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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 : 2011-06-07

Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated amid criticism

The reinstatement of the Bahrain Grand Prix sparks online debate. Remote-access software can help retrieve lost or stolen computers. And a site on which web users rate the sex appeal of British politicians.

Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated amid criticism

The Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled in February because of the political unrest in the country, and has now been rescheduled for the 30th of October. The controversial decision has been met with criticism as shortly after the lifting of the state of emergency imposed mid-March, anti-government demonstrators have once again taken to the streets. This video was uploaded on Friday and appears to show security forces breaking up a rally in the village of Sanabis, located near to the capital Manama.

The Bahrain Grand Prix has become a political issue for anti-government activists. An online petition has been set up on the web site of NGO Avaaz, and signed by over 400 000 web users; the document is appealing to Formula 1 teams to boycott the race. Objective: denounce the regime’s repression of the protest movement which broke out in February.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights states that around one quarter of the staff working for the circuit due to host the race have been fired or arrested for taking part in protests. And according to this list, twenty or so employees are currently still in detention.

And as the Formula 1 authorities’ continue to debate the subject, supporters of the regime have been campaigning online in favour of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The campaign is highlighting the economic benefits the event brings to the country and the tourism sector in particular.

 

Stolen laptop sends clues to recovery

Joshua Kauffman was burgled in March and has just recovered his lap top which was stolen from his home in Oakland, California. This American designer had installed a software program which helped him track down the stolen machine. The software can remotely activate the computer’s webcam and take photos of the person using it. Joshua Kauffman posted these photos on his blog along with other information provided by the software, like the suspected thief’s email address. His resourcefulness attracted the attention of many web users, and speeded up the police investigation. The suspect, a 27 year old taxi driver was arrested last week.

This case brings to mind the story of a Canadian man, Sean Power, who also recovered his computer using a software program he had installed. He was receiving regular reports from his computer which had ‘travelled’ to New York, so he asked web users for help via Twitter. They made their own investigations and found the person in possession of the computer who willingly returned it to its rightful owner.

Mark Bao, a student in the state of Massachusetts, also used a remote activation system to rescue the computer stolen from him in March. He remotely accessed his computer and downloaded a video that the thief had recorded of himself dancing in front of the webcam. The clip was uploaded onto YouTube, and circulated around the web, forcing the culprit to turn himself in to the police.

 

See, Click, Fix

With the site "See, click, fix" web users can report non-emergency cases of Urban Blight, like graffiti, pot holes and also run down equipment in public parks and playgrounds. The site’s creators hope to improve the quality of life in towns and cities and also encourage citizens to take more interest in community life. The service is incredibly popular in the U.S. and is gradually gaining ground in France.



Website ranks most attractive British politicians

Who is the most attractive British politician? It’s up to web users to decide. On the site "Sexy MP", web users have to decide which of the two MPs displayed on the screen is the sexiest. The more votes a law maker gets, the higher his or her ranking. And although some members of parliament find the site pretty funny, others say it is degrading for politicians, who should be judged by their political abilities.

 

Video of the day

This cover version of the Rolling Stones hit « Gimme shelter » conveys a strong and universal message. This track features on the second album by the “Playing for Change” collective, which brings together musicians from around the world to record an emblematic song and spread a message of peace.
 

By Electron Libre

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