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  • HP iPad-killer launches: A dollar short and a day late

    Hewlett-Packard rolled out its new TouchPad tablet computer on Friday, seeking to get a bit of the iPad tablet action and revive its slumping fortunes. Better late than never, eh HP? The TouchPad went on sale in major US retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart as well as on Amazon.com, HP said. It is expected to go on sale shortly in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Canada, and later this year it will become available in Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. Unlike the iPad, the TouchPad supports Adobe’s Flash video format. It runs the webOS operating...

  • Will in-stream advertising kill the Twitter experience?

    Twitter's recent announcement that it is going ahead with in-stream ads is yet another attempt by the microblogging platform to effectively monetise without losing its opt-in/opt-out appeal. This follows the removal of Quickbar, a form of intrusive promoted tweets that appeared in Hootsuite users’ timelines, in March. Users quickly voiced their frustration by using the #dickbar hashtag and Twitter promptly removed this feature, saying via its blog: Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today. We believe there are still significant benefits to...

  • Microsoft and Skype set to allow backdoor eavesdropping

    Skype and Microsoft have managed to leapfrog common sense and build a backdoor into your favourite VOIP application. It is called Lawful Interception and is part of a new patent which Microsoft filed back in 2009, but is now preparing to unleash itself into our world due to its recent approval. Lawful Interception means that government agencies can, without your permission, begin tracking your Skype conversations. Calls can be covertly recorded and used against you in any circumstance. It is legal, it is frightening and it is coming to a voice over IP application near you. I understand where Microsoft...

  • The BlackBerry PlayBook: Like dating someone with a drinking problem

    Living with The BlackBerry PlayBook is like dating someone with a drinking problem. When you first meet, things are great. She seems fun. A lot of fun. I mean fun, like she can drink you under the table, and sometimes when you’re under it, she’ll be dancing on top of it. After a while though, the violent mood swings and the smell of whiskey on her breath at noon on a Monday isn’t endearing anymore. She’s a hot mess, and you’re sort of over it.

  • From MySpace to viral mother-in-laws: This week in tech and web news

    Hurrah, hurrah, another week has gone and though it seemed questionable -- particularly around Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday -- Friday has managed to roll around. As was explained in the first installment last week, though Memeburn readers -- smart as they are -- are always on top of things, the breakneck speed at which tech and web news goes by, invariably means we all miss something. As such, we here at Memeburn are giving you, our dear readers, this weekly tech and web news wrap-up column. We still strongly advise you read everything -- and we mean every last...

  • Multi-million dollar SA company buys US cloud enterprise

    South African IT giant, Dimension Data, has acquired Californian based-cloud enterprise OpSource. The path to the deal is reported to have been paved by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) , of which Dimension Data is a subsidiary. The acquisition is expected to help the US$4.7-billion ICT services and solutions provider accelerate its cloud offerings. OpSource will be absorbed into Dimension Data started own cloud service, Cloud Solutions Business Unit, which will report directly to the company's CEO, Brett Dawson. In a statement released to the press, Dawson explained the decision to acquire OpSource: "OpSource brings...

  • Skype video calling comes to Android

    It may be a little late to the video calling party, but as the 800-lb gorilla, Skype can be. The VoIP behemoth has just introduced video calling in its latest version of the Skype client for Android phones – although as is so often the case with Andoid apps that use peripheral hardware, device support is still a bit spotty. Currently video calls are only supported on Video calling supported on the following handsets: Samsung Google Nexus S, HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. Skype is promising to add more soon.

  • A much needed (Song)kick to online concert bookings

    South Africans may have noticed the influx of international acts venturing tours to their fair shores. Until now, we have generally had a poor showing with regards to big artist concerts (with the exception of the ill-fated Coke festivals). Artists have to fly all the way to the south of Africa, where there are only three cities that can really support large scale concerts, and then have to span an entire continent or ocean to get to their next stop. Locally, we're simply not that financially viable. Nevertheless, with acts like U2, Coldplay, Kings Of Leon and Kylie Minogue...

