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  • Why the iPhone 5 means that NFC won’t grow as fast as expected

    I think we've already forgotten that it took so long for us to get to the year of the mobile that was 2010, that we’re expecting similar speed in the roll-out of mobile payments solutions. Everyone and their grandmother expects that in the next year or two, your mobile phone will become your wallet and your credit card and that in order to pay, all you’ll need to do is wave it at a point of sale (POS) terminal or at another mobile handset, so that money can be magically transferred from your bank account. Credit cards and cash...

  • Has Apple outsmarted Google?

    Once allies, now clearly foes, Apple and Google have been in an intense battle to win the hearts and minds of people across the planet. And while Apple has lost its dominance and market-share to Google’s Android, you could argue that the Cupertino-based giant has outsmarted its Mountain View rival. If we look purely at the numbers then we all know that Google is the clear leader. Relying on various brands, like Samsung and HTC, Android has swamped our markets with phones ranging from the low-cost Galaxy Pocket to the more sophisticated Samsung S3. Samsung has a clear edge...

  • Will China’s government soon start inspecting and regulating mobile apps?

    China’s mobile app market has developed with remarkable speed over the past few years. That seemed only natural given the speed with which the mobile market was developing overseas, but it is also true that the app industry in China has been allowed to operate with virtually no government oversight or obstruction. Anyone could develop an app and put it up for sale. But all that could be about to change. MIIT is the regulatory body in charge of regulating China’s mobile technology, and the Ministry is a big part of the reason why products like Apple’s iPhone don’t get...

  • The year of curiosity: Google’s 2012 Zeitgeist

    You know the year is approaching its final leg when Google releases its Zeitgeist (meaning "the spirit of the times"). Just as every year before it, the Zeitgeist is a look back at what was popular in search over the past year. The 2012 release is Google's 12th. "This year, we’re launching the 12th annual Google Year-End Zeitgeist on google.com/zeitgeist. Our site showcases over 800 top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more. It’s global, spanning over 50 countries. You can check out global search trends, compare terms using interactive data visualizations, and watch the annual Zeitgeist...

  • We might worry about online privacy, but we’re doing nothing about it

    When someone mentions online privacy we always get a little bit worried. We talk about how important it is to keep our private details secure, we might even bring up someone we know whose online banking got hacked. But when it comes to actually protecting ourselves online we're not doing so great. According to online research company eMarketer, we might set out trying to protect our digital identities with the best of intentions but often fail to take the right practical steps. A large portion of this is down to a lack of digital know-how. In a Pew survey from...

  • Did Twitter play a hand in the Pope’s new account?

    The Pope joining Twitter was pretty big news, although it did have an air of inevitability about it. Getting one of the world's preeminent religious leaders onto the social network seemed to make sense, but it turns out Twitter itself may have put pressure on the Vatican to get his holiness tweeting. According to The Washington Post, the Pope is just one of several people who Twitter has approached in a bid to lure high-profile figures to the service. It also quotes a Vatican staff member as saying that Twitter made the initial approach. Twitter's Adam Sharp meanwhile said: We've...

  • FBI, NASA, others hit in massive hack attack

    Hacktivist group GhostShell has taken credit for a massive hacking operation that affected the sites of the FBI, NASA and the Federal Reserve, Interpol and the Pentagon along with a number of companies that interact with these organisations. The group says that it released 1.6 million accounts and records from the hacked companies in fields including aerospace, nanotechnology, banking, law, education, government, military, the department of defense, airlines, and more. In a Pastebin, Ghost Shell expresses opposition to plans by the ITU to bring the internet under a single governing structure. The attack however seems to have been motivated mostly by...

  • Leaner Mxit plans to ‘double’ user base in next year amid staff retrenchments

    Amid news that mobile social network was laying off nearly a third of its staff, Mxit has revealed that it plans to double its user base in the next year. Late last week employees from the mobile social network revealed that they had been offered retrenchment packages in what was apparently a cost-cutting exercise by the company. The company today confirmed that some 41 of its staff members had accepted voluntary retrenchments. Mxit’s acting-CEO, Francois Swart says however that the cut-backs were part of an attempt to focus on growing the social network's user base: We have...

  • Olympics, hurricanes, elections: Twitter unveils its year in review

    This year's been big for Twitter. As the social network continues to grow it's increasingly becoming the place where go to share, debate and understand issues in the world around us. In celebration of the year that was, the social network has launched a portal putting 2012 into perspective. The site allows you to explore. the biggest tweets of the year, the most high-profile people to join, the year's biggest trends as well as your own year on Twitter among other things. According to Twitter editorial director Karen Wickre, 2012 showed Twitter's power to make events that would have...

  • Microsoft SkyDrive for Xbox is available from today

    In case you haven't heard, Microsoft will be releasing 40 new apps for Xbox, with the latest being its SkyDrive app. The app will allow users to access Microsoft's cloud service and connect their devices to easily view content, be it photos or movies, and will also have support for Kinect voice and gesture controls. Users will be able to connect their various Microsoft devices with each other and access content wherever they want through the cloud. Take a photo with your Windows Phone, share it via SkyDrive and it will appear on your TV screen. Microsoft has seen...

  • 9 signs you’re in a relationship with Twitter

    A little more than a year ago, I permanently swore off relationships. I was recovering from being dumped, again, and I’d had enough of the pain. I was going to focus on finding fulfillment through work instead. That part of my life, I declared this year, is over. Only it isn’t, because it turns out I’m still in a relationship, whether I like to admit it or not. It’ll be four years next March. There have been good times and bad times, but we’re still here and we’re still going strong. Here are nine reasons I know I’m in...

  • The Galaxy Note II: inching toward Nirvana

    "It's gorgeous, can we keep it?" That's what my girlfriend asked when I unboxed the Galaxy Note II. A few days later, the answer I've come up with is "God I hope so". That the beloved was so enamoured with Samsung's newest device is hardly surprising. She's an S III owner, having recently escaped a two-year-old, slightly wonky BlackBerry. It would be mad of her not to love it. I was determined that I wouldn't be so easily impressed. I own the original Note*, I love it and, apart from some glitches caused by my own failed attempt to...

  • Why a home-grown gaming console could be great for China’s tech space

    I recently found myself on the Amazon China page for the CT-510, Lenovo-backed Eedoo’s $600 home entertainment system, reading the reviews. They are not pretty. Here’s a clip from the most highly-rated review on the site: What is $600? With that you could buy a 300 liter fridge, a 32-inch Sharp HDTV, approximately one ton of chicken eggs, or a decent desktop computer. So what does the CT-510 give me ? Limited apps, only Kinect-style games, karaoke, and the pitiless mocking of Xbox 360 players. The thing is, before it became expensive and dropped the gaming focus, the...

  • How to make the best of your new Twitter profile

    As you all know back in September this year Twitter brought out a new look to its users' profile pages. The new header photo brought more personalisation and branding options which definitely are worth implementing, especially if you are a business that is serious about your online social presence. Twitter announced that as of 12 December everyone will be switched over to the new look, whether you have a header image or not. Those profiles without a header image will have a default grey block in its place. So if you have a Twitter profile I suggest you get cracking...

  • Facebook, democracy part ways as voting falls far short of threshold

    Facebook is no longer a democracy. Late yesterday, the social network's billion or so users lost the ability to vote on changes on the social network. As we recently reported, Facebook is looking to make changes to the documents that govern how it is run. Among those was removing the ability for people to vote on any proposed changes. In order for Facebook users to have kept the ability to vote, 30% of them would have had to vote on the proposed changes. As it was, under 700 000 people voted. Whichever way you split it, that's not nearly enough...