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Friday Five: Vine launches, meat gets printed and EMC discover Gangnam Style

Chris Mayer
EMC-Style

As the weekend approaches, we look back at some of the web’s most interesting (off topic) links of the past seven days.

Good news, everyone! January is nearly at an end. Well,
this time next week it’ll be February. In the meantime, hopefully
this edition of the Friday Five will tide you over.

 1. Sergey Brin testing Google Glass
on the subway 

Since its flashy demo at Google I/O last summer, anticipation
over Google’s augmented reality eyewear project, Glass, has been
high. Understandably, the company have wanted to keep technical
details under wraps during testing, so it was bit surprising this
week to see Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin
testing out the
glasses on New York’s subway.

Augmented reality enthusiast
Noah Zerkin
captured the moment and even
managed catch a few minutes with one of the richest men in the
world. Question is, what was Brin doing on the subway with one of
Google’s top secret projects anyway? Seeing if he could connect to
Wifi with them? If the signal’s as bad as the London Underground,
we suspect his efforts were fruitless.  (CM)

2. Heard it through the grapevine

Twitter whipped up a frenzy yesterday with the announcement
of their new standalone iOS-only video sharing service,

Vine, allowing
users to film six-second looping videos. The app is the result of
an acquisition Twitter made

back in October
, before Vine even had a
chance to launch – but instead of becoming an “acquihire” as
speculated. Vine has been launched by Twitter as a separate brand
with, surprisingly, Facebook integration. Somewhat less
surprisngly, Facebook cut off access within a few
hours.

Here’s our favourite so far:

 

3. Sharing the Obama magic

A “dream team” of Google, Facebook and Twitter engineers are
sometimes credited to winning Obama a second term in the White
House. However,

The Verge this week reports
that these
developers have been left disappointed by the fact that their code
– built on existing open-source efforts – has still yet to be
released to the community at large.

“The gist of it is, they’re concerned that with the superior
funding of the Republicans, if they had our software, they’d be
unstoppable,” said Daniel Ryan, who worked as a director of
front-end engineering on the campaign team.

It seems the
messy politics of open source
and ‘real’
politics can be a volatile mix. Who would’ve thunk it?
(EB)

4. Please wait while your meal is printed…

As we all know, few “meat substitutes” match up to the taste
and texture of the real thing. But what if you could create fake
meat identical down to the muscle fiber level? A startup called
Modern Meadow is
attempting to
use 3D printers to do exactly that
, using “bioink”
made of genuine animal cells arranged into muscle
tissue.

Fast-replicating animal cells are cultured in vats to produce
this bioink – so, if printed correctly, the artificial meat should
be indistinguishable from real meat. The company have received a
$350,000 investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who was
also Facebook’s first ever investor.

A 3D-printed artificial steak probably won’t come cheap while
the technology is still in its infancy – but at least it’ll be 100%
guilt-free. (EB)

5. EMC Style:

break 

And finally… just when you thought
Gangnam Style was dead and buried, as well as its countless
parodies, up pop virtualisation experts EMC with their own – ‘EMC
Style’. SVP Chad Sakac takes the PSY role whilst the ‘EMC Giddyups’
provide backup in a Big Data inspired cover that has big production
values.

Choice lyrics include: “I’m the data, yeah/Data that spins
you inside every day/ That data yeah,” and “I’m a VM, yeah/I start
off small but then I autoscale/ A VM yeah.” It won’t win any
Grammies for songwriting but it’s all good natured fun. Shame
they’re about four months late to it. (CM)

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