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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2010-03-03

Web users help Chile quake victims

In this edition: the web comes to the aid of Chili’s earthquake victims and in Russia, web users are up in arms over a corruption case.

 

WEB HELPS CHILE QUAKE VICTIMS
 
 Communication means damaged by the earthquake in Chili are gradually being restored. Those quake victims who have an Internet connection are encouraged to share with their neighbours. People are eager to get online to look for missing persons and give accounts of the state of affairs.
This video blogger lives in Temuco and has used the channel YouTube to show us that despite the damage to the towns’ buildings, things are slowly getting back on track after the earthquake, even if people are still in fear of it happening again.
 
And it’s on the web in particular and with collaborative tools that victims are getting themselves organized. One web user has created this interactive map which lists all the supermarkets open for business, and this map details the state of roads across the country.
There is a lack of drinking water in several provinces, so one blogger has circulated these directions on Twitter, showing victims how to make their own water purifiers.
 
But in the areas most severely affected by the earthquake, some have resorted to looting in order to meet their needs. Two actors, who are well known on the local blogosphere, decided to respond to this situation. In this video they appeal for calm.
 
CORRUPTION IN RUSSIA
 
This video, in which we see a violent car accident in the town of Irkutsk in Siberia, was put online last December. Two women are hit by a car. One of them was killed, the other risks being paralysed for life.
 
Three months later, the video, which is regularly deleted, has surfaced again. The driver Anna Shavenkova who works for the ruling United Russia party and whose mother is the chairwoman for the local electoral commission has still not beencharged. 
 
Opposition party member Marina Litvinovich, says on her blog that Miss Shavenkova is officially only a witness in the affair, even though she was at the wheel of the car and there is no question that she is guilty.
 
This entry which has been relayed by dozens of web users is currently one of the most popular posts on the Russian blogosphere, and comments have flooded in. This blogger says that we must not blame the young woman’s mother, who is trying to make use of her influence, but those who make bending the law possible: the judge and the police.
 
 
This web user criticizes those who elected the authorities and brought them to power. He believes the only thing they have achieved in doing is creating an entirely corrupt system.
 
 
Finally on this forum, this blogger wonders what effect such an online mobilisation will have on the trial. And he states that if the authorities do not take action to prosecute Anna Shavenkova, then the Internet will.
 
 
FREEDOCUMENTARIES.ORG
 
Some unnamed web users have created a platform, “freedocumentaries.org” on which you can download documentaries for free. Over 150 films of a political and controversial nature are available to watch via streaming, free of charge. Among them : Super Size me, Sicko, The World according to Monsanto, and also more questionable films like the September the 11th conspiracy film Loose Change. The people behind this project hope to disclose opinions or perspectives which are not normally given media coverage.
 
 
THE MOUSE POINTER TRACK
 
What movements does a computer mouse make? This new software follows the movements your mouse makes over your screen when you are surfing the net. The “mouse pointer track” was developed by the graphic designer Anatoly Zenkov. Some examples can be seen on his Flickr page, like the movements during a 30 minute computer game. This application was put online in January, and has since been downloaded several tens of thousands of times.
 
 
VIDEO
 
Here is an Opera seen from the inside… The short film Glottal Opera looks at where the sound actually comes from. On the screen we see close ups of the vocal chords of the acappela group “Kaya” in action. In order to make this film, which is both disgusting and fascinating, the director John Fink inserted cameras via the nostrils of his guinea pigs. Glottal Opera was part of the official selection for the Sundance festival, America’s independent film festival.
 

 

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