Recently in social networking Category

A case of mistweeted identity

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When the immediacy of Twitter clashes with the "passion" (other words are available) of sports fans, there's a recipe for delightful mix-ups. In January 2011, American Ashley Kerekes (@theashes) was bemused to find herself on the receiving end of a lot of banter between English and Australian cricket fans and to this day her Twitter profile still carries the memorable lament "I'm not a freaking cricket match!" On 14 April, Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy tweeted "I guess Chris Foy's having a shocker again today", a reference to him regularly being mistaken for the Premier League referee who is very unpopular in certain parts of north London.

But, the new kid on the sudden Twitter celebrity block is 52-year-old Indian IT consultant, Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad (@rvp) who found himself bombarded with messages when Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick to secure the league title for Manchester United on 22 April. Prasad's attempts to clear the confusion did not slow the messages, but his witty responses have made him a Twitter sensation in his own right. However, with van Persie due to return to his old club Arsenal this weekend - and anticipating a hostile welcome - Prasad might want to be sure his phone and tablet batteries are fully-charged. It might be a busy day for him.

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Lonely this Valentine's Day? Buy a Facebook girlfriend

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Move over Romeo and Juliet, there is a new love story in town.

Forget wasting £5, or even £15, on an oversized novelty stuffed teddy this Valentine's Day, even if it sings Unchained Melody when you push its paw. Dave Lee, of the BBC, found that for only $5 you can buy make-believe online love.

teddy-bears-11285_640.jpgWhile conducting research, Lee came across a number of sites offering varying degrees of fake girlfriend services. After discovering Namoro Fake and Cloud Girlfriend couldn't offer him the fabricated social media solicitude he was seeking, he turned to Google and happened upon Fiverr.

Fiverr is a US-based site-come-forum where people list things they are willing to do for $5 and after a quick search for "fake girlfriend", Lee laid eyes on Sophia and the rest is history. Well, a whole week's worth of history because that's all the $5 gets you.

After their whirlwind romance was made official on Facebook, Sophia posted a few strategic comments to try and convince people of the relationship and it didn't take long for Lee's friends to start sending him messages in a bid to get him to spill the beans.   

After struggling to maintain the charade and appease his friend's suspicions, Lee conceded defeat and went back to Fiverr to see what else he could get for his hard-earned money.

He found Suzi Linder, a singer from New York, who sings jingles for $5. You can watch her performance below:

The lesson that Downtime is taking from this story is that if you're going to pay a woman for anything, it should be to sing. What a wholesome Valentine's message. 
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One-in-20 people use their mobiles during sex

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Yes, you read the headline right, more than half of people regularly use their mobile devices in bed, with 5% shockingly using their mobile while in the middle of having sex with their partner.*

Narly half check their social networks and emails on their mobile devices instead of listening to their partner, while 40% use their phones while sat on the toilet - please remember to wash your hands!

So apparently 45% of people admit that technology prevents them from ever truly switching off and relaxing in their spare time. Well we don't know about relaxing, but if there's a drop in birth rates next year, we can all blame the iPhone 5.

*Study conducted by UK technology manufacturer, Storage Options

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3G coverage in Olympic Park a hit for sharing inappropriate photos

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In the true spirit of in-depth, hard-hitting IT reporting, the ladies of Computer Weekly (and one male who will remain anonymous) headed down to the Olympic Park last night to test out what the mobile coverage for spectators is really like.

We were there as part of on-going research into the Olympic Park's 3G and Wi-Fi coverage and we can tell you that we experienced some very *interesting* results.

We found, surprisingly, that we were able to send a lot of photos via email, message and social networking sites to our jealous friends who were not so lucky to attend Team GB v Team USA Men's Water Polo.

Interestingly, 3G coverage was much better than Wi-Fi, but deep down, we were more interested in the back-end solutions...

Downtime_WaterPolo.jpg

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Move over BAFTA, its the Worst Domain Name Awards

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Domain name registrar Names.co.uk has announced a nationwide search. It hopes to uncover the Worst Domain Names registered on the web by businesses and it has already discovered a handful that you'll find below. 

Downtime, back when we were innocent, fell for this trick once at school. We saw no problem when being told by friends to visit a website called "Pen Island". It was only when you see the full URL that you realise what you've just typed...www.penisland.net. Amazingly a company specialising in personalised pens has snapped this domain name up. 

Never one to find bodily functions mildly amusing, being upper class and what not, Downtime didn't find this next one remotely funny. 

Graphic designers Speed of Art have opted for the regrettable www.speedofart.com. Is it just us or does that conjure up images of a middle-aged man in tight swim trunks breaking wind? 

