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  • Is iOS 5 a data vampire?

    I have mixed feelings about iOS 5, and I could probably write another article based on my meandering anecdotal experiences with Apple's latest mobile OS, but this one is about the data usage, and in particular that of iCloud, iMessage and Location Services. iCloud is enchanting, and maybe one day when I can afford an unlimited data plan, I can fully enjoy its wonders, but for now I'd like to share my experience -- a cautionary tale perhaps -- to give you an idea of what you can expect should you choose to ascend into the cloud. ...

  • The ghost in the machine — Inside Siri

    It didn't take long for hackers to crack the Siri protocol and discover exactly how Siri works. The beautiful thing about the hack was that it used a weakness in SSL that Moxie Marlinspike talked about some years back. After forcing all of Siri's internet traffic through a packet-sniffer, it became apparent that Siri communicates over HTTPS with a server at Apple. By simply creating a certificate that looks like Apple's but uses a a fake CA which could be installed onto the iPhone, it was simple to trick the iPhone into communicating directly with an internal server. Once...

  • Google+ Pages and its place in the social inbox

    Google has finally unveiled Pages for Google+, allowing organisations and brands to join the social network and let their followers engage with them. When the internet giant first launched Google+, brands immediately jumped at the opportunity to gain additional exposure, but unfortunately, Google prevented these companies from creating profiles for business use. Offering an advertorial-free zone to mingle online may have seemed like reasonable strategy at the time for G+ to help differentiate itself. This initial decision to champion an ecommerce-sterile platform, however, quickly became controversial enough to force Google's hand in accepting and accelerating plans for business pages. In the...

  • Review: The Xperia Neo, shiny like a Chinese stereo

    Looking for a midrange smartphone, want Android, don’t want to shell out iPhone prices? Look no further than the Xperia Neo. Just don’t look at it too closely: Sleek and modern lines, but with chrome accents that wouldn’t look amiss on a 1995 Panasony clock radio. Deeply flawed, but also deeply functional — good value for money, but could be better. Now that the high end of the smartphone market is pretty much locked in a Galaxy vs iPhone vs Motorola neck-and-neck, the ding-dong battle is to crack the midrange smartphone market. And it’s all Android, here. This has given...

  • LinkedIn strengthens Indian presence

    LinkedIn Corporation, the company behind the world’s largest social network for professionals, says that it has opened up a research and development centre in India. The centre, based in Bangalore is the company's first such office outside North America. The centre will reportedly support the tech infrastructure used to build core products and features on LinkedIn. According to the company, the decision was made to set up the centre, at least in part, to keep up with the rapid membership growth on the network. "India is one of the fastest-growing member bases in the LinkedIn network," it said in...

  • BlackBerry unveils Bold 9790, Curve 9380

    BlackBerry has unveiled two new phones designed to run on the BlackBerry 7 OS: The Bold 9790 and the Curve 9380. Bold 9790 BlackBerry describes the newest Bold as "both powerful and compact". The Bold combines a touchscreen with the traditional “tactile keyboard”. BlackBerry also describes it as "powerful, full-featured and built with premium materials and finishes". The processor is meaty enough at 1GHZ and features enough onboard memory (8GB) to store ample content. As usual, power users can upgrade by adding in a 32GB memory card, the largest size the Bold 9790 supports. 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");

  • Microsoft chief, Steve Ballmer heralds the everlasting ‘Windows Era’

    Microsoft chief, Steve Ballmer proclaimed an everlasting “Windows Era”, as the software giant's current board swept to an easy victory at an annual meeting of shareholders. Along with Ballmer, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, Bill Gates and several others secured their positions on the Microsoft board with an overwhelming 92% of votes cast by investors. When questioned about the "post PC-era" heralded by Apple visionary Steve Jobs, Ballmer said, "We are in the Windows Era, We were, we are, and we always will be." Ballmer's remark was a deliberate jab at the notion that mobile devices such as tablets, and smartphones...

