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  • Google brings free WiFi to New Yorkers

    It seems Google is feeling generous. The world's largest internet company is offering free WiFi access across New York city's Chelsea neighbourhood, by creating the largest public outdoor network in the city, reports Bloomberg. The project is a partnership between the search giant and non-profit organisation Chelsea Improvement Co. It makes sense that the company chose Chelsea. The neighbourhood is home to Google's New York offices and several tech startups. The network aids the internet giant's effort at cultivating "Silicon Alley", a concentration of startups in Manhattan. "New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal...

  • Google calls truce, drops patent claim against Microsoft

    Xbox users around the world can now rest easy and without fear that Google will take away their video-streaming. The Mountain View giant has called a truce and dropped some of its patent claims against Microsoft. The patent in question, H.264, was scooped up by Google when it bought Motorola back in 2011. Microsoft wanted to license two standards essential to the patent for Xbox streaming but not on Google's terms. As AllThingsD points out, this kind of nit-picking patent war madness is exactly what Google's recent settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is meant to prevent....

  • Facebook starts rolling out Timeline update with redesigned columns

    Hold on, universe. There are more changes coming to Facebook Timeline. In addition to Facebook's new home page question, which now asks "what's happening?" by including your first name like it knows who you really are, Facebook has started rolling out a redesigned profile page to users in New Zealand. It's not as major an update as the first version of Timeline (and thus probably not as likely to amass quite as many complaints), but things have been moved around a bit, as the new look is designed to separate wall posts from other areas like the friends box,...

  • Waze hit 34m users in 2012, expects to double that this year

    It looks like there may well be something to this collaborative mapping lark after all. Social mapping and traffic tool Waze says it hit the 34-million user mark last year and expects to double that this year. The Israeli-based company briefly posted a blog announcing the news. It's unclear what the reasons for the blog being taken down were, but if the numbers are correct, it represents pretty solid growth from the 28-million users it last reported having back in October. Along with the blog post, the company released an infographic to celebrate going past the 34-million user mark...

  • 4Chan takes disturbing to new levels, gets Bieber fans cutting themselves

    If you ever doubted that 4chan was where the internet's hopes and dreams go to die, this should put them to rest. Members of the online messaging community started spreading a hoax, encouraging fans of Justin Bieber to cut themselves after the singer was caught smoking a joint. Using fake Twitter accounts the trolls (4chan is the natural habitat of the species) started posting fake pictures in which they appeared to have been cutting themselves. This apparently got Justin Bieber fans to start cutting themselves, and posting pictures of their wounds, all in apparent bid to stop their idol...

  • 6 technologies that may govern our lives in 2013

    It’s that time of the year again: time to take stock of what’s gone by and of things to come. For the purpose of this post, I shall stick to what we need to watch out for in the new year. To be precise, what’s going to happen on the technology front in 2013. Crystal ball gazing does not sit well with me. There’s always the chance of losing one’s shirt if the predictions don’t come true. Nevertheless, I shall carry on gamely, since the world grooves to a techno-beat. What I am about to write here cannot...

  • 5 steps to digitizing your old vinyl collection

    Listen up kids, before the digital revolution the typewriter was your word processor, and the record player was your music center. But doing away with your typewriter was always a lot easier than parting with your records. What to do with your collection of big black disks is a question that some have never got round to answering. Some threw them away, others kept their record players, or bought new CDs. These options don't work for me as I am much too attached to the old records and the memories that accompany them. The answer, of course, is to...

  • LG BX327 projector review: the TV killer

    Plug your Xbox 360 or PC into a projector and you’re treated to a spectacle no television can rival. As the projector roars to life, funneling hot air through its innumerable vents, your lounge wall is transformed into a visual playground, home to a picture both bigger and more mesmerising than you could ever have imagined. For sheer size and spectacle, no television can contend against a machine that projects an image upwards of 200 inches. 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");

  • 12 top tech security tips for journos to follow in 2013

    There are a lot of places where journalists aren't really welcome and there are plenty of people out there looking to find chinks in any news hound's armour. Rapid advances in technology have only made it easier to find and exploit those weaknesses. Even the most tech-savvy journos are at risk. Just ask Wired reporter Mat Honan. Last year Honan's Google, Twitter, and Apple ID accounts were all broken into, allowing the hackers to remotely erase all the data on his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. All this happened because Amazon displayed a portion of his credit card number, which...

  • CES 2013: the social media stream

    More than 156 000 attendees. 1.9-million square feet of exhibit space. The latest and greatest technology. Yup, it's time for this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The event has played host to the launches of some ground breaking and memorable tech in the past -- the VCR, the DVD, the Xbox, HDTVs and even Tetris have débuted at the event over the years. This year's show is predicted to see the launch of Ultra HDTVs and connected self-driving cars, as well as an assortment of new laptops, cameras, tablets and smartphones tossed in for good measure....

  • Star Trek goes AR with Paramount and Qualcomm [CES]

    I'm not sure how the Trekkies are going to feel about this one. The marketing machine for the upcoming JJ Abrams vehicle Star Trek Into Darkness is set to launch a context-aware app. The app, which has the same title as the film, will reportedly deliver exclusive content and gaming experiences in the lead up to the film's release. The app was announced during Qualcomm's keynote at CES. According to networking giant Qualcomm, which helped build the app in partnership with the film's studio Paramount, the app will allow users to "automatically engage with a wealth of movie related...

  • Ridley Scott reintroduces audiences to Coca-Cola’s polar bears

    Okay, you know you have way too much money when renowned filmmaker Ridley Scott's production skills are part of your ad campaign. Coca-Cola has released a short film that tells the story of a polar bear family. Just over seven minutes long, the film follows Kaia, Jak, Zook, Kaskae and Sakari and their adventure. The flick is pretty cheesy and sometime you wonder if a tap dancing penguin is going to show up. The film has no actual branding except the in the opening sequence with a "Coca-Cola Presents" title and it stands on its own as short tale. If...

  • China’s gaming market was worth US$9.7bn in 2012

    Gaming in China is getting to be seriously big business. In fact, it brought in an estimated US$9.7-billion in revenue last year, rising 35.1% year-on-year. That's according to TechWeb (translated), which cites a recent China Game Industry Report. The report includes actual sales estimates, as well as online revenue and income from web, mobile, and social networks. Interestingly actual online game sales accounted for around 94.5% of that US$9.7-billion while 5.4% came from mobile game sales. Dedicated gaming services meanwhile accounted for just 01.% of sales. As cheap smartphones flood the Chinese market though, the number of mobile games...

  • Is online buying via SMS possible?

    For people in emerging markets like South Africa to buy online, they pretty much have to use a bank card of some sort. And while fraud, online security and chargebacks all add to the difficulties that both consumers and merchants experience, there are many companies and startups trying to crack the mobile payments industry. This is simply because many more people are browsing content rich ecommerce websites on their smartphones. But recently someone asked me: why not simply let people buy via SMS? If I wanted to pay for a R100 t-shirt online, I should be able to SMS a...

  • 2012 startups in review: funding, competition winners and acquisitions

    Despite a struggling global economy and a notable downturn in Series A funding in the US, 2012 left a veritable smorgasbord of startup deals, competitions and acquisitions in its wake. With our birds-eye view of the activity in emerging markets, especially sub-Saharan Africa, we wrote about many of this year's deals. We covered startup competitions and talked to their finalists and we watched with glee as startups successfully completed mega government deals and got snapped up by bigger fish. 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");