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February 03 2014

Nelson Mandela Entrusts $4.1M Estate to Family, Staff, ANC and Schools

Former South African President Nelson Mandela left his $4.1 million estate to his family, staff, several schools and the African National Congress — the nation's ruling political party of which he was a member — according to a public reading of his will on Monday.

Many expected Mandela's surviving family members to quarrel over how the money was allotted after his wishes were made public, but South African Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who read out the anti-apartheid hero's will, reportedly said nothing has been contested. The Nelson Mandela Foundation website published a memo that went along with the will, which we've embedded, below. Read more...

More about Money, Estate, South Africa, Us World, and World

December 13 2013

Report: Mandela Interpreter's Murky Past Includes Murder and Rape Charges

The sign language interpreter for Nelson Mandela's memorial service has a checkered past that includes murder and rape charges, according to a report by South Africa-based eNews Channel Africa (eNCA)

Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is being treated for schizophrenia, faced charges for murder, attempted murder and kidnapping in 2003, rape in 1994, theft in 1995, breaking and entering in 1997 and malicious damage to property in 1998, eNCA reported.

Jantjie stood on stage at a soccer stadium in Johannesburg for more than three hours Tuesday, providing sign language translations — which were later revealed to be gibberish — for speeches from world leaders including President Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma and Cuban President Raúl Castro. Read more...

More about Barack Obama, Crime, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and Thamsanqa Jantjie

December 12 2013

'Fake' Interpreter at Mandela's Memorial: I Was Hallucinating Angels

The man accused of faking sign language translations for more than three consecutive hours on stage at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela said he was hallucinating and that he suffers from schizophrenia.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Thamsanqa Jantjie said he saw angels entering the FNB stadium in Johannesburg where the service was held on Tuesday. He added that in the past, his schizophrenia has led him to violent actions

Jantjie gesticulated emphatically during the speeches of U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders, seemingly translating their words into sign language for the deaf community. Following the memorial service, however, reports surfaced that Jantjie was not translating accurately at all. Read more...

More about Barack Obama, South Africa, Us World, Us, and World

December 10 2013

Dancing Through Tears, South Africa Bids Farewell to Mandela

Thousands of people came together in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday to pay tribute to the life of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Presidents, dignitaries and celebrities, including President Barack Obama, Raul Castro and Bono, gathered inside FNB Stadium, where Mandela delivered his first speech after his release from prison in 1990. Elsewhere around the country, South Africans collected in bars, parks and other public venues to watch the live telecast of the memorial

Mandela died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95 due to complications from a reoccurring lung infection. Read more...

More about Photos, President Obama, Memorial, South Africa, and Us World
The World Gathers for Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service

Dozens of heads of state from around the world are arriving in South Africa early this week to commemorate Nelson Mandela, the country's former president and anti-apartheid hero, at a state memorial service

U.S. President Barack Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Cuban President Raúl Castro are among the world leaders who will pay tribute to Mandela at the service, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, according to a program published by the South African government. Current South African President Jacob Zuma and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also make remarks Read more...

More about Barack Obama, Memorial, South Africa, Us World, and Us

December 06 2013

A Moment of Silence, A Raise of the Fist in Mandela Memorials Worldwide

When former South African president and anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela died on Thursday, people around the globe gathered to memorialize the life and mourn the loss of a man widely recognized as beacon of courage, hope and freedom.

Remembrance ceremonies, both formal and impromptu, took place everywhere from Johannesburg to India to the United States. Some areas were crowded with grief-stricken onlookers while others came alive with dance and music to celebrate his time alive. Below is a selection of photos from those memorials. Read more...

More about Photos, President, Memorial, South Africa, and Us World
'Let Mandela Be a Beacon': What Teachers Will Tell Their Students Friday

Nelson Mandela, former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary, died on Thursday at age 95. He leaves behind a legacy of courageous leadership that will undoubtedly inspire generations to come

"He achieved more than could be expected of any man," President Obama said in a statement shortly after Mandela's death. "Today he has gone home [...] He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages."

While world leaders address their nations on an international stage, how will teachers do the same with their students in the classroom this week? We asked a few how they'll share Mandela's story. Here's what they said. Read more...

More about Teachers, Inspiration, Students, History, and South Africa

December 05 2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela died today in Johannesburg at the age of 95. Earlier this year, during Mandela's illness, Eve Fairbanks prepared this assesment of his life and legacy.

Soon after I moved to South Africa in 2009, I rode through Soweto, the historic black township south of Johannesburg, with a young black journalist and public relations guru named Brian Mahlangu. The editor of a new design magazine, Mahlangu wanted to show me the township’s nascent sexy side. But the more we drove around, the more agitated he became. Soweto has some glorious houses, but where the lawns end and the sidewalks begin sit drifts of bleached-out Coke bottles, cheese-curl packets, empty KFC containers, chicken bones. South Africans litter profusely; Soweto’s parks are landscaped with garbage. Read more...

More about South Africa, Africa, Us World, Us, and World
Mandela Unbound: Imagining the South African Future


In March 1990, one month after Nelson Mandela's release from prison, John Carlin — then a South Africa correspondent for The Independent in London — discussed then-president F.W. de Klerk's decision to release the political activist, despite protests from pro-apartheid forces. Carlin saw in Mandela a unique set of political skills: "Mandela has set himself up as a statesman just as much as a liberation leader. He has seen that the two roles must go hand in hand. Apartheid is founded on white fears. Remove those fears, and apartheid is gone."

During Nelson Mandela's ride from prison to Cape Town on the afternoon of his release, he spotted a white couple and their children on the side of the road and, to the dismay of his security men, asked his driver to stop. The man had been trying to take a photograph of the 12-car convoy as it passed. Mandela stepped out of his car alone and walked over to the couple. He talked to them for about 10 minutes and played with the little boy and girl. There was much laughter, not to say stupefaction on the part of the couple. Before leaving, Mandela posed with the family and asked one of his party to take the picture. Read more...

