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  • HTC reveals new range of Android phones

    Global smartphones manufacturer HTC on Friday introduced an enhanced experience of Sense, the company's mobile user interface, that it says will be available on two new smartphones: the Legend and Desire. “At its essence, the mobile phone is the most personal item any person has in their possession. HTC Sense was created to magnify users’ ability to create and define their own unique mobile experience,” says Quinton Leigh, managing director of Leaf International Communications. “HTC Legend and HTC Desire take Android to another level in both substance with HTC Sense and style with HTC Legend’s revolutionary crafted aluminum uni-body...

  • Why News Roulette is such a great idea

    Just as Nick was about to pull the trigger in the final, deadly game of Russian Roulette in the 'Deer Hunter', the tape in the video machine ran out. As I now know (thanks to the internet), playing time is no indicator of recording time: there was no way the E180 tape would be nearly long enough for the 182-minute long movie. But it’s 2010 now and thank God everything has changed. Instead of Russian Roulette, we have Chatroulette and, even more recently, News Roulette. There’s something about each of these which perfectly captures what we’re doing online these days....

  • Vodacom to release ultra-cheap web-focused netbook

    Vodacom, the South African subsidiary of worldwide mobile giant Vodafone, has been working on and is close to releasing a new, ultra-cheap internet-focused netbook it is calling the “LinkBook”. It marks the local subsidiary’s first move into the hardware game. On a world-wide level, this is one of the few times the Vodafone group has moved into an arena other than mobile phones. The device is understood to be an “internet device” -- its operating system geared primarily towards a web experience as opposed to the traditional offline desktop experience. The Operating System (OS) is open-source, Linux-based in an...

  • Startups: What VCs look for

    Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs often don't see eye-to-eye, and in South Africa in particular, there seems to be a very real gap in meeting the needs and expectations of both parties. While we know the path of the entrepreneur can be a frightfully fun but rocky one, at some stage venture capital becomes a real option to consider, and when you get to that stage, make sure you know exactly what we are looking for. As funders, we really look for four basic things and your pitch must answer the following: 1. What is the burning need you are taking away?...

  • BetTech secures multi-million rand seed funding

    Software development startup BetTech Gaming has announced that it has secured a multi-million rand seed funding packet from South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital. Founded in 2009, BetTech develops gaming software, the first of which is their sports book package which will be licensed through bet.co.za’s web and mobile interfaces. When asked what persuaded 4Di to invest in BetTech, 4Di Director Justin Stanford cited the "marriage of a great idea with a capable team", namely directors Jesse Hemson-Struthers and Mark Bosman. "Jesse is already a very successful entrepreneur, with two successful online businesses to his name already, so that was definitely...

  • How to present like Steve Jobs

    The co-founder of Apple and Pixar is the ultimate front man, one of the most charismatic businessmen alive. Steve Jobs doesn’t just present, he evangelizes. And when he gets onto the stage he takes no prisoners – it is difficult to listen to Jobs and not be recruited as an Apple brand advocate. There’s a lot that start ups or emerging entrepreneurs could learn from Jobs, and there’s no person better placed to teach them than Carmine Gallo. An Emmy award-winning journalist and former anchor for CNN, Fox, CNET, and CBS, Gallo is the author of "The Presentation Secrets of Steve...

  • The app boom: iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian or Windows Mobile?

    The mobile app market is booming, with businesses of all shapes and sizes eager to get their brand out in the form of an app. A fairly significant problem with developing mobile apps – and one that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon - is that there are a variety of mobile operating systems you have to take in to consideration, which translates into additional development time and cost. Think Microsoft Windows and Apple's OSX. If you wanted to create a desktop application that targeted the majority of computer users, in most cases the choice is simple, given...

  • We are going to need artists

    In a lecture room in Johannesburg recently I finished my class with a slide with only a strange square image that looked like a haphazardly coloured-in chessboard. The title on the slide was “Your class assignment.” For the past 6 days I had been running a workshop with 38 of the future leaders of the creative industry. A class of copywriters, art directors and designers. The topic was digital marketing. On the first day I asked the obvious opening question. “Who of you have blogs?” Not a single hand was raised. On the second last day of the workshop the...

  • Facebook vs. The 150-Club

    For the majority of our history, we have spent our days in small, semi-nomadic groups of hunter/gatherers. It was only about 10 000 years ago that the advent of agriculture allowed us to create permanent settlements, and our societies began to grow to today’s immense sizes. The outer layer of our brain – the neo-cortex – is thought to have evolved largely to deal with the growing complexities of the social world in which we found ourselves. Studies done on other mammals and primates have revealed a correlation between the size of the neo-cortex and the size of the...

  • Clay Shirky to headline South African web conference

    Clay Shirky, one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Tech4Africa Conference in August this year. Shirky is one of the world’s most sought-after speakers on topics related to the Web, social media and the Internet. He has spoken at events such as TED Global, SXSW, the Web 2.0 expo in New York and San Francisco, SES San Jose, the Adobe Learning Summit, New York Tech Meetup and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Shirky is currently an adjunct professor in New York University's...

  • iAds: How Apple is putting more sheep in the walled garden

    It has not been long since Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless and their clamp-down on location-based mobile advertising. At the time many industry analysts questioned this decision and what it would do to the global volume of targetable location-based mobile advertising. Now it all makes sense with the announcement of Apple iAds, their new advertising platform for in-app advertising delivery. As per usual, the industry has gone wild with the news of Apple’s new ad platform that will theoretically give Google a run for its money in this space, but is it really good news for advertisers and publishers? Let’s look at publishers...

  • Adolf Hitler wades into AWB, Malema controversy

    It's been a mad week for local politics and internet memes. The latest parody, created by journalist Gus Silber, is hilarious. Following the great tradition of sub-titling excerpts from the Nazi movie Downfall, Silber's take sees a furious Adolf Hitler discovering that "the AWB have called off their machete race war". In the clip Adolf addresses other key subjects of national importance such as ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and his favourite BBC journalist, and of course: the weekend Super 14 Blue Bulls game. The original excerpt from the film is of Hitler launching into a furious tirade in his...

  • 10 easy ways to fail as an entrepreneur

    Many people dream of starting their own businesses and becoming financially independent, but while the idea of organising and operating your own business venture may be thrilling, there’s a good chance that your fledgling company won’t survive unless you identify potential pitfalls and plan to circumnavigate them. Here are 10 ways that you could fail as an entrepreneur: 1. Poor market research Make sure there’s a need for your product or service. Ideally, your offering should be unique and fill a gap in the market, but if there’s already competition in your intended sector, research ways to position yourself uniquely to improve...

  • Learning from the Telegraph

    On May 24 1844 Samuel Morse sent his message over a copper wire from Baltimore to Washington. The telegraph was the starting point of what could be called the first media revolution. Newspapers were afraid they'd lose subscribers to the new messenger. Why would you read a newspaper when a telegram was faster, the press reasoned. Revolutions never go fast, and it took some time before Reuters stopped feeding the pigeons and started the wire service. Reuters became popular, but the service did not kill newspapers. On the contrary, newspapers became the most important clients of the news wires and...

  • Hands on with latest iPhone OS

    Version 4.0 of the iPhone OS was released a few hours ago, and largely due to the much-anticipated addition of multitasking, I was more eager than usual to check out this release. After install and reboot, the first noticeable change is a switch from the plain black background behind the menu icons to an actual picture – and to add to the excitement, Apple threw in the option to customise the picture. This is something that phones have been able to do for around 7 years, but somehow Apple still managed to get me feeling excited about changing my background...