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  • iPhone 4.0 revealed by US tech blog – Pics

    US technology blog Gizmodo has got its hands on what it believes to be the next iPhone. According to the blog, the iPhone prototype was apparently found "lost in a bar" near Apple's headquarters, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. The authors of Gizmodo report they were initially sceptical, but after "playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone". Disassembling the phone provided further evidence of its authenticity. The site's sources say that Apple is indeed reporting that it has "lost" a prototype and that "they want it back". However there...

  • Hands on with the iPad: The Memeburn review

    The lingering stares you get while walking around with an iPad tucked under your arm is confirmation that this is no ordinary gadget. In fact, it gives you a small inkling of what it must be like to be a rockstar. Complete strangers stopped me in my tracks to get a closer look or start a conversation about it. Heads would turn. One guy came up to me, shook my hand and just said “well done”. While in a meeting at Cape Town-based digital agency Gloo, parts of the company came to a standstill when word got out there was...

  • Vodacom launches multiplayer social mobile game

    The Grid, Vodacom's location-based mobile social network, has launched Legends of Echo, a multi-player social game for mobile phones that allows players to battle each other across South Africa in real time and based on their actual physical location. In the game, the Echo is a parallel virtual universe based on the South African map, but instead of cities and skyscrapers, players will find rolling green fields, rocky outcrops and valleys to explore and establish their virtual base from their mobile phones. The uniqueness of the game is that it mirrors real-life locations in a multiplayer environment and that interactions are...

  • Are we surrendering our privacy too easily?

    Google Buzz is really messing with my brain. All my other social media activities fit nicely along the private-public continuum we all have to juggle. But Buzz feels like an invasion of my personal space. By infiltrating the most private of online communications (email), it's also daring me to move that privacy line a little bit, and let people in on conversations that they really have no business in being a part of. As Danah Boyd pointed out in her SXSW keynote this year: Google got themselves into trouble by launching a public-facing service inside a service that...

  • 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...