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  • SA hackers claim world first with tweeting hamster

    This is kind of cute. It's a hamster. That tweets. Sort of. Unfortunately, no one's managed to teach a hamster to type out tweets on a recycled iPhone. What they have done though is something equally geeky. A team of hackers rigged the hamster cage with sensors (including heat, movement, light, vibration and pressure pads) that tweeted every movement of the cage's inhabitant -- a dwarf hamster called Squeaks. The cage is therefore able to detect what Squeaks is doing and send out a tweet from a pre-selected list -- “stuffing his hamster pouches at the food bin” for instance....

  • The Pope gets tweeting, but don’t expect any fancy food pics

    So the Pope sends out a tweet...no it's not the start of a joke. It's what's going to happen come 12 December. The Vatican today announced that Pope Benedict will start tweeting a few days from now, using the handle @pontifex. The handle is a good one. It means ‘pope’ and it also means ‘bridge builder’,” said Greg Burke, senior media advisor to the Vatican. “The pope wants to reach out to everyone,” he added. That, along with the Catholic church's diverse membership might go some way to explaining why the handle will tweet out Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German,...

  • WCIT-12: the future of the internet could be decided by a conference

    Last week we reported on the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and some of the proposed modifications that they intend to discuss. The negotiations which aim to take a fresh look at an old treaty drawn up before the internet even existed, have started today behind closed doors in Dubai. On the official Google Blog, internet pioneer, Vint Cerf, has voiced his concern and disapproval of these negotiations, as has PublicKnowledge.org, stating that the ITU is too government focussed. "Our protocols were designed to make the networks of the Internet non-proprietary and...

  • 10 practical must-do SEO tips for the non-SEO guru

    Search Engine Optimisers (SEO’s) know that search engines have a very complicated scientific algorithm that they use in order to determine which web pages will come up first on the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages). Google for instance, has over 250 different variables (each holding a different weight) that it uses to determine which pages should rank for certain search queries. As an SEO Trainer, I often get asked what the Google Algorithm (Formula) is. While I would love to be able to say that I know exactly what that formula is, this is Google’s secret sauce which is...

  • Windows 8: an awkward transition

    Windows 8 is fantastic. The Metro interface is by far the best change I’ve seen in an operating system. It feels current and really bridges the gap between desktop and mobile computing. What it’s really missing are the Metro versions of proprietary software packages. In my last article I noted how amazing using the Metro interface was and what a big change it is from desktop view. I even thought that it was better to just forget everything you knew about computers and embrace the new tiled layout. 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");

  • Social networks: Macau loves Facebook, Estonia into diversity

    People in the tiny Asian nation of Macau love Facebook. No seriously, around 90% of them check the social network on their phone at least once a month. That's according to the latest State of Mobile report from mobile web browser Opera Mini. This particular report focuses on social media and Macau's addiction to Facebook isn't the only surprising finding. Estonia for instance isn't exactly picky when it comes to the social networks it frequents. The tech-savvy Eastern European country has a high representation of both Facebook and Twitter, as well as more regional networks such as Odnoklassniki and...

  • WhatBook? FaceApp? Rumours fly that Facebook wants to buy WhatsApp

    WhatsApp, the multiplatform messaging app that has taken the world by storm, has been in talks with Facebook, and when Facebook is in talks with a company the likely outcome is that it wants to buy. Whether such a move would be good or bad is debatable. After its own messaging app was a bit of a flop, an acquisition like this would give Facebook a dominating platform. But is it a good or bad idea? That's very debatable. It would certainly give Zuckerberg's baby a massive boost (does it still need more?) as it will then have a very...

  • By giving a voice to Hamas, Twitter is enabling the enemy says congressman

    It seems Twitter's ability to give the voiceless a voice is a becoming a real problem and could land in it some trouble if a few Republicans have their way, reports the New York Times. Texas Congressman Ted Poe, along with six unnamed Republicans, has sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) demanding that Twitter ban tweet from Hamas and Hezbollah, as they are on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. "Allowing foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling the enemy," Poe said in his email. "Failure to block access arms them...

