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  • Australian PM backs controversial web filter

    Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Tuesday renewed her backing for a controversial internet filter, saying it was driven by a "moral question". The proposed filter will block access to material such as rape, drug use, bestiality and child sex abuse, and will be administered by Internet Service Providers. However, web giants like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft have slammed the initiative as setting a precedent for censorship, while cyber-activists have hit government websites with a targeted hacking campaign. "My fundamental outlook is this: it is unlawful for me as an adult to go to a cinema and watch certain sorts of content,...

  • Apple, RIM, Samsung or Dell: Whose tablet will rule them all?

    The tablet computing scene is hotting up as almost every major developer gears up to release a tablet. With the BlackBerry PlayBook only scheduled for release in 2011, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see if RIM will deliver on its promises. In the meantime, I decided to crunch the available numbers to see how the PlayBook will stack up against the best of the best of the tablet world today. Sit back and enjoy as the BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak go head to head in a battle to be crowned as King of...

  • Five questions to answer before selecting a broadband package

    Most South African internet users are making far more modest use of the internet than they think, and many are buying packages that are simply an overkill for their needs.When you are choosing a broadband solution, you should opt for one that matches your lifestyle and that can be scaled up as you make use of more online services. We all welcomed the arrival of uncapped ADSL in South Africa, yet the reality is that only a handful of users crunch their way through multiple gigabytes of data a month. Many users on uncapped or large cap packages are overspending...

  • Trending on Twitter: Brazil elections, Nobel prize and #cantwait

    What The Trend, a Twitter aggregator that positions itself as "the front page of the real time web", has released some rather surprising findings of the biggest Twitter trends for this recent week. Strangely enough the Chilean miners were beaten by a South Korean pop star, proving once again that one can never underestimate the huge impact of social networks in Asia. There is the usual smattering of celebrity-ridden scandal, sports and current affairs, all mixed in with a couple of memes that generated enough interest to take the world by storm. Read on to see the full list...

  • Worldwide survey finds emerging markets leading the digital age

    China and the Middle East are racing ahead of the West in embracing the internet, according to "the largest ever" global study of online habits. The Digital Life study by global research firm TNS also found Malaysians are the most sociable online with an average of 233 friends on social media websites, while the Japanese are the least friendly with just 29. TNS said the study was the "largest ever global research project into people's online activities and behaviour", surveying almost 90 per cent of the world's online population through 50 000 interviews in 46 countries. "This study covers more than...

  • The wrapping comes off Microsoft’s WP7

    Microsoft unveiled a new mobile phone operating system on Monday as it seeks to regain ground lost to the iPhone, Blackberry and devices powered by Google's Android software. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer introduced nine mobile phones powered by Windows Phone 7 (WP7) at an event at a loft in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. The event proceeded smoothly, with no major glitches happening, and seemed to be well received by the attending audience. First impression is that the OS seems to be pretty well integrated into social media, Microsoft Office and third party applications. Ballmer said more than 60 mobile operators...

  • Google test drives automated cars of the future

    An electronic brain devised by US internet titan Google has driven cars nearly a quarter of a million kilometres in California, on a quest for the next great revolution in the auto industry. News of the experiment emerged from Google this weekend, revealing what the New York Times describes as an attempt to use artifical intelligence to revolutionize the automobile. But the software, linked to GPS satellite navigation technology, was nearly fooled by a humble cyclist who jumped a red light. A humanoid, in the form of a Google engineer, slammed on the button to disconnect the system, and an accident was...

  • Win a brand new N8 smartphone from Nokia and Memeburn

    And the winner of the fabulous Nokia N8 is Mark Robert le Roux of Port Shepstone. The contest is now closed. Nokia and Memeburn are teaming up to give away the incredible new Nokia N8 worth R5 500 to one lucky reader. We want to give this powerful new phone away to the biggest Memeburn fan out there. If you already follow Memeburn on Twitter and Facebook, and you receive our daily e-mails, then you are already in line to win the phone. If not, then all you have to do to qualify for entry is complete the following three steps...

