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News

  • Launch: Office 2010 gets social

    At the launch of Office 2010 local Microsoft execs demonstrated how the company's flagship email application has become more social, and how Excel and Word have eventually made the move online via their new Google Docs-like Web Apps service. Office 2010 is the newest version of their software suite, containing familiar computer applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. It was launched at an event attended by hundreds of technology companies, users and...

  • SA’s Parliamentarians instructed to use Facebook and Twitter

    Parliamentary House Chairperson Obed Bapela has instructed South African MPs to improve their computer literacy, including learning how to use and engage with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, reports Johannesburg radio station 702. “We cannot have MPs that cannot access the internet. We can’t have MPs that can’t engage on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” scolded Bapela. Parliamentarians were instructed to improve their skills and understanding of technology, after it emerged...

  • Cell C signals major push into social media

    Cell C, a major mobile phone operator in South Africa, has indicated a change in strategy from being a "price leader" to communicating with its subscribers in "whole new ways", which means a major new focus on harnessing the interactivity and engagement that comes with social media. A new social media presence appears to be high on the agenda for the mobile operator because Cell C CEO Lars P. Reichelt devoted some time to talking about it at a recent press conference on the company's financial results. Reichelt himself will now be Tweeting about his day-to-day activities from the official Cell...

  • How Google search is evolving right now

    When Universal Search was introduced three years ago it was cool, and now it just got better. Google’s "new spring look", unveiled this month, promises to increase the power of search by organising the results using a left hand panel. In Google’s own words, it's “contextually relevant navigation”. This pulls together the genius behind Universal Search, Search Options and Google Squared. Nice, but it kind of looks like Microsoft's Bing. Some of us are already getting this blend of content from images, maps, books, video, and news into our web results, and the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties...

  • New cloud-hosting platform launches in SA

    Local internet service provider (ISP), RSAWEB, has launched a new cloud-hosting platform, allowing users to deploy and provision fully operational servers in minutes. The new hosting service, True Cloud Servers, is apparently "the first of its kind in South Africa". RSAWEB says the two key differences between their new cloud service and what's currently available in the local market are the speed at which servers can be deployed and provisioned, and the flexibility...

  • Google Buzz up there with Julius Malema says Time Magazine

    Time Magazine has named Google Buzz as a "loser" in a list of the magazine's "Least Influential People of 2010". Google's attempt at social networking also appears to be in the same company as controversial ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema who also made the list as a "moron". Time Magazine refers to Google Buzz, which secured the number two spot on the list, as "some kind of thing on your computer". The article says: "Remember when Gmail invited you — just you! — to join Google Buzz, where you could connect all your social networks with your e-mail? Or maybe...

  • Local duo profit from ‘don’t touch me’ craze

    Two local technology enthusiasts have cleverly seized on the "Don’t Touch Me On My Studio" internet meme by opportunistically registering the domain "donttouchmeonmystudio.co.za" and creating a website highlighting satirical videos and content about the craze. The site has even diversified into selling thongs and briefs branded with the phrase. The new site, inspired by the now immortalised on-air showdown between eNews presenter Chris Maroleng and AWB secretary-general André Visage, pulls together the plethora of online content generated since the 7 April incident –- providing the user with a sort of highlights reel of all the best “hits”. The site, which was created...

  • New study reveals all about SA’s Twitter users

    A new report claims there are 1,5-million tweets every month in South Africa and 55 000 active Twitter users in the country, with the majority of users being designers, students, writers and engineers. The report, produced by Cape Town-based social media agency Fuseware, says that that SA tweets more on Tuesday than any other day of the week, while the least popular day to tweet is Sunday. It reveals that the average number of tweets per user is 346 and the average amount of Twitter followers per user is 115. About 23% of tweets are Retweets and about 47%...

  • Small SA web design company announce deal with Posterous

    A small South African web design and development company, Obox Design have announced a deal with well-known international blogging platform Posterous to supply custom design themes to their users. Posterous is a simplified blog site, funded by American seed-stage startup funding company Y Combinator, that boasts integrated and automatic posting to other social media tools such as Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, a built-in Google Analytics package, and custom themes. The Silicon Valley start-up took the tech scene by storm when it launched in 2009. According to Wikipedia, many social media pundits consider Posterous to be the leading free application for lifestreaming....

  • CNN.com gets social

    CNN.com has launched site-wide integrations of Facebook Connect and new social plugins that allow the news site's users to recommend, share or comment on content with their friends on Facebook. The social enhancements also allow users to see when their friends have recommended, shared or commented on CNN.com content. “It's possible that people may be more connected with their friends on Facebook than they are to the people they see every day, and sharing what interests you most with your friends online has become a form of cultural currency," said KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com....

  • Google SA boss quits for new ‘Africa-wide’ venture

    South Africa's Google boss, Stephen Newton, has quit to "pursue other entrepreneurial activities", reports the company. The news that the well-liked Newton is leaving comes as a surprise because he had been in the sought-after position for less than a year. Previous Google boss, Stafford Maisie, had been at the helm for just 18 months, reportedly resigning to spend more time with his family. There have been only two Google country managers in South Africa since the international search behemoth established a local office here about three years ago. Newton told Memeburn that his new role could be described as "Africa-wide"...

  • Swiss company develops innovative VOIP app based on local platform

    A Swiss-based telecommunications company, TelFree, has made ripples recently with the launch of an innovative Skype-like VOIP service developed right here in our very own back yard. The company has now released a new iPhone application of its offering, available for download in the iTunes App Store. The application's biggest innovation is that it features "push-call technology", making it possible for users to receive calls and messages even though the application isn't actively running on the device, or has even been signed into. This is beneficial for those mobile operating systems that do not support multi-tasking, or the ability to run multiple...

  • SA politician releases ‘secret’ Eskom dossier on Facebook

    According to business newspaper Business Report, a Democratic Alliance (DA) politician has released a "secret" document about the country's main electricity utility via Facebook. The newspaper is reporting that Pieter van Dalen released the Eskom dossier on his Facebook profile which allegedly contains information around the country's move to supply below-cost power to its neighbouring states. The move has not been without controversy because South Africa itself is facing electricity supply issues. Upon closer inspection it appears van Dalen actually released the report on a DA website, but used his Facebook status update to link to it, saying: "What a...

  • Internet Solutions rolls out its 700th hotspot

    Internet Solutions (IS) says it has rolled out its 700th Wi-Fi hotspot in South Africa, just in time for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. In a country where Wi-Fi is about as common as the odd unicorn, that's good news. The IS hotspots are made up of key locations through South Africa with a specific focus on the hospitality industry. "Our focus is very much around providing a great internet experience for...

  • Vodacom launches multiplayer social mobile game

    The Grid, Vodacom's location-based mobile social network, has launched Legends of Echo, a multi-player social game for mobile phones that allows players to battle each other across South Africa in real time and based on their actual physical location. In the game, the Echo is a parallel virtual universe based on the South African map, but instead of cities and skyscrapers, players will find rolling green fields, rocky outcrops and valleys to explore and establish their virtual base from their mobile phones. The uniqueness of the game is that it mirrors real-life locations in a multiplayer environment and that interactions are...