Today on the net, American web users laughing off threats from North Korea. An awareness campaign warning of the dangers of Google Glass. And a Russian street artist brings derelict buildings to life.
USA: humor unleashed by North Korea’s threats
After the ongoing, bellicose declarations and anti-America propaganda of recent weeks, Pyongyang stepped up its war threats on Friday with this picture released via North Korea’s state run news agency: we see Kim Jong-Un surrounded by his military advisors and a map of the United States. The photo has been analyzed by the team at NKnews.org, who by zooming in on the image; tell us that the North Korean leader is actually studying the country’s battle plans and a list of American cities that are being targeted for missile strikes. Among them : and to no great surprise, cities like Washington that hold strategic value, but then the list also features less threatening places like Austin, Texas. A bemusing choice to say the least, but residents of this small southern city don’t seem too alarmed … quite the opposite in fact!
Texans aren’t taking the North Korean leader’s threats too seriously. Social networkers have been posting under the hashtag “Why Austin?” trying to figure out why Kim Jong-Un wants to attack the Texan capital. Some have produced photomontages claiming for example he is angry with Austin because he was not invited to the SXSW festival or that he was disappointed with 2013 lineup. Others are saying the North Korean strongman is targeting Austin because he wants to get his hands on stocks of the local specialty: barbecue sauce.
And it’s not just web users providing levity. The Austin authorities have posted this 1950s style, “what to do in the event of an air strike” video onto Twitter : to highlight with more than a hint of irony, that North Korea’s war tactics and scaremongering are outdated, and should not be taken too seriously…
Activists launch anti-Google Glass campaign
They haven’t even hit the stores yet, but the Google glasses are already causing controversy. A Seattle bar has pre-emptively banned Google Glass from its establishment, West Virginia lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban the use of the head mounted gadgets while driving, and now a group of British activists have launched a campaign to raise public awareness of the potential risks this new technology could pose.
The campaign is called "Stop the Cyborgs" and hopes to open up debate and encourage people to demand surveillance free zones where they can talk and behave freely. The instigators of this campaign think the Google glasses, which are basically little computers equipped with a miniature camera, pose a serious threat to individual freedoms because the people wearing them can film everyone they pass in the street and upload the footage instantaneously without the person in the video having any say in the matter or indeed even being aware. Worse still, as these glasses are connected to the web, the wearer could potentially access private information about these individuals recorded by the Google Glasses and again without these people knowing.
The campaign creators are not seeking a blanket ban on these famous glasses; they just want to ensure usage is properly monitored. Web users are being urged to express support on social networks by replacing their profile pictures with these Stop the Cyborgs ones.
9-year-old launches online campaign to create video game
9 year old Mackenzie Wilson has set her heart on creating a video game. But her two older brothers have teasingly told her that this is no job for a girl of her age. And so to prove them wrong, the American school girl, with some help from mum, launched an online campaign to raise the 800 dollars needed to go to computer camp and learn to make a computer game. It exceeded all expectations, because she ended up raising over 22 000 dollars.
Russian artist brings abandoned buildings to life
Russian artist Nikita Nomerz has been travelling around his country transforming ordinary, non- descript places into faces, giving old, run down and decrepit buildings new life. His work has been documented in a collection of photos called “The Living Wall” which you can check out on the street artist’s blog.
Video of the day
This stop-motion video was uploaded by American artist Chris Carlson who wanted to pay tribute to the well-known video game Tetris. His chalk drawings, the video features no other effects, give the impression the clip is in 3D, and will no doubt be a big hit with fans of this timeless game.