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  • Computer pioneer Alan Kay: Silicon Valley is running out of innovation

    Alan Kay is one of Silicon Valley's top computer pioneers due to his work with colleagues at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on a broad range of technologies in the early 1970s that directly led to the creation of the PC industry -- a $35 trillion global business. In this short video clip he speaks about Silicon Valley's current boom being based on innovation that was funded by the government and by private companies such as Xerox, over a span of more than 13 years beginning in the early 1960s, which helped create the Internet and modern computing. He was...

  • Forget about a Bitcoin bubble, analyst calls price surge ‘a perfect storm’

    When prices start soaring in tech, it's inevitable that you'll start hearing the term "bubble" bandied about. It happened with dot-com in the late 90s and early 2000s, a couple of years ago, everyone thought it was happening with social media and now some think Bitcoin is going through a bubble. Prices in the virtual currency have surged over the past few months, recently hitting US$100 after trading below US$35 in early March and US$15 in January. Less than a year ago meanwhile, the currency appeared to be in free fall with no end in sight. It certainly looks like...

  • Investec pips Absa to the smartphone banking app post

    This is interesting. We've just received a media invite to the launch of Investec's smartphone banking app. The fact that the South African-founded banking group, which also operates in the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland isn't as interesting however as the date. The app is set to have its official launch on 5 April, five days before banking giant Absa makes its foray into the world of smartphone banking apps. ABSA is the last of the “big four” consumer banks in South Africa to launch a smartphone banking app. First National Bank (FNB) led the way by launching its...

  • eBay may have led $50m investment in India’s SnapDeal

    Pocketing US$50-million is no joke, so hopefully this one is not inspired by April Fool’s Day. According to Indian tech blog NextBigWhat, eBay has led a huge round of investment in India-based ecommerce site SnapDeal. Not yet officially confirmed, the rumored US$50-million sum comes 18 months after a US$40-million round, and an earlier US$12-million injection shortly after it launched. After starting out specializing in daily deals, the homegrown online mall soon surpassed LivingSocial in terms of traffic in the country and then pivoted/expanded into a broader e-commerce company early last year. SnapDeal is now up against local rivals like FlipKart...

  • In the future we will only need five computers says Matt Mullenweg

    WordPress founder and open source advocate Matt Mullenweg dropped by the Memeburn offices today to speak about how WordPress went from a blogging platform to the CMS of choice for around 15% of the web. The 29-year-old entrepreneur, named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Media, started WordPress 10 years ago, mainly as a blogging platform for him and his friends. "I had to push it on a lot of people," he says. "I built blogs for my friends and basically forced them to use them". To get to the real roots of WordPress however, you have...

  • Priests on Evernote and dinner party productivity: we chat with CEO Phil Libin

    Evernote is cool -- ask any one of its 15-million monthly active users. True to the company's slogan, "Remember Everything", the suite of applications designed for note taking and archiving is on top of the world. The more successful it gets, the more headlines it grabs -- like the recent password reset due to a security breach, which caused some commotion among users. But that's not keeping the company down. Users are growing with India and the UK hitting one million and two million respectively. Founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Phil Libin, the company has managed to raise funding...

  • 5 things you should bear in mind before hiring someone for your social team

    I recently received an awkward notification. A woman I had blocked on Facebook wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn. I had blocked her because, after a second meeting, I had realised that she was loopier than a theme park ride, and I felt a little suffocated at the 23rd missed call in the hour-long status meeting I had. This was nearly two and a half years prior to the notification that exploded in my inbox with the tactless indecency of an attention-seeking comedian hanging on the strings of a lost career. So then I obviously looked at...

  • Samsung’s story and harmful hashtags: top stories you should read

    This week's instalment of our top tech stories series involves everything from the changing music industry to a man who sold shares in himself. Yes, really. Along the way we also touch on the phone-fuelled bonfires that made Samsung what it is today, the questionable usage of hashtags, the early days of Google Reader and the messaging apps that have industry leaders worried. The music industry has irreversibly changed — the labels have not iTunes. Spotify. Pandora. Music no longer involves a CD player and a nice stream of revenue for the artist. But as the shift into digital continues,...

