Palatinate Web Whirl: Merry Christmas!

by Hannah Watson

Less than a week to go until the 25th, and most of Durham’s students will be ‘driving home for Christmas’, or rather, lugging heavy suitcases up the dreaded station steps to travel halfway across the country. The time between arriving back to the comfort of home cooking, your own bed, and Mum doing all your washing; and Christmas itself is strangely disorienting.  For many people I’ve spoken to it feels that the festivities have already happened.

In Durham, excitement seems to have built like bubbles behind a champagne cork before term even finished, due to the explosion of dinners with all the trimmings, mince pies and carols in the Cathedral. So, to help you survive the rapidly disappearing fizziness of festive excitement, Palatinate Web Whirl will keep posting the most ridiculous apps, helpful websites and must-watch videos in the run up to Christmas and beyond!

In the News

Instagram shocked recently with their sudden decision to change terms of service. Uploaded photos could be used by advertisers without any compensation for users, sparking outrage from celebrities and high profile institutions alike. Millions vowed to leave before the ‘no opt-out’ scheme was rolled out in January. Instagram bosses quickly rethought their decision and issued a statement admitting that they had failed to ‘communicate our intentions clearly’. An acceptable apology, or will its 100 million users have lost faith in the photo-sharing social network?

Next Big Thing

Doddlr could be the next need to know name for those that haven’t lost faith in the likes of Instagram. It creates easy access to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr accounts from one dashboard programme. Devised by two 16 year old Etonians, the idea could go far as it feeds off the success of other sites instead of competing with them. Creators hope it will prove that the UK can still compete on the virtual world stage.

App Happiness

Lastly, if you feel lacking in seasonal spirit, ElfYourself is a surefire way to reinvigorate that up-beat, yuletide cheer. Create a ridiculous video by superimposing faces of friends and family onto dancing elf bodies, and then share via email, Facebook or Twitter. Guaranteed to have you in fits of giggles – my favourite is the ‘Soul Sleigh’ skit.

Photograph: Michelle Wray


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