theEweekly Wrap: Honeycomb, Egypt and the DEA
|Hunting law breakers||The controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA) is to be reviewed by Ofcom almost a year after being rushed through parliament in the run-up to the election. The authority for media regulation has been asked by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to assess the practicality of the act, namely the measures it outlines to deal with copyright infringement.
Although Hunt once said “I have no problem with the principle of blocking access to websites used exclusively for facilitating illegal downloading of content”, it remains to be seen whether ISPs will be able to block sites, or parts of sites, and indeed how much the move will cost.
|Popularity contest||Renowned ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi is using unconventional means to find graduates worthy of an internship. Between now and April, hopefuls will be set a series of challenges involving social media marketing. The first is a Twitter competition to see who can get the most followers and re-tweets. According to the IABUK’s recent white paper on digital skills, the rise in tuition fees could see the creative industries suffer a lack of new talent, as the media is rarely seen as a ‘safe’ career choice.
In another industry, social media has not been so kind to young people. A student in California was suspended after calling his teacher fat in his Facebook status update, while in early January a group of teenagers were arrested in Nevada for organising an event called ‘attack a teacher day’.
|Open for business||The BBC reported on Wednesday that normal internet services were coming back in Egypt, although political unrest continued on the streets. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook were blocked last week, amid fears that they were being used to coordinate the anti-government protests. During the Twitter block, Google launched a speak-to-tweet service which used voicemail instead of an internet connection, especially to help Egyptian tweeters stay in touch.
Meanwhile, the hacking collective who took revenge on sites deemed to be against WikiLeaks has made the Egyptian government its new target. Anonymous claimed responsibility for the government website crashing on Wednesday afternoon.
|Tablet buzz||This week saw the long-awaited launch event for Android 3.0, the OS designed specifically for tablets. Known as Honeycomb and featuring a new blue bee logo, it has been hailed as the only thing able to threaten the iPad’s reign of the market. The 2011 CES last month saw the launch of several new tablets that would run optimally on Honeycomb, including the feted Motorola Xoom.
Invited to the hands-on showcase, TechCrunch reported the OS features an Action Bar that “changes dynamically based on what you’re doing in an application”, while the Chrome browser “kicks the pants off the iPad’s browser”. However, the event was somewhat overshadowed by an iPad2 being spotted at the launch of the News Corp Daily newspaper app; a Reuters eyewitness claimed to have seen the app on a working iPad with front- and rear-facing cameras.