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  • 5 factors currently affecting web-design

    The world of web design has seen many changes in last decade. How we design is determined by the times, the current trends and the latest fads in the age of blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Below are five factors currently affecting design. The Facebook interface Facebook is very proud of their 500 million+ active users who cumulatively spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. To avoid frustrating these Facebook literate users, web-designers are going to have to start following the User Interface conventions that Facebook has created: Vertical page navigation on the left; User navigation top right; Content centre;...

  • Media piracy: You’re not as anonymous as you might think

    Enforcing statutory penalties on intellectual property infringements in the media industry is moving up a notch. In the US, a federal judge recently agreed to allow the US Copyright Group to force internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over the identities of at least 23 000 users who had sourced bootlegged copies of The Expendables via BitTorrent clients and file sharing. There’s of course no reason to target illicit downloads of The Expendables specifically, so the case seems more about making a statement against intellectual property theft than anything else. But film studios aren’t quite so noble as...

  • E3 gaming conference predictions: circus starting next week

    It’s almost time again for E3 2011 and like Christmas, millions of boys and girls (mostly boys) across the globe are preparing to have their expectations calmly blown out of the water as their beloved consoles prepare themselves for an onslaught of new titles. Microsoft, Sony, EA and Nintendo will be the dominating forces at the E3 event and each one will do battle for the hearts and minds of the videogame junkie. From the 7th to the 9th of June at the Los Angles Conference centre, every avid gamer’s thoughts will be focused on the events that occur inside...

  • Is there a ‘tech bubble’ forming? [Infographic]

    Depending on when you start counting, social media sites have been the world's favourite shiny new toy for almost a decade now. Today, valuations of these businesses are not serious until they have a billion or so pricetag attached to them. So what is driving these astronomical figures? Technology commentator Tom Foremski doesn't agree that a bubble is forming just yet, but he doesn't rule out the possibility. As Shakespeare wrote and Foremski quotes: "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." Even the guru of the markets, Warren Buffett, has expressed his concerns about recent valuations in...

  • Omidyar-backed Africa entrepreneurship award launched

    The 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, open to entries from every country in Africa, is awarding up to $350,000 in prize money to successful entrepreneurs. Owners of profitable, growing enterprises (with annual revenues between US$1 - 15 million) can submit entries online until August 24, 2011. The Grand Prize Winner will receive US$ 100,000 and five other companies will receive awards of US$ 50,000 each. The awards are backed by the Omidyar Network and Legatum, a private investment group. The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people...

  • Six politicians who have epically failed on Twitter

    Thanks to Barack Obama's successful use of social media in the 2008 elections, all politicians seem to have discovered Twitter and Facebook. From Cory Booker, the US mayor who tweeted his way through his city's snow crisis, to South African political parties sometimes brilliant use of social media in the recent 2011 Local Government elections this message has clearly spread. It does not always hit the mark though. Just as brands have sometimes "failed" in their social media usage, so have politicians. We seem to be a society that is entertained by the fall of political figures. And what...

  • Nicholas Carr on how the internet is damaging our brains

    US technology writer Nicholas Carr is worried about what the internet is doing to our brains. "The seductions of technology are hard to resist," Carr says in his new Book 'The Shallows', which has sold an estimated 50 000 hardback copies in the United States alone. But he thinks it's time to start trying. In a speech at last week's Seoul Digital Forum, Carr restated his concerns that the web is affecting the way people think and feel -- and even changing the physical make-up of their brains. Every new technology in history -- like the map and the clock -- has...

  • Facing court order, Twitter hands over names and data of UK users

    When looking at the "Ryan Giggs case", in what some are referring to as a landmark ruling regarding free-speech and the internet, Twitter has released the details of UK users to a British local council. The particulars are that four officials of South Tyneside Council, unhappy with a blog run by a certain "Mr Monkey", decided to take action. Since the blog has now been taken down, exactly what it was that was written is difficult to ascertain. Reports vary from "libelous statements", to others describing the blog as a "whistle-blower." The four decided to approach the Superior Court of California...

  • 3 reasons why SEO does mean something to group buying

    In my travels along the social commerce road so far in South Africa, I’ve often been told that SEO plays no role in bringing in traffic to to group buying site. There are generally two kinds of sites, when you look at traffic: those where you want to rank well on SERPs to get the traffic in, and those where you pay through your nose on Google or Facebook to bring visitors. Unless, of course, your website has such an attractive deal on it, you might say. Group buying has traditionally taken the latter stance – pay for a massive PPC...

  • US military contractors face cyber-attacks, Lockheed Martin confirms

    Like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, the US military's largest contractor, Lockheed Martin in a recent statement confirmed that it had faced cyber-attacks. The US-based multi-national defence contractor described one of the attacks as "significant and tenacious". The attack which apparently occurred on the 21st of May was immediately detected by Lockheed Martin's security team. The team leapt into "quick action" using "aggressive actions" to protect systems and data to successfully repel the attack. The statement continued that in spite of the attack, the company was still confident in the strength of its "robust, multi-layered information systems security." As per Lockheed, "no...

  • PlayStation services to be restored this week

    On Tuesday Sony announced its plans to restore PlayStation Network services worldwide except in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea, after being targeted in a massive online attack in April. The electronics and entertainment giant said users in the Americas and Europe and much of Asia will again be able to buy and download games online, and will also receive "welcome back" packs of services and content. The company said that since being hacked in April, it had "implemented considerable security enhancements to the network infrastructure, as well as conducted testing of the payment process and commerce functions". Sony was attacked...

  • Will Bitcoin be another failed global eCurrency?

    Memeburn already ran an article on Bitcoin before, where Matthew Stone brought us up to speed on this new crypto-currency that seems to be taking the world by storm. Stone voiced some concerns about governmental clampdown on the new currency, and not without good reason. Firstly, at its anarchic root, Bitcoin robs government of its control over currency generation and its ability to track transactions. This has major implications in terms of controlling inflation within a country. Furthermore, the anonymity afforded by Bitcoin has strong tax implications. Ultimately, having capital tied up in BitCoins makes it incredibly difficult for...

  • As black as Vader’s heart

    It would be easy to damn the Toshiba Satellite Pro L650 with faint praise. It’s alright. It’s a midmarket fairly powerful notebook with a pleasantly understated design. If you’re looking for a work or home or college laptop PC in the US$600-odd range (closer to US$1000 in developing markets), you could do a lot worse. Decent specs, pretty enough. Could be better. The most striking thing is the design. Toshiba has gone all minimalist on us. The Satellite Pro range has always been the more business-centric models, so less flash than the Qosmio multimedia/gamer units, but this one is (depending...

  • Ten of the coolest TED talks [Videos]

    The Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conferences bring together luminaries from a wide range of fields. They come to delight and entertain us with stories of their endeavours -- told in less than 18 minutes. We have hand-picked ten of the coolest videos: Featured below are journalists, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs who have “ideas worth spreading”. Joshua Klein: The amazing intelligence of crows Joshua Klein has spent the last 10 years obsessing about crows. These birds traditionally known as harbingers of doom and death are revealed to have a remarkable intelligence. Klein built a vending machine that harnesses this intelligence, in the...

  • Mac Defender becomes MacGuard, gets sneakier

    The Mac scareware that started popping up recently has got a little more insidious. Not quite a full-blown virus, it still requires a clueless or distracted user to install it, but the latest version does not require an administrator password to be entered. It started on May 2 (timeline here), where fake antivirus began to spread though poisoned Google image search results. It was pretty primitive, causing Safari browsers to run a piece Javascript that threw up a fake anti-virus scanner... Read more on Gearburn.com