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Good on Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. He has finally responded to a petition setup by practitioners of "alternative medicine" and "holistic healing", demanding that the encyclopedia waive the desire for things like "facts" and "evidence" in order to placate them.


(Pic from xkcd, of course.)

The petition, as spotted by PC Pro, demanded that "Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia: Create and enforce new policies that allow for true scientific discourse about holistic approaches to healing". The petitioners went on to explain:

"Wikipedia is widely used and trusted. Unfortunately, much of the information related to holistic approaches to healing is biased, misleading, out-of-date, or just plain wrong. For five years, repeated efforts to correct this misinformation have been blocked and the Wikipedia organization has not addressed these issues. As a result, people who are interested in the benefits of Energy Medicine, Energy Psychology, and specific approaches such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques, Thought Field Therapy and the Tapas Acupressure Technique, turn to your pages, trust what they read, and do not pursue getting help from these approaches which research has, in fact, proven to be of great benefit to many."

Unfortunately - reality has different ideas. Though there have been endless studies into this sort of thing by actual scientists, none of these "treatments" have ever been shown to be more effective than a placebo - even if all of the dreamcatchers in the room are calibrated correctly. (I recommend the excellent Trick or Treatment if you're interested). Which is perhaps why Jimmy Wales sounded a little exasperated in his response:

No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful. Wikipedia's policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals - that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of "true scientific discourse". It isn't.

So that's that then. And crucially, Wikipedia's credibility as a source that is more reliable than Britannica remains.

Hopefully this failure will also stop the unicorn lobby from pursuing attempts to get the pointy horse inducted into Wikipedia's taxonomy pages.

The World Wide Web (and NOT the internet) is 25 years old today! It's a quarter of a century since CERN pioneer Tim Berners-Lee invented the thing that you're using RIGHT NOW! To celebrate, Sir Tim has been over on Reddit answering user questions. Here's our pick of his most interesting answers.


Do you think in the (not too distant) future we'll look back and think ourselves lucky to have witnessed a neutral, free, and uncensored world wide web? (wobetomit)

I think it is up to us. I'm not guessing, I'm hoping. Yes, I can imagine that all to easily. If ordinary web users are not sufficiently aware of threats and get involved and if necessary take to the streets like for SOPA and PIPA and ACTA. On balance? I am optimistic.

What other names did you consider other than the world wide web? (FLYINGSPAGHETTEESHIR)

Mine of Information, The Information Mine, The Mesh

None had quite the right ring. I liked WWW partly because I could start global variable names with a W and not have them clash with other peoples' (in a C [the programming language] world) fact I used HT for them)

Edward Snowden- Hero or Villain? (mart95123)

Because he...
✓ had no other alternative
✓ engaged as a journalist / with a journalist to be careful of how what was released
✓ provided an important net overall benefit to the world
I think he should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society.

Where do you think the web will end up in the next 25 years? (munki87)

It is up to us. It is an artificial creation, as are our laws, and our constitutions ... we can chose how they work. We can make new ones. Our choice.

A lot of people think that your calls for an open web are a bit hypocritical considering your support for the HTML5 DRM spec. What would you tell them? (Xeon06)

I would suggest to them the DRM question is not that simplistic. People want to watch big movies. DRM is a pain in many ways, but if you have used Netflix or bought a DVD or a bluray, then DRM is part of your life. I agree DRM is a pain in many ways, and should only be used for very "high value" streams. I also would point out that Copyright, DMCA aand CFAA in the US are seriously broken, and need fixing separate from the DRM question. Actually I would get involved with a very long complicated discussion, as I have already with many people. Not sure we have space here.

Other points include the the browsers have putt DRM in - they have to to keep market share - irrelevant of whether the HTML specs make the connection to the web more standard.


[Yes, TBL really did post this "college liberal" meme, which is supposed to illustrate liberal hypocrisy.]

How do you feel about the supposed dark side of the internet, such as the black markets? (Silk Road etc.) (tacobell1896)

Complicated question. I am not a great expert on them. Simple answers include of course that illegal things are crimes on or off the web. But anonymity is tricky. We have a right to be anonymous as a whistle-blower or under an oppressive regime but not when we are bullying someone? How can we build technical/social/judicial systems for determining which right is more important in any given case? Relates to tor...

Do you ever look at the stuff on the web now and feel like Robert Oppenheimer? (SatellyteHye)

[Oppenheimer famously said after helping to create the atomic bomb, "In some sort of crude sense, which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose."]

No, not really. The web is a -- primarily neutral -- tool for humanity. When you look at humanity you see the good and the bad, the wonderful and the awful. A powerful tool can be used for good or ill. Things which are really bad are illegal on the web as they are off it. On balance, communication is good think I think: much of the badness comes from misunderstanding.

What are your thoughts on the increased surveillance on internet based mediums like GCHQ's monitoring of all the Yahoo video chats. Do you personally think it should be controlled, non existent or fine the way it is now? (misanthrope__)

I think that some monitoring of the net by government agencies is going to be needed to fight crime. We need to invent a new system of checks and balances with unprecedented power to be able to investigate and hold the agencies which do it accountable to the public.

What was one of the things you never thought the internet would be used for, but has actually become one of the main reasons people use the internet? (totharescue)

Kittens. [Yes, TBL actually said this]

Happy Birthday, web. And thanks, Sir Tim!

Update (12:43): The NHS Choices people have got in touch to clarify that it turns out it's not a hack - but is coding error. Here's what they have to say:

"An internal coding error has caused an incorrect re-direct on some pages on NHS Choices since Sunday evening. Routine security checks alerted us to this problem on Monday morning at which point we identified the problem and corrected the code.
"We are now 'flushing through' this correction to ensure that the code on all affected pages is amended and expect this to be completed this afternoon.
"We can confirm that this problem has arisen due to an internal coding error and that NHS Choices has not been maliciously attacked.
"NHS Choices is treating this issue with urgency and once resolved we plan to undertake a thorough and detailed analysis to ensure that a full code review is undertaken and steps put in place to ensure no reoccurrence."

Original Story:

Be careful if you're looking for health information online this morning as apparently the NHS website has been compromised.


Reddit user Muzzers reports that a whole host of URLs have been hacked to serve up malware or redirect to advertisements - that could leave computers that visit the dodgy pages open to all sorts of nastiness.

What the hackers appear to have done is hide their code in something that looks a lot like normal Google code - referring to (DON'T VISIT THAT!) and not - the latter of which is actually owned by Google.

So far lots of compromised pages have been identified - so it might be worth avoiding visiting the NHS website for the time being, until they've sorted it out.

Apart from the hack, what's also interesting about this is that it'll inevitably play into the debate over the plans to open up the NHS's patient data. The programme is planned to release (pseudonymised) patient data to scientists and research companies so they can research treatments with larger sets of data.

The upshot of this plan is that it should increase the speed at which new treatments are brought to patients - as rather than having only tiny samples on which to judge treatments, they'll be able to compare across many thousands or millions of people.

The downside, say its critics, is related to what has happened here: do we trust the NHS to keep our data safe? (It will be possible to opt out of the programme).

Whether today's hack is relevant is a subject for debate. On the one hand - it is worrying that hackers can get access to NHS systems, and it does raise difficult questions about whether we can be sure that the servers holding patient data can remain secure.

On the other hand, perhaps it is more of an issue of optics and how it looks for the NHS's reputation. For example, it could be argued that the website is merely a "shop window", with the real important data kept securely. It's a bit like when Anonymous attacked the CIA website - yes, they took down their public facing pages, but America's security services were still perfectly able to keep track of their spies and so on.

Either way - this is definitely going to be embarrassing for health minister Jeremy Hunt who, inexplicably, is ultimately in charge of the NHS.

Time to update Norton Antivirus.

Big news in the tech world today as apparently the world's oldest Facebook user turned 106 years old yesterday. Various news outlets dutifully reported the story of 106 year old Edythe Kirchmaier in full:


But here's the thing... is she really the oldest user? And even if she is... how do the media know? Here's the thing, once you look at the reports a bit closer. Like this one, for example. It says:

"Last year her friends from the medical aid charity Direct Relief made her a facebook profile page"

So don't expect to see Edythe on farmville, or re-posting weird quasi-inspirational quotes any time soon - it appears a charity have used her name to get a bit of publicity. Amusingly the article even quotes Edythe herself giving the game away:

"My goal was to get my favorite charity, Direct Relief, better known,"

In fact "oldest Facebook user" is such an attractive story that journalists keeping falling for it over and over again. So can we really know who the oldest Facebook user is? No doubt some of these people are genuine - but either way, it goes to show how easily journalists are suckered in by an unverifiable claim. Check these other lazy "oldest Facebook user" stories out.

What about Lily Strugnell, who ITV News reported on, who was aged 109? That story emerged because of a press release from nursing home company Barchester. (Lily died only a few months later).


Lillian Lowe, who the Daily Mail reported using Facebook when she was 103 seemed to at least be slightly more genuine. Though she also died after signing up for the service.

What about Leonidas Panoutsopoulos, who was reportedly the oldest user when he was 104? He also died a year after signing up.

Perhaps the most famous elderly user here in the UK was Ivy Bean - who signed up for Facebook when she was 102, according to the Daily Mail. She later became more well known for Tweeting too - though it later turned out her social media usage was at the behest of a publicity stunt too. She quickly died too.

Finally in Australia, in 2011, it was reported that 101 year old Eva Woodrow was the oldest Facebook user. She died shortly after signing up.

I know what you're thinking - isn't it disturbing how many of these centenarians are dying after signing up for the social networking website. Is TechDigest blowing the lid off of the story of The Curse Of Facebook?!

Umm, probably not. As far as we know, these other oldest candidates are still alive and kicking:

Ella Kastner is another claim for the crown - registering at 102 years old, according to this Buzzfeed community post. Presumably knowing how cynical the internet is, she has even recorded video proof:

Florance Detlor was 101 when she signed up, according to ABC News - and even got to meet Mark Zuckerberg.

Weirdly though - despite ABC News reporting that Detlor was the oldest user at 101, they didn't even check their own archive - as they would have learned that Eunice Brillhart was apparently the oldest user - this time at 105.

Finally there's also Mary Kolounia Segouar Metzkar, also 105 who it was claimed uses Facebook.

So... who is the oldest? It seems that it is harder to pin down than you might think. What's perhaps most surprising is that following all of these stories, nobody bothered to simply ask Facebook. So next time you see a story about the "oldest Facebook user" doing the rounds... take a moment to ask how they've figured it out.

There's lots of noise in the tech community this morning about the BBC's launch of their 'iWonder' platform - which is being called the corporation's first foray into "second screen" technology. However, on closer inspection they appear to have invented, umm... a website.


Don't get me wrong - it's a very pretty website. The first batch of "guides" are all related to the centenary of the start of the First World War and follow all of the modern web 2.0 conventions: big images, lots of scrolling and white space, swishy integration of text and video content. But it is still just a website. I'm not sure why this is classed as technology news.

What does make the new brand and website relatively notable is that it is the first content the BBC has produced in a number of years that isn't anchored to a particular programme. Whilst the guides feature various BBC big guns like Dan Snow and Kate Adie, they are more magazine-like, and not specifically part of Snow's battlefield documentaries or Adie's From Our Own Correspondent.

It's an interesting U-turn as a few years ago, following several rounds of cuts under the "Delivering Quality First" mantra, the BBC's online operation was stripped back considerably - with all of the content having to be either linked to iPlayer, the BBC News empire or directly supporting programmes.


So we've come full circle in one sense - back to the BBC Online of old that used to produce acres of content that had nothing to do with the telly - from a cult section, to a trying to actually create the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (this has since been spun off of the BBC into a separate organisation).

Today's announcement of the iWonder guides carefully avoids any mention of apps and instead carefully highlights these new webpages will be accessible via mobile and tablets (your "second screens", after the TV). So just like pretty much every other website ever created then.

To be fair to the BBC, not creating apps might be a smart move given the costs that would be associated with making compatible software for iOS, and the many different versions of Android - not to mention lesser used platforms like Blackberry and Windows Phone. It's probably not worth the Daily Mail front page headache such expenditure could lead to.

So is there anything actually new tech wise? For the consumer, not so much - but it seems that behind the scenes the BBC have build a new platform to make churning out guides relatively straightforward. They have 25 guides planned so far - so it is easy to imagine that they have had someone write the code to mean the less tech-savvy writers can just copy and paste their text and have the platform do the swishy-scrolling and graphical heavy lifting.

So really (and if you enjoy a tortured analogy), it is a bit like telling the world that you've just installed a new version of Microsoft Office... which won't really affect how we consume what you write if you still use the same old printer.

Still - fair play to the BBC for making a noise about this, and congratulations to their press office for finding a tech angle on their new and well made World War I coverage. Just don't try to make me think this is some mind-blowing innovation,

The Daily Mail is in typical outrage-mode today as it breathlessly reports on how people are now going to be able to apply for welfare using their Nintendo Wii.


Apparently an organisation called Looking Local have been contracted to provide details on how benefit claimants can sort out the payments they're due, no doubt having been messed around by the completely disastrous roll out of the government's Universal Credit system. They've built a website that works on both the Wii and internet connected Sky Boxes to give users essential information on various council and government services.

Obviously the report is fleshed out with a suitably stupid quote from a Tory MP attacking the 'scroungers'. In this case, Philip Davies farted out some rather cliched words:

'I have been struck by the number of people on them who manage to combine complaining about welfare reform with being able to afford to buy copious amounts of cigarettes, have lots of tattoos, and watch Sky TV on the obligatory widescreen television.'

Let's back up a bit - what's wrong here? Let's put what many people view as a relentless ideological assault on the poor to one side - after all, not only are we a tech website, but an assault on the poor is something that Mr Davies and the Mail are likely to agree with.

To take the outraged quote first: the "widescreen television" attack (sometimes known as the "flatscreen television" attack) is one of the most tired political cliches. But can you even buy a non-widescreen television any more? After searching in vain, as far as I can tell Amazon don't have any 4:3 televisions for sale - and they've not been made for years. Same for flatscreen TVs. Davies might as well lament the scroungers on benefits for having luxuries like indoor plumbing.

What of the Sky TV? I can't help but wonder if Davies is in fact referring to "multichannel TV" generally, in his head picturing the four old terrestrial channels. As you'll no doubt be aware, we switched off the analogue transmitters in 2012, so all viewing is multichannel. As to whether people on benefits are really paying for a Sky subscription... They could be, but it'd be nice to see some evidence for this oft-repeated claim.

(And besides, if you wanted, you could make the argument that given there's not enough jobs for people who want them, and the government are hell bent on cutting services like youth centres, what else are people going to do? But I digress).

Anyway - what of the meat of the outrage? The fact that Looking Local are telling people how to get benefits. Leaving aside that people are entitled to them so really local authorities should be obliged to tell people about them - what Looking Local have done is simply build a website optimised for TVs. It's like how if you go to a website on your phone, it will look different to how it does on a desktop computer - this is the same, but aimed at TVs.

I know, try to calm that rage! It's actually reminiscent of an old teletext service and is a really good idea for reaching traditionally disenfranchised audiences. Whilst readers of this website are no doubt tooled up with the latest smartphones and tablets, it is easy to forget we're not all this lucky.

What about the older generation? Or the poor? They may not have an iPad to find out when the next bus is coming, but they might have an old Wii or a Sky box - so letting them find information there makes a lot of sense.

Here's the London bus countdown on there - which you would otherwise need a smartphone or a computer to access:


I know what you're thinking - a Wii?! They're £130 on Amazon, or can be picked up second hand for as little as £40. These feckless scroungers are spending like they're Donald Trump. Whatever will they want next? Three meals a day?!

Presumably, Philip Davies finds the idea of unemployed people having any enjoyment or leisure time in their lives abhorrent - how dare they not be subjected to around the clock despair at their circumstances?

Looking Local is a long way from an app on the Wii homescreen that says "FREE BENEFITS MONEY --> CLICK HERE TO SCROUNGE". It is a website.

And here's the thing. Yes, the service does enable users to find out about benefits without them having to own a fully blown computer - but it's interesting how neither the Mail or Davies thought it relevant to mention that the service also enables users to search for jobs:




The Mail say that "at a time when the government is trying to curb benefits spending, including a cap on how much families can receive, the idea of making it easier to apply for handouts is likely to prove controversial" but all this "controversy" is made of is manufactured outrage, to reinforce stereotypes about the poor by highlighting a genuinely useful service. All whilst the Minister responsible for Work, Iain Duncan Smith, inexplicably remains in his job despite two genuine IT disasters on his watch.

If you can't decide between Blinkbox or Lovefilm, then TankTopTV could really help you out. The new website, which has just launched will help you figure out which of 22 different TV streaming services has the show that you're looking for.


I've been hoping someone would finally get around to making this. Whilst I love my Netflix, the one thing that is really missing is The West Wing (or "The greatest TV show ever made", to give it's full title). Thanks to TankTopTV though - I now know that really I should be sending even more money every month Amazon's way - as it's on LoveFilm:


It's not just the big two - TTTV compares catalogues from 22 different places: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5, Crackle, Classic Cinema, iTunes, KnowHow, EE Film Store, Dogwoof TV (me neither), Distrify, Sony Entertainment Network, Google Play, Sainsbury's Entertainment, Xbox Video, Virgin Online Movies, blinkbox, Film4oD, Sky On Demand, PictureBox, NOW TV, LOVEFiLM, and Wuaki TV.

It'll even compare prices too - so you can make sure you're getting the best value for money. The website also has a degree of personalisation - if you create an account or login with Facebook you can choose which services to list (no point in seeing Xbox Video, if you don't have an Xbox, etc) - and it will even make recommendations based on what you like.

Right, I'm off to watch President Bartlet fix the Middle East again.

spurs-turfies.jpgThis is a guest post by Chris Waddams, Spurs fanatic and writer for

Tottenham Hotspur football club have launched their new website Tottenham Turfies, a Moshi Monsters rival aimed at young Spurs fans. They claim that it is the world's first "fully immersive" entertainment platform for children to be created and developed by a football club. The team behind it all are Hangar Seven, who have worked on ideas in the past with Disney, Cartoon Network and LEGO.

"But what is a Turfie?", I hear you scream. Well the concept is that the little creatures live in the White Hart Lane pitch, and have magical powers that help the Tottenham Hotspur team when they need it. In reality they are Avatars that your children (or you, you big kid) create on the site that can be personalised with up to 115 million different style combinations.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy had this to say about the Turfies: "We wanted to make Tottenham Hotspur Football Club more accessible to a younger age group and reach out to the next generation of fans around the world who will play a vital role in the future of the club. This platform represents a significant investment and we believe this fun and entertaining concept is the perfect way to engage our younger fans like never before."

All the games on the site have been designed to help children with their hand eye co-ordination, problem solving and creativity. But more than that, the three main games (Topsy Turfie, Training Run, Dodge'n'Dribble) are very addictive and will have players of all ages coming back and desperately trying to beat their previous top score!

By completing the games children will be rewarded with coins and trophies which can lead to them winning places on a variety of different Tottenham Hotspur activities such as their Summer Soccer Schools and Stadium Tours.

To ensure children's safety, Tottenham Hotspur has made it so that when registering a parent's email address will have to be given. And once the registration has been made, there is no way in which the children can message each other, ensuring that they are safe from online bullies and other threats they could come across on the internet.

England and Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe tested the site before it was launched and had this to say: "When I was a young boy, we had football stickers to swap in the playground, but I would have loved to have been able to play against my friends online and create my own 'Turfie'. Tottenham Turfies takes things to a new level and it's a great way for kids to have fun and get into football from an early age."

Another unique part of the new Turfie entertainment platform is that it rewards children for being active. When they attend different Tottenham Hotspur activity days (such as the Summer Soccer Schools) they can get a unique code from the coach or the person running the activity, which when put in on the Tottenham Turfie site will give them different trophies to add to their collection.

I for one am very impressed with the Tottenham Turfies site. I believe it will get children who maybe wouldn't have been interested in football into the sport and those who were already into the sport will feel closer to it and their idols. And it doesn't hurt that the games are pretty enjoyable too!

amazon-logo.jpgAs of today, Amazon UK will no longer be offering their customers the free super-saver delivery unless they spend a minimum of £10 in a single order.

The company will however include some notable exceptions to this rule, with DVDs, Books, Blu-Ray discs, CDs, video games and software sales still eligible for the free delivery.

To be fair, those exceptions likely make up the bulk of all Amazon purchases anyway, and you can even pair cheap items into an order with those still eligible for the super-saver delivery have it sent for free. Amazon give this example:

"/you will continue to enjoy Free Super Saver Delivery on all orders that include these types of items, for example an order that includes a book for £3.49 and an HDMI cable for £4.49."

