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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 : 2013-12-12

The fight over 'brand Mandela'

Today on the net: the fight over "brand Mandela"; Barack Obama urging American children to learn code, and YouTube’s mash-up of the most popular viral videos of the past year.

The fight over "brand Mandela"

Nelson Mandela T-shirts, posters, mugs, even Christmas decorations: the former South African president’s name sells, and even more so in his death. “Brand Mandela” has been a great source of conflict within his family with some members accused of cashing in on his legacy.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation which was set up to protect and perpetuate his moral legacy, has an online store selling the 46664 clothing line, named after the anti-apartheid icon’s prison number during his years in jail.

His eldest daughter Makaziwe and one of her daughters have launched a “House of Mandela” wine range; despite the fact Madiba himself once said said he did not want to be associated with alcohol or tobacco.

Some of his grandchildren have started a line of t-shirts and caps featuring his image under the brand “Long Walk to Freedom”, borrowed from the title of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

A symbol of unity: it is a highly sought after brand and the source of quarrels within Mandela’s family and inner circle. Last year, two of his daughters took one of Nelson Mandela’s longtime friends, George Bizos, to court. They were seeking to oust him and other Mandela associates from two trusts that had been set up to sell Madiba’s handprint.

Barack Obama wants children to learn code

Barack Obama there addressing the youth of America in a video posted to the web on Sunday. It was produced in partnership with Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting computer science education, and has been released to promote the “Hour of Code” campaign, a project aimed at urging people across the country, and children in particular, to learn more about computer programming.

There is a purpose built site for anyone wishing to learn the basic principles of code. You do not need any prior knowledge to use the site, it takes users through step by step tutorials, and also makes it fun, like here for example, with this interactive introduction to coding featuring drag and drop blocks and a character from the Angry Birds video game.

The campaign has the active support of some well-known computer programmers including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who act as guest lecturers, offering precious advice to code students, in videos available on sharing platforms. They also stress the importance of learning how to use IT tools and that with computer knowledge, comes a wealth of possibility. 

Greenpeace launches fake crowdfunding platform

"Kill Starter" is a new crowdfunding site with a simple goal of “ruining the planet before it dies”. It’s seeking funding for an ice floe melting project for example or to create weapons of mass deforestation. These are of course fictitious schemes and part of a new Greenpeace campaign. The NGO has parodied the well-known Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, in a bid to raise public awareness about how some of the projects with potentially disastrous environmental consequences could one day become reality.

Now trending on social networks

Former US president George Bush senior, who was in office between 1989 and 1993, has now joined Twitter. He’s posted just one tweet so far, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela and saying how sorry he was not to have been able to attend Tuesday’s memorial service in Soweto. George Bush senior is the third American president, and the first republican one, to join the microblogging site, after Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Video of the day

The end of the year is almost upon us, and YouTube has released it’s "Rewind 2013", a mashup tribute to this year’s most popular and memorable videos. All those viral videos creating a buzz over the past twelve months, so the likes of DJ Baauer for example, who bought us the Harlem Shake. Daft Punk, Kid President they’re all packed into this round up of what web users were watching in 2013.

By Electron Libre

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