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  • Google Zeitgeist reveals where Oscar interest really lies

    It's the moment we've all been waiting for - glitz, glam, tears and gold statues. Get your box of popcorn ready and read on as Google reveals what internet users worldwide have been searching for ahead of the prestigious Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday. Darren Aronofsy's psychological drama Black Swan comes out tops as the most popular search amongst 'Best Picture' nominees, according to Google Zeitgeist, a tool that provides insights into web search trends. The thriller is followed by the Coen brothers' True Grit, The Fighter, The Social Network and The Kings Speech. Natalie Portman, who won the Golden...

  • Internet on your TV: What’s all the fuss about?

    South African mobile operators Vodacom and MTN have just launched competing products that allow you to surf the internet from your TV. Vodacom’s Webbox costs R749 and allows users to browse the web, SMS and send emails using the simple keyboard and interface. MTN’s InternetOnTV costs R999 but includes more features, like a built-in phone, a high-speed modem and a computer mouse. Both services let you connect by inserting a prepaid SIM card into your device – you browse the web by buying "airtime" that converts to internet data. So, why are these products so revolutionary? Quite simply, connecting to...

  • Slicing and dicing with Google’s ‘Recipe View’

    Google recently added 'Recipe View' to its search menu as a way for people to easily find instructions for whipping up dishes in the kitchen. "My parents follow the art of cooking by intuition, where the right amount of each spice is measured out by gut feel, but that's never worked very well for me," Google product manager Kavi Goel said while introducing Recipe View, on Thursday. "As a math geek and computer engineer, I prefer to work with concrete numbers and instructions, including when cooking." Recipe View allows you to narrow your search results to show only recipes. This new view...

  • 2011 Budget Speech: Tracking the online conversation

    South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered his 2011 Budget Speech on Wednesday afternoon. BrandsEye, an Online Reputation Management service tracked the online conversation surrounding the speech to come up with a balanced appraisal of volumes and trending topics. It found that 97% of the conversation came from consumers – showing significant engagement by ordinary people in their personal capacity. Considering that there was no celebrity-inspired stunt driving online conversation as was the case with President Jacob Zuma’s 2011 State of the Nation Address, this is a considerable amount of unadulterated online conversation for a single event measured over two...

  • Google’s US$2.7-million fund is open for the taking

    Internet search giant Google has awarded US$2.7-million to media watchdog, the International Press Institute (IPI) as part of a new project to support digital news in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The cash injection will back the IPI News Innovation Contest, which is set to provide grants to non-profit and for-profit organisations "working on digital, including mobile, open-source technology created by journalists and/or for journalists and distributed in the public interest.” Ahead of the announcement Luke Mckend, a Google executive for Africa, spoke to memeburn in an exclusive interview. He affirmed the creation of local content will be...

  • Africa is the fastest growing Facebook continent

    Africa may not have the numbers of Facebook users that more developed continents do, but the continent is rising fast. According to Facebook-analysis site, Socialbakers.com, the number of users on the continent grew by over 27% in the last three months, and by over 50% in the last six months. Reasons for the rapid growth in Facebook use are not given but the deepening penetration of mobile devices, a growth in disposable income and the unprecedented political upheavals in the the north of the continent are all possible reasons that have contributed to this rise. The uprising in Egypt...

  • Palestinian PM reaches out to the youth via Facebook

    Activists across the Middle East are using Facebook to bring down regimes, but Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad is using the site to seek input on his new government. Using his Facebook page, where he provides his slant on political developments and news, Fayyad is asking Palestinians to describe what they want from a new government, and who they want to see in the cabinet. Fayyad and his ministers quit last week as part of a planned reshuffle that saw Fayyad immediately reappointed and tasked by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas with forming a new government. He has pledged to consult widely within...

