This Week in Digital

Sasha Hanau

Industry News

New Yorker’s Take Advantage of Snowfall to Create New Homes (#IndiaStreetIgloo)

This week, Airbnb is in the news again. Ok, so while these properties will only last as long as the cold weather, there is something to be said for the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of one resident, Patrick Horton, who took to Twitter to promote his new (temporary) Airbnb accommodation – a two-person igloo that rents for $200 per night!

Given Airbnb rentals in NYC are under severe scrutiny, cited as technically illegal under state and city laws last year by NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, this igloo has certainly drawn a lot of attention. Speculated by many to be a very clever PR stunt by the company, Airbnb actually removed the listing for failing to meet its host and occupancy standards!

Either way, the East Coast’s snowfall has opened the floodgates to a series of brilliant viral stories, we particularly like this video of a few friends snowboarding around the city! This video has had over 11 million views on YouTube and despite generating a number of complaints while filming (given the city and road were officially shut down), the good old NYPD decided they too thought it was totally awesome and are cited as saying; “Someone complained about you, so we’re just going to act like we’re talking to you, alright?”.

Reinventing Lost Treasures – Virtually

The Economist has collaborated with Project Mosul to help protect and preserve Iraq’s Mosul Museum artefacts. The group who focus on preservations of cultural heritage are working with The Economist to create a virtual replica of the museum exhibits which were destroyed by Islamic State named RecoVR.

Mosul, in northern Iraq, is famed for being the epicentre of the country’s archaeological wealth, with more than 3.5k sites of historical significance. The initiative is a stark reminder of the loss war creates – be it loss to human life, or the loss of hundreds of years of the country’s cultural heritage.

Johnny Be Good: Helps Drinkers Avoid Dreaded Beer Goggles

If you have ever woken up in a stranger’s bed and regretted it then’s latest PR campaign might just help. Get yourself down to London’s Victoria Station to The Brass Monkey. Inside the toilets you’ll find a very unique vending machine. Rather than just dispensing condoms to pub-goers, this cheeky little machine is designed to help you avoid those awkward moments by breathalysing you before you make your purchase! If you are deemed too drunk to make good decisions the machine may refuse to serve you!

Machine that checks if you are making sound (sober enough) decisions

While it’s received some criticism for potentially encouraging unsafe sex, we think there is something in it, if only to provide an extra sense check!

Twitter Continues to Keep Us Entertained with Celeb Meltdowns

There is never a dull week on social media, and ahead of Kanye’s new album release next month, he got this week’s award for the biggest meltdown. After a long standing intellectual property debate over the title of his new album, Wiz Khalifa and Kanye had a public spat after a simple misunderstanding over the initials ‘KK’. As is always the problem with written comms, Kanye took ‘KK’ to mean his wife Kim Kardashian while Wiz was actually referring to his own personal strain of marijuana! Oh the world of a rap-star… the row was worsened no doubt by its public nature, and the history between the pair (Wiz has a child with Kanye’s ex Amber Rose)! Nonetheless the argument made for good reading, keeping their followers in gossip for at least a day.

Rap stars seem to be flocking to Twitter to air their meltdowns – American musician Bobby Ray Simmons Jr, otherwise known as B.o.B also aired his feelings this week stating he is not so sure the earth is indeed round. The rapper, posted a series of tweets presenting his case for why the Earth is indeed flat, despite what scientists and evidence may say. Using photos of the horizon as his case, it is certainly a very unusual view to hold in the modern world.


Tweeting on 24th Jan B.o.B says: “No matter how high in elevation you are… the horizon is always eye level … sorry cadets… I didn’t wanna believe it either.”

American astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil de Grasse Tyson later had to join the conversation and pointed out inaccuracies in BoB’s arguments. Tyson posted: “Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn’t mean we all can’t still like your music.”

We think either B.o.B needs some science lessons, or it’s potentially just another good PR stunt rant? You decide which.

And finally, the DeLorean makes a comeback!

After a thirty-plus year gap, the iconic DeLorean is returning to the manufacturing line. Famous for its time-travelling abilities in the ‘Back to the Future’, movies, an estimated 300+ new DMC-12 vehicles will be manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company in Humble, Texas.

The DeLorean Returns to Manufacturing lines in 2017

Thanks to a new US law that exempts small volume car manufacturers from the safety requirements applied to most new car manufacturers, the new DeLorean’s will be classed as replicas, many using old parts or those created from the original blueprints. If you are a die-hard DeLorean lover – the new 2017 models will cost between $80,000 and $100,000.