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  • Is it a tweet or is it a status update?

    After locking my BlackBerry away for the Christmas break and enjoying the consequent peace and quiet, I’ve decided that 2011 is the year we should start de-cluttering our digital lives, and filtering out the tons of useless information we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. One of the best ways to begin is to learn how and when to use specific social networks to get the best out of them, and still save some time for yourself away from your intrusive technologies. If you can manage to use your social networking accounts as they were intended and to your best...

  • Facebook Pages level the playing field for small business

    Few small business owners and entrepreneurs have the bandwidth or the budget to launch a full scale marketing campaign. Combine this with a lack of critical mass in terms of audience associated with the larger competing organisations/brands, and it almost seems hopeless to try and compete. However, with the dawn of the digital age and the rise of social media platforms and opportunities, the sky has quite literally become the limit. It is no longer just about having the traditional above-the-line campaigns spanning across radio, TV and print, but about creating an online brand presence, about having a conversation,...

  • Ugandan ISP reveals benefits of Google’s Global Cache

    Take a look at the amazing chart below. Orange Uganda has seen local traffic jump from 3Mbs to over 30Mbs in just two weeks due to partnering and implementing Google’s Global Cache. One wonders how much business they’re starting to chip away at from their competition. In layman’s terms, it works like this: Once anyone in Uganda using Orange has visited a website (especially Google’s data heavy ones like YouTube, Google Maps or even Search results), that the content is cached locally. Once that is done, the next person to visit that same site gets it served to them locally,...

  • Mobile payment systems making inroads into the US market

    In a sure sign of things to come, US coffee chain Starbucks on Wednesday began allowing customers in its US stores to keep their cash and credit cards in their wallets and pay for their drinks with mobile phones, after downloading the free Starbucks Card mobile application. Starbucks said the mobile payment system, which has been tested in selected cities since last year, was being expanded to the nearly 6 800 Starbucks around the country, as well as the more than 1 000 Starbucks located in Target stores. While Japanese shoppers have been able to pay by mobile phone for years...

  • Jobs gone, ‘uncensored’ Playboy to hit the iPad

    Steve Jobs is known as a big prude, banning applications and other iPad content that feature nude or sexual content on the iPad. No sooner that he announces a leave of absence on medical grounds, Hugh Hefner, announces that Playboy, both old and new, will be available on the iPad in March. The octogenarian publisher, in a message via his Twitter account, @hughhefner, said current and back issues of Playboy would be available on the Apple device in March. "Big news! Playboy -- both old & new -- will be available on iPad beginning in March," Hefner tweeted. He did not provide...

  • Facebook: Emerging market countries surge into the top 10

    Only a year or two ago, developed countries were dominating Facebook, but in terms of growth it’s the developing economies that are taking giant leaps forward in Facebook numbers. While the United States seems to have hit a plateau, the emerging markets are going from strength to strength. India has moved up three spots in just two months, while Mexico and the Philippines feature strongly too. It seems fair to assume that as online access increases, so will the Facebook populations of these countries. Here are the top 10 countries on Facebook, as measured by number of users. 1. United States...

  • 6 ways gaming could change forever in 2011

    While it's fun to comment on which new shooter will capture the imagination of hardcore gamers this year, there are wider trends and factors which are impacting the gaming environement in 2011, making it one of the most innovative and exciting arenas of the digital landscape. Here are six areas where gaming is undertaking a quantum leap. Smartphone gaming This goes for all app developers out there, not just in the gaming industry: Wake up and smell the Android! Smaller gaming franchises are welcome to pick one category of smartphone and play to its particular strengths (and consumer spending patterns), but...

  • Google software unblocked for Iranian citizens but not govt

    Since 2009, Google has been blocked from providing software downloads to Iran. However, Google announced on its blog that some of the US government's export controls and sanctions programs that prohibited software downloads to Iran have been lifted. The search giant has made mapping, photo-sharing, and Web browsing software available for the first time to people in Iran. "For the first time, we are making Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome available for download in Iran," Google export compliance programs manager Neil Martin said in a blog post. But restrictions on access to government computers remains, due to the fact that...

