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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Top Gear gives its SA fans something to cheer about with hashtag rewards

    A couple of episodes of Top Gear season 19 have already aired in the UK. But when the season's first episode airs in South Africa tonight, the BBC will be rewarding its fans for using Twitter during the show. More precisely, the "Beeb" -- in consultation with digital agency Retroviral -- will try to increase engagement by leveraging off the trend of IPP (in-programme pointers) hashtags. During each episode of the new series, a new question will appear and viewers will have the opportunity to answer using the hashtag #TopGearSA, on Twitter. After the series has concluded,...

  • You don’t have a social media problem, you have a reputation problem

    I’m really not a fan of the phrase: “you have a problem in social media”. It’s a phrase the online industry uses to describe companies who are having a rough time in the social space and, while it’s superficially accurate, it’s entirely misleading in its simplicity. The phrase is misleading because it speaks to the social media outcome and not the business issue that caused the problem. This ascribes the blame to the wrong party and the ensuing remedies are then applied in the wrong areas. It’s not a new phenomenon, treating the symptom instead of the cause, yet...

  • Martyring Aaron Swartz: where were the activists when he needed them?

    PandoDaily's Hamish McKenzie recently attended a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the young activist who committed suicide while being prosecuted for downloading millions of academic papers. He writes: Berin Szoka, the president of the group TechFreedom, offered some words that were uncomfortable for some. Speaking of the Internet activist’s alleged crime of downloading millions of academic articles, Szoka stepped out of the night’s orthodoxy of holding Swartz up as a hero. “I cannot condone what Aaron did,” Szoka started, about to launch into an argument about how Internet freedom should not be a partisan issue. He was cut off before he could go...

  • 7 things about your pitch the dragons hated

    When you are pitching to a venture capitalist or angel investor, it's like venturing into a dragon's lair and attempting to convince the fire-breathing monster to give you one of its golden eggs. It's a no-nonsense matter and one bad move could end your entrepreneurial ambitions. Startups often think that once they have an idea, chances are it is rock star worthy and any self-respecting VC will be bonkers not to fork over piles of money to back their venture. Not so. Yes, some people get lucky, most need to work really hard at it. Read more on Ventureburn....

  • Follow the wizard in Google’s latest Oz-themed interactive Chrome experiment

    If you were one of the procrastinators Chrome users who enjoyed playing with virtual Lego pieces in your browser, you'll appreciate Google's latest experiment. Built in partnership with Disney and production company Unit 9 ahead of the release of Oz: The Great and Powerful, the Find your way to Oz site uses the browser's abilities to transport you into the world of green witches and munchkins. Stage by stage, you can use your mouse to navigate through a circus ground and carnival tent and ultimately steer a hot air balloon through a dark and twisty tornado. If you make...

  • 5 top apps every working stiff should download

    Part of being an employee means that you're expected to show up on time, dress neatly and use your skills and abilities to make a meaningful contribution to the company that pays your salary, which in turn, allows you to lead the life that you do everyday and not end up on the street. To increase the quality of that life (and your distance from the street), you need to constantly be learning, developing efficiencies that allow you to do more in less time, so that you can take on more responsibility and get paid more by your employer....

  • Vine introduces 17+ age-rating as it cracks down on adult content

    Twitter's recently released video-sharing app Vine now comes with a 17+ age restriction. It's a bit like the internet in microcosm really. You build an amazing tool that can be used for news-gathering and all sorts of other cool things and people use it for porn. The new setting forces you to confirm that you're older than 17 to install the app, and comes as part of an update which also included minor bug fixes and the ability to share to Facebook and Twitter after a video has been posted. Prior to the update, Vine was available to users older...

  • Pinterest could be valued at $2.5bn with new funding round

    You know a social network is really kicking ass when its valuation is in the region of billions. Pinterest, the online scrapbooking social network, seems to be ready to raise some more money after three years of service, that will raise its value significantly. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the company is getting serious about revenue and is looking for potential advertising systems. "A lot of last year was keeping up with growth the big change with touch-screen devices," said founder and CEO Ben Silbermann to the Journal. This year, "we're building foundations to monetize." Launched in 2010,...

  • Browse your Instagram feed on the web now

    Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram's been a mobile-only company. Now though, the photo-filter and sharing app just took a step toward the desktop by allowing you to view your feed on the web. In a blog post marking the announcement, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said that making people's feeds available on the web is meant to make the service "more accessible" to its growing community. He stressed however that Instagram would always be mobile first. "Our focus on building out a mobile-only experience is a unique path that we’ve chosen for many reasons, the most important of which...

  • 11 massive startup lessons Om Malik learned building an online news empire

    Six years ago, Om Malik decided to leave his position at a magazine to build an online news startup. The startup would become GigaOM, which today is one of the web's most frequented destinations for tech news and in-depth analysis. Before founding GigaOM, which has now grown to a staff of writers in 12 cities in four different countries, Malik faced inner turmoil -- as most entrepreneurs do -- about which direction to pursue in life. At the time, he was writing for Business 2.0, the monthly magazine co-founded by renowned entrepreneur Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired until 2012). Read...

  • Gartner: expect the $50 smartphone to hit emerging markets this year

    A few years ago, there was a lot of hype in emerging markets technology was around the US$100 laptop. Getting laptops down to that low cost-point proved tricky but a number of programmes providing people with affordable laptops in emerging markets did roll out. These days, the ambition is the US$50 smartphone and it's much more achievable. Vodafone, Samsung and Nokia all have devices that can justifiably be called smartphones available for significantly less than US$100 these days. Chinese brands like Huawei and ZTE, meanwhile have driven down the cost of smartphones even further. In fact, tech research company...

  • Dell confirms it has gone private in a $24bn buyout

    It's official: Dell has gone private, according to New York Times DealBook. After weeks of rumours and speculation, the computer marker has announced that it will go private in a US$24.4-billion deal led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake. Microsoft confirmed its participation in the deal, saying that it "provided a US$2-billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private". "Microsoft is committed to the long-term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We're in an industry that is...

  • Twitter looks to increase security after recent hack

    When 250 000 of your accounts are hacked, you know it's time to step up security. In the wake of the attack late last week that exposed hundreds of thousands of Twitter usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted passwords, the social network is recruiting engineers to focus on implementing multifactor authentication and locate potential weak spots in its system. According to a job listing, Twitter is interested in building "a more secure platform and user experience." During the recent "sophisticated" attack (which Twitter suggests may be linked to the security breaches at the New York Times and Wall...

  • Meet Facebook’s potential new (and creepy) location-sharing app

    It seems Facebook is in the process of developing an app that tracks the locations of its users. The application, which is expected to be released in March, will be able to track and load your whereabouts in the background and -- without being opened -- will send your location to nearby friends. Similar to Foursquare, Highlight and Google’s Latitude, this unnamed app will be Facebook’s standalone attempt to the mobile tracking ‘realm’. To date not many people have joined these applications and Facebook's 1 billion userbase may make the chances of this app succeeding more likely. This app will...

  • North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un (supposedly) owns a HTC smartphone

    It may just look like a black curved blob to the eyes of the average viewer, but apparently the South Korean Ministry of Unification has analysed photos taken at one of Kim Jong-un's latest national security meetings and determined that he is the proud owner of an HTC smartphone. Really. North Korea's supreme leader, who rules a country with strict mobile rules which up until recently required foreigners to leave their phones at the border, was pictured with the smartphone next to him in photos published by North Korea's official Central News Agency. According to the Taipei Times, the South...