More about Politics, South Africa, Africa, Us World, and Social Good
Nelson Mandela Dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and the anti-apartheid hero has passed away at the age of 95.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma confirmed Mandela's death on Thursday

Mandela passed away after almost a month of being in intensive care. He was admitted into a Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 8 with a recurring lung infection, an illness that traces back to his years in prison. During the rule of the white racist government and apartheid, Mandela spent 27 years behind bars, before being freed in 1990 and becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994


More about South Africa, Us World, World, and Nelson Mandela

July 19 2010

How Mobile Technology is a Game Changer for Developing Africa

Mobile World Image

Gregory Ferenstein is a freelance journalist who investigates the intersection of technology and society. He also designs communication curricula for college students. Follow him on Twitter @ferenstein or at his website.

Texting isn’t just for late night convos and killing boredom. Short bursts of instant communication are connecting some isolated African communities to vital information.

Because of widespread poverty in Africa, the technology culture there has followed a different path than the West. Because computers are so expensive, affordable mobile phones have become the ubiquitous form of communication. Between 2003 and 2008, Africa had the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. On average, more than one-third of the African population has a mobile plan, with some areas reaching almost two-thirds market penetration.

Non-profit organizations have seized on this unexpected opportunity to bring lifesaving health care information, quality K-12 educational curricula, and advanced farming techniques to millions. Here’s a look at some of these mobile awareness efforts.


aed image

It’s impossible to overstate the health care crisis in Africa. Over 5.6 million people are stricken with HIV/AIDS in South Africa alone; upwards of 30% of the population in some age groups. Many are unaware that medical care is even available. Perhaps even more heartbreaking, the multi-million dollar efforts to provide antiretroviral drugs are in vain for those without proper instructions and monitoring.

Cell-Life Aftercare, a joint project between the University of Cape Town and Peninsula University of Technology, can remotely monitor 15 to 20 patients per heath care worker, provide supplemental medical information and relay information back to a central database all via mobile technology.

“The single greatest risk [to effective patient monitoring] is the lack of resources to roll out [antiretroviral therapy] effectively,” said Ulrike Rivett, founder of Cell-Life. “The areas with the highest prevalence of HIV have a shortage of skilled medical personnel, lack of good nursing and management staff and have limited financial resources.”

Instant communication combined with an eagle-eye view of disease demographics has already prevented at least one outbreak of typhoid in Uganda. The U.S.-based non-profit Academcy of Educational Development – Satellife developed a program to relay information through networks via personal digital assistants (PDAs). “The outbreak was contained because we could see that something was amiss,” said Holly Ladd, Director of AED-Satellite. “This would not have been possible with paper and pencil reporting, which is much more time-consuming.”

While we are far from stopping the serious health care issues that plague African communities, these early projects seem like an important and promising technological step.

Instant Education

mxit image

With so many young eyeballs fixated on mobile devices, educators saw a great opportunity to reach kids who have traditionally struggled with formal education. MXIt, a mobile messaging and social networking client, reaches 40% of South Africa’s population according to a company spokesperson, and has teamed up with scores of organizations to provide educational information on everything from mathematics to driving instructions.

For mathematics, MXIt partners with cities and school districts to provide personal tutoring and curricula for use inside and outside of the classroom. For schools, teachers are given established curricula and student performance results to help them tailor future lessons. Outside the classroom, students can get answers to burning math quandaries through direct access to a real-life tutor. They can also refer a struggling friend.

MXit seems pleased enough with the initial results to extend the program. According to materials provided by MXit, a new project partnership with Nokia that began with 260 learners has been expanded to over 3,000 and will soon cover two more South African provinces.

Other educational projects include the aptly-titled “m-novels,” which aims to provide mobile-formatted novels to fiction-hungry teens (as of this writing, only one such book, Kontax, seems to be in circulation).

Finally, for young people striving for a driver’s license, MXit beams instructional videos and driver-knowledge questions to help them ace their test. According to material provided to Mashable by MXit, over 85,000 people utilized the program in the first month.

Agricultural Education and Equality

farm image

For many in the industrialized world, so-called “price dispersion” is a mere inconvenience — we might splurge for a $9 bagel on New York’s 5th Avenue even if we could buy one for 99 cents further downtown. For people in low-income countries, however, price variance across markets can mean one less meal for a entire family.

Fortunately, research finds that cell phone permeation can help smooth out price variation across markets. One study shows that for the fishing industry in sub-Saharan Africa, mobile phone penetration reduces waste, increased profits by 8%, and decreased consumer prices by 4%. “[With a cell phone], I know the price for US$2, rather than traveling [to the market], which costs US$20,” said one grain trader in Zinder, Nigeria to researcher Jenny Aker.

Mobile phones also provide access to global markets and crop-saving weather forecasts in developing areas around the world. Ross Biddiscombe reporting for the Guardian found that:

“…using the Reuters Mobile Light (RML) mobile phone service, one grape grower in Maharashtra state, India, began sending his product to Russia for a higher price after subscribing, while a maize grower received an SMS message about bird flu in West Bengal which would cut his sale price, so he decided to store his produce, selling it for an increased profit when the market improved a few weeks later.”

Pocket-sized technologies are making the age-old uncertainties of agriculture somewhat more manageable for many in Africa and other developing regions. And for those with meager savings to buffer a crisis, it’s little wonder farmers are taking advantage of every opportunity to avoid them.


Cheap and efficient mobile technologies are significantly changing the lives of people in developing areas who are burdened by unequal access to resources and information. Health, education and agriculture are all benefiting from the collective I.Q. of a mobile nation, and cell phones are bridging the gap between isolated African communities and a global market eager for knowledge and talent.

