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Finally! A discovery engine for Instagram that lets you search by date and location
Instagram isn’t just an app for sharing candid photos anymore, and it’s realized its power as a source for breaking news. Professional reporters and citizen journalists alike have used Instagram to cover events like the Boston Marathon bombings and the Sandy Hurricane, as well as the Super Bowl and the presidential election. While we’ve been increasingly using it for these purposes, Instagram has yet to introduced a feature for specific search beyond its mobile-only hashtag and user discovery tab. There are third party Web tools to help find photos by hashtag or user as well, but nothing that complements its use as a news source. Fortunately, ProPublica’s news app developer Al Shaw did the hard work for us. He realized Instagram’s API has something called “Media Search” that supports searches for the time and distance of where an Instagram photo was taken. He ended up hacking together an open source app called Sinatra, which uses addresses and end-to-end time to search through Instagram photos. Shaw makes note of the app’s inadequacies, saying there are limitations to what you can do with the Instagram API. “There’s no way to search for text or hashtags (tags have their own endpoint which doesn’t allow geolocation), there’s no pagination of results, and results only go back a few months,” he explains. Read more: www.digitaltrends.com... Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on Facebook
Two co-founders of VKontakte social network have sold their shares in the company to United Capital Partners fund. Vyacheslav Miramishvili parted with his 40%, and Lev Leviev - with 8% of VK's stock.
Remaining shareholders include the powerful Mail.Ru Group (39.99%) and VK's co-founder and current head, Pavel Durov (12%).
UCP is headed by Ilya Sherbovich, former head of Deutsche Bank's investment business in Russia and former President of Deutsche UFG. Mr. Scherbovich is also Board member at Rosneft.
No details on the deal have yet been made public, but it can be assumed that, as VKontakte is estimated between $ 2 NS 2.75 bn., the amount Mr. Scherbovich's fund paid for 48% of the company must be around $1 or 1.3 bn.
Pavel Durov, VKontakte CEO, said he had been unaware of the deal. "Our company's charter gives its current shareholders a priority right to buy its shares whenever they are being sold, Mr. Durov told Vedomosti newspaper. But we haven't yet received any news of a possible sale". In his post on VK, Durov wrote that the deal was part of a plot to remove him from the site's management: "Before they start changing things for the worse here, they will need to get rid of me, but they can't do that legally". Durov will have a majority vote on VK's board, as he holds his 12% share, and has been entrusted management of Mail.Ru's 39.9%.
Many experts believe Durov will be voted out of his post at VK board meeting in May, especially in the light of recent rumors that he had secretly collaborated with the Kremlin to help fight anti-government sentiment among VK's users; