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  • So retailers are now media companies… but is that a good thing?

    The retailer is now a publisher. And we see retailers rolling out multi-channel networks filled with original editorial content spanning everything from how-to videos and gift guides to new-technology primers and behind-the-scenes looks at popular movies. As Natalie Zmuda, writes on Ad Age: "The press corps at this year's Consumer Electronics Show may find themselves jostling for soundbytes and product demos on the Vegas strip with video crews from Best Buy. "Execs say the intent is to be complementary to, not competitive with, publications like CNet, Engadget or Gizmodo, which cover consumer electronics. But while Best Buy says it's not looking...

  • Memeburn’s top 10 must-have gadgets

    We've certainly entered the decade of the gadget in a big way. Tablet computing is going crazy. The iPad was easily the gadget story of the year. And there's more to come. As the new year begins, it is best not to be left behind in the race for ultimate gadget ownership. The time has come to put away those archaic phones and computers. Here is Memeburn's list of must-have gadgets: 1. Apple iPad The iPad has emerged as the undisputed king of tablets, and the iPad 2 will no doubt carry through its predecessor's legacy. The numbers speak for themselves. Having...

  • Google appoints 33-year-old Kenyan to head Africa policy

    Google's new appointment of a 33-year-old Kenyan to manage its Africa policy has been described as a "coup" by authoritative US technology magazine FastCompany. Google recently appointed Ory Okolloh, an online activist and co-founder of Ushahidi, as Policy Manager for Africa. Ushahidi is a famed crowd sourcing site dedicated to information collection, visualisation and interactive mapping. Google’s appointment shows its confidence in Africa's digital growth and recognises the continent as a future tech giant. Okolloh is a TED fellow, Global Voices contributor and a Harvard-educated lawyer. She is a regular speaker at prestigious conferences such as TED, World...

  • SA filmmaker makes YouTube’s ‘Life in a Day’ cut

    South African, Kjell Bismeyer’s clip entitled ,'Elephants swimming by moonlight', will be included in the film Life In A Day, a cinematic experiment which aims to capture life around the world in a single day. Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (State of Play, Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) recently completed work on the movie, drawing on 4,500 hours of footage sent in from 192 countries. The film was produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free UK in partnership with YouTube. Contributors whose submissions were chosen are credited as co-directors, and 26 of them have been invited to attend...

  • It’s time for Africans to get serious about the mobile web

    In 2008 we saw the scales begin to tip with imports of data enabled phones being larger than that of non-data enabled phones. In 2009 we saw the undersea cables hit East and Southern Africa in a big way. In 2010 we saw the mobile operators get serious about data availability and cost packaging for everyday Africans. 2011 is upon us, and with it brings a new type of data-enabled mobile user in Africa. It also brings the mobile web to centre stage. Mobile web content has been defined as any internet-connected or browser-based access to the internet and as digital...

  • Trillion-dollar forecast for gadget sales

    Global gadget sales may top one trillion dollars this year for the first time ever. Organisers at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in Las Vegas says that worldwide annual spending on mobile phones, computers, television sets and other items is expected to rise 10 percent in 2011 to 964 billion dollars. "We may very well hit the trillion mark," said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for CEA, organiser of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). "I'm bullish," Koenig told reporters. "That number is truly within reach." Sales of smartphones, touchscreen tablet computers, electronic book readers and flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD) television...

  • ‘LePad’: The combined laptop and tablet

    Chinese computer colossus Lenovo has unveiled an IdeaPad computer that serves as a laptop for work tasks then converts to a touch-screen tablet for play time. The IdeaPad U1 hybrid, with a "LePad" slate that serves as a laptop screen but unplugs to become a tablet computer, made its debut on the cusp of the Thursday opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "It is one device to balance life and work," said Lenovo product manager Leo Li. "A keyboard is more important and Windows software more powerful for a lot of things you need to work, especially productivity and...

