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  • Amazon’s Q4 report: profits down by 45%, sales up by 22%

    Judging by Amazon's fourth quarter report, things aren't all that peachy at the internet giant. The company reported less than impressive results with net income falling 45% to US$97-million in the fourth quarter, or US$0.21 per diluted share, compared with US$177-million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter 2011. The online retailer saw a 22% increase in net sales to US$21.27-billion in the fourth quarter, compared with US$17.43-billion in the fourth quarter 2011. Of course analysts had high expectations for the company due to the holiday period shopping. Though the company missed analysts' predictions for this quarter,...

  • Purported Anonymous video appeals to world to speak out against SA [Update]

    A person purporting to be a part of online hacker collective Anonymous has posted a message and video appealing to the wider hacktivist community and the world in general to speak out against the actions of the South African government. In the video, the person (at one point they refer to themselves as "I" indicating that they're not speaking for a group in particular), cites the gunning down of 34 striking miners last year, and the alleged spending of taxpayer money on South African president Jacob Zuma's personal household as signs that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has...

  • Kid President: we all need some encouragement, this kid is giving it

    Currently climbing YouTube's popularity ladder, a video by SoulPancake about whipping the world into shape is on its way to becoming a viral sensation. The video is delivered in the form of a pep talk by a little boy in a football locker room and on a field as he poses questions and encourages people. According to the creators of the video, the world is in need of not just a kick ass pep talk delivered by a child, but some encouragement. "We all need a little encouragement every now and then. Kid President, knowing this, has put together...

  • China’s Qihoo hit with unfair competition warning, apps removed

    Internet security and software company Qihoo, one of Baidu's main competitors in the search space, isn't having a good week: its apps have been removed from Apple's App Store and it's received an unfair competition warning for its mobile browser. According to Bloomberg, the makers of China's most popular web browser was issued with a warning from the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau, saying that the use of anti-virus software in its browsers was considered unfair competition. Qihoo's Chief Financial Officer Alex Xu played down the warning, saying that the industry is now viewing unfair competition claims...

  • WhatsApp comes under fire for violating international number privacy laws

    Uh oh. WhatsApp, the must-have app for smartphone owners everywhere, is in trouble because it apparently contravenes international piracy laws. Canadian and Dutch data protection authorities, reports Reuters, take issue with the fact that WhatsApp requires users to make their whole address book available. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, released a joint statement yesterday saying that the highly popular app's transgression comes particularly from the fact that even the phone numbers of people not using the service were exposed. "This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law....

  • Big Data: from retrospect to prediction and back again

    In the ‘50s Sci-Fi writer Isaac Asimov introduced the strange fictional science of psychohistory in his Foundation series. The story is set in the far future and revolves around a mathematician who studies this intriguing art of social sciences and statistical mathematics being used to make predictions. By analysing inductive differences and data using different formulas and algorithms his characters can predict the future. The larger the data like the group of people or duration of time, the more accurate the predictions. And like gas, he compares, the more molecules there are the more visible the cloud becomes. As...

  • Olympus SZ-31MR Review: for the discerning amateur

    It’s not difficult to be an amateur photographer these days. All you need is a smartphone and a working thumb. For every Annie Leibovitz there are a million people with no training doing just the same thing. Sure, the picture might be out of focus, the composition terrible and a thumb obscuring the corner of the frame. But art is in the eye of the beholder, right? Of course there are many discerning amateurs who want to take nice looking photographs without spending a great deal of money on SLR cameras reserved for the Leibovitz’s of the world. Enter the...

  • Yahoo! Q4: the turnaround begins

    It looks like the Mayer effect is taking hold at Yahoo! Its Q4 results (this is the first full quarter since Mayer took over) showed solid revenue growth at the embattled tech giant, beating analyst expectations. The company recorded US$1.22-billion in revenue during the quarter up two percent on the same quarter a year ago. Its yearly revenue meanwhile was US$4.4-billion, a significant turnaround for Yahoo! “I'm proud of Yahoo!'s 2012 and fourth quarter results. In 2012, Yahoo! exhibited revenue growth for the first time in four years, with revenue up two percent year-over-year,” said Mayer. While...

  • Facebook promises Graph Search won’t invade your privacy (much)

    In the run up to the public roll out of Facebook's new Graph Search, the social network is making an effort to let you know that its new product won't chip away at your privacy. But all the problems you currently have with controlling what you share will still exist. Good to know. The company has been rolling out a number of redesigned privacy options recently to make it easier to understand what you're sharing with whom. In a short video, blog post and dedicated Graph Search privacy page, Facebook addressed users' concerns and reiterated that your existing privacy settings...

  • Google Map Maker volunteers make North Korea a little less mysterious

    North Korea just got a little less mysterious thanks to a group of volunteers on Google's Map Maker service. The internet giant announced the launch of the new maps for the country, which help fill in some of the blank spaces in a country that few outsiders know much about. According to Google, the Map Maker volunteers have been working on populating the North Korean map for a few years now. Even with their efforts however, there are still large blank spaces. That's to be expected. Although North Korea let Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in for a visit recently,...

  • BlackBerry 10 will give RIM a little boost, but it won’t save it

    RIM’s history may be divided into two periods: the time from its entry into the smartphone market until the end of 2010, when virtually every quarter brought growth in shipments and revenues, and the period since, which has seen significant declines in both. The question RIM faces at this point in its history is whether the most recent trends are destined to continue, or whether it can recapture its former glory. BlackBerry 10 (BB10) is the company’s attempt to get back on track, and will launch tomorrow. However, I believe that the software, and the new devices that run it,...

  • Watch: 5 videos of killer emerging market health and wellness startups

    UNESCO partner, Netexplo, is a future-facing initiative that helps businesses from France figure out how to cash in on tech innovation around the world. Through a network of about 200 journalists, scientists and academics, the initiative acknowledges brilliant ideas. The top 100 form the Netexplo 100 which aims to provide an overview of digital innovation happing in the world. At the Netexplo Forum, the top 100 are further whittled down and acknowledged by a jury of independent personalities from the academic world, research and international organisations. 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");

  • RIM reveals more about its BlackBerry 10 music and video offering

    For Research in Motion (RIM), BlackBerry 10 is make or break. The company is putting a lot of effort into its new OS and has now released all its entertainment partnerships for BB 10. According to the company, 10 will offer one of the most robust music and video catalogs in mobile today. The new BlackBerry World will include an extensive catalog of entertainment such as rentals from the following film studios and Independents: 20th Century Fox, Entertainment One (eOne), Lionsgate, MGM, National Film Board of Canada, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (US), Starz Digital Media, STUDIOCANAL, The Walt...

  • Google+ now the number 2 social network as Tencent Weibo plummets

    There's a throwaway line that goes something along the lines of "Google+ is where I go when I want to be alone". With 343-million people on the social network though, you might find it to get some personal space. Yup, the social network that so many wrote off as sheer folly on the Google's part is now the second most popular in the world. According to the latest stats from Global Web Index Facebook still has the lead in the social networking charts with around 700 000 active users. Google+'s place at number two however is the real headline...

  • Is the rise of WeChat and weibos helping to slow SMS growth in China?

    When a country is home to more than a billion cellphone users, you start to expect the record growth to continue to every area of mobile. That's why when you see a stat like '2.1%', it can look a bit odd. But according to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), that's the percentage that SMS use increased in the country in 2012. Yep, the figures themselves are still massive: Chinese users sent 897.3-billion SMSes last year, slightly up from the 878.8-billion messages that were sent in 2011. But with mobile phone penetration on the increase (it grew...