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  • Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba names Jonathan Lu as its new CEO

    Jack Ma, the founder of China’s top e-commerce company, announced in January that he’d step down from his role as Alibaba Group CEO. This afternoon, Alibaba has named Ma’s successor, ‘Jonathan’ Lu Zhaoxi, who’ll take over the top job on May 10. It’s a date that marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Taobao, the company’s iconic amateur shopkeeper marketplace. Ma had indicated that he was vacating the Alibaba hotseat as he was “no longer young enough” for such a role in the internet business. He’s 48. The new kid on the block, Jonathan Lu, is 43. Lu joined...

  • Elon Musk talks Mars, Chinese solar power and having more fun [SXSW]

    Space explorer, entrepreneur whizz and the inspiration behind Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark character in Iron Man, Elon Musk took to the stage of SXSW on the second day of the Interactive portion, to field a few questions about his non-stop, ever-exploring life, and addressing the recent controversies two of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, have experienced. Chris Anderson, ex-Wired editor and author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, asked the questions, which centred on Musk's three areas of expertise and passion: space travel, electric cars, and sustainable energy, while the...

  • How Big Data is being used to record the future

    “The past doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes”, reads the famous Mark Twain quote in the introduction of a research paper suitably titled Mining the Web to Predict Future Events. The mining of massive amounts of data allows a party to potentially adjust (and ultimately manipulate) its relationships found on the web via social media, media archives and seemingly countless other resources. Resources are gathered to the extent that it is, in most regards, theoretically possible to predict future events. In a previous article, I discussed examples of how big data is being used in medical fields such as...

  • Improving your reputation online: why search is vitally important

    With the world getting more digital every day, users have become a lot more accustomed to the internet over the last couple of years, especially when it comes to parting ways with their cash. It is now very common to expect clients to have weighed their options online and asked for recommendations from their network before making a purchase. Users interested in buying are flocking to various review websites to find information from other users in order to make the final decision. What does this mean for businesses? It means that online reputation management is becoming extremely important. Companies all...

  • Living with Glass and the birth of emoji: top tech stories you should read

    Let's say you're walking along the street with your friend. They've got an iPhone, you've got an Android. You tell them about an awesome app you just bought. They can get it to. But at nearly double the price. Odd. If it's the near future, you can read the Wall Street Journal's explanation as to why that is on your snazzy Google Glass unit. And after that, you can read about the professor who's been using augmented reality eye-wear for years or how an octogenarian made 3D printing affordable. We're not sure if your sci-fi looking Google product will...

  • 6 reasons why your internet startup should be using Amazon Web Services

    Y Combinator co-founder, Paul Graham, defines a startup as "a company designed to grow fast." The definition highlights one of the hardest problems internet startups traditionally faced at the outset: weighing infrastructure capacity and cost. Amazon changed things up when it launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006. It used economies of scale to offer services -- many of them developed for internal use and opened up to the public later -- to take the guess-work out of upfront infrastructure investments. 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");

  • 10 big lessons for anyone looking to market themselves on YouTube

    I was recently fortunate enough to attend two really cool Google events: Engage and YouTube All Stars. Getting the chance to interact with some of the intriguing innovations and latest news to do with Google is pretty cool. Getting the chance to do so with products developed solely to help any business out there succeed on and off-line is even cooler. Engage was divided into three segments -- Pitch Perfect, AdWords Bootcamp and Above & Beyond -- meaning that you could tailor your experience according to your interests. The presentation that stood out for me surrounded building and maintaining client...

  • 5 of the most controversial PS3 and Xbox 360 games ever

    Every machine has an expiry date. Technology -- that ever-improving, ever-mutating entity -- has an unceremonious tendency to leap forward at a startling rate, leaving machines looking positively antiquated in its wake. Indeed, time is almost up for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. These consoles are, in animal years, doddering and senile. Yet they have remained relevant throughout their lifetimes and 2013 looks set to be a bumper year for these workhorses. It might be a fitting swan song too. 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");

  • Sina Weibo ready to test new brand platform that will compete with WeChat

    A couple of weeks ago, Sina admitted its flagship product Weibo is threatened by WeChat. Then last week, I wrote about why the Weibo vs. WeChat battle is hugely important, and later in the week Chinese celebrity blogger Han Han even chimed in. But the latest sign that this is the year of the Weibo-WeChat battle (and that Weibo might be losing) comes from TechWeb, which is reporting that Sina Weibo is conducting internal testing on a new WeChat-inspired “Public Platform” feature. Like WeChat’s platform of the same name, the new Sina Weibo feature would allow users to send group...

  • YouTube rolls out new ‘One Channel’ design

    YouTube has officially rolled out a new version of its new channel design called One Channel. The update, which is part of a bid to "help people “find the channels love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe”. had already been rolled out to a few select channels late last year. Now it's been applied to all the channels on the video network. According to YouTube: The main focus of this update is to make your new channel look great on browsers across all screens and devices. It will also help you convert more visitors into subscribers with a slot for a...

  • Cool new crowdsourced campaign seeks to map out Africa’s best destinations

    This looks pretty cool. Today sees the launch of Our Continent -- a crowdsourced initiative from Continental Tyre SA -- a map of the best on and off-road destinations starting in South Africa, before expanding into the rest of Africa. "From city to Savannah, coastline to mountaintop, whatever your adventure", the tyre maker says it wants you to share your journey via Twitpic and in turn share others' journeys with you. In a clever little piece of marketing Continental Tyre SA has also mapped out all of its South Africa stores on Our Continent, meaning that you won't battle to find...

  • Take a look at Facebook’s personalised and super visual new News Feed

    Facebook did that thing that its users hate today: it changed. Ahead of the launch, the rumours suggested that the billion-strong social network's new look News Feed would be more context-specific and involve larger photos and bigger ads. So, were they true? Well... yes. With the critics doubting Facebook's ability to retain user interest and stave off user fatigue, the team has gone for an increased amount of visual and personalised content to keep people hooked on the core page of Facebook. "News Feed is one of the most important services that we've built," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg, explaining how...

  • 6 factors complicating Samsung and Apple’s design war

    The design wars between Apple and Samsung are the stuff of legend. The two tech giants have fought battles in courtrooms across the globe, with each accusing the other of copying unique designs and infringing on valuable design rights. The culmination of those battles saw Samsung ordered to pay US$1-billion to Apple following a lengthy trial in a California court. On the surface much of the conflict seemed to be around rectangles with rounded corners. As Professor Charles Gielen of Groningen University in the Netherlands notes however there were a number of factors that made it a hell of...

  • Google+: now with giant cover photos and colour-coded profile cards

    If you go over to Google+ today, you're in for a surprise: things have changed. The platform is rolling out a number of design tweaks, changed its cover photo option yet again and inserted some cards reminiscent of the look of its virtual assistant, Google Now. Google+ Product Manager Sara McKinley said that the changes were inspired after feedback from users who asked for changes in profile and business pages. But Google decided to implement them a day before Facebook announces its redesigned News Feed. Interesting. The most noticeable alteration on Google+ is the giant cover photo space, which can...

  • Check out this neat little trick on the Google I/O site

    If you know Google, you know that the company isn't averse to building a few neat little tricks into its products. Now it looks like it's taken the same kind of attitude into the site for its annual I/O developers' conference. If you click on the images of an "I" and an "O" on the site, you'll find yourself escorted to a new page, each of which is themed to play a sound effect. It's a neat little bit of fun, although cracking the various codes can get a little frustrating at times. The ones we have managed...