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News

  • Google: ‘Not every day you find an elephant in Street View’

    It’s not every day that you find an elephant in Street View, or for that matter get to visit most of the new soccer stadiums in one day. But from today people can do both with Google’s newly released Street View images and 3D models in Google Earth. Seven of South Africa’s new football stadiums, including Soccer City in Johannesburg, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane and Moses Mabhida in Durban are now available to...

  • Gazuma: A new option for mobile gamers

    SkillPod Media, a recent finalist in the Excellence in the Management of Systems category of the Technology Top 100 (TT100) awards, claims to have broken the standard mobile gaming mould by launching a new mobile games platform Gazuma. The new platform allows users to play their games directly from their handset’s browser, as opposed to the normal model where users first have to buy the game online and then download it to their handset as an application. With the Gazuma platform, gamers are able to log game scores, enter tournaments, win Pods (SkillPod’s virtual currency built into the platform), challenge friends,...

  • MTN says zero chance of Facebook Zero

    Despite providing access to Facebook Zero in seven African countries where it operates, international mobile service provider MTN has no plans to make the data-charge free version available to South African mobile users any time soon. In a brief statement released to Memeburn.com on Thursday, MTN dashed any hopes that local users may have had of being able to access Facebook Zero, the new mobile offering from the social networking giant. Citing the fact that they were choosing to focus all of their energies on the FIFA World Cup 2010, the service provider said they “decided to opt...

  • Seedcamp to jump-start African entrepreneurs

    Seedcamp, a European micro-seed fund that invests in early stage startup companies, will be jetting into Johannesburg later this year to identify African startups for potential investment. Seedcamp will form part of technology conference, Tech4Africa, which will be held in August this year. Startups, selected by the fund, will further have an opportunity to attend the Seedcamp Week programme held in September in London, UK. It marks the first time that a...

  • Mobile apps far outpace mobile browsing, reveals study

    When it comes to internet useage via mobile devices, applications far outpace browsing, even though both types of activity are available on almost two-thirds of the phones used by urban cellular users, reveals a new study. The study, "Mobile Internet in South Africa 2010" by respected research firm World Wide Worx, shows that usage of specific applications like Facebook Mobile and mobile instant messaging (IM) client MXit are used more than accessing the web via the phone's browser, also known as WAP browsing. The study was conducted via face-to-face interviews among South African urban cellphone users aged 16 and older,...

  • Nokahoo! and Yahokia join forces for emerging market focus

    Users in emerging markets look set to benefit from the brand new alliance between global Internet powerhouse, Yahoo and mobile heavyweight Nokia. After five years of collaboration, the two companies say they are now “leveraging each others' strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services”, with the goal of trying to provide world-class services on both mobile and PC devices. Each of the partners will be focussing on their core...

  • Comrades Marathon gets a social media boost

    The world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon, the Comrades, is getting social media-savvy in the form of an official Twitter stream that will be live tweeting the race. There will also be updates via SMS and live streaming video on the marathon's official website www.comrades.com this year. The 89km-long race, which takes place on the 31st of May, will host some new, interactive features "designed to enrich the experience for the viewing public"....

  • Now Zapiro cartoon furore threatens to play out on Facebook

    In the wake of last week's Zapiro cartoon furore over the depiction of the prophet Mohammed, a brand new group has sprung up on Facebook targeting the famous South African cartoonist. The group, entitled "ZAPIRO (JONATHAN SHAPIRO) IS A PRICK WHOSE DEFINITELY BURNING IN HELL!" , had just 138 members at the time of writing and was created in response to Zapiro’s cartoon on May 20. A message on the wall begins by saying “insha Allah this bastard wil burn in hell”, and goes on to explain that this kind of thing would not be happening if...

  • Local radio station launches feel good social network

    When Angela Fletcher discovered that the costs of her son Ethan’s medical treatment were becoming unbearable, she turned to a local radio station's newly-created social network in an attempt to get support. With just a couple of clicks, she was able to create the Ethan Fletcher Family Trust, a group that anyone can join who wants to support and help pay for Ethan’s expensive medical care. The social network, called FeelGood, was created by Pretoria-based radio station Jacaranda FM on Amazee.com, an internet platform that empowers people to initiate and promote their ideas, and to find like-minded...

  • Facebook cartoon ‘fight’ highlights divisive nature of social media

    On Thursday morning we awoke to the news that Pakistan had blocked Facebook. The reason Pakistan did this was because a fan page appeared on the social network's site called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!", which advocated that "May 20th 2010 is draw Mohammed day!" This story is singularly defining about how social media can divide our world, and not bring people closer together. Social media can be used to create walled societies, and allow like-minded individuals to create closed communities that exclude those who don't fit in. In response to the controversial fan page, another page was created on Facebook called...

  • Twitter provides unfiltered glimpse of SA cricket team morale

    Twitter appears to have been embraced heavily by the South African national cricket team, the Proteas -- and is providing the public with an unfiltered window into the mood of the squad. The social networking and microblogging service has been embraced by celebrities and sportspeople across the world who crave a direct connection to their fans, and who want to break out from behind the wall of public relations (PR) that is built around the rich and famous. Recently, the Protea's captain, Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49), turned to Twitter to vent after he heard some negative comments from former player and...

  • Kagiso Media to run MSN South Africa

    Microsoft and listed media house Kagiso Media have signed a deal which will see Kagiso Media take over the running of Microsoft's MSN portal, currently the second largest online property in South Africa. The deal is the first step towards localising the MSN portal and giving both parties "a greater slice of the South African online market", says Burak Gokmen, Microsoft’s General Manager for its Consumer and Online activities in Middle East...

  • YouTube South Africa launches

    YouTube, the site where anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection can share their life, art and voice with the world, announced on Monday the launch of their South African version and domain, youtube.co.za. The local site features a South African flag combined with the well-known YouTube logo, but redirects to the ".com" site where local users will see a customised version that puts emphasis on local content. The videos remain hosted overseas. YouTube South Africa joins the dominant local video and photo-sharing site Zoopy.com, which is part-owned by mobile service provider Vodacom. MyVideo, another local, smaller video-sharing...

  • Net Prophet: Africa is a sea of opportunity

    Free coffee, wi-fi and pumping music tunes was how more than 800 tech geeks, freaks, entrepreneurs and industry leaders were greeted at the Net Prophet Conference in Cape Town on Thursday. With an impressive line-up of speakers and the sense of a growing tech community in the Silicon Cape, it was no surprise to see a packed and enthusiastic auditorium at Old Mutual Park. Speakers included Erik Hersman, co-founder of Ushahidi.com, and Mocality.com CEO Stefan Magdalinski, who shared insights on mobile and internet innovation in Africa -- and how South African entrepreneurs in particular are well-placed to take advantage of...

  • ‘Best of the mobile web’ launches for SA users

    Durban-based mobile media company, Thumbtribe, has officially launched a directory of what it considers to be the top local mobile sites, called "Best of the Mobile Web". Thumbtribe says their new mobile directory allows South African users to find relevant, mobile-friendly content "quickly and easily". The directory can be found via your mobile phone at thumbtribe.mobi -- and via other mobile channels such as Samsung mobile, Nokia.mobi, Opera Mini and through links from...