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  • Startups/apps all the rage in coffee shops and bars

    These days it's difficult to go anywhere without hearing about startups and their apps. That's natural in my job but when you start hearing "normal" people talking about apps all of a sudden then that's an interesting trend to watch. Some say it is a result of the movie based on Facebook's beginning, The Social Network. This is an interesting trend to watch because it is not limited to San Francisco and its Silicon Valley neighbourhood. You see a big interest in startups and innovation occurring in many countries. London, for example, has its Silicon Roundabout, an area of London marked by...

  • Twitter making its way back to Africa

    More than two and a half years ago Twitter shut down all operations in Africa. Back then, in August of 2008, it really didn’t matter too much as the penetration rates for the service in Africa, and most of the world, were negligible. A lot has changed since then as Twitter has become a defacto communications too, and in many ways a new communications protocol, all over the globe. Now, they really hadn’t “shut down” as the service is accessible always via the internet. What they had shut down was text messaging – SMS, due to non-sustainable business relationships with...

  • Sick of Charlie Sheen? Block him

    Sick and tired of Charlie Sheen taking over your online space? Want to block him? There's an app for that. The free art and technology lab, F.A.T, released an antidote for online Charlie Sheen overload -- software that edits the celebrity out of your browser. "Tinted Sheen," crafted by Greg Leuch, the creator of "Shaved Bieber" an app that allowed users to block mentions of Justin Bieber on their browser, has done the same for Charlie Sheen. According to the F.A.T site the app can block "most Charlie Sheen related text and images from your browsing experience." The app...

  • Social media and brands — Tone is key

    It's a truism that some clients are just easier to work with than others. I have enjoyed the difficult ones just as much as the easier ones although I have arguably learned more from the harder jobs. What I have observed, which defines what category clients fall into is often to do with the way the brand talks and what they consider themselves to be like. Many are realistically aware of the outside perception of the brand, but sing from a hymnbook that just isn’t quite written for the times we live in now... let alone in ten years...

  • Facebook cheating – it’s complicated

    Facebook activity is the primary source of tension for one in five couples, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), who have released the top reasons for divorce. A report by the AAML found that postings and photographs from the social network site provide more damning evidence of infidelity or lies about activities than any other source, according to mobiledia.com. Lawyers are increasingly demanding to see clients' Facebook pages to use such evidence in divorce proceedings, suggesting that social media is becoming a way to gauge trust and truthfulness. "If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made...

  • Google-ITA deal pending due to resistance from online travel sites

    A few years ago Google and Yahoo! attempted an advertising partnership. Thomas Barnett who at the time headed the anti-trust division of the US Department of Justice, stepped in and stopped the deal. Today Barnett, now in private practice, again has Google in his sights. Barnett is serving as counsel for Expedia.com, which has joined with several other online travel websites in an effort to ground Google's proposed US$700-million acquisition of flight information company ITA Software. Expedia and other members of the FairSearch.org coalition are urging the Justice Department to block the Google-ITA deal -- just as it did in November 2008...

  • Social media is the new opposition in China

    Chinese dissidents are finding a voice through microblogs. The country may be the world’s most regulated internet content, but that has not stopped government opponents exponentially increasing support for their cause to unprecedented levels. Yu Jianrong is one example. After spending years fighting for rights of China's rural poor and even denouncing numerous officials, he took a step that expanded the reach of that campaign exponentially, opening a Twitter-like microblog account. Chinese state censors blocked Twitter in 2009, but several homegrown versions emerged with enhanced services such as photo and video embedding, and proved wildly popular amongst China's 457 million...

  • Google immortalises Madiba and Tutu in digital archives

    Google has announced a US$1.25-million grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, housed at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, that will help to preserve and give unprecedented digital access to thousands of archival documents, photographs, and audio-visual materials about the life and times of Nelson Mandela. Based in Johannesburg, the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory is committed to documenting records about the life of one of the world’s greatest statesmen. Its objective is to use his legacy to foster meaningful dialogue and debate to promote social justice. Google's grant will assist in expanding the online Mandela archive...

