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  • Eric Schmidt’s daughter: North Koreans are ‘hostages in their own country’

    Eric Schmidt recently took a delegation to North Korea where he encouraged the country's government to relax its grip over internet control. "As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their view of the world," the Google Chairman said. But it seems it's his daughter's account of the trip that is proving more headline worthy. In a detailed post Sophie Schmidt provides readers with an unedited the-way-I-saw-it account of the country saying "it's like The Truman Show, at country scale". "Ordinary North Koreans live in a near-total information bubble, without...

  • Graph Search: the power of Facebook amplified

    Whenever I’m talking to a client and trying to explain to them why Facebook is such a powerful business tool (when appropriate), I use the following analogy: "People who use Facebook see Facebook as the internet. If you are able to enable your customers / users / fans to do everything they want / need to do within Facebook, your brand will be seen as ‘amazeballs’ in their eyes." Facebook is the internet for many people. The big thing is that once a user is in Facebook, they don’t like to be taken out if this environment. They want to be...

  • 6 tech trends that will shape the world in 2013

    Making predictions in a world that moves as quickly as the one we live in today is brave and perhaps even a little foolish. But based on the way the world evolved last year, here are a few trends I expect to play out in 2013 and beyond. At the centre of these trends is the way that technology is giving the consumer more power to shape brands than ever before. 1. Shared value continues to rise Today people scrutinise brands carefully and seek out those with an authentic commitment to creating value for their customers and society at large. That...

  • Razer Ouroboros mouse: high-performance gaming

    I’m a left-handed gamer, and unlike those treacherous left-handed gamers who play games right-handed instead because THEY HAVE NO SELF-RESPECT (or whatever), I play games left-handed. In fact, I’ve been using a left-handed Razer DeathAdder mouse for about six months now, and before that I used the now tragically discontinued Logitech MX610, but before that I used a right-handed something-or-other because, honestly, left-handed gaming mice are not exactly available in abundance and right-handed people expect everything to be made exclusively for them anyway. It’s true, just look at scissors. 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");

  • Former Microsoft exec: Ballmer culls his corporate rivals

    Anyone who's watched Steve Ballmer's "Crazy Eddie" probably views the Microsoft CEO as slightly unhinged but ultimately harmless. If an ex Microsoft exec is to believed however, Ballmer has a bit of a ruthless streak when it comes to holding onto his Microsoft throne. According to Joachim Kempin, who worked at Microsoft between 1983 and 2002, Ballmer systematically forces out any rising managers who might challenge his authority. For part of his time at Microsoft, Kempin oversaw the sale of Windows to PC manufacturers and had full access to Bill Gates. Speaking to Reuters, Kempin reckons that "for...

  • Yahoo! COO: the future of web lies in personalisation and content

    The excitement about the new Yahoo! is starting to fade, and it's getting to crunch time. The company has major problems and the tech world is looking for new CEO Marissa Mayer and her new team to fix them. To help repair the greatest internet company of the web 1.0 days, Mayer brought fellow Googler Henrique De Castro on board. Taking to the stage at the DLD conference in Germany, De Castro gave some insights on what the future of the web will look like, hinting at Yahoo!'s role in that future. "The desktop portal needs to transform itself," De...

  • Microsoft hires designer who boldly reimagined its branding

    Hey, remember that 21-year-old design student who completely re-imagined Microsoft's branding in just three days? Well the Redmond-based tech giant has hired him after seeing his designs. Andrew Kim's proposed designs came out a month before Microsoft actually announced its new logo and gained massive traction online. The design students idea's obviously didn't pass Microsoft by however. In a blog post announcing that he would be working for the company, Kim said that he'd had a relationship with Microsoft for months: It’s true. I’m going to go work for Microsoft. When my Microsoft rebranding project went viral, I...