More Mobile Resources from Mashable:

- How Non-Profits Should Approach Making iPhone Apps
- 5 Real Challenges For Non-Profit Texting Campaigns
- 3 Free iPhone Apps to Help Make a Difference
- Top 8 iPhone Apps for Self-Help
- Windows vs. Apple: The Future of Mobile Games

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sweetym

[img credit: timparkinson]

Reviews: Mashable, iStockphoto

More About: africa, education, Mobile 2.0, SMS, social good, social media, South Africa, texting

For more Mobile coverage:

July 10 2010

13 Internet Slangs with Unexpected Alternate Meanings

We’ve all grown accustomed to the online jargon, shorthands and acronyms that have developed over decades of Internet use. Silly as they might be, most of us are guilty of truncating, abbreviating or misspelling words to save a few seconds here and there.

The jury is still out on whether the seconds have added up to much or not, but linguists have had a field day studying online lingual behaviors and their effects on offline writing and speech.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to look at how pre-Internet acronyms and abbreviations like “LOL” have taken on new meanings (“laughing out loud”) with the introduction of widely popular Internet idioms.

Below, you’ll find a list of 13 Internet acronyms and slang terms with unexpected alternative meanings, ranging from downright unpredictable to hilariously ironic. Add your favorites in the comments below.

1. LOL

Before netizens had us “laughing out loud,” there were little old ladies participating in less bone-tickling happenings. LOL in the medical world identifies a patient as a Little Old Lady. Sometimes, in lieu of actual medical terminology, physicians use shorthands like LOLFDGB (Little Old Lady, Fall Down, Go Boom) and LOLINAD (Little Old Lady In No Apparent Distress) on patient records to describe the health statuses of hospitalized elderly females.

A study published by Peter E. Dans, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHMS) in 2002, looked at the use of and perceived usefulness of pejorative medical terms among JHMS graduating seniors. While the use of such terms are well documented, only 2 to 13 percent of surveyed medical classes considered usage of terms like LOLINAD and LOLFDGB to be helpful, whereas 30 to 50 percent of classes considered it harmful. Interestingly enough, such terms were used frequently for self-destructive or abusive patients.

2. BRB

BRB (Be Right Back) is one of the more polite online abbreviations; respectfully letting fellow chatters know that you’ll be taking a brief vacation from your keyboard.

Traditionally, however, BRB refers to a Big Red Button, an important, non-descript button associated with a power, reset, detonation, self-destruction, emergency shut-down, or ejection switch. The only real rule for the BRB is “do not press,” unless it’s an extremely dire situation, of course.

One of the most interesting uses occurred during the Cold War, when the BRB was used in fictional writing to describe a device that could launch doomsday, an all-out nuclear catastrophe.

Other Big Red Buttons have been used in car ignition, computing and cartooning. The BRB has even been featured in an iPhone app.

3. IDK

Does anyone remember going to Wal-Mart or the local fair as kid to get your fingerprints recorded for an Ident-A-Kid card? I certainly do. My little brother and I felt like super stars getting our fingerprints taken for our very first ID card, complete with photo.

It’s ironic that IDK once stood for “Ident-A-Kid,” the largest child-identification program in the United States, but is now a popular acronym for “I don’t know.” Of all programs, I’d vouch to say Ident-A-Kid is definitely in the know!

4. BFF

For all the teenyboppers out there, BFF will always mean “Best Friends Forever.” But had you asked a computer programmer in the late 1980s or early 1990s, they may have said that BFF referred to Binary File Format, a procedure for storing computer files encoded in binary.

Had you mentioned BFF to any piano pop fanboy in the 1990s, you’d likely get a comment about the musical wonders of Ben Folds Five and his trademark glasses.

5. OMG

OMG is an Internet acronym used to express shock or amazement and can be translated as, “Oh my God/gosh/goodness,” depending on your comfortableness with using the Lord’s name in vain. But that’s not the only thing to be shocked about. Law enforcement officers use OMG to refer to “Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.” One of the most notorious OMGs in America is the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, founded in 1935.

OMGs are seen as such a threat that organizations such as the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association (IOMGIA) exist purely to train law enforcement officers on dealing with these biker gangs.

6. PLZ

Used online to quickly say “please,” PLZ is also well-known in aviation as the airport code for the Port Elizabeth Airport in South Africa. The airport was recently upgraded to accommodate the increased traffic due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

7. CYA

Usually, the Internet version of an acronym is way more vulgar than the “real life” application. Not this time. CYA in online speak is a pleasant misspelling of “see ya,” but for politicians, physicians, journalists and law enforcement officers, CYA is a sneaky acronym for “Cover Your Ass.”

Some CYA tactics include copying a boatload of people on all e-mails, getting signatures for everything, avoiding commitment dates, and refusing to answer complicated questions.

Check out the document above, with the conspicuous subject of “CYA.” This document was used by CBS News on a 60 Minutes broadcast presented by Dan Rathers about President George W. Bush’s service in the Air National Guard and so-called failure to live up to requirements. The authenticity of the document, along with a few others, has been highly criticized, and the debacle has been called the “Killian documents controversy,” after Bush’s commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian.

8. BTW

FYI, BTW isn’t just short for “by the way.” It’s also an acronym for British Traditional Wicca. BTW refers to branches of the Neo-Pagan religion Wicca that have origins in the New Forest area of England.

The traditions of Gardnerian and Alexandria Wicca follow the initiatory lineage of Gerald Brosseau Gardner and are collectively known as British Traditional Wicca, or BTW for short.

9. FML

Before FML (F*ck My Life) became a popular site for telling screwed up life stories, FML stood for something much more family-friendly: Family and Medical Leave. FML made a splash in 1993 when the Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton to “provide guidance on unpaid family and medical leave to employees.”

10. DOS

The original use of DOS (Disk Operating System) is already a bit antiquated, but there’s something about that black DOS screen that just brings back great memories — namely contracting dysentery, buying family members and losing an ox on The Oregon Trail.

