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  • Mobile HIV service to launch on World Aids Day

    Aids kills millions of people around the world every year, many of whom don't know that they're HIV positive. Others do know their status but might not know what medications are available to them. That's why the integration of the info4africa HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) database into the YoungAfricaLive (YAL) youth focused mobile social network is potentially very important. Announced today by Praekelt Foundation and info4africa, the new feature will provide YAL users information on HIV testing sites across South Africa. The service, which goes live on World Aids Day (1 December) this year, includes what the organisations...

  • Tajikistan government officially outlaws Facebook in the country

    In an order given yesterday by the Tajikistan Office of Telecommunications, all internet service and mobile providers have blocked public access to Facebook. This is the second time that the Tajikistan government has seen fit to impose the block, having enforced a partial block of the site a few days ago and a temporary full-scale block in March. This time round, state officials are citing the need to stem the flow of “mud and slander that flows from the website”. The other reason given by Beg Zukhurov, head of the state controlled communications service, in response to Reuters was...

  • Why you’re struggling with ROI

    Touching on my first piece here at Memeburn, I wanted to share with you a little something that I have been thinking about since my first post. The measurement of return on investment (ROI) in social is one that can be measured when you begin to understand and produce ROI-related material. Sound simple enough? Well, it is. Let’s say there are 21 to 22 working days in a month. Let’s say you, as a brand, produce 42 to 44 pieces (two a day) of social media related content (not mentioning the weekend content when you pretend to have a life)....

  • Is your business contributing to the tacky manhandling of social media?

    We have been using social networking platforms for over a decade now, and even though the novelty of the concept wore off years ago, social media is still one the most powerful platforms out there. Despite reaching new heights on an almost monthly basis, there is a very real danger that Facebook accounts will start to be deactivated and Twitter profiles closed by their owners: arguably, social media is reaching an all-time low. There are over 500-million Twitter users and one-billion Facebook users; huge numbers which not only show the global nod of approval for these social platforms but which...

  • On Android 4.2 and why Google should’ve waited

    I get that people want the latest and greatest on their handsets, I am equally guilty of this, however, Google’s recent update to Android really boggles my mind. Android 4.2 was recently pushed to Nexus devices across the globe and all was well, for a day or two. Then the bugs started to emerge, and there are a bunch of them. I hate to admit that Google fluffed the release, but it did. Here's why. 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");

  • How a fake press release made everyone think Google was buying ICOA

    If you were flitting around a few tech blogs yesterday, you may have read a story about Google's planned acquisition of a wireless network provider called ICOA. The articles were based on a press release from a service called PRWeb, which said that Google would be shelling out some US$400-million for the service, which provides public areas in the US with wireless hotspots, in a bid to "further diversify its already impressive portfolio of companies". The thing is, the press release wasn't true. After the initial articles were published by a number of sites, sources from both Google and...

  • Facebook users to vote on whether they get to vote on social network changes

    More than 18 000 people have commented on Facebook's proposed changes to its governing documents. That enough to trigger a vote on the proposed changes. The vote comes into play as the electronic privacy information centre (EPIC), along with other privacy groups, has asked the social network to withdraw some its proposed changes. These include sharing its data with that of Instagram and removing the ability to vote on the proposed changes. When Facebook announced the proposed changes last week, it said it was proposing scrapping the ability for people to vote on the changes, because the voting system...

  • New Nando’s campaign lets you roast Nonhle Thema style

    If you're the kind of person whose remarks are so cutting they leave people bleeding, we have a feeling you might like the new Nando's campaign. The campaign features a video spot starring South African socialite Nonhle Thema (think Paris Hilton but with a slightly smaller fortune), renowned for her Twitter tirades (one of which landed her a lawsuit). In the video, a magic mirror appears to turn the tables on Thema explaining why the food at Nando's makes it so much cooler than her. The tabloid favourite isn't floored by the answer though and has her own, typically acerbic,...

  • Safaricom takes MPesa into microloans space

    Kenyan mobile carrier Safaricom is set to launch a new service that will let people on its MPesa platform save and borrow money from their mobile phones. The network, part owned by Vodafone, developed and launched MPesa a few years back -- revolutionizing the transfer of money in the East African country. According to Business Daily Africa, the new service requires people to open a mobile bank account called M-Shwari. Once they activate the account, they can deposit as little as one Kenyan Shilling (US$0.01) and borrow up to Sh100 000 (US$1 164.82) at a one-off interest rate of...

  • Quicket: ticketing service claims lowest commission charges in industry

    We love Quicket, the ticketing service that allows you to sell tickets for your event and promote it online. Create an event page, promote it through social channels, and collect payment for tickets online. To round things off the solution also offers venue access control through rentable ticket barcode scanners. It does all this while charging a seriously low commission of 4.9% which it claims to be the lowest in the industry. According to a recent study conducted by World Wide Worx, commissioned by Google South Africa, the country's internet economy makes up R59-billion or 2% of South Africa’s...

  • Russia’s Mail.ru to end its search partnership with Google come 2013

    It seems that Russian internet group Mail.ru plans to go it alone in the new year. Its front page search is currently partially powered by Google, but sources have confirmed to Russian site Izvestia that the service will not be renewing its contract with the search giant in February 2013. Mail.ru, which has been planning a global launch as My.com, is currently powering the search box on its home page partially with its own algorithm, and partly with the help of Google (for larger international searches). However, it seems that Mail.ru is ready to strike out on its own --...

  • RIM: 50+ carriers now have integrated billing for BlackBerry App World

    Canadian smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) says people on more than 50 mobile carriers can now buy apps from the BlackBerry App World using integrated billing. Integrated carrier billing enables people to purchase apps or digital goods on their BlackBerry smartphone, and have the purchases put directly on their regular monthly bill from their carrier. According to RIM, the service is also integrated with the BlackBerry Payment Service, which enables developers and content providers to offer in-app purchases (such as additional levels in a game), as well as supporting one-off and recurring (subscription-based) purchases, "without interrupting the customer’s...

  • Opera gives 70m Brazilians access to app store in partnership with TIM

    Opera has partnered with Brazilian mobile operator TIM to launch the TIM App Shop, which will be powered by the Opera Mobile Store. According to The Next Web, the partnership will see the TIM App Shop pre-loaded on all devices sold by the mobile carrier, which is Brazil's second largest. It is also reportedly the preferred carrier for the country's middle class. In a country where fixed internet connections are still comparatively expensive, that means its mobile devices will also be the primary means by which its customers access the internet. Given that a large portion of those customers...

  • Microsoft retail stores might open soon in UK

    If ever anyone needed more proof of the new Microsoft business plan, the Financial Times has reported that the Redmond, Washington-based company has begun talking to UK landlords to open retail outlets of its devices and appliances. Initial talks indicate that the stores could open in 2013, but that will depend on how well the US retail stores are do. Microsoft's entry into the retail market has been well documented, moving slightly away from software and more into the Apple-style business of selling hardware with its own branding. Apart from its own products like the Surface tablet, various...

  • Rise of the machines: is Google changing history?

    According to the experience of thousands of Australian students, Google might just be changing history. Back in the day it was my revisionist politics professors who took the blame for rewriting history, especially in early 1990s South Africa. At least their intentions were honourable and they were mindful of what they were doing (that’s not to say everyone agreed with them). Nowadays, however, it seems that it is possible to change history accidentally, carelessly, maliciously or just for fun. We’re told by the poster child of crowdsourced information, Wikipedia, that the system has the ability to heal itself and, to be...