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  • Reports: Google to announce smartphones will replace credit cards

    If one thought that Google would take a minute's rest after yet another highly successful I/O conference earlier this month where a slew of new Google products and developments – most notably Google Music – were announced and released, think again. According to "a source familiar with the matter", Google is expected to launch what just may be its most groundbreaking innovation yet – smartphones that we'll use like credit and debit cards. According to these sources, on Thursday, in a New York press conference the California-based internet giant has called to see its "latest innovations" -- but will not...

  • Turning your business into a social community

    Social media has reduced the barriers to entry. Today any business can access the internet and begin an online market where transport costs, logistics and advertising co-ordination simply don’t matter. Whereas previously capital stood as a barrier, getting started is much easier. But with more competition, the loyalty factor has become even more crucial. However, how do you gain a following? With the internet spreading, it’s also spread something less tangible but no less crucial: ideas. When philosopher Richard Weaver said Ideas Have Consequences in a book by the same title he may as well have been speaking to businesses. Today...

  • Experts discuss social media and CRM ahead of #SMWF Cape Town

    Social media marketing has slotted nicely into many African businesses’ marketing mix. But in this two way conversation, both parties decide the direction and purpose of the channel, and it would appear that, far from happily wolfing down a stream of social media marketing messages, consumers actually want to talk back. Unfortunately, some of them are angry, and what they want say to you shoots straight into the public domain, and might stay there forever. Fortunately, some companies are working on changing this. Social media can present more than a fresh new marketing opportunity. With the correct approach, channels...

  • Yahoo! Freshens its mail client

    Yahoo is not asleep at the email wheel – it’s no longer the first pick it once was, but still manages to bring out new features and better functionality in it’s every-few-years update cycle. This iteration is a winner, although the best features need a premium subscription. I like Yahoo Mail, and in theory there are some 284-millions users who agree with me, though many users will admit to creating numerous alternate accounts from different service providers as a trial or as an email backup facility. Read more on Gearburn.com

  • Finding influencers is more than just comparing their Klout score

    Lots of people in PR and marketing are enamored by services such as Klout, PeerIndex, and Empire Avenue, which seek to provide a quick assessment on any person's online influence. Influence is an important thing online. Marketers are interested in which influencers will help their campaigns. Online influence is the new celebrity endorsement. Using these online influencers to endorse campaigns ensures reach for the brand and campaign, so marketers believe. If you want to know the top influencers in a specific niche market, services such as Klout, PeerIndex and Empire Avenue will provide you with a simple number for...

  • Two-thirds of China’s population have mobile phones

    The Chinese government announced on Tuesday that the country now has more than 900-million mobile phone subscribers. This mean that nearly two-thirds of the world's most populous nation are using mobile phones. The nation's army of mobile phone users grew by over 41-million in the first quarter of 2011, bringing the total number of mobile phone subscribers to 900.39-million, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said. Mobile phone use has exploded in China in recent years as handset prices and user charges have dropped, while the continual arrival of new technologies on the market has spurred sales. According to government figures,...

  • Why can’t Google win at social?

    The number of times that Google has failed at delivering a successful ‘social’ product is in danger of rising to an embarrassing degree. Google Wave is no longer actively developed for use; Buzz has experienced low usage, and seems to most to yield little value; Latitude never gained traction like Foursquare has; Orkut (Google’s Facebook like social network) is perhaps its most successful project but can claim little popularity outside of Brazil and India. Recently the latest attempt to make headlines is ‘+1’, but this is yet to prove itself and opinion is divided on whether it is following a...

  • Apple finally joins the cloud music game

    It seems Apple has decided to shake things up in the world of cloud music. Amazon and Google unveiled their offerings first, now Apple is ready to join the party. According to a New York Times report, "The company has signed contracts with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and the Warner Music Group to license those labels’ recordings for its new service. It is still negotiating with Universal Music Group, the largest of the four labels, but that deal could be finished as early as next week." Online retail giant, Amazon launched its music offering, Cloud Drive, a few months ago...

