Nope this isn't a diatribe on how Trip Advisor has too much power, or not enough. Nor is it a rant on how hotels and bed & breakfast don't have enough of a say on the matter. This is my tale of how I was recently able to use Trip Advisor to my advantage against a rather shoddy shack masquerade as a hotel in London.
By now you'll have probably heard of Breanna Mitchell, the teenage girl who posted a selfie smiling at Auschwitz concentration camp. Although she posted the photo some time ago (June 20th), it has only recently gone viral - clocking up more than 3300 retweets and a barrage of abuse over the past few days.
My family, it appears, are a 'bunch of ugly, sad losers'. My wife is so 'desperate' to leave me that she will '**** the next man she has a drink with'. My beautiful children are, variously, 'pathetic... spoilt... probably adopted' because I am 'unable to get it up... a waste of space... a miserable, untalented tosser'. Worst of all though, my kitchen is 'hideous'. So this is what being trolled feels like... The other week I wrote what I felt was a thought-provoking, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, confessional about my enforced 12-month sabbatical as a stay-at-home dad trying to set up a new business after sudden redundancy.
There is still some way to go before this futuristic vision is a reality, but the technology exists today - and all that remains is to make the right connections. We are tantalisingly close to a world where news can be broadcast instantly - 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world - the moment it breaks.
Back in the day when I was an MP, I warned the House of Commons that the chances of an impact by a 'Near Earth Object' - more commonly known as a comet or asteroid - are 100%. Worse still, I claimed the chance of an incoming object large enough to wipe out most, or all, of the human race is also 100%. It's just a matter of 'when.' People laughed, a lot. They thought that this was one wacky campaign too many. One paper showed a picture of me with the title MP to blame for the end of the world. But I knew my ground, as my grandfather, Ernst Öpik, was one of the world's leading astronomers on this subject.
It is not a game. It is a competition, and a very dangerous one at that. As the chain goes on, so too does the intensity of the videos. Those who back out or break the chain are ridiculed by their so-called friends. The cybershame of failing to live up to the nomination is putting increased peer pressure on youths to rise to this dangerous challenge.
The main obstacle to forming a relationship with a voice-activated computer assistant is embarrassment... It's the awkwardness of the interaction: It's impossible to talk to an electronic device without feeling ridiculous. Try it in public, and worry that anyone in earshot assumes you've had a full-on breakdown.
Unknown to many, about 30 million tonnes of GM animal feed is thought to be imported into Europe each year to feed pigs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle, as well as farmed fish. The UK imports an estimated 140,000 tonnes of GM soya and as much as 300,000 tonnes of GM maize annually for use as animal feed.
Paper itself is a fairly straightforward news-curation/publishing app, but its launch and recent comments from Mark Zuckerberg about further releases in the near future paint a fascinating picture of Facebook's possible future, one which may be quite different from the ubiquitous social platform we're all so familiar with.
The world of Nova Chrysalia has only 13 days until total annihilation, with the citizens of four distinct regions each experiencing the end of the world in unique ways. In Yusnaan, the setting for this sequence, the inhabitants have a hedonistic frame of mind: if the world is going to be destroyed soon then why not go out in style?