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  • HTC Desire C: a decent little budget Android

    The HTC Desire C is an odd creature. Its looks are reminiscent of the higher-end devices in HTC’s smartphone alphabet, and it runs the same version of Android that comes pre-installed on flagship phones like its big brother, the One X, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Yet the phone is a chubby little plastic construction that creaks when you squeeze it too hard and the fixed-focus camera makes anything you photograph look un-artistically blurred. But it’s not trying to be a super phone -- it’s a humble entry-level smartphone which packs a surprising amount of features into its pebble-shaped package. Read...

  • Alibaba’s Tmall, Taobao see US$3bn in sales in 24 hours

    Tech in Asia recently suggested that China’s biggest e-commerce sales/discounts day could beat America’s Cyber Monday in value -- and that’s precisely what happened during yesterday’s “Double Eleven” online shopfest. Indeed, two of China’s biggest sites, Tmall and Taobao (both owned by Alibaba Group), beat out all US e-tailers by themselves, seeing sales transactions worth RMB 19.1-billion (US$3.043 billion) during the 24-hour promotional period. That makes Tmall and Taobao’s Double Eleven sales worth more than double America’s entire Cyber Monday shopping spree, which brought in US$1.25-billion in 2011. With Cyber Monday in the US growing at only about 22 percent...

  • YouTube invests more in original content, some channels cut

    YouTube is intent on making its original programming work, so much so that the video sharing site is about to pour more money into it, reports Ad Age. Less than a year ago the site invested US$100-million to give its original channels a kickstart with partners including the likes of Madonna and Ashton Kutcher. This new round of funding for the project will see the Google-owned site increase funding to its partners by between 30 and 40%. "Our biggest objective was to kick-start the ecosystem, to bring in great creators, to deepen our relationships with advertisers and to grow...

  • Apple and HTC play nice and settle differences… something for the future?

    Apple and HTC's more than 20 patent infringement cases around the world seem to be a thing of the past, as the two companies came to an agreement. According to The Verge, all charges have been dropped in favour of a 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement. Jeff Gordon, an HTC representative, said that HTC "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company". That's basically hidden speak for "at least it won't cost us a huge amount of money". The move is a surprise one, albeit one that will be welcomed by industry...

  • Two of a kind: new iPad mini ads showcase iBooks, Photos

    Wow, Apple's really determined to push this whole "concentrated iPad experience" thing with the iPad Mini. Case in point: the two latest ads for the 7.9-inch tablet. Both adverts feature the iPad Mini next to the larger iPad. The first is meant to show off how comparable the Photos experience is on the two devices and is set to “Two of a Kind” by Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer. The second meanwhile, shows off iBooks and shows the devices opening up books with contrasting titles. The message is enforced with all the subtlety of a Jackhammer: you're not...

  • Apple to dole out $21m to Swiss Federal Railways for clock icon

    Apple has agreed to fork out US$21-million to the Swiss Federal Railways for the new clock design on the tablet versions of iOS6. The design is a more or less exact copy of that used by the railway service. The clock type, designed by Hans Hilfiker, has been in operation since the 1940s and is considered a national icon by the Swiss. Apple was initially accused of copying the design back in September. Initially the Swiss Federal Railway threatened legal action, with Apple eventually bowing to pressure and agreeing to license the design. At the time it was unclear what the...

  • Microsoft set to unleash celebrity assault in Windows Phone 8 promotion

    Looks like a fair chunk of Microsoft's massive marketing drive for Windows Phone 8 is going toward celebrity endorsements. After the Redmond-based company's CEO Steve Ballmer had his turn at a video, it's decided to trot out the celebs. UK tabloid The Sun reports that some of the stars set to appear in Windows Phone 8 adverts include rapper Jay Z, singer Gwen Steffani, and Gavin and Stacey star James Corden. In the UK, reports The Verge, the company is already using popular television presenter Holly Willoughby promote Windows Phone 8 and the Kids Corner feature, which lets you dictate which...