If you thought that was old-school, here’s something even more ancient: DOS once stood for Dreaded Orange Spots. These spots have been plaguing soap-makers for ages, and apparently no one really knows why they show up. Possible theories include using soft oils, incomplete curing, high humidity, over superfatting or oxidation, according to Ersilia Vitale, an experienced soapmaker.

11. ROFL

ROFL is currently known as “Rolling on Floor Laughing,” one step above LOL. However, back in the day ROFL was also the acronym used by Clan 52 of Medievia, better known as “Rogues Of the Forbidden Legion.

Medievia was an online, fantasy-themed, text-based game founded in 1992. ROFL made its appearance in 1998 and officially disbanded in 2001, to the disappointment of the Medievia community and their clan leader, Tharghan.

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

12. THX

Are you a Star Wars fan? Or maybe just a fan of George Lucas and his production company, Lucasfilm? If so, you’ll be happy to know that THX isn’t just shorthand for lazy people typing “thanks,” it’s also the acronym for Tomlinson Holman’s eXperiment, an audio spin-off of Lucasfilm. THX was created by Tomlinson Holman for the third Star Wars film, to ensure optimal sound quality.

If you’ve been to a movie lately, you’ve undoubtedly heard the “deep note” crescendo. Check out the video above for a memory jog.

13. BC

Before there was a shorthand for “because,” there was Christ. Even before that, there was BC, or “Before Christ,” an English language acronym demarcating the epoch before he was born. Enough said.

And U?

I could go on and on with this list, but I’d rather see what “U” have to say. What are some of your favorite Internet acronyms and slang terms with interesting alternative meanings?

[img credits: See-ming Lee quinn.anya, wlodi, aragon5, Kim Dent-Brown, gabi_menashe, Soap Naturally, Medievia, Ian W. Scott]

More About: bc, Before Christ, ben folds five, bff, big red button, binary code, binary file format, brb, british traditional wicca, btw, by the way, Clan 52, cold war, cover your ass, cya, disk operating system, DoS, dreaded orange spots, family and medical leave, fml, fmylife, George Lucas, idk, indent-a-kid, internet acronyms, internet slang, jerry b. killian, little old lady, little old lady fall down go boom, little old lady in no apparent distress, lol, Lucasfilm, meanings, medical, Medievia, omg, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association, plz, port authority airport, rofl, Rogue of the Forbidden Legion, rolling on floor laughing, soap, South Africa, thx, Tomlinson Holman eXperiment, wicca

For more Entertainment coverage:

June 17 2010

4 Free World Cup Apps for BlackBerry

blackberry app imageFor continuous World Cup coverage, check out Mashable’s 2010 World Cup Hub, which will be updated throughout the games.

BlackBerry fans aren’t quite as spoiled for choice as iPhone or Android owners when it comes to apps or the World Cup, but there some football-themed widgets worth a look.

Here we offer four great World Cup apps (and one bonus), available direct from the BlackBerry App World store. Check them out and stay up to date with the proceedings in South Africa. The very best part? — they are all free!

1. AP 2010 World Cup Coverage

The Associated Press’s mobile offering is actually available across all major mobile platforms, with the BlackBerry version working like a Flash-based microsite.

The app is supported by VISA (see the banner across the top?), while the homepage gives you one top news story and what it deems “recent matches.” The fact that this section includes yet-to-be-played matches (with appropriately nil-nil scores) might confuse some not familiar with South Africa’s different time zone.

With the option to customize for the team you support, as well as select your preferred language, the app offers news, photos, teams and venues.

The photos and teams sections are basic, and the “previous” and “next” navigation buttons in the gallery don’t work at all (at time of review). The venues section offers a fairly decent summary of the 10 different South African stadiums, although we can’t imagine anyone lingering for long on this option.

Where the app shines is in the news arena, with decent, lengthy, full-fat news stories from the AP on all aspects of the tournament.

Cost: Free
Best for: News

2. WC2010

WC2010 image

This colorful app offers a simple interface with a homepage, scores, stats and standings. The homepage gives you a big banner announcing the day’s matches and editorial covering all the news angles you’d expect from the tournament.

Although the score on the matches banner appears to take time to update, the news comes in fairly fast, so you may find yourself looking at a nil-nil score, while the top news story has a half-time update including goals scored.

The standings offer a nice group grid showing the various teams, rank, games played, won, drawn, lost, goals for and against, the goal difference and points.

Stats is where this app comes into its own with a table providing info on goals, yellows cards and red cards, all organized by player and team. The detailed data is there if you need it, and we know that there are those of you out there that do.

Cost: Free
Best for: Stats

3. Goal Mobile

goal mobile image

Goal Mobile from Goal.com has the most comprehensive football app here, which is a mixed blessing if you’re just a casual footie fan.

You have to hand over your email address before you can get going, but once you do you’ve got a plethora of options to chose from with a dual layer, tightly packed tab interface.

Unless you are interested in Football Leagues from around the world (there are many covered by this app), then keep yourself on the World Cup 2010 tab on the top menu. From there you can chose to browse the news, live scores, teams, match-results, group stage and knockout stage areas from another menu.

The news is varied, encompassing straight news, comment pieces, previews and reports, all with options to share on social networking site. The stories themselves are in-depth — the previews alone offer team overviews, past results, players to watch, a form guide and current team news.

The live scores section is worth a look as it makes clear which are the pre-match nil-nils, as opposed to final scores, and offers data from the day before and matches from the next day, while the teams section simply offers a list of matches (and results if they’ve been played) rather than any kind of half-hearted, haphazard bio.

However, for us this app was buggy, throwing up a ton of error messages that required some clicks to get past, sometimes multiple times in a row. It averages four stars from over 200 reviews, though, so it’s clearly hitting the right note with some BlackBerry-owning football fans.

Cost: Free
Best for: True football fans

4. ScoreMobile FC

score mobile fc image

If you’re not interested in the bells and whistles and just want cold, hard, football facts, then ScoreMobile FC is the app for you.

