background preloader

Hero(e)ines

Facebook Twitter

Net is 'less free and more unequal', says web founder. 11 December 2014Last updated at 08:43 ET Richer countries rank highest for net access, freedom and openness The web is becoming less free and more unequal, according to a report from the World Wide Web Foundation.

Net is 'less free and more unequal', says web founder

Its annual web index suggests web users are at increasing risk of government surveillance, with laws preventing mass snooping weak or non-existent in over 84% of countries. It also indicates that online censorship is on the rise. The report led web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to call for net access to be recognised as a human right. The World Wide Web Foundation, led by Sir Tim, measured the web's contribution to the social, economic and political progress of 86 countries. Other headline findings from the report include: The index ranked countries around the world in terms of: universal access relevant content and use freedom and openness empowerment Four of the top five were Scandinavian, with Denmark in first place, Finland second and Norway third.

Openly Secular. Jon Stewart Reacts To The Eric Garner Case: 'If Comedy Is Tragedy Plus Time, I Need More F***ing Time' This Pregnant Woman Just Delivered The Most Epic Smackdown To Anti-Abortion Protesters. When this heavily pregnant woman was passing by an Abort67 demonstration showing graphic photographs of aborted fetuses outside a London clinic, she did not mince her words.

This Pregnant Woman Just Delivered The Most Epic Smackdown To Anti-Abortion Protesters

The young woman was walking past a practice in Southwark, south London, which offers abortions as well as help for mothers and babies, when she saw four demonstrators having a disagreement with a member of staff because one protester was wearing a camera. The filmed scene was first promoted by journalist Sunny Hundal, who has written previously on the protests outside the clinic by the group. This man said he was not filming This woman is having none of it The male protester, wearing a small white camera round his neck which has a flashing red light, denies he is filming women entering the clinic, while a female protester wearing a white fur hat defends him, and claims the filming is to prevent "false" claims of harassment from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). Russell Brand Takes Down Rupert Murdoch (Again), Calls For A Boycott Of The Sun Newspaper. For the second time this week, ageing media kingpin Rupert Murdoch has had his fundament handed to him on a dish as the feud between the Murdoch-owned newspaper The Sun and comic-turned-activist Russell Brand ramps up.

Russell Brand Takes Down Rupert Murdoch (Again), Calls For A Boycott Of The Sun Newspaper

On Friday, the tabloid published a poll that suggested most Britons don’t like Brand, a story for which the paper was roundly ridiculed. This followed an article on Wednesday in which the tabloid labeled the comedian a hypocrite due to the tax dealings of his landlord. The Hobbit: How England inspired Tolkien's Middle-earth. Small hairy feet will be back on screen again as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies marches into cinemas worldwide next week.

The Hobbit: How England inspired Tolkien's Middle-earth

While the film trilogy, along with the previous Lord of the Rings adaptation, were shot in New Zealand, the books' author JRR Tolkien drew inspiration mainly from the English landscape. The Shire Tolkien described the area around Sarehole Mill, still in operation, as "a kind of lost paradise" In a letter to his publishers, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wrote that The Shire - home to the "little people" better known as hobbits - was "more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of [Queen Victoria's] Diamond Jubilee" in 1897.

Although born in South Africa in 1892, Tolkien moved to England at the age of four with his mother and brother after the death of his father. #BBCtrending: Indian sisters beat up another man in new video. 2 December 2014Last updated at 11:26 ET BBC Trending What's popular and why A short clip from the NDTV video of the sisters hitting a man in a park.

#BBCtrending: Indian sisters beat up another man in new video

Why furious fightback sisters gripped India. 1 December 2014Last updated at 09:22 ET The incident was captured by a passenger on a mobile phone Two sisters who were filmed beating up men who were allegedly sexually harassing them on a bus in India, have been met with a chorus of adulation on social media.

