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News

  • Microsoft is shutting down support for Windows Server 2003, urges SA to migrate

    After over a decade since the release of Windows Server 2003, Microsoft will now finally seize support come 14 July. Leon Wright from Microsoft SA says that 11.9 million physical servers around the world are still running Windows Server 2003. This means that two out of every five computer systems running Windows Server are out-dated, and could thus become a security risk if not acted accordingly. "The shock value of this statistic resides in the fact that this is the case despite IT managers worldwide being aware that Microsoft will no longer be issuing security updates, automatic fixes, or online technical assistance...

  • Twiplomacy: how the world’s most powerful politicians, diplomats use Twitter

    Twitter has become an immensely powerful political tool. But it's not just presidents and popes using the social network to push their messages across. More than half of the world’s foreign ministers and their institutions are active on Twitter. But are they all using it in the same way? According to the most recent Twiplomacy study by research house Burson Marsteller, governments are putting more effort into their social media communication and are including more visuals and videos in their tweets. Some, such as the @Elysee Palace, are regularly posting six-second Vine videos to summarise state visits or to cheer...

  • Samsung’s net income plunges as smartphone competition heats up

    Samsung released its first quarter results and, in spite of the launch of its flagships, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, it is not looking great for the South Korean company. It's worth noting though that it might be too early to the results of the two flagships. Samsung of course expects to see strong mobile demand. The first quarter results show that Samsung’s net income has plunged by 39%. The company reported that its first quarter income was 4.63 trillion won (US$4.35-billion), compared to 7.49 trillion won one year earlier. Sales were down by 12% from a year earlier to 47.12...

  • Facebook drives video ad strategy by targeting desktop users with games

    As you might know, video on Facebook is massive. With over four billion native videos on the platform every day, the company says that people are uploading, sharing and discovering videos on Facebook more than ever. To boost this number even further and show how effective video advertising can be, Facebook has announced that it will soon be rolling out video ads for desktop. It will do so by focusing on game developers first. About 445-million people who play Facebook-connected games across desktop and mobile every month. For users, this means that video ads of games like Farm Heroes and...

  • LG G4 launches with leather back, curved 5.5-inch screen

    LG hasn’t done much to quell the stream of leaks spilling from the internet in the weeks leading up to the LG G4 launch, but the phone is finally official, and features practically everything leaks have covered. Hosting simultaneous events in New York, London, Paris, Istanbul, Singapore and Seoul (strange grouping of time zones), the company launched its new figurehead smartphone a few weeks after the Samsung Galaxy S6 was outed at MWC 2015, a just days since the subdued Sony Xperia Z4 announcement.

  • Apple earnings report: iPhones destroy iPads, China pays off

    Tim Cook announced Apple's quarterly earnings yesterday, highlighting a couple of significant trends which can help us better understand where The Big Red is moving. Apple reported US$58-billion revenue and a nice US$13.6-billion profit. This was mainly fuelled by China, with larger iPhones leading the pack in products and services overall. Unfortunately for tablet lovers, Apple's latest array of golden-clad iPads is falling behind the limelight. China is paying off Revenue from China rose a massive 71% to US$16.82-billion since last year. According to the report, 69% of the Californian-based company's quarter revenue was made from those outside the company's motherland. "Apple’s forays...

  • Twitter goes into hashtag, promoted Tweet overdrive to aid Nepal earthquake relief

    Individuals and organisations alike have rushed to the aid of Nepal, where an earthquake over the weekend has killed more than 4 000 people and affected more than eight-million. Following in the wake of tech companies such as Google and Facebook, Twitter has launched its own effort aimed at helping relief efforts in the South Asian country. Its efforts are however, a little less direct that those being used by the Silicon Valley giants. Recognising its importance as a tool for coordinating relief efforts, and as a backup for official channels of communication, Twitter says it will be concentrating...

  • You can now make video calls on Messenger

    One feels that Messenger is being built into some kind of monster app, which once Facebook is finished with it, will have capabilities other apps can only dream of having. To achieve this Facebook has introduced yet another feature on Messenger, video calling. This comes shortly after Messenger users were given the ability to send each other money. Messenger’s video calling is available on Android and iOS over WiFi and data. The new feature makes it possible to have face-to-face conversations with your friends and the people you care about on Messenger. The feature works in the same way...

