Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web includes: How Facebook aided a protest in Saudi Arabia, a great online sci-fi short, and World of Warcraft (home to 10 million subscribers) unlocks a massive new chapter. Let’s kick it off:
Profile: Geek Pop Star
"Malcolm Gladwell’s elegant and wildly popular theories about modern life have turned his name into an adjective – Gladwellian! But in his new book, he seeks to undercut the cult of success, including his own, by explaining how little control we have over it." [via New York magazine]
E-politics: Facebook boosts participation in rare Saudi hunger strike
"The two-day protest, publicized on Facebook, drew 60 fasters and 800 online comments." [CSMonitor Middle East]
Cubez: Is Google's office as cool as people say?
"In this episode, we take a rare look inside the New York City offices of the internet mega-giant, Google. Originally constructed in 1932 for the New York Port Authority, the building is now filled with programmers and computers. But it's not your average tech company. The Google office sports a world-renowned cafe, Ping-Pong tables and rubber ball pits. And with the second largest footprint in Manhattan, 'Googlers' can get around the massive building by scooter." [via The Big Money]
Gaming: What World of Warcraft fatigue?
"Competitors to the reigning massively multiplayer online role-playing game champ World of Warcraft have hoped the phenomenon would start to wane, giving challengers a chance to get their foot in the door. But the window of opportunity looks like it will be tough to open today with the release of the latest expansion pack from WoW, the Wrath of the Lich King." [via San Fransisco Chronicle]
Old maps: Google Earth revives ancient Rome
"Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome. Google has reconstructed the sprawling city – inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD 320. Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the centre of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica." [via BBC]
Film: Black Hole
Here's a cute and clever sci-fi movie from Future Shorts. It's impressive how much smart filmmakers can do with no dialogue and less than three minutes of video. Enjoy. [via 3QuarksDaily]