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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 : 2013-03-05

The hackers of Damascus

Syria’s pro-Assad hackers strike again. "Goat edition" is the latest Internet sensation. And an American mum-to-be is letting web users choose the name of her unborn child.

The hackers of Damascus

Fighting continues in Syria, with rebels and government forces locked in bitter battle, on the ground and also on the web. Hackers loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad struck again on Friday, temporarily taking control of the social network accounts belonging to the Qatar Foundation. The hackers posted a serious of messages attacking the leaders of Qatar for their support of the Syrian opposition.

A few days earlier they broke into the Twitter feed of the photo department at French news agency AFP and circulated pro-regime propaganda over several hours. The Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility for the attacks. The pro-Assad hackers have unleashed a number of attacks on Western media and governments in recent months, for their perceived support of the Syrian uprising.

The army of hackers is not officially linked to the government but according to cyber activists works closely with Syria’s intelligence services. It is apparently behind the malware attacks on websites used by opposition activists when the electronic army plants spying software on these platforms to identify potential cyber dissidents and influential members of the opposition.

Goat edition is the latest viral sensation

Following on from last year’s "Gangnam Style" that got millions of web users from all over the world on their feet and the more recent success of the “Harlem Shake” dancing phenomenon, there’s a new musical trend creating a buzz online: “Goat edition”. It consists quite simply of taking an instantly recognizable song and adding a screaming goat… and the revamped versions are often pretty funny. Here’s a look at some of web’s wackiest offerings.

Hundreds of “goat editions” have been uploaded to sharing platforms over the past few days, and one of the most popular is this version of Justin Bieber’s “Baby”

Another young pop star to have been given the goat treatment: Miley Cyrus. Online comedians have produced this remix which is enjoying huge success online.

And it’s not just recent hits and current pop stars falling victim to these not so flattering parodies. Legends of the music industry like Queen and Whitney Houston have also been entitled to their own goat editions…

And finally, one web user, who perhaps couldn’t choose between the two biggest online trends of the moment, has made a “goat edition” “Harlem Shake” video. Many web users will no doubt agree that this clip, after a while, can really start to get your goat…

Now trending on social networks

A nurse in Switzerland, whose identity has not been revealed, in under fire for posting pictures of herself to Facebook in which she is sitting next to the corpse of an elderly person. The images were published by a local edition of Swiss daily 20 Minutes, sparking a public outcry, with many taking to the web to voice their outrage over the nurse’s attitude. And she could be in trouble; the authorities have opened an investigation into this particularly morbid affair. 

Pregnant woman to let web users name her baby

26-year-old Californian woman Natasha Hill is three months pregnant and has been given 5,000 dollars to let web users choose the name of her baby. She won a competition on the website Belly Ballot which will be organizing an online vote in a few weeks’ time to pick a name. The mum-to-be, who doesn’t want to know the sex before the birth, says she is going to use the money to start up a college fund for her baby. 

Video of the day

Here’s a particularly impressive cover of the Stevie Wonder hit “I wish” – delivered by Japan based Korean Yeo Inhyeok, who is an expert in this type of musical performance, and his reviewed and updated version is definitely a worthy tribute to the original.

By Electron Libre

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2014-08-27 Social Media

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

In this edition: an Indian journalist launches the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’; Egypt’s tips to the US police force spark debate; and two kayakers hurtle down a drainage ditch.

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2014-08-25 Social Media

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

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2014-08-26 Social Media

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2014-08-22 Social Media

'Doubtfire Face', the web's new suicide prevention campaign

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2014-08-23 Internet

Developing online media in Burma

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