  • The robot armageddon is nigh!

    Science fiction has long forewarned the rise of the machine and the ultimate end of humanity. It's usually the realm of late night geek discussions, or perhaps lunatics wrapped snugly in straitjackets. In the popular movie “Terminator” an artificial intelligence network called Skynet becomes self-aware and initiates a nuclear holocaust on mankind. “The Matrix” depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated virtual reality created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while body heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. We have become nothing more...

  • Record profits at Apple dampen fears over Jobs’ leave of absence

    Legendary Apple Inc. chief Steve Jobs stepped aside on a high note as the company he saved from ruin raked in a blockbuster US$6-billion profit amid unrelenting demand for iPhones and iPads. In a carefully managed chain of events, Jobs announced he was taking an indefinite leave of absence for medical reasons the day before Apple reported its record net profit as revenue soared to an unprecedented US$26.74 billion in the quarter ending December 31. The Cupertino, California-based company said it sold 7.33-million iPad tablet computers and 16.24-million iPhones. "We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales,"...

  • The HTML5 video debate rages on

    It has come to my attention that people are getting rather confused about what constitutes freedom and openness in web standards. Over the past few days there has been a lot of buzz around Google’s decision to drop support for H.264 format in HTML5 video and, to my surprise, a large number of people are actually against the move. I'll try to sum up the arguments from the perspective of all the players involved. A bit of background H.264 was developed by Apple and the Joint Video Team in 2003 in order to compress high quality video which can be...

  • Facebook announces delay in plans to share user contact info

    After being dogged by complaints about its privacy protection during 2010, Facebook has finally taken heed of the issues that users have with its privacy policies. On Tuesday, the social networking giant delayed a plan to share home addresses and mobile phone numbers of its members with outside developers of applications. Four days earlier, Facebook announced on its developer blog that it would begin granting developers access to home addresses and mobile numbers but the social network followed up with another post on Tuesday saying the move had been put on hold. "Over the weekend, we got some useful feedback that...

  • 14-year old boy creates top free iPhone app, surpassing ‘Angry Birds’

    Some people study and work for years trying to build, test and develop successful games for the internet age. Others seem to create smash hits without even breaking a sweat. Bubble Ball, a new game for Apple and Android, falls squarely into the latter category. The physics puzzle game that is taking the world by storm was developed by Robert Nay, a 14-year old schoolboy from Utah over 'a couple of months'. Bubble Ball challenges players to use objects and gravity to guide a ball to its destination, and has been downloaded over 2 million times in the last...

  • Facebook: The China challenge

    A few weeks back Mark Zuckerburg was spotted in Beijing, strutting through the headquarters of Baidu - China’s dominant search engine and resident Google killer. A couple of days later similar photos popped up after a visit to Sina.com, the Nasdaq-listed online content and social networking powerhouse. The tech press and the blogosphere went crazy, predicting Facebook’s imminent arrival in the Chinese market and just how this may work given the Chinese government's iron grip on social networking and communication technology. Facebook may have a massive war chest, recently topped up with a US$500 million investment round led by Goldman...

  • The BBM that started the Mandela Twitter ‘death’ hoax [pic]

    American blogger, Dan Zarrella -- an award-winning writer and author of two O’Reilly Media books, has uncovered a screenshot of the original Blackberry Messenger (BBM) notice that was the source of the Nelson Mandela Twitter "death" hoax. Over the weekend, news of the world icon's "death" went viral and trended internationally on Twitter, prompting strong denials from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the African National Congress (ANC) and worldwide outrage at the distasteful hoax. The source of the original BBM hoax message remains unknown, but the source of the Twitter trend that caught the world's attention is thought to have been unwittingly...