As with Goal Mobile, this is an app that covers a wider football gamut than just the World Cup. Make sure you select “FIFA” from the leagues menu when you first fire it up to get access to the World Cup.

Unlike all the other tab-based apps we’ve mentioned, ScoreMobile works with a drop down menu that offers scores, stats, tables and news.

Each of the options are fairly minimal from a design point of view — which we’d imagine would be good for your data bill — but present the essential facts in a clean and clear way.

The tables are particularly quick to access and easy to read while the stats only really offer useful info on goals scored.

The news here appears to be culled from AP’s stream, but presented without too many bells and whistles. If you have weak cell coverage or are counting the data pennies closely, you might prefer this to the more graphically rich AP offering.

Cost: Free
Best for: Minimalists

BONUS: South Africa on BlackBerry

south africa image

BlackBerry is pushing this app pretty hard with all manner of integration with your BB phone, such as push notifications, alerts to your inbox, the option to add games to your calendar as well as integration with BlackBerry’s “Messenger” service. Unfortunately the app is not compatible with our test handset — a BlackBerry Pearl 3G — (as this particular phone is not yet available in South Africa) so we were unable to get hands-on, but it looks like it’s worth a look if you own any other RIM-made handset. If you’ve already given it a try then let us know your impressions in the comments below.

For more mobile coverage, follow Mashable Mobile on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

More mobile resources from Mashable:

- Why You May Not Need a Mobile App
- 10 Must-Have BlackBerry Apps for Small Business
- 5 Must-Have Free Social Apps for BlackBerry
- Top 8 iPhone Apps for Self-Help
- 27 Ways to Find Amazing New Android Apps

Tags: ap, apps, blackberry, blackberry app world, blackberry apps, football, goal mobile, Lists, scoremobile fc, soccer, South Africa, world cup, world cup 2010

June 11 2010

World Cup 2010: Mashable’s Complete Coverage

Whether you’re a soccer neophyte or seasoned veteran, Mashable has put together an essential hub for all of your 2010 World Cup needs.

Mashable will be covering the tournament with essential social media resources, news, stats and features including the best World Cup goals of all time and which team has the most passionate fans (according to Facebook).

Aside from some soccer rule refreshers and tournament details on both the group stage and knockout stage, be sure to check back to this post for recent match scores and all of Mashable’s 2010 World Cup coverage. We’ll be updating this post continuously throughout the tournament with links to our World Cup social media coverage.

Recent Scores

Coverage on Mashable

- 5 Free Must-Have World Cup Android Apps

- HOW TO: Follow the 2010 World Cup on Twitter

- 3 Ways to Watch the 2010 World Cup

- Top 6 Free World Cup iPhone Apps

- 10 Best World Cup Goals on YouTube

- Web Goes Wild for World Cup [STATS]

- Which World Cup Fans Are the Most Passionate? Facebook Knows

Rules of the Tournament

world cup group stage

The tournament is largely structured into two parts: a group stage and a knockout stage. The group stage is essentially a round robin organized by team ranking. All World Cup teams were divided into eight groups of four. Each set of four teams play each other during the group stage, the top two teams from each group move on to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage plays like a single-elimination tournament. Teams are seeded into a bracket based on their performance during the group stage. It’s single-game elimination so one loss in the knockout stage is enough to send a team home.

All standard soccer rules apply (no using your hands, 11 players on the field including a goalie, 23 players in total per team). Games are 90 minutes long. If the game is tied after regulation two 15-minute sudden-death overtimes are played. If it’s still tied, the teams go to a heart-pounding, nerve-shredding shoot-out.

For more entertainment coverage, follow Mashable Entertainment on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

More sports resources from Mashable:

- 5 Amazing Android Apps for Baseball Fans
- 5 Brilliant iPhone Apps for Baseball Fans
- How the PGA Tour Uses Social Media to Connect with Fans
- 5 Reasons Every Sports Fan Should Be On Social Media
- When Social Media Gets Athletes in Trouble

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, daboost

Tags: group stage, knockout stage, rules, score, South Africa, world cup

The World Cup’s Social Media Evolution

world cup map imageKaka, one of the world’s premiere soccer players, is using his Twitter account to connect with fans and do things like share a pair of songs that were written for him. During the last World Cup in 2006 Kaka — or any other player, for that matter — could have connected with fans in that way because, well, Twitter didn’t really exist.

This year’s World Cup has an unprecedented volume of social media outlets and initiatives from Twitter feeds to Facebook fan pages, viral videos to mobile apps and more. With so much access, it’s easy to lose track of where all this social media goodness actually came from. Below is a brief look at how the World Cup and social media have evolved together.

2002 – Korea/Japan World Cup

“Social media” as we know it now (complete with Twitter, Foursquare, etc.) did not exist in 2002, but the World Cup still found ways to connect with fans. (Hey, even at the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, fans could use the technology of the day — telephones — to connect to one another!)

In 2002, the Korea/Japan World Cup was one of the first to utilize the Internet by creating homepages for teams and multiple websites for the tournament. However, social media outreach was still limited in scope. “In ’02, I can’t remember anything, any social media methods with that world cup,” said Sports Illustrated producer Bryan Graham. “… I don’t even think the word ’social media’ even existed.”

2006 – Germany World Cup

weallspeakfootball image

By 2006, social media sites were starting to pick up steam. Facebook had launched but it was still restricted to college and high school students. Similarly, Twitter was still in its beta-stage and hadn’t yet caught on; MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the US. Companies like Adidas, Nike and Puma were early adopters with campaigns that included print ads, television spots and online sites.

Nike in particular teamed up with Google to create “the first social network for soccers fans worldwide,” Joga.com, allowing users to create profiles, view video and connect with fellow fans. Other companies joined in, with Adidas launching a MySpace site featuring video and exclusive content, and Coca-Cola launching a blog to track two unofficial World Cup mascots. Users could provide the mascots with suggestions and track their antics. The blog was a predecessor to similar video sites created for MySpace and YouTube.

