• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Astronaut checks into Foursquare from space

    A NASA astronaut on Friday used the popular location-sharing service Foursquare to "check in" from space. Douglas Wheelock, who is orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station, sent a message from his Twitter account, @Astro_Wheels, saying he had "unlocked the 'NASA Explorer Badge'" on Foursquare. Foursquare, which boasts more than four million members, allows users to broadcast their whereabouts to other users of the service and earn "badges" for the places they check in from or to become the "mayor". The NASA Explorer Badge can be earned by those who are "220 miles above the Earth traveling at 17,500 mph," which...

  • Tablet computer rush: HP unveils ‘Slate 500’

    Hewlett-Packard unveiled a Windows-powered touchscreen tablet computer on Friday aimed at professionals, the latest entry into a growing market dominated by Apple's iPad. The "HP Slate 500" which features an 8.9-inch (22.6-centimeter) screen, slightly smaller than the iPad's 9.7-inch (24.6-cm) display, costs 800 dollars, about the same price as the top-of-the-line iPad. While the iPad is aimed more at consumers, HP is targeting its device at business customers and touting its ability to handle documents, spreadsheets and applications from Microsoft. HP described the Slate 500 as the "ideal PC for professionals who don't usually work at a traditional desk, yet need to...

  • China launches own version of Google Earth

    China has launched an official online mapping service as US Internet giant Google continues to hold out on applying for a licence to provide a similar service in the country, state media said Friday. The government-backed service Map World is free and allows users to search for two and three-dimensional images across the globe, the China Daily said. "In the near future, Map World will grow to be a famous Chinese brand for online map services with proven reliability," Xu Deming, director of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, was quoted as saying. The technology and website construction for www.tianditu.cn and...

  • YouTube and Guggenheim team up to showcase extraordinary video work

    In 2008 the Guggenheim Museum teamed up with YouTube in an attempt to better connect with the public and "reach the widest possible audience". The result was YouTube Play - a showcase of exceptional talent working in the ever-expanding realm of online video. Anyone could submit creative video for the contest and would stand a chance of having their work displayed in the hallowed halls of New York's Guggenheim museum. The creative video biennial finally came to an end on the 21st of October 2010 after accepting 23 358 video submissions.  Originally it was decided that the submissions would...

  • Facebook voyeurism just a part of workplace life

    Facebook fans tend to lurk instead of play when they tune into the social network while at their jobs, according to a report released on Thursday by computer security firm Palo Alto Networks. While many workers link to Facebook on company computers, 88% of the online traffic consists of people watching what friends are up to in the online community, the report found. Use of social games such as "Farmville" popular at Facebook accounted for only five percent of the traffic, while a meagre 1.4 percent was devoted to posting updates or comments at the social network. "The risks that voyeurism represent...

  • World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm trailer marauds YouTube

    Game developers Blizzard have announced the release of Cataclysm, an expansion pack to the wildly popular game, World of Warcraft (WOW). The anticipated release was showcased with a rich and enticing cinematic trailer during a NFL game in the USA -- a clear signal of how seriously Blizzard is taking the marketing campaign behind the expansion. The clip was additionally posted on YouTube where it has gone viral, accumulating over four million views within the first four days of its release, and proving that its adoring fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the expansion. The storyline of the trailer...

  • Woolworths: The shifting nature of brands

    It’s no surprise to me that brand after brand make the same mistakes when responding to online, and especially social media, attacks. From the famous Dell Hell, through the Kryptonite lock fiasco to the more recent Nestle and BP protests. The latest saga was the extremist Christian response via Facebook to the Woolworths' management decision to no longer stock certain Christian religious magazines in its stores. The standard corporate reaction is predictable and certain to meet with failure. It’s based on the delusion of brand strategists and corporate management that they are still in control of their brands. While Cellular operator,...

