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  • Google just dropped some knowledge on search

    Sorry what's that Bing? Oh you integrated social with search? Very cute. Now let the big boys show you how it's really done. Google today announced a new search model that it claims "understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another" The internet giant calls the new model "The Knowledge Graph" and says that it is built on the premise that when we're searching we're looking for "things not strings". In order to understand what it means by this, let's say you're looking up Taj Mahal. To a search engine, it's just two words. That's more or less the...

  • Samsung, Android still winning in shrinking mobile market

    Samsung is winning the mobile wars and at the same time helping Android kill in the mobile OS stakes. Thing is all of the players in the game of phones are competing for a smaller market. According to research company Gartner, some 419.1-million mobile phones sold in the first few months of 2012, two percent less than the same period in 2011. That’s more significant than it might seem. It’s the first time the market has gone into decline since 2009. “Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the...

  • Price war erupts among South Africa’s mobile players

    A price war has erupted among South Africa’s mobile operators, as each seeks to increase its slice of the pie in a country where there are nearly as many active SIM cards as there are people. The country’s third mobile operator Cell C recently slashed its data prices, halving them in some cases. It’s followed up this move with a new voice deal for its prepaid customers. South Africa’s first-and-largest operator Vodacom today responded with what it calls the “Freedom 99” plan. Like Cell C’s plan, called “99 Cents For Real”, Vodacom will charge prepaid users 99c a minute...

  • GM pulls Facebook advertising, big deal

    Facebook ads don’t work, not even a little bit. Well that’s if auto giant General Motors (GM) is to be believed at any rate. The company, which spends around US$40-million a year on Facebook campaigns, says it is pulling the US$10-million it currently spends on paid-for Facebook ads. GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick told the Wall Street Journal that the company still views putting up relevant content about its products on the social network as an “effective and important” part of its marketing strategy. In a statement, the motoring giant said: “We regularly review our overall media spend and...

  • 6 things that will guarantee B2B social failure

    Having spent some time participating on most of the popular social networks from a B2B social media marketing perspective, I have listed a number of things you can do to ensure your social media efforts fail dismally. Commit these cardinal sins and some of the scenes from Dante's Inferno will seem like a picnic by comparison. 1. No “buy-in” from the entire organisation Social media is not a one man band. It is something that involves your whole organisation. Your community manager may be the primary voice of your organisation but it requires a collective effort from everyone. It is...

  • It’s complicated: Thoughts on why Facebook doesn’t like you to be alone

    Jane Austen was a big fan of an advantageous marriage, and so it seems, is Facebook. One's changes in relationship status are the most prominent feature on the Timeline after being born, and of course, joining Facebook. Facebook has even designed little icons for these events; I recently saw a friends’ engagement announced with a little blue ring and a neat date underneath. Is meeting the right person such a notable achievement? Irritated singletons might wonder why all the Timeline announcements are necessary, surely getting together with someone special is a chance occurrence, exactly like winning the lottery. Others might...

  • The right to be forgotten: A path to the future

    Earlier this year European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that internet users had a "right to be forgotten" -- the idea being that anyone should be able to delete all the data they have online at any time, except in cases where there is a legitimate interest in maintaining information in a database. According to the new EU policy, the "right to be forgotten" simply "would allow people to request that their information be erased and not disseminated online." Research fellow Pere Simon Castellano from the University of Girona reckons that this new right is key for the future law...

  • The pros and cons of third-party comment systems

    Comment managers are nothing new. Whether or not we use them on our own sites, we’ve all gone to leave a comment somewhere and seen we needed to log in first—whether to Disqus or LiveFyre, IntenseDebate or something else. It happens on blogs about social media, it happens on blogs about gas station processing, it happens on blogs like this one. Why do sites use them? Are they helpful, and if so, how? Should you implement a comment management tool on your site? To help answer that question, here’s a look at the pros and cons of third-party content management...

  • Tomorrow’s online world: Regulating Google & Facebook

    The internet is a big place and companies like Facebook are dominating major parts of it. The concept of regulation has been floating about for a few years now and, more recently, Google and Facebook have found themselves in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) following privacy violations. What regulators are doing now isn't a very accurate approach according to Matthew Howett, Ovum's regulations and policy practice leader. At this year's Korea Communications Conference, Howett explored the new disruptive technological space and what it means for regulators and the need for them adapt by stepping away from the...

  • Aaron Sorkin confirmed as writer for Steve Jobs biopic

    Sony Pictures has signed off on a big screen adaptation of Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Job's authorised biography. Aaron Sorkin, the man tasked with with translating Walter Isaacson's best-selling book into celluloid is no stranger to tech stories either. He wrote the screenplay for The Social Network, for which the Hollywood veteran picked up an Oscar. In a statement to the press, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal explained why Sorkin had been picked: “Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time....

  • Sina Weibo hits 300m users, but are things as rosy as they seem?

    China’s wildly popular Sina Weibo has hit the 300-million registered user mark. That’s according to news published on the microblog’s site and translated by Tech in Asia. Thing is, the graphs published by the social network actually show it hitting 300-million users sometime in February.That’s significant, because it predates the real-name rules that had Sina Weibo’s bosses worried that their ad revenue would sink through the floor. That might be one reason the microblog didn’t publish its active user numbers, which are likely much lower. In fact, it doesn’t even provide a definition of what it considers an active...

  • OLX launches iPad app

    Online classified sites are big business these days. There's a reason have been accused of killing the newspaper industry. Now one of the biggest of them all is making a new play in the app world. Global classifieds giant OLX has launched a free iPad app, which it claims is a first for the South African market. According to Simon Berger-Perrin, Vice President of Mobile at OLX, the app offers classifieds for properties, jobs, second-hand goods, pets, and more. "We are excited to release this new universal app to address the booming iPad market,” he says. “Now iPad owners...

  • Why businesses and people winning at social are more likely to fly high

    This is interesting. The more successful a company is, the more likely it is to be using social media. That’s according to a new report from research company Millward-Brown in partnership with Google. The study, which gathered opinions from over 2 700 professionals in Europe found that: 59% of professionals in high growth organisations are using social tools to improve business outcomes such as increasing sales and attracting and retaining clients 81% of these ‘dynamic’ businesses that are using social tools report a significant impact on growth/expansion 80% of high growth companies are using social tools to improve ‘connectivity’ (such as collaboration...

  • Siri changes its mind on ‘the best smartphone ever’, Nokia isn’t impressed

    When you ask Siri "What is the best smartphone ever?", you'd expect it to spout some pro-Apple response like "the iPhone 4S, duh." So when Apple's personal assistant responded with "The Nokia Lumia 900", it was actually quite funny. Alas, the joke is over. If you ask the same question now, you'll be met with a response like "You're kidding, right?" or "The one you're holding." The Gearburn editor tried it out -- Siri refused to name a phone or brand, preferring instead to mock our question, even when we varied the words slightly. The change in Siri's tune has...

  • Smokoo founders launch online dating site

    When online auction site Smokoo shut down, we told you that its South African-based founders were working on a new project. Memeburn can now reveal what that new project is: an online dating site. The site, called Adopt Him, claims to offer a slightly different take on the online dating phenomenon, calling itself “South Africa’s first online dating site that lets the ladies call the shots”. Here’s how it works. The site lets women decide who they want to chat to them. It says they can do so by browsing or searching through the database until they find someone...