The Egyptian military polls voters on Facebook. Police abuses across the world caught on video and posted online. There’s a new array of Internet domain endings on its way.
Egyptian military polls voters on Facebook
Egypt’s ruling military, which is in charge of navigating the political transition to democracy following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, is asking Facebook users “who is your favourite Presidential candidate?” 140 000 web users have taken part in this online survey and made their choice from the list of 15 possible candidates.
Mohammed El Baradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is topping the poll with 33 % of votes. The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner who was an important figure in the Egyptian revolution is followed by prominent Islamic scholar Mohamed Selim al-Awa who announced his candidacy on Sunday and has 21 % of the votes.
This survey will help identify the favourites in the upcoming Presidential election, although the methodology has been called into question. Only 20 % of the Egyptian population has Internet access, and any Facebook user can take part in the poll, regardless of where they live.
Some web users like Nesrine Khaled have welcomed the army’s scheme, and the way it has used social media over the past few months to communicate with young people.
Others, like blogger Zenobia, are more wary. She is not ruling out the possibility the army has set up this survey so it can interfere in the presidential election.
The date for this ballot has yet to be finalized, as the legislative elections scheduled for September to replace the currently dissolved parliament may be postponed to give the political parties more time to prepare.
Police abuses caught on video
This footage has been shown on Pakistani television channels time and time again and circulated all over the local web. Filmed last month, it shows security forces opening fire at a checkpoint outside Quetta in the south of the country, killing five Chechens, all members of the same family. The authorities initially claimed the victims were suicide bombers. But the video, which has very much shocked public opinion, appears to contradict this version of events.
Violent images which bring to mind this video in which 5 soldiers shoot an unarmed Palestinian at point blank range, the young man was suspected of stealing from a park in Karachi,. The video shocked web users the world over when it was uploaded on to YouTube two weeks ago.
Since the advent of the web, we have seen increasing numbers of this type of video, denouncing police abuses. In the Palestinian territories, Israeli NGO B’Tselem has even given cameras to activists in the West Bank, so they can immortalize demonstrations in the region and film brutal crackdowns by Israeli security forces, like we see here at a rally held in the town of Nabi Saleh on the 13th of May.
And more recently, in the US, two amateur film makers caught a deadly shooting on camera on the 30th of May in Miami, Florida. These images have been widely circulated online and show police officers open fire on a driver who is trying to avoid a police control. The footage is likely to play a central role in the investigation currently underway, even though one of the officers reportedly tried to destroy the video.
Internet body approves use of new suffixes
Dot coms, dot orgs and dot frs will soon be a thing of the past. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, recently approved the use of new Internet domain name endings. Companies and organizations will the first to apply; apparently The City of Paris has already shown interest in changing its domain suffix. The application process is likely to cost around 185 000 dollars.
Chasse au trésor sur Google Earth : Treasure hunt on Google Earth
Google Earth is at the center of a huge seven month treasure hunt due to begin in September. It will consist of solving fourteen puzzles, leading web users to a geographical position where the treasure is hidden! The pieces of the puzzle will be in the form of a picture, or words and each solution will lead treasure hunters to new locations, monuments, patterns or visible outlines on Google Earth. The winner will take home the tidy sum of 50 000 euros.
Video of the day
When it was announced that 160 members of their staff force were to be made redundant, these Spanish workers decided to make this film, where we see them dancing to the famous Village People hit “YMCA” totally naked. It’s their way of drawing attention to their situation at a time when unemployment rates in Spain have reached an all-time high.