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Analysis on how technology impacts society from around the web, by The Sociable

Professor Barry Smyth, co-founder of HayStaks and Leo Hamill, partner with NCB Ventures outside NovaUCD
Web

Social search with Irish start-up HeyStaks

HeyStaks, a University College Dublin (UCD) web start-up that allows people searching the web to collaborate with friends as they search online in a bid to increase productivity, have opened their service to the public.
German visitors to The Sociable mapped in Google Analytics
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German fallout with Google over analytics privacy concerns

Data protection authorities in Germany have ended year-long talks with Google over concerns that they have with the data that Google Analytics gathers on website visitors. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, German companies may face legal action if they are found to be using the free service from Google.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny
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Fine Gael’s website hacked

The website of Irish political party Fine Gael has been hacked by a group calling themselves ‘Anonymous’. The attack took place yesterday evening, with the website still not operational.
Irish newspaper clipping
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Irish Times website traffic up 82%

Traffic to The Irish Times website has seen an increase of 82% for the twelve months prior to November 2010, when compared to the previous year. This figures highlights the growing trend of users wanting to source news information online.
Internet Explorer mascot
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The Internet Explorer weekend exodus

Looking at statistical web browsing data from StatCounter GlobalStats, a phenomenon quickly becomes evident where users migrate from Internet Explorer in their droves at weekends, and resume the familiarity of browsers like Firefox and Chrome that they’ve become accustomed to.
Solar Eclipse
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January’s solar eclipse likely to be overcast, health warnings issued

Ireland and the UK will see their first solar eclipse of the new year on Tuesday (4th January). The partial eclipse will be visiable across the British Isles from 8:00am and will last until about 9:30am. At its peak the moon will obscure about 66% of the sun, although the amounts will vary depending on location. The eclipse will also be visible over much of Europe, North Africa and central Asia.
Languages on the internet infographic via & © TNW
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Chinese to overtake English as the dominant language of the internet

Chinese will overtake English as the dominate language on the internet in the next five years, according to data collated by TNW. TNW says that there are over 400m Chinese language internet users, a number approaching the 530m English language internet users. Along with this already large number Chinese has also seen a 1,277% increase in online use in the past decade.
Snow in US
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Timelapse of snow storm in United States and Canada

North eastern America and Canada are suffering some of the worst winter storms in decades this week. NASA has already released satellite imagery of the continent blanketed in snow and several areas have already declared a state of emergency. Many parts of the New York, Philadelphia and Boston have seen 29 inches (73CM) of snow and to put this into context Vimeo user Michael Black has published a timelapse video, recorded over a 20 hour period, of the swathe of snow covering the States.
New Year's in Paris at the Eiffel Tower via vizzzual.com on Flickr
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How to watch the world ring in the New Year

Come midnight on January 1st you will probably be with family and friends to celebrate the New Year but before the clock turns you can watch the rest of the world ring in 2011. Use our interactive map to see where you can watch New Year celebrations online from across the world.
Headstone in Tydavnet Old Graveyard © Darren McCarra/The Sociable.
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Start your family tree this holiday season

Creating a family tree is always a worthwhile experience. This week, from December 26th, 2010 to January 1st, 2011 is Ireland’s first ever Start your family tree week, and with plenty of exiles home for Christmas to gain information from, now is the perfect time to start your family tree.
Flickr Year in Review 2010
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A year in review, the global news perspective on 2010 [Video]

In 2010 over 25 billion Tweets were sent and about 9 billion emails were exchanged. We watch 700 billion videos on Youtube, that is about 13 million hours or the equivalent of 1,500 years of continuous viewing (We hope you like piano playing cats). At year’s end it is natural to look back, to review the dying year and take stock of what has happened. This is what the world’s media has been doing this week, so join us on The Sociable’s review of the reviews of 2010.
Google Insights Jesus Loves You
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The most searched term on Google News in UK & Ireland during 2010 – “jesus loves you”

“Jesus loves you” was the most searched term on Google News in the UK and Ireland in 2010, according to Google Insights for Search. In Ireland the term was 20 times more popular than “ireland“, the next highest ranking term. “Jesus loves you” even outranked search terms such as “gerry ryan“, “weather” and “haiti“. In the UK it was 10 times more popular than the second search term “news“.
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