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  • Facebook targets emerging markets with Vodafone 555 Blue

    The recent launch of the Vodafone 555 Blue in South Africa is an indication that social networks are more eager than ever to put their products into the hands of every day users. The phone, built in partnership with social networking giant Facebook, is particularly aimed at emerging markets. Jonathan Labin, Client Partner, Central Eastern Europe Middle East & Africa of Facebook confirmed this saying, "Facebook wants to make every phone social and Vodafone has taken the integration of Facebook to the next stage for an affordable mobile device with the Vodafone 555 Blue". "We're really happy that...

  • Gone in 30 seconds: How Venture Capitalists screen your business plan

    "The average time that a Venture Capitalist spends analysing a business plan is 22 seconds" – Speaker at the 26th Venture Capital Institute, Atlanta, 2000. Since this realisation more than 10 years ago I've often wondered whether it was entirely fair towards entrepreneurs who spend significant time and resources to develop a comprehensive business plan. But top tier venture capitalists (VC's) deal with hundreds of business plans a year, and a decision on whether to take the proposal to the next level or to reject it is often made in less than 30 seconds. This is how: Consider the 'Flight-Path' of...

  • The Big Data revolution: 5 startups mining the trend

    Big Data is, well, big. In the information age, companies are literally drowning in vast oceans of data. Petabytes of data are being gathered everywhere in the digital age at a furious rate, and by a variety of devices. Websites and devices that are collecting data on a large scale include ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, cameras, microphones, RFID readers, and wireless sensor networks. Most large corporates are sitting on mines of data by virtue of their everyday operations and vast networks. Social networks have also become information goldmines, generating massive amounts of user data. Harvard Business Review refers to the...

  • Blackberry unveils three new Curves

    BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has announced three new Curve smartphones integrated with the sleek Blackberry 7 OS. The Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 are fresh out of the oven and ready for action. The new models have been designed, in effect, for the portion of Blackberry's user market looking for an affordable phone which suits their social needs. RIM president Mike Lazaridis in a press release is quoted as saying that "The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are absolutely stunning and offer a significant performance upgrade with an unmatched mobile social experience for the millions of feature phone...

  • Marketing to different buyers: Is it practical?

    One of the first things that marketers are taught -- once you have got through the four P's is about market segmentation and the buying cycle which organisations go through. In this buying process there are different kinds of buyers that your marketing messages get exposed to. Having a standard marketing message means that you are not going to always be hitting the key points that your buyer is necessarily looking for; so we need to target marketing messages to each of these buyers, but is it practical? What is the business buying process? The buying process is how a business makes...

  • Silicon Cape launches startup academy

    Cape Town based IT movement, the Silicon Cape has launched a new initiative it is calling the Silicon Cape Academy. The initiative takes the shape of a monthly educational event which aims to assist entrepreneurs in developing successful startup ventures. According to a press release issued by the Silicon Cape, the organisation has partnered "with industry experts to provide start-ups with practical advice on how to run and grow their businesses". Rob Stokes, chairman of the Silicon Cape, believes that the academy has a valuable role to play in advancing the region's startup culture: Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our...

  • 7 insights from the future we live in

    Nick Bilton's new book I live in the future & here's how it works is well-written with lots of examples and scientific research. Bilton is the lead tech blogger for the New York Times. He doesn't subscribe to the paper, though, because he gets his news filtered through his social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, his local Brooklyn neighbourhood blog). For those of you who already live in this new digital world, there won't be much new here, except good examples to explain it to your friends. As with most books, by the time they're published, the contents aren't...

  • A short history of social media [infographic]

    How old is social media? If you guessed somewhere around the 2000 mark you'd be very wrong. The first instance of what we now call social media was the Computerised Bulletin Board System created in 1978. This informative infographic gives you a short, but thorough, history of social media right from its roots in 1978 through to today. Beyond telling you when a particular social media service was created, (Blogger in August of 1999, for instance), it also gives you other relevant pieces of historical information. For instance, it includes the 2009 hype surrounding Facebook's decision...

