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  • Take a virtual tour of the autobahn on Facebook with Opel

    For the average petrol-head, Germany's autobahn sounds like heaven: no speed limits and miles of smooth highway. Now you can make that dream a virtual, albeit not entirely convincing, reality with the launch of Opel’s new Astra and Astra OPC. The campaign for the launch of the new cars includes a racing game on Facebook called Wir Leben Autobahn, where users drive a virtual Opel Astra or Opel Astra OPC on a Google Maps version of the Autobahn. Participants are ranked and the top 50 fastest driving times will win an opportunity to test out their real world driving...

  • Warner Bros taken to court by Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat creators

    The memes are striking back. Warner Bros is being taken to court for using Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat in a game without their respective owners' permission. The authors of the two feline memes claim that their property was used without their permission in the game Scribblenauts, published in 2009. The game's developer 5th Cell is also named in the suit. Keyboard Cat is the older of the two memes. Uploaded to YouTube in 2007, it consists of a video from 1984 of a cat called "Fatso" wearing a blue shirt and "playing" an upbeat rhythm on...

  • Next version of WeChat could include mobile payments, paid publishing

    We know that Tencent is working on a social gaming platform for WeChat, its popular social messaging app, but what else is in the pipeline? According to industry analyst Guan Peng, the next major version of WeChat app, which will be v5.0 for iPhone and Android, will come with support for three major new features. Anticipating that WeChat v5.0 will appear later this month, he reckons we’ll see: Paid publishing or subscriptions for accounts on the WeChat public platform – ie: those run by celebrities, media outlets, and brands. Mobile payments with users able to scan QR codes to make payments within...

  • Check out the preview for Windows 8 Skype video messages

    Microsoft today announced the preview release of Skype video messaging for Windows 8, which means that anyone using the Metro side of the OS can grab it in the Windows 8 store. Skype Video Messaging lets you record and send a video message to friends and family on Skype anytime, even when they’re unavailable; they can watch your Video Message next time they’re on Skype. Here's an idea of what they'll see if you send them a video message: The Redmond-based giant has already released a version of Skype video messages preview for Windows 7 and 8, but that's...

  • Track this SA team’s bid to make the fastest film ever made online

    A good, feature-length takes time. The path from concept to writing, filming and theatrical release can take months, sometimes years. But what if you could do it in 11 days? That's exactly what a team of South African filmmakers are trying to do. The team, comprising members of Johannesburg-based production houses Team Best, Localala and Ghost Sheep will attempt to beat the current record, held in India and go from script writing to screening in 11 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes. The restrictions of the project meant that it didn't have a name by the time the team...

  • Google Street View: good for directions, great for catching crooks

    Google Maps capture all sorts of things -- like people getting on with their daily lives blissfully unaware of the fact that something is watching them. Sometimes it also captures the more grizzly and questionable things some of us get up to. Although the people at Google Maps Street View maintain that they respect people’s privacy and explain that “individuals and license plates are blurred. We have developed cutting-edge face and license plate blurring technology that is applied to all Street View images. This means that if one of our images contains an identifiable face (for example, that of a...

  • How to tell if your business really needs an SEO retainer

    If you want your organisation to succeed in today’s digital landscape, you need to ensure that your website is easily found on search engines, right? Right. To do this, you need to pay large amounts of money to an SEO firm over a long period of time, right? Not quite. SEO is big business, and rightly so. An SEO firm can do wonders for brands looking to increase their digital footprint. For highly competitive and expensive keywords, a dedicated SEO professional or team can help generate high volumes of targeted traffic to your site. For smaller organisations the decision...

  • 5 iPhone apps better than Apple’s native equivalents

    My name is Danny and I'm an iPhone user. I have been actively using since the 4, and I can even remember the time and date that I first touched the device and fell immediately in love with it. I remember being completely and utterly blown away by every notion of it back then, and it took some time for me to see the flaws that were blazingly obvious to others at the time. Not the device, not the OS, but the native apps. Of course, there are one or two that I still use every now and again...

