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  • Cars get connected with onboard internet access

    A few months ago we published a story about innovations in the world of automobile from the North America International Auto show. We also explore Ford's latest innovation, MyFord Touch and the introduction of fifth screens for cars. It seems the world of automobile is expanding more in terms connectivity. More cars are hitting the information superhighway thanks to new automotive WiFi technology that allows vehicles to become rolling "hot spots." Analysts say consumers are warming to the notion of more connectivity in their cars, with "apps" for information and entertainment just as they have with their smartphones or tablet...

  • Understanding Color a little better

    It's a shame that the US$41-million funding of Color Labs has dominated the news about Color, a radically different type of mobile app, because that's what's interesting. Color shares photos with everyone around you that has the app on their iPhone or Android device. There are no privacy settings and you don't need to "friend" or "follow" anyone -- it automatically creates an ad hoc social network within 50 yards of your location. It's a fascinating concept and it will be interesting to see just how much people want to connect with strangers, where often the only thing they have in...

  • Giving a voice to the turmoil in the Middle East via Twitter

    For the nearly 40 000 followers of his Twitter feed, Andy Carvin is providing a unique window into the turmoil in the Middle East. For a media industry facing its own ferment, Carvin, who works online for National Public Radio (NPR), is offering a glimpse into journalism's future, using the Web to report the historic events in a fresh and innovative way. The Washington-based Carvin has been glued to his desktop at work and his laptop at home since late December, firing off tweets first on the protests in Tunisia and continuing through Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. Carvin's Twitter...

  • 5 steps ensuring social media serves your business

    Social media is a vital part of any online marketing campaign. It is an important fact that marketers need to understand. However, getting to a point where your business has successful integrated this reality may prove a little tricky. Here are five steps to ensuring social media is on your side in the marketing game. Define your target It may seem that there is one objective – marketing. The bigger picture is a little more complex. Research if your targeted outcome has the SEO ranking to create awareness of your brand, PR or traffic. The social media trend is...

  • China goes crazy for group buying

    Liu Wen, following the trends of the millions of like-minded Chinese, is completely fascinated by group buying, which has completely overwhelmed eCommerce in a country where getting the best possible discount is virtually a national pastime. "My first experience was buying a beauty salon coupon. I just wanted to try it and it was great value," the 24-year-old children's chess teacher said. "Ever since, I've gotten in the habit of using it to buy meals every time I go to a restaurant," she said. In group buying, websites offer goods or services at a special low price, but on the condition that...

  • YouTube begot the Rebecca Blacks, we entertained the mediocrity

    YouTube is a great medium. It has allowed many of us to chase dreams that once seemed lost and explore new aspects of ourselves. The video sharing site's tagline is "broadcast yourself" -- but let's face it: not everything needs a public platform. Rebecca Black's song certainly didn't need one. Neither did the countless other terrible videos that just haven't been "lucky" enough to get hated into a trending topic. Rebecca Black is not the problem nor is her monotone atrocity of a song (maybe the song is a little) but it is more of a reflection on our...

  • Mobile threats double in number over past year

    Kaspersky Lab data shows that the number of malicious programs targeting mobile devices has more than doubled between August 2009 and December 2010. In 2010, over 65% more new threats targeting mobile devices were detected than in the previous year; and over 1 000 variants from 153 different families of mobile threats were included in Kaspersky Lab’s databases by the end of 2010. As noted by Denis Maslennikov, a Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab and author of Mobile Malware Evolution, “The list of platforms targeted by malicious programs expanded considerably in 2010.” The growing popularity of the Android platform has...

  • iPad 2 now on sale in 25 countries

    Apple has announced that the eagerly-awaited iPad 2 will go on sale Friday at 16:00 GMT in 25 countries in Europe, Oceania and the Americas, two weeks after its official launch in the US. In Paris, some 150 people had already been queued up for hours by midday in front of Apple's store in the historic Opera district. First unveiled on March 2 by Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs, the new tablet has been on sale in 236 US stores since March 11. A third thinner and nearly 15 percent lighter than its first-generation predecessor, the iPad 2 is also equipped with...

  • The state of mobile marketing [Infographic]

    Everyone has a mobile phone and with smartphones are on the rise, people are spending more time on their mobiles. Mobile internet usage is said to overtake desktop usage by 2015. Companies are creating new user friendly mobile platforms and marketing strategies to accommodate the growing number of users. But what are people actually doing on their mobile phones? Facebook? Twitter? Did you know that 91% of people use mobile internet for socialising? And that 86% of those access mobile internet while watching television? The amount of time people spend on their mobiles and how they use it is...

  • Baidu may face potential court action

    Baidu's negotiations attempts to resolve the copyright dispute between the Chinese search engine giant and Chinese writers have broken down with the company now facing potential court action, according to state media reports on Friday. More than 40 writers including top-selling author Han Han last week signed a letter branding Baidu a "corrupt thief company" for providing their works as free downloads on its online library Baidu Wenku without their permission. Representatives of the writers said Thursday that talks with Baidu had collapsed after the firm rejected all their requests including a public apology and compensation for losses, the state-run China...

  • 03:59 WebFest launch

    The much anticipated launch of 03:59 WebFest online film festival has arrived. It is an online film festival with significant prizes to the value of ZARR140 000 and an opportunity to challenge your filmmaking creativity within the structure of the festival requirements. The most important requirement is the film length, which must be exactly 03min 59secs for all films submitted, including titles and credits. To ensure that only original productions are submitted all films must reference the Compulsory Scripted Inclusion (CSI) in some way. "For 2011 the CSI is TANK. Any interpretation and/or reference of that word – be...

  • Israeli high-tech strives for maturity

    After a few down years, Israeli high-tech is thriving again, by some accounts comprising 40 percent of Israel’s exports.  With a powerful combination of military, medical and clean energy R and D, Israel’s “Silicon Wadi” is one of the world’s most vital centers for startups and mid-size tech companies. But Israel’s instability injects a host of challenges into the industry, forcing an urgency unknown in more peaceful regions.  The result that most founders prefer to sell their brainchildren to big Western giants instead of growing them to maturity in Israel. “Israelis act before they plan because you can never know what...

  • Six critical elements you need to consider for your newsletter

    Compiling an email newsletter that is eye-catching, succinct and relevant to your subscriber is no easy feat. In fact, it’s a fine art that likely involves many hours of champion/challenger testing, A/B split testing, subscriber surveys and a host of other tactics to help ensure successful inbox delivery. Although somewhat time consuming, these are processes that you absolutely have to implement if you’re serious about optimizing your email newsletter. Aside from those, we’ve looked at a few other critical elements that you need to keep at the forefront of your mind when developing your campaign. If you can...

  • Facebook Questions: A recommendation tool

    Last year after much speculation and leaked screenshots Facebook launched a product called Questions. The product was a Question and Answer service that allowed users to poll all of Facebook. The motivation behind it was fairly straightforward -- users were already using their status updates as polls, so why not give them a more efficient way to do it. Back then it was seen taking on Q and A sites such as Yahoo Answers and Quora with Facebook's then 500-million users. Interestingly Quora was founded by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo and engineer/manager Charlie Cheever. Needless to say, Questions...

  • Are the days of curation numbered?

    It's clear that the interest of internet users can be very fickle indeed. Sites and services can have sudden boosts of popularity and then pretty much disappear from view. I'm thinking of Quora as one example. But also Digg, MySpace and many others... And whenever there is a burst of hype around a topic it seems to be a precursor to a shortened life span. Curation has recently emerged as a hot topic so does that mean it's days are numbered? Take a look at this Google Trends graph: You can see that interest in the topic was fairly level for much of last...