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      Because cars are gadgets
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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • The emerging market social-networking superpowers

    There is something going on in China, Russia and South Africa. Via various internet investments and creations, these three countries combined have built up major stakes in some of the world's biggest sites and social networks. Russian investment company, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), now owns about 7-10% of Facebook by various estimates, putting the company among Facebook's biggest owners. Via its sister company Mail.ru, another 2.4% of Facebook is held. Recently, according to the New York Times, DST ploughed a further $50-million into Facebook. DST also owns about five percent of the popular social gaming company Zynga and another five percent...

  • How the Nintendo Wii ruined gaming

    Left, right, up and down and side-to-side, now stretch. Now that Sony's PlayStation Move and Microsoft's Xbox Kinect are out and on sale alongside the Wii, I can guarantee in millions of homes across the globe, bodies are in motion. The gaming future is here. And what a bothersome future it is. As a gamer, it's my opinion that the entire motion control age is unhealthy for games. I am not opposed to the concept of motion controls but the history must be considered. When Nintendo pushed out the Wii in 2006 everyone marveled at the potential this new method...

  • Insights from a VC: Social networks overdone, but storage is hot

    I spoke with Bob Ackerman, managing director of US-based Allegis Capital and a veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalist about some of the trends and issues in VC. Here are some of his insights on the key issues: - Cloud will be big this year and a big buzzword and that worries me because there will likely be too many companies funded that shouldn't be. - Storage is another hot area simply because of the massive amount of data being created daily and the need to make it available online and searchable. - Social networks are overdone and over invested. There have been too...

  • UltraViolet: Hollywood’s cloud-based movie solution

    Giants from Hollywood, technology and retail are out to rev up digital film sales by letting people buy lifetime rights to watch movies on whichever devices suit their fancies. A Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) alliance that includes Warner Brothers, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Sony, and Fox is working to break down walls between gadgets and services to catalyse demand for films. But more importantly these players are looking for a way to distribute movies online, while still having full control over the rights. The new stream of revenue expected with the arrival of digital distribution of movies years ago didn't arrive....

  • TrustFabric: One startup’s solution to call centre hell

    Pretty much everyone hates calling a call centre. They keep you on hold perpetually and when you finally get past the annoying repetition of bad eighties music and speak to a human being they have no idea how to help. So begins the "departmental bounce" and after you run the gauntlet of incompetence, running up a colossal phone bill, the call is ended without any real help being delivered. The days of the call centre gauntlet are apparently over according to a new Cape Town-based startup TrustFabric.com. The company claims to offer a service to individuals and businesses to...

  • Tablets, smart gadgets, balls, blocks and cars rule at CES

    Slick touchscreen tablet computers and smarter devices for the home and the car took centre stage as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up on Sunday. The "always-connected" lifestyle was on full display at the annual gadget extravaganza as Internet technology ruled at a show traditionally dominated by eye-popping new television sets. Tablet computers to rival Apple's iPad were the hot new products on display along with powerful new smartphones, ultra-thin laptops and Web-connected and 3-D TV sets during the four-day event. "The tablet wars are now launched, with everybody under the sun producing tablets," said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay. "A...

  • The ‘smart home’ is finally becoming a reality

    Mobile phones aren't the only things getting smart. Home appliances are too. On display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas along with the latest smartphones and touchscreen tablet computers are ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and other products for the "connected" home. South Korea's LG Electronics is displaying its "Thinq" home appliances which are connected to a home Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by a smartphone or a computer. They include washing machines that can be instructed from the office to run at the most cost-effective times and a camera-equipped robot vacuum cleaner, the Hom-Bot, which can...

  • 20 movies to geek out to this year

    Every geek needs his movies. It's for extending our inherent geek repertoire, for dazedly watching our favourite Saturday morning cartoons come to life on the silver screen (and then being hyper-critical about the smaller details), for filling those awkward moments of silence in certain social circles and for making buying gifts for geeks simpler. Yes, the world of the cinema is every geek’s playground and in 2011, there's a whole new roller-coaster a-comin'... A geek without his indelible source of budding movie quotes, memorable phrases, theme songs and re-enactment of pivotal climatic battle scenes is like a Jedi with no...

  • 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...