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French have Google over a barrel

French have Google over a barrel

After years of threats and lawsuits, the French publishing industry has essentially blackmailed Google into paying for linking to its websites. Of course, Google isn’t spinning it that way. According to chairman Eric Schmidt, the €60m is for a “digital publishing innovation fund to help support

How Africa can reap the dividend

How Africa can reap the dividend

Digital divide, digital dividend, digital yadi-yadah. You would be forgiven if the term “digital dividend” didn’t immediately resonate with you given the proliferation of all things “digital” in recent years. A quick reminder then. The digital dividend refers to the

When brands brawl

When brands brawl

Cell C chief commercial officer Jose Dos Santos expressed frustration at a media conference on Monday that the operator, South Africa’s third-largest by subscriber numbers after Vodacom and MTN, is not allowed to engage in direct comparative advertising. Dos Santos said the

Microsoft struggles on a slippery Surface

Microsoft struggles on a slippery Surface

If you launched a brand new product just before Christmas and then sold around 700 000 units, you’d be pretty pleased. But if your company was Microsoft, and the product was the Surface tablet, those numbers would look a bit pitiful. But wait a minute

With smartphones, size matters

With smartphones, size matters

Bigger is better. That was the message from smartphone manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January. It is a trend that will no doubt be on display again in late February at Mobile World Congress, the industry’s biggest annual trade event, held each year in Barcelona. Growing

BB10 is not RIM’s salvation

BB10 is not RIM’s salvation

Two major factors have worked against Canada’s Research in Motion (RIM) in the past two years: companies are no longer buying the majority of smartphones sold today, and individuals overwhelmingly choose devices other than BlackBerrys when they make buying decisions. Both of these have

Telkom must cut where it hurts

Telkom must cut where it hurts

There’s no denying that cutting the cost to communicate is good for South Africa. Cheaper and more ubiquitous communications have a direct and measurable economic impact. This is one of the reasons government wants to have every South African online by the end of the decade. Part of government’s

This generation’s rock ‘n roll

This generation’s rock ‘n roll

When was the last time you heard people, young or old, arguing the merits of different rock bands? I’m guessing it’s been a while. But what about a tiff about their choice of mobile phone? In the last five years, I’ve heard too many to count. Does that make personal technology the rock ‘n roll of this century? The

It’s the wristwatch, just reinvented

It’s the wristwatch, just reinvented

A hundred years after being popularised, the humble wristwatch is being reinvented for the smartphone era. Several exciting initiatives, including Pebble, a crowd-funded project that has raised more than US$10m, are set to emerge this year. Imagine lounging on

Latest drama at DOC no surprise

Latest drama at DOC no surprise

Communications department director-general Rosey Sekese has been placed on “special leave” by minister Dina Pule, apparently after having misled parliament’s portfolio committee on communications about her performance contract on two separate occasions last year. While there has been

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