friday, before being extended to the rest...

  • Jailbreaking: Why I’m over it

    The first time I jailbroke my iPhone, I almost vomited from sheer joy. After endless reboots and black screens, a pineapple with a loading bar popped up on my screen, signifying that RedSn0w had done its job. RedSn0w, for the uninitiated, is one of the countless iOS jailbreak methods which frees iDevices from the Cupertino shackles. It’s Jailbreaking, and I'm its ambivalent fan. Why I did it: the case for Jailbreaking I’m not ashamed to admit it, I used to be very frugal with my money. The thought of donating a dollar to Apple's unlimited coffers made my stomach turn. Before...

  • Spam is down, Malware is up: McAfee

    Thanks to better spam filtering techniques, most of us probably don’t see too many ads for “herbal Viagra” and similar concoctions in our inboxes these days, but that doesn’t mean spam isn’t still big business. According to the latest Threats Report by Intel’s online security firm McAfee (PDF), the overall amount of spam went down in the last quarter of 2011. One of the reasons for this, though, is that spammers have gotten a bit smarter and now use a more targeted -- and sometimes even personalised -- approach. Spam down (In most countries) It’s worth noting, though, that while spam...

  • Vodacom rewards ‘App Stars’

    Apps are important. Hell we think they're the future of the internet. It seems Vodacom is increasingly recognising their importance too. The mobile operator has announced the winners of its App Star Challenge -- a competition aimed at providing developers with the opportunity to develop apps designed specifically for the South African market. The competition is an initiative of it own app store, which has been operational since September 2011, and its Developer Programme. Vodacom claims that the store, which is the first developed by a South African network operator, was created with the “express intention” of spurring “the...

  • Flickr set for major design upgrade next week

    Photo sharing website Flickr is scheduled to receive a much-needed makeover according to senior project manager Markus Spiering. In an interview with BetaBeat, Spiering revealed the new user interface would minimize the excessive white space and information currently found on the site – gravitating towards the grid-like photo layouts found on sites like Pinterest and 500px. The update, which is scheduled for 28 February, will hopefully give Flickr the boost it needs to compete with newer photography websites like Instagram. Yahoo! has been criticised for the lack of innovation in design and updates to Flickr – the last major...

  • Twitter rolls out updates for iPhone, Android apps

    Twitter has announced a series of updates for its iPhone and Android apps. The social network claims the updates “introduce new design and functionality improvements” but also “bring back high-demand features”. One of the features making a Lazarus-esque return from the grave is the swipe shortcut. This feature allows users to swipe a tweet in their timeline to “to reply to, retweet, favorite or share it, or view the Twitter user’s profile”, without leaving their own timeline. iPhone users meanwhile can once again copy and paste the text of tweets and user profiles. All they have to do is...