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  • Little Nemo in Googleland: Celebrating a comic great

    If you like comics there is a chance you remember the adventures on Little Nemo in Slumberland. No? Not ringing any bells? Well Google wants to remind you with a special doodle paying tribute to the comic and its creator Winsor McCay. The comic followed the adventures of a little boy in a dream world ruled by King Morpheus, who wanted Nemo as a playmate for his daughter, the Princess. The elaborate doodle which marks the 107th anniversary of the comic recreates the adventures of Little Nemo from the illustrator's comic strips, which first appeared on 15 October 1905...

  • Goodbye Zune: Microsoft launches Xbox Music to take on iTunes and Spotify

    So long, Zune... hello Xbox Music. Microsoft has been slowly retiring its Zune brand over the past year, making way for its next attempt at the digital music space already crammed full of stores and steaming services like iTunes and Nokia Music, Spotify, Rdio and Simfy. The company has decided to re-enter the game with a multi-device super platform that lets you stream music or download it to keep on your Xbox, PC, Surface or Windows Phone. Yes please. Xbox Music, which will be available on the Xbox 360 from tomorrow and Windows 8 devices from October 26, will hold...

  • Kindle users could be entitled to e-book refunds

    On Saturday 13 October, Amazon sent emails to owners of Kindle ereaders that they could possibly receive refunds of between US$0.30 and US$1.32 for e-books bought between April 2010 and May 2012. This is depending on an approval by a judge in a settlement case of three publishers who have been accused of inflating ebook prices. There has been no indication from Amazon of how many customers could be affected. This, according to Amazon, could see cheaper prices for Kindle users and a limit on publishers' ability to set ebook prices. In the email to its customers, Amazon reportedly said:...

  • Samsung Apple relationship is now ‘hate hate’

    Looks like Apple's relationship with Samsung has reached new lows, with a new report out of Korea describing it as having moved from "love hate" to "hate hate". According to the Korea Times, the relationship between the two companies has become "one-dimensional" as Apple looks to move its semiconductor business away from Samsung. While the Korean company is still manufacturing the A6 chips used in the iPhone 5, Apple is no longer using Samsung's technology to build them. "Samsung’s agreement with Apple is limited to manufacturing the A6 processors. Apple did all the design and we are just producing...

  • Check out Windows 8’s first official TV spot

    Microsoft has officially released its first TV spot for Windows 8. It's loud, colorful and features rockets, exploding laptops and a piñata. In among all that noise are shots of the new OS, although nothing that we haven't seen already. It does however tell us that Microsoft is looking to market the new OS as fun. That's probably not a bad idea. First off, it's a completely different tack to the dour "so cool it comes with black rim glasses" approach taken by Apple. Second it shows an awareness on Microsoft's part that it's going to have to win...

  • New Nando’s ad: Europe, planes and Table Mountain

    Fast food chicken franchise Nando's is an international player these days. The South African-headquartered business now has operation across the globe, including Europe. It's hardly surprising then that one of the adverts in its latest campaign, giving people 25 reasons to love South Africa, should include the proximity to Europe. Except there's a bit of a twist in the ad, featuring a famous mountain: The ad is part of its #25Reasons campaign. The campaign, in celebration of the chicken outlet’s 25th birthday, asks the people of South Africa to give 25 reasons they love their country. The franchise has also...

  • Felix Baumgartner jumps from the stratosphere into the history books

    Felix Baumgartner did it. After numerous weather delays and preparations, the extreme athlete has jumped and completed the longest free fall known to man. The experienced BASE jumper broke the previous record set by United States Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger (who jumped from 102 800 feet in 1960) by jumping from 128 100 feet. He then fell for 119 846 feet before deploying his parachute. It was part of the Red Bull Stratos mission. "Baumgartner wants to become the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection of an aircraft while simultaneously collecting data never obtained...

  • How Redbull Stratos chronicled Felix Baumgartner’s jump in tweets

    If you weren't near a stable YouTube connection, or a TV news station, chances are you were following the excitement around Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner's historic space jump on Twitter. The official Redbull Stratos account provided what was probably the most definitive chronicle of events. Baumgartner's mentor Joe Kittinger was there to guide Baumgartner through the ascent and was frequently the voice of the mission: "We are going to get your goal and your dream accomplished Felix." Joe Kittinger from Mission Control twitter.com/RedBullStratos…— Red Bull Stratos (@RedBullStratos) October 14, 2012 "Everything is great and you are on your way to...

  • Google’s African affair: An internet giant puts its money where its mouth is

    At the start of last year I wrote an article for Memeburn with the only slightly tongue-in-cheek headline: “Instead of smallpox Google is colonising Africa with ‘cool stuff’”. As a rule I tend to prefer African solutions for African problems, and am also always somewhat sceptical of geeks bearing gifts (sorry!). Twenty months later, I need to concede that it does look as if Google is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to the African continent. It has offices in eight African countries and has launched, whether intentionally or not, products that have the potential to...

  • Decoding the social influence enigma: Q&A with Klout’s Joe Fernandez

    It must be difficult being Joe Fernandez. He is the founder of Klout: the social media analytics startup that measures users' influence across their social networks. Klout scores people based on their influence on networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The company has come under heavy criticism for its measurement algorithm. The most vocal of these critics is TechCrunch co-Editor, Alexia Tsotsis, who wrote a piece titled: "Nobody Gives A Damn About Your Klout Score", following outcries from users on 26 October 2011 when the platform changed its algorithm. Klout scores range from 1 to 100, with...

  • How Hipstamatic got lost and the patent problem: top stories you have to read

    Every day, tech stories hit the web about everything from Samsung's mini Galaxy S III to Marissa Mayer's tricky new situation as geek girl/CEO mom. But other stories are told too: from discussions about the holes in the US patent system which have allowed patent trolls to thrive and the effectiveness of sponsored content on BuzzFeed to the difficulties of pivoting and 'unpivoting' a startup. Here are our picks for the best tech stories you might have missed. No filter: inside Hipstamatic’s lost year searching for the next killer social app It aimed to be the Kodak of the digital era,...

  • Busted: Apple caught tracking iPhone users… again

    Another day another issue with an Apple product. Sigh. Except maybe you should hold off on that sigh, because this one's serious. Apple has, once again, been caught tracking iPhone users. In April 2011, analysts at a UK security conference discovered that iPhones and iPads running iOS4 had been secretly tracking their users' every movement. Apple then denied that it was tracking users, although it did so without directly addressing the evidence brought forward by the security company. Now it has emerged that Apple has started tracking iOS6 users so it can target them through a new tracking technology...

  • Microsoft to pump $1.5bn into Windows 8 marketing

    Whether you think that Windows 8 represents a return to "cool" for Microsoft or a last throw of the dice, there's no denying the fact that it's important. Microsoft gets that too. If you want proof, you need look no further than the fact that the Redmond-based giant is set to pump upwards of US$1.5-billion worth of marketing into the new OS. According to Forbes, that makes it the largest campaign for a single product in the history of the industry. It's definitely a hell of a lot more than the US$200-million, the company spent marketing Windows 95. According...

  • Reddit & Gawker: sex, anonymity and free speech

    Well this is interesting. There has been a slow scandal brewing over content posted on Reddit for some time now but it seems it's time to air the dirty laundry. In a recent post, Matthew Ingram of GigaOM talks about the dark side of communities such as the social bookmarking site, Reddit. His piece follows a statement from a Reddit sub-forum, "r/politics" stating that it will be banning links from all Gawker Media properties because one of its writers was planning on exposing a Reddit moderator responsible for "r/creepshots" and "r/jailbaits" pages dedicated to sexualised pictures of...

  • Free Weibo: Get Sina Weibo uncensored

    Just yesterday I wrote a piece about what the internet in China might look like if it wasn't censored, and today I got a note saying things have gotten just a bit more free. Free Weibo is a new site (launched yesterday) that uses Sina Weibo’s own data and data from Weiboscope (which collects blocked and deleted weibo posts) to allow users to search for search terms that are blocked on the Sina Weibo site. Want to search for “Hu Jintao” or look up your favorite evil cult? Now you can actually do it. The site comes from the same...