Finally, a host meeting service, which has now been acquired by Salesforce, seemed to have decided that the best way to get noticed in the current climate was buy a web name that accurately describes those real-life cartoon characters Jedward. Even going so far as to use the same descriptive word for each twin with its domain choice of www.dimdim.com. 

Names.co.uk isn't doing this all on its own, you can get involved, discussing, sharing and voting on its Facebook page

All this has left Downtime thinking, we might start our own search. Now we just need to think of something worthwhile looking for. Treasure perhaps. 

What a mug! Sip your beverage of choice with the aid of a hashtag

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Downtime is sure you, like us, wished buying presents for people was as easy as buying for a chocoholic. We know all too well that there are only so many pairs of socks you can buy for a person before they start harbouring genuine resentment toward you. 

This mug from ThumbsUpUK could be your saving grace, ticking a couple of boxes; it will appeal to tweetaholics as well as coffee and tea cravers. 

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As for those who can't stop tweeting whilst also drinking a cuppa, well this will blow those socks you bought them for Christmas right off. 

It is certainly the most appealing hashtag we've seen in a while anyway. 

Finnish people just dig living in JCBs

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I'm sure you all remember but just in case you don't I'll jog your memory. Back in August, Downtime posted a story about a competition that was taking place in Finland.

The prize on offer was a brand new digger and all the six participants had to do to win was live in a digger and be the last man standing. Not only that though, they had to use iPads to stream constant video and interact with viewers using social media. 

Two months into the competition, with viewing figures passing the one million mark, six became four as the limit of only 30 minutes per day allowed outside the digger proved too much for two of the tractor-loving Finns. 

Now though, I can bring you the news you have been waiting months to hear. The competition is all over!

After six months, organisers have been forced to stop the competition because of health concerns, meaning the remaining two contestants both won a digger. Happy days. 

22-year-old Kimmo Frisk, an IT student who has since been offered an SEO job, and 36-year-old Hannu Lammi both got to drive off into the sunset at around 2.5mph in their new diggers. It brings a tear to your eye. 
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'Most hated family in America' announce plans to picket Steve Jobs' funeral using iPhone

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It seems members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), who plan to stage a protest at the funeral of Steve Jobs, may not fully understand the meaning of irony after they used an iPhone to tweet their intentions. 

The group, which was started by Fred Phelps and consists mainly of his family, featured in a Louis Theroux documentary entitled 'The most hated family in America' back in 2007. 

The WBC believe that America is being punished for allowing the practice of homosexuality and have become infamous for picketing soldier's funerals with offensive and shocking home-made signs.

They feel Jobs should have used his wealth and power to promote their (somewhat-warped) interpretation of the Bible, whilst they are also unhappy that Apple were often voted one of the most gay-friendly employers.

Phelps and co, who in the past have even protested against Twitter despite using it on a daily basis (hypocrite springs to mind), were quickly pulled up for using an iPhone to post their tweet but responded by saying, We're not against technology; we're against using it to promote what God hates." 

New CEO Tim Cook should take some of the profits made off the iPhone 4S and buy the WBC's Church, tear it to the ground, then build a Steve Jobs memorial site in its place. 

Diggers and social media: A match made in heaven

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Over one million Finns have found themselves unable to resist the lure of watching four strangers live in diggers. 

Over the past two months the four men, who've been constantly streaming live video and interacting with their viewers, have been sleeping, eating and drinking in the diggers. They are only allowed 30 minutes per day for bathroom breaks.

They aren't just doing this for the fun of it, oh no, the last man standing wins the £28,000 digger they they have been temporarily living in.

One of the contestants, Kimmo Frisk, said, " one guy contacted me through the internet and suggested I come to his house and have fun with a naked cow and a chicken. I didn't take him up on his invitation."

Another contestants, Arto Kojonen, said, "being online constantly, I've made a lot of new friends so I don't feel lonely. I'm having lots of fun doing this - and it's a great way to meet women."

This is not the first digger and social media match-up that has been successful in Finland. Last year Jukka Mutanen drove a mini digger, with a top speed of 4km/hour, 1000km across Finland whilst broadcasting the whole thing live online.

Don't be surprised if you see a celebrity version of this commissioned for Channel Five next year.

It's for you, Dad

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BT's former chief scientist JP Rangaswami has three teenage children, he told delegates at the annual Intellect Regent conference last week. So one night he gets home, opens the front door and hears the home phone ringing. It continues to ring.

"Why doesn't someone answer that phone," he grouses.

"We know it's not for us, Dad," comes the reply.

Even though the population is ageing, the landline phone is only an occasionally useful tool rather than something kids would prefer to have genetically engineered onto an ear. If it weren't for iPlayer, Downtime would be shorting BT shares.

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