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  • Opera gives 70m Brazilians access to app store in partnership with TIM

    Opera has partnered with Brazilian mobile operator TIM to launch the TIM App Shop, which will be powered by the Opera Mobile Store. According to The Next Web, the partnership will see the TIM App Shop pre-loaded on all devices sold by the mobile carrier, which is Brazil's second largest. It is also reportedly the preferred carrier for the country's middle class. In a country where fixed internet connections are still comparatively expensive, that means its mobile devices will also be the primary means by which its customers access the internet. Given that a large portion of those customers...

  • Microsoft retail stores might open soon in UK

    If ever anyone needed more proof of the new Microsoft business plan, the Financial Times has reported that the Redmond, Washington-based company has begun talking to UK landlords to open retail outlets of its devices and appliances. Initial talks indicate that the stores could open in 2013, but that will depend on how well the US retail stores are do. Microsoft's entry into the retail market has been well documented, moving slightly away from software and more into the Apple-style business of selling hardware with its own branding. Apart from its own products like the Surface tablet, various...

  • Rise of the machines: is Google changing history?

    According to the experience of thousands of Australian students, Google might just be changing history. Back in the day it was my revisionist politics professors who took the blame for rewriting history, especially in early 1990s South Africa. At least their intentions were honourable and they were mindful of what they were doing (that’s not to say everyone agreed with them). Nowadays, however, it seems that it is possible to change history accidentally, carelessly, maliciously or just for fun. We’re told by the poster child of crowdsourced information, Wikipedia, that the system has the ability to heal itself and, to be...

  • Logitech Touch Mouse review: beautiful, but not Bluetooth

    I guess I’m one of the stranger users of technology. I’m not an Apple zombie, insisting everything has to be Apple “just because” or an unwavering, die-hard Microsoft zealot based on Apple hatred. I like to use best-of-breed and what suits me, irrelevant of silly branding and ideology. So for a long while I have been using a mighty mouse (Apple) and Vaio PC laptop combination. And it worked well for about three years. Then Windows 8 came along and my wonderful little hack inexplicably just stopped working. 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");

  • Society’s dilemma: mobile versus social

    Reading the heading, you’re probably thinking: “It’s a typo, it should be ‘Mobile and Social’”. But no. What I wanted to talk about is the behaviour, the phenomenon, if you will, of the complete dependency people seem to have developed for their mobile phones, and how it affects their social behaviour. Here’s my theory: with smartphones and constant connections to the internet, people have developed an addiction to being online, digitally staying in touch and up-to-date. And it really starts to affect our social behaviour negatively. Mobile vs. Social. Think about the children Start with an experiment in your everyday life: go...

  • Droidfooding: Facebook encourages its staff to switch to Android

    Well well. It seems that Facebook has decided to take some proactive steps towards encouraging its employees to think more about Android. Recently companies like Yahoo have taken steps to ensure their staff are using the devices most users have, and Facebook seems to be following suit with a range of posters around its headquarters promoting the switch from iPhone to Android. Frankly, the move seems a bit delayed: after all, Android is the biggest smartphone OS globally and Google's most recent stats suggest there are more than half a billion Android devices worldwide. Still, it shows that Facebook is...

  • Android cements Chinese dominance: has 140m users

    China has, at present, 390-million mobile internet users among its billion-strong phone subscribers. And now new data for 2012 Q3 from Beijing-based mobile analytics startup Umeng claims that, among all those mobile users, Chinese consumers have snapped up just over 200-million iPhones and Android smartphones. Of those, 60-million are iPhones, and 140-million of them are Android-powered devices. The researchers reckon that 200-million figure has rocketed up from a mere 87-million iOS and Android phones in China in 2012 Q1. Though these stats are not based on sales figures, it’s good to have a reasonable sounding figure for only Apple’s and...