  • Mirror mirror on the wall: 7 humbling bragging tweets

    In its five-year existence, Twitter has redesigned its homepage a number of times, with each incarnation looking to answer questions new users may have, such as, "Why should I use Twitter?" The new slogan, "follow your interests", does just that. However, there is a market Twitter isn't capturing with this slogan: The narcissists. Yes, Twitter may be a great platform to meet, follow and get "instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favourite celebrities", as the rest of its slogan goes. However, there's another element to the site. As is often said, but not too often admitted to by social media...

  • eBay may use Skype money for acquisitions: CEO

    Answering questions on what the company intends to with the windfall from the sale of its 30% stake in VoIP giant, Skype, EBay chief executive said in an interview they may use some of the US$2.4 billion to make acquisitions. The online auction giants CEO Jack Donahoe told The Wall Street Journal that the company may also use some of the proceeds from the sale of its stake in Skype to return money to investors through share buybacks. "We will continue to use that balance sheet to invest in organic growth, make acquisitions selectively and provide return to our shareholders with...

  • The story and cost of the PlayStation Network shutdown [infographic]

    The spectacular and ongoing saga that has been the felling of Sony's Playstation and Qriocity networks is certainly one that will go down in web history. After yet another shut-down last week, the networks are finally back up - for now that is. Not only has it affected users of these networks, it has also become the online equivalent to that car accident that people just can't turn away from. While Sony desperately tries to woo back its understandably wary customers with packages of free services and games -- or a "customer compensation package" as Sony calls it -- industry...

  • Cisco sued: accused of helping China’s Great Firewall

    Much is made of the repressive "Great Firewall of China" that blocks any online information the Chinese government does not want made known to its population. As much is made of China's economy and how it represents massive business opportunities for Western companies. What has been given less attention, however, is what happens when these two interests intersect. What has recently emerged are disquieting claims that Cisco Systems, the American-based technology multinational, is helping the Chinese government with its repressive internet techniques. The last high-profile case involving a tech company and China was that of Google earlier this year. After Google...

  • Chromebook awesome if it wasn’t from Google

    The Chromebook is slowly coming into focus. Currently manufactured by Acer and Samsung (what? no American laptop brands up for it?), key specs look like this: Chromebook Specifications (Acer/Samsung): 11.6 or 12.1” display (1280x800) 1.45 or 1.48kg (so pretty light) 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD 6 or 8.5 hours continuous usage (cough) Intel Atom dual-core processor Built in dual-band Wi-Fi and optional 3G HD Webcam HD audio support 2x USB 2.0 ports 4-in-1 memory card slot HDMI of mini-VGA port Chrome keyboard (interstingly, missing a CAPS LOCK key. ... Read full story on Gearburn.com

  • UK footballer accused of having affair and sues 30000 tweeters for saying so

    Twitter has found itself yet again in court. This time its over the "publication" of the name a famous UK footballer who had a super-injunction: a super secret gag order, with the footballers lawyers now seeking to sue the California based micro-blogging site and tens of thousands of its users. What began as a sordid tabloid story with a footballer and "glamour model", Imogen Thomas, is quickly becoming yet another case where the free-wheeling nature of Twitter just may change how traditional media operates. A super-injunction, is the "supersized" version of an injunction. Not only does it gag the media from mentioning...

  • Mobile web content in East Africa [Report]

    Vodafone recently concluded a policy paper on “Broadband in Emerging Markets”, also titled “Making Broadband Accessible for All“. The position and reason for this paper is best summarised below. The success story of mobiles in the developing world is well known. Yet in the case of extending data services in emerging markets, there is a real danger of some serious policy mistakes. As in developed markets, broadband strategies in developing countries have tended to focus on investment in fibre. This is too simplistic. This focus on fibre may miss an opportunity for a transformational change built on the capabilities and in...