This Week in Digital
Ashley Madison hackers reap havoc
Ashley Madison, a once discreet married dating site that connected willing adulterers, was hacked earlier this year by a group who threatened to release confidential data unless the site was shut down. This week the hackers have made good on their threat and released 9.7 gigabytes of data, uncovering the private records of around 32 million users. The fallout from this data dump is reaping havoc worldwide with MPs and public figures among the many outed. A radio show in Australia confirmed a woman’s suspicions live on air that her husband did indeed have an account on the site. Many have condemned the stunt calling it distasteful and accused the show of using it to drive ratings.
Facebook drives more traffic than Google
Google may be the top referral source when it comes to search and overall web traffic, but Facebook has taken the lead in referring specifically to media sites. In the last 18 months, Facebook’s online media traffic has grown dramatically. It has delivered 43% of traffic to a network of media sites including traditional publishers Wired, The Atlantic and Reuters as well as digital-only outlets like Mashable, Business Insider and The Next Web. Google, in comparison, is driving a mere 38% of traffic to media sites. These new numbers, released by traffic-analytics service Parse.ly, prove that social referrals are becoming a major source of traffic.
World's first swimming pool 'bridge'
Architectural firm Eckersley O'Callaghan will be engineering the world’s first swimming pool bridge that will connect two 10-storey towers in London. The structural feat will be 25m in length and will have a transparent acrylic bottom that will make swimmers feel like they are "floating through the air in central London", says Sean Mulryan, chief executive of Ballymore Group. The project is part of a luxury property development called Embassy Gardens based near Battersea Power Station and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.
The Guardian has acquired documents that confirm the ambitions of Apple’s driverless cars codenamed Project Titan. According to the documents, the venture is further along than expected, with the tech giant scouting out the San Francisco Bay Area for a secure location to test the vehicle. The move comes as Google, Uber and other tech companies are pouring cash into robot cars. Project Titan will be overseen by automotive experts from Silicon Valley and beyond, hiring engineers from Tesla motors and Mercedes-Benz.
According to research, a third (33%) of seaside visitors want free access to internet on the beach. To promote the new Huawei E5770 mobile hotspot, O2 provided beach Wi-Fi this week to the sandy shores of Brighton and Southend. Armed with the latest in Pocket Hotspot devices, semi-naked men of all shapes and sizes brought free Wi-Fi to the beach. Olympic gymnast Louis Smith led the troupe, parading the beach performing flips, splits and ultimately providing fast internet connection while flexing his muscles. Of the GuyFi campaign, General Manager Consumer at O2 remarked “O2 Pocket Hotspots are so compact they can even fit in the pocket of your short shorts and, as displayed by our trial “O2 GuyFi” service, are dependable and packed with lots of power.”