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  • Facebook News Feed redesign: more content specific, bigger ads, photos

    When Facebook unveils its redesigned News Feed tomorrow we can expect something that is more content-specific as well bigger photos and adverts. According to TechCrunch, sources say that the changes will debut first on the web version of the social network, before rolling out on mobile. If TechCrunch's sources are correct, then the redesign is pretty much in line with what the collected tech press has been expecting. The new News Feed will also apparently allow you to toggle between different feeds by hitting buttons at the top of the page rather than on the side. Within...

  • Samsung doles out US$112m for 3% stake in Sharp

    Sharp has confirmed that it has agreed to a deal which will see South Korean electronics giant Samsung pay US$112-million for a three percent stake in it. According to the Japanese multi-national, the purpose of the deal is to strengthen an alliance between the two companies, relating specifically to their LCD business as well as to "enhance Sharp's capital adequacy". Sharp has been supplying Samsung with LCD displays for some time now, but the new deal will see it commit to providing LCD panels for large TVs, as well as small and medium-sized LCDs for mobile devices. ...

  • Company that built multi-million rand gov’t site gets serious Facebook hate

    Cherry Online Designs wasn't all that well-known, until yesterday when it was revealed to be the company behind a provincial government website believed to have cost up to R140-million. While that news got its name out there, it opened it up to a whole pile of social media hate. A cursory glance at its Facebook page reveals a few more likes than the nine it had yesterday, as well as a litany of abuse. We've screen-grabbed a selection of some of the tamer posts to give you an idea of the kind of hatred it's been getting. ...

  • How FNB’s dotFNB stores are merging the digital banking and retail experience

    First National Bank (FNB) recently added another string to its innovation bow with the launch of the dotFNB store -- a unique type of cashless branch that facilitates a digital banking experience with a dash of retail. Customers can not only apply for, and interact with, digital services such as Geo Payments, FNB Connect and the FNB Mobile App, but they can browse smartphones, tablets and other devices (and purchase them on plans), all within the store. “We are living in a digital era and although traditional branches are here to stay, we need to offer relevant solutions to our clients. We...

  • China is not impressed with Android’s smartphone domination

    It's no secret that Android is winning the smartphone wars by a landslide -- and the home of the world's biggest smartphone market is no exception. But it seems the Chinese government is not enthused by the existence of such a large number of mobile phones controlled by Google within its boundaries, saying it is stunting mobile development in the country. A report released by the state's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and translated by Reuters said that China has the potential to develop its own operating system (OS) but the "country's mobile operating system research and...

  • Ceres juice company gives smartphone wars a fruity twist

    This is cool. A juice company has given the smartphone wars a fruity twist. The company, Ceres Fruit Juice, launched a limited edition Apple flavour in response to its competitor Liqui-Fruit’s recent release of a BlackBerry flavour. As part of the launch, Ceres has released an online game which can be found on its Facebook Page. It's a pretty simple Angry Birds-style game, which consists of the Ceres Limited Edition Apple "clearing the valley of all the sneaky blackberries" by shooting apples at their competitor. The game is also the entry mechanism for a competition in which people have the...

  • 5 signs that you should be blocking someone on Twitter

    To block or not to block: that is one of the most difficult questions any of us face when we’re out there in the social media trenches. I always regarded blocking as an admission of defeat. Heck, I rarely even unfollow people, and on a public platform where you take the good with the bad, blocking should be a last resort. Having rotten tomatoes lobbed your way is one of the occupational hazards of raising your head above the parapet. I follow 4126 people on Twitter, many of whom irritate me or with whose views I disagree, but I...

  • Razer Naga Hex review: great for gaming, not much else

    The Naga Hex, Razer's latest addition to its line of high-end gaming mice, both impresses and frustrates out of the box. With a bit of customisation you can get what you want from the mouse, but for its price tag you'd expect it to be a more streamlined experience. The look and feel The Hex is the follow-up to the Naga, an epic mouse designed for MMOs fitted with a 12 button thumb-grid. It looked like you could make a phone call on the Naga if you wanted to. The Hex strips that grid down to six buttons, and places them...

