South African Tourism turns to Salesforce for CRM during FIFA World Cup

The world cup is set to launch tomorrow in South Africa, with the first games of the tournament starting the same day.

The hugely anticipated football event is taking place on the African continent for the first time, and is expected to help further advance the country with upgrades in information systems, transit, among other infrastructure to support the influx of tourists who will be attending the games, and the thousands of other personnel part of the tournament.

In anticipation of the event, the South African Tourism ministry has announced it has implemented new CRM technologies powered by Salesforce (Server Cloud 2) that will be used to handle queries.

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Adobe expects Flash to be installed in 250mn phones by 2012

Adobe Systems today made new predictions about its popular Flash Player, saying it expects it to be installed in more than 250-million smartphones by 2012.

The optimistic comments come as Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said his company would not support the Adobe Flash platform on its iPhone and iPad devices, saying it is no longer relevant in the mobile space, favoring the more robust and opened HTML5 platform.

Steve Jobs’ argument is Flash is not efficient for mobile devices because of the high power consumption and security concerns, and largely the fact that the platform is proprietary.

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Google expected to bring VoIP calling to gmail

Google is expected soon to integration VoIP into its popular gmail email and instant messaging client.

Google has slowly been positioning itself into the VoIP space with a few acquisitions, including most recently of the company Global IP Solutions Corporation (GIPS) that develops technologies that process and deliver voice and video over Internet protocol, namely for service providers and developers to integrate with their platforms.

On May 18, Google acquired GIPS for $68.2-million in an all cash deal that also moved the top employees of GIPS to the Google camp.

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Google readying Google Music web-based music store, iTunes competitor

Google Corp. is planning to launch an online music store, simply named Google Music; with the service launching as early as by the end of next month.

The new product will be in direct competition with Apple’s iTunes music store, which is the biggest online music web store in the world.

Google Music works by allowing consumers to make purchases from the Google Market from their web-based PC, with the DRM-free music files being automatically pushed to their Google Android powered mobile device.

Google will also be offering a local application on your PC that would allow you to stream music from your Android device to your PC.

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Google Maps with Biking directions now available on BlackBerry

Today the search giant, Google, updated its Google Maps application for BlackBerry devices to version 4.2 that includes support for Google’s latest mapping project, Google Maps Bike, which allows users to get directions optimized for biking.

The new program offers users the ability to plan routes based on bike trails (indicated by dark green), dedicated bike lanes (indicated by light green), or by regular roads that are good for biking (indicated on the map by a dotted green line).

Google firstly made the biking feature available for Google Android-based mobile devices, and today made the application available for BlackBerry devices as well.

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Barns & Noble launches ebook store for iPad

The book-retailer giant Barns & Noble today announced the availability of a free ebook reader and bookstore application for the Apple iPad.

The application directly competes with Apple’s own iBooks store, that will allow consumers to purchase books, and magazines, among other media.

The Barns & Noble application offers various features, including a built in dictionary, syncing with highlights and notes, all across multiple platforms that support the application (including support for the iPhone that is scheduled for later this summer).

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Wal-Mart to offer iPhone 3GS for $97 with term, iPhone HD 4 could launch June 9

The largest retailer by volume in the world, Wal-Mart, has announced it would lower the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97 coupled with a two-year contract in the United States.

The new price marks a $100 discount from the regular price. As of right now, Wal-Mart will be the only retailer offering the iPhone 3GS at that lowest price available.

The price reduction at the world’s largest retailer signals Apple is readying the launch of the iPhone HD 4 and is attempting to sell off remaining quantities of the iPhone 3GS.

Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs will likely unveil the next-generation iPhone during a keynote speech that will be delivered at WWDC 2010 on June 7 at 10am.

The new iPhone is rumored to include video conferencing, HD quality camera recording, a 1GHz processor, increased memory, a higher resolution display (960×640 pixels), the new OS 4, among other features not yet disclosed.

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Why RIM needs to push BlackBerry 6 out before June 7

BlackBerry WES 2010 April conference where BlackBerry 6 was unveiled

Competition in the mobile space has been intensifying ever since the iPhone truly revolutionized the mobile realm, followed more recently with the Android mobile operating system developed by Google that has recently seen record sales.

Research In Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry enterprise centric (turned consumer friendly) messaging device has traditionally enjoyed a competitive edge (and arguably still does) over other platforms with its superior messaging capabilities, mainly seamless push e-mail and PIN messaging with BlackBerry Messenger.

RIM has traditionally been focused on developing handsets that are geared towards enterprise with an efficient and functional operating system that is designed to serve its primary purpose: mobile messaging, e-mail, and notifications.

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Microsoft ends litigation with $200m settlement for VPN technology

Microsoft Corporation today confirmed the company would settle pending patent litigation relating to virtual private network (VPN) technology owned by VirnetX Inc. to the tune of $200-million.

The suit alleged Microsoft was using the patented technology in various products, including Microsoft’s flagship operating system Windows XP, among other products like Microsoft servers.

The suit was initially brought against the company in 2007 in a Texas court.

Under the agreement, Microsoft will gain non-exclusive license to use the technology, along with a payment of $200-million.

Microsoft vice president Tom Burt said today in a statement, “We are pleased to work with VirnetX to bring these cases to a successful resolution through this settlement,”

The Microsoft stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading at par from its opening price of $28.93 as at 3:49pm, moments before the closing bell for today’s trading session.

The VirnetX (AMEX:VHC) stock opened up at $7 per share, but trended down to $6.29 per share (up 2.61-percent) ten minutes before the closing bell.


YouTube turns 5, serves 2bn daily pageviews

The popular online video sharing service, YouTube, owned by Google, today turned five years old.

The company says YouTube now has up to 2-billion daily pageviews (with 45-million homepage impressions), and more than 24-hours of video time being uploaded to the site by users every single minute.

YouTube now also supports high-definition video formats, and even 3D videos.

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