This Week in Digital…

Becky Grainger

This week in digital

Instagram beats Twitter

Instagram have announced this week that they now have over 300m people using the social media service, which makes it bigger than Twitter in terms of users. Twitter revealed earlier in the year that they have 271m active users. In an official blog post Instagram announced the news and said: “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day.”

With the news, Instagram have also been questioned on the amount of spammy accounts on the social media site and whether 300m is a true reflection of active users. Chief executive, Kevin Systrom said: “Were committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year. We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve user experience. As part of this effort we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”

Instagram have also now announced that they will be rolling out verified badges for celebrities and brands.

Santa’s Christmas Eve flight path

NATS, the global air-traffic management company have released a clip that shows how Santa manages to visit every house whilst avoiding the flight path of thousands of other Christmas Eve flights.




In a blog post, NATS explains how the complex task of delivering presents to millions of homes works: “Preparations for the night begin much earlier in the year, when representatives of Santas’ Workshop visit our control centres at Swanwick and Prestwick to discuss and plan the route for Christmas Eve. Delivering presents to millions of children in just a few hours is complex work so the planning has to be meticulous, taking into account the delivery schedule and decreasing weight of the on-board cargo versus the increasing weight of the pilot (all those mince pies soon add up).” Their “Yuletide 24” uses real radar data and radio transmissions from Christmas Eve to create a time-lapse video on their Vimeo.

Sony data hack

This week, Sony were victims of an internal data hack that has seen almost 40GB of data made publicly available, with the hackers saying that this is just a fraction of the data that they have claimed to have taken. Buzzfeed News have at length covered all the leaked data which included information on employee criminal background checks, medical records, social security numbers and salary negotiations.

As well as personal information, email exchanges between employees were also revealed, causing a few issues and embarrassments in the Hollywood world. Emails between producer Scott Rudin and co-chairman Amy Pascal revealed news on the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic as well as calling Angelina Jolie a ‘spoiled brat’ and stating that she has a ‘rampaging spoiled ego’. High quality video files of five unreleased Sony films have also been emailed to members of the media. Sony Pictures have yet to comment on the matter and according to the hackers there is a lot more yet to be revealed.

Google News Spain to shut down

Google have announced that they will shut down their Google News service in Spain to stop publishers’ news and content from appearing on it. This is the first time that Google will shut down Google News and comes ahead of the new Spanish law, “Google Tax”, which requires Google to pay Spanish news and media organisations for linked content or snippets of the content. In a statement Google have said that they will stop linking content from Spanish news from 16th of December.

And Finally…

An Apple computer Steve Jobs first sold out of his parents’ garage for $600 in 1976 has now sold for $365,000. The fully operational ‘Ricketts Apple-1 Personal computer’ is documented as the only Apple-1 left that was sold directly by Steve Jobs.