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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 : 2013-12-04

Drones deployed to capture footage of protests in Thailand

Today on the net: drones are now being deployed to capture footage of the protests in Thailand; Croatian activists react to the effective ban on same-sex marriage; and a British man throws away a hard drive and loses 7.5 million dollars.

Drones deployed to capture protests in Thailand

Riot police in Thailand fire tear gas and water cannons as protesters try to breach barricades outside the government headquarters in Bangkok. But on Tuesday in a reversal of strategy from the authorities, protesters were able to take over these government buildings with no resistance from police. Sunday’s clashes were filmed with a drone and the footage was posted to YouTube by a user called “TheCyberJom”.

These remote controlled devices are being used increasingly frequently by journalists and bloggers covering the anti-government movement in Thailand, to gain a different and better perspective of what is unfolding at the scene.

The ASTV television network in particular deployed drones to film the mass opposition protest staged in the capital on November 24 to demand the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

English language newspaper "The Nation" says they make it easier to gauge the scale of protests as organizers often inflate attendance figures, whereas the authorities have a tendency to play them down.

These unmanned aerial vehicles are relatively affordable and provide the press in Thailand with an alternative way of covering events, because as highlighted by NGOs such as Reporters without Borders, a number of local and foreign journalists have been set upon by protesters in recent days. 

Croatia: activists react to gay marriage ban

In a referendum held on Sunday, the majority of Croatian voters backed proposals to amend the constitution to define marriage as “the union between a man and a woman”. The “protiv”, movement which opposes this definition has taken to the web, with strong reactions.

Activists have been campaigning online over the past few weeks, in favour of same sex marriage. Online videos online conveying messages of tolerance have been a major part of the “protiv” campaign, with campaigners urging fellow citizens to vote against the proposed definition of marriage. Campaigning has been coordinated and carried out under the keywords “Glasam Protiv”, meaning ‘against’ and has seen activists take to the streets, relaying this march on Facebook, it was staged in the capital Zagreb, the day before the referendum. 

Campaigners for same sex marriage have now taken to Twitter in their droves voicing their disappointment and saying the referendum results show Croatians to be intolerant. As we can see in this amateur video footage posted to YouTube shortly after the initial results were released some campaigner lit candles in Rijeka in symbolic memory of this “lost” tolerance.

Gay rights organizations have been quick to comment via statements and communiqués. The NGO Gong for example says the level of participation was extremely low, at around 37 %, and so unrepresentative. Writing on its website, the Zagreb Pride group says the fight for an egalitarian society must continue. 

$7.5 million worth of Bitcoins binned with hard drive

When James Howells, a British man who works in IT, did a spot of spring cleaning back in summer he threw out an old hard drive that had been sitting in a drawer for the past three years. But he had forgotten it contained 7500 bitcoins. Back in 2009 this digital currency was not really worth anything, but a single bitcoin’s value recently hit 1,000 dollars. So his hard drive holds 7.5 million dollars but is now somewhere in a landfill site in Wales: a small fortune that he has already given up hope of finding. 

Now trending on social networks

If you look carefully, there’s something human about this washing machine, this chocolate bar or this tiled roof. Angry, laughing, frightened, they even seem to display different moods. The FacesPics Twitter account collates these pictures of hidden faces in everyday items; web users can also submit pics under the #faceseverywhere or #iseefaces hashtags. The account now has some 200,000 followers seeing faces in random objects. 

Video of the day

It’s not magic, it’s science. American researchers from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology have put together a Dynamic Shape Display so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way and people can interact physically at a distance. The innovation is called “inFORM” and it’s presented in this video which will no doubt be of interest to anyone working in architecture, engineering and also medical imaging.

By Electron Libre

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