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  • Occupy Twitter in the name of the global citizen

    Twitter can now censor tweets by country. National borders, drawn on paper and defended with razor wire and guns in the physical world, now have a presence on the internet as well. You won't find politicians complaining -- but maybe the rest of us should. It was interesting to see how Twitter decided to break the news of its new localised censorship policy -- in the name of transparency of course -- by framing it through the blighted heritage of the Nazis that will see it abiding by national laws in France, Germany and Israel banning pro-Nazi content. It was...

  • MegaUpload to be deleted this week?

    Megaupload may be deleted in its entirety. This after the file sharing site’s assets were seized by the FBI and company founder Kim Dotcom was arrested. The deletion will occur, not because of any direct action taken by the FBI, but because it can’t pay the outside companies it uses to store its users' data. According to Associate Press, a letter from the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia states that the companies could begin deleting content by Thursday. The site’s attorney Ira Rothken says the company is doing everything in its power to stop the...

  • Getting to know you — how internet security is changing

    In my predictions for security in 2012, I pointed out that hand-in-hand with an increase in governmental control over the internet will come a spate of attacks from those that oppose such control. I also harboured some concern over the industrial systems that control infrastructure such as water, sewage, electrical grid, public transport and so on. The year has actually started with a lot of tension around exactly such problems. Towards the end of 2011, Anonymous targeted US Government sites in response to SOPA, but these attacks have not ceased even though the original SOPA bill has been put...

  • App of the week: Phraseology

    This week I take a look at Phraseology, a fully featured word processor for iPad that I have recently switched to for all my freelance writing tasks. Word processors are funny things aren’t they? With most of us being brought up on a staple diet of Microsoft Word and Notepad, we’ve been conditioned to expect certain things like red and green squiggles underneath incorrectly spelt words and grammatically incorrect sentences, absolute confusion when it comes to setting your page margins and configuring your printer setup and of course, word art, the quickest way to drain your brand new color ink...

  • Seven top tips for verifying tweets

    Twitter is like the coffee machine in the newsroom. Get a shot of caffeine, chat with colleagues, exchange useful information, but also get the latest gossip and rumours. The difference is that you probably won’t publish what you hear at the coffee machine. Twitter works differently: gossip, rumours, and other unverified information are published and sometimes cause a hoax. A tweet about the suspension of the famous CNN talk show host Piers Morgan over the phone hacking scandal is a recent example of a Twitter hoax. Another one from the beginning of 2011 saw a single tweet spreading...

  • Only two of 2011’s top apps are available for BlackBerry

    I have mad love for BlackBerry. In a world of beige, it is black. Much as I want the company to succeed, like you, I’ve been watching the slow motion car crash that is RIM. Thorsten Heins has his work cut out for him, and I want nothing more than to see the company make a Lazarus-esque comeback. Until that happens, developers will continue to have little confidence in the platform. There’s a lot of trash talking about this topic, but it’s a fact that BlackBerry is one of the least desirable platforms for developers. Developer interest is such an...

  • Entertainment apps rule Android store downloads, not games

    iOS users have fun, Android users get down to business, according to mobile app search company, Chomp. In its first ever annual app search analytics report, Chomp has revealed search data from the one-million-plus app searches per month which outline what the top apps are, what the trends are in apps and what the average price per app is. Chomp begins with the category share trend. Gaming, it seems, is on a downturn in the Android market. For iOS though, gaming is on the rise. In December 2011, games accounted for 36% of all iTunes downloads. For Android, only 22% of...

  • Wifis.org – the Wi-Fi social network

    Founded late last year in Berlin, Wifis.org aims to help neighbours get in touch. The free service connects people through a unique URL that replaces your current Wi-Fi network name (SSID). Wi-Fi network names have been used in a number of creative ways: Read more on 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");

  • Facebook IPO may come this week

    Facebook's long-awaited initial public offer (IPO) may come as early as this week, if media reports are to be believed. Reports that the world’s largest social network was readying itself to go public first surfaced in the Wall Street Journal. The offering is widely anticipated to raise around $10-billion for Facebook, giving it a valuation of between $75-billion and $100-billion -- a record for a company in the internet sector. By comparison, Google’s 2004 IPO raised $1.9-billion, giving it a valuation of $23-billion. In fact, the offering would be the fourth highest for a US company, behind Visa Inc.,...

  • Sony to releases holy trinity of new CyberShots

    Sony has unveiled three new CyberShots. The TX200V, WX70, and the WX50. Price-wise, the TX200V is the dearest at US$500. The WX70 and WX50 cost US$200 and US$230 respectively. The TX200V is priced close to a high-end smartphone for a simple reason. It looks exactly like a high-end smartphone. Somehow, Sony has made the TX200V mirror the iPhone as much as legally possible. Read more on 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");

  • New startup 22seven under fire from banks [Updated]

    The high-profile launch of new financial management startup 22seven has faced some early criticism, from the very institutions it relies on: The banks. Prolific tweeter and CEO of First National Bank (FNB) Michael Jordaan tweeted yesterday that he thought 22seven was a "cool concept", but warned "against disclosing password(s) to any 3rd party". He ended his tweet with this ominous warning: "Risk all yours". Getting tweets re 22seven. Cool concept but have to advise against disclosing password to any 3rd party. Risk all yours.— Michael Jordaan (@MichaelJordaan) January 26, 2012 The innovative startup is the brainchild of Twenty20 founder Christo Davel, and...

  • A woman’s world: How social media has changed gaming

    When one mentions gaming, your mind is generally flooded with images of washed-out nerdy white guys, sitting in a darkened room, hunched over their computers for days on end. But if recent research is anything to go by, the stereotype is changing, as more and more female gamers enter the fray. A recent study conducted by PopCap Games (most famous for Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled) found that women were the most active gamers on social networking sites, making up over 55% of gamers. The study implies that there is a direct correlation between the rise in popularity...

  • Could Daily Feats reward the web into doing good?

    I recently came across an online rewards programme called Daily Feats. It got me thinking about how being rewarded for completing a task makes us feel as human beings and how that experience translates into the online space. Most people like being rewarded when they do something good. Whether it is performing well at work, in sports, helping a friend, academic or just doing a good deed, it boosts our confidence and makes us feel damn good about ourselves. This has been pounded into us since childhood. The gold star scheme is a typical reward system...

  • Twitter changes its policy on global censorship

    Twitter announced on Thursday that it would be implementing the ability to withhold content from users in a specific country. Before the announcement, Twitter’s only option was to remove the content globally. Despite being held by critics to its lofty ideals, the manner in which Twitter is implementing its geographic censorship is rather elegant. For a start the company is being honest and open about the change. While some argue that Twitter should draw a line in the sand, the company can be more influential by having a presence in a country, rather than none at all. About expanding its...

  • GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards nominees announced

    The GSM Association(GSMA) has announced the nominees for the 17th annual Global Mobile Awards, a ceremony that honours "excellence and innovation in mobile communications". The GSMA, founded in 1995, is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardizing, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system. Out of the 600 entries received by the GSMA a total of 158 nominees have been shortlisted for this years Global Mobile Awards. "Reflecting the intensity of competition and innovation across the mobile ecosystem, we saw a record 600 entries and an exceptionally high-quality field of contenders vying for...