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  • Nandos launches new ‘Speedchicken’ viral video

    Shortly after Nando's launched its spoof "CEO" campaign, poking fun at Cell C's Trevor Noah campaign, it received two brand new USB speedsticks with 60GB of data and a personal note from the CEO of the mobile operator, Lars Reichelt, suggesting that Nando's adds "Speedchicken" to its menu. Reichelt wrote: "Nando’s campaign gave us a real chuckle, we love the ads and it’s great to know that our initial campaign is inspiring creativity in other companies. I trust that the Nando’s executives will enjoy their new super-fast internet connection and that they will consider adding “Speedchicken” to their menu It...

  • SA goes crazy for Zef, Bieber and Malema: Google Zeitgeist

    Pop sensations, both local and international, dominated South Africa’s Google search in 2010. From Justin Bieber to Locnville, Jack Parow to Nicki Manaj, local search was dominated by local entertainment icons who managed to squeeze controversial politician Julius Malema and the locally-hosted Soccer World Cup out of the top spots. Every year, Google measures which search topics rocket and which plummet in order to get a sense of the “zeitgeist,” or spirit, of each year. "Doing fast-rising search terms allows us to see what is truly unique about 2010,” Google spokesperson Anne Espiritu said. “Think of fastest rising as...

  • 10 of SA’s favourite women bloggers

    These 10 remarkable women have all captured our online imaginations with their style, wit and wisdom. As the South African blogosphere matures and deepens, we thought you should know and appreciate the established, the new, and the ones to watch. No doubt there are others out there, toiling away, looking for an audience. Let us know who they are and where we can find them. 1. The Magazine Queen Hurricane Vanessa – “Is there more to life than sex and shopping?” The editor of Cosmopolitan SA and editorial director of Associated Magazines, Vanessa Raphaely makes witty observations on popular culture,...

  • Russia’s DST backs Groupon’s rejection of Google

    Alexander Tamas, partner at Digital Sky Technologies (DST), a major investor in Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon, defended Groupon's rejection of Google's acquisition bid, saying that Groupon could become one of the most important companies on the Internet. Tamas was speaking at the Le Web conference in Paris. He said that there are very few internet companies that have the potential to define their genre and become great companies. Groupon can achieve much more by staying independent. DST is a Russian-based investment company largely funded by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and run by Yuri Milner. South African emerging market internet media...

  • ‘Anonymous’ fails to take down Amazon.com in support of WikiLeaks

    After taking down the websites of Visa, Mastercard and others with cyber attacks, supporters of WikiLeaks tried but failed on Thursday to knock online retail giant Amazon.com offline. The loose-knit group of hackers known as "Anonymous" announced an assault on the Amazon website for 11:00 am (1600 GMT) as part of what they are calling "Operation Payback." The Amazon.com website did not appear to have experienced any downtime, however, and Anonymous acknowledged defeat on another Twitter feed used by the group to coordinate operations, @AnonOpsNet. "Okay, we have changed our target -- the Hive isn't big enough to attack Amazon," a message...

  • The Zeitgeist in search: Gadgets displace celebrities in 2010

    The world of technology trumped celebrities when it came to search queries for 2010 on the world's largest search engine. Some of the hottest topics included online stranger-pairing website Chatroulette and Apple's hip iPad tablet computer in Google's "Spirit of 2010" analysis of search results at google.com/zeitgeist2010 "An overarching theme is geek is truly chic," said Google spokesperson Anne Espiritu while discussing the year's top search trend results. However the third fastest search term for the year was 16-year-old Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, who arguably fell into the technology category because he was discovered at video-sharing website YouTube. Google measures which search...

  • Five of SA’s best social media moments of 2010

    It’s been a year of highlights for South African social media, and for the first time our online trends have made a real impact on the world at large. Here are my top five picks for the funniest, most popular and most bizarre viral messages of 2010. 5. Cell C wants you to tell Trevor At number five, we have Cell C’s sometimes controversial, always intriguing marketing campaign. The mobile operator co-opted comedian Trevor Noah to become its customer experience officer (glibly named the CEO), and after a rocky start amid allegations of faking their viral campaign, it has captured...

