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  • Everyone is missing a major point about Google+ communities

    Now with over 135-million active users (and 500-million plus members overall) Google+ is no longer a “Ghost Town” but rather a 2013 must have. Today Google launched "Communities" (in essence, places to chat about your passions with other like-minded obsessives) and further hit home that value and relevance are the main plays for Google+ and not (at least for now) in-feed ads etc. In summary: Four types of communities are available: two public, two private. Open to all and all can post Open to all and only moderators post (but all can still comment/view Members only group (discoverable...

  • World of Avatar cuts funding to Boom.fm amid Mxit layoffs [Update]

    Online social music startup Boom.fm is set to close down after its funding was withdrawn by investment incubator hybrid World of Avatar. In an email, which was also posted on the service's site, the company said it couldn't cover its operating costs with its current revenue streams. In the mail, the company says it remains dedicated to the South African music industry: The Boom.fm team is incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the past year. We have been true to our intention of growing and supporting the success of the local music industry. The caliber of people we...

  • 6 top tips for using digital to foster extreme collaboration in your workplace

    You might recall reading about Atos, a major European tech player, whose CEO Thierry Breton rolled out an 18 month plan to ban internal email. It sounded slightly mad, but it's working -- in part because it forces people to work more closely together and explore less static forms of communication. Here's the thing, Breton could come to be seen as a leading figure for a new way of organising employees and projects. Forget employee of the month, we're entering the era of team of the month and, if you do it right, it'll never be the same team...

  • Far Cry 3 review: a holiday from hell

    Over the boom-boom of M.I.A.’s Paper Planes, Far Cry 3 opens in the cheesiest way possible. It begins with a group of Santa Monica rich kids exploring the coastline of a South Pacific island. They cheer the trust funds that brought them to Rook Island, then swim with its oceanic wildlife and skydive from a plane. Rook Island is vast and untamed -- and seemingly deserted. Yet in a flash the camera pulls back to reveal the glinting eyes of a tattooed, devilish visage with a cellphone pressed to your face. 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");

  • China’s internet: Tencent rules the roost

    IDG Capital Partners released an interesting white paper on the Chinese internet back in October. As a whole, it’s a little fragmented in its content, but there are a few interesting nuggets of information in there which we thought were worth sharing -- even though we might be late to this party. The first is a sort of matrix presenting China’s various social networks, classifying them according to relationship type (do they connect real-life friends, or strangers?) and the user’s needs. What’s most interesting here I think is Tencent’s (HKG:0700) properties, including old reliable QQ instant messenger, which spans both...

  • WAYN: social travel platform partners with India media group in multi-million dollar deal

    Travel and lifestyle social media platform WAYN (Where are you now), has announced a multi-million dollar deal with India Today Group (ITG), a large Indian media conglomerate. WAYN claims to be the largest platform of its kind with over 21 million members, while ITG claims to engage with nearly 100-million “thinking Indians” regularly through its properties across genres including 38 magazines, four television channels, seven Radio Stations, 12 Websites and 56 Apps across mobile and tablets. Under the terms of the deal, WAYN will create a co-branded portal with Travel Plus, the travel arm of ITG and provide advertising...

  • TV: the left behind technology that Tim Cook wants to change

    Television has been left behind, eclipsed by mobile and tablet technologies. Sure you get great television sets with fantastic screens yada blah etc., but what do you do with a television? You switch it on and later you switch it off. Not so anymore, if Apple CEO Tim Cook has anything to do with it. Lately the humble TV set has seen some changes happening. Similar to smartphones and tablets, TV is becoming more connected and reaching into the online social world. Apple has been planning to go head-to-head with other competitors like Sony, Samsung and LG in bringing a...

  • Google scraps free Apps, changes focus to subscriptions

    If your business uses Google Apps, listen up. The internet giant will no longer be offering a free version of the service as it looks to switch focus to subscriptions. In an official blog post, Google Apps director of product management Clay Bavor says that the decision because having separate free and paid-for version wasn't really working for anyone. "Google Apps started with the simple idea that Gmail could help businesses and schools work better together without the hassles of managing software and servers." he says. After a while it expanded to include a premium version but kept the...

  • Archbishop Tutu petitions online for Nobel Peace Prize winner’s freedom

    Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu is campaigning for the release of fellow laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is currently under arrest by the Chinese government. The online petition is addressed to Chinese leader Xi Jinping and asks for the immediate release of the intellectual and democracy activist, who is also the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It has received over 200 000 signatures since going live earlier this week. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 after helping write Charter 08. The Charter is a manifesto released on 10 December 2008 to coincide...

  • Meet the new YouTube: cleaner, original channels front and centre

    You may notice something a little bit different when you go on to YouTube for your daily dose of cat videos today. The world's largest video-sharing network has rolled out a major redesign which places original channels front and centre. In an official blog post, the company says that the aim of the redesign is toy help people "find the channels love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe". The changes mean that the video is now right at the top of the page and the subscribe button, social actions and video information are all combined directly below the player. As The Verge notes,...

  • iPhone 5 launches across Asia today, including Samsung base South Korea

    Apple has dived into the Christmas holiday with aplomb as the iPhone 5 goes on sale today in Asia, three months after its first release. This represents Apple's biggest roll-our ever, covering more than 30 countries. Showing a no-holds-barred approach, the iPhone 5 also goes on sale in South Korea, home of its main rival Samsung. According to a report by Chosun Ilbo, operators SK Telecom and KT had huge events to advertise the Cupertino march into the country, with KT receiving 250 000 pre-orders. "Online pre-orders ended just two hours after we received reservations on December 1, as...

  • WordPress founder Mullenweg on openness and the mobile future [LeWeb]

    Matt Mullenweg has never been an advocate for controlled systems. This is, after all, the man who founded the download-and-code-it-yourself giant WordPress, and wished the iPhone was more Android-like in its openness. But when he spoke at LeWeb today Mullenweg, also shared his opinion freely, on everything from Instagram and Twitter's decision to disconnect to the growth potential of mobile devices. Speaking to GigaOm's Om Malik, Mullenweg, who is also the founder of Automattic (the company which provides a range of paid-for services to support the WordPress ecosystem), discussed why the opensource movement is so important and why...

  • Minecraft: innovation in the blurry space between pixels and reality

    I tend to believe that while innovation happens in times of crises, it happens best when having fun. A great example of this is the fun and interesting ways developers are using sandbox game Minecraft. These guys aren't just messing about, their projects allow for more potential innovation in areas far beyond the scope of the game. When you hear Minecraft you probably think of a digital recreation of Legos. It has evolved from a brick-building, survival and exploration game using colorful pixels on your PC, Xbox or smart device over the one year or so since its...

  • What’s the real value of a Facebook Like?

    In the world of social media, and with self-proclaimed experts on it popping up everywhere (some actually full of experience, some full of… something), it’s interesting to see how people act and how they value a Facebook Like. My friends I have a few friends, acquaintances, web people and other on Facebook -- without a doubt the most diverse contact group I have in any forum. People I played in a band with in my teens, to people I’ve set next to on a plane; people I’ve gotten to know through working with the web to friends who have no idea...

  • SA broadband doubles in two years as mobile data costs plummet

    In any emerging market country, getting people online is vital. Studies by the likes of Ericsson have concluded that for every 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration GDP increases by one percent. That's why news that broadband access in South African has more than doubled in the past two years should give hope to people in that country. According to a new report from tech research company World Wide Worx, access to broadband has accelerated on the back of falling mobile data costs and accelerated network roll out. The report shows that the number of broadband subscriptions grew from...