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  • Google’s Eric Schmidt urges North Korea to drop internet barriers

    Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has asked North Korea to open up more access to the world via the internet if the country hopes to develop its economy, reports the Wall Street Journal. "As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their view of the world," he told reporters in Beijing Thursday, as he returned from a three-day trip to North Korea with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. He added that it would "make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very, very...

  • Linkedin’s growth continues: it’s hit the 200 million member mark

    The world's largest professional social networking site just got a bit bigger: Linkedin announced today that it has hit a new record: it has more than 200-million users in over 200 countries. The company doesn't specify the number of monthly or daily active users (just total sign-ups), but whether the majority of its users are the log-in-once-to-upload-my-cv kind or the powerusers who live for networking, it's still amounts to a slow and steady growth trajectory for Linkedin. It hit 100-million members in March 2011, 175-million in 2012 and now tops the 200-million mark. "This milestone is more than just...

  • ValuationUP: the startup that could save your business

    We first heard about ValuationUP, the financial performance analysis, benchmarking and valuation tool for SMBs when it won the Ignite startup competition at African innovation conference, Tech4Africa, last year. The South African team behind ValuationUP, Gareth Ochse and Kenneth Kalmer believe their startup will help people -- even those without financial backgrounds -- benchmark the financial performance of the ventures they are growing, selling, buying or advising. Research suggests that a high percentage of startups fail -- some estimate 75%, depending on how failure is defined. 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");

  • 80s rock star Peter Gabriel designs MusicTiles for iPhone

    MusicTiles is a new app for iPhone designed by acclaimed artist Peter Gabriel which will allow users, via a simple tile interface, to create, record and share remixes of their favourite music tracks. While it is also a rather obvious way for Gabriel to revive his status in the music world as his album So is featured quite prominently, the app does create a new and easy way for amateurs to play around with music files. The concept seems quite intricate, as it requires the various different instruments and vocals within a song to be separated into their own...

  • Europe’s four biggest mobile operators look to combine their services

    The European continent's four biggest mobile operators are seeking to join forces to create a better continental service. In what can be considered a pan-European infrastructure network, the Financial Times (FT) reports that Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Telefonica have been meeting with the EU's competition chief to discuss how the idea could be achieved in what is a rather fragmented European market. Europe is one continent where different countries and their respective laws causes difficulty in creating a standard for communication laws, and this aspect has created varying differences between the mobile carriers. As one person...

  • Seven deadly digital sins for brands to avoid in 2013

    A new year is stereotypically associated with clean slates and resolutions. Below is a guideline for brands, and individuals alike, to right the interweb wrongs and to prevent the heinous digital crimes of 2012. Wrath Over promising and under delivering in the Twittersphere is the easiest way to incite a Twitter war or ‘twar’ with one’s followers. A great example of this is the Steers R10 rib promotion which went horribly wrong. There are more consumers online and they are less forgiving than ever before in the social space. It is imperative that brands have the necessary logistics in place, prior...

  • The rise, fall and comeback of Yahoo!

    In the heady days of the early 1990s two young Stanford PhD students David Filo and Jerry Yang Yahoo founded Yahoo! as a hierarchical directory of other websites. From the insane startup days through the massive growth and rise of the internet during the early 2000s, Yahoo could do no wrong, despite the internet bubble crash of 2000. In 2002 Yahoo even tried to buy Google for US$3-billion. Yahoo! then tried to start its own search engine and proceed to buy up internet companies by the dozen. Famously they overlooked thefacebook.com and youtube.com. The massive juggernaut of the internet had...

  • The best of CES 2013 so far

    CES 2013 has proven once again that its reputation as a showcase for the bleeding edge of tech is a worthy one. There have been a slew of futuristic and interesting products introduced and, as always, the totally weird and wonderful has made its appearance too. Gearburn reported on the HAPIfork, and it promises to change your life much in the way a new and improved family washing powder would. That seems to be a recurring theme at shows like this. Gadgets and products that will make Nirvana of your life because they're new and improved and technologically advanced to...

  • Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo starts rolling out English option

    Sina Weibo has over 400-million registered users, although it’s hard to know how many of those are overseas. Nonetheless, today the Twitter-esque Weibo has just rolled out a partial English language interface. A Sina representative in Beijing tells us that "countries in Southeast Asia pick English or Chinese -- this isn't opened globally yet." But in our test, it’s working in countries like America and South Africa right now. The Weibo.com frontpage -- which has a simpler redesign now -- now also has an “English” option in the dropdown menu (access it here), though it doesn’t convert the whole...

  • What could be behind Facebook’s mystery press invite?

    Well now, 2013's already started and the first big mystery press invite has already arrived, courtesy of Facebook. The social networking titan has invited members of the press to an event at its Menlo Park campus next week, giving no hint of what the event might be about. There is speculation that the company could finally be announcing plans to launch the much-rumored Facebook phone. There are a couple of reasons that kind of speculation stinks worse than dirty gym bag left in a car over the summer. First off, Mark Zuckerberg himself has quashed any notions that such...

  • Microsoft confirms date for scuppering Windows Live Messenger

    Microsoft's been pretty open about the fact that it's scuppering its Windows Live Messenger Service in favour of Skype but now we have some idea of when it's actually going to happen. In an email sent to customers this week, the Redmond-based tech giant confirmed that it would be shutting down the service on 15 March. In the mail, it says that the service will be shut down globally, except in mainland China where it will continue to operate. In the meantime Microsoft is urging the service's users to migrate to Skype. On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the...

  • Google brings free WiFi to New Yorkers

    It seems Google is feeling generous. The world's largest internet company is offering free WiFi access across New York city's Chelsea neighbourhood, by creating the largest public outdoor network in the city, reports Bloomberg. The project is a partnership between the search giant and non-profit organisation Chelsea Improvement Co. It makes sense that the company chose Chelsea. The neighbourhood is home to Google's New York offices and several tech startups. The network aids the internet giant's effort at cultivating "Silicon Alley", a concentration of startups in Manhattan. "New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal...

  • Google calls truce, drops patent claim against Microsoft

    Xbox users around the world can now rest easy and without fear that Google will take away their video-streaming. The Mountain View giant has called a truce and dropped some of its patent claims against Microsoft. The patent in question, H.264, was scooped up by Google when it bought Motorola back in 2011. Microsoft wanted to license two standards essential to the patent for Xbox streaming but not on Google's terms. As AllThingsD points out, this kind of nit-picking patent war madness is exactly what Google's recent settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is meant to prevent....

  • Facebook starts rolling out Timeline update with redesigned columns

    Hold on, universe. There are more changes coming to Facebook Timeline. In addition to Facebook's new home page question, which now asks "what's happening?" by including your first name like it knows who you really are, Facebook has started rolling out a redesigned profile page to users in New Zealand. It's not as major an update as the first version of Timeline (and thus probably not as likely to amass quite as many complaints), but things have been moved around a bit, as the new look is designed to separate wall posts from other areas like the friends box,...

  • Waze hit 34m users in 2012, expects to double that this year

    It looks like there may well be something to this collaborative mapping lark after all. Social mapping and traffic tool Waze says it hit the 34-million user mark last year and expects to double that this year. The Israeli-based company briefly posted a blog announcing the news. It's unclear what the reasons for the blog being taken down were, but if the numbers are correct, it represents pretty solid growth from the 28-million users it last reported having back in October. Along with the blog post, the company released an infographic to celebrate going past the 34-million user mark...