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China’s great firewall: the major websites that are currently blocked

As pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong continue into a fifth day, the world's attention has honed in on China. The Chinese government is well-known for its tough censorship and heavy media intervention, and has attracted international criticism for often-unexplained decisions which restrict the freedom of expression outlined in China's constitution. It has threatened artists, blocked popular websites and regularly bans Western films.…

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Sadie HaleChina’s great firewall: the major websites that are currently blocked
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The week in hashtags: #Bendgate, #OccupyCentral, #NotInMyName, #BakeOffInnuendo

#NotInMyName and #MuslimApologies In his speech at the United Nations last week, President Obama referenced East London’s Active Change Foundation – the community group who began the #notinmyname campaign earlier this month, encouraging young Muslims to add their voice to the fight against Islamic State. The hashtag spread fast, and the #notinmyname video was viewed…

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Lauren BravoThe week in hashtags: #Bendgate, #OccupyCentral, #NotInMyName, #BakeOffInnuendo
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Web founder Tim Berners-Lee wants an online bill of rights

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the web (sidebar: that was 25 years ago, can you believe it?!), wants to ensure that the internet is free from government (or corporate) intrusion. Speaking at the Web We Want festival in London at the weekend, he said that we need to ensure that our internet freedoms aren’t…

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Diane ShipleyWeb founder Tim Berners-Lee wants an online bill of rights
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China’s reportedly blocked Instagram due to Hong Kong protests

What do we want? #democracy! When do we want it? [Censored]. Yep, it looks like everyone's favourite photo-sharing service is now blocked in China. Boo. As filled with other people's shoes, food, and engagement rings as Instagram can be, it's also a great way for people to record what's happening, especially when huge global events…

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Diane ShipleyChina’s reportedly blocked Instagram due to Hong Kong protests
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Transport for London launches #HomeSafeSelfie, but will it really keep us safe?

Transport for London has launched a new hashtag, #HomeSafeSelfie, which asks women to post a pic on Twitter or Instagram after a night out to let their friends and followers know they got home safely. It's part of a campaign highlighting the dangers of unbooked, unlicenced minicabs and recommending people download the free Cabwise app…

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Diane ShipleyTransport for London launches #HomeSafeSelfie, but will it really keep us safe?
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Ello: Will the ‘anti-facebook’ social network really lure away the masses?

There's a new social network on the block and judging from the online chatter it's generated over the past few days, it may just have the power to do what every other app and platform has been hoping to do for a decade: knock Facebook off the top spot. Meet Ello. I'm not sure if…

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Becca CaddyEllo: Will the ‘anti-facebook’ social network really lure away the masses?
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The week in hashtags: #MFW, #HeForShe, #LessClassicallyBeautiful and more

#HeForShe Proving she can stand up to more than just dementors, Emma Watson had the crowd spellbound with her speech at the launch of the United Nations’ He For She campaign. Hogwarts puns aside, it was an emotional, provocative speech that challenged perceptions of women’s rights, inviting men and boys to become advocates for change…

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Lauren BravoThe week in hashtags: #MFW, #HeForShe, #LessClassicallyBeautiful and more
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What is Alibaba and why should we care?

So what's Alibaba? Alibaba (not to be confused with the guy from the Arabian Nights tales) is widely known as 'China's answer to eBay', but many say it's actually more like someone rolled eBay, Amazon and Google together into one massive superpower. The thing is it's got the potential to be even better AND more…

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Becca CaddyWhat is Alibaba and why should we care?
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Facebook and Twitter got the Scottish referendum all wrong

Just after 6 AM today, the results were in: Scotland had voted to stay in the United Kingdom by 55% to 45%. Whether it was because of Gordon Brown’s unexpectedly rousing speech, the Better Together campaign’s uninspiring ad, or just because people tend to stick with what they know, the final result was 2,001,926 votes…

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Diane ShipleyFacebook and Twitter got the Scottish referendum all wrong
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10 people who just didn’t want to queue for an iPhone 6

So, it turns out there were a lot of people REALLY wanting the iPhone 6 today, as there were queues all over the world, full of Apple fans hoping to be the first to get their hands on the new Apple phone. Of course, Twitter was on hand, as always, to mock the whole idea…

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Hayley Minn10 people who just didn’t want to queue for an iPhone 6
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How safe are contactless payments?

