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  • Tedx Youth@Soweto: A vision of the future

    On Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend the afternoon session of the historic Tedx Youth@Soweto hosted by the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. I wonder if the venue had anything to do with the fire in the belly of the young leaders, as they took over the podium to tell the world about the Africa they dream of. It was fitting for the theme of the event entitled "We, The Future". Tedx Youth Day is a series of TEDx events which happened all around the world on November 20 designed to empower and inspire young people. The session I attended...

  • Technology predictions for 2011

    2010 has been an amazing year for technology. We’ve seen an explosion of tablets, the rise and rise of Android, the saturation of location-based services, not to mention set-top boxes from Google and Apple, 3D TVs, Microsoft Kinect, and the first mainstream movie about a website, The Social Network. Mobile technology also continued to race forward at light-speed, with many advances in mobile payments, augmented reality and high speed networks. But don't expect it all to end there. 2011 is already holding some intriguing and exciting possibilities.Let’s take a look at some the technologies and gadgets in store for...

  • Migrating your business to an open source solution

    Too often, open source software is portrayed as an all-or-nothing option. In reality, a mixed environment is the first step to a successful migration. Free and open source software is famously versatile. Think of just about any piece of software your business uses and chances are there is an open source alternative. And if there isn't then someone, somewhere, is working on it. Being so versatile means that open source software can be used in almost any situation, from desktop applications to cloud computing servers, which can often entice businesses down the path of a wholesale open source...

  • Why the Murdoch-Jobs iPad alliance may be headed for choppy waters

    Reports that Apple is working with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to produce an iPad-only newspaper, called the "Daily," sets a troubling precedent. It has not done the same with music, TV or movie studios. Reports the Guardian: "The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world's first 'newspaper' designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple's Apple's iPad, with a launch planned for early next year. "...there will be no 'print edition' or 'web edition'; the central innovation, developed with assistance from Apple engineers, will be to dispatch the publication...

  • ‘iPad a completely new product’ after latest OS update

    Apple released the latest version of its mobile operating system on Monday bringing multitasking, folders, a unified inbox and wireless printing to the iPad. Apple said iOS 4.2 for the iPad, the iPhone and iPad Touch offers more than 100 new features to the trend-setting tablet computer from the Cupertino-based company. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said the upgraded software, which can be downloaded for free from online entertainment store iTunes, "makes the iPad a completely new product". "The iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able...

  • Four things large companies can learn from startups

    Any startup company is agile by design and necessity. There are certain characteristics of a startup that make an agile approach come naturally, and allows startups to achieve far more in a month than some larger companies do in a quarter. Paying attention to these key principles, one can encourage the startup approach in larger organisations - not just in the design and development teams, but beyond to all areas of the business. As a disclaimer, let me say upfront: this is not a technical discussion. It’s not about how to implement a specific Agile methodology, but more about finding...

  • How should brands respond when being cyber-bullied?

    Many brands are struggling with the burden of social networking and the power it has put in the hands of the consumer. In days of old, you phoned a customer complaint line, and they told you that they were recording the call for quality assurance. Your complaint usually fell on deaf ears, because brands weren't that worried about a private phone call between the company and an individual. Now imagine broadcasting that recorded message to a possible listenership of 500-million users on Facebook. Imagine thousands of people agreeing with your complaint and voicing their own on this public platform...

  • Tencent, Qihoo need to ‘strengthen professional ethics’: Chinese govt

    Two of China's leading internet companies, Tencent and Qihoo, have been forced by the Chinese authorities to issue public apologies over a nasty spat marked by accusations of unfair market practices and privacy infringement. Tencent, China's premier online game operator and its largest instant messaging provider, and security software developer Qihoo 360 issued the apologies late on Sunday after being ordered to do so by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The Ministry said both companies need to "strengthen professional ethics" to prevent such a spat from happening again. Tencent, parent company of the popular instant messaging service QQ, is partly...

  • Stop whining: You’re losing influence

    Gary Vaynerchuk, the famous host of Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine, mentioned in his SXSW 2010 keynote that inevitably we’re all going to be in one industry i.e. customer service. I have to agree, over the last five years, the internet has become more a platform for people to express their opinions and less about porn and music. Even more so, by empowering the average consumer, the internet has become a reverse mass medium. How so? Well, in the glory days when television was the mass medium, brands used to talk...

  • ‘Social’ still a key part of Google’s strategy

    Internet search behemoth Google said social media was "absolutely" part of its strategy and would be embedded in "many of our products" but played down its rivalry with networking icon Facebook. Chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said that Google was at the centre of an exploding digital economy where computer power was "relentlessly, dramatically increasing" and innovation was crucial to survival. "Search is clearly the core product of Google but many of our other products are having phenomenal trajectories," Pichette told Australian public television. "The first driving principle of Google is in fact not money -- the first driving principle of Google...

  • Newscorp’s big budget, dedicated iPad newspaper set to launch

    After months of top secret development, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. appears poised to take the wraps off a digital newspaper for the iPad called "The Daily". News Corp. has been tight-lipped about the project but the Australian-born media mogul acknowledged its existence for the first time in an interview last week with his Fox Business Network. Asked what "exciting projects" his sprawling media and entertainment company was working on, the 79-year-old Murdoch cited The Daily but offered no further information about the tabloid for Apple's touchscreen tablet computer. Details about the project have been dribbling out in the US media for weeks,...

  • Chinese woman sentenced to labour camp over a tweet

    A Chinese woman sentenced to a year in a labour camp could be the first person in the country persecuted over a tweet, human rights groups said Friday, as Beijing tightens its grip on social media. Cheng Jianping, 46, was convicted on Monday of "disturbing social order" after she retweeted a Twitter posting that mocked anti-Japanese protesters and suggested they attack the Japanese pavilion at Shanghai's World Expo. "To my knowledge it is the first time ... someone was sent to labour camp for tweeting," said Vincent Brossel, a representative of Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. Even though Twitter is blocked in China,...

  • Global internet trends you should know: From the Meeker Files

    "Queen of the Net" and acclaimed web analyst Mary Meeker delivered one of her landmark presentations on worldwide internet trends at a recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. When Meeker speaks, people listen. They listen very carefully. Meeker has become famous for her incisive presentations on the state of the internet, bringing it all together in a way that makes sense. In "Ten Questions Internet Execs Should Ask & Answer", Meeker touches on the state of the web worldwide and how the net is evolving, analysing how the global internet order is changing with some new emerging market challengers....

  • Engaging your Facebook fans: 5 tips from Simphiwe Dana

    On October 29th 2010, a fan posted on Afro-Soul singer Simphiwe Dana’s Facebook wall this message: "I love the fact that you actually interact with us. Happy to be your friend" With social media making it easier to reach superstars, the ones who see the value of interaction are the ones who reap the rewards of the medium. Simphiwe recently posted an update on her Facebook status, lamenting the fact that she was finding it hard to find a good school in Cape Town that offered her children an indigenous language as a first or second language. The post...

  • Curation: The algorithm of our human essence

    There is no doubt in my mind that the topic of curation and the Internet, is an important one and that it will be a dominant topic in 2011. Curation is important because we are reaching the limits of what can be achieved through algorithms and machines in organising and navigating the Internet. Aggregation looks like curation but it's not. I define curation as a person, or a group of people, engaged in choosing and presenting a collection of things related to a specific topic and context. Aggregation employs software (algorithms) and machines (servers) to assemble a collection of things related to a...