  • Wireless charging: the tech’s here, standards are the new headache

    You would once have had to be a nutty professor or James Bond to do the stuff that I am about to talk about. Imagine dumping your “out-of-juice” mobile into your handbag and taking it out some time later, fully charged. Or walking into a room with your "dead" tablet, and re-charging it without ever plugging it in a socket charger. Fallacy or fact? Let me put it this way -- the white coat R & D scientists tell us that wireless charging of devices is a laboratory success. Within the next year, you may be able to place...

  • Life under Google and lies on Twitter: 5 top stories you have to read

    Google is greedy. Twitter lies. Colour is simple. Data is boring. Processing power is all that's important. Well, maybe. This instalment of top tech stories may make you think otherwise... Google casts a big shadow on smaller web sites Sometimes it feels like it's Google's internet and we're all just left... um... googling everything. From Android, advertising, email and maps to analytics and more recently, Google+ local, Google has become much more than a search engine -- but is it becoming too dominant? It says its only concerned with meeting the needs of its users, but it's being investigated for possible...

  • Editor Chris Anderson leaves Wired for drones

    Wired magazine's long time editor, Chris Anderson has resigned to run his 3D robotics company fulltime. The renowned editor has been with the publication for more than 10 years. In his leaving statement, Anderson calls the move an "opportunity for me to pursue an entrepreneurial dream." "I’m confident that Wired’s mission to influence and chronicle the digital revolution is stronger than ever and will continue to expand and evolve," he adds. The move comes only a few weeks after the release of his latest book, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Anderson in the book talks about what has happened...

  • Google brings data free mobile search Gmail, Google+ to the Philippines

    While the smartphone revolution is well established in most mature mobile markets, there’s still a long way to go in some countries, particularly in some Asian regions where the transition from feature phones is not moving as quickly. But a new partnership between Google and Globe Telecom in the Philippines promises to bring a number of Google’s internet services – namely Gmail, Google search, and Google Plus – to feature phone users in that country. ‘Free Zone powered by Google’ is a mobile internet bundle now offered by Globe that does not come with any data charges. Users can access the...

  • MasterCard launches next gen touch screen bank card in Singapore

    As part of a partnership with Singapore’s Standard Chartered Bank, MasterCard has launched its next generation interactive card, which features an embedded display and touch-sensitive buttons, in the country. Currently, banks and other financial institutions require the use of a separate authentication token or device (usually the customer’s mobile phone) for online transactions. This innovative two-in-one device by MasterCard, which combines the functionality of a standard payment card with a state-of-the-art security token, simply reflects the customer’s one time password(OTP). It's the first interactive card to launch in the country. The card, manufactured by NagraID Security, looks and functions almost...

  • It’s Thanksgiving: Do we have another Rebecca Black on our hands?

    Remember Rebecca Black? If you don't I truly envy you. The genius behind Black's viral sensation, "Friday", is back with another mind-boggling ode to turkey and mashed potatoes. From the dark recesses of YouTube comes a song so bad and utterly pointless it will leave you wishing you didn't have access to the internet -- yes it's that bad. "It’s Thanksgiving" is not just a song really, it is a celebration of the iconic November Thursday night dinner. Patrice Wilson really has outdone himself here with this new song, which shares a number of classic traits of his...

  • Social basics: why a static website just doesn’t cut it any more

    Often I get requests to design new websites for clients who think they are going to succeed online with only an attractive online brochure. They believe that people will miraculously start calling them and end up at their doorstep. We are nearing 2013 and thinking you are going to make a big impact online with only a website is very short-sighted in today's digital business world. Of course it's true that when you meet people who might be working with you or applying for certain positions, having a professionally designed website can create a thoughtful online picture of how you...

  • Mimiboard: an African hyper-local ad network and social platform

    With Mimiboards, Umuntu Media is re-imagining the humble noticeboard. You can think of a Mimiboard (pronounced me-me board) as a geographically sensitive, virtual noticeboard. Just like their real world counterparts, Mimiboards are relevant to enclaves within larger communities -- some say "hyper-local". But, that's where the similarity solemnly ends. The fact that Umuntu Media, founded in 2009 by Johan Nel, received a US$1 million seed investment late last year, without any revenue to speak of, tells you that the Cape Town-based company is about more than just virtual noticeboards. 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");