  • BlackBerry posts profit in Q4, but loses 3 million subscribers

    BlackBerry ended the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 -- the first to include sales of the Z10 -- in, well ... the black. The Waterloo-based communications company today announced its quarterly results and, while it's managed to stay profitable things are far from back to booming at the company. Revenue for the quarter was approximately US$2.7-billion, down US$49-million or two percent from approximately US$2.7-billion in the previous quarter and down 36% from US$4.2-billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2012. Ouch. Despite revenue falling though, its profit margin actually increased slightly. The company reported GAAP income from continuing operations...

  • Absa finally ready to launch banking app

    Absa has announced that it's finally ready to launch a smartphone banking app, sometime after its competitors. The bank, which is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank, has sent out media invitations confirming an official 10 April launch date. ABSA is the last of the “big four” consumer banks in South Africa to launch a smartphone banking app. First National Bank (FNB) led the way by launching its app in mid 2011, while Standard Bank and Nedbank launched theirs within a couple of days of each other in mid 2012. At this stage it's unclear which platforms the Absa...

  • Twitter ad revenue to near $1bn in 2014, thanks to mobile

    If all goes well, Twitter's global ad revenue should hit a billion dollars by 2014, says a recent eMarketer report. The research firm says this number comes in the wake of advertisers showing "more interest in spending money on mobile advertisements on Twitter", which suggests that Twitter's reach is improving. With more than 200-million monthly active users, Twitter is one of the top tier social networks so an improved interest in mobile advertising is hardly surprising. eMarketer reckons that Twitter will generate US$583-million in ad revenue in 2013 and US$950-million in 2014, a significant increase from a previous estimate of...

  • When big data gets scary: how Facebook likes can reveal everything about you

    Facebook users that click "like" on a variety of cultural subjects reveal a surprisingly large amount of information about themselves even if they've taken steps to tighten up their privacy settings. A recently published study by researchers at Cambridge University in the UK and Microsoft Research, used an automated analysis of 58 000 volunteers' Facebook "likes" to make highly accurate predictions about a person's private and very sensitive personal attributes. The authors of the study: "Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behaviour " claim that they were able to use "easily accessible digital records of...

  • Nokia asked to pay $383-million over tax evasion claims in India

    Nokia's budget Asha series may be winning over consumers by the droves in emerging markets, but now the manufacturer has got something other than market share to worry about in India: the courts. The income tax department has issued Nokia with a demand notice for some 20.8-billion rupees (US$ 383-million) for alleged tax evasion in the country. While the company was originally asked to pay up a portion of the money this week, it was granted an interim stay by the Delhi High Court after it challenged the order, which means it doesn't have to comply with the demands as...

  • Bioshock Infinite review: the sky’s the limit

    As Bioshock Infinite came to an end and the screen faded to black, I blinked in stunned silence, wiped the drool from the corners of my mouth and, quite literally, checked to see if my jaw was still in place. This is a spoiler-free review, so enjoy. You enter this strange world knowing that it will all end eventually, somehow. But not like this. The manner in which Infinite closes is reminiscent of an operatic symphony complete with visual delights and aural pleasures that probe your grey matter and delight your senses. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Sailing startups to market: Q&A with Unreasonable Institute’s Daniel Epstein

    Taking your company global is no small thing. For startups that want to conquer the international market, finding the best way to do that can be hard. Eleven passionate tech entrepreneurs with great companies innovating in various areas decided to spend 100 days aboard a ship sailing around the world in order to do that... all made possible by Unreasonable at Sea. The initiative, pioneered by Daniel Epstein, founder of entrepreneur accelerator programme Unreasonable Institute, is going to global markets in more ways than one. Read more on Ventureburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");