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News

  • Financial Times crowdsources growth strategy with SA company

    The London-based Financial Times, a leading global newspaper specialising in financial and business news, has commissioned a South African company to help it crowdsource ideas on how to increase the number of new subscriptions to its online offering, FT.com. The financial broadsheet approached the Cape Town-based Idea Bounty with the task -- a local community site that allows brands to tap the collective intelligence of creatives all over the world. While crowdsourcing ideas is not a new concept, Idea Bounty claims it is one of the first in the world to award prize money for ideas alone. The newspaper is facing...

  • African Google Doodle winner squares off against international competition

    Young artists from all around South Africa have been have been hard at work creating Google doodles for the search giant's "Doodle 4 Google" competition, this year themed on "I love football". Since the competition began in April, more than 35 000 children across 17 countries have submitted their designs. Now it’s time for South Africans to rally behind their local winner as the competition enters the global voting stage. Last week, South Africa’s...

  • WordPress 3.0 arrives… with vuvuzela mention

    Wordpress 3.0, the blogging software that runs millions of websites around the world, has officially launched. The official blog post about the launch starts: "Arm your vuvuzelas: WordPress 3.0, the thirteenth major release of WordPress and the culmination of half a year of work by 218 contributors, is now available for download." The Vuvuzela mention is in reference to the love-hate, noisy instrument of the Fifa Soccer world Cup in South Africa that has attracted rapid, world-wide attention. According to Wordpress founding developer Matt Mullenweg, the 3.0 release also includes a "sexy new" default theme called Twenty Ten. "Theme developers have new...

  • A few World Cup search insights: Is it vuvuzela or “Uwe Seeler”?

    By the time the 2010 FIFA World Cup draws to a close in the second week of July, its legacy on South Africa, the African continent, and the rest of world will begin to unravel. Billions of dollars have been ploughed into infrastructure and development programmes leading up to this moment (all detailed briefly here.) But outside of the action-packed stadia and away from the drama-filled football pitches, a few interesting things are happening in search trending. Here’s the low-down on some of the big trends so far... The Vuvuzela This will probably be South Africa’s biggest export to football fans...

  • Free student tickets up for grabs for major web conference

    Financial services group, Old Mutual, is offering 17 complimentary scholarship tickets to the Tech4Africa Conference 2010 to students studying in the information technology, Web, technology or digital fields. Tech4Africa, to be held in Johannesburg on the 12-13 of August, has managed to attract some major heavy-weight international and African speakers. One of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies Clay Shirky will be headlining the...

  • Vuvuzela anger blows onto Facebook

    The controversial vuvuzela, which is a regular feature of South African football matches, seems to be causing even more of a stir on Facebook than in the stadiums and fan parks across the World Cup in South Africa. While various groups and pages have popped up on Facebook in support of the vuvuzela, it seems that the majority of vuvuzela-themed activity on the world’s largest social network has been aimed at banning the one-metre long plastic horn. The largest of these anti-vuvuzela pages, called FIFA - BAN THE ANNOYING VUVUZELA (HORN) FROM THE SOUTH AFRICA WORLD CUP!, has already attracted...

  • World-wide Twitter trend frenzy ushers in World Cup day

    Twitter was abuzz with World Cup fever on Friday, with seven out of 10 of its trending topics highlighting the world football spectacle. The trending topics, listed on the microblogging and social networking site, included #WC2010 #WorldCup #Bafana #SudAfrica #FIFAWorldCup #NelsonMandela. One of the trending tags also referred to "Bafana" -- in reference to the nickname of the South African national football squad "Bafana Bafana", meaning "The Boys" in Zulu. On Wednesday "Vuvuzela" quickly become a trending topic when South Africa and parts of the world celebrated the "Vuvuzela Moment" by blowing the local trumpet-like instruments in unison on noon that...

