Digital Digest: 14/07/2010

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The Independent Tech


Rumours abound over the existence of Google Me, a social networking platform allegedly being developed by the internet giant. If launched – and Google are yet to confirm this – it could be the only credible attempt so far to topple Facebook's dominance of the social networking market. But why have Google's previous forays into social networking failed?


The artist Rachel Pearson recently signed up to a mammoth task, when she agreed to create a mural of 99 Northumbrian scenes for The Heritage Centre at Bellingham. The work, called 99 Northumbria, will be 2.5 square metres in size and feature 99 images of Northumberland life. Watch her in action as she takes on the task in a series of webcasts.


Always the unofficial black sheep of haircuts, the mullet recently received official pariah status in Iran, where it was banned. In fact, it's just the latest in a long line of cultural ups and downs for the dubious 'do' which may well have found its origins in prehistoric society. Read all about it in 'Slate's' short history of the mullet.


Rebecca Hall is causing a stir in Hollywood for two reasons: her talent, as displayed in Woody Allen's 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona', and rumours about her and Kate Winslet's estranged husband Sam Mendes. Now she's staring alongside Jon Hamm in Ben Affleck's 'The Town'. Read the 'W' profile of her here:


Did you know we have 10 times more microbes in our body than we have cells? Now studies suggest bacteriotherapy – the use of bacteria for the treatment of common ailments – is possible. Analysis of microbial DNA can help us understand this process better. But what are the process's limitations?


If you fancy bemoaning the portrayal of women in past advertising campaigns, head over to Live Journal and join in with their sexist advertising competition. The numerous entrants have now been whittled down to five finalists. Take a look at some of the jaw dropping ads and vote for the most offensive.


The controversial author and journalist Christopher Hitchens is currently undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Shortly before his diagnosis, he talked to George Eaton at 'The New Statesman' about his life and his work. Read the interview: