And now the News! Here is a quick summary of the biggest News from the Internet this week, 15th to 19th November.
MONDAY 15th November
Facebook stole most headlines with the staged announcement of Facebook Messaging. An direct message, email, chat and SMS mash up so all of your communications will appear as one conversation. Most tech media were disappointed the announcement didn’t hold the weight of the hype they had built themselves.
TUESDAY 16th November
Apple had to schedule a share price-rising kind of ‘event’ too, to announce that you could now get Beatles tracks on iTunes. Nobody cared.
The world’s biggest digital photograph broke a record for being the World’s Biggest Digital Photograph at 80 Gigapixels. (80 billion pixels.) The panorama of London composed of 10,000 stitched photographs can be viewed at 360cities.net.
WEDNESDAY 17th November
UK Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey weighed in with his thoughts on Net Neutrality in the UK, or the planned shun of impartiality. The government will set out rules in 2011 on how ISPs will be allowed to prioritise traffic based on which websites/content providers pays the most money. Vaizey claimed that as long as the customer had a choice and knew what ISPs were offering than it would be fine to allow a website to collude with ISPs to be anti-competitive in an up-to-now open industry. Only the kind of thinking you could expect from a Tory son of a Lord.
Adblock Plus – the Firefox Web Browser plugin/addon/app that blocks adverts has been downloaded 100million times. It is apparently used by 12million surfers a day. Astonishing.
Somebody valued Twitter at $3.4billion, whilst LinkedIn hit 85million users.
THURSDAY 18th November
As ‘Invitational Announcements’ seem to be the theme of the week, Thursday saw traditional enemies Facebook and Myspace pal up to say that you can log into Myspace using Facebook and transfer data between the two accounts. You can also Facebook ‘Like’ stuff on Myspace. As with the Apple announcement not many people cared as this isn’t worth a public mention combined with the harsh reality that few people use Myspace.
A Chinese Activist was sentenced to a year in a labour camp for a Tweet that didn’t go down well with authorities. Weirder still is that is was only a Retweet, not her own words. The offensive sentiment was to recommend that people should ‘Fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion’. This apparently constitutes ‘Disturbing Social Order’, punishable by ‘Re-education through Labour’. To me it is Human Rights ‘Fail’. At least Amnesty International are onto this case which makes Paul Chambers #Twitterjokettrial fine of £2000 look tame in comparison.
FRIDAY 19th November
Google announced they are going to delete the private data they captured whilst driving up and down every street in the UK taking Streetview pictures. The data was captured illegally from unsecured wireless networks the length and breadth of the country. Despite being found guilty of a significant breach of the Data Protection Act by the Information Commissioner’s Office, Google miraculously escaped a fine or other punishment the same day it was announced they had invested in London’s new Tech City. Why they haven’t already deleted this data is astounding as well as the fact that they should just do this without an announcement of planning to. Just do it, then say you have.
Staying in Britain, the government announced it would continue the plan to open up data by naming the Weather, Land-owners, Public Businesses and Maps will be available to data hungry people. All this openness starts next April, and I applaud it.