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  • PowerTrekk — Power anywhere, just add water

    So this is interesting. Swedish fuel cell technology company, myFC, is bringing the world’s first portable hydrogen fuel cell charger to market. It’s called PowerTrekk and it’s aimed at outdoor enthusiasts who spend time away from the electricity grid. It’s actually a 2-in-1 charging solution combining a fuel cell and a portable battery pack. The fuel cell is called a PowerTrekk Puck and converts hydrogen into electricity. The puck remains dormant until water is poured into the fuel cell’s water tank — approximately a tablespoon is needed. The chemical process instantly creates 5W of electricity which can charge any USB...

  • IBM still world’s top tech brand. Where will Facebook rank?

    In October of last year, Interbrand released its annual report of best global brands. IBM came out on top as the most valuable tech brand, with Apple making the biggest jump from #17 to #8. Facebook doesn’t appear on the list since its not a public company, but with Facebook’s IPO looming, one wonders where it would place. The report’s methodology takes into account the ways in which a particular brand affects its organisation and it focuses on three key aspects namely: the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role the brand plays in the purchase...

  • Why Apple shouldn’t be reining in its legal team

    Apple has been waging legal battles against a number of its rivals. Its chief judicial opponent in these wranglings has been one time manufacturing ally Samsung. Apple and the South Korean tech giant faced off against each other in court rooms across the globe. Suits were followed by counter suits and court orders by appeals. Thing is, lawyers cost money. They're renowned for it. It turns out Apple may have spent more than $100 million on legal bills in 2011. Tim O'Reilly, the influential CEO of book and conference company of the same name, tweeted: Does not speak well of Apple...

  • Cher death hoax trends on Twitter

    Rumours of legendary singer Cher’s death have surfaced on Twitter. The topic "RIP Cher" became a globally trending topic and remained so, even after it was conclusively shown that the performer was still alive and kicking. The renowned singer has not tweeted from her own official account since 22 January. There are, however, no indications on the feed that Cher had been battling with illness of any kind. The tweet that triggered the Twitter flood came from a user called @marymarglorence, whose profile indicates that she lives in Waco, Texas. RIP Cher— marymargaretlorence (@marymarglorence) January 22, 2012 Although originally posted...

  • Google+ lets in teens, beefs up safety

    Google's nascent social effort, Google+, has opened up to teenagers and beefed up its safety features. The move is widely believed to be a broad swipe at the internet giant's chief rival in the social space -- Facebook. Teenagers are something of a weak spot for the social network with Mark Zuckerberg in 2011 saying that a minimum age limit should be completely removed. In a blog post, Google’s Vice President of product Bradley Horowitz acknowledges that part of the decision to open up the social network to teenagers was down to their powerful online presence: “Teens and young adults are...

  • New financial management tool 22seven crashes on launch day

    A few hours after its beta launch, new financial management tool 22Seven crashed under the weight of users visiting the site. The new startup has been operating in stealth mode for months, but chose to launch its service today. Twitter has been alive with comment about the launch and the company sent out a tweet following comments from users querying server errors. Aaand the site is down. We can't handle this much love! Apologies while we kick servers into overdrive to get things up and running again.— 22seven support (@The22Svens) January 26, 2012 The startup is the brainchild of Twenty20 founder...

  • 22seven, the gamification of personal finances

    The well-known founder of the pioneering online bank 20Twenty Christo Davel is hitting the market with a new startup, also in the financial management space. 20Twenty was an acclaimed South African online banking platform and an acknowledged leader for its time, but eventually went under when its bricks-and-mortar backing bank, Saambou, collapsed. 20Twenty was later sold to Standard Chartered for a cool US$10-million and closed. The new venture, the similarly-named 22Seven, is billed as an “intelligent money saving tool” that plugs directly and securely into your personal bank accounts and then delivers analysis on your spending habits. And this is what...

