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  • 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...

  • 4 ways that connected cars will improve your life, and save the planet

    I came away from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with a sense of symbiosis about the mutual influence that the automotive and technology industries are having on each other, and how the success of this collaboration will affect every one of us. With 800-million cars on the road today, growing to an estimated 3-billion by 2035, the automotive industry exists because of our basic need to travel. Not only is it imperative for most of us to commute to sustain an income, it is in our human nature to want to discover, explore and connect. Sadly, these very...

  • Sony’s PS3 has finally been hacked, but will it lead to innovation?

    Everyone hopes that their New Year will bring a renewal of good fortune. And in my experience, the feeling of optimism that comes with the 1st of January tends to last a few weeks before reality sets in and you realise that your life hasn’t really improved that much -- and is unlikely to improve much -- since last year. There are the exceptions of course. Some people really do get lucky and end up with a much better year than the last. And then there are the others, who see their fortunes going from bad to worse. Japanese tech...

  • Financial Times launches ‘Tilt’, emerging-markets focused site

    The Financial Times has launched a subscription based site that deals only with emerging markets called "FT Tilt". The site describes itself as "a premium online financial news and analysis service from the Financial Times, focused exclusively on the emerging world. It is aimed at finance professionals who require highly granular information on companies and markets beyond the developed G3 economies." Paul Murphy, editor-in-chief of FT Tilt explained the name of the new site: "Recent years have seen economic power shift—or tilt—south and east. This trend is accelerating rather than diminishing and we see strong demand from our core professional readers...

  • Chinese authorities to step up fight against online piracy

    Intellectual property rights are widely flouted in China, home to the biggest counterfeit and piracy market in the world. But days before President Hu Jiantao visits the United States, the Chinese government has declared it will step up its fight to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) by targeting online piracy. "It is vital to protect online IPR," Wang Ziqiang, spokesman for the National Copyright Administration, was quoted as saying by the China Daily. "If not, the traditional press, the publication industry, movies and music will face severe threats from online 'theft' if everyone goes online to get free material." Last week, Chinese...