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  • Innovating in Google’s shadow: Facebook Graph Search is 2000 and late

    With the launch of Graph Search, Facebook now allows users to see the people who post stupid quotes as content, and avoid them. Far from groundbreaking and definitely not its greatest innovation, Facebook hasn't stolen the march on Google+ at all with its new product. In fact, it's done Google some favours: Anti-trust and FaceBing: (I refer to it as FaceBing because it sounds a lot like Facepalm) Facebook is using Bing to produce web results associated with what is being searched for. It is also playing into Google’s hands by providing a capable competitor which is great in antitrust...

  • Digital allogrooming: why do we tweet so much about sport?

    Sport is one of the great divides on Twitter. Fans descend into atavistic tribalism or pontificate about strategy and tactics while non-fans head for the digital hills – anything to shut out the noise. Twitter is chaos for an hour or two, and then the final whistle blows and life goes on. A few weeks ago, I found myself having an actual real life face-to-face conversation with a fellow denizen of Twitter. Naturally, we were scrolling through our timelines at the time. “Why do people tweet about sport?” she said. “It’s not as if anybody cares about what they...

  • App of the week: Rise Alarm Clock for iOS

    It's no secret that the mobile phone has become a replacement for many extra tools that you use everyday. It replaces your GPS in the car, your calculator at the office and pretty soon, the wallet that you keep in your other pocket. The smartphone has pretty quickly developed into a Swiss Army knife, for life and there must be hundreds of things it could potentially replace. But I'd have to guess that the very first device it replaced for me was the alarm clock, and I'd go even further to assume that nobody uses those awful 90s-esque clock...

  • Google invites developers to play with Project Glass and its API

    Finally! We're getting somewhere on the Google Glass front. Remember how the lucky attendees of Google I/O were given the chance to pre-order the first generation of Google's futuristic specs back in June? Well, if they coughed up the US$1 500 fee, the early adopters just received an invitation to come mess around with the Glass API and try out the prototypes. In what Google is calling terming the Glass Foundry, the developers who signed up to the programme will be able to spend two days testing out the devices and see what they can do with Glass's 'Mirror' API....

  • Tencent’s WeChat passes 300m users, says 100m joined in last 4 months

    The makers of WeChat said recently that the messaging app will likely soon surpass 300 million-registered users – and now that has officially happened. The massive milestone is confirmed by Tencent CEO Pony Ma himself, who hailed the huge growth in the Whatsapp-style app since its launch on January 21st, 2011. WeChat went global in April of 2012 with an English name (it’s called Weixin in China), and its growth seems to have accelerated a bit since that time (see the graph below). But it’s still not clear how many WeChat users are overseas, though an analyst’s heatmap that we...

  • Google celebrates Frank Zamboni with fun retro game doodle

    Those of you unfamiliar with ice rinks probably have no idea who Frank Zamboni is. If you do have a thing for ice, you probably still don't know he is but you'll at least be familiar with the machine that bears his name. Google is today celebrating the inventor's legacy with a fun little game that allows you to control an ice-cleaning machine inspired by the Zamboni. The goal is to clean as much of the ice as possible before you run out of petrol. As the game progresses, more and more children scuff up the ice but they...

  • Facebook unveils Graph Search: could it have stolen a march on Google?

    Right. That's it. Mystery over. Facebook has unveiled a brand new product and it's called Graph Search. Um, what now? Well, it's a form of search but it's different to the kind of web search that Google specialises in. According to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it's all about utilising the connections on Facebook "that can help you get access to things people have shared with you." "We are not indexing the web. We are indexing our map of the graph, which is really big and constantly changing. Almost a million new people every day. 240 billion photos. 1...

  • 5 people you really don’t want designing your website

    Everybody seems to be an expert when it comes to web design. If you are tasked with maintaining or redesigning your website, then be warned: everyone will have an opinion, and most will insist that their opinion is correct. Most people tend to think that the way they use a website, is the way all people use it. I think it’s human nature to think that way. Someone once said that there are as many opinions in a room as there are backsides, or perhaps he used another term! In general, there are five types of people to watch...

  • Meet the new Justin Timberlake-fueled Myspace

    Anyone going to Myspace today would've been met by a picture of Justin Timberlake, with an invitation to join or sign into the social network to listen to his new single. That means only one thing, the new Myspace is open to the public. The Myspace makeover has been in the works for some time now. The social network we all inhabited before Facebook first announced the new direction it would be taking the site in back in September. What the company teased looked beautiful. Gone were the messages from Tom, the insane backgrounds and, it seems, the music...

  • 2016 will be the year of the Smart TV says Gartner

    Smart TVs are growing in popularity with Samsung leading the race for a flat screen television that allows users to not only connect to the internet but to other devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and use them in sync. In fact, tech reasearch company Gartner reckons that all televisions will soon be smart. According to the research house "nearly 85% of all flat-panel TVs produced in 2016 will be smart TVs". It believes that worldwide unit production of smart TVs will grow from 69-million in 2012 to 198-million in 2016 with a 2013 number of 108-million. One of the current...

  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma to step down as CEO, will remain chairman

    Alibaba founder Jack Ma is set to step down as CEO of the Chinese ecommerce giant, although he will retain his seat as chairman of the board. The move is reportedly part of a strategy by the company to make room for a younger generation of leaders. Ma, a former English teacher, established the company back in 1999. Since then, the company has boomed and today employs 24 000 people and is worth around US$40-billion. Late last year it also managed, to go past US$3-billion in sales in 24 hours. At 48, Ma feels that he is no longer...

  • How to deal with angry customers online

    Running the social media sector of a business can be a nasty experience. Increasingly, customers are taking to a brand or business’ page or profile to let off some serious steam – but it’s not the legitimate complaints about service or quality that are particularly striking. No, it is the absolute spite, vitriol, crass language and ad hominem attacks that the social media customer delivers that are most interesting. Customers take advantage of the mediated anonymity that social media platforms provide to really let loose on the poor soul on the other side of the screen. It’s easy to...

  • 2013: the year corporate media will ascend and all media will spiral

    When it comes to making industry predictions I always resolve not to make any, but as you can see, I have trouble keeping my new year's resolutions. Two years ago I made the same resolution and failed. Back then I wrote: The media is dead, long live the media. We now have more media, in more formats, in more times of the day and night, from more people -- than at any other time in history. And we will get even more in 2010. When I talk about media, I mean anything and all things that are published: news stories, magazine articles,...

  • 5 free bacon apps for iOS that will have you licking your chops

    I’m a vegetarian. But the hardest dead animal flesh to resist is bacon. Even browsing for the top results in the Apple App Store, I found myself pining for dead pig at the sight of animated images of bacon. So here’s some bacon madness to whet your appetite: 1. More Bacon! Remember when you saw the first iPhone. It was revolutionary. It, seemingly, could speak to aliens and discipline your children. But all we ended up doing was play with Koi ponds where the fish nibbled your fingers and rolled balls around using the accelerometer. And, cook virtual bacon in a...

  • Red October: the scary Soviet-sounding malware that spies on govt, diplomats

    Over the past five years governments, diplomats and scientific researchers around the world have been the victim of a high-level cyber espionage campaign. No, it's not the plot of a trashy airport novel, it's actually been happening. According to online security provider Kaspersky Labs, the campaign appears to be targeting specific organizations mostly in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia, but also in Western Europe and North America. The malware behind it reportedly uses known exploits in Microsoft Word and Excel documents in order to gain access to users's systems. It reportedly does so...