theEweekly Wrap 26 June 2009

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Facebook: The Movie moved closer to reality this week. The national US paper, The Hollywood Reporter, announced that David Fincher, acclaimed filmmaker of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Seven, may direct the movie chronicling the site’s humble beginnings.

The film, which is being penned by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, focuses on the three founders of the site: Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Sorkin registered as a Facebook user in November 2008 in order to research material for the film.

Facebook began life in 2004 and originally operated as a networking site for students and staff at Harvard University. The site now has over 100 million users worldwide.

Google city breaks

Google Labs has unveiled its latest project: Google City Tours. The new application suggests travel itineraries for cities across the globe. The site is fully integrated into the Google maps system and users can see their agenda plotted out across their location of choice. Individuals also have the opportunity to customise a visit; plotting times and adding or removing suggested locations.

A travel itinerary for the centre of Manchester resulted in the following recommendations:

Google's city tour of Manchester

The new software has received positive reviews. Jason Kincaid, of consumer site TechCrunch, commented that the application could ensure a hassle-free holiday. Respected SEO blogger Matt McGee said the site had limitless potential.

“Imagine Google pulling in the public transit information that it already has for many cities. Imagine it pulling in event listings like concerts and sports. Imagine local businesses being able to write their own suggested city tours that include a stop at the business's own location, and being able to embed those tour maps on their web sites. This seems like an interesting experiment to watch."

Junk birds

Five individuals could face jail after pleading guilty to spamming charges in a land-mark trial in America. The five men could face up to six years in prison and fines of $1 million.

Alan Raisky, 64, along with four other men, ischarged with breaking a number of laws including the CAN-SPAM legislation. Raisky is on trial for ‘botnet spamming’; remotely hijacking virus-infected computers to generate millions of automated spam emails.

This article does not cite its sources

The editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine has been accused of plagiarising material after paragraphs from the online resource Wikipedia were found in his latest book. Chris Anderson issued an immediate apology after similarities were spotted between his latest novel, Free, and various Wikipedia entries. Over a dozen passages are thought to have been lifted from the site.

Anderson swiftly apologised, stating that an 11th hour decision had resulted in the removal of footnotes from the book. He said:

“Obviously in my rush at the end [to finish the book], I missed a few...which is bad”.

Anderson’s previous novel, The Long Tail, became a best-seller after its release in 2006.

Showbiz SEO

The popular US entertainment and media blog Deadline Hollywood Daily (DHD) has been purchased for an estimated $15 (£9) million. The site, famous for its investigative reports, was bought by the American media giant Mail Media Corporation.

Deadline Hollywood Daily is operated by leading US-columnist Nikki Finke. She assured readers in a blog that the site would not alter too dramatically, despite the sale.

“Deadline Hollywood will continue to be an independent editorial voice – and I would retain complete control over everything reported on the website -- so that DHD’s credibility with its readers could remain intact.”

Damned if you do

The Chinese government has vowed to press ahead with a controversial new plan which would require every computer in the country to operate with an internet filtering programme.
Chinese officials said that the government would be looking at ways to make controversial blocking software – Green Dam – compulsory on every machine in the country.

The software, set to be included on all new machines sold in China after July 1, 2009, is said to prevent access to pornographic material. Experts however have said that the Green Dam programme will also filter out a number of political websites.

News in 140 characters:

  • UK furniture chain Habitat criticised after caught advertising its wares on a number of trending topics, including #iranelection.
  • The untimely death of Michael Jackson accounted for 20 per cent of all Twitter usage yesterday at 23.30pm.
  • Woolworths relaunched as an online retailer this week. The brand is now owned by the Shop Direct group.