  • China’s Taobao and Tmall hit $158bn in sales for 2012 so far

    China’s largest ecommerce company Alibaba has just announced that two of its sites, Taobao and Tmall, have collectively hit RMB 1-trillion (US$159.5-billion) in sales for the whole of 2012. Well, from January to the end of November. That huge figure has been hit one month before the end of the year, reached on the night of November 30th. When we heard Alibaba CEO and founder Jack Ma talk in September of last year at the company’s annual conference, he said he was aiming for “one trillion RMB in transactions” in China in 2012 on Tmall and Taobao. So he’s now...

  • John McAfee captured…or not?

    Anti-virus pioneer and murder suspect John McAfee has been captured...or he's still on the run. It depends which news source you believe really. McAfee is the lead suspect in the murder of his neighbour Gregory Faull. The American retiree was found floating in his pool with a gun shot wound to the back of his head. The software billionaire has since been on the run, claiming to have hidden in sand with a box over his head while police searched his property on the island of Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize. At the time he said there was...

  • 100 SA sites hacked by ‘Moroccan Ghosts’

    Some 100 South African websites have been hacked, allegedly in retaliation to the country's support for the Algerian-funded Polisario Front. The organisation is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco. Since 1979, the Polisario Front has been recognized by the United Nations as the representative of the people of Western Sahara. The Moroccan hackers defaced the sites in question, leaving the message: Moroccan Ghosts.. Website Hacked!! Coz You Support The Algerian Front of Polisario.. Dedicated To All Moroccans.. According to specialist website Hackread, today is the second in a row that the...

  • Microsoft reportedly set to bake music player into SkyDrive

    Google's done it, so has Apple and Amazon. Hell it even looks like BlackBerry's getting in on the action. Now Microsoft looks set to bake a music player into SkyDrive. According to Liveside, the Redmond-based tech giant is close to putting a music player into SkyDrive, meaning that it is likely gearing up to release a cloud-based music locker. What this boils down to is that people will able to play music stored on SkyDrive from any browser or app that integrated with the cloud-storage service. As PC Mag points out however, it's unclear just how deeply (if at all)...

  • Big money: the 22 richest people in tech

    If, like Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy, you "wanna be a billionaire so frikkin' bad" then it looks like tech is still a good way to go. Even your company's IPO flops, as was the case with Facebook, you can still end up being one of the richest people on the planet. Yup, despite losing around USUS$6.8-billion since January Mark Zuckerberg is still in the top 100 of the world's 200 richest people. In fact, out of the 200 people on Bloomberg Markets’ inaugural rich list, 22 made their fortunes from technology. Some are mainstays of rich lists like...

  • Ethical robots and forced piracy: top tech stories you have to read

    Can machines have morals? Should anyone own the internet? Is the consumer software space all but saturated? Are outdated regulations actually making it inconvenient to not be a pirate? Yep, it's time for another round up of some of the top tech stories we've found on the web. Moral machines Machine ethics. Well, there's something you probably haven't thought about since I, Robot. But with the rapid advancements in technology (self-driving cars were part of sci-fi stories once -- now they're driving around California) it's becoming an interesting topic: how do you tell a machine what action to take in complicated...

  • Connected tech communities and competitive advantage: the Kenyan way

    In the last couple weeks I’ve had the opportunity to be in Nigeria (Maker Faire Africa), followed by South Africa (AfricaCom). Along with Kenya, these countries represent the biggest technology countries on the continent. They are the regional tech hub cities at this point in Africa. In both places I was struck by how different each country is, and the challenges and opportunities that arise due to the tech community’s connectedness, regulatory stance and local entrepreneurship culture. Some Theories South Africa has so much infrastructure, you’re immediately struck by how money isn’t an issue there. The lesson I took away from the...