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Weird Wide Web: the week in online oddities

The internet’s best offerings in social media, tech, science and weird news.
Aug 12th 2012, 10:00 AM 7,336 6

WELCOME TO THE Weird Wide Web – where we take a look at some of the internet’s best offerings in social media, tech, science and weird news.


If you’d like to get rid of your wallet and pay for transactions with your phone instead, you’ll be happy to hear that some decent headway is being made in this direction. Square is just one of the companies currently developing the technology – and they’ve created the app Pay With Square.

On the back of this, the company has just signed a massive deal with Starbucks which will see 7,000 stores begin to process all debit and credit card transactions though the system – meaning all customers have to do is order and say their name at the register to pay. It’s not quite time to toss your wallet in the bin – but it’s definitely a space to watch.

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Facebook has begun the forced switch over to Timeline. Everyone knew it was coming… but that hasn’t stopped those devoted to the ‘classic’ layout from being majorly miffed about it.

The fine print

Contracts. We all read before we sign… right? Well, that’s not quite the case for the plethora of online terms of service contracts that pop up on all kinds of website and apps: “I have read and agree with the Terms of Service…” is usually as far as any of us get.

While it’s unlikely that ignoring the digital fine print will see you contractually obliged to some South Park-inspired-human-centipede nightmare, it would be nice to know what you’re letting yourself in for: that’s where TOS;DR (Terms of Service; Didn’t Read) comes in.

The project displays peer-to-peer reviewed summaries of all those pesky documents that get in the way of you enjoying yourself, grades them in terms of consumer-friendliness and breaks down the essential points in an easily digestible way.


The iBaby Monitor allows parents to keep abreast of all of their infant’s motions and sounds using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Using an iOS device or computer, you can rotate the nursery monitor in order to see and hear you baby – and, as it also has 2-way audio, you can talk and be heard too.

(Although Apple doesn’t mention it, we reckon it could also be used to make sure the dog stays off the couch when you’re at work.)

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Instagram music video

British singer Ellie Goulding asked her fans to submit Instagram photos they thought represented her song Anything Could Happen – and received more than 12,000 submissions.

The finished product may or may not be your cup of tea (depending on your tolerance for hipster-esque imagery) and it would probably work better if it focused more on photography and less on reproducing the lyrics of the song… but it’s still a very nice idea.

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Jennifer Wade


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