  • Major new online player set to enter SA market

    The eNews channel, which is part of the multi-billion rand terrestrial broadcasting company Sabido, is cooking up plans to roll out a brand new online strategy. The organisation is one of the biggest players in the African broadcast space, with a presence on South Africa’s fifth terrestrial channel and its own dedicated 24-hour satellite news channel which broadcasts to a number of countries across the continent. To date the media giant has made no significant investment in an online presence. Memeburn can reveal that eNews has brought in well-known online veteran Tim Spira to head up the new operation. ...

  • What the porn industry can teach us about digital media in emerging markets

    Analysis of the pornography industry provides fascinating insight into how consumer ideology shapes online behavior. When we look at the industry in terms of emerging markets we get to catch a glimpse of new forms of media consumption as they blossom. In emerging markets like Brazil, South Africa and India, the industry is thriving and will follow international mobile trends when it comes to adult entertainment consumption. It's big business, in fact it's the number one commercial industry online. In spite of it not being able to promote itself in traditional channels. One of the biggest online mobile porn distributers...

  • You wouldn’t download a car… or would you?

    I recently came across an interesting blog post which states that the Pirate Bay (by the way, if you support the kind of thinking behind SOPA you shouldn't click on that link, it takes you to a site that encourages copyright infringement) has created a new download category -- 'Physibles'. According to the Pirate Bay, physibles are digital objects that can be converted into tangible physical objects. Huh? It took me a few seconds to work out what the hell these guys were talking about, but it's not that complicated. You see, most of the design work that people...

  • Young mobile users responsible for most Twitter growth in Africa [Infographic]

    New research suggests that Twitter’s growth in Africa is being driven primarily young people using mobile devices and that South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt are the continent’s leading tweeters. The research is a collaboration between Portland Communications, a strategic communications consultancy and specialist media platform Tweetminster. The two claim to have "analysed over 11.5-million geo-located Tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011”. The analysis, they say, was "complemented by a survey of 500 of Africa’s most active Tweeters". Some of the study’s key findings include: South Africa is the continent’s most active country by...

  • Triloq paves the way with virtual credit cards, email bill payments

    Online shopping was a pain before I got my first credit card. Painstakingly transferring money from my bank account to an online vendor is not ideal. With a credit card though, online shopping becomes easy. For the unlucky few who cannot get a credit card, online shopping dreams are dashed. Not so, says Triloq Payment Services. Its products, 1-2-Pay Online  and AcceptEmail have been in development from January 2011 and aim to “free” the user from online shopping payment grief, allowing users to add funds from their bank accounts into a virtual credit card, and email bill payments. This month,...

  • Review: Logitech Pure-Fi Express Plus — Has… potential

    Within the confines of the audiophile spectrum exists a passel of audio listeners with varying degrees of auditory discernment. Somewhere an insomniac just likes to hear the voice of the 3AM DJ on a kitchen radio, in the apartment below some hipsters are having existential debates about 1Q84 while streaming Bon Iver’s latest over a Bluetooth speaker, while further down the street a bass woofer with a car passes a bunch of guys busting moves to the beat of Run DMC on an old boombox from the 80s. Then there’s the iGeneration. Until the iPod came along, a simple 3.5mm...

  • Angry Birds set to smash into Facebook

    Rovio’s hit franchise Angry Birds is set to smash beak first into Facebook come Valentine’s Day. According to Asia Tech News, the company is planning a massive launch in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to Rovio head Peter Veserbacka, the decision to launch in Jakarta is a fairly obvious one, given that it is the "global capital of Facebook". The country does, after all, have the second largest Facebook population, after the US. Angry Birds is already available across a number of mobile devices running a range of operating systems and as an app in Google Chrome. Downloads across those...

  • Symantec releases ‘hotfix’ for Anonymous hack

    Symantec has released a "hotfix" for customers affected by an Anonymous hack that targeted its pcAnywhere software. The fix comes after the security company released a statement confirming that the Anonymous hacktivist group had gained access to its source code, which was a "result of a theft of source code that occurred in 2006". The source code theft affected PCAnyWhere -- a tool that allows customers to remotely connect to other computers --, as well as Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Norton Internet Security and Norton SystemWorks. Earlier this month, Cnet reported that hackers in India, who claimed to be...