“All we did was shoot stuff and talk to people and put it on the blog. And now that’s when the real work begins,” said Franz Strasser, a Digital Reporter/Producer at BBC America that independently blogged during the 2006 World Cup. He and his partner set up a blog to record video during the tournament. They were invited to join Coca-Cola’s WeAllSpeakFootball initiative, a site that posted content from several bloggers and vloggers. “It’s literally crazy thinking about our ‘06 projects and all those smart guys in the room who didn’t even think about Tweeting or even putting it on Facebook.”

The blog, however, lacked social interaction: “Podcasting is not live, you record it and then you post it online,” Strassed said. “But you cannot change anything, it’s done.” Interactive social communities were limited online until the birth of Twitter later in 2006. When Strasser blogged about the 2008 Euro Cup, things had changed: “In 2008 we would post [on Twitter] before we recorded a show. We asked for questions, comments, so that we would have that interaction.”

2010 – South Africa World Cup

fifa banner image

In just the two years since the Euro Cup, social media has exploded around the soccer world. Almost any site that even mentions soccer has embraced social media efforts from blogs to live streams to mobile apps. Even still, new initiatives are launched daily, such as Foursquare’s partnership with CNN to create two new World Cup badges and more than 100 viewing parties taking place across the globe.

Social media will also help link those already in South Africa trying to stay connected between the 10 far-flung soccer stadiums, some more than 1,000 miles apart. “This is a way to tie all of them together,” said Cindy Boren, the Washington Post’s Sports Social Media Editor. “It’s the string that sort of binds it together.”

Traditional media outlets like Sports Illustrated magazine are running profiles of the US national team, but are also including each players Twitter handle (10 of the 23 have accounts). “You know with FIFA, the accessibility of these players is so guarded and so controlled,” Graham said. “Just the idea that these guys are kind of removing filters, connecting with their fans, I can’t believe people aren’t talking about it more. Maybe one reason is that it’s happening across all sports.”

The World Cup starts today (Friday) but the social media storm has been gaining momentum for years ahead of time.

For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook<!--</h3-->

More sports resources from Mashable:

- HOW TO: Follow the 2010 World Cup on Twitter
- 10 Best World Cup Goals on YouTube
- 5 Amazing Android Apps for Baseball Fans
- 5 Brilliant iPhone Apps for Baseball Fans
- How the PGA Tour Uses Social Media to Connect with Fans

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, zorani

Tags: bryan graham, cindy boren, foursquare, franz strasser, kaka, myspace, social media, South Africa, twitter, world cup

June 10 2010

Watch the World Cup Kick-Off Concert Live Online

Today at 11 a.m. PST, the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert kicks off in Johannesburg, South Africa. If you’re not able to be there in person, you can still catch the event — featuring performances from the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Shakira and more — on the VEVO live stream available worldwide.

The event will mark entertainment service VEVO’s first foray into worldwide live music streaming. Executive-produced by Control Room, the concert will be live streamed in high definition around the globe in real time. If you’re unable to tune in for the event as it airs, the concert will also be made available on-demand at VEVO.com and VEVO’s YouTube channel along with exclusive programming from the performers and behind-the-scenes video from the event through July 10.

The Celebration Concert’s live stream player will also feature integrated Twitter chat; to participate while watching simply add the hashtag #VEVOworldcup to your related tweets. Will you be tuning in for the World Cup Kick-Off Celebration today? Let us know in the comments!

For more entertainment coverage, follow Mashable Entertainment on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Reviews: Facebook, Twitter

Tags: control room, fifa, livestream, music, soccer, South Africa, vevo, world cup

June 09 2010

HOW TO: Follow the 2010 World Cup on Twitter

world cup ballThe 2010 World Cup is going to be a very interesting one as far as social media goes — it’s the first to be played out in the Twitter era and the first to fully embrace the social media universe.

This bodes well for avid soccer fans keen to stay up to date with all the most recent news from their favorite players and teams. The real-time nature of Twitter may well entice these newcomers to hop on the micro-blogging site. To get new users ready for the action, we’ve got a few tips for how to follow the World Cup on Twitter complete with a list of who you should be following to stay informed on the games, news, and goings on in South Africa.

1. Hashtags and Searches

hashtag twitter image

While Twitter’s hashtag system is a great way of monitoring a certain topic, and for getting real-time updates on what the Twitterverse is saying about a live event, the organic nature of exactly how the tags are decided can cause confusion.

Currently, there seems to be a fair amount of footie-related tags in circulation, although we’d imagine by the first few days of the tournament these will be narrowed down as the most popular ones become trending topics and are adopted by tweeters.

At the moment, #worldcup seems to be the largest tag by volume of tweets, but #wc2010 is also doing the rounds, as is #2010worldcup. Don’t forget, however, that the World Cup is a global event, so different languages also come into play. In Spanish, World Cup is “Copa Mundial,” in French it’s “Coupe du Monde,” and so on.

Other tags have, of course, sprung up around teams. #England is what most people are using to refer to the England team, while mentions of the United States team can be found under the tag #USMNT.

To quickly access a stream of tweets containing a certain hashtag you can save a search on Twitter, so that the results are just a click away from your home page — and the search can be easily removed after it’s no longer relevant.

2. Lists

world cup twitter list image

The World Cup only lasts for a month, so it’s unlikely you’ll want to permanently follow all the World Cup-related sources you’ll be getting your footie news from over the next four weeks, especially as many sources have been created solely for the event.

The quickest and easiest way to get a month’s worth of World Cup info is to follow a ready-made list. Mashable’s Twitter list directory has World Cup lists ready and waiting and there’s also a Top Tweets account direct from Twitter that algorithmically selects the “top tweets” about the World Cup. Simply follow the list and then you can unfollow it after the final.