Why furious fightback sisters gripped India

Within 24 hours the sisters became celebrities. Here campaigners and commentators explain why the raw anger of the footage ignited India. The video puts you in the bus. Web We Want. The Paedophile Next Door On Channel 4 Has Twitter In Turmoil. Channel 4's The Paedophile Next Door made for uncomfortable viewing Tuesday night after a man battling with self-loathing, fear and shame admitted his sexual attraction to children on camera in a desperate appeal for change in how to counter child abuse.

The Paedophile Next Door On Channel 4 Has Twitter In Turmoil

Prompting a vast array of reactions from viewers, the documentary spliced brutally honest appeals for help from so-called "virtuous paedophiles", alongside shocking accounts from victims who have had their lives devastated by abuse. Channel 4 introduced 39-year-old Eddie, a man who insists he has never had sexual contact with a child but admits he has been sexually attracted to girls as young as four for most of his adult life. LEGO Letter To Parents From 1970s: 'Urge To Create Equally Strong In Girls And Boys' A brilliant (and egalitarian) letter to parents included in Lego sets of the 1970s has taken the internet by storm.

LEGO Letter To Parents From 1970s: 'Urge To Create Equally Strong In Girls And Boys'

And despite the scorn and scepticism of every debunker on the web, it looks like it is real. The letter states up front that "the urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and Girls. " "A lot of boys like dolls houses. Jack Monroe Tweet About David Cameron's Son Ivan Hits A Very Raw Nerve. Food blogger and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has become the target of horrific abuse on Twitter after suggesting the Prime Minister "uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS.

Jack Monroe Tweet About David Cameron's Son Ivan Hits A Very Raw Nerve

" #CameronMustGo, which has been trending in the UK for two days, encouraged people across the country to post reasons why David Cameron should resign. Monroe, 26, was one of many high profile tweeters to join the thread. Because 1 million families needed food from a food bank last year, & emergency services are cut while MPs get a 10k pay rise: #CameronMustGo— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 23, 2014 Because he uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS to his friends: #CameronMustGo— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 23, 2014 Because his MPs claim up to £25k in accommodation expenses while voting for the bedroom tax, #CameronMustGo Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) November 23, 2014 Doorstepped by @MailOnline.

#BBCTrending: Anonymous takes on the Ku Klux Klan. 18 November 2014Last updated at 20:31 ET By BBC Trending What's popular and why Ku Klux Klan members threatened those expecting to protest over the death of Michael Brown.

#BBCTrending: Anonymous takes on the Ku Klux Klan

Toplessness - the one Victorian taboo that won't go away. Image copyright Getty Images Current taboos against female toplessness date from the 19th Century. Is it ever likely to change, asks the novelist Sara Sheridan. Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma with Alan Turing. 9 November 2014Last updated at 22:43 ET By Joe Miller Technology Reporter WATCH: Keira Knightley on Joan Clarke Joan Clarke's ingenious work as a codebreaker during WW2 saved countless lives, and her talents were formidable enough to command the respect of some of the greatest minds of the 20th Century, despite the sexism of the time. But while Bletchley Park hero Alan Turing - who was punished by a post-war society where homosexuality was illegal and died at 41 - has been treated more kindly by history, the same cannot yet be said for Clarke. The only woman to work in the nerve centre of the quest to crack German Enigma ciphers, Clarke rose to deputy head of Hut 8, and would be its longest-serving member.

She was also Turing's lifelong friend and confidante and, briefly, his fiancée. Victoria's Secret changes course on 'Perfect Body' ads. Image copyright Twitter #IAmPerfect was the response to an ad campaign titled The Perfect Body featuring a line-up of Victoria's Secret models. Three British students took issue with the campaign, resulting in the online advert being retracted, but not an apology from the lingerie giant. The ad, for a bra called Body, perpetuated low self-esteem among women who did not fit into a narrow standard of beauty, argued Leeds students Frances Black, Gabriella Kountourides and Laura Ferris. Using a Change.org petition, the women said Victoria's Secret should take responsibility for the message it sent to women, rather than promoting "unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty". According to the campaigners, the advert failed "to celebrate the amazing diversity of women's bodies by choosing to call only one body type 'perfect'.

" Image copyright other. Mikhail Gorbachev warns of 'new Cold War' Ex-USSR leader Gorbachev: World on brink of new Cold War. Plan bee: New measures to protect pollinators. 3 November 2014Last updated at 20:30 ET By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News Honeybees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for decades The Government has made an agreement with landowners including Network Rail and the Highways Agency to restore bee-friendly habitat throughout England.

It is part of a 10-year National Pollinator Strategy. But some conservation groups say the plan does not go far enough. It includes countryside stewardship schemes, worth a total of £900m, to provide financial incentives for farmers to plant pollinator-friendly crops and let meadows grow. The plan is announced on Tuesday by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss. It will be the key policy announcement of her first major speech as environment secretary. The coalition has been criticised for some of its actions on the natural environment, including the controversial badger cull and a plan to sell off forests, which was ultimately scrapped.

Policy for pollinators Public help sought. Facebook sets up 'dark web' link to access network via Tor. 3 November 2014Last updated at 08:58 ET By Dave Lee Technology reporter, BBC News Facebook's Tor support means users' traffic remains in the anonymising network Facebook has created the ability for users to connect directly to the social network via anonymising "dark web" service Tor. While it was already possible to access Facebook via Tor, the new set-up means all data is encrypted and Tor users are not mistaken for hacked accounts. Right-to-die advocate Brittany Maynard ends life. Why should women change their names on getting married? 31 October 2014Last updated at 20:00 ET. Thinky the Dragon - Celebration of Mind 2014. Click to download each: We are inventors of this, the original Thinky the Dragon, yes it’s true.

Gardner_GameofLife10-1970.pdf. Martin Gardner, puzzle master extraordinaire. Iggy Pop takes aim at YouTube and U2 in John Peel Lecture. Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest. 30 September 2014Last updated at 09:30 ET By Samanthi Dissanayake BBC News Tear gas, pepper spray, feelings of anger and betrayal, crowds forced to run from riot police... and yet the protests retain that uniquely Hong Kong character. Israel’s Support for Latin American Dictators: “Mothers of the Disappeared” Feel Gaza’s Pain. Women hold posters of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners outside the Red Cross offices in Jerusalem in June.

(Saeed Qaq / APA images) This past summer, as Israeli weapons deindustrialized Gaza and decimated its civilians, leftist publications in Latin America began circulating a 2012 essay by the renowned Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. Jon Stewart Tells Fox News: 'Fuck You And All Your False Patriotism' John Oliver Is Doing Some Really Good Investigative Journalism. Stephen Hawking Says 'There Is No God,' Confirms He's An Atheist. Stephen Hawking says he's an atheist, arguing that science offers a "more convincing explanation" for the origins of the universe and that the miracles of religion "aren't compatible" with scientific fact. "Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation," the celebrated physicist said in a video posted by Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Julian Assange on Snowden, disliking Google, and his “inevitable” freedom. It would be too much to say that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange feels optimistic. John Malkovich Iconic Photo Recreations By Sandro Miller Are Simply Incredible. If you needed any further proof that John Malkovich is a total legend then here it is. Edward Snowden wins Sweden's 'alternative Nobel prize'

Rockefellers to switch investments to 'clean energy' 5 Things I Learned as the Internet's Most Hated Person. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Watch 6th Circuit For SCOTUS' Next Move On Gay Marriage. Bernie Sanders May Seek The Presidency In 2016, Testing The Waters In Iowa. ‘Why Didn't You Just Leave?’<br><small>Six Domestic Violence Survivors Explain Why It’s Never That Simple</small>