  • Lessons on developing for the mobile world

    Getting onto the mobile web is easy, right?. It’s just some slimmed down css and html, with a few new rules, such as the need to "think light". Not quite. There are issues that need to be addressed at many levels. Let's consider, for the moment, the tech baseline. Most phones will probably be only marginally better than: Screen size of 240 x 320 pixels, colour Clock speed of max 600MHz, but after dealing with the heavy lifting of the radio and signal processing up in the microwave band, there are very few CPU cycles left for rendering web pages. You’d be...

  • Can India produce the world’s cheapest tablet?

    The Indian government won headlines around the world when it unveiled a prototype $US35 tablet computer in July, but questions are now growing over whether the project will become a reality or not. At the computer's launch, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal vowed "the solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India" as he revealed the breathtaking price tag -- a fraction of the 500-dollar cost for an Apple iPad. Officials said the touchscreen device, aimed at the country's millions of students, could even be hammered down to just 10 dollars once production rates increase. The tablet computer, which has yet to...

  • Philippine officials allowed to Tweet again

    Philippine officials are free to use social networking media again, President Benigno Aquino's spokesperson said on Thursday, ending a crackdown arising from Twitter jokes about bad Vietnamese wine. Executive staff were temporarily barred from using Twitter last month after assistant cabinet secretary Maria Carmen Mislang complained about Vietnamese wine, men and its motorcycle-clogged streets during a state visit. "The wine sucks @rickycarandang," Mislang had tweeted about a state dinner, in response to an apparent query from her immediate boss, Aquino spokesman Ricky Carandang. Other comments attributed to her included: "Crossing the speedy motorcycle laden streets of Hanoi is one of the easiest...

  • Eight percent of Americans now on Twitter

    Three-fourths of the US adult population are Internet users and eight percent of those who are online use Twitter, according to a study by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. The study found that the micro-blogging service is particularly popular with "young adults, minorities, and those who live in cities". Eight percent of the online US adults surveyed said they use Twitter and two percent said they do so on a typical day, Pew said. The survey found that 74 percent of American adults are Internet users, meaning that those who use Twitter amount to six percent of the...

  • Internet groups call for ‘.xxx’ porn domain

    Internet specialists gathered in Colombia on Thursday calling for the creation of an ".xxx" domain for pornographic websites, saying it would make it easier to police them. "Since we cannot fight the pornographic industry on the Internet, a thousand-headed monster... we are demanding that they be socially responsible and adopt a code of ethics," said Carmen Sanchez, from the non-government group, Internet Commitment for Social Responsibility (ICSR), based in Spain. The group, which works to ensure the quality of web content, hopes that the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will approve the creation of the domain name...

  • The global Facebook Page admin fail and the SA connection

    The bug that caused worldwide havoc on Facebook Pages this week was resolved quickly after it was apparently discovered and reported by a bunch of quick-witted South African Page administrators early on Thursday morning. A recently-updated privacy setting had caused a bug that prevented or limited administrators of their respective Facebook Pages from responding to comments from fans. Facebook acknowledged the problem and quickly fixed the error: "We are currently working on a fix that is keeping some Page admins from commenting on their Wall content. Thanks to those who helped us identify this issue." The local Page administrators claim...

  • What the Zuck? Facebook Page admin bombshell causes havoc

    We all know how much of an outcry there is every time the Facebook developers get it into their developer heads that the platform needs a change. Usually I’m rather *meh* about any of the new features, I quietly adopt them, get used to them and move on until the next time a change comes round. This time, I’m sitting in my office flabbergasted, after getting a call from my team telling me that the Facebook pages we run for our clients has an issue (to say the least): No longer can we as a brand comment on anything...

  • Chinese YouTube Youku.com soars in Wall Street debut

    Shares in Chinese online video company Youku.com's soared 161 percent on their first day of trading on Wall Street -- the strongest New York Stock Exchange debut in more than five years. Youku's founder and chief executive Victor Koo rang the opening bell on Wednesday to celebrate the firm's debut, which ended at 33.44 dollars from their 12.80 pricing, completing a 203 million-dollar initial public offering. The first day performance by Youku -- whose name means excellent and cool -- was the best since Baidu, China's most popular search engine, rose 354 percent in August 2005, according to New York Stock...