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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 : 2013-12-15

Artists pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

On today’s show: artists across the globe have been paying tribute to Nelson Mandela; hundreds of writers have signed a petition denouncing the mass surveillance of web users; and a daredevil skateboard duo literally playing with fire…


American writer Maya Angelou penned this poem entitled “His Day Is Done”; in honour of her friend and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. She delivers the poignant tribute in this YouTube video, celebrating his life’s work.

Nelson Mandela inspired artists the world over throughout his life. And over the past few days, countless artists, both the famous and the less well known, have paid their last respects by dedicated a work to him.

Upon hearing of Madiba’s passing, Nigerian artist James Abinibi for example posted this digital painting online to celebrate the legacy of the man he affectionately refers to as “Papa Africa”.

Miguel Rios, who works for Twitter, produced this picture of Nelson Mandela from hundreds of posts to the microblogging site, sent out in response to his death.

Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created this sculpture on Puri beach in eastern India. People have been laying flowers at the foot of the Nelson Mandela sand sculpture, in memory of their hero Nelson Mandela.

And last week, members of the Soweto Gospel Choir dressed up as supermarket employees in Pretoria to surprise shoppers with a flash mob tribute to Madiba, here they are performing the famous Johnny Clegg song “Asimbonanga”.



Germany’s Gunter Grass, Italy’s Umberto Eco, France’s Philippe Djian and America’s Paul Auster were among the 562 renowned writers to have signed this petition posted to on Tuesday. The document denounces the mass surveillance of web users the world over and calls for the creation by the UN of an International Bill of Digital Rights.


These well-known figures from the literary world are out to defend and protect what they describe as a pillar of democracy: an individual’s right to privacy. The petition’s signatories say this fundamental right has been most widely floated by the blanket surveillance of online activity, and in particular by the programs operated by the US government and its intelligence agencies.

And it’s not just the writers that instigated this open appeal feeling this way. Over 117 000 web users have added their signature to the petition demanding an end to the mass surveillance of web users.

There has been a massive backlash to the Prism revelations. And this petition is not the only campaigning underway. Far from it. On Monday for example, a coalition of eight leading US tech firms published an open letter to US president Barack Obama demanding urgent reforms to the US government surveillance programs.



Bare chested with bulging biceps… If this photo is anything to go by then Diego Maradona is back in shape. His daughter, Dalma, posted the pic to Twitter on Tuesday, saying how amazed and impressed she is by the change in him. The Argentine football legend has been battling weight problems for some years and some web users are suggesting the transformation is too good to be true and wonder if the photo has been doctored. Dalma Maradona has been quick to dismiss the cynics by posting a host of pics of her dad in very fine form.



"Take a moment to remember Pearl Harbour with us", tweeted canned food company SpaghettiOs on Friday, to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the United States naval base. The post features a picture of the company’s mascot, a smiling cartoon noodle… and has been met with an instant backlash. American web users have been voicing their outrage, condemning the tweet as wholly inappropriate. The company has since apologized.



This so-called "PowerUP" kit was designed by Israeli inventor Shai Goitein and transforms a paper airplane into a remote controlled one. It consists of a mini motor, an aerial, a propeller, and a thrust attached to a crash proof carbon fiber frame. It’s controlled via your smartphone and gives the paper plane 10 minutes of flight. It has attracted a lot of interest online, the inventor was looking to raise 50,000 dollars to literally get the project off the ground, but web users have already pledged close to 560,000 dollars and counting on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.





This is what they call playing with fire. As we can see in this video that’s been doing the rounds online, professional skateboarders Jonathan and Jason Bastian set their boards and obstacles ablaze and went on to pull off some stunning tricks and moves; an amazing performance indeed and obviously not something you should try at home…

By Electron Libre



2014-12-20 Internet

Connected toys are a must-have for Christmas

“Xeno” is a pet monster. It has lots of little sensors so it moves around when children touch him. He is one of the latest Christmas must haves in the world of new technology.

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2014-12-19 Cuba

Web users react to Cuba and the US normalizing relations

In this edition: web users react to the U.S. and Cuba normalizing relations; Turkish football fans on trial for terrorism; and a Californian man creates a Christmas sound and...

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2014-12-17 India

Sydney siege: Australians show solidarity with Muslims

In this edition: Australian web users show solidarity with Muslims in the wake of the Sydney siege; Indian web users react to the arrest of a pro-IS Twitter propagandist; and...

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2014-12-16 Bangladesh

Oil spill in Bangladesh sparks online controversy

In this edition: reactions to the oil spill in Bangladesh; Justin Bieber's fans mourn the death of his dog; and one man’s cunning ploy to get Christmas kisses.

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2014-12-15 USA

USA: Web users expose soldier impersonators

In this edition: Web users in the US exposing frauds impersonating soldiers; an Indian actress pens an open letter denouncing sexual violence; and a farmer using music to herd...

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