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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 : 2012-01-03

China hit by another milk scandal

Online reactions to the latest food scandal to hit China. An anti-piracy law facing strong opposition in the United States. And media tycoon Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter…

China hit by another milk scandal

Mengniu: "the shame of our nation”. This was the message posted on the Chinese dairy company’s website after it was hacked into on Wednesday. Mengniu is one of the country’s largest milk producers, and is currently at the center of the latest food scandal to hit China.

Health authorities discovered high levels of aflatoxin, a cancer causing toxin produced by mold, in one of the company’s factories. Mengniu has apologized in an online statement, and has said the contaminated milk has been destroyed and has not reached any distribution networks.

But visibly, consumers need more reassurance. Many have taken to social networks to share concerns over the quality of the company’s products. A lot of web users have shared this image, showing Snow White poisoned not by an apple, but by Mengniu milk. This other picture is a parody of one of the company’s ads, the slogan reads along the lines of “one liter of milk a day to kill the people of China”.

A boycott campaign has been launched online. Thousands of Chinese web users have retweeted or reposted this message urging their fellow citizens to stop buying Mengniu products, along with any newspapers containing ads for the company.

It looks like Mengniu is going to have a lot of trouble regaining people’s trust. Even more so as the company was involved in the melamine tainted milk scandal back in 2008, that killed 6 babies in China and made nearly 300 000 others ill.


USA: anti-piracy law faces strong opposition

The « Stop Online Piracy Act » or SOPA has been under discussion at US Congress since the end of October. The bill is aimed at curbing and punishing those who download illegally, and has been met with widespread criticism by the online community. It was introduced by Republican Senator Lamar Smith, and stipulates that any US based website containing the slightest copyright infringement could be blocked.

And whilst web giants like Google, Facebook or EBay voiced their opposition to SOPA in an open letter to US Congress, web hosting company Go Daddy, initially decided to back the controversial draft law, evoking the importance of making the Internet a safe place for its clients. Go Daddy is the largest domain registrar in the world, with over 50 million clients.

But their stance was not popular with web users. A vast boycott campaign called “NO Daddy” was launched on community website Reddit and in the space of just a few weeks, over 70,000 sites left Go Daddy to take their business elsewhere, including the famous online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the site’s founder Jimmy Wales announced the departure on Twitter. This was the final blow for Go Daddy, and the domain hosting site withdrew its support of the bill shortly afterwards.

And so the anti-SOPA campaigning continues. This online petition has been posted to the White House website, urging Barack Obama to veto the bill once it has been voted on in Congress. The petition already has over 43 000 signatures, and it looks like there will some heated debate at US Congress once the holidays are over…

 

A social network for robots

There’s now a social network for robots. It’s called Myrobots and it is, in all seriousness, a place where web users can help their robots connect with other robots. Intelligent vacuum cleaners, humanoids… all robots are welcome and can use the site to let others know when their batteries are running low for example.


Now trending on social networks

Australian-American business tycoon Rupert Murdoch has joined Twitter, and set the micro blogging platform abuzz. He is known for being a technophobe, but the head of the Newscorp media group finally joined Twitter on Saturday and already has near to 45 000 followers. It would appear that after a few hesitant tweets, the 80 year old has now got the hang of this online media tool, and has even replied directly to some web users. He could well be trying to improve his reputation following the News of the World phone hacking scandal which hit his media empire badly.

 

Video of the day

This video was produced by the artist Pao for a street art festival in Italy; he’s recreated the early video games using the bricks in a wall. The clip has been made using stop motion technology so the graffiti becomes animated: a fitting tribute to the video games graphics of the eighties.


 

By Electron Libre

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