  • Meet 8 of Russia’s top VC firms

    Being a part of the Russians doesn’t mean you get a free bottle Russki Standard at tech events. Unfortunately. But what it does mean, is that you join a massive group of incredibly talented programmers and hackers and recently business-savvy tech folks, together with a whopping 150-million people all sitting in their warm homes tapping away at their keyboards. The Russian tech scene has exploded in the last five years, with companies like search engine Yandex completing an IPO on the NYSE and startups popping out of the snow like daisies in Namaqualand. A quick word on Yandex -- it...

  • The Pirate Bay’s North Korea claims are likely a piece of masterful satire

    Things are never boring in the world of the Pirate Bay. After Sweden’s Pirate Party discontinued its hosting of the site, it was apparently set to move its hosting to Spain and Norway. Now though, it claims it's actually settled in North Korea. The massive file-sharing site posted a blog in which it claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had invited it to "fight battles" from the country's network. As the Verge points out however, this statement is probably rooted more in satire than reality. The first clue is in the hyperbole that the...

  • Twitter kills off TweetDeck for mobile and drops Facebook in one fell swoop

    It seems Twitter's quest to streamline and cull every Twitter-y thing that isn't actually Twitter isn't over quite yet. The social network has announced that it's planning to shut down the mobile and desktop-based AIR versions of its TweetDeck app because... well, you can just use the official Twitter apps instead. Oh, and it's also pulling the plug on Facebook. In a blog post, TweetDeck, which was acquired by Twitter in 2011, said that it would be discontinuing support for its AIR, iPhone and Android apps, and the mobile apps would be removed from their app stores at the beginning...

  • Google set to take on Amazon Prime with ‘Google Shopping Express’

    Google is apparently set to take on Amazon Prime, with its own service called Google Shopping Express. Amazon Prime gives shoppers free two-day shipping on all eligible purchases for a flat annual fee, as well as discounted one-day shipping rates for around US$79 a year. According to sources who spoke to TechCrunch, Google's service will be US$10 a year cheaper and offer same day delivery from the likes of Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Safeway. As well as Amazon Prime, Google's product will compete against eBay Now, Postmates’ “Get It Now” and smaller startups like Instacart. TechCrunch says that the project to launch...

  • Opera’s new Webkit browser arrives on Play Store in beta

    Less than a month after formally announcing that it had ditched Presto, the rendering engine that had until then powered Opera web browser, in favour of WebKit, Opera has released a beta version of its new browser onto the Google Play Store. The new browser, which Opera says will be quicker than its predecessor, will most likely look very similar to Chrome for Android. It's apparently features a new interface and incorporates Opera Mini, allowing you to surf in either data-optimized mode or use the full browser experience. The browser runs native web apps, although its most prominent feature is...

  • 5 things startups can learn from bodybuilding champion Phil Heath

    Phil Heath is the current face of professional super heavyweight bodybuilding. A two-time, back-to-back Mr. Olympia, Heath has pushed the limits of the human physique to its extreme. It takes a special type of drive, some would say "crazy", to make it in the sport of bodybuilding. Heath embodies this drive as well as the unrelenting spirit found in many an entrepreneur taking on the challenges of building a business from scratch. Whether you're sculpting a physique, or crafting a business, the lessons learned on the way to success are often similar. 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");

  • Meet the government WordPress site that cost R140m to build [Update]

    If you were overcharged the last time you needed a website built, check this out: The Free State provincial government in South Africa reportedly forked out R140-million (US$15 366 680) for its online presence. According to The Sowetan newspaper Free State director general Elzabe Rockman signed a three-year contract to redesign the website in 2011. She apparently disputed this figure, saying it had actually cost a bargain-basement R40-million. The agreement was signed with Tumi Ntsele, a prominent businessman in the country who has business with several other provincial departments. Ntsele's tender for the project was also accepted despite the...