  • How to find the right lawyer for your startup

    Choosing a tech-savvy lawyer for your startup isn't easy, but it's critical that you find the right person. Not all-self proclaimed web startup lawyers are equal, and some can do more harm than good. Figuring out how code and law fit together requires a great deal of curiosity and experience, and an ability to see the big picture. You will often find 21st-century lawyers playing with new technologies that don't have an obvious business case for lawyers, yet. They are just curious. The best lawyers for startups that I know move easily between worlds; helping non-profits that fight for a...

  • ScribbleLive: Live media technologies for real-time newsrooms

    I recently met with Michael de Monte, CEO of Scribble Technologies, based in Toronto, Canada. The company offers a very interesting media technology called ScribbleLive, which is a real-time newsroom allowing publishers to rapidly organize and publish text, audio, and video content as it happens. Several large media companies are using it, such as Thomson Reuters, and Rogers (also an investor). Also, Greenpeace uses the technology. Here are some notes from our meeting: - De Monte has a long 20 year background working at Canadian media companies and helping run online operations. He and his business partner Jonathan Keebler, Chief Technology Officer...

  • D-Day as Microsoft unveils its flagship smartphone

    Exactly one month ago, the employees at Microsoft's Redmond HQ threw a funeral procession cum party celebrating the demise of the iPhone and the Blackberry. The event, while obviously tongue-in-cheek, was a clear sign of how confident Microsoft was feeling about completing work on its new Windows Phone 7 (WP7). The message was clear: Microsoft has designed an "iPhone killer". Today, October 12, that claim will be put to the test as Microsoft launches WP7 to a sceptical public. It is hard to over-emphasize how important this launch is for Microsoft, the company that once defined personal computing, but...

  • Schwarzenegger, Medvedev exchange tweets in Moscow

    When California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in Moscow this weekend for a visit aimed at promoting Russia's high-tech industry, he promptly exchanged Tweets with President Dmitry Medvedev. Schwarzenegger is leading a delegation of leading technology executives which will Monday hold talks with Medvedev and visit Skolkovo outside Moscow, the site of a planned Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley. Medvedev has championed the plan to develop a flourishing high-tech industry in Russia similar to California to wean the economy off its dependence on oil and gas reserves. "Just landed in Moscow. Beautiful day. Can't wait to see Pres Medvedev," Schwarzenegger wrote on his...

  • GetJar wants to make your mobile phone applications free

    The world's second largest online shop for mobile phone applications is out to change the economics of the booming industry by making the popular mini-programs available for free. GetJar has teamed up with Glu to offer a set of the hot smartphone game maker's premium titles, typically sold for as much three to five dollars, free of charge worldwide. GetJar will make one free Glu game available every two weeks during the course of two months that started October 5. "What we are trying to introduce is going to change the whole economics of app stores," says GetJar founder and chief executive...

  • Cyber war rages online between copyright and freedom

    The modern internet is a battleground between two competing forces vying for control of how information and media are consumed. Large corporations have a huge stake in the financial opportunities that a closed, monetised system has to offer, while activists and idealists are intent on retaining the free, communal nature of the web. In recent months a skirmish erupted, serving to illustrate how the battle lines are being drawn in a world where the internet increasingly has real life consequences in shaping our social and political reality. It is no secret that copyright giants have been backed into a corner in...

  • Microsoft pinning mobile hopes on new operating system

    Microsoft unveils a new mobile phone operating system on Monday in what is being seen as a potentially make-or-break effort by the US software giant to remain a player in the hotly competitive niche. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to take the wraps off a new line of smartphones powered by Windows Phone 7 (WP7) at an event in New York and the devices are expected to hit stores around the world in the next few weeks. Though mobile makes up only one percent of Microsoft's revenue, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt said WP7 is a "pivotal release" for the...