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  • Pandora shares soar on Wall Street debut

    Internet radio star, Pandora, made its Wall Street debut amid investor enthusiasm for technology stocks. Pandora's shares soared in early trading on Wall Street on Wednesday before paring gains at the close of trade. Pandora, which is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "P," was priced at US$16 and surged to US$26 shortly after the opening bell. Pandora eventually ended the day at US$17.42, a gain of 8.9 percent. Pandora, which creates personalised radio stations for users based upon their favourite artists or songs, raised US$235-million with its initial public offering and had a market value...

  • Recent poll shows Facebook users to be more trusting

    A recent poll by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project show Facebook users are more trusting, have more close friends and are more politically engaged. The survey of 2 255 American adults found that Facebook members who use the site multiple times per day are more than three times as likely as non-internet users to feel that most people can be trusted. People who use Facebook several times per day average nine percent more close, core ties in their overall social network than other internet users. The poll also revealed that Facebook users are two and a half times...

  • Social media governments: Iceland, Nigeria, Rwanda & South Africa

    An increasingly crucial part of our daily lives, social media is changing the way we interact, work and live. As a truly people-oriented medium, it is even altering our concept of society and democracy. Governments, from Iceland to Nigeria, are coming up with innovative solutions for meeting the needs of their citizens. A fair amount of discussion at a recent World Economic Forum annual meeting held in Davos focused on the future of governance: "Governments today are operating in an environment where citizens’ expectations are communicated through digital means to global audiences in a matter of minutes, with incredible ramifications,...

  • BlackBerry Bold 9780 Review

    Let's be clear, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is the best BlackBerry you can buy today, but should you? BlackBerry fans looking for a high-end BlackBerry experience have a choice between the 9780 and the Torch 9800, but there's a third contender on the horizon that might steal your heart in the end. Read on as we explore the 9780, offer advice for new and existing BlackBerry addicts, and look ahead. The handset itself is handsomely austere. Understated and almost completely black, the 9780 is most likely weapon of choice for Wall Street types. The build quality, light weight and of...

  • Microsoft tracks search behaviour using cursor movements

    Researchers at Microsoft have been investigating the correlation between eye movement, or "gaze tracking", and mouse cursor movement on search engine results pages. The findings have some interesting implications for future search engine algorithms, and may help to improve the results returned for search queries. By measuring mouse cursor behaviour, such as clicks and hovers over particular page regions, alongside the results from an eye-tracking study, Microsoft has shown that areas of interest to a user directly correlate to mouse cursor behaviour. This is particularly prevalent for search engine results pages. While measuring click-through behaviour is nothing new, researchers...

  • Rockstar gets brooding and intense with LA Noire

    LA Noire - Detective Phelps cuts a sharp figure in the neon light of Los Angeles. Hunched over the scene of a brutal crime, he pensively inspects each inch of a rusted pipe, stained with the blood of an unknown assailant. Music swells in the background, the crime scene has now been swept for clues. Detective Phelps knows that it is time to move on to the interrogation of the witness. Leaning against a ruby-red barstool, she draws back on a cigarette, looks in the detective's direction and casually blows smoke into his face. With uncannily realistic facial movement,...

  • A look at some of Africa’s hottest startup incubators

    Although investment in Africa has traditionally focused on commodities rather than technologies, the explosion of mobile usage has opened up opportunities for small-business development. Memeburn explores some of the continent's incubators for entrepreneurs to consider before taking the next step. It's worth remembering that the investor climate is often make or break when it comes to finding angel investors. Nigeria Enspire is more than an incubation programme as it aims to support the establishment of businesses that graduate from the initial stage of developing an idea. The group’s vision encompasses seeing incubating business through to the forefront in developing...

  • Klout gives users more punch with +K

    While algorithms have served us well in terms of how computers measure our behaviours, companies are beginning to realise the importance of human opinion. Nowhere is this more evident than in social media. What a computer thinks is no longer enough for us; we want to know what people we know from our networks think as well. Facebook's Like button has undoubtedly increased user engagement, while Google's recent addition of +1 is an attempt to make search more social. Now Klout, a social networking analysis site, has announced it plans to adopt a similar practice. Klout rates your...

  • China in a new twist to fighting corruption via ‘confession sites’

    Some emerging market countries are finding new and innovative ways to clamp down on corruption. In the last week several Chinese sites which allow citizens to confess bribing officials have sprung up. This new way of dealing with corruption was inspired by an Indian anti-corruption site called "I Paid A Bribe" according to Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper. And now there are at least eight similar Chinese sites launched since Friday, reports theChina Daily. The sites, which aim to highlight the daily toll of corruption, invite internet users to describe the type of bribes paid and the circumstances...

  • The other WikiLeaks: 8 whistleblowing sites you probably don’t know about

    Last year a website called WikiLeaks and a man called Julian Assange made the world’s most powerful governments quiver in fear. No army or diplomacy could stop revelation after revelation, as classified communiqués and documents were placed online for the world to read. The goal of WikiLeaks, to reveal the truth, may have been noble, but it was criticised for putting lives at risk by revealing sensitive information. The dubious rape charges against Assange also dented the organisation’s image. But the idea of WikiLeaks has taken hold in the online sphere and a number of spinoff and imitation sites...

  • The Webby’s funniest, weirdest 5-word speeches

    The speeches at this year’s Webby Awards were as weird, great and, at times, hilarious as the winning choices celebrated at the glittering ceremony in New York last night. Referred to as the Oscars of the internet, the Webby Awards, hosted by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, honour excellence in website design, interactive advertising, film and video, mobile and applications in various categories. Traditionally, speeches at the awards are restricted to five words. Last night’s show, in its 15th year, was hosted by US actress Lisa Kudrow. Here are five of the funniest and strangest moments from last...

  • Sex, knitting and Ayn Rand: our favourite offbeat social networks

    There is a mind-boggling array of social networks out there, from Facebook, the king of them all, and the ailing Myspace, all the way through to the ones you don’t know about, which target niche interests such as a love for auteur cinema and an interest in cheese. Memeburn roamed the world of social networks and picked out eight choice examples, selected for their surprising user numbers, intriguing content and quirky characters. Here they are, in no particular order: The Atlasphere Users: 25 291 What is it? According to the site’s front page: The Atlasphere's mission is to bring together admirers of...

  • Nokia wins last round in battle against Apple

    Nokia has left the ring with a bit of a swagger after announcing today that it had finally reached an agreement with its rival Apple that would see the Finnish mobile giant being paid a one-time settlement fee and ongoing royalties. In a statement released today, Nokia says the “financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement". The specific amounts of the deal would remain confidential, the company said. Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer...

  • ‘Gay girl in Damascus’ blogger a middle-aged US man

    A 40-year-old US student based in Scotland has unmasked himself as the author of the "Gay Girl in Damascus" blogs, which sparked a security crackdown in Syria. This is the latest in a series of attempts by Westerners to use social and online media to stake a place in the limelight for themselves in the Arab uprisings which have dominated headlines in 2011. Tom MacMaster, an Edinburgh University masters student, admitted on Sunday that he was "Amina Abdullah", who had described "herself" as a Syrian political blogger. The Abdullah character rose to blogging fame with her reports on the pro-reform...

  • Facebook IPO could top $100bn in 2012

    Social network Facebook is likely to go public in the first quarter of next year with a valuation of over US$100 billion, the CNBC business news network reported on Monday, despite reports that the social network’s growth is tailing off in North America. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated he is in no hurry to take the social network public, but the network’s report said the company may be forced to do so by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. CNBC said Facebook's decision to conduct an initial public offering could be triggered by an SEC requirement that companies...