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  • Apps4Africa looks to tech for climate change solutions

    Apps are important. After all, they're everywhere: on our smartphones, tablets, PCs and even TVs. There’s a reason people talk so enthusiastically about the so-called "app economy". One initiative is looking to recognise that with a global completion. Apps4Africa claims to encourage “individuals to develop technological solutions to environmental challenges” The latest iteration of the competition offers people the chance to win US$15 000 if they can provide a winning technological solution to the problem of climate change. So prominent was the first Apps4Africa competition in 2010 that US secretary of state Hillary Clinton congratulated the winners. ...

  • 5 Gum promotes Two Door Cinema Club tour using only social media [Update]

    There are a few things you need when it comes to organising a major music tour: the band, venues, equipment. If the tour is to be a success, however, you need a major across-the-line marketing campaign right? Chewing gum brand 5 Gum is looking to question that logic. The brand is organising a South African tour for up-and-coming UK band Two Door Cinema Club. Here’s the kicker though, 5 Gum is marketing the tour exclusively via social media and word of mouth. Fair enough. Social media has a guaranteed, quantifiable reach without the expense of traditional advertising. 5...

  • The Amazing Spiderman looks set to sling a web of viral proportions

    Yes it's going mad. It's all most of the internet is talking about it. Peter Parker's return to the big screen in the all new movie, The Amazing Spiderman. The last Spiderman franchise ended with more of fizzle than a bang, but this new "untold story" has all the geeks excited. Starring Andrew Garfield of The Social Network fame, the movie promises to be a 3D spectacular. With a YouTube count of more than 2-million views, this trailer is well on its way to some viral love. The trailer is one of the most discussed topic on aggregation site...

  • Not free, not open: The Memeburn interview with WhatsApp’s Brian Acton

    In one of only a handful of public interviews ever given by WhatsApp, co-founder Brian Acton talks exclusively to Memeburn about simplicity, speed and simplicity, and what it takes to make some cash. The fact that WhatsApp is so popular is no surprise, and yet to become the number one smartphone messaging app in a sea of same-same services is mysterious. Sure, people like to communicate, and will latch onto a service that lets them do it easily and cheaply. But for every WhatsApp, there are ten other flavours that have cuter logos, more features, more platforms, do more,...

  • Your Twitter following — more than friends

    You see it everywhere: “Follow us on Twitter!” For good reason, too. Businesses correctly recognise Twitter as a major marketing tool – a way to reach users who are increasingly active in social media. Companies and websites alike are constantly seeking new followers as a means to get out a specific message. However, the composition of your following, in many ways, is more important than the total number of followers you have. Below, read about some basic strategies used to attract the right kind of followers. Lead by following Since the dawn of Twitter – some six years ago – this...

  • 5 Reasons we need new specialised social platforms for business interaction

    Utilising social networks to benefit your ideas or business can be tough. Fortunately, there are more options out there than we tend to exercise. We decided to take a look at the reasons why our current social platforms just don't cut it anymore, and what we can do to combat the war zone of tweets, stumbles and pins -- to come out on top. 1. So you don’t get lost in the mix Existing social platforms are excellent for tapping into a hugely flooded network of people. Today, you can reach almost anyone on one of the main portals. The disadvantage...

  • Jump Shopping launches new eCommerce price comparison tool

    Jump Shopping has launched a brand new price comparison tool aimed specifically at the South African ecommerce market. The tool, called FindPrice, is reportedly aimed at helping shoppers keep track of the deals they find online. According to Jump Shopping, it does this by listing products from a number of stores by category. The ecommerce platform also claims to have built “new and extensive filters” into FindPrice. These filters, it claims, allow for offers to be "matched and grouped on a single page". They also mean that customers will be able to "compare prices and make decisions knowing...

