• BURN MEDIA
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      Because cars are gadgets
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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Social basics: why a static website just doesn’t cut it any more

    Often I get requests to design new websites for clients who think they are going to succeed online with only an attractive online brochure. They believe that people will miraculously start calling them and end up at their doorstep. We are nearing 2013 and thinking you are going to make a big impact online with only a website is very short-sighted in today's digital business world. Of course it's true that when you meet people who might be working with you or applying for certain positions, having a professionally designed website can create a thoughtful online picture of how you...

  • Mimiboard: an African hyper-local ad network and social platform

    With Mimiboards, Umuntu Media is re-imagining the humble noticeboard. You can think of a Mimiboard (pronounced me-me board) as a geographically sensitive, virtual noticeboard. Just like their real world counterparts, Mimiboards are relevant to enclaves within larger communities -- some say "hyper-local". But, that's where the similarity solemnly ends. The fact that Umuntu Media, founded in 2009 by Johan Nel, received a US$1 million seed investment late last year, without any revenue to speak of, tells you that the Cape Town-based company is about more than just virtual noticeboards. 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");

  • App of the week: Summly

    Every few months an app is released that has us all gagging to have a go at it. We watch and share the well produced promo videos and read endless blog posts and tweets about it's coming that create a snowball effect and set the tech environment on fire with anticipation of the release date. Normally, these apps are good-looking solutions to simple problems that we experience in our first world lives, or highly complex games that we would never imagine playing on mobile devices. One thing is certain though, no matter how much hype is generated around the...

  • Former Apple exec: Tim Cook a ‘loner’, ‘poor judge of character’

    If you thought Tim Cook was a more affable, cuddly replacement for Steve Jobs, think again. According to a former Apple executive, life under the Apple CEO is pretty tough. David Sobotta, who was a sales executive for the Cupertino-based giant between 1984 and 2004, recently released a book called The Pomme Company. Apple reportedly took issue with the book, and its legal department sent him a letter that left him felling "extremely upset" and ready to abandon the project. An additional taste of how difficult things can be at the company comes from the fact that three current...

  • Time for more videos: Wikipedia launches new HTML5 video player

    It's been in the works for a while, but now crowd-sourced giant Wikipedia is entering the multimedia era with its new HTML5 video player... and it's about time. The new player will hopefully make it easier for users to contribute more audio and video to Wikipedia articles, which have been largely text-based up til now -- there are only around 15 500 videos on the site at the moment, which are using Wikipedia's old Ogg Theora player which has been in use since 2007. The new HTML5 player is a result of a combined effort between Wikipedia, Google and...

  • Microsoft develops software that lets you speak Mandarin in your own voice

    If you've ever read The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, you no doubt remember the Bable fish. Well, Microsoft has posted a video that shows the next best thing: translating your spoken English word into Mandarin, and possibly other languages in the future, in your own voice. Rick Rashid, head of Microsoft Research, explains how the technology works in a video posted today. It's quite mind-boggling, and is worth watching the entire 10 minutes: The result and response was impressive to say the least. "Just over two years ago, researchers at Microsoft Research and the University of Toronto made another...

  • Facebook unveils new look for friendship pages

    Facebook has refreshed its friendship pages. If you're unsure what the hell that is, click on one of your friends' profiles and click on the gear menu at the top. From there you'll be able to navigate to a page showing your friendship with that person, including posts, photos and events that you and that person have shared. The pages have actually existed since 2010. The update is intended to make the pages more like Timeline. If you've listed yourself as "in a relationship" with someone, you can also visit facebook.com/us to see the friendship page you share...

  • Instagram web profiles: cool idea, but now your photos are open to the web

    There was a lot of happy noise about Instagram's decision to finally allow its users to have web-based profiles. But the decision to switch from an in-app profile page to one hosted on the larger web has brought with it yet another concern: privacy. Previously, the 'only' people who could see your Instagram photos (if your profile wasn't set to private) were the 100-million or so other Android and iOS users who used the explore function in the app to find your images or the search option to track down your username. While you can share images from the...

  • Angry Birds Star Wars review

    On the first day, there was Angry Birds and the fans saw it was good. On the second day, Angry Birds was downloaded well over a billion times and endless sequels pumped out. Again, fans deemed this as good and the madness continued. There are five Angry Bird spin offs now, counting the latest and best, Angry Birds Star Wars. What sickens me the most is how fun and faithful to the source material this 50mb download is. 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");

  • Twitter accidentally sends out mass password reset email

    Your Twitter account might have been hacked today, although it probably wasn't. Confused? So were a number of Twitter users around the world after they received an email telling them to change their passwords. The social network says it sent out a legitimate email to some users whose accounts had been hacked, but "unintentionally" reset the passwords of a number of people whose accounts were fine. Among those affected by the hack was tech blog TechCrunch and popular comedian David Mitchell. Given that hackers managed to get their hands on a load of LinkedIn passwords earlier this year it...

  • News anchor gets suspended for Linkin Park death tweet

    Lance Witten, an anchor for the eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) has been suspended by the channel for a tweet in which he joked about the death of a concertgoer. The sports presenter tweeted this morning that "Linkin Park are so badass people are dying to see them". The joke appears to make reference to a fan of the band who died following the collapse of an advertising structure prior to their Cape Town concert last night. The South African-based news channel posted that it had suspended that anchor on its Twitter page, at the same time distancing itself from the...

  • JAM with Chrome: rock out with your friends, on your browser

    We all that Google does fairly nifty things sometimes and they're fun, for sure. But every now and then it pulls something mind-bogglingly awesome out of its drawer of tricks. JAM with Chrome is one of those things. The web app allows friends in different locations to play music together in the Chrome browser on their computers. When you enter the site, you can choose from a selection of 19 different instruments, from acoustic and bass guitars to drum kits and keyboards. Once you get playing, says Google, you can switch instruments as often and as many times as...

  • Samsung Galaxy SIII is officially the world’s best selling smartphone

    Looks like it's time to surrender your throne iPhone 4S users: the Samsung Galaxy SIII is officially the world's best-selling smartphone, for now. According to research released today by tech analysis company Strategy Analytics, the South Korean company's flagship smartphone outshipped the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 to take top spot in the global rankings during the third financial quarter of 2012. The 18-million SIIIs sold means that it accounts for an 11% share of all smartphones shipped globally. Strategy Analytics reckons that the SIII's dominant position is predominantly as a result of its "large touchscreen design,...

  • 10 things your brand can learn from Obama’s re-election campaign

    Having followed the Obama re-election campaign closely ever since the New Hampshire Primaries in January 2012, I have come to believe that there are important lessons to be drawn for success in leadership branding and getting people to vote for your brand -- both on a political and commercial level. These are ten principles that have helped Obama snatch victory from the jaws of defeat (when the global media were counting him out after the first TV debate with Mitt Romney) and secure a landslide victory that seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. 1. Strategy trumps tactics Obama’s...

  • When should you give up on your digital leads?

    One of your primary responsibilities when you're in the business of targeting other businesses is to generate leads. Some do this through focused lead generation programs primarily through digital channels, while others take a more subtle approach through brand-related marketing. Most marketing teams go through a huge effort to generate a lead, and then they immediately hand it over to their sales team. That lead could have been someone just doing initial research on a purchase they plan to make, they could have just been entering your competition or maybe they were a qualified buyer. A salesman cannot waste their time...