  • Vicus: The story of a YouTube & social media quest

    On Tuesday morning, Memeburn broke the news that we had tracked down the original YouTube viral video featuring Vicus. The events that took place in the days that followed our original post have since given us insight into the competitive world of online talent search, and what viral really means in a developing country like South Africa. The earliest copy of Vicus' video on YouTube was uploaded by Caldwell Caster in May 2010, but it was only subsequent copies of Caldwell's video that went viral. In total there were four copies of Vicus' video on YouTube and the most popular...

  • Mobile marketing and mCommerce is where the money is moving

    Quality mobile marketing research has evolved well over the past two years, allowing individuals and companies to take advantage of the mobile space at an unprecedented rate. There is now a standard definition also offered by the Mobile Marketing Association. It is "a set of practices that enables organizations and businesses to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network". While half a billion people accessed mobile internet worldwide in 2009, usage is projected to double within five years. It’s a simple truth that mobile is overtaking the PC...

  • Gears of War 3 finally gets a release date

    Get your calendar out, get a pen, and mark the 20th September 2011 as the day when Gears of War 3, this year’s biggest blockbuster title, launches worldwide. Gears of War 3 is the glorious conclusion to one of the most memorable sagas in video games’ history and this is a date you certainly don’t want to miss. The story takes place eighteen months after the events of Gears of War 2 and the loss of the human stronghold of Jacinto. Marcus, Baird, Dom and company continue their fight to save human civilization, as they battle the Locust and...

  • App War: Twitter for BlackBerry vs UberSocial

    Though we all love Twitter, many still choose to tweet from other applications rather than from the site. Twitter does not fully understand what users want. This is evident from its mobile offering as Twitter's mobile site is incredibly difficult to navigate and use. It can be argued that you can’t really be a true tweeter, until you have a smartphone. Therefore, with the BlackBerry being the most popular smartphone (don't argue it, iPhone and Android users!), it's important to find the right Twitter application for BlackBerry. Until recently it could be argued that the options were pretty simple -- it...

  • Could this be the long-awaited iPad 2?

    The long wait appears to be nearly over. Apple on Wednesday sent out emailed invitations to a March 2 San Francisco press event hinting at the debut of a new version of its hot-selling iPad tablet computer. The cryptic invitations provided the date, time and location of the event and show an image of a March 2 calendar page peeling back to reveal a corner of an iPad. The message on the page reads "Come see what 2011 will be the year of." Technology analysts have taken to referring to 2011 as the "year of the tablet" with iPad dominating the...

  • Tehran Post: ‘Cautiously speaking from inside Iran’

    Being the third largest blogging nation in the world after US and China, bloggers in Iran have in so many ways aroused curiosity. They have also commanded admiration for their drive for freedom of expression in an environment that is regarded as hostile to bloggers. Iranian bloggers have been thrown in jail for years and some unfortunately never return. Iranian bloggers still persist - in spite of the threats and hostility - in airing their views, passion and love for their country, culture and language. According to Wikipedia "with more than 700 000 Persian blogs, mostly based in Iran,...

  • 3 things to remember when trying to win over an investor

    The fact that there are thousands of books on investment strategy means there are an infinite number of different investor mindsets. No two are probably exactly the same, but every investor holds to some basic fundamentals, first and foremost: How will this make money? Having sat through meetings, spent time living with serial investors and enjoyed the insights from some whose picks have been nothing short of outstanding, the best starting point is to just relax. It’s not a process. Following a set of rules for a meeting is not the best option. Learn some of the tips and apply...

  • Apple stays tight-lipped over CEO succession plans

    Days before it is due to unveil the long-awaited iPad 2, Apple stockholders have voted down a proposal that would have compelled the notoriously secretive technology company to reveal how it would handle the departure of chief executive Steve Jobs. Apple's board had recommended the proposal to be rejected at the annual meeting of shareholders at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on the grounds it would give rivals inside information. The meeting was presided over by Apple chief operating officer Timothy Cook, who has been at the company's helm since January 17 when Jobs went on an indefinite leave of...