  • A glimpse of our ‘always-connected’ future

    Smarter devices, homes and cars for the "always-connected lifestyle" are taking centre stage as the annual Las Vegas-based Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Slick new smartphones, ultra-thin laptops, tablet computers to rival Apple's iPad and Web-connected and 3D television sets are expected to grab the most attention during the four-day event at the Las Vegas Convention Center. But the show floor will also feature more smart home appliances such as ovens which can download recipes and vehicles which give drivers hands-free voice control access to their smartphone applications. Technology titans such as Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba...

  • Microsoft sold 8m Kinects in first two months

    Microsoft sold more than eight million gesture-sensing Kinect controllers for Xbox 360 game consoles in just two months, says the company's chief executive Steve Ballmer. Ballmer used much of his time on stage for a keynote presentation on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to tout the booming popularity of Xbox 360 devices and the Live online community linked to the consoles. More than 50 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide, and Live membership has topped 30 million, according to Ballmer. "This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox," Ballmer said. "A new...

  • The WordPress evolution: 10 major media players that use it

    Over the past three years WordPress has evolved from being predominantly blog-centric into a full, hands-on content management system (CMS) with more than 15-million blogs being hosted on WordPress.com. While it’s impossible to count the number of standalone sites that are powered by WordPress.org, the self-installed version of Wordpress, we can expect that the number is growing exponentially as the open source software has distinguished itself as the world’s most popular CMS and blogging engine. With thousands of widgets, plugins and themes -- all of which are fully customisable -- the unique system has given managing web content a...

  • Top 10 South American brands on Facebook

    When we think of Facebook most of us think of it as the domain of the English-speaking world. But the reality is that over 375-million of Facebook’s 585-million users are non-English speakers, which is more than half of all users. One of Facebook's fastest growing regions is South America. The region already has six countries that number in Facebook’s 25 biggest markets - Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Peru -- and it contributes more than 56-million users. What’s scary is that Brazil, with its 76 million internet users, has only just begun to take to Facebook. In November...

  • iPad magazines: Not all they’re cut out to be

    The iPad may not be all it is cut out to be for magazine publishers. According to Engadget, iPad magazine numbers have dropped. It indicates that iPad magazines benefited from a novelty factor but that the novelty soon wore off. What's puzzling is that iPad sales have been soaring all year; you would expect a rise in magazine subscriptions just based on the percentage of rising iPad sales. Yet we don't see this at all. As Laura June at Engadget reports: "According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which collects magazine circulation data from companies willing to furnish numbers, all iPad magazines...

  • Africa’s mobile numbers, and where to find them

    It’s not a big surprise to see Nokia’s Symbian operating system is the most popular in Africa. We all knew that, but it’s by how much that draws your attention. Royal Pingdom has an excellent post on the web usage (which is what they can measure) of the top OS use around the world. It’s amazing to see the difference between Africa, Asia and South America as opposed to Europe and North America. While, as a developer, it’s more sexy to work on the cutting-edge operating systems like iPhone and iPad's iOS and Android you’d be making a mistake to...

  • Social media futurism – the perfect government?

    It's widely acknowledged that the advent of social media has completely changed our lives. Friends around the world are closer and always in touch, news spreads like wildfire, and communication is instant. With Twitter being used by more than 175-million people, Facebook approaching 600-million and even LinkedIn with over 70-million, it seems that social networking is an unstoppable force. The question begs to be asked: Where will all of this lead us? The impact that these services have had on society is unquantifiable, and is exponential. Is it conceivable that, very soon, every adult on earth could have internet connectivity...

  • ‘Proof’ from China that the iPad 2 will have a camera

    Protective cases for the second generation iPad are being sold on Chinese e-commerce website Alibaba -- even before Apple has launched the new device -- and suggest the next model will have a camera. Alibaba spokesman John Spelich said on Tuesday the company had been asked to remove the listings, which showed brightly coloured silicon cases with a small hole in the back on sale for less than three dollars each. "Shortly after we were made aware, through blog reports, of the presence of these listings, we received a legitimate take down request and we have been doing so since last...