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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 : 2012-01-02

Comedy amidst Syrian tragedy

Syrian cyber activists fighting the Damascus regime with comedy and satire. Siku, the polar bear cub becomes a web sensation. And Steve Jobs set to receive a posthumous Grammy Award.

Comedy amidst Syrian tragedy

For months now Beeshou’s nights have been wracked with nightmares in which he sees his regime fall. One of his military advisors tries to calm his down by telling him the majority of his people still love him. But this does not comfort Beeshou who offers to step down. Beeshou is in fact the name of the puppet representing the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

This satirical series is called “Diaries of a Little Dictator," and has been aired on the Internet by a group of anonymous artists since the end of November. The short videos are subtitled in English and use black comedy to attack the personality cult that surrounds the Syrian leader.

Cartoon parodies, and comical sketches that poke fun at official propaganda: opponents to the Syrian regime have been using humour to challenge the authorities ever since the popular uprising began back in March.

One cyber activist has set up this Facebook page as a direct reaction to Damascus’ violent repression in the city of Homs. It covers events in this opposition stronghold using a highly ironic tone and from the point of view of a tank maintenance facility. The fictitious establishment is urging the regime to leave armored vehicles in the city as withdrawing them would be bad for business.

Another Facebook page called « The Chinese Revolution » is making fun of how the government is blaming the unrest on foreign conspiracy. All of the protests taking place across Syria are described as if they were taking place in China, Damascus becomes Beijing and Bashar al-Assad has been replaced by the Chinese president Hu Jintao.


Siku the polar bear becomes an Internet sensation

An adorable polar bear cub taking a nap after a hearty meal… These pictures of Siku were circulated around the web in the space of a few days. He was taken into care by handlers at Denmark’s Kolind zoo shortly after his birth because his mother was unable to produce enough milk to feed him and he was in danger of dying. So Siku is now being reared by humans and it would appear he enjoys being bottle fed: he now weighs over three and a half kilos, twice as much as he did at birth. The little cub is being monitored by three people and receiving around the clock care.

He had only just opened his eyes but had already become something of an Internet sensation. Siku has his own Facebook page with near to 20 000 fans. The zoo provides daily reports on his progress and has been uploading heart melting photos of the cute little cub.

His story his reminiscent of that of Knut, the famous polar bear born at the Berlin Zoo who was reared by humans until his death last March at the age of four.

But handlers at the zoo in Kolind, which boasts facilities designed specifically for polar bears, are confident their protégé will have an entirely different fate and he will lead a completely different life. And according to his official web site, Siku, which means sea ice in Inuit, is to become an ambassador for the polar bear cause. The idea is to use Siku’s popularity to raise awareness about the threat of climate change on the polar bears Arctic habitat.


Steve Jobs to receive a Grammy award

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on the 5th of October is set to receive a posthumous Grammy Award in February. The organizers of The United States’ most prestigious music awards want to honour the memory of a man who created products and technologies that transformed the way we consume music. The award illustrates that although he is no longer with us, Steve Jobs remains a prominent figure in the world of the web.

 

HTTP status cats

"Server error", "service unavailable", "not found" and also "unauthorized access"… Blogger Tomomi Imura has played around with the popular lolcats concept, to illustrate the different error codes we encounter when browsing the web. You can check out these quirky pics on the blogger's Flickr account. It’s her way of making light of these messages that can drive web users crazy.

 

Video of the day

Although most people keep a written diary, Denis Chapron draws in his. This French artist has completed 12 drawings a day, so the equivalent of 1 second of film, every day for the past 3 years. And his daily diary entries have resulted in this 4 minute film.

By Electron Libre

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