• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Mobile overtakes desktop internet in China

    When it comes to accessing the internet, mobile has a lot of advantages over traditional desktop PCs, particularly in emerging markets. Top of that list is the fact that it's cheaper. It should hardly be surprising then that mobile is now the number one means of accessing the web in China. According to an abstract of a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center: “Mobile phone has become No. 1 internet access terminal in China.... In the first half of 2012, the number of internet users using mobile phones to access the internet reached 388 million while that...

  • Why has the genesis of the mobile wallet been so slow?

    The mobile wallet has been touted as the next big thing for a number of years, so you would expect that by now the App-For-That maxim would ring true for everyone with a smartphone. Oddly enough while mobile payment services still seem to be positively fetal when it comes to real world application, industry gurus swear that mobile wallet use is significantly on the rise. Back in 2009, Gartner Group predicted that the number of mobile payment users around the world would be topping 190-million by 2012. This year, Gartner revised that number to 212.2 million users, with a...

  • The new Aakash: Can India’s student tablet really make an impact again?

    News recently dropped that the new version of the Aakash, India’s “student” version of a tablet computer, will launch on 11 November this year. The slate will be priced around US$42 for now, until the numbers scale up enough to pull the tag below US$35. The question is – does this second attempt come too late in the day for this little mickey? This is a first anywhere in the world, perhaps. An elected government getting into the “business” of e-learning by placing an order for a cheap, ‘Made In India’, computing device, and then handing over the same for...

  • Rethinking education: The effect of digital tools

    Following Jacques Coetzee’s excellent post on how people have used crowdlearning to redefine both learning and teaching, we thought it would be a great idea to showcase a few useful services and tools, and, importantly, discuss how the nascent online learning sector has changed education at its core. The matching of information with interest lies at the heart of what has made the internet indispensable. Google is successful because it connects a searcher with the information they need. This information varies greatly, often meeting a curiosity, entertainment or practical need. A number of tools have been developed to take this...

  • Reddit free speech scandal: ‘creep’ unmasked, CEO speaks out

    So by now you've heard of the drama between social bookmarking site Reddit and Gawker Media properties. It seems that after many articles across the web, Reddit's CEO has finally noticed that the site has found itself in "a pickle", according to a leaked memo. The issue began when Gawker's Adrian Chen decided to expose one of Reddit's moderators, Texas programmer Michael Brutsch (aka Violentacrez). The moderator labelled Reddit's "most powerful creep" was responsible for sub-pages “r/creepshots” and “r/jailbaits” pages dedicated to sexualised pictures of women and of under 18s. Chen's unmasking of Brutsch calls him out as...

  • Privacy — not that far off from piracy? Google CEO does a good juggling act

    A lot has been said recently about Google's privacy policy, after the internet giant was told by French-based Commission Nationale de l’Informatique (CNIL) that it is not being clear about information of users private data and how it is being stored or used. After initial questionnaires from CNIL, which it says were not appropriately answered by Google, an additional questionnaire were sent. Speaking at Google's annual Zeitgeist conference in Paradise Valley for his first public speaking in many months, CEO Larry Page touched on the antitrust probes, but again did not seem to relate any major clarification on its...

  • Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: Governments need to step in to stop patent wars

    This probably isn't going to sit well with advocates of business without government interference. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos things that governments need to step in to stop the litany of patent lawsuits in the tech space. Speaking to UK newspaper, The Metro, Bezos said that patent wars like the one being fought by Samsung and Apple are ruining innovation. In fact, he went so far as to say that the battles were a threat to society itself. Samsung and Apple have been the two companies most frequently at loggerheads when it comes to perceived infringements on patented technology, although...

  • Google told to change its privacy policy, give users more control… or else

    Google's questionable new privacy policy is in the spotlight again, after an investigation ordered by European Union data collection authorities has asked the company to give users more control over their privacy and amend its tools to avoid collecting an excessive amount of their data. Plus one to that. The French-based Commission Nationale de l’Informatique (CNIL), the organisation which conducted the study, released its findings today on the new consolidated privacy policy Google implemented in March. It said that it was not clear that Google respected core data collection principles and that the tech giant's policy didn't state any limits...

  • Meet the world’s 10 most Facebook addicted countries

    The idea that people get addicted to Facebook doesn't seem that strange. I mean you've got to wonder about those people who comment on your status the second you post it. But what about countries? Can an entire geographical entity be addicted to a social network? Maybe not literally, but you can certainly get an idea of which countries populations are spending the most time on Facebook. Whether that time counts as unhealthy or not isn't for us to say. According to social analytics service Social Bakers, the country currently at the top of the list is Brazil. Straight...

  • New Die Antwoord video features Lady Gaga parody, is cringe-worthy [Update]

    The latest video from international viral sensations Die Antwoord has dropped, and it's about the most cringe-inducing thing you'll ever see. The video, which is for the track "Fatty Boom Boom" features a taxi driver come tour guide taking a Lady Gaga (meat dress and all) parody around downtown Joahnnesburg. While Yolandi, Ninja and DJ Hi-Tek do what we've come to expect of them -- rap crude lyrics, wear vaguely offensive costumes and gyrate wildly -- much of the video appears to be an attack on Lady Gaga. The "Zef" group famously turned down an invitation to tour with...

  • Microsoft bets big on Surface: Orders 3-5 million for Q4, opens preorders

    Microsoft really wants Surface to work. After being left behind in the tablet market, it needs something to give it serious clout in the war against Apple and Android. In a bid to build hype for the device before its 26 October launch, the company's pushed the button on TV spots and online banner ads in quick succession. It's confident that hype's going to work too. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Redmond-based giant has ordered somewhere between three and five-million of the devices for the fourth quarter from its Asian suppliers. That puts it in more or...

  • Foxconn confirms underaged children worked in its factory in China

    It seems that when it comes to Foxconn, good PR is hard to find. The tech giant (that manufactures devices like the iPhone, iPad, Kindle and the Xbox) has admitted that it employed underage interns in one of its factories in China. In a statement (via The Next Web), Foxconn confirmed that children as young as 14 worked in its Yantai factory for three weeks as part of its internship programme. The legal working age in China is 16. The company launched an investigation after media reports claimed that young interns were being forced to work in its factories due to...

  • 10 prominent examples of social media creating social change

    "Social media" as a phrase has almost become blasé even though it’s literally just a few years old. As an idea, it has only recently been introduced to the world, though as an entity it has existed ever since the first cave paintings in Africa and smoke signals from a rocky mountain top. The telephone can be considered the first modern social media tool, and today we have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a multitude of other platforms. Suddenly you knew what was happening all over the world. People started to connect much easier, ideas floated around and hey presto...

  • 5 habits you need to adopt to be effective on social media

    While many small businesses are realizing that marketing on the social web is becoming more important everyday, one question I'm often asked is how to add social media to a busy day that is already full. For those of us with small businesses, it may at times feel like we are practically working around the clock. So when is a good time to post a blog post, to do status update or a tweet? I'll admit; starting with a social media programme with consistent updates is not always bells and whistles. You just have to take a plunge and stick...

  • Foursquare now gives you customised recommendations without an account

    If you're not one of the 25-million Foursquare users who sees the appeal in checking in everywhere from space to that kooky restaurant down the street, don't stress. Foursquare has another plan to get you using its user-generated personalised recommendation service. And you don't even need an account. The startup announced that it's now allowing everyone to access customised suggestions, without signing up or checking in, directly from its website. Its redesigned home page tracks your current location, and lets you search for anything from major sights to food and businesses, based on where you are in the world. It's...