  • Curation: A proxy for ‘social media’?

    Curation is a hot topic and it's a topic that is being enthusiastically adopted by many in social media -- so much so that curation and social media seem to be beginning to be used interchangeably. Take a look at this post on the BBC College of Journalism blog -- Social media: what's the difference between curation and journalism? The post takes a look at a discussion between journalists on the topic of using video from Libya: "On Friday, 'mainstream' media made a bad mistake when it ran images of fighting in the Libyan town of Zawiyah - Reuters picked up...

  • Groupon SA in gets new corporate office

    Groupon SA, the recently acquired local operation of the global group buying powerhouse that was created from the of a local startup Twangoo, is coming over all grown up. Once a fledgling business running on adrenalin and strong coffee, Groupon SA has had to become an adult fast in a very young industry that’s barely out of nappies – but one that still has a responsibility to set the standards for South Africa’s social commerce space. Groupon SA has now moved out from the serviced offices it used to call home to new corporate headquarters with enough space to keep...

  • Whatever happened to the floppy disk? 8 tech blasts from the past

    Modern philosophers have suggested that the rate of technological innovation increases exponentially (see Moore's Law). That means most of us, even those under 25, remember a certain tool or product that was once vital and is now just a faded memory. Here’s a look at what happened to a few icons of the late 20th century, many of them the forerunners and trailblazers of today’s digital world. Wordperfect In the late 80s and early 90s, Wordperfect was the automatic choice when it came to word processing, especially since it worked across a variety of operating systems. Its popularity declined largely due...

  • History of South by Southwest (SXSW) [Infographic]

    The annual South by Southwest conference commences in Austin Texas on the 11th of March. This year's conference the 25th year anniversary of the festival. In order the commemorate the landmark Eloqua, a marketing automation company and SXSW sponsor, collaborated with creative agency JESS3 to produce an infographic, titled "The History of SXSW". The infographic celebrates the festival’s impact on the cultures of music, film and technology. The partnership also put together a fair amount of information as well as visualising some did-you-know facts about the festival. Some of which include: 1987: The first "South by Southwest" festival (and conference)...

  • Craigslist founder launches site to work for ‘common good’

    Craig Newmark, founder of online classifieds giant Craigslist, launched a new web-based venture Craigconnects on Tuesday to support non-profit and public service organisations. Craigconnects is intended to "help people work together for the common good using the internet," the new site said on its home page at Craigconnects.org. "Craigconnects seeks to identify, connect and protect organisations engaged in work that is truly sustainable -- socially responsible, self-perpetuating and replicable," it said. Newmark, who founded the San Francisco-based Craigslist in the 1990s and has seen the site expand to 70 countries, said Craigconnects would provide "ongoing support for effective organizations." "I'm committing 20 years...

  • Ad Dynamo: A plucky Google David-and-Goliath story?

    By far the biggest contender to the online revenue stream for advertising would be the Pay-per-click model, largely dominated by Google's famed contextual advertising network: AdSense. Companies love it because it is a risk-free way of advertising, but many traditional online publishers are weary because it generally pulls in significantly less revenue than traditional advertising. But one thing for sure: It has revolutionised the online, and even the offline, advertising model for good. So if you were considering a business in this sphere, you would be crazy to compete with the mighty Google. Right? Not so for one ambitious startup....

  • Google gets fined for copyright breach

    A Paris court has found Google guilty of four counts of copyright breach and ordered the internet search giant to pay out hundreds of thousands of euros, according to court records seen on Tuesday. The appeal court action pitted Google France and Google Inc. on one side against film producers Mondovino, a photographer and some documentary makers. The complainants argued that their works were appearing online, via the Google search engine and sometimes directly on Google Video, despite their demands that such material be withdrawn. In all four cases Google was condemned for "acts of breach of copyright". The court, which handed down...