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  • Google’s search for quality — Analysing the recent Panda update

    Google regularly changes its algorithm and it's a smart move because all the companies that were trying to game Google -- and were succeeding in taking advantage of the some 200 rules that make up the algorithm -- get shaken out of the results. It's a quick way of finding the most egregious gamers of the system. And Google's recent release of its "Panda" algorithm update was designed to find quality sites and raise them in the search rankings. But Panda is causing a lot of pandaemonium for all types of businesses, those that played by Google's "white hat" SEO rules, and...

  • ‘The more you disclose, the more you are rewarded,’ says Boing Boing co-editor

    Privacy and social media are two of the central concerns for Cory Doctorow, the 40-year old Canadian blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing and is incredibly concerned about the forces that are lining up against privacy. He calls himself a "cyber-optimist" and spoke to Britain's The Guardian newspaper following his TedX talk, where he served up some timely and thought-provoking ideas. Future generations Doctorow wants parents to acknowledge that "your kids will have lots of unsupervised internet use." There is no way around that with the plethora of connected devices that...

  • Twitter and Ubermedia to fight it out over TweetDeck?

    Recent news on the business front of Twitter has been focused on monetisation. Twitter's monetisation seems synonymous with Ubermedia. In a Wall Street Journal report, which further inflames "low-level war" between UberMedia and Twitter, sources say that the microblogging site has been engaged in "advanced talks" to buy the popular TweetDeck platform for US$50-million. These rumours of "low-level war" between Twitter and Ubermedia -- the owner of three of the biggest third party applications, UberSocial for BlackBerry, Echofon for iPhone and Twidroyd for mobiles running the Android operating system, are not without basis. As was most famously seen...

  • Nigeria unseats South Africa as Africa’s biggest Opera Mini user

    Software company Opera, announced yesterday that Nigeria has taken the place of South Africa as the country in Africa with the highest number of users on the Opera Mini mobile browser. Africa's most populous country swept aside China and South Africa to finish March as the number five country globally for unique monthly users of Opera Mini, rising from its February position as number seven. Now only Russia, Indonesia, India and Ukraine are ahead of Nigeria in terms of unique monthly users. Until now, South Africa has maintained the top spot in Africa and consistently held sixth place globally for...

  • Watch out internet it’s the ‘Iran-ternet’!

    Though the protests failed to overthrow the regime, it was in Iran that the true might of the internet as a tool for freedom was unleashed. In Iran the powers that be, led by controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had a somewhat less than warm view towards the internet. In light of the recent uprisings fueled, in some respect, by the internet Iran has decided to take the lead and create it's own internet. In 2006 Iranians were the second most tech-savvy population in the Middle-East region behind Israel. Conversely, as early as then, Reporters Without Borders had recognised the...

  • ProPublica wins Pulitzer with digital-only series

    For the first time ever, a Pulitzer Prize was awarded for a 'digital-only' story. ProPublica, a non-profit news startup, scooped up a Pulitzer Prize on Monday, its second in two years and the first ever for a series of stories that were not also published in print. ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. The organisation claims that their work "focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with 'moral force'." Other winners of the 95th annual Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious US journalism awards, were The New York Times, which won two awards, and...

  • The official Nelson Mandela Twitter account is live

    Though no figure was given, it was widely believed that the 2009 "transfer of control" of the @cnnbrk Twitter account -- which at the time was not owned by CNN but rather a private individual was an astronomical. However, when it comes to matters concerning the worldwide revered figure Nelson Mandela, as always, things have a somewhat more heart-warming outcome. The Nelson Mandela Foundation issued a press release announcing the "Return of Nelson Mandela Twitter page". The release followed the Foundation's recent ownership of the @NelsonMandela Twitter account. The account was created in August 2008 by Richard Millington, founder...