  • BlackBerry 10 could be RIM’s saving grace with 19k app submissions

    It looks like things are going pretty well for Research in Motion (RIM) as it heads towards the final leg before the launch of the much-anticipated and talked about BlackBerry 10. According to the company, it has received a "remarkable" response from the BlackBerry developer community. Currently sitting with 19 000 apps submitted to BlackBerry World for review, the Waterloo-based company has decided to push back the deadline for its developer incentive program. "The response and interaction from developers has been nothing short of amazing," said Alec Saunders, RIM VP of Developer Relations. "This continues to show an overwhelming level...

  • How to sell a high-risk startup to skittish investors

    Exhibit A: a startup with an inexperienced leadership team enters a business sector with notoriously high failure rates, the food service industry. On paper, the startup is likely to be classified as a high-risk venture, signalling a gloomy fundraising outlook -- but it doesn't have to be that way says veteran startup mentor, angel investor and founder of Startup Professionals, Martin Zwilling. The key to defying the odds, says Zwilling, is for the startup to acknowledge and address its challenges in its business case and investor presentation. 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");

  • FNB ads cause brouhaha, are quietly removed

    First National Bank (FNB) has pulled a series of video-based adverts from YouTube after South Africa's ruling party and its youth division claimed it was an attack on government. The adverts, which are part of the bank's You Can Help campaign, featured school children sharing their views on how the country could be improved. The campaign, which the bank said it hoped would "inspire the nation", focuses predominantly on school children because their voices were often neglected. "The intention of the campaign is not to talk about ourselves, but rather to be a brand for betterment by providing...

  • BlackBerry’s App World gets a rebrand — music and video are on the way

    With just more than a week to go before the official launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM has officially flicked the switch and implemented the new name for its store -- it's dropped the word 'app' from BlackBerry App World and gone with a more open BlackBerry World. And because it's not all just about apps anymore, it has also taken the opportunity to reiterate that its store will soon be stocked with music, TV shows and movies for download, along with the usual apps and games. In an official blog post, BlackBerry said the "change reflects a shift in the...

  • IBM: 2013 is totally Steampunk’s year

    Get ready to whip out your lace corset, monocles and steam-powered mouses because 2013 is the year that Steampunk goes mainstream. For those of you mouthing "steamwhatnow?" at your screens, Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction typically featuring steam-powered machinery (including computers) inspired by 19th Century industrial equipment. The Wild Wild West contained elements of steampunk, although most fan fiction is probably more coherent than a film that, let's be honest, everyone involved probably regrets. Anyway, the almighty power that has deemed 2013 the year of Steampunk is none other than IBM. The computing giant based the decision,...

  • Heins: BlackBerry could license BB10, has to be ‘successful’ first

    It is no secret that RIM has been struggling lately. Apple and Samsung rule the roost, with various other smartphone manufacturers taking large cuts out of BlackBerry's previous market share. But until now we have been hearing mostly that it's just a quieter period for the Canadian company, that it is just building its new operating system for the future. In a recent interview with German newspaper Welt, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins spoke about that future. Reading it in a tongue in cheek manner, what he says could be interpreted as showing how much of struggle RIM is actually...

  • How Google’s Penguin update is changing publishing… for the better

    Both updates to Google’s algorithm in the recent past (Panda and Penguin) are going to have a profound effect on not only SEO but also the publishing industry, although the heavy emphasis on content and quality copywriting mean that the two are rapidly becoming one and the same. So how are the updates going to shake it all up? Let’s look back a few months before these updates were released into the world. The content that was being churned out as a result of SEO efforts was at best “lackluster”. Website visitors would have to sit through content that read...

  • Don’t let social media destroy your digital footprint

    It's a reality around the world that social media is not a trend and it's here to stay. Many top executives of leading brands still struggle to come to terms with this phenomenon called 'social media' and that news travels in an instant without any moderation. Social media has really impacted how businesses organize themselves, how they perceive their business roles, and how they communicate with their target audience online. Many businesses are still trying to figure out the return on investment (ROI) of engaging on the social web, and many believe that the metrics that social media provides simply...