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  • Facebook hopes to offer better mobile experience with Snaptu buy

    Facebook confirmed on Monday that it is buying Snaptu a startup that specialises in software that connects any type of mobile phone to leading online social networks and other sites. The London-based Snaptu was founded in 2007 and has offices in Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley. According to the startup its goal is to provide "useful and innovative services to the 95 percent of mobile users that don’t have access to advanced smart phones." Something it hopes to do more of with the aid of Facebook. The sale to the social network giant, which is rumoured to be somewhere between...

  • 8 venture capital sources for your startup

    Raising funds in emerging markets may not be a walk in the park, but the process has become easier. Though some have complained the current economic environment is not favourable to startups, the current mindset is favourable to good ideas - no matter where they are. For startups with global vision based in emerging markets, here are eight sources of capital to consider. Venture Partners The US-based Venture Partners (USVP) has helped build great companies in the last three decades. Since its inception in 1981, USVP has invested more than US$2.7-billion in about 450 companies. After the investment the company’s...

  • Our lives are digital curation tools

    As our lives become increasingly digital curation tools can provide a good way to document our activities, capturing a snapshot of key events and moments. For example, the South by South West Interactive conference that took place in Austin, Texas attracted a lot of people, sharing lots of ideas, conversations, product launches, and more. Take at look at MobyNow's real-time aggregation of all the social media at SXSW and you'll see what I mean, the masses of tweets, photos, etc. And that's what aggregation is good at -- finding everything that's relevant or related is easy. But aggregation isn't that great at...

  • Avusa joins the daily deals game with Zappon

    South Africa's group buying market adds another contestant with the launch of Zappon.co.za, just two and a half months after project initiation. The startup, owned by South African media company Avusa Media, joins many other Groupon like deals sites in the country. The only difference is it comes into to the game with the backing of Avusa's brands. “The daily deal space is on the cusp of maturing in South Africa,” says Zappon creator and General Manager of Avusa Media LIVE, Elan Lohmann. “Other players - both local and international entrants - have been working to create the...

  • Apple feels pressure to remove ‘gay cure’ app from iTunes

    Apple is facing increasing pressure to remove a so-called "gay cure" application from its iTunes shop for software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. More than 110 000 people had electronically signed an online petition at a change.org website calling for Apple to remove the Exodus International application from iTunes. Exodus, a Florida-based Christian group that advocates freeing oneself from homosexuality through religion, has publicly condemned the petition as an assault on free speech and an improper spin on the application's purpose. On its site it claims that "Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by...

  • Hoaxes and revolutions: Twitter’s fifth anniversary

    Today marks the fifth anniversary of the very first Twitter update by Jack Dorsey (@Jack), co-founder of the mircologging site. On the 21st of March 2006, that first tweet went out sending our world into a digital spiral consisting of 140 characters thought patterns. Twitter was born. The tweet that began it all simply read: "inviting coworkers." With its present valuation said to be approaching US$10-billion, the Twitter of 2006 is perhaps a touch different from the Twitter of 2011. I am sure it's much more than what Dorsey and fellow creators saw then. Dorsey posted conversation between himself...

  • Cloud computing for disaster prone areas

    With the very real threat of a nuclear meltdown following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the 11 March, the focus of the world shifts to Japan as the industrial giant braces itself for its worst disaster in history. From an economic perspective, stabilisation will depend on the recovery process and, if not implemented soon enough, could impede the country's future growth. Considering that Japan houses some of the world's largest entities in technology and is the third largest national economy with a labour force of around 66-million workers, recovery strategies are, of course, already in place. Most of Japan's cloud computing data centers...

  • Meme list: From Rebecca Black to Casey Heynes parodies

    It's been a fun week for memes with budding pop stars sensationalising the inner workings of the teenage mind on a Friday, to a bullied schoolkid unleashing a motherload of fury against his assailant with some signature Streetfighter moves, to blocking Charlie Sheen - because frankly, we've had enough of Charlie Sheen, tiger blood or not.  Here's our list of the top 5: Rebecca Black - Friday Amateur YouTube musician, Rebecca Black soared to fame for her music video "Friday". The video clip, originally posted on YouTube in February 2011, quickly gained notoriety last week after popular blog The Daily What posted the video on...

  • SXSW breakthrough of 2011? Group messaging services

    Every year sees one or two companies come away from the annual South By Southwest tech-fest in Austin, Texas knowing that they are on their way to immortality. In 2009, it was the turn of Twitter and in 2010 it was Foursquare and Gowalla. This year is a little different but it seems that the title (King of SXSW) is being given to the concept of group messaging and the various companies providing that service. Group messaging is an effective way of for groups of friends to chat while on the move, and it provides a service that established...

  • Groupon SA CEO talks group buying

    Like a real tech entrepreneur, Wayne Gosling rushes into Vida apologising for being late. It’s only a few minutes after 2pm. He plunks himself down, looks at me as says "can I get you another coffee?". The lunch time rush is just dissipating as we settle in for "our chat" as the Groupon South Africa CEO refers to it. Gosling is a little frazzled. Two mobile phones in hand, both ringing nonstop, "I will just turn these off," he says. "Things are mad right now." Of course. Groupon SA is the newly formed branch of the group buying giant...

  • The ‘Big Five’ social media tips for property professionals

    With social media affecting the way that we talk, think and do business these days, property professionals are looking to include this powerful tool in their marketing strategies. But how do you turn the theory into a reality that will have an impact on your business? The key to social media is to understand that this way of interacting is fast becoming a part of daily life. Social media is not a novelty or a gimmick – it's an extension of how and why people interact with each other. When you're planning your digital strategy this is the most...

  • Facebook Places now live in South Africa

    Finally, after two months, Facebook Places in available in South Africa. Facebook places, just like Foursquare is about sharing your location with your friends as well as seeing where your friends are. The only difference between Facebook Places and Foursquare is that it is within Facebook. Before you can begin sharing your location with your friends, the social networking site requires your location. Just open your browser and click on to touch.facebook.com or use the Facebook app for your smartphone, and you'll see a tab under "Inbox" called "Places." Once you click on Places you will see recent check-ins...

  • China social networks: Expat foreigners, cool girls and hipsters

    Facebook holds sway as the default social network in many parts of the world across all internet demographics. In China, where Facebook is blocked, a handful of homegrown social networks attract segmented audiences, ranging from upmarket urban youth to university students and migrant workers. While the world’s big focus these days is on Renren preparing to go public, these other networks deserve a look: Douban -- a more specialised social networking site, attracts art students and those passionate about books, cinema, culture, and music. Users connect according to their interests and often hold offline activities, such as trips to local art...

  • Wifi Trip: 5 cities, free wifi spots

    Travel in emerging markets is rising rapidly. Business men and women are constantly chasing the next big thing in these markets. The need for quick and easy internet access is a growing demand. You need to know how to get to your hotel, how to get around the city. You need to find a foreign exchange and figure out why your credit card isn't work when you were promised it would. Having internet access could fix all these problems. In our Wifi Trip series, we are tracking down some of the best wifi spots around the globe and here...

  • New York Times unveils paywall

    The New York Times plans to begin charging for full access to its website is on the way. This move will be closely watched by other newspapers looking to boost online revenue. The Times will offer readers 20 free articles a month at NYTimes.com before they will be asked to sign on to one of three digital subscription plans that cost from US$15 to US$35 a month. Arthur Sulzberger, the Times publisher, announced the long-awaited move to a digital subscription model in a letter to readers published at NYTimes.com, the top US newspaper site with more than 30 million unique visitors...