Dodgy discounts - The popular bargain websites have both benefits and drawbacks for users. Plus: natural network - Gardeners from across the world now have their own social media site. And: online addicts - a growing number of Internet users are barely in touch with the real world.
The Trade in Online Coupons (D/USA)
Discount websites like Groupon, Daily Deal and Couponteria are booming. For customers and partner companies, however, they do not just bring benefits.
The Gardening Website "Grow the Planet"
Italy has a new social network called "Grow the Planet". It provides tips for amateur gardeners worldwide.
If your homegrown basil never survives long or your lettuce doesn’t even make it out of the surface, fret not. Grow the Planet is on hand to help. Gianni Gaggiani from Arezzo founded the website early this year to link up amateur gardeners across the world. As well as exchanging ideas, users also have access to detailed guides on sowing, planting, watering and harvesting their vegetables. Many display the successful results online. The site is especially aimed at city dwellers with little contact to nature. They can then swap what they grow with other users or sell it to third parties.
Internet Addicts Losing Touch with Reality
A growing number of people spend a large part of the day online: both at home and at work. The trend has been exacerbated by the rise of the smartphone, which provides access to the Internet wherever you are. Researchers warn about the detrimental effect on people’s social lives.
The number of smartphone users is increasing every year. A survey by Google shows that while 18% of people in Germany owned a smartphone in 2011, the figure is set to rise to 29% this year. For some users, switching off their Blackberry or iPhone and being unavailable has become a rare luxury. German philosopher and artist Bazon Brock heads an institute called "Denkerei” in Berlin. He fears that individuals are dumbing down thanks to the new technology. Thomas Schildhauer, professor at the Institute of Electronic Business, has called for "online-free phases”, in which people can reconnect to the real world.
Exit: Stop-Motion Graffiti "Things Change"
British street artist Jo Peel spent three weeks painting progressive scenes onto a wall in London. She filmed every step of the work to produce a three-minute stop-motion animation piece. Click and watch it!