theEweekly Wrap: Reefs, royalty and rude pictures
|Google Sea View||We will soon be able to explore the seabed around the Great Barrier Reef, thanks to a major new project involving Google. The Catlin Seaview Survey is a scientific expedition to monitor the impact of climate change on the reef, set to commence in September 2012. However, as well as scientific data, the divers will be using specially adapted cameras – inspired by the eyes of sharks – to capture images of life under the waves. It is thought that over 50,000 photographs will be taken, then stitched together to create a 360 degree underwater world.
Google will then use its Panoramio programme to link the photographs to the relevant locations on Google Earth and Google Maps, so the images could in fact be explored in a similar way to Street View. There will be a dedicated YouTube channel for video footage captured, while the scientists will also be hosting live underwater Hangouts via Google+. The project’s science advisor Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said: “For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings of the expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans.”
|Crowning glory||Electronics manufacturer Samsung has revealed that its televisions and AV products have been given a royal seal of approval. The Queen Royal Warrant – according to the monarchy’s website, “granted to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for a minimum of five consecutive years to The Queen” – is a tradition that dates back to medieval times, but Samsung is the first AV/TV provider to receive the honour. The title formally allows the company to use the royal coat of arms and the words ‘by appointment’, which it plans to do on its UK headquarters building in Surrey, its stores, website and catalogues.
To deserve the accolade, Samsung has provided “around 100 premium TVs and AV products to the royal family” since becoming the official supplier in 2006. The South Korea-based company is one of 800 that currently hold warrants from a member of the royal family, and will hold the honour for five years. In other news, the Samsung Galaxy S II Smartphone – powered by Android – has sold an astonishing 20 million units in the ten months since it was launched. Of course, it still has a long way to go to catch up with the astronomical Apple sales figures, and it has not been revealed what kind of smartphone the Queen uses.
|Nipples are a no-no||A former Facebook moderator has leaked the list of guidelines that photos posted on the social network must adhere to. Amine Derkaoui was an employee at a Moroccan outsourcing company, who was being paid $1 per hour to trawl through any photos that had been ‘flagged’ by users. Workers would then use the seventeen-page Abuse Standards Violations manual to decide whether the image should be taken down or not – the document that Derkaoui leaked to Gawker.com. Some of the more controversial guidelines include:
A Facebook spokesperson commented: “In an effort to quickly and efficiently process the millions of reports we receive every day, we have found it helpful to contract third parties to provide precursory classification of a small proportion of reported content.”