  • Logitech Wireless Touchpad: reinventing the wheel

    Who ever thought that turning a mouse on its belly and rubbing its little rubber nubbin would be preferable to standard mouse control? The trackball actually predates the mouse, so screw that antiquated form of movement and embrace the gleaming future of control with the Logitech Wireless Touchpad. Overall design With the colour scheme of a killer whale, the Touchpad is a thing of refined beauty. Logitech knows how to design desktop gadgets. The Touchpad's smooth surface feels dense and resilient, it's like rubbing my finger against the surface of fine leather wallet. The back is made of pure ivory-like plastic,...

  • Silicon Valley’s dirty little startup secret

    In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups. And there's lots of money being made, especially among the Super Angels, the incubators such as Y Combinator, the micro-VCs, and people such as Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, who have made fortunes selling startups to larger companies. Sometimes startup teams can go from seed to exit in under a year. For the investors, making dozens of $10K to $25K seed investments, can be tremendously...

  • Meanwhile, in Korea… LG Optimus Vu with 5-inch, 4:3 display

    With everyone running Android on 16:9 aspect ratio hardware these days, it’s really hard for consumer electronics companies to create devices that grab our attention. LG’s upcoming 5-inch 4:3 display LG Optimus Vu has my attention. The Vu is different, yes, but I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not. The device is yet to launch, but already people’s initial reactions seem to be mixed. Is it a big phone or a small tablet? LG’s thinking here is logical. The iPad is the world’s most popular tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio display. The 5.3-inch 16:9 display Samsung...

  • Apple makes more in day than Twitter does in a year

    The hype surrounding Facebook’s IPO filing was huge and the recent forecast that Twitter’s ad revenue is set to hit US$540-million by 2014 was news in and of itself. Here’s the thing though, Apple makes way more than either of the social networking giants. In fact, it pulls in more in a day than Twitter does in a year. The pertinent reminder comes courtesy of Forbes, who base their figures on the Cupertino-based tech giant’s stellar financial results from the first quarter of 2012. Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$46.33-billion and record quarterly net profit of US$13.06-billion. Thing...

  • Richard Branson weighs in on Virgin Active racist incident via Facebook

    Virgin boss Richard Branson has taken to Facebook to make a public statement on the racist incident that occurred at a Virgin Active health club in South Africa. The incident saw a white man calling one of his fellow gym members a "bloody k*****, a cockroach and a selfish bitch" after she had repeatedly shouted "Yebo" (meaning "yes" in a number of South Africa’s indigenous languages) as their spinning instructor put them through the various exercises. Although the incident itself occurred late last year, it only recently came to the attention of the media. From there,...

  • PCs on the decline, last days of the mini-notebook — Gartner

    The PC may not be about to disappear from the face of the earth, but if the latest data from renowned tech research agency Gartner is to believed, it is in decline -- if only in Western Europe. According to Gartner, PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 16.3-million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 16% decline from the equivalent period in 2010. Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner reckons that the decline is largely due to the emergence of other personal computing technologies. "Despite aggressive pricing and special holiday deals for PCs, consumers' attention was caught by...

  • Google’s ‘Solve for X’: Simple solutions for complex problems

    Solve for X. No we’re not trying to induce nightmares from your high school maths days. It’s a new concept from Google aimed at providing simple solutions to complex problems. The internet giant recently hosted its first "Solve for X" gathering, which brought together entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world. Now it claims it wants to take the concept public, inviting people to join in on the Solve for X website and Google+ page. According to an official blog post, the concept behind Solve for X is one embedded within the Google ethos: "technology moonshots". These moonshots,...

  • The Grammys’ #wearedigital — where music meets social

    Social media and digital campaigns are no longer limited to traditional brands. Although it could be considered a brand within itself, the 54th Grammy Awards has integrated an impressive through-the-digital-line campaign. Dubbed "We Are Music" the campaign uses a vast array of social media and digital platforms to make the awards show as engaging as ever, but also includes traditional channels such as outdoor, digital, mobile and television. The decision to invest in social media and mobile platforms was made a few years ago, and proved to be highly successful. Growth and trends developing within the social TV space,...