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  • App of the week: Photovine

    This week I take a look at Photovine, a photo sharing social network that is fast becoming a favourite app amongst iPhonography enthusiasts and casual snappers all around the world. I’m sure most of you reading this will remember the Internet before the digital camera became as readily available as it is today. Back to the days when hardly anyone used a photo of themselves as a profile picture or avatar, not for fear of being recognized or anything like that, but simply because of the cost of technology and the sheer complexity of getting a decent photo of yourself...

  • Movie studio releases flicks to Facebook

    Hollywood studio Miramax has began making some of its films available for online viewing as rentals at social networking powerhouse Facebook. So far it is US-only (although a couple of movies are available in the UK and Turkey (Turkey?), although the FAQ says the service is intended for global reach once rights have been cleared in each country. So don't hold your breath if you're not in a tier-one country. Movie rentals cost three dollars each, with payment accepted in the form of Facebook Credits using Facebook's payment platform, which currently supports payments in most currencies via credit card. The initial...

  • Blackberry unveils three new Curves

    BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has announced three new Curve smartphones integrated with the sleek Blackberry 7 OS. The Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 are fresh out of the oven and ready for action. The new models have been designed for the Blackberry user looking for an affordable phone which suits their more pressing social media needs. RIM president Mike Lazaridis is quoted as saying, "The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are absolutely stunning and offer a significant performance upgrade with an unmatched mobile social experience for the millions of feature phone users in the market as well as...

  • Motorola ATRIX: The great little phone that should

    The ATRIX has hardware specs out the whatsit, with a one gighertz dual-core NVIDA Tegra 2 processor, a gig of RAM, a four-inch 960x540 qHD display, front- and rear-facing (5MP) cameras and the ability to record in 720p. It offers up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card), 802.11n support, a 1930 mAh battery, two microphones for noise-reduction and a biometric reader for unlocking your phone at the touch of a fingerprint. The ATRIX’s party trick is, of course, its accessories. Both of the docks, the Lapdock and the HD Multimedia Dock, essentially amplify the phone’s...

  • Hanging out in Amazon now easier with Street View

    Two women washed clothes in the dark water of the Rio Negro as a boat glided past with a camera-laden Google tricycle strapped to the roof, destined to give the world a window into the Amazon rain forest. A "trike" typically used to capture street scenes for Google's free online mapping service launched Thursday from the village of Tumbira in a first-ever project to let Internet users virtually explore the world's largest river, its wildlife and its communities. The project was the brainchild of Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) which two years ago went to Google Earth with an ambitious vision of...

  • Did the PC fail HP or HP fail the PC?

    The stunning announcement by Hewlett-Packard, the world's top personal computer maker, at the end of last week that it is taking steps to exit the business is the surest sign yet the post-PC era is here -- or at least the end of the PC era that we know. The company that invented the PC, IBM, ditched its loss-making PC business unit by selling it to Lenovo in 2004, focussing rather on higher-margin server hardware, software and professional services. HP seems to be following suit. PC hardeware is increasingly only profitably produced by mass-market consumer electronics manufacturers from Asia, with...

  • IBM unveils brain-like ‘cognitive computing chips’

    IBM has developed prototypes of computer chips that mimic the way the human brain works. According to the resaerch team, the experimental "cognitive computing chips" could eventually lead to machines that "emulate the brain's abilities for perception, action and cognition." "Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture," said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research, "These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers." IBM said cognitive computers, like the human brain, would "learn through...

  • iPad 3 for early 2012 says rumour-mill

    Apple plans to begin trial production of a next generation iPad in October with an eye to an early 2012 launch, The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the situation," said Apple is working with component suppliers and its assembler in Asia on the iPad 3 and has ordered key components such as display panels and chips. It said the next generation iPad is expected to feature a high resolution 2048-by-1536 pixel display compared with the 1024-by-768 display on the iPad 2. The Journal quoted one unidentified component supplier to Apple as saying that the company has placed...

  • App of the week: FNB banking app

    As regular readers of my app reviews will know, I have a sick obsession with budgeting, recording expenses and knowing where I stand financially at any given time of the day. Hence not one, but two personal expense apps have been reviewed on Gearburn since I started writing two months ago. I’m not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it’s not as healthy as I keep telling myself. Moving on. This week I look at personal banking apps -- the one space where emerging markets are often way ahead of the US or Europe. I’ve been a client...

  • Our pick: Top indie games of 2011

    Every game used to be an independent game, a title free from the clutches of management which could branch out and explore untapped genres. Creative freedom is now all but reigned in, with giants like EA, Microsoft and Ubisoft raking in as much cash as film studios. This is what makes the current crop of independent games so important, as they present us with a pure snapshot of gaming, injecting their inimitable spirit into our veins. The list below is made up of the best picks of 2011, made up from released and unreleased games: Fez (Xbox 360) – Release...