  • New Google doodle by 13-year old to celebrate world cup

    Google on Friday sported an interesting new "doodle" on its South African web presence to celebrate the kick-off of the Fifa World Cup. What made the doodle even more special is that it was created by a 13-year old. Nikisha Lalloo from Port Elizabeth was crowned the national winner of the Doodle 4 Google ‘Love Football’ competition. Nikisha is now one step closer to being a global winner, emerging as the top young South African artist to enter the competition. Nikisha's logo design was displayed on the Google South Africa homepage on Friday. In addition to her doodle...

  • CNN, Foursquare team up to connect World Cup fans

    Putting soccer fans at the heart of its 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage, CNN has checked in with location-based social network Foursquare to connect fans all over the world throughout the month-long tournament. This is the first time Foursquare has teamed up with a media company for a multi-country initiative, with this one stretching across all 32 countries represented in the World Cup. Starting Friday, World Cup fans who follow CNN at www.foursquare.com/cnn can check in at more than 100 venues to unlock special CNN badges. In order to unlock these badges, fans must check in at least three times...

  • Local student wins prestigious Google scholarship

    A computer science student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown has won a prestigious Google scholarship and is set to fly to Zurich this month to take part in a networking retreat there. Sinini Ncube’s master's research programme involved “an investigation into the use of web-based user interfaces for the visualisation of zoonotic disease outbreaks.” The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship is awarded by Google in memory of Dr Anita Borg, who was a pioneer in shaping the relationship between women and technology. Ncube, who is “thrilled and amazed by this award”, has been working on ways of using the web...

  • Vuvuzela Moment causes ‘first-ever’ World Cup Twitter trending topic

    At exactly noon today, people around the world blew their Vuvuzelas, whistled and honked their horns to celebrate the first Fifa World Cup in Africa, due to kick off in just two days. It was called the "Vuvuzela Moment" and it was celebrated in equal style online as it was offline. Tweeters in South Africa and across the world came to the party in fine style, causing the phrase "Vuvuzela" to trend on the world-famous social networking and microblogging service as fans across the world spoke about and blew their virtual Vuvuzelas in 140 characters. According to Fifa the Vuvuzela Moment...

  • BP Twitter meme sweeps the web

    The explosion on the BP Horizon Oil Rig might have cost BP millions and the environment even more, but the spill has also dented their public image. Less than a month after the spill, an anonymous tweeter created @BPGlobalPR, a fictitious BP public relations (PR) Twitter account that has swept across the web, securing more than 138 000 followers. According to retweetrank, the account is now sitting in the 99.98th percentile for retweets. One can see why with recent tweets such as this: “Try our cap operation at home! Hold a funnel over a firehose, sell what you catch and proclaim...

  • Google Street View makes house-hunting ‘easier’ in SA

    Following Tuesday’s launch of Google Street View in South Africa, RE/MAX of Southern Africa announced that it has become the first real estate franchise in the country to integrate the new technology into their website. Google Street View is a service linked to Google Maps and Google Earth that provides users with panoramic, photographic detail at street level, and users visiting www.remax.co.za can now see the ‘Street View’ of specific properties listed on the site. RE/MAX says that buyers are afforded an improved perspective on the properties in question, and sellers are better able to recoup the intrinsic value of appealing...

  • iPhone 4: The stats you need to know

    With some of the details of the new iPhone 4 leaked a few months ago by tech blog Gizmodo, the hype around last night’s launch of Apple’s latest version of the iPhone was always going to be more about the finer detail Apple CEO Steve Jobs would provide. With a vastly-improved camera-operating system, a richer display, video calls, and some real advancements in the hardware department, the new iPhone 4 demonstrates once again that Apple is the undisputed leader of the smartphone world. Here are the key new features. All New Design The iPhone 4 has a new design we've...

  • New iPhone 4 is Apple’s ‘biggest leap’

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed the new iPhone 4 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday evening, calling the redesigned gadget the "biggest leap" the company had taken since the launch of the first iPhone. After tech blog Gizmodo unceremoniously leaked pictures of the new iPhone prototype a few months ago, Jobs' was looking to turn up the hype. Jobs acknowledged the leak by saying: "Some of you have already seen this." Gizmodo failed to crack an invite to the sought-after announcement. Some of the key changes to the new phone include a higher resolution display Apple is...