As such, Amazon promise that "the change will affect only a very small proportion of orders" while allowing the online retailer to "offer you significantly expanded selection of lower priced products."

No word yet on whether this policy will roll out to customers in the US, but we'll keep you posted.

yahoo-fantasy-football.jpgFancy yourself as an armchair Arsene Wenger? Then you'll be wanting to sign up for a new season of Yahoo's popular (and now revamped) Fantasy Football league.

For the first time ever, the league is now fully optimised for all mobile devices, giving you the exact same controls over stats, transfers, fixtures and more whether you're on the go or at your desk.

Players can invite Facebook friends to take part and share results through the social network, with points and results streaming in "near-real-time" to mobile devices. For the first time the game will also allow real-time comments to appear within the game itself, whether that be "users commenting on their league position, a friend's team or the value of picking a controversial player", according to the Yahoo release.

Those who can't commit to painstakingly picking out a starting 11 for each match can also benefit from a new auto-pick tool, automatically optimising your line-up if you don't have the time to fine tune it yourself.

Click here to check it out.

guardian-royal-baby.jpgHere's one for all you Republicans out there, sick to the teeth with news on the royal baby, child of Prince William and Kate "The Duchess of Cambridge" Middleton due anytime now.

The Guardian have prepared a "Republican?" filtering button for their website which removes any stories referencing the royal birth, saving you from trawling through pre-prepared "Guess the Royal baby name" and "Royal babies through the ages" posts and replacing the Royal Baby Watch right-hand sidebar with the usual sports coverage instead.

Now all we need is for The Daily Mail to roll out a similar one for every time a "celebrity" is caught in their undergarments and we'd be away.

Valve, the development team behind the Half-Life and Portal series and the Steam PC gaming digital distribution platform, have revealed Pipeline, a new web resource designed to aid teenagers looking to get into the games industry.

Pipeline will offer information on how to approach getting a job in the industry, including what skills are needed, what universisty courses would be required, and job application techniques.

Built and run by a group of high school interns currently at Valve, Pipeline will also give insight as to what it's like working for one of the most highly-regarded developers in the industry.

"Traditionally Valve has been a very good place for very experienced video game developers, and not so good at teaching people straight out of school (the reasons for this and the tradeoffs are covered in the Valve employee handbook)," the company explains on the Pipeline website.

"Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve."

The website and its features will be rolled out in the coming weeks. For now, you can check out an introductory video, featuring Valve head Gabe Newell, embedded above.

Just giving logo.pngOnline giving platform JustGiving has revamped its mobile donation process in order to make donating to causes faster and simpler, it claims.

The new 'one-touch' process remembers your details and preferences when you donate on your mobile so you don't need to use a debit or credit card when giving on smartphones/tablets.

There's also a Gift Aid opt-in process, recognised by HMRC, which JustGiving believes will drive up the rate of Gift Aid donations.

In April, mobile traffic to JustGiving overtook desktop traffic for the first time, with over half of users now visiting JustGiving on a smartphone or tablet. JustGiving anticipates that by 2014, around 70% of all traffic will come from mobile devices.

Says Lee Marshall, Product Manager at JustGiving:

"The way that people give is changing - more than ever, people want to give wherever and whenever they want, on any device. In a world full of distractions, it's vital for us to continue to make giving as easy and intuitive as possible."

Enhanced by Zemanta

flickr-new-look.jpgFlickr has just received a massive redesign, and with the fresh lick of paint for the photo-hosting service also comes the news that all users will now have 1TB of storage space to fill up through the site.

The site's new desktop design makes photos the focus - an obvious one you'd think for a photo-hosting website, but years of mismanagement had, until today, left Flickr feeling a bit like a web design relic. Images are now displayed in a collage-like scrolling gallery on user's profile pages, ready to be blown up to full screen with a click.

Slideshows too now also display in screen, with support for displaying gigantic resolutions through the site. The added storage space should alleviate concerns over pushing full-res images to the site too: Flickr estimate that the 1TB upload allowance will be enough to store 537,731 high resolution photos (though did not care to share what resolution that number pertains to).

There's also a new Android app available in ten languages to go along with the existing iOS offering, with Flickr looking to court mobile users as well as desktop based image archivists.

