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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 : 2010-09-08

Facebook used to organise New Zealand earthquake clean-up

Web users in New Zealand mobilise support to repair damage caused by the earthquake ; the ‘adult services’ section of the site Craigslist is closed in the US ; and pigeon capturing in full swing in Barcelona.

CHRISTCHURCH: EARTHQUAKE AFTERMATH

An army of students are at work in Christchurch, New Zealand, clearing away the rubble left by the powerful earthquake that devastated the region several days ago. The initiative was instigated on Facebook when one student created this page. He wanted to rally support amongst his friends at Canterbury University where lessons have been suspended for one week. Over 2000 web users responded to his call and have descended onto the city streets, armed with shovels and wheelbarrows, to help residents repair the damage.

And they appreciate this spontaneous helping hand. In this video filmed by a volunteer, the residents are thanking the students for their support in helping them get back on their feet as soon as possible.

The blogosphere is continuing to establish the extent of the damage caused by the quake. The magnitude 7 earthquake also ripped a new fault line in the earth’s surface and damaged some 100 000 buildings.

This interactive map, posted online by a local daily newspaper, lists the numerous historical buildings that have been affected. It also reports that evaluation teams will decide on which ones will have to be demolished.

Meanwhile, web users from Christchurch remain alert. As this other map, reporting on seismic activity over the past few days demonstrates, numerous aftershocks continue to rattle the region.


ONLINE PROSTITUTION

The « Adult services » section on Craigslist has been closed in the US and replaced with a black bar reading “censored” after attorney generals from 17 different states accused this classified ad website of not doing enough to combat prostitution.

As one can observe on international versions of the site where the section is still available, the site includes many ads offering, in varying degrees of subtlety, paid sexual services.

And there has been increased pressure on Craigslist over the past few months. NGO Rebecca’s project launched a campaign where the site was presented as on online platform for child prostitution networks. The organization had published accounts from two victims of this type of human trafficking that exists on the Internet.

Many social network users have hailed the end of erotic ads on Craigslist.

But this blogger thinks this measure will only have a limited impact on combating prostitution.  He says the pimps will now use other sites to publish their ads. He also feels that the lobbying against the site violates its right to freedom of expression.

Craigslist is using the same argument to defend its adult’s only ads. According to estimations from this consultancy agency, the site made near to 45 million dollars per year from the section.

 

ARCADE FIRE

In this video clip, proposed by group Arcade Fire in collaboration with Google, you are the hero! And here is how it works; a character runs through your childhood neighbourhood to the background music of one of the group’s tracks “We used to wait”. You just have to enter the address of the house you grew up in on the web site. It will then be localized using Google Maps and Google Street View. This is a new technique in data integration from several data bases to create a unique piece of work.

 

AN EGG LIFE

It’s not easy being an egg. Trapped in a box, it waits to be eaten, and finds itself stuck to members of its own kind that it doesn’t necessarily know. Animation studio MediaFreaks is paying tribute to eggs on its blog, via a series of photos, depicting the life of an egg. From the refrigerator to the frying pan, the studio has taken a tongue in cheek look at how an egg might feel.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Several months ago, the city of Barcelona in Spain declared war on the pigeons that invade the streets, spreading disease and damaging sculptures and other monuments. And city officials are using an original technique to capture these birds: a catapult that shoots a net to trap them. As this video demonstrates, the result is pretty convincing.

 

By Electron Libre

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