Margaret Doughty, British Atheist, 'Will Be Denied US Citizenship Unless She Joins A Church' Provisions of Westminster. Reforms of Simon de Montfort (1258-65) Thomas Bewick. Thousands Turn Out In London To Protest Against Privatisation Within The NHS. Saving America’s honeybees. Gamers take a stand against misogyny after death threats. Texas abortion provisions struck down as state appeals. Kate Bush's Tour Announcement Is A Wakeup Call To 'Selfie' Stars Like Beyonce And Miley Cyrus  Ruth Bader Ginsburg Skewers High Court For Forsaking Fight Against 'Real Racial Problem'

Missouri GOP Director Denounces Voter Registration Efforts In Ferguson. John Oliver Talks Ferguson Violence & Militarized Police: 'This Whole Story Is Depressingly Familiar' Southern Poverty Law Center. Anonymous threatens cyberattack on Albuquerque Police Department for shooting and killing homeless man. Anonymous Threatens To Release Name Of Officer In Ferguson Police Shooting. Edward Snowden: The Untold Story. Edward Snowden: The Untold Story. Facebook privacy challenge attracts 25,000 users.

Colorado birth control scheme causes drop in teen pregnancy. American Atheists. The stigma of being an atheist in the US. Female Anchor Appears Without Headscarf On Saudi TV, Ignites Outrage. Jimmy Carter And Mary Robinson Call Gaza Offensive 'Humanitarian Catastrophe', Demand 'War Crimes' Be Investigated. Indian Teenager Defends Herself Against Rapist By Cutting Off His Penis - And Police Are Praising Her 'Courage' Wikipedia Publishes Full List Of 'Right To Forget' Requests. 11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Beatles, Even If You're A Superfan. Barack Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers - The InterceptThe Intercept. Snowden's temporary asylum status expires in Russia. Weird Al's Parodies Juxtaposed With The Real Videos Shows His Incredible Attention To Detail.

Weird Al Yankovic Scores With ‘Mandatory Fun’ Medy Show 'Black Jesus' Leaves America's Christian Right Unable To Turn The Other Cheek. Brian Greene: Is our universe the only universe? Most Of These People Do The Right Thing, But The Guys At The End? I Wish I Could Yell At Them. A Senator Tried To Outsmart A Highly Respected Doctor. It Didn't Work Out Too Well For Him. If You've Run Out Of Hope For Our Country, Just Listen To Her For 2 Minutes. A Random Guy Asked This Poet A Sexist, Obscene Question; Her Response Will Give You Chills.

Progressive Values Are America's Values, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Tells Netroots Nation In Keynote Speech. Bill Blum: We Need Elizabeth Warren on the Supreme Court - Bill Blum. Bill Maher Slams Militarized Police Culture In America. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert battle for title of World's Biggest Star Wars Fan! Gaza Conflict: Thousands Gather In London For Protest Against Israeli Military Action (PICTURES) Edward Snowden: 'If I end up in chains in Guantánamo I can live with that' - video interview. I, spy: Edward Snowden in exile. If Fashion Ads Treated Men And Women The Same Way. Indian Boy Tethered To Bus Stop Finds New Home. Weird Al And 'Bill Nye' Face Off In Epic Rap Battle Because The Universe Is Infinitely Awesome.

Bill Nye Did A Reddit AMA, And It Obviously Taught Us So Much About Everything. Alan Grayson To Force Republicans On The Record On Minimum Wage. #BBCtrending: Iran's washing up liquid protest. L. Ron Hubbard's Great-Grandson Spills The Family Secrets On How Scientology Started. Eek. #Highlander Nigel Becomes Best Ever BBC Question Time Audience Member. #Highlander Nigel Becomes Best Ever BBC Question Time Audience Member. Female Cyber Sleuths Hack Into Silicon Valley’s Boys Club.

Poland's overlooked Enigma codebreakers. Israel urges calm after Palestinian teenager's body found. John Oliver Delivers Eye-Opening Segment On American & British Influence In Uganda's Anti-Gay Laws. Ruth Bader Ginsburg Writes Scathing 35-Page Dissent In Birth Control Case.