And tying up all of Yahoo's services nicely, Flickr will also now share to the newly-acquired Tumblr blogging platform.

vatican-porn.jpgWith a population hovering around the 800 mark and the mood in the world's smallest country pious rather than provocative, it's safe to say there probably isn't all that much loving to go round in the Vatican.

That's not to say the latest reports on illegal download habits inside the Vatican aren't a little surprising. It seems the Pope's neighbours have a taste for the saucier side of the internet, as a routine look by Torrent Freak into the torrents shared by the Vatican City revealed a sizeable amount of adult content.

According to Torrent Freak:

We spotted some downloads to get pulses racing. It seems that while Vatican dwellers aren't all that interested in Hollywood movies, they do enjoy adult related celluloid... In the interests of science we researched each of the titles (including the curiously named RS77_Episode 01) and discovered that downloaders in the Vatican have one or two unusual 'niche' interests.

Theft, lust; I'm pretty sure these are things that shouldn't be activities or feelings that inhabitants of the Holy state should be taking part in or indulging in, but that's exactly what's happening with the illegal downloading of these blue movies.

It'll be interesting to see what the share/leech ratio is here too! Sharing is the Christian thing to do, right? Also, if anyone can translate the title BDSM Sklavin Zuchtigung im dunklen Hobbykeller teen fesselspiele.avi into English, we'd love to hear from you...

buzzego-top.pngTired of searching for something you'll be interested in reading on the web? Check out buzzego, a new website that offers intelligent, tailored content feeds based on your interests.

buzzego enters a busy market for content aggregation; we already have Twitter and Facebook friends offering constant recommendations, as well as services like StumbleUpon and personalised news apps like Flipboard.

Where buzzego sets itself apart is in how easy it is to set up. You align your interests alongside an archetypal character (such as "culture vulture" or "cool kid"), with buzzego then offering up relevant sites based on those character traits, grabbed from a growing pool of 50,000 blogs and content providers.

Over time, based on the stories you choose to view and share, buzzego begins to automatically refine its recommendations, throwing the odd curveball post in just to make sure it hasn't missed one of your lesser interests. There's no need to set up favourite categories or define tags you're interested in - it's all done through buzzego's backend, based upon your reading habits, with the service trawling the web using advanced liguistics systems to find the exact sort of stories you'd be interested in from sources you may have never head of before.

"buzzego is like twitter without the noise - bringing you tailored content to match your personal interests and hobbies as long as your time permits," comments Petr Volyak, cofounder at buzzego. 

"Indeed, we believe we've created an entirely new type of media - using advanced linguistics technology as well as everyone on the web as an editorial team." 

Visit to give it a try.

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"You name it, I'll paint it. On paint".

That's the strapline to the Jim'll Paint It tumblr blog, the one thing that's keeping this tired Tech Digest hack chuckling through to the weekend. It's bloody amazing.

It's a simple premise - come up with as mad an idea for a picture as you can, and Jim'll turn it into a top-notch, often hilarious Microsoft Paint picture.

"I am here to make your wildest dreams a reality using nothing but Microsoft Paint (no tablets, no touch ups)," says Jim.

"Ask me to paint anything you wish and I will try no matter how specific or surreal your demands. While there aren't enough hours in the day to physically paint every suggestion I will consider them all. Bonus points for originality and humour. Use your imagination!"

Check it out at for some Friday fun. Our favourites, along with the requests that inspired them, can be found below.

Sign-Ban01.pngFollowing on from the mandatory blocking of The Pirate Bay, UK ISPs BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, O2 and EE will soon be forced to block websites Kickass Torrents (, H33T and Fenopy.

Continuing the UK government's clampdown on websites that facilitate the sharing of pirated media, High Court judge Mr Justice Arnold said the sites in question had profited from the unlawful distribution of games, music and movies "on an industrial scale".

With none of the ISPs contesting the court order, it's expected that the websites will very soon be inaccessible to customers subscribing to broadband packages from the above companies.

When The Pirate Bay was ordered to be blocked by ISPs, many ISPs demanded a court order be put in place before they'd do so, after refusing to make the sites inaccessible voluntarily. It seems that with a court order already in place here, the ISPs were not in a position to contest the ruling.

Those looking to continue to use the websites for legal means will have to either sign up for an alternative ISP, or look for one of the inevitable proxy websites that will spring up in the wake of the announcement.

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