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  • 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...

  • Logitech Touch Mouse review: beautiful, but not Bluetooth

    I guess I’m one of the stranger users of technology. I’m not an Apple zombie, insisting everything has to be Apple “just because” or an unwavering, die-hard Microsoft zealot based on Apple hatred. I like to use best-of-breed and what suits me, irrelevant of silly branding and ideology. So for a long while I have been using a mighty mouse (Apple) and Vaio PC laptop combination. And it worked well for about three years. Then Windows 8 came along and my wonderful little hack inexplicably just stopped working. 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");

  • Society’s dilemma: mobile versus social

    Reading the heading, you’re probably thinking: “It’s a typo, it should be ‘Mobile and Social’”. But no. What I wanted to talk about is the behaviour, the phenomenon, if you will, of the complete dependency people seem to have developed for their mobile phones, and how it affects their social behaviour. Here’s my theory: with smartphones and constant connections to the internet, people have developed an addiction to being online, digitally staying in touch and up-to-date. And it really starts to affect our social behaviour negatively. Mobile vs. Social. Think about the children Start with an experiment in your everyday life: go...

  • Droidfooding: Facebook encourages its staff to switch to Android

    Well well. It seems that Facebook has decided to take some proactive steps towards encouraging its employees to think more about Android. Recently companies like Yahoo have taken steps to ensure their staff are using the devices most users have, and Facebook seems to be following suit with a range of posters around its headquarters promoting the switch from iPhone to Android. Frankly, the move seems a bit delayed: after all, Android is the biggest smartphone OS globally and Google's most recent stats suggest there are more than half a billion Android devices worldwide. Still, it shows that Facebook is...

  • Android cements Chinese dominance: has 140m users

    China has, at present, 390-million mobile internet users among its billion-strong phone subscribers. And now new data for 2012 Q3 from Beijing-based mobile analytics startup Umeng claims that, among all those mobile users, Chinese consumers have snapped up just over 200-million iPhones and Android smartphones. Of those, 60-million are iPhones, and 140-million of them are Android-powered devices. The researchers reckon that 200-million figure has rocketed up from a mere 87-million iOS and Android phones in China in 2012 Q1. Though these stats are not based on sales figures, it’s good to have a reasonable sounding figure for only Apple’s and...

  • Twitter bids farewell to Riaan Cruywagen

    The Twitter community tonight joined together in bidding a fond farewell to veteran newscaster Riaan Cruywagen. The broadcaster, who has been on South African televisions for the last 37 years read the news for the last time, eliciting tributes from across the Twittersphere. Cruywagen has been on the country's screens since the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s first TV in 1975. In that time he has become synonymous with Afrikaans news. His longevity also ensured that he became an online personality in the same vein as David Hasselhoff and Chuck Norris. It was hardly surprising therefore that a number of...

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II sales go past 5m mark

    It's big, it's bold and it's not selling too badly either. Samsung's 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II has now gone past the five-million channel sales mark. The Korean tech giant made the announcement today , meaning that some two-million extra phablets have been sold since 2 November. It should be noted though that Samsung prefers to reveal the number of devices it's sold to retailers rather than end customers. The company expects that the Note II will sell 20-million units, almost double that of it predecessor, the Galaxy Note. The phablet that pretty much defined the genre sold 10-million units...