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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 : 2013-04-17

Online reactions to the Boston Marathon explosions

Today on the net, shock and sorrow following the Boston marathon explosions; a suspicious scene captured on Google Earth has got web users wondering; and a website that rents out working and retired athletes…

Online reactions to the Boston Marathon explosions

This footage was presumably filmed on a small camera attached to a runner. The runner is about to complete the Boston marathon when a powerful explosion erupts…

It was the first of two deadly blasts near the finish line. Soon after Monday’s tragic events pictures started appearing on social networks. Many spectators like Bruce Mendelsohn have uploaded photos testifying to the horror they witnessed. Boston’s Police Force is encouraging web users to publish these amateur documents as they could prove helpful in the investigation.

There are a number of online initiatives offering support for victims. After the explosions and the confusion that ensued, Google and The Red Cross set up websites for people to locate missing loved ones and for people immediately affected to let their friends and family know they are safe and well.

Residents of Boston have been helping those runners and spectators who were unable to return home or to their hotel. This contact form for example has been circulating on social networks and is designed to connect people in need of a place to stay with people offering housing.

Emotions remain high: “Pray for Boston” has since become one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter. Thousands of social networkers across the globe have been posting under these keywords to express their solidarity with all those affected by this tragedy.

 

A murderer caught red handed by Google Earth?

This shot was posted to community site Reddit on Saturday by a user who goes under the name ncav. The caption reads ‘A murder near my house on Google Maps’ and it’s certainly got a great many web users wondering. We see an aerial view of a lakeside jetty in the city of Almere in the Netherlands, and what appears to be a long red trail leading from dry land right up to the water. The image has since sparked all sorts of online speculation.

Some web users are convinced this photo shows a crime scene, captured by pure chance on Google’s mapping service. They are also commenting on the fact that committing such an act in broad daylight is not perhaps the best way to cover your tracks.

 

Scores of other web users have been challenging the theory: they are just as interested in the famous photo, but have decided to analyze it in greater detail to gain a better understanding of the scene captured on Google Earth. Most of these would-be detectives say, with photomontages to back them up, that the image shows the trail of water left by a dog who had been paddling in the lake, and not blood from a particularly gruesome murder.

This argument makes a lot of sense, but doesn’t appear to have convinced supporter of the theory that something sinister has taken place: they want the Dutch police to get involved to get to the bottom of this incredible story...

 

Now trending on social networks

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has launched his personal account on Twitter. In just a few days he already has over 800,000 web users following his tweets, most of which are written by his communication team and give a glimpse into the head of state’s private life. Some analysts are saying that with one and a half years to go before the end of his second and final mandate, it’s all about boosting the president’s image. Elected for the first time in 2004, Yudhoyono is no longer eligible to run in next year’s presidential election.

 

Rent an athlete on Thuzio.com

A coaching session with a former Golf pro for 500 dollars, dinner with an American football star for less than 2 000 dollars, or a private conference with a former figure skating champion for 10,000 dollars… on the site Thuzio.com you can book a high level athlete, retired or still in activity. So these sporting stars get to make a bit of extra income and provide fans with an unforgettable experience.

 

Video of the day

An overview of over one thousand years of music in just a few minutes… this video was posted online by acappela group Pentatonix and is a tribute to some of their and our favourite songs and pieces of music throughout history.

By Electron Libre

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Archives

2014-10-30 New York

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