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  • Enter the Spark — a $265 tablet rocking a Linux OS

    In this day and age, US$265 can get you a seriously tasty gadget. A brand new Kindle Fire? Done. A cut-price laptop? Grab one for under US$300. How about a 7-inch, 1Ghz tablet rocking Linux? Yours, in the form of the Spark Tablet. Budget tablets are being vomited out of the stables at a rate of knots, so what makes the Spark tablet so damn special? Peeking under the hood World, listen up. The Spark is the first tablet to be marketed as an open device, with open software and an unlocked bootloader. This means that anyone can jump in, develop...

  • Whitney Houston found dead at 48: Twitter reacts

    Twitter's response to popular singer Whitney Houston’s death has been overwhelming, with RIP Whitney taking the global top trending spot. The 48-year-old Houston was reportedly found dead in the bath tub of her room in the Beverly Hilton hotel, where she was staying prior to tonight’s Grammy Awards. According to TMZ, the singer and a group of friends had "partied heavily" in the hotel and had "stood out because they were so boisterous". Fellow singer Rihanna sent out a string of tweets of emotional tweets as the news broke: No words! Just tears #DearWhitney— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 12, 2012 Feels so strange...

  • E-Waste and the underbelly of the tech industry

    Last year, the EU updated its directives for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), in an effort to step up recycling and the safe disposal of outdated and malfunctioning equipment. In the US, the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act was introduced as a bill in June last year. India is also taking governmental steps to control how E-Waste is handled. That sounds like good news; after all, old electronics goods are full of good things that can often be re-used. And, of course, they're also full of toxic things that we don't want leached into our rivers and oceans, or...

  • 10 Hot Indian startups you should know about

    From the world’s cheapest car to the world’s cheapest tablet, India has emerged as a hub of "Jugaad", a Hindi term which closely translates as "frugal innovation". Owing to its booming economy, growing middle class and a talent pool of highly skilled engineers, India has a thriving tech startup ecosystem. While there are thousands of startups across the country, we bring you a compilation of tech startups that have risen above the rest to be the talking points in the startup-technology community. Based on my conversations and interactions with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders, these startups are shaping the way...

  • Analysing the State of the Nation ‘Undress’

    In 2011, popular radio personality Gareth Cliff utilised Twitter, and particularly the hashtag #JZSOTNDrinks -- a drinking game mechanism -- to encourage the South African man on the street to become involved in the country's State of the Nation Address. It was a hit online. This year, he evolved the concept and took it to a new level -- #SOTNUndress or State of the Nation Undress. Almost a year ago to the day, we were reporting on South African shock-jock Cliff's influence on the Twittersphere and his ability to engineer trends by tailoring his messages according to his various broadcast...

  • State of the Nation: Social media numbers unpacked

    Social media is playing an increasingly prominent role for political leaders, especially when it comes time for their annual State of the Nation address. US president Barack Obama hosted a hangout on Google+ in the wake of his recent State of the Union address and South African president Jacob Zuma invited the people of his country to send in their questions via Twitter and Facebook ahead of his annual address. Social media isn’t, however, only useful before a major presidential address. It can also provide some great insights about what people have been talking about and when they...

  • Is Google set to join the patent wars with its iPhone cut demand?

    The gloves have finally come off and Google is beginning to reveal the strategy behind its purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2011 for $12.5-billion. On Wednesday Google informed the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers by letter that it intends to enforce its rights to a maximum of 2.25% of all mobile equipment that uses Motorola Technology. This would include the Apple iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S has already sold well over 37-million units and at an average price of US$500 a unit, we’re already looking at US$416-million due to Google – not an amount to be sniffed at. The letter comes...