Alternatively, if you’re just interested in the big headlines, rather than blow-by-blow coverage, TweetMeme’s World Cup 2010 aggregated feed of popular tweets might be of interest.

It’s more work, but if you’re a little more selective then you can create your own list and simply delete it after the tournament on July 11. To get you started we’ve made some suggestions of World Cup Twitter news resources that can be found below.

3. World Cup News Sources on Twitter

world cup twitter list image

Whether it’s the official FIFA feed, tabloid newspaper coverage, big broadcaster’s headlines or just the final scores, you’ll find the news you need in this list.

2010 FIFA World Cup – “The Twitter page of the 2010 Organizing Committee.” News and updates.

SA2010 World Cup – “Official 2010 FIFA World Cup South African Government website with all the information you need!” News, personal updates and commentary.

FIFAWorldCupTM – “The FIFA soccer world cup tweets. All the latest FIFA news and information on the 2010 soccer world cup.” Updates, human interest, emphasis on players and coaches.

TheFA.com – “The official website for the England Football Team and The FA Cup.” Updates on England players and live Tweets from England matches.

US Soccer – “U.S. Soccer: the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States.” Inside look at the US team, players and matches.

CNN World Cup – “All the latest news on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa from CNN International.” News and match scores culled from CNN reporters.

Telegraph World Cup – “World Cup 2010 news, analysis, pictures and video from Telegraph.co.uk” Links back to stories posted by The Telegraph.

NY Times Goal – “The New York Times Soccer Blog reports on the international game and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.” Live updates and links back to New York Times stories.

AP World Cup – “Join the conversation as @ap covers the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.” News, match scores and brief commentary.

BBC World Cup – “A feed dedicated to World Cup headlines from the BBC website.” Links back to BBC.

Sports Illustrated Soccer – “Soccer, World Cup coverage from Sports Illustrated and SI.com writers and photographers.” Player news and general features.

The Sun World Cup – “Follow all the latest news on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with The Sun.” Mostly England updates and news, general match coverage.

Four Four Two – “Humorous but wholehearted, polished but readable, substantial but accessible, it’s football’s most insightful brand – with added F.U.N.” Quirky and off-beat updates, general news.

Fox Soccer News – “FOXSoccer.com headlines.” Links back to Fox Soccer.

World Cup Scores – “Live 2010 world cup soccer scores.” Match scores and live updates.

For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook<!--</h3-->

More sports resources from Mashable:

- 10 Best World Cup Goals on YouTube
- 5 Amazing Android Apps for Baseball Fans
- 5 Brilliant iPhone Apps for Baseball Fans
- How the PGA Tour Uses Social Media to Connect with Fans
- 5 Reasons Every Sports Fan Should Be On Social Media

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, kevinjeon00

Tags: football, soccer, South Africa, sport, sport lists, twitter, world cup 2010

June 07 2010

3 Ways to Watch the 2010 World Cup

worldcup imageSoccer fanatics all over the world are eagerly anticipating the kick-off to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The Internet has already started to fill up with soccer-themed viral videos, Twitter accounts and epic trailers. This year’s tournament has already been hyped as “the first social media world cup,” but what if you want to actually watch your favorite team compete?

ESPN and ABC have teamed up to bring to your television — in some combination — every single soccer match being played. For footy-fans who don’t have a television, need even more coverage, or simply prefer watching sports on a laptop screen, here are some options for you to watch this year’s World Cup.

1. Live Stream

No TV? ESPN3.com will be live streaming all but 10 of the 64 matches, with ESPNradio and ESPN Mobile providing coverage and stat updates for the rest. You can access individual match streams via the sports drop-down on their website. The best part is that ESPN3’s World Cup coverage is absolutely, 100% free after a prompt to login to your Internet service provider. The catch is that you can’t access the streams unless your Internet provider already pays for access (no love for Time Warner Cable, but full access for Comcast, Verizon or Yahoo users).

univision image

Univision will also be live streaming every single match for free online at UnivisionFutbol.com. In addition to matches, Univision has updated their suite of social media options with real-time game stats, commentary, player interviews and behind-the-scene exclusives. For anyone looking to get a jump on the games, Univision offers video on match history and player profiles from World Cup legends past and present. While the site is pretty self-explanatory, knowledge of Spanish helps.

2. Highlights, Recaps, and Post-Game

Half the fun of World Cup soccer is reliving the best goals, moves and moments. There are a slew of sports sites that can dig up ongoing coverage after the match, but several stand out.


The official home of the FIFA World Cup is also home to an extensive video library constantly updated with highlights, exclusive interviews and features including a tribute to Nelson Mandela, match reactions and culture spots.


Footytube is a website dedicated to soccer videos — from the smallest European leagues all the way up to the World Cup. It’s a good place to look for previous highlights from your favorite players and more esoteric vids like an unofficial World Cup song from Germany. Footytube features highlights from each game as well as a soccer video news feed.

ESPN on YouTube

For those unable to reach ESPN3, their official YouTube channel has a bunch of video previews organized by team as well as commentary from sportscasters. It’s a little glossier and a little less in-depth than Footytube, but look for content to spike when the games officially start.

3. Watch It With Real People

Nothing’s better than sharing that last-minute clutch goal celebration with a group of fellow fans, or having a shoulder to cry on when your team gets eliminated (knock on wood). When television or live streaming isn’t enough, check out these lists of soccer bars to watch the action with your country-men-and-women:

The New York Daily News offers this extensive list of hotspots around New York with “Get Ready to Fill Your Cup,” while GQ Magazine throws in its own national picks for “The Best Soccercentric Bars in America.”

Along with a slew of stats and updates, LiveSoccerTV also dedicates a whole section of its site to soccer pubs. With more than 200 bars listed across America (and more than 125 in Canada) you’re sure to find some place that’s showing the game. While Premium Listed pubs have good information like which teams the pub supports, most listings are just street addresses, so you might want to look them up before you go.