  • Broadband for the people — The next generation of mobile data access

    Qualcomm is one of those companies that you've heard of, but that few people outside of the telecommunications industry know a huge amount about. That's not completely surprising considering its primary focus is research and development and its primary clients are big telecoms players. I chatted to James Munn, vice president of Qualcomm in South Africa, about why they're establishing offices in Africa. Qualcomm is the world's largest "fabless" chip supplier. That means that it designs chips and then outsources their production to specialist chip manufacturers called foundries. Qualcomm, which was founded in 1985, has been instrumental in the development...

  • Google Places combined with SEO can help your business

    Until recently, having an organic website rank in Google results with mapping was an easy feat if you knew what you were doing. The market, however, has become flooded with spammers. Google has once again stepped in, cleaning up mapping with actual premises; phone activation codes that verify a business’s actual location. Enter, Google Places. The fact is, one can gain incredibly high rankings on Google by using Google Places (maps). Below is an example of maps that I personally built for two business clients. Here you can see that the first company ranks 3rd and the second company ranks...

  • News Corp. cuts its losses with MySpace for $35-million

    News Corp. officially sold Myspace after much speculation on Wednesday for a mere fraction of what it paid for the social network, bringing the curtain down on Rupert Murdoch's engagement with the one-time social networking star that was ultimately eclipsed by Facebook. Myspace, which was bought by News Corp. in 2005 for US$580-million, was bought by Specific Media, a digital ad-targeting platform, which said financial terms were confidential. The News Corp.-owned technology blog All Things Digital put the purchase price at US$35-million, however, and said the deal includes slashing about half of Myspace's staff of between 400 and 500 people. "Myspace is...

  • Facebook: Benchmark of F-Commerce services

    One of my recent obsessions is social commerce, the idea of shared shopping experiences online. On a global basis, Facebook has been leading the charge with socialising commerce in stores (check-ins at retailers) and online (using Facebook connect to link people in their activities across various sites.) One of the most interesting permutations, however, is when the commercial experience takes place entirely within a social network. There are a few companies specialising in this domain, a selection of which we have pulled together for this draft benchmarking. Here they are: Merchants partner with 8thBridge to create social shopping experiences for their customers...

  • Samsung retaliates against Apple’s suit

    South Korea's Samsung Electronics expanded its patent war with the US giant Apple Computer on Thursday, asking the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the import of Apple products into the United States. Samsung accuses Apple of breaching five patents related to wireless communications standards and mobile device user interface. "The complaint requests relief in the form of a permanent exclusion order prohibiting entry to the United States of all Apple products in violation of these patents," Samsung said in a statement. "Samsung will continue to actively defend our intellectual property in order to serve our customers and to ensure our...

  • The future of digital marketing lies in cross platform strategies

    Neo@Ogilvy, Ogilvy Cape Town’s digital media agency, recently hosted a global summit to discuss the future of digital media as well as to share insights and best practices amongst the Neo@Ogilvy group. Attended by nine managing directors from across Neo’s 39 offices worldwide, the discussion was lead by global CEO, Nasreen Madhany and hosted by Mia Scholtz, Neo@Ogilvy’s Cape Town Managing Director. As one of the world's leading digital and direct media agency, the group made a number of key predictions that pointed towards global trends which are, and have been emerging in the South African market. The...

  • 29 professional niche social networks you should know about

    Having an online network specific to your field or profession makes sense. After all, you wouldn’t go to your accountant if you were a doctor looking for advice on a patient’s mystery illness. Networks specific to one’s profession can be helpful, not only in the collecting and exchanging of ideas, but also in giving you an opportunity to expose your résumé, or post about job vacancies to a relevant audience. Bearing this in mind, Memeburn took a look at some of the most prominent professional fields and the social networks which serve them. In each instance, we’ve highlighted,...