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He may be the best songwriter of this generation (well along with the other fella whose birthday it is today), have created a vegetarian food empire and graced massive events from London 2012 Olympics through to Live Aid. But history is likely to remember Paul McCartney for his biggest contribution to 21st century - the invention of the selfie.

Macca made the claims while speaking on Jimmy Fallon's late night chat show and pulled out an image of himself with a camera to prove the point.

And as for inventing the photobomb, you'll have to watch the video to see that one.

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Now here is a really superb idea. Capture some interesting parts of the British coast and then create GIFs which show what they look like when the tide comes in and out.

That's excatly what the photographer Michael Marten has done and you can see his work below.

Here's the blurb from his book Sea Change, which you can buy here

Since 2003 Michael Marten has travelled to different parts of the British coast to photograph identical views at high and low tide, six or eighteen hours apart. His beautiful and surprising photographs reveal how the twice daily rhythm of ebb and flood can dramatically transform the landscape.

Spotter Anorak

There's a really lovely survey over at Blog Session which is well worth checking out. The writer, Stacey Cavanagh asked 1000 Americans to name a British city that wasn't London, and the results are fascinating.

In top place, is not Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Cardiff, but Liverpool. I wonder if more than anything else this represents the incredible popularity even today of The Beatles. That Macca fella has lot to answer for.

Manchester grabbed second slot with Leeds just beating off Cambridge. Glasgow and Edinburgh were nowhere in sight which I think underlines the confusion our Transatlantic cousins have in differentiating between Great Britain and England - not that we are too hot on that either!

The weird bit is that Wales came in sixth and at number ten is that great British metropolis Paris! Also popular were Chelsea, Queens (which I think is a actually a borough of New York) and Essex - maybe TOWIE is a bigger US hit than we know.

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This is bang on. How many times have you seen ads like this in the last few years? Personally I think they missed a trick by not adding a jaunty acoustic soundtrack, but I guess they blew all the budget on bakers!

london-to-brighton.jpgThere's a rather wonderful bit of video over at the BBC News site which is especially fascinating for anyone who lives in Brighton.

Sixty years ago the corp filmed the train journey between London and Brighton and condensed it into a short film. It did the same 30 years ago in 1983 and has just revisited the project this year.

The video then shows the three bits of footage side by side and it is amazing to see who much of the route has changed - and again how much has stayed the same.

The bridges and overall structure of the railway is similar, but the vegetation looks very different. And as for both the staff and the commuters, they look a lot more casual these days.

Check it out here.

Miley-Cyrus-2.jpgWell it had to happen. After her somewhat bizarre performance at the VMA and those bonkers photos comes the inevitable photobomb site.

Yet oddly enough it is on Blogger rather than Tumblr...

Anyhow there are pics of the minx and her funny finger photobombing Prince Harry, Gazza and more. And you can bet there will be loads more by the end of the day.

Check it here.

buck-house.jpgGot a spare five minutes? Fancy yourself as a bit of a property guru? Then ace new-ish site UsVsTh3m has a fun little game which asks you to guess how much various houses across the UK sold for?

It is entertaining and indicative of the great stuff - quirky games and BuzzFeed style stuff taken from the web - that is the site's forte.

You can check it out here.

You'll want to see this GIF of Ed Miliband being egged #... on Twitpic

No matter what you think of the Labour leader watching him get egged today in South London, is, coughs mildly amusing. He is also the latest in a very fine line of polticians to get egged and quite frankly not get the yolk.

Here is how John Prescott responded to an egg a few years ago in Wales

Plus here are attacks on Peter Mandelson and John Major.

flipboard-mag-broswer-fast-company.jpgAs anyone who has an iPad knows already Flipboard is a fabulous way to keep tabs on your friend's social media output.The company recently also started to enable users to update their own magazine type feeds too.

Now it appears that the company has designs on your web browser too. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue has been talking to Mashable and confirmed that user-created magazines will begin appearing on Flipboard.com imminently with the rest of the Flipboard experience to roll out later this year or early next year.

The web version mimics the iPad original so you can (sort of) read articles, click through to their original sources and subscribe to magazines, but not a great deal else. Though some interesting innovations are apparently coming in the near future. McCue indicated that it is easier for Flipboard to "roll out in pieces,"

I must admit that after getting very excited about Flipboard's original iPad offering I haven't spend too much time using the service since. The newly created magazines are an interesting concept and they work well enough on the web. Check out the Fast Company mag here. For me though it falls down a little as you still have to migrate to the original website to read most of the articles. A work in progress then...

The world isn't exactly short of social shopping sites at the moment. You know the places where you buy stuff and then share it via your social media accounts. Certainly fab.com loks like it is about to take over the enitire world.

Here's yet another one - The Hunt - though this is is a site with a difference. Firstly it has some seriously high profile investors - more on those later - and secondly it has quite an interesting spin on shopping.

With The Hunt you do the usual stuff - create an account, link in with Facebook etc but then you use it to help you find an item - usually clothing - that you are keen to buy. Maybe it is a T shirt you saw someone wearing in a film, or some trousers that a retailer was selling but they have now sold out. You simply pop the image up, say whether you want an exact replica, or something similar and then ask the fellow Hunters to help you track the stuff down.