  • Elevator pitch case studies: 5 examples to learn from

    Pitches are nerve-rracking. The perfect pitch would probably have the ability to “plant ideas” like Leonardo diCaprio does in Inception. Sadly we don’t live in a Christopher Nolan directed reality. We do however live in a world where we can learn from other people’s success. Having a good concept is one thing. Having to present that concept another. Especially if you’re seeking funding. The elevator pitch is all about getting your startup’s concept to your audience as simple and coherent as possible. Read more on Ventureburnvar 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");

  • Google Glass’ real promise is among the elderly

    Google Glass has a promising future -- although not in the markets that Google thinks it's targeting: urban early-tech adopters -- they are a fickle bunch at best. Where Google Glass will make its mark and find a large and loyal customer base is in helping families and communities deal with the ravages of old age. We have a very large population of Baby Boomers. This is Generation A -- Aging on a massive scale, a population that's on a collision course with all the ills and predicaments that an older life brings. Generation A is doing pretty well so far, but...

  • Facebook Q1 results: most things are up, including users

    Want proof that the market is a fickle creature? Despite reporting increased user numbers, income and revenue, Facebook's stock still fell slightly in after-hours trading. The social networking giant's Q1 results were positive and beat Wall Street's estimates. Revenue for the quarter totaled US$1.46-billion, an increase of 38%, compared with US$1.06-billion in the first quarter of 2012. Given that people have been worried about how well Facebook makes use of its advertising products, the news that ad revenue was up 43% from a year ago should've buoyed stockholders too. Net income meanwhile was US$219-million, up seven...

  • How much money is Facebook making from 751m monthly mobile users?

    It's no secret that Facebook has been furiously working to silence the critics who keep talking about its "mobile problem": the social network has revamped its mobile apps, started rolling out a more mobile-centric look to News Feed and launched its new 'apperating' system, Facebook Home, to cement its place on your phone. Why is this all so important? Because more and more of its users are Facebooking on the move. According to the social network's Q1 financial report, it passed the 751-million mobile monthly active user mark at the end of March this year. That's an increase of...

  • Android adoption: Jelly Bean catches up with Ice Cream Sandwich

    Google's latest Android adoption figures show that Jelly Bean is on the up, having overtaken Ice Cream Sandwich. And while Gingerbread still dominates, it's falling pretty quickly. Jelly Bean 4.1.x and 4.2.x combined now make up 28.4% of all Android devices, meaning that it has officially overtaken Ice Cream Sandwich, present on 27.5% of devices. If the current trend continues, Jelly Bean could overtake Gingerbread, still present on a substantial 38.4% of devices, in a few months' time. Gingerbread's been kicking around since December 2010. Given that Jelly Bean has only been around since June 2012, it's pretty impressive...

  • Meaningful social measurement: a lesson from the underpants gnomes

    There’s an episode of South Park where the boys go looking for the underpants gnomes, magical little creatures who sneak into your drawers at night and steal your underwear (I myself suffer from a sock gnome infestation). When the boys come across the gnomes in their underwear-stacked subterranean hideout, they ask them for an explanation. The gnomes proudly show them their business plan: Phase 1: Collect underpants Phase 2: ? Phase 3: Profit! I often can’t help thinking about the underpants gnomes when I’m talking to marketing managers about why they’re investing in social media. The idea seems to be: Phase 1: Get lots...

  • 13 crowdfunding platforms that are shaping 2013

    It’s been roughly a year since the JOBS act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) was put in place allowing certain regulations and securities encouraging crowdfunding or micro-financing in the US. From crowdsourcing t-shirts, education or even people, entrepreneurs have adapted to the changing scenery of investment innovations. 2012 was the year of Kickstarter as more than 500-million dollars have been pledged to fund almost 40 000 projects on this popular crowdfunding site. Are the recent crowd-based enterprises just an inevitable post-fad ripple effect? Or are they future symptoms possible of disrupting traditional concepts of finance, markets or economics? In this...