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Week in Web

Weird Wide Web: the week in online oddities

The internet’s best offerings in social media, tech, science and weird news.

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.


Social media consultants look away now.

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Snap chat

Snapchat is a new iPhone photo-sharing with a crucial difference: the images self-destruct within a timeframe designated by the sender. The app allows users to control how long the receiver sees a photo – say 5 or 10 seconds – before it disappears forever (or so the theory goes).

The fact that the service is largely marketed towards teenagers has raised concerns about ‘sexting’ – sharing sexually explicit images – a suggestion that co-founder Evan Spiegel laughed in an interview with TechCrunch. (Evidently, Spiegel hasn’t met that many teenagers.)

Meanwhile, Buzzfeed says the assumption that the images will disappear forever - and will not be shared in the times it takes them to do so – might just be wishful thinking.

Image: FrancescoCorticchia via Shutterstock

Windows 8 cameo

Speaking at UX Week 2012, Microsoft designer Jensen Harris explained the rationale behind the introduction of the radical new interface – and also showed mocksups from two years ago.

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Slow-cial media

Good news for the security-conscious - Facebook is switching all users to more secure HTTPS connections (which may sound simple enough, but when you’re dealing with the personal information of 1 billion people, things become a little tricky).

The company is starting to roll out the new security setting across the US before the rest of the world, and warn that default HTTPS connections will likely slow down connections slightly. However, if you’re a live-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth kinda person, you can always opt out and go wild off the grid.

Image: Annette Shaff via Shutterstock

Internet control

Would you like if the United Nations controlled the internet?

Currently the internet is controlled by a range of groups – the California-based nonprofit Icann, being one – but there has lately been some agitation (mostly from Russia) towards switching control to a UN agency.

According to documents leaked online, Russian officials said:

Member states shall have equal rights to manage the internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and to support for the operation and development of basic internet infrastructure.

At a conference in Dubai in December, nations will review the current structure of online services. It’s worth noting that European MEPs don’t like the idea one bit.

International Telecommunications Union Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I.Touré:

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