It does seem to be working in that I saw a few people who had been looking for something and had been recommended similar items by the group. It does seem short of exact matches though. Also it is seriously open to abuse. You could ask for something only to be peppered with spam suggestions. The beauty for spammers then is that people see that you have had your query answered click on and see the spam for themselves.

It is however one to watch.

Oh, and those high profile investors. Supermodel Tyra Banks and Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher both coughed up the cash.

Tyra said...

"What I love about The Hunt is that women help other women find their perfect outfit [head-to-toe]. I am excited to be part of this new approach to collective retail and styling."


Let she who is without selfies cast the first moan! But if selfies could speak... what would they say?

Classic pout

"I'm a traditional gal. I don't deviate. like mild peri-peri on my Nando's, and Paul McCartney is my favourite Beatle."

Extreme pout

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"By playing with the proportions of the conventional photographic pout, I am making a comment on the nature of our society's obsession with lip-to-face ratio. Also, look at me all minxy."

Satirical pout

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"This is what people do in selfies, yes? I've heard it is, but I can't be sure as most of my time is taken up with poi swinging, not using Facebook and working on my quinoa recipe blog, Keen-a for Quinoa."

'The shoes'

"As this is only 20% a photo of my shoes and 80% a photo of some floor, so you'd be forgiven for commenting, "Hey! Nice floor!". But that isn't the intended response."

'The legs'

"Legs can't be narcissistic, right? They're just legs! Lovely, practical legs! Legs for climbing mountains, dancing a merry jig or, on this occasion, casually lying prone on a sun lounger under a light coating of shimmery body oil.'

'The mug'

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"You think this is premium Venezuelan java. It's actually Robinson's Fruit & Barley. Now let's read some Sartre."

'The mirror'

"Isn't this a lovely toilet? Look, they have those nice quilted paper hand towels and everything. Try to focus more on my sassy outfit and less on the fact I've just urinated."

The 'new hair'

"This is legitimate. I have new hair! I must garner opinions! If a tree falls in the forest and nobody comments on its new hair, does it really exist?"

'The sleepy'

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"It's pretty hectic, being me. But please don't be associating my tiredness with the same sort of tiredness that produces eye bags and sleep farting and a little trail of crusty drool on one's face. Mine is a different, sexy tiredness. Je suis fatigue. Look at my artfully rumpled hair. Are you imagining me in bed yet?"

'The dopey'

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"Geez, I'm so ditsy y'all. I didn't even mean to take this - I was trying to pay my council tax using my online banking app, but before I knew it I'd snapped myself looking adorably gawky with my mouth slightly open. Still, shame to let it go to waste."

'The sneezy'

At the time of going to print, this wasn't yet a selfie trend.

There is a boyfriend in your photo

"OH LOOK I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!"

Your heads are bent together coyly

"NO I ACTUALLY DO I SWEAR"

His face is partially obscured because he is nuzzling your neck/kissing your cheek

"SEE? I AM SO ADORED."

The arms'-reach, almost, just about, could feasibly not be a selfie

"But it obviously is."

betegy.jpgEveryone who loves football fancies themselves a bit of a pundit. Who hasn't taken on Lawro on the BBC challenge and scoffed at his constant positive predictions for Liverpool FC!

Imagine though if you could use technology to predict the outcome of games, and what if that tech was around 90% accurate? Well thats the scary claim of a new Polish start up called Betegy, which believes that in some games in some leagues it is getting the results right 90% of the time.

Let's be straight on this, that isn't the score, but the outcome. So with three possible outcomes the basic level would be 33%.To do this it has developed an algorithm which takes into account team form, player form, motivational factors and even odd stuff like birthday and the weather.

CEO and founder Alex Kornilov told the WSJ "Imagine that, say, Manchester United is playing Liverpool. We know that Manchester United has more players who can strike from long distance. Usually in poor weather the manager will tell players to shoot from further out. Knowing these small things allows us to tweak the analysis in favor of Manchester United."

You can take a look at how successful it has been too here as there are predictions for a large variety of games.

The company is being taking very seriously too and has struck a deal with a US broadcaster. If you like the look of its predictions too you can take advantage of its betting system which is integrated into its site. It also has some interesting features coming soon, including a personal strategy option that advises you on how to bet, by telling you the stakes and amount to bet, by calculating the risk level and also series of tables and charts that will analyse player and team performances.

Some games, and some leagues, are harder to predict than others. The U.K. Premier league has high levels, since there are a few strong clubs and that gives the league stability, Mr. Kornilov said. "On games that we can call, for some matches we can predict with around 92% to 93% accuracy. For others it is around 55% to 60%."

It has pulled a few surprises too. At the recent Confederation Cup, Betegy correctly predicted Brazil's victory, although Spain was widely tipped. The company didn't quite get the score right (it predicted 2-1; the result was 3-0).

Of course the company can never be anything like 100% accurate, but as pundits go I think I'd trust their algorithms a little more than the whims of an Octopus.

