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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 : 2012-12-06

Social media helps free jailed Ecuadorian blogger

Ecuadorian web users help free a jailed blogger. Kate Middleton’s pregnancy sets the web abuzz. And American footballer Tim Tebow lends support to a grieving high school student.

Social media helps free jailed Ecuadorian blogger

He had only just left prison, but Paul Moreno took to Twitter to post this message, thanking all those who had supported him. The Ecuadorian blogger, known online as Paul Coyote, was arrested last week after accessing online data belonging to Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

He has detailed on his blog, how he was able to able to create an account under the head of state’s name in the national identity database “DatoSeguro”, an official portal that allows citizens access to personal information kept by various government institutions. The blogger says he used information that was freely accessible on the web, like the president’s date of birth for example, and that it was easy to work out the code from his identity card.

His intention was to demonstrate a security flaw in the site’s identification system, but it did not have the desired effect and Paul Moreno was arrested, much to the outrage of social networkers who started campaigning for “Coyote’s” release.

Hackers for example initiated a wave of cyber-attacks on government websites to mark their opposition to his arrest.

In the end it was Rafael Correa himself who intervened and ordered the blogger’s release; he was freed on Monday. The Ecuadorian President said he has nothing to hide, and has given Paul Moreno permission to publish all of his data.

Internet reacts to Kate Middleton’s pregnancy

Monday’s announcement that Prince William, and his wife Kate are expecting their first child has set the Internet abuzz, becoming one of the hottest topics on the web.

Thousands of social networkers have shared their delight and congratulated the future parents under the hashtag "#RoyalBaby". Countless members of the public and also more well-known faces like the British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper have inundated Twitter with messages for the royal couple.

And although Kate Middleton’s pregnancy has sparked great excitement on the web, the news has also inspired online comedians. Dozens of photomontages have found their way online, some more flattering than others; imaging what the Royal baby or even Kate’s ‘bump’ will look like.

Another very popular trending topic on social networks: what name will William and Kate choose for their baby? And once again web users are coming up with all sorts of imaginative, sometimes wacky, ideas; suggestions for a boy include Phoebo, Archaic, Hercules and then there’s Obsolescence or Chanelle if it’s a girl.

And finally, one web user has taken things one step further and set up a jokey Twitter account in the name of the royal fetus… posting messages for its future subjects and relating day to day life in the womb, describing how dark it is for example. The account is already proving hugely popular, it was created on Monday and already has over 6,000 followers.

Now trending on social networks

Earlier this week American web users started posting under the Twitter hashtag "#TebowCallMatt" to urge American footballer Tim Tebow to telephone one of his fans, New York High School student Matthew Hardy, who lost his girlfriend in a car accident last week. The Twitter campaign went viral, and achieved its aim, because the New York Jets quarterback did end up calling Matt. 

"Project Neon" documents neon signs in New York City

Two years ago, American photographer Kirsten Hively started documenting the neon signs that light up New York City nights, and which are becoming an increasingly rare sight on the urban landscape. She posted all the photos to her “Project Neon” blog, and it has enjoyed great success, so much so that the artist has developed a smart phone application that serves as a guide to New York’s neon signage which now has something of a cult status. 

Video of the day

While some live in fear the end of the world is nigh, others, like Chad Neidt, are taking the predictions with a pinch of salt. As we can see, and above all hear in this YouTube video, he has produced an interesting mash up of dozens of tracks evoking the end of the world…

By Electron Libre

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