  • Nokia shifts further away from Symbian as company reports big profits, job cuts

    The world's top mobile phone maker Nokia on Thursday said it would cut 1 800 jobs after announcing stellar third-quarter results one month into the mandate of a new chief executive. Also announcing a major strategy shift, Nokia said it would now focus on developing applications on the Qt framework, which essentially removes the somewhat conflicting two-headed approach of developing for both Symbian and MeeGo. "Historically, the company had said, here's Symbian 3, and there will be another big thing called Symbian 4 in the future, which represented a binary break... this is not a recommended strategy," Elop said. The shift to...

  • Shel Israel: Social media is modern-day storytelling

    At the core of every culture is "storytelling", says Shel Israel, a San Francisco-based social media strategist and author of the book, “Twitterville: How Businesses can Thrive in the New Global Neighbourhoods”. Speaking at the WTF conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Israel spoke about how social media is simply a new toolset that capitalises on this age-old impulse to tell stories. To illustrate this, many of the examples of social media he used have little to do with commercial or business applications; rather, they’ve changed the social or political landscape in some way. Through these examples, Israel shows...

  • So you work on the internet. But what do you do?

    New buzzwords and job titles abound in the world of online marketing and web development. This is partly due to savvy (and not so savvy, but very irritating) people inventing titles and catch phrases by the minute in an attempt to conjure up an atmosphere of uniqueness, expertise and even celebrity. It is also, however, partly due to the complexity of the web increasing at such a rapid pace, resulting in more specialised fields and more specialised people. I’m expecting to have a lot of comments from disgruntled achronym’d ninjas, insisting my definitions are wrong, so let's see this as...

  • US$250-million fund created for social Internet innovators

    Facebook, Amazon and Zynga have announced they have teamed with a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm to create a US$250-million fund for entrepreneurs making the Internet more social. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) announced the "sFund," an initiative to invest in new social applications and online services. "We're at the beginning of a new era for social Internet innovators who are re-imagining and re-inventing a Web of people and places, looking beyond documents and websites," said KPCB partner John Doerr. "There's never been a better time than now to start a new social venture.' US cable Internet and television service provider...

  • Google says 250 000 Germans have opted out of Street View

    Nearly a quarter of a million Germans have asked Google to block images of their houses, the US Internet giant said on Thursday as it prepared to launch its Street View service in the country. Google has already rolled out its navigation service in 20 countries but exceptionally, due to heightened privacy concerns in Germany, has offered to pixel out buildings before the pictures are published online. "We're now close to launching Street View imagery for the 20 biggest cities in Germany and we've counted the number of households in those cities which decided to opt out," said Andreas Tuerk, Google's...

  • Woolies: Now the artists get in on the act

    Woolworths might have thought that its decision to put Christian magazines back on the shelves would put an end to the controversy which blew up yesterday. But creative minds have been inflamed, and have taken this as an excuse to begin some hilarious, thought-provoking parodies that are adding fuel to the fire. In case you missed the story, Woolworths announced earlier in the week that they were unhappy with the sales of their faith-based magazines and would be removing them from the shelves. This provoked a massive, vocal response from outraged evangelical Christians via social media and Facebook in particular....

  • Why MXit is Africa’s largest social network

    While South Africa's teachers were on strike in September, volunteers used the country's largest social network to help students prepare for exams. If you think they turned to Facebook, you would be wrong. They turned to the country's mobile instant messenging and social network service, MXit. MXit is primarily a Java-based mobile application giving users the functionality to exchange instant messages practically for free. Users are able to message in groups, called chat zones, functioning seamlessly across other platforms like MSN messenger and Google Talk. In the early stages of the application's development, it was a cheaper replacement for SMS...

  • Rumsfeld makes a comeback… now following you on Twitter

    Ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld no longer rules the Pentagon but he has launched a new operation, this time online and via Twitter. A hate figure for opponents of the Iraq invasion and a hero to some neo-conservatives, Rumsfeld has started a Twitter account, promoting his foundation and upcoming memoir. Since his polarising stint as US defence secretary from 2001 to 2006, Rumsfeld has kept a low profile, and his book and online foray may represent a bid to repair his image. But unlike his lightening-fast invasion of Iraq, it seems Rumsfeld has had a slow start on Twitter. Two days after...