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Google releases North Korea maps – Cost of Superbowl advertising – HMV Twitter account goes rogue

Google maps updated for North Korea

The Google map of North Korea has seen significant improvements, with far greater levels of detail than were previously available for the mysterious nation.

This follows a recent visit to North Korea to encourage internet freedom by Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google. Schmidt met with many influential figures in the country to promote a free and open internet, encouraging the leaders of the state to allow their people access to the internet and smartphone devices to help the country move forward into the modern era.

North Korea is a state of extreme mystery, with very little known by the outside world of what goes on or how the country works. Google updating their map information is a significant step towards the world developing an increased knowledge of North Korea and helping the development of the nation. It is not yet known if Google will be introducing their highly popular street view aspects of the map system, which would reveal yet more details to the world of the most unknown country on Earth.

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Social media increases the price of Superbowl adverts

The Superbowl takes place this Sunday, with the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers looking to win the biggest prize in all of sport at Superbowl 47.

Of course, the Superbowl is about far more than just sport. As well as the high profile half time show (this year featuring Beyonce), the adverts played during the commercial breaks have become talked about almost as much as the game itself. With these adverts discussed and shared at great length on both Twitter and Facebook, the price of an advert to be shown during the Superbowl has increased.

It will now cost $3.8 million (£2.4 million) for a 30 second advert during the game, with around half of the companies who have secured this prime spot offering previews of their adverts online through social media. Taco Bell are one such advertiser who believe that social media can cause a significant advertising boost, with CEO Greg Creed stating: "I think you're going to find that come the game people will be like "shush, shush, stop here comes the Taco Bell ad, you have to see this."

A further demonstration of social media power in America was the overwhelming support for Barack Obama on Twitter and Facebook before his recent victory over Mitt Romney in the presidency campaign.

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HMV tweets on sackings cause scandal

A series of shocking tweets related to HMV entering administration sent Twitter into a frenzy yesterday, with thousands of users adding their support for the employees made redundant.

The first of the tweets told of 60 employees losing their jobs simultaneously, comparing the situation to X Factor when rooms full of contestants are eliminated. The mystery tweeter went on to criticise the company for the "mass execution of loyal employees who love the brand", stating that their drastic action was taken due to "the company you dearly love being ruined".

The series of messages caused a major stir within the world of Twitter, with widespread criticism for the job losses and sympathetic support shown for those involved. The incident has also served as an indicator of the important of understanding social media in the modern era, with one tweet referencing the managing director asking "How do I shut down Twitter?"

While the tweets were quickly deleted, the damage had been done, and this will surely become a landmark case study for the power of social media. Messages posted on Friday morning downplaying the incident and job losses was met with a hostile reception, as criticism of the struggling company continued.

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