With the announcement of Apple Pay earlier this month and the launch of EE’s Cash on Tap users being able to pay for London transport this week, anti-virus software Bitdefender’s Chief Security Strategist has spoken out about his fears of the growth of contactless payment, and questions its security. We know, we know it's scaremongering at its…

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Hayley MinnHow safe are contactless payments?
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Facebook will meet with LGBT community members over ‘real names only’ controversy

When you find yourself in a drag queen's bad books, you know you've seriously slipped up, so it might be time for Facebook to re-examine its life choices. Last week, anyone not using their legal name to access the site was suspended from logging on. As Mashable reports, drag queen Sister Roma was one of…

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Diane ShipleyFacebook will meet with LGBT community members over ‘real names only’ controversy
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The week in hashtags: #Phones4U, #WhyIStayed, #LFW and more

#Phones4U After its final remaining network EE cut ties with the company on Sunday night, Phones4U has gone into administration. The store may have been one of the less soothing retail experiences out there, about on par estate agents and the Primark returns queue, but with 720 outlets the cheap and cheerful mobile merchants were…

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Lauren BravoThe week in hashtags: #Phones4U, #WhyIStayed, #LFW and more
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Now China has a special mobiles-only pavement lane

A street in the Chinese city of Chongqing has designated a pavement lane for chatters, texters and tweeters (or Weibo-ers, more likely), according to Engadget. A local publication first flagged up the innovation, which has a sign announcing 'First mobile phone sidewalks in China'. And we probably shouldn't be surprised, given that China is now…

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Diane ShipleyNow China has a special mobiles-only pavement lane
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Hello Kitty isn’t a cat, she’s a British girl & 7 other lies that’ll blow your mind

Today the earth was shook to its very core when news broke that Hello Kitty (that's right, we wrote KITTY) isn't actually a cat. That's right. Hello Kitty (again, KITTY) isn't actually a cat. We'll give you a minute to process that one... According to Buzzfeed, anthropologist Christine R. Yano was curating a Hello Kitty…

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Becca CaddyHello Kitty isn’t a cat, she’s a British girl & 7 other lies that’ll blow your mind
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Better Together ad starts Twitter storm, spawns meme: meet #PatronisingBTLady

This week the lid was lifted on a new ad created by the team behind Better Together, a campaign dedicated to keeping Scotland as part of the UK in the upcoming referendum. (You can watch the ad for yourself here.) The ad is clearly targeting female voters, as it features a woman pondering over some…

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Becca CaddyBetter Together ad starts Twitter storm, spawns meme: meet #PatronisingBTLady
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Will Facebook getting rid of click-bait make your News Feed any better?

You may have heard at the weekend that Facebook is planning on reducing the amount of click-bait headlines on your News Feed, but will this really make any difference to our experience of the social network? In case you don’t know what click-bait is, it refers to those articles with really enticing headlines (usually involving…

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Hayley MinnWill Facebook getting rid of click-bait make your News Feed any better?
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Bio-bean is turning coffee grounds into energy and fuel

When thinking of coffee shop waste, we always tend to think of piles and piles of cups, but the average coffee shop throws out around 22 pounds of coffee grounds a day too. With so many coffee shops (sometimes three or four all within the same square mile) that adds up to A LOT of…

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Hayley MinnBio-bean is turning coffee grounds into energy and fuel
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Is David Cameron the only person alive still using a Blackberry?

In shocking news, David Cameron has confessed his reliance on his BlackBerry smartphone, claiming he can run the government from it, while on holiday. We don't know whether we're more shocked at the fact that there's a person out there still using a Blackberry, or the fact that the Prime Minister has actually confessed this.…

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Hayley MinnIs David Cameron the only person alive still using a Blackberry?
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It’s official: US Copyright Office declares animal selfies can’t belong to humans

Remember the macaque selfie saga that's been raging for the past year or so? Well, the quick and dirty story is that a macaque stole a photographer's camera. She then took a load of selfies. They were the best selfies anyone had ever seen, so sites like Wikipedia published them. But the photographer who owned…

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Becca CaddyIt’s official: US Copyright Office declares animal selfies can’t belong to humans