  • The internet and the earthquake: how the web reacted to Nepal’s killer shock

    The earthquake which struck Nepal over the weekend measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and the devastation it wrought has been immense. More than 3 600 people are now known to have died in Nepal, India and China. A further 6 500 have been injured and 200 climbers have had to be evacuated from Mount Everest. Perhaps the most remarkable thing however is how quickly we've received this information and how rapid the response of some of some of the world's biggest tech companies has been. Experiencing disasters in (near) real-time It's not all that long ago that it would...

  • 6 trends that will help accelerate Nigeria’s tech revolution #MWA2015

    On Day One of Mobile West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, a panel of five experts predicted what they believe are the next things that would happen to accelerate the evolution of the tech industry in Nigeria. Members of the panel were James McNab who's Africa's MD of Basebone, Toyosi Akerele, founder and CEO of RISE Group, Omatsola Osawaru Barrow sales executive at MTN Nigeria, Valentine Obi who's CEO of eTranzact International, and Emmanuel Revmatas -- a director at Samsung Electronics West Africa. 1. Relevant and engaging apps Barrow believes in the next few years we will witness the release of more applications...

  • BBC World Service, Connected studio look to SA for new ways of distributing audio content

    The BBC's World Service, together with the BBC’s digital innovations team -- BBC Connected Studio, today kicked off its Development Studio event in Cape Town, South Africa. The event, held in conjunction with community-based tech incubator RLabs, aims to identify news ways of distributing the broadcaster's audio content online. As part of the BBC’s Cape Town Development Studio brief, teams will consider existing technologies on offer -- such as Internet Protocol (IP) Raspberry Pi, audio streaming, software defined radio, podcasts -- to develop tools that deliver BBC content to communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Cost-efficiency will also be explored...

  • Facebook’s Internet.org is coming to Nigeria #MWA2015

    Facebook on Wednesday announced plans to launch Internet.org app next month in Nigeria. The Internet.org app encourages telecoms to provide free and affordable access to certain web services like Facebook and Wikipedia. Announcing the plan for Nigeria, head of public policy for Facebook Africa Ebele Okobi, told participants at the Mobile West Africa 2015 conference, that the imminent launch in Nigeria follows similar ones in other African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Speaking to Memeburn on the sidelines of the conference, she added that the app could be launched on more than one telecoms network in Nigeria, making the...

  • Me&you mobile is South Africa’s first lean ecommerce mobile network

    If you've been taking the Gautrain in Jozi recently or followed the #BeUnordinary hashtag, you'd have come across these orange banners with the winking cartoon face, tempting you to reconsider your mobile contract. The campaign is the workings of me&you mobile -- a new mobile network in South Africa which plans to officially launch 4 May as South Africa's first ecommerce mobile network. "We operate completely online, sign-up via the website takes only a few minutes -- including RICA and number porting -- and even customer service can be done via consumer friendly channels like Whatsapp," me&you mobile CEO Brett...

  • Google brings Street View, interactive tours to Robben Island

    Robben Island is one of the most important locations in South African history. It's loomed large in the country's political consciousness since the earliest days of European settlement and, in the years following the release of Nelson Mandela, has become a place of pilgrimage. The very fact of its geography does however mean that it's only accessible to a very small number of people at a time. That changed a little today with Google's launch of an immersive Street View tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The experience, which includes an audio-visual tour hosted on the Google Cultural...

  • Why Africa’s mobile games should become powerful marketing tools #MWA2015

    Even though the opportunities for them are quite vast and numerous, mobile game companies in most parts of Africa are still trying to crack the market with varying degrees of success. In a fireside chat at Mobile West Africa 2015 with Zubair Abubakar, the Nigerian game developer and co-founder of ChopUp admitted that no game company in Africa is at the same level of monetisation as their counterparts such as King's Candy Crush which makes more than US$1-million weekly from in-app sales alone. This is while the local industry continues to grow in terms of number of companies, games and...