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  • Google is tracking Santa as he whips around the world delivering presents

    Ho Ho Ho! As the world prepares for Christmas, Google has decided to once again track good old St. Nick as he takes flight on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to all good boys and girls. "While we’ve been tracking Santa since 2004 with Google Earth, this year a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers built a new route algorithm to chart Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve," says Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth. The search giant's tracker will allow users to follow the jolly man in red as he dashes from city...

  • Google digitizes the 10 commandments and Genesis scrolls in high-res photos

    In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Google has teamed up with the Israel Antiquities Authority to launch the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library. The search giant says the site will give the public the chance to experience, view, examine, and explore the collection of some 5 000 images of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, "at a quality never seen before". Google has been working with the Israel Antiquities Authority to put together the library for the better part of two years using advanced technology first developed by NASA. The library consists...

  • Migrating to Flickr? Freethephotos saves your pictures from Instagram

    Instagram's slightly disconcerting and perplexing new terms of use upset a fair few users yesterday, because the update could theoretically allow their images to be used by advertisers without their knowledge. Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, was quick to respond to the cries of his users after the proposed policy changes went public, saying that his team is going to remove the language about how users' photos can be used as adverts, and explaining that the new rules are actually more for matching a user's actions (such as following an account) to paid promoted ads. "In order to help make...

  • Keep on selling, Samsung: Judge denies Apple’s application for a US injunction

    In the latest news to usher forth from Judge Lucy Koh's courtroom, Apple has been denied a permanent injunction against the sale of Samsung products found to be infringing its patents in the much-publicised case in August. Oh, and she also dashed Samsung's hope of a retrial after it cried juror misconduct. Koh raised eyebrows by not declaring a sales ban on the 26 Samsung products previously found to violate Apple's design and utility patents, for which the Korean giant was ordered to pay Apple some US$1.05-billion in damages. But she said that there was not enough evidence to...

  • Twitter now has more than 200 million active users a month

    Today in a tweet, Twitter announced that it now has more than 200-million active users tweeting every month. This new number shows a rise of 60-million users in previously released numbers. There are now more than 200M monthly active @twitter users. You are the pulse of the planet. We're grateful for your ongoing support!— Twitter (@twitter) December 18, 2012 Earlier this year the service, which turned six years old in March, announced that it had passed 140-million active users, with 340-million tweets per day -- this new number shows a 42% growth in the last nine months. This has been...

  • Is Apple cosying up to Foursquare to help fix Maps?

    Well what do you know, it seems in an effort to improve its Maps app Apple has decided to partner with Foursquare. According to a Wall Street Journal report, people close to the matter claim that Apple is in early discussions to integrate local data from Foursquare Labs with its maps. The Journal says the talks took place in "recent weeks" and involve Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue. Cue recently took over the management of Maps during the executive reshuffle of recent months. "The discussions with New York-based Foursquare come as Apple has been talking to a...

  • EU aims to increase connectivity and make Europe ‘startup friendly’

    The European Commission (EU) has indicated that the digital economy across European states needs to be stepped up considerably, after it said it is held back by a "patchy pan-European policy framework". After an intensive policy review of its Digital Agenda for Europe, it has refocused its priorities for the future. The EU estimates that the digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the European economy, and has been calling for a revamp of high-speed broadband for a while. It outlined the steps it plans to take to help the roll-out: The commission will...

  • YouTube’s 2012 trends: Gangnam style reigns supreme

    Popular video sharing site YouTube has released its top trending videos for the year and its no surprise that South Korean sensation PSY is at the top of the list. According to the site, when it looked back at the year that was, it found that Korean pop music crossed borders worldwide. This comes as part of YouTube's Rewind channel: an annual channel that looks back at the year on YouTube, similar to Google's Zeitgeist. According to an official blog post: This year, Korean Pop music transcended boundaries and took the world by storm. Cover songs, parodies, and "do-it-yourself" music videos...

  • Running a competition on Twitter or Facebook? How to get the basics right

    Running a competition that compliments your social media strategy can really help you increase the size and reach of the audience you are targeting. You can increase your network size on the social web by getting new followers on Twitter, likes on Facebook, and by engaging with your audience by running a competition. Even though it sounds easy to run a competition on social media to build your network size, it's important that you also focus on how to keep your network engaged even after the competition has ended so that people don't unfollow you or lose interest as...

  • The best FREE holiday apps for your smartphone

    We have become dependent on our smartphones and tablets, and even the holidays seem boring without them. There will be a time when you will miss, or need, your cannot-live-without device. When that happens, you need some apps that could satisfy, help or simply just improve your holiday. Here is a list of some the best (and importantly) FREE apps you can get to change the way you experience your holiday. With these apps you will be able to organise your activities and be able to have a memorable time. TripAdvisor TripAdvisor makes holidaying easier with on-the-spot user reviews and information,...

  • Looking into the future: 2013 is all Google, Facebook and more big data

    It’s that time of year again to go through Evernote and really see what’s on the horizon and beyond. Here are my 10 predictions for 2013. 1. Smartphones will break 75% penetration in the UK by June. Currently at 50 - 60% and with manufacturers actively forcing consumers this way, it’s not a question of if but how quickly. Wearable technology, self-quantification, connected devices and social networking will be the driving forces for time spent on devices. 2. 2013 will be the year of the tablet wars -- 2012 was just the launch. It’s almost certain everyone (but Apple) will...

  • iPhone 5 review: A class act

    Before we begin, I would like to make two things very clear: one, I am not an iDevice fan. Two, I love my Android phone. When the iPhone 5 arrived at Burn HQ, something interesting happened. I was asked to review it, the biggest iDevice critic in town. I should have and would have said no, but the device was placed in my palm and everything changed... This phone has been anticipated for so long that some doubted its existence. It was becoming the stuff of legend, the sought after “holy grail” of Apple’s kingdom -- but here it is at...

  • Chat app giant WeChat set to surpass 300 million users next month

    Already the world’s biggest messaging app, WeChat seems to be accelerating its growth even further in the past few months. That’s because Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma said at a recent conference in southern China that the messaging app – known in Chinese as Weixin – is set to surpass 300-million users in January 2013. The last major milestone for WeChat – an app like Whatsapp, Line, or KakaoTalk – was back in September, when it sailed past 200 million registered users. Ma mentioned at the time that the app was generating 700 million location-based activities each day. We have four confirmed data...

  • Instagram’s advertising plans and how it will share your data with Facebook

    It seems the day we were waiting for has arrived: Facebook is figuring out how to monetize Instagram. When the social network dropped the better part of US$1-billion for the retro photography service, the skeptics muttered that Instagram wasn't exactly a money-making machine: it's ad-free, after all. Well, not for much longer. If you take a look through the updated terms of use Instagram published late yesterday, you may have noticed a few lines of legalese which paint a not-so-obscure picture about what the service is planning to do next. It states: Some or all of the Service may be supported...

  • Twitter and Nielsen launch a new social TV rating metric

    Social TV just got more interesting with a new partnership between Twitter and Nielsen. The "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating" for the US market will allow Nielsen and Twitter to deliver a metric for gauging TV conversation reach on the social network. The more popular Twitter gets the more entrenched into everyday life it becomes. Audiences are making the social network a key part of their viewing habits, discussing shows, characters and plot lines as they air. Reality television is growing more popular on social networks, creating an online community around such programs. It seems Twitter and Nielsen want to measure...