  • Tencent mobile game platform hits 200M users

    Chinese social giant Tencent now has 200-million registered users on its mobile gaming platform Mobile QQ Game Hall. Accroding to Marbridge Consulting, the Shenzen-based tech companysome 13-million of those users log onto the platform on a daily basis. At times there are up to a million people on the network at the same time. A large part of Mobile QQ Game’s success comes from the fact that it caters for China’s largely fragmented mobile ecosystem. Users can access Symbian, KJava, Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7, and HTML 5 versions of the platform. The most notweworthy thing about those numbers, however,...

  • Why putting a little extra work into LinkedIn is well worth the effort

    I tend to think of LinkedIn as "Facebook for Grownups". Now I know this isn't "technically" correct but it's what springs to mind. For me at least. Undoubtedly, LinkedIn is an extremely powerful networking and business tool, yet it’s astounding how many LinkedIn rookies there are roaming around social cyber space. I’m certain a thought running through many people’s minds is Linkedintowhat? Or who? Or How? Maybe this will help. Unlike Facebook LinkedIn is slightly more awkward to navigate. Although people and brands still have their own pages, my experience is that many people don’t know how to optimise...

  • State of the social television nation

    I have been following the use of social media, Twitter in particular, by television viewers and programmes in South Africa with a keen eye. Considering that there are now approximately 3.4-million South Africans active on Facebook and Twitter it is no surprise that ‘social television’ is growing. When broadband first became widely available, the techie crowd unanimously threw down their TV remotes, vowing never to sit through another advert or wait a whole week for the next installment of their favourite series. The trend didn't really catch on though, as the rest of us decided that TV...

  • The Last of Us: A Preview

    The Uncharted series has wrapped up; Nathan Drake has cracked his last crack, a wise one nonetheless. Naughty Dog fans whispered the world over, a quiver in their voices: "what will we do without Uncharted? Where will our next block-buster action game come from? What does life mean?" To those fans: get a life... and then get on board the hype-train for The Last of Us -- Naughty Dog’s upcoming third-person survival-horror action-adventure title. What a mouthful, kinda like Nathan Drake’s wisecracks. 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");

  • Facebook prohibits users from promoting their work, company

    Facebook's a great tool for promoting yourself, your work and your business. That's a fairly uncontested truism these days. But if the social network's rules for users, developers, and partners are to be believed, promoting yourself is the exact opposite of what it wants you to do. The rules give Facebook tremendous powers to disable accounts and to make money from your content. Here are a few examples, you can see more here in this SEC document filed late Wednesday: You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an...

  • BBC tells journalists not to break stories on Twitter

    BBC journalists have been told not to break stories on Twitter, reports The Guardian newspaper. The new rules reportedly apply to all of the corporation’s correspondents, producers and reporters and forbid them from posting a news story on Twitter before they tell their newsroom colleagues. According to the Guardian, the new regulations are meant to ensure that news gets uploaded to the renowned organisation's "newsgathering machine" "without the delay" of a 140 character Tweet. The news comes fresh on the heels on the announcement that rival news broadcaster Sky News had forbidden its staff from retweeting anything not posted...

  • Path admits wrongdoing, fixes problem with new update

    Path, has apologised to its 2-million plus users for uploading users' iPhone address books without permission. Path is a social network that works as a "smart journal" aimed at helping you share life with "the ones you love", and is experiencing a revival since its version 2.0 release last year. The internet has been in an uproar with reports from iPhone users complaining that the service had uploaded their address books without their permission or knowledge. The company's founder Dave Morin, one of Facebook's original team, apologised to users in a long and detailed blogpost. "We made a mistake. Over the...

  • Nokia to house IMEA research centre in Nairobi

    Finnish communications giant Nokia has announced that Nairobi will be the new home of research and investment centre for the entire India Middle East and Africa (IMEA) region. The announcement was made by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop at an invite only event at the iHub, a well known tech incubator in Nairobi. Prominent blogger and iHub co-founder Erik Hersman broke the story with a tweet: Nokia has made a decision that Nairobi will be the center for research and investment for the entire EMEA region #ElopKE— Erik Hersman (@whiteafrican) February 9, 2012 Kenya is reportedly the first African...