Digital Digest: 24/05/2010

The Best Of The Web


Not content with just mobile phones and computers, Google's endless quest to organise (and monetize) all the world's information continues with this week's announcement that they're getting into TV. With a new Google TV enabled set-top box, available in the US this Autumn, you'll be able to stream HD online content and browse your favourite sites.


Who hasn't wondered how big Mulan is compared to, say, Pocahontas, or if the Seven Dwarves are taller than Pinocchio (they are, just)? This beautifully-realised long, sideways-scrolling graphic renders 250 Disney movie characters to scale and in chronological order, from Grumpy to Princess Tiana. (Nb, you need to click on the image strip to enlarge it.)


It's not the World Cup until Nike weighs in with an epic commercial. Directed by Alejandro Iñarritu ('Babel'), "Write the Future" shows how minor plays on the biggest stage can send shockwaves round the world. There are also loads of names to spot, including Rooney, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Simpson (as in Homer).


David Rumsey, a Californian property mogul turned cartography nut, has a collection of tens of thousands of rare maps, some of which he has expertly laid over Google Maps. Fly over London and toggle between 1843 and the present day to discover, for example, that Trafalgar Square was covered in grass.


'Lost' is getting lost, '24's day has come to an end, and it's time for the US TV networks to try out some new shows on their audiences. The Daily Beast has compiled the best trailers from what's known as the 'upfront' season, when pilot episodes get fed to the wolves and only the strongest survive.


The "book trailer" is surely one of the publishing industry's sillier innovations, but it is now so ubiquitous that it has an annual awards ceremony – the Mobys – celebrating the medium. Flavorwire has collected some favourites, and some aren't half bad. Especially the one for Maurice Gee's 'Going West'.

Viral Video

On 5 May, a Danish bus driver named Mukhtar got a pleasant surprise when passengers on his route through Copenhagen broke into song to celebrate his 41st birthday. Then a birthday flashmob turned up. Mukhtar was moved to tears. You might be as well. It is a viral ad for the bus company, but still.