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  • Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

    Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators. The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter. The acronym "kwik" stands for "know what I know". A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher. Courses, or "Kwiks" are broken out into two types: content only or interactive,...

  • IE10 bids farewell to Flash

    First Apple snubbed Flash, now Microsoft. Flash has now been effectively banned in Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8, specifically the Metro version of IE10. Speaking at the Microsoft BUILD conference, IE team leader Dean Hachamovitch said: Running Metro-style IE plug-in free improves battery life as well as security, reliability, and privacy for consumers. Plug-ins were important early on in the Web's history. But the Web has come a long way since then with HTML5. Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro-style UI. This echoes almost exactly the...

  • Al Gore kicks off climate ‘reality’ campaign

    Former US vice president Al Gore is spearheading a global internet campaign aimed at raising awareness around climate change. The "Climate Reality Project", which aims to bring the "facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it," kicked off with an event called "24 hours of reality". The event featured an online multimedia presentation showcasing how extreme weather events like floods, fires and storms are linked to climate change. The presentation was broadcast every hour, over 24 hours, representing 24 time zones and 13 languages. According to the organisers,...

  • PS Vita will land in Japan before Christmas

    Handheld gamers rejoice. The Playstation Vita will be released on the 17th of December in Japan. Sony's anticipated handheld gaming machine and the successor to the PSP will go on sale for 24 980 yen (US$325) for the Wi-Fi version and 29 980 yen (US$390) for the 3G model. The announcement was made at a pre-press conference before the Tokyo Game Show. Previously, Sony had said that it aims to release the console before the end of the year in Japan. The late arrival date outside Japan may damage its sales across the ocean in the European and North American...

  • Intel looks for Google leg up in smartphone chips

    Intel, left badly behind in the market mobile phone processors by comptitors like ARM, is looking for a fast catch-up by teaming with Google to tailor chips to get top performance out of Android-powered smartphones. "Our collaboration with Google will bring a powerful new capability to market that helps accelerate industry innovation, adoption and choice," Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said at the opening of the US chip maker’s developers conference in San Francisco. The alliance with the world's largest computer chip maker comes in the wake of Google ramping up its push into the hot smartphone market with a deal...

  • App of the week: Dolphin Browser

    This week I take a look at Dolphin, a highly intelligent smartphone web browser that Safari can learn a lot from. When it comes to browsers, I'm quite a weird guy. On the Macbook I use at work, I just can't decide which one I like more: Firefox is incredibly stable and supports tree-style tabbing (it'll change your life), but looks a bit too rigid. Chrome has the awesome "speed dial" screen when you launch and the aesthetically pleasing tabs with soft corners delight me (it's the little things that count), but it doesn't perform so well under pressure. I...

  • Three reasons I love Android

    Open source. Free information. The power to customise what I want, when I want. These are not simply words used to describe one of the biggest unheralded revolutions in modern times, Google’s Android, they also sum up my ethos as a person. This comparison between operating system and personal philosophy may be a strange one, but considering how mobile devices have become essential tools to survive modern society, I believe it a very relevant one. Who is not affected? Consider the number of people you know that own have a smartphone, whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile device? We’ve...

  • ‘The blog is dead, long live the blog’ — Chris Anderson on the future of media

    We may need new words for journalists, editors and the "news", because their definitions are constraining and changing. Maybe the editors of the future will be known as "community managers"? Everyone's publishing, everyone's writing these days -- and perhaps these community managers will be the new curators? In this interview, Wired editor and international technology commentator Chris Anderson (Read Part 1: "The Closing Web" here) suspects that "the ranks of people creating news is going to grow hugely, including many people who are doing it for non-commercial reasons". Non-journalists are broadcasting relevant news on the web like never before via...

  • 9 examples of crowdsourcing, before ‘crowdsourcing’ existed

    Crowdsourcing is the new black. Everyone's doing it. Iceland is crowdsourcing its new constitution. Microsoft is crowdsourcing aspects of Windows 8. All this hype must mean it's a new thing right? Surely it has to be a product of the web 2.0 or social media era? This is a popular view. The term itself only goes as far back as 2006 when it was coined by Jeff Howe in a Wired Magazine article entitled "The Rise of Crowdsourcing". However, if you think about the most basic definition of the term, this web-centric view starts to make a little less sense....

  • AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! partner to fight Google

    In the wake of the firing of its colourful CEO, Carol Bartz, Yahoo! has dominated headlines with stories of boardroom politics and rumours of acquisitions. The latest rumour, from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), points to AOL, Yahoo!, and, Microsoft forming a partnership to battle Google's web dominance. According to the Journal, ad executives who were pitched a new ad-buying system say that the three internet companies have devised a plan wherein they will sell advertising on each other's sites. The plan is seen as a move by the three to recover market share lost to Google in the lucrative...

  • mLab Southern Africa officially open

    Southern Africa has immense potential for growth in the mobile business sector. The region has one of the world's highest mobile phone infiltration rates, after all. It also faces a number of challeneges though. In a bid to help guide mobile entrepreneurs through these challenges, mLab Southern Africa, a hub for technology entrepreneurs, application developers, and innovators has officially opened its doors in Pretoria. In an official press release, the mobile innovation hub stated that its "activities are aimed at making the region a global hub for mobile innovations that will boost job-led growth and tackle economic and...

  • Facebook is missing a trick on apps (and copying from Twitter to boot!)

    Facebook is all about mobile. Its number of active users -- 750 million -- is impressive. Even with engagement slowing in more mature markets, it is on track to be the first platform in history to crack the 1-billion user mark. A full third of those active users (250-million) access the site via mobile devices. Facebook itself admits that people who use Facebook on mobile devices are "twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users". So where's the innovation? That said, not much innovation can really happen on the mobile site itself. Facebook has taken the standard tick-box approach of making...

  • Ballmer bets big on the cloud

    In a surprise speech at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference, CEO Steve Ballmer laid out what he believes to be the company's seven main product areas. Some of them are obvious but there are a couple the average user may not have even heard of. According to Yahoo! Finance, the key product areas outlined by Ballmer are: Smartphones (via Windows Phone) PCs and tablets (Windows) Living room entertainment (Xbox) Cloud computing (Windows Azure platform) Productivity (Office and Office 365) Search (Bing) ERP and CRM (Dynamics) Azure is probably the most surprising inclusion in the list given that it supplants proven money spinners like Windows...

  • Facebook now lets you ‘follow’ strangers, Twitter and Google+ style

    Facebook has added a subscribe button that lets you follow people's public updates regardless whether or not you're friends with them. This new button follows in the style Twitter and Google+. Facebook claims the subscribe button will give users more control over their News Feed in terms of what and how much of their friends content they see. "Until now, it hasn't been easy to choose exactly what you see in your News Feed. Maybe you don't want to see every time your brother plays a game on Facebook, for example. Or maybe you'd like to see more stories from...

  • Facebook to hold off on IPO until late 2012: FT

    Facebook intends delaying its long-awaited IPO until late 2012, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper, citing people "familiar with the company" says the public debut will be later than the April 2012 date many are expecting. Facebook's IPO is expected to be one of the world's biggest, following recent private share sales which saw the company valued at more than US$66.5-billion. The newspaper's sources believe that Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is deliberately holding the company from going public so that employees will be remain focused on product development instead of a payout. A number of...