There really isn't a great deal to say about this video- just watch it. How he manages to crash four times in around a minute is astonishing.

And then the grand finale in the pit - and judging by the time it takes the water to splash it looks pretty deep.

Spotter tip.

gladitaor.jpgThe thing about corporate websites is that they tend to be a little bit dull, a few corporate head shots here, a yawn of a mission statement there. It is not surprising that most of us tend to switch off and head towards Buzzfeed.

Except that there is one company that is desperate to turn the tide in corporate communications and add a little colour, flair and elan. A company whose pioneering approach could revolutionise B2B websites in the future and that is Arvanitakis Water Services Limited from the Ukraine.

Nope, not for them a home page devoted to an iffy video of non-media savvy CEO lisping his way through company policy. They have got a huge Gladiator chap with an over-active sword and a sparkling shield to protect every page of their website.

And you can forget about subtle corporate colours, Arvanitakis is a riot of blues and greens all there to make the most of the not really that subtle user navigation logos. There's no chance of getting lost here.

And forget too fancy infographics that are chocka with senseless corporate speak. Arvanitakis has lots of big pictures of its paper production water mill plant complete with state of the art and very funky looking cooling towers.

All this is accompanied by some magnificent stirring semi-classical music and the genius tagline

'When you are in troubles for the protection of your systems, we have the solution for you!'

If only all corporate sites were made this way.

Check it out in all its awesomeness here.

In case you haven't noticed Mad Men is back on our tellies and once again it has sparked an excellent round of parodies.

Now I always thought that Don Draper was a bit of a dirty dog and some clever people have taken that link to its logical extension here with a very clever Mad Men animated intro featuring canines.

It is really rather clever. Looking forward to seeing their creative for Winalot then.Just no one mention smoking Beagles...

mysocilpetrowk.jpgSo you have loads of fun on Facebook chatting away to your pals - so why shouldn't your pooch or kitty keep in touch with their friends in the same way? That's the theory behind a new UK based site that is set to launch very soon.

My Social Petwork enables you to create a profile for your pet and then pretty much do a load of the stuff you can do on Facebook - but for them. So you can share pictures, add posts, follow new canine chums/feline friends as well as tag images, heart other pets, send private messages and so on.

It isn't only going to be cats and dogs either. The site's owners are hoping that people with more exotic pets will use the site as a way of ensuring their Chinchillas and Iguanas don't get lonely.

It works like Facebook too so you get a homepage that features all the latest news and pics keeping you up to date on who has fleas and who is heading for the doghouse I guess.

Apparently we are doing all this stuff already on Facebook anyhow. The site's research shows that as many as 20% post pics of our animals on the social networking site.

Anyway the site is taking registrations now and will launch shortly.


Thumbnail image for sleepigdogsthuimb.jpgI only ask because the website unveiled its Guardian Witness project this week. It is a section in the website where readers can share their images and videos to help supplement the stories produced by Guardian journos.

So far so good.

It works with the paper giving the reader assignments - so you can send in your images of Thatcher's funeral, shots of your fave albums for Record Store Day etc.

Except of course that not even The Guardian can resist the power of (coughs) pet based photography.

For at the time of writing while 40 people have sent in images of the ex-PM's final journey and 31 have sent representations of what government cuts mean to them - over 300 have submitted images of sleeping dogs!

guardianwitness.jpgIt is the eternal dilemma now for the world's serious press. Publish stuff online that you know people want to look at (pets pictures, football gossip, funny virals) or use the web to educate and inform people and get them to contribute to the debate. I know which one drives traffic and ad views...

Still, check it out - it is a lovely idea.


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In case you haven't yet heard the news Buzzfeed, that American site so beloved of people who like kittens behaving badly, has launched a UK edition today.

Now, UK flavoured versions of US sites haven't always gone down well over here. The Huffington Post UK got a bit of a pasting when it first arrived though it has since settled a bit and become part of the UK media scene.

So I was very sceptical about Buzzfeed UK? How many cats with British accents are there?

I really shouldn't have worried. Edited by former NME.com editor Luke Lewis Buzzfeed is a tour de force of all things British - which almost certainly wouldn't have made the original version of the site.

Where else would you be able to see 15 Orangutans That Look Like Boris Johnson or 21 Weirdly Angry Mail Online Commenters (well except on the Daily Mail but you would spend all day compiling them).

Not everything is quite as inspired. The 27 Extraordinary Facts About The London Underground seems like a parade of quotes from Wikipedia accompanied by shots from Flickr - which invariably aren't relevant to the station that is being posted about.

Also where the ferret is the footy stuff?

But it is early days, and if Lewis and his team can keep up this standard then Buzzfeed UK is going to be an absolute hoot.

It is fascinating too in that it provides a very real insight into what being British means in 2013 - so we are all about The Daily Mail, Boris Johnson, Marmite, The Tube, David Bowie and Alan Partridge. Is that good? I am not too sure...

Btw when you have checked it out don't forget to take a peek at the newly revamped MSNNowsite which features Becca, once of this parish, Caddy.



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