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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2013-05-05

USA: 5-year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills sister

Today on the net, a 5-year-old in America accidently shoots and kills his little sister; reactions online; two web users target the rich and famous in a new crowdfunding campaign; and IBM has produced the world’s smallest ever film.

USA: 5-year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills sister

It was here in this house in Kentucky that tragedy struck. On Tuesday, a 5-year-old boy accidentally killed his two year old sister as he was playing with a rifle he had been given for his birthday last year. Local authorities say the weapon was usually kept in a corner of the house and his parents didn’t realize a shell had been left inside.

Mark Follman from news site Mother Jones, says that the issue of parental responsibility is clearly at the centre of the tragedy. But the journalist also points the finger at the firearms industry, which is marketing products for children.

The rifle involved in the Kentucky tragedy was a Crickett rifle, a product geared towards kids. According to its website the company aims to “instill gun safety in the minds of young shooters” and markets this range of mini rifles as “my first rifle”…

All the guns available are featured in the company’s online catalogue; there are even pink models designed for little girls. There is also a section of the website displaying photos of children proudly holding these firearms designed specifically for their small frames.

And as gun control debate continues to rage in the US, many have taken to social networks, to condemn these pictures and the company and to voice their indignation and outrage.

Web campaign asks celebs to pay regular guys to see their films

A number of celebrities and US film makers have turned to crowdfunding sites in recent months to raise enough money to finance the production of their movies. Campaigns that appeal to the generosity of web users, and which have enjoyed phenomenal success. Take the Kickstarter campaign to take the TV series Veronica Mars to the silver screen for example : web users donated over 5.7 million dollars, and then there was a campaign started by actor Zach Braff, he raised over 2 million dollars for his film project; in just three days.

And as this video posted on the site “Funny or Die” explains: this success is all down to the generosity and mobilization of thousands of fans. Luke Barnett and Tanner Thomason from the US think it’s high time the actors who benefit from these online donations give something back. And so the two friends have launched their own Kickstarter campaign to raise a monumental 34 dollars to pay for their cinema tickets so they can go and see the films they helped pay for.

It may seem a somewhat offbeat campaign but there is a serious message behind it; it’s a criticism of the way numerous celebrities are now using the web to raise money when generally speaking they are from needy, and could most probably finance their projects themselves. Luke and Tanner feel when well-known faces make these appeals for money they divert attention away from other campaigns launched by people who aren’t famous but deserve just as much, if not more, financial support from web users.


World’s first website is back online

On the 30th April 1993, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, released the code for the World Wide Web to the public free of charge, inventing what we think of today as the modern Internet. And now twenty years later, CERN has put the world’s very first web page back online at its original URL: a portal created by Professor Tim Berners-Lee, where the man who created the World Wide Web explains how it will work.


Now trending on social networks

Last week, web users in Brazil began posting under the hashtag "Beijaço" meaning "protest by kissing" to take a stand for gay rights. Budding artists have taken a leaf out of cartoonist Laerte’s book and are flooding social media platforms with images of people from all walks of life, sharing a kiss. It’s part of a competition launched in protest of the recent nomination of anti-gay preacher Marco Feliciano to head of the Brazil Human Rights Committee.


Video of the day

This video was recently posted online by computer giant IBM, and is something of a masterpiece because it is the smallest movie ever made. It’s called “A Boy and His Atom” and was made by moving thousands of carbon monoxide particles using revolutionary technology developed by researchers at IBM and filmed with a scanning tunneling microscope. A highly complex task and the results are pretty astonishing.

By Electron Libre



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