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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 : 2013-09-23

Shebab Twitter account suspended after Kenya mall attack

Today on the net: the Twitter account of Somalia’s Al-Shabab militants is removed after the attack in Nairobi; American web users reward a homeless man for his honesty; and an Italian artist who creates 3D illusion drawings of everyday objects.

Shebab Twitter account suspended after Kenya mall attack

"The Mujahideen entered Westgate Mall today at around noon and are still inside the mall, fighting the Kenyan Kuffar (infidels) inside their own turf", this message was posted on the Twitter account of Somalia’s al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab Islamist militants after their gunmen stormed a shopping centre in Nairobi on Saturday.

And the terrorist organization didn’t just use the micro-blogging site to claim responsibility for the deadly attack, it also lived blogged the siege in a string of messages, trying to justify the massacre in which dozens have died, and demand the withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.

The series of tweets saw al-Shabab expelled from Twitter for the third time this year. Back in January for example the Somali Islamists’ account was removed when they posted the photo of a French soldier’s dead body after he had been killed during an attempt to rescue a hostage. 

But every time an account is removed by the site, al-Shabab just sets up another one under a different name, as they appeared to have done on Sunday, to continue communicating via Twitter. The web plays an important part in the jihadists’ communication strategy, and they make great use of the online tools available to spread propaganda and recruit new members. 

Boston homeless man rewarded for honesty

When Glen James, a homeless man from Massachusetts in the US, found a lost backpack containing over 40 000 dollars in cash and travelers cheques, he returned it to Boston police. Naturally the owner of the backpack was thrilled, but the story has been met with an overwhelming reaction from the online community, with thousands of web users in awe of Mr. James and his act of honesty.

One American web user Ethan Whittington, was so touched by the homeless man’s decency, he launched a donations appeal on crowdfunding site “Go Fund Me”, to reward the man for handing in the bag by raising money to help him get his life back on track. In less than a week, the fund has already received over 138,000 dollars in donations. Glen James will be given the money to help get him off the streets and into accommodation. 

This remarkable wave of solidarity for a homeless man is reminiscent of the campaign ran in February for Billy Ray Harris, who instead of keeping a ring that accidently fell into his cup when he was begging, returned it to its owner. She was so grateful she launched an online campaign to repay him for his honesty and raised over 191,000 dollars. Enough to help him start a new life… and he has been living happily ever since… 

The most dangerous celebrities to search for online

Computer Security Company McAfee has released its annual list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online, the ones that pose the biggest risk of landing on a malicious site. And in first place this year is the actress daughter of singer Phil Collins. Searches related to Lily Collins photos and downloads had over a 14 % chance of leading to a website that tested positive for malware and viruses. In second position was singer Avril Lavigne with actress Sandra Bullock coming third. 

Digital art made with Excel spreadsheets

When 73-year-old Japanese digital artist Tatsuo Horiuchi found graphic software too expensive he started creating artwork using the Excel application which is normally used for number calculation or data listings. His pieces are inspired by traditional Japanese art and as you can see there are no numbers or spreadsheets in sight. 

Video of the day

As we can see in this video of him drawing an incredibly realistic folded ten euro note, the highly talented Italian artist Marcello Barenghi specializes in 3D illusion paintings of everyday objects. It takes the Milan based artist 3 to 5 hours to complete each piece, always with stunning results…

By Electron Libre

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