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  • Wikileaks founder speaks out against Chinese internet censorship

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is on the offensive again, blasting China as the "technological enemy" of his whistleblower website due to its aggressive internet censorship, in comments published on Thursday. Assange has enraged the United States with his site's release of leaked diplomatic cables, and lawyers for the Australian believe efforts are under way to send him to the US where they claim he could face the death penalty. But China, with its vast internet censorship system know as the "Great Firewall of China," is the site's most feared foe in cyberspace, the 39-year-old told Britain's New Statesman magazine. "China is the...

  • 4 ways tablet computing is influencing web design

    The future popularity of tablet computers was predicted more than ten years ago, but it took the genius of Apple to bring it to the mainstream. It's the same trend we’ve seen many times before: Apple makes a groundbreaking innovation and within a fairly short space of time it becomes the norm, as we are now seeing with the iPad and tablet computing – a trend which looks to be far more important than the "flash in the pan" of netbooks. Tablet computing presents some major changes in user interface, and this is already taking effect in the world...

  • YouTube serving 200-million mobile videos daily

    If there was more proof needed that the internet is becoming more and more mobile, YouTube has announced that it is serving up more than 200-million videos daily to smartphones and other internet-linked mobile devices. News of the milestone came as the Google-owned video-sharing service began routing Vevo music videos from artists such as Lady Gaga and U2 onto smartphones powered by newer versions of Google-backed Android software. "As the world goes mobile and more people watch videos on their smart phones, we expect more partners will take advantage of these new mobile advertising capabilities and make more of their content...

  • In-car infotainment: Will Android dominate the new tech battleground?

    Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive is the infotainment OS of choice for today's powerhouse car manufacturers such as Ford, Kia, Fiat and Nissan. If you’ve never heard of Microsoft WEA before, it’s probably because each manufacturer brands the system under a different name. Ford calls it MyFord, Nissan has Connect , and Kia has UVO. You can think of WEA as the Android of the car world, with each manufacturer "skinning" the user interface using Silverlight, but essentially offering all the same core technologies such as Tellme, which allows real-time text-to-speech and voice input technology. Car manufacturers haven't exactly been spoilt...

  • Google Science Fair seeks budding Einsteins and Curies

    Fifteen years ago two young computer science students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, hypothesised that there was a better way to find information on the web. After heavy research and various tests they built a search engine that literally changed the way people found information online -- Google. Ideas and inventions as profound as this can go unnoticed if people don’t have the right forum for their talents to be discovered. To help make budding scientists, in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, Google is introducing its first global online science competition -- the...

  • Google debuts real-time translator for Android phones

    The barriers of language are coming down, as Google focuses its considerable computing power on its mobile Android platform. On Wednesday, the California internet-giant began turning Android-powered smartphones into real-time interpreters with experimental software that lets the handsets translate conversations taking place in two different languages. An in-the-works version of "Conversation Mode" was made available for public testing as the California-based internet giant updated a text translation feature it added to Android smartphones a year ago. "In conversation mode, simply press the microphone for your language and start speaking," product manager Awaneesh Verma said in a blog post. "Google Translate will translate...

  • 8 simple ways to ‘green’ your computer usage

    We are all familiar with the more common “green” lifestyle changes we can make to combat climate change and be environmentally friendly, thanks to the frequent calls to action from the media. Unfortunately, we are also familiar with the justifications for why these changes are not implemented – hectic schedules, the inconvenience of altering routines, the inability to break life-long habits. But there are several measures which can be easily integrated into your usual routine to negate or, at the very least, lessen your environmental footprint – through your computer usage. Take a look at these eight simple suggestions,...

  • Google pushes free video codec for HTML5

    Google has taken a neutral approach to HTML5 video since it was first suggested, but now it seems like it has chosen a side -- its own. It has decided to remove the patent-encumbered H.264 codec from the Google Chrome browser, which now only supports its in-house developed WebM format. Google bought video codec company On2 Technologies in February 2010 in order to acquire the rights to what was the top performing video codec on the market at the time, VP8. The most commonly used video codec at the moment is Apple’s H.264 which is used with most Flash-based videos...