  • Facebook to stream Miramax films

    Facebook users can now stream cult classics within their browser, following the launch of a free Miramax App. The launch follows in the wake of releases The Big Lebowski earlier this month and The Dark Knight earlier this year, signalling an intent on the part of Facebook and the film studios to extend their film services to a wider audience. In a blog post Miramax explained their decision to launch the app, saying: "We are big believers in Facebook and what it could mean for the future of the content business." The current version of the software has 20 titles including...

  • Vietnam government accused of cyber-terrorism

    An activist group inside Vietnam and around the world has accused the Vietnam's communist government of launching a cyber-attack which has crippled its website. The group, The Vietnam Reform Party also known as "Viet Tan", following their site, www.viettan.org, going down (still down at time of writing) released a statement saying, "Beginning on August 13, hackers launched a sustained attack against www.viettan.org". Viet Tan, which campaigns for peaceful political change in the authoritarian state, specifically blamed Hanoi saying the "Hanoi government's firewall" was lifted to allow a "botnet", or network of compromised computers, to take down the Viet Tan website "This is...

  • What does the Shionogi incident teach us about Virtualisation?

    There is a story that has been doing the rounds in the mainstream media of late that is really beginning to annoy me. The story is about an IT administrator who took out 88 virtual servers in a revenge attack against a Japanese pharmaceutical company that terminated his contract to help to cut costs. The thing that is so frustrating is that all of the focus seems to highlight the idea that virtualisation is essentially dangerous. If you take a few minutes to read any of the articles, however, it becomes clear that the offender was exceedingly knowledgeable about...

  • Who the bleep are you?:The pros and cons of online anonymity

    Anonymous has given anonymity a bad name. Pseudonyms, aliases, nom de plumes, all have lubricated social communication for centuries. Famously, several female authors wrote under male names, but other reasons given for changing one's name include feeling free to write about people you know without recrimination, attempting to mute obvious cultural elements of your name so that people don't view you through the lens of a particular worldview, or just plain wanting to have a different persona. The battle has been waged on several fronts -- unsurprisingly, as the internet is spreadeagled across nations with many different laws and perspectives...

  • Motorola ATRIX: The great little phone that should

    The ATRIX has hardware specs out the whatsit, with a one gighertz dual-core NVIDA Tegra 2 processor, a gig of RAM, a four-inch 960×540 qHD display, front- and rear-facing (5MP) cameras and the ability to record in 720p. It offers up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card), 802.11n support, a 1930 mAh battery, two microphones for noise-reduction and a biometric reader for unlocking your phone at the touch of a fingerprint. The ATRIX’s party trick is, of course, its accessories. Both of the docks, the Lapdock and the HD Multimedia Dock, essentially amplify the phone’s...

  • The coolest tech videos at TED 2011

    The inaugural TED conference in 1984 featured one of the first demonstrations of the Macintosh Computer and the Sony compact disc. Over the last two decades TED has continued to bring us great new ideas and mind boggling technologies. 2011 is no different. Below we feature a hand picked selection of some of the most awesome tech to have emerged out of TED in Monteray California and TEDGlobal in Edinburgh Scotland Markus Fischer: A robot that flies like a bird Icarus' ill-fated attempt at conquering the skies certainly did not deter the engineers of Smart Bird. Based on the Herring...

  • Education brought to Amazon by internet “distance-learning”

    The internet has allowed a school to sprout in a remote area of the Amazon where teachers tend not to linger due to harsh living conditions and a scarcity of students. Teachers in Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, conduct lessons streamed to students in the village of Tumbira using an internet connection made possible with a generator-powered radio signal. If not for "distance learning", children from far-flung Amazon river communities would forgo school or endure arduous boat trips to places with traditional schools. "There was scepticism whether this system would work", Tumbira school director Izolena Garrido said. "It seemed...