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  • Anonymity is not cowardice, says 4chan founder (SXSW2011)

    He arrives late, sidling awkwardly onto the stage. With his baby face and blond mop it's easy to believe Christopher Poole is 24 years old. What's harder to believe is that he founded 4chan - one of the web's most creative, influential and infamously anarchic communities - when he was barely 15. Speaking at this year's South by South West festival, Poole outlined what 4chan has taught him about building online communities, and how he is applying that to his new project, a collaborative platform called Canvas. "Most of you know 4Chan because of our "random" /b/ board - more than...

  • 10 of the most innovative Kinect hacks

    Now that the dust has settled over the Kinect bounty wars that had the open source community in a 'Kinect-driver' development frenzy and had Microsoft tap-dance around the whole debacle, we can safely return to the comfortable position of reviewing some of the most innovative features to have spawned from last year's hack-the-Kinect phenomenon. The release of an open-source Kinect driver for Windows has seen a huge spike in the number of "hacks", which range from simple 3D user interfaces to robotics, physical science applications and much more. Here's our extended list of some of the better Kinect Hacks: Autonomous Robotic...

  • Virtual surgery: Training without pain (SXSW 2011)

    Surgery is one of the most difficult and dangerous professions to train for on the planet. Before you're skilled at operating you can kill someone, but you can only really learn those skills by operating. Virtual surgery has long held the promise of allowing apprentice surgeons to learn from mistakes without killing patients, but until recent advances in technology, it hasn't had much success. Now two different groups of researches are redefining the technology. Speaking on a panel at this year's South By SouthWest interactive festival, Professor Gregory Wiet of Ohio State University, as well as Frank Sculli and John...

  • Drowning out internet noise through human filters

    You may have a friend or two who you can always trust to tell you, with impeccable taste, which new films, albums, gadgets or restaurants are worth your time and money. This information is priceless if you don't have the time or patience to sample everything available to find the good stuff among the many options flooding the market for yourself. This principle is gaining traction in the online space, largely as the result of the rise of social media. Increasingly, internet users are depending on trusted members of their online social networks and media environments to help them...

  • Social media sites rally to Japan’s aid

    Friday's earthquake off the coast of Japan and the resulting tsunami has proven, yet again, how the internet and social media tools offer an information lifeline to the world in a time of crisis. The internet was designed so that US military communications could withstand a nuclear war, but is proving equally resilient in the face of natural disasters and even seismic shifts in global politics. As the waves smashed into the Japanese coastline following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake 130 kilometres (80 miles) east in the Pacific ocean on Friday, a tsunami of images was also soon hitting the web. In scenes worthy...

  • Russia could do for high-tech engineering what India did for IT

    The US Vice-President Joe Biden laments the fact that trade between the US and Russian amounts to just a few days of trading between neighbours Mexico and Canada. Change is on the horizon however. American companies are showing they believe Russia's human resources can soon do for high-tech engineering what India did to the IT sector two decades ago. And that means a big shift in the way global technology operations take place. Executives at some of North America's biggest companies are taking on a vision of a 24-hour production cycle in which Russian engineers zip their drafts to board room...

  • 6 psychology findings for social media marketing

    Social media and marketing are simultaneous in any plan to build an enterprise or advance a cause. So when it comes to your business, there are six psychological facts you may want to consider to get inside the mind of your customer before you rush off to reach them. Reticular activating system: Essentially this refers to the structure in the brain that drives selective attention: we naturally orient to information or ideas that we are invested in. According to psychologist Dr. Rachna Jain, adults are much more interested in content that addresses a specific problem they are having...

  • Friending the constitution: a social media bill of rights (SXSW2011)

    When does a technological revolution become a part of the fabric of society? If it's just about pure numbers, then social media passed that marker some time towards the end of the last decade, when the combined audience of social media platforms breached the 1-billion user mark. But with ubiquity often comes regulation: if Facebook or Twitter are truly social "utilites" then do they need to be policed in the same way that electricity or water providers are? One vital component missing from the wild west of the current social media landscape is any kind of universally accepted guidelines about...

  • Twitter prays for Japan

    Japan's tweet-o-meter is at critical level with 1 200 tweets per minute. Now trending on Twitter, the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit northern Japan on Friday. The quake triggered a tsunami which sent a massive body of water filled with debris, including boats and houses toward highways. The quake garnered the attention of the world with four topics trending world-wide simultaneously on the popular microblogging site. Shortly after the quake the country's phone systems and a sizable amount of its power supply were knocked out. Tweets coming from all around the world under hash tags "Pray for Japan", "Tsunami", "Miyagi"...

  • Warner Bro’s tries direct streaming movie rentals on Facebook

    Media giant Warner Brothers announced this week that it has partnered with Facebook to test whether the social network’s 600+ million users would be willing to pay to stream movies directly through the site. Warner Bros. has started the trial with the smash hit 2008 Batman movie, The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger. The movie is available for rent from the movie’s Facebook fan page using Facebook’s virtual currency (in the U.S. only at the moment), and users will have to pay 30 Facebook Credits (US$3) to watch it. The...

  • The benefits of Social CRM in your Business

    At its core, social CRM impacts every process of traditional CRM that interacts and faces with customers. Unlike traditional models which were originally developed to be customer-centered but quickly devolved into customer focused, company-centric strategies, Social CRM brings a whole new level of authenticity, accountability, immediacy, and builds upon trust and its foundations with customers in the relationship. Social networks have greatly amplified the voice of consumers in the marketplace and it is predicted they will continue to have profound and extensive effects on how companies manage their clients. Conversations that take place on these virtual communities are...

  • Cameroon bans Twitter in an effort to thwart Egypt-like uprising

    In a bid to insulate Cameroon against popular uprisings similar to those that have toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt in recent months, the government of Cameroon has forced mobile operator MTN to end its five-month old partnership with the microblogging giant Twitter, and to discontinue its Twitter short code service. This service allowed MTN subscribers to receive tweets for free and send tweets at the standard SMS rates. During his press conference of February 22 2010, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications and regime spokesperson had lashed out at Cameroonians in the Diaspora who were using Facebook...

  • Apple’s iPad 2 hits stores on Friday

    The new iPad goes on sale at Apple stores across the United States on Friday as the gadget-maker seeks to stay a step ahead of its rivals in the booming market for sleek touchscreen tablet computers. Apple will be taking online orders for the iPad 2, which was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week, the sales began at 9am GMT and the device will be available in the company's 236 US stores starting at 10pm GMT. The iPad 2, which is one-third thinner, nearly 15 percent lighter and faster than the model released last April, will go on sale...

  • iFrames on Facebook: What you need to know

    Facebook recently rolled out some major changes for Facebook Pages. If you're managing any Facebook Pages you should already be aware of the changes, which were forcibly implemented on March 9 across the board. One of the biggest announcements concerning the upgrade is that Facebook is deprecating FBML (Facebook Markup Language) and FBJS (Facebook Java Script) as a primary technology for building apps on Facebook. The Static FBML tab has been the industry standard for creating apps for Facebook for a while now and is extremely popular (112 829 378 Monthly Active Users). Before you get your knickers in...

  • AOL cutting over 900 jobs in US, India

    Internet company AOL is cutting more than 900 jobs as it joins forces with world-famous blog The Huffington Post and seeks to reinvent itself as a major player in online news. AOL said Thursday it is laying off more than 200 employees in the United States and over 700 in India -- nearly 20 percent of its 5,000-strong global workforce. The 200 employees losing their jobs in the United States were mostly employed in the AOL media and technology groups, the company said. Some 300 of the 700 AOL employees being laid off in India would transition to third-party companies providing services...