  • Murdoch’s much-hyped ‘iPad newspaper’ to launch next week

    News Corp. and Apple are to unveil The Daily next week, a digital newspaper for the iPad, the tablet computer Rupert Murdoch hopes may emerge as the saviour of the struggling news industry. A source familiar with News Corp.'s plans said The Daily, which has been the object of months of top secret development at News Corp., will be introduced at an event in San Francisco on January 19. According to News Corp.-owned Dow Jones, Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman and chief executive, and Apple head Steve Jobs are to personally take part in the event at the San Francisco Museum of...

  • New tool allows you to erase those unwanted Facebook photos

    A German company is poised to launch software allowing users to have photos uploaded to websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Flickr erased automatically after a certain time, its head said Wednesday. The software should prevent the increasingly frequent occurrence of someone being refused a job or running into other embarrassing difficulties after posting a photo that maybe should have been kept private. Before the user posts the photo, he or she drags it into the programme which assigns it an electronic key that is valid for a limited time period, said Michael Backes, founder of X-Pire. If someone wishes to view...

  • Prominent SA startup FireID hits the skids

    FireID, a Stellenbosch-based startup specialising in mobile authentication, will probably be forced to close its doors or dramatically downscale after news that its main investor has pulled its funding. The main source of funding was via the Luxembourg-based Reinet Fund S.C.A., run by billionaire Johann Rupert, who invested in the company through Cape Town VC 4DiCapital. The company employs just under 40 people. Justin Stanford, who runs 4DiCapital, told Memeburn on Wednesday night that Reinet's refusal to renew the funding "came as a surprise". "It's been an emotional day... We were confident of a renewal due to FireID's revenue," he said. Stanford...

  • ‘Fifth screen’ emerges for cars, but not yet ready for prime time

    By now, the illustrious “fourth screen” is a common term--that of the mobile device, still the holy grail for media companies and advertisers. At the North American International Auto show(NAIAS) in Detroit, it became clear that the era of the “fifth screen” is upon us: The one inside people’s vehicles.  Unfortunately for consumers, these "mobile" systems tend to have substantial usability problems. Ford, once known for classics like the Mustang, Cobra and GT then emerging with the family-friendly (and dull) Taurus in the 1980s and the Explorer in the 1990s, is helping to lead the charge. It plans to make its MyFord...

  • Glasses-free 3D coming to the desktop

    The widespread adoption of 3D technology has been slowed by the public's dislike for wearing 3D glasses. But that is set to change, following the announcement from Japanese IT services giant Fujitsu on Wednesday of what it calls the world's first desktop computer with a display that enables users to see 3D images without needing special glasses. The Esprimo FH99/CM desktop PC, included in Fujitsu's new line-up of the FMV computer series, has its liquid crystal display covered by a conversion panel enabling viewers to see three dimensional images on the screen. The company plans to launch the 3D PC on...

  • Social networks begin shifting to a post-Facebook world

    Nobody would argue that the mammoth social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Qzone – boasting almost a billion users between them – currently dominate the social networking world. But 2011 is likely to see a considerable change in the way that users approach their social interactions. 2010 saw the major social networks dealing with privacy scares, usability issues and growing boredom with their inflexibility. It's not inconceivable that users will begin to look for something refreshing and different. The key is diversity – after growing vertically for a decade, social networks are now starting to spread horizontally to capture...

  • 6 quick ways to evaluate the strength of your email campaign

    There are a number of metrics available for you to use in order to critically evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaign. To some people they seem intimidating, but in fact they are relatively easy to understand, and will enable you to successfully track the most important aspects of your campaign. We’ve looked at 6 of the most popular metrics, which if you follow carefully and use the data gathered effectively, will take your campaigns from strength to strength. 1. Delivery Rates It has been estimated that nearly 20% of all permission-based email messages are mistakenly blocked by ISP’s. Having...