  • Ford: Blurring the lines between mechanical and digital

    Motor vehicles are not exempt from innovation and Ford is leading the way in technological advancements by integrating SYNC, the new voice recognition and command system, with the existing MyFord Touch Dashboard interface. As the lines between the mechanical and digital blur, Ford are not just seen as motor manufacturer but rather heading in the direction of becoming a technological innovator. At IFA’s Global Press Conference in Alicante, Spain, Ford showcased a new dashboard console entering the market called the Ford SYNC set to be released in Europe in 2012. The mission Ford’s ambition is to leverage its global manufacturing and technological capabilities...

  • 7 reasons people opt out of Facebook

    Not being on Facebook in 2011 has become a bit like not having a cellphone in 2001. In the early noughties there were a few renegade members of the old-school who got sick of being constantly available and threw their Nokias in the river. Today we have those who delete their Facebook accounts or refuse to have one at all. And I’m not talking about the over-40s, but Millenials who’ve grown up online. In this super-connected age, why do they do it? Privacy is a priority This is an ongoing debate – how private is Facebook? As a content manager, I...

  • Six Facebook privacy tools to protect you

    Don't get me wrong.... growth continued non-stop in 2010, but last year was not a good one for Facebook. Everyone, from Hollywood, privacy advocates to US Senators was on its case for something or other. However, the biggest issue by far was privacy. As Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, now infamously declared during an interview, privacy is no longer a "social norm." This is an attitude that most users of Facebook -- for whom privacy is still a social norm -- have come to know at the various turns when Facebook has amended its privacy policies with no proper warning to...

  • Water and flow: The focus of TEDx Cape Town

    South Africa may have a digital divide, but more importantly, it has a cognitive divide. Too many of us grow up in households where great ideas are not discussed and we never really learn to think deeply about the world. These were the sobering words of Patrick Kayton, co-founder of Cognician, at TEDxCape Town on Saturday 16 April. Thinking is hard work, and it requires time, context and concepts. The more quality concepts we are exposed to and engage with, the more ammo we have in our minds to mash up new ideas. And that, essentially, is the purpose of...

  • Kickstart your startup with Google and Silicon Cape

    How often have you had a great idea that you were convinced could become a major hit, if only you had a team to help you realise it? Or perhaps you're a great developer waiting for just the right project to work on that will maximise your talents? If either of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then you need to make sure you're at the Ideas & Builders event, hosted by Silicon Cape and the Google Umbono team. The Ideas and Builders Event takes place on Wednesday 20th April, 2011, and runs from 6:30PM to 9:30 PM. Umbono is...

  • Chinese social network IPO hopes to raise $583-million

    China's most popular social network Renren filed for an initial public offering in the United States on Friday in the hopes of raising as much as US$583-million. Renren, in papers filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said it plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RENN. It said it will issue 53.1-million American Depositary Shares priced between US$9 and US$11 a share. In the papers filed with the SEC, Renren said it had 117-million activated users as of March 31 and has been adding approximately two million new users a month over the past...

  • Net Prophet offers mentorship opportunity to budding tech startups

    Net Prophet, South Africa's technology startup event, is offering promising technology start-up ventures the opportunity to receive three free days of personal hands-on mentoring and coaching at the Startup Acceleration Workshop, which takes place prior to the conference being held on 12 May, in Cape Town. Facilitated by world-renowned senior Seedcamp Mentor and Angel investor, Permjot Valia, and backed by Old Mutual, the mentoring workshop aims to help South African start-ups to fast-track their businesses towards commercial success, and compete in the international arena. Permjot, is the founder and CEO of Help with Sales Ltd. and has been an active business...

  • The IFA global press conference 2011

    The IFA Global Press Conference takes place this weekend in Alicante, Spain. The conference is a showcase of some of the top electronic brands from around the world and the forthcoming innovations they intend to launch. Set in tranquil surroundings, brand leaders have been brought under one roof to present flagship technology to the press -- which includes delegates from all around the world. The event began with introductions by IFA’s Executive Director, Jens Heithecker outlining IFA's goal to be the leaders in technology and innovation. The manner in which IFA is going about this is by providing a...