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  • 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...

  • 7 ways to make the most of your Twitter Profile

    Cast your mind back -- how much time did you spend on your Twitter profile? Probably less time than you spent tying your shoes this morning, right? It’s the first thing someone sees when they click on your user name, but too many people (and brands) neglect this space or fill it with rubbish. Take the time to craft your profile – including your picture, bio and wallpaper – and you'll reap the rewards of more interesting followers. Here are a few ways to do just that. 1. Don’t leave your bio blank It’s not mysterious or intriguing, just annoying. Most...

  • Facebook moves into MySpace

    MySpace this week began letting members tap into entertainment preferences expressed in Facebook profiles in a deepening of ties with the firm that snatched its social networking crown. A "Mashup with Facebook" feature being rolled out globally lets MySpace users click on a "Connect" icon to customise profiles at the News Corporation-owned social network with likes and interests shared at Facebook. "We are thrilled to further our collaboration with Facebook," said MySpace chief executive Mike Jones. "This new feature is a great illustration of our strategy around social entertainment and enabling the real-time stream." MySpace is among more than a million websites...

  • Is this the future of online gaming?

    OnLive videogame systems that let people play titles on-demand in the Internet "cloud" will make their debut in the United States in December. The Palo Alto, California-based firm was taking orders on Thursday for US$99 dollar "microconsoles" that will let gamers play major titles such as "Assassin's Creed", streamed to internet-connected television sets. OnLive micro-consoles are about the size of a deck of cards and wirelessly link to hand-held controllers. "This is the device that is going to bring on-demand gaming into the living room," said OnLive senior product manager Michael Miller while demonstrating the system at a major videogame conference in...

  • LinkedIn adding a member every second

    Business networking website LinkedIn is adding a member a second as users seek to keep their professional lives separate from private antics they may share at Facebook. LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said that LinkedIn had 85-million members and was growing faster than ever as the economy recovers and people get back to cultivating connections that could land them better jobs. Half of LinkedIn members are outside the United States, with China and Brazil among the countries where the social network is seeing its fastest growth, Weiner said during a talk at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. When asked what...

  • SA startup selected as one of Techcrunch’s ‘Best New Startups’

    The TechCrunch Europas, the European Startup Awards for tech companies, has listed Cognician, a South African technology startup, as one of the top 11 Best New Startup's in 2010. The Europas serve to honour the best technology companies and startups across the web and mobile space. The awards span 22 categories and recognise and celebrate the most compelling technology startups, internet and mobile innovations of the past year. Cognician, the original thought processor that presents content in the form of provocative questions, helps users to apply the author's ideas to their own tasks, so that they can think better, further and...

  • 8 great tools for building mobile-friendly websites

    As we continue through the current boom in mobile technology, it has become imperative for websites to be mobile-friendly. People are increasingly turning to the devices in their pockets to do quick searches for information, read the latest news headlines and look up companies or organisations they may have come across through the day which have sparked their interest. Having a good-looking, mobile-optimised site which is easy to navigate and includes all the most important information can put you way ahead of the pack. These days with the latest tech developments in mobile operating systems and browsers, it is much easier...

  • Hey Internet, where’s my cultural interface?

    When you think about things the internet doesn’t do particularly well, it’s easy to imagine that someone out there is working on a platform to remedy the situation, probably in their parents’ basement. The fact is there are still many areas where the internet does not provide a perfect solution. For example, I believe that the internet is not a great mediator between communities. Yes, we have fantastic tools to assemble crowds of like-minded netizens, of that there is no doubt. And on a more granular level, a service like ChatRoulette is bringing people of vastly different backgrounds together daily,...

  • Twitter likes Facebook, sends friend request

    Two of the internet's hottest stars want to be friends, but they just don't know how. "We are talking to them often to see if there is a way to work together, but so far neither side has seen a way to do that," Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said about Facebook at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Williams noted that he was "frustrated" that Facebook blocked an integration of contact lists that would have allowed people to see whether friends from one service were also using the other. "We'd like our users to tap into Facebook to make their Twitter...

  • Amazon moves into the movie business

    Amazon is getting into the movie business. The online retail giant announced the launch on Tuesday of Amazon Studios, inviting filmmakers and screenwriters to submit full-length movies and scripts. Amazon said it will offer a total of US$2.7 million dollars to the top submissions received by December 31, 2011 and will seek to develop the best projects into feature films as part of a deal with Warner Bros. Pictures. Seattle, Washington-based Amazon said that test movies must be more than 70 minutes long and include "imaginative stories with great acting and sound," if not "theatrical-quality production values." "We are excited to introduce...

  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II [Xbox 360 Review]

    Being a long time Star Wars geek and big fan of the first Force Unleashed game, I could hardly contain myself when I heard that a sequel was to be released this year. And at first glance my enthusiasm seemed completely justified. But before long, I was quickly reminded that things are not always as they seem. The core experience of The Force Unleashed II remains basically unchanged. Once again, you play Starkiller, secret apprentice to Darth Vader, and bringer of preposterous amounts of destruction through wielding the force as you have never seen it before... unless you played...

  • Bored of Farmville? Here comes Cityville

    Social network game developer Zynga has unveiled "CityVille," the first globally released online game built by the hot startup behind play hits "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars." "CityVille is where Monopoly meets Main Street," said the game's general manager Sean Kelly. The game challenges a player to build his or her dream city from the ground up and incorporates winning aspects of popular Zynga titles "FrontierVille" and "FarmVille." "Instead of harvesting crops you're harvesting your neighborhood; instead of clearing your friend's frontier you're working on a friend's franchise," Kelly said, referring to the title as Zynga's most social game to date. Zynga rocketed to...