  • The South African Twitter landscape [Infographic]

    A recent study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx titled South African Social Media Landscape 2011 revealed that, along with several other social networking sites, Twitter continues to show phenomenal growth in South Africa. In fact, the study showed that Twitter has seen the most dramatic growth of any social network in the past year. Head of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck pointed out that Twitter, "coming off a very low base is therefore seeing the greatest growth". Using this data and more, Ivan Colic, who tweets with the username, @ivanisawesome, created this inforgraphic on "Twitter in South...

  • Legendary assassin’s tale climaxes in final instalment

    Stealthy death-dealer Ezio Auditore takes his noble crusade to the 16th Century Ottoman Empire with the release of Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game -- his last appearance as the trilogy comes to an end. In a blend of historical truth and narrative fiction, Assassin's Creed: Revelations traces Auditore’s exploits in thwarting an age-old grab for global domination reaching into modern times. "Revelations" is the fourth instalment in a franchise that has sold more than 31-million copies since it launched four years ago. The game is the third and last centred on Auditore. 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");

  • .mobi is dead, and it’s back to the future

    There was a time where it made sense to have a separate mobile site, running in parallel with your old faithful desktop website. We put these mobile-only sites under domains like "m.myveryspecialsite.com" or "myveryspecialsite.mobi". The argument was that because our online offering was being accessed via a different medium with different capabilities, we therefore needed clearly distinct sites. Mobile phones then were simple beasts, because they were mainly just phones with a bit of web browsing thrown in. These phones were not capable of showing complex, visually busy sites, so it made sense for website owners to just "start...

  • Nokia still number one, but feeling heat from Samsung, Apple

    Despite a drop in market share, Nokia continued to be the worldwide leader in mobile device sales, accounting for about 24% of all global sales. The second quarter of 2011 was a low point for Nokia, although the third quarter brought signs of improvement. This is according to research from Gartner. Dual-SIM phones in particular, and feature phones generally, maintained Nokia's momentum in emerging markets. Gartner reckons that "heavy marketing from both Nokia and Microsoft" to push the new Lumia devices should bring more improvement in the fourth quarter of 2011. A true turnaround won't take place, however, until the...

  • Five internet strategies for bringing clients into your business

    Can a brick-and-mortar retail business use the internet to grow its customer base, increase sales and improve repeat business? I believe that it can -- and I'd like to show you how. Have you ever wondered what the hardest part is of running a business? For most business owners, it's finding clients. In a world deeply mired by a recession more and more people are turning to self-employment to put food on the table. The problem is that most engineers, accountants, lawyers, artists, plumbers and electricians are not ever taught how to run a business. They're taught exactly how to be...

  • Banks are failing to innovate online

    Banking is an area that, sadly, none of us can really get away from. It touches all of us at least twice a month -- the day your salary goes in, and then the day all the debit orders go off. But how are banks in an emerging market like South Africa trying to integrate with people's daily lives, and how are they using the available tools to interact with their customers and learn from them on a daily basis? Who is doing what? There are many aspects that we can look at each bank from, so let's first understand...

  • What killed Myspace? Is Facebook next?

    With over 800 million users worldwide, Facebook has all but annihilated its oldest, closest rival Myspace, and left cyberspace littered with the remnants of social networking start-ups that tried to match its success. But how? What made Facebook so much better, and how did it manage to topple a company like Myspace which was expected to generate over US$1-billion in 2007? Overall, Facebook had a number of key successes which helped to elevate its status from young upstart to key financial player. A lot, however, has to do with a number of crucial mistakes made by Myspace...

  • Warren Buffett’s Bekshire Hathaway buys five percent stake in IBM

    Renowned US billionaire Warren Buffett announced that his Berkshire Hathaway investment firm has been quietly buying up shares in technology giant IBM to the tune of US$10.7-billion since March this year. Speaking to television network CNBC, Buffet said that his company's investment in IBM amounts to about 64-million shares, or a 5.5% stake. If accurate, the investment would see Berkshire Hathaway become IBM's second biggest shareholder, behind investment advisory group State Street. The 81-year-old Buffett, sometimes called the "Sage of Omaha" for his investing skills, said that his company had paid an average price of US$170 a share,...