  • Twitter bids farewell to Riaan Cruywagen

    The Twitter community tonight joined together in bidding a fond farewell to veteran newscaster Riaan Cruywagen. The broadcaster, who has been on South African televisions for the last 37 years read the news for the last time, eliciting tributes from across the Twittersphere. Cruywagen has been on the country's screens since the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s first TV in 1975. In that time he has become synonymous with Afrikaans news. His longevity also ensured that he became an online personality in the same vein as David Hasselhoff and Chuck Norris. It was hardly surprising therefore that a number of...

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II sales go past 5m mark

    It's big, it's bold and it's not selling too badly either. Samsung's 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II has now gone past the five-million channel sales mark. The Korean tech giant made the announcement today , meaning that some two-million extra phablets have been sold since 2 November. It should be noted though that Samsung prefers to reveal the number of devices it's sold to retailers rather than end customers. The company expects that the Note II will sell 20-million units, almost double that of it predecessor, the Galaxy Note. The phablet that pretty much defined the genre sold 10-million units...

  • Samsung says it’s not using child labour following extensive audit

    Korean tech behemoth Samsung Electronics says that none of the 105 manufacturers of its products and components employ child labour. This comes after extensive on-site inspections during September by 121 trained and certified employees. This is in reaction to an earlier report by China Labour Watch, a New York labour rights group, that HEG Electronics, a Samsung supplier, was using children younger than 16 in its factories. Of the 105 suppliers that total about 65 000 workers investigated, Samsung said it "did not identify any instance of child labour", but did find workers under the age of 18. It also found...

  • Cambridge University to examine threat of AI

    A new research center at the UK's prestigious Cambridge University has been set up to investigate the potential threat presented by Artificial Intelligence. The research will likely go beyond watching the Terminator series of movies on repeat, otherwise a whole center would be unnecessary. The Center for the Study of Existential Risk is set to open next year and is founded by philosophy professor Huw Price, Skype co-founder Jann Tallinn and cosmology professor Martin Rees. Speaking to the Associated Press, Price said that "it seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will...

  • Indonesia, Malaysia show strongest tech growth in SE Asia

    Indonesia and Malaysia's tech sectors are showing some serious growth, leading the South East Asia region along with Thailand. According to research company GfK TEMAX, the three countries turned in overall positive showings in the range of nine to 14 percent. Indonesia overtook Malaysia for the top spot overall with 14% growth in the latest quarter. The latter's tech sector growth was nonetheless robust at 10%, while Thailand took third place -- its tech sector growing by nine percent over the same period in 2011. Helping propel Indonesia to top spot is the fact that six out of the seven...

  • Gangnam Style overtakes Bieber, is most watched video in YouTube history

    It's official. The viral phenomenon that is 'Gangnam Style' today overtook Justin Bieber's 'Baby' to become the most watched video in YouTube history. The video for the song, by Korean artist Psy, has now been watched over 805-million times, one-million times more than Justin Bieber's 'Baby' video. According to search tool WordStream, 'Gangnam Style' currently receives 4 062 video views a minute, while 'Baby' gets 550. The video from the South Korean singer is also the most liked video on the video-sharing channel. It has 5.3-million likes, while Justin Bieber’s 'Baby' is a likely candidate for the...

  • 5 tips for drawing up your social media crisis plan

    The social web is largely public. Yes, everything that gets shared, published, tweeted, liked, uploaded, pinned, +1’d or commented on. Everyone is now a citizen journalist, capable of sharing anything at any time. That means anyone with internet access. The web has gone mobile and so have all the users making use of the various social media channels available. Did you know that it can take 140 characters or less to make or break a reputation in today's digital business environment? Bad news spreads like wildfire and the days are long gone where a business that received negative feedback could...

  • Killing passwords and whistleblowing hackers: top stories you need to read

    Passwords are safe. Hackers have nefarious motives. App design is the next cash cow. All Microsoft's hopes rest on Windows 8. Apple is practically untouchable. Well, yes and no -- reality is not always so black and white, as a number of the stories we've selected as part of this instalment of top tech stories from around the web point out: Kill the password: why a string of characters can’t protect us anymore Who is the best person to point out that your password isn't as safe as you thought it was? Someone who has been comprehensively hacked -- like...