In this edition: Spanish web users campaign for a jailed rapper; new emoticons to combat the lack of emoji diversity; and an animated short made from drawing pins and elastic bands…
ONLINE SUPPORT FOR JAILED SPANISH RAPPER
Spain`s national court sentenced Spanish communist and rapper Pablo Hasél to two years in prison last week for “glorifying terrorism” in his music. The court accused him of praising separatist groups like GRAPO and ETA in his many videos available on YouTube. The sentencing has sparked lively reaction online.
Many Spanish web users feel Pablo Hasel`s punishment is quite simply excessive. Social networkers have been posting under the #TodosSomosHasel hashtag meaning “we are all Hasel”; slamming the court ruling and backing the jailed rapper.
Other shows of online support included drawings and photomontages featuring Pablo Hasel and demanding his immediate release saying his only crime was to write music.
Pablo Hasel`s supporters are asking their fellow citizens to join their campaign for the rapper`s release, saying not everyone has to like his music but everyone should have the right to freedom of expression. Web users say the hip hop artist did not break the law and should not be jailed for song lyrics.
NEW EMOTICONS COMBAT THE LACK OF EMOJI DIVERSITY
Oju Africa, an app company based in Mauritius has launched a set of African emoji characters, 14 faces and a heart featuring the African continent. The pics are now available for download and can be used via certain smartphones to illustrate Facebook statuses, tweets and Instagram posts etc, offering an alternative to the traditional yellow smiley faces and the like.
The collection could well inspire Apple which is currently working on new emoticons according to Katie Cotton, vice-president of communications at Apple. She told MTV the American firm agreed there needed to be more diversity in the emoji character set available on their smartphones and tablets.
The 4,200 or so signatories of this online petition see her comments as something of a victory. They have been calling for Apple to develop new faces and address their lack of minority representation for some months now. The campaign has triggered a lot of talk on Twitter under the #EmojiEthnicityUpdate hashtag which was initially tweeted by American singer Miley Cyrus back in December 2012.
And the campaign for emoji diversity has also raised other requests. Some web users are calling for an interracial couple icon, a mosque and also for a red headed character…
VIDEO GAME AIMS TO RAISE ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS
The site newsground.com has launched an online game called “Alz” which aims to give players an insight into the implications of Alzheimer’s both for the sufferer and their friends and family. The game is a simple walk through in which players control a faceless man in the street, on a bus, or having a conversation with a loved one; surroundings flash in and out of focus; conversations fade and mute, as he tries to make sense of the world. Developers are hoping the game could be used to detect early signs of dementia which currently affects millions of people worldwide.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
To celebrate the first twelve months of the Police Scotland Twitter feed, officers have decided to share some of the bizarre calls they have received over the past year; the concerned mother whose son had his cannabis confiscated and she wanted it back, or the caller who wanted to know how long it takes to cook the Christmas Turkey… police say these types of call waste their time when they need to focus on real emergencies and are urging the people of Scotland to think before they call.
OPEN ACCESS TO 20,000 MAPS FROM NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
The New York Public library has spent 15 years scanning old maps and they`re now available to the general public. There are some 20,000 high resolution maps dating back to the 16th century right through to the 20th century available for free download; an incredible collection that shows us for example, how the world was seen in 1631.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This animated short by French film maker Guillaume Blanchet is called “a girl named Elastika” and was made using drawing pins and elastic bands… check out the stop motion clip in its entirety on Vimeo…