Who knew there was a U.S. Soccer Official Bar Program? This site is a goldmine for those supporting Team USA, featuring an interactive map of pro-USA bars across the country. There is an application process to get on the list so you know the bars have been approved and vetted by U.S. Soccer.

New York’s Internet week (June 7-14) also has its share of World Cup meet ups. Celebrate the start of the games by watching USA vs. England at a sponsored World Cup Kickoff & Tweetup this Friday. Whatever team you support, dress (and tweet) accordingly.

Bonus: Watch It On A Boat

If you’ve always wanted to watch the World Cup on a boat, One Ocean Club has set up a World Cup cruise that will broadcast the matches while sailing between Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Other cruise lines have promised to show the games, but be careful — some of them have staked their team loyalties. For example, Carnival’s U.K. brands are pro-England while Thomson Cruises will also be showing Brazil and Spain.

Whatever your persuasion, be sure to check back for continuing World Cup coverage or leave your own viewing suggestions in the comments below.

For more web video coverage, follow Mashable Web Video on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

More sports resources from Mashable:

- Top 6 Free World Cup iPhone Apps
- 10 Best World Cup Goals on YouTube
- When Social Media Gets Athletes in Trouble
- 5 Predictions for Athletes on Social Media in 2010
- 5 Social Media Lessons the NBA Can Teach Businesses

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, monkeybusinessimages

Tags: espn3, fifa, footytube, List, Lists, Live Stream, South Africa, sports, twitter, us soccer, viral videos, web video, world cup

June 06 2010

Top 6 Free World Cup iPhone Apps

Call it whatever you like — football, soccer, the game with the black and white checkered ball that you kick around the field. Pick a name and get ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Every four years soccer fans go wild and neighborhood bars are packed to the brim in broad daylight with devoted viewers.

While the BBC and ITV apps that promise to stream the games and video highlights have yet to be released, there are still some great, free iPhone apps to satisfy your World Cup appetite.

1. World Cup Countdown

We know you’ve been counting the days until the non-stop soccer action. This app counts down the excitement by the days, minutes, hours and seconds until it all begins on June 11th. The app also has an interactive photo slideshow with a series of cool pictures of South Africa. You can click on the photos to learn more about each scene.

There are even interesting video and audio options, like a spectacular overview of the countryside and some local music and dance moves. It’s a great way to learn about the country hosting the games, especially if you are planning to attend in person.

2. ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup

This app has just about everything you need to prepare for the tournament. With a full schedule, you’ll never miss your team in action. The app allows you to select your favorite team or teams so you can easily keep track of all the news surrounding them. It also has full biographies and stats for each player for all 32 teams, so you’ll know exactly who is playing the game.

Super-fans will appreciate the app for its extensive history of the tournament, which dates back to 1930, and includes an overview, trivia and controversies for each year. Sign in with your myESPN account to post comments about your team or participate in the “Fantasy Bracket Predictor,” where you can attempt to forecast the outcome of each World Cup match.

3. World Football Live!

This app gives you the latest news about all things football/soccer from BBC Sports, Yahoo! Euro Sports, and ESPN. News is updated in real-time and you can bookmark your favorite articles or e-mail them to your friends. The app also lets users browse offline. Once you’ve updated the latest news, you can read all the downloaded articles without a WiFi or 3G connection.

4. AP 2010 World Cup Coverage

The Associated Press has been covering the games since the very beginning and is committed to giving fans full coverage. Once the games start, the app will provide up-to-the-minute news from more than 100 journalists in South Africa who will be covering the action. It has a multi-language platform and users can choose to get their soccer fix in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese.

With customizable skins for each team, you can show everyone (at least everyone you show your phone to anyway) who you are rooting for. There is an easy to follow schedule feature that shows which teams are playing and at what time. Also, a photo and video feature will be updated once the tournament starts. The app also has a “venue” feature and lists a bit of history and interesting facts about all 10 stadiums where the games will be played.

5. World Cup Factoids and History

If you really want to know what you’re talking about when you say that Germany is going to kick some butt, this is the app for you. With lists of every winner, host nation, defending champion and number of appearances since 1930, you’ll be able to make some informed predictions as to who will take home this year’s big title.

History buffs will swoon for the detailed chronicles of pre-tournament dates, starting with the world’s first international soccer match between Scotland and England in 1872. The app also connects you to news from BBC, ESPN and the official FIFA site. You can help spread World Cup fever (not that it really needs the help) by pressing the button that lets you tweet about the application.

6. World Cup Trivia Challenge Lite

Once you’ve brushed up on your facts and history, you’ll be ready for this game. Set on a soccer field, the lite version of this app has 50 questions that will test your soccer hooligan mettle. It’s a fast-paced game. With 90 seconds on the timer, you must answer questions like “How many nations appeared for the first time in 2006?”

Once you get three questions right, you score a “goal.” For every question you get wrong, your opponent (who isn’t actually answering any questions) scores a point. There are three stages to work through and it includes a penalty shoot-out for a tie game. You can even listen to the sounds of whistles, cheers and music from a real life game, or choose to turn them off.

Once you’ve mastered all 50 questions, you can upgrade to the paid version for $1.99, where 600 more questions are ready to test your fandom.

For more mobile coverage, follow Mashable Mobile on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

More iPhone resources from Mashable:

- Top 10 iPhone Apps for TV Fanatics
- 10 Great iPhone Apps for Growing a Garden
- 5 Fantastic Free iPhone E-book Reader Apps
- 10 Essential Money-Saving iPhone Apps
- 10 Best iPhone Apps for Dog Lovers

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, zentilia

Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, iStockphoto, news

Tags: ESPN, fans, football, iphone, iphone application, iphone applications, iphone apps, Lists, Mobile 2.0, MyESPN, soccer, South Africa, sports, world cup, world cup 2010

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