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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 : 2014-01-15

Thailand: smartphone apps for protesters

In this edition: the smartphone apps being used by protesters in Thailand; the "eye-bombing" craze taking the net by storm; and an American student dancing his way around China.


The sounds of whistles ring out as protesters in Thailand call for the government to resign. The whistle has become a symbol of the anti-government opposition movement in Thailand. After two months of protests and counting, some protesters may be in need of a little helping hand. And this is where the “Whistle for Thai” smartphone app comes in, you just have to press a button and it produces the piercing shriek of a whistle. There is also a map which shows where the blasts are coming from.

There are also bloggers busy mapping demonstrators and updating interactive tools to indicate sites occupied by protesters. Others are turning to social networks to keep residents and tourists to Bangkok informed on the traffic situation. Information deemed particularly useful when protesters launched the Bangkok ‘shutdown’, blocking roads and key intersections across the capital.

And as protesters and the government continue to lock horns, a tongue in cheek mobile phone game is proving very popular on download platforms. It’s called “Thai Fight” and players pitch political officials against one another. So they could step into the shoes of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra or his sister Yingluck, who is now leading the country, or they could be Abhisit Vejjajiva, the head of the main opposition party. 


Spanish MP Ana Oramas took to Twitter last month saying she had dine dined out a Michelin starred restaurant. She removed the tweet soon afterwards but it is still available on the site a platform set up by nonprofit Civio, in a bid for more government transparency, to catalogue all the Twitter messages, posted then removed by Spanish politicians. It’s the same concept as the Dutch site Politwoops, a platform that now exists in a number of countries including the United States. 


The number of rhinos killed in South Africa is on the rise. According to this infographic put together by artist Guillermo Munro, numbers have risen from 122 in 2009 to 946 in 2013, which averages out at three every single day. Poached for their horns which fetch exceedingly high prices in Asia, their numbers have dropped dramatically. There are reportedly just 29 000 of these great herbivores living in the wild today: a situation that has prompted environmental organizations to start sounding the alarm bells. 


A new, somewhat wacky, craze has been taking over the Internet over the past few months… It’s called “eye bombing”, and consists of sticking a pair of fake eyes onto an inanimate object, preferably in a public place, to give it a face and help humanize urban areas.

And as illustrated by the thousands of pics shared on social networks, it’s proving pretty popular indeed. Web users have been coming up with all sorts of imaginative and creative ideas to bring poles, trash cans and also office furniture to life. There are now even purpose built sites like “” cataloguing and displaying the images.

There are also variations of the "eye-bombing" craze now emerging online. So instead of spicing up the scenery in towns or cities, some, as we can see on the Googly Eye Books Tumblr blog, have turned their hand to book covers… and on Celebrity Googly, it’s the rich and or famous getting eye bombed!

You can also stick the Googly eyes onto animated images… Crazy creations that would suggest that the “eye-bombing” phenomenon may be with us for some time… 


#Lebroning has been trending on social networks in the US. It was started by basketball fans to suggest that NBA star LeBron James may be a touch on the dramatic side on the court, as he seems to cry foul and fall over rather easily. So if you want to partake in LeBroning, you just have to fall over, somewhat spectacularly, when you pass someone by. It’s proving particularly popular with High School students; take a look at some of these clips that have been doing the rounds online. 


American student Jake Graba wanted to capture his time in China where he spent a semester on a school exchange, in a very special way. So he filmed himself dancing, in a different place, every day, during his 100 day trip, and then edited the pics to the Bruno Mars track “Treasure” upon his return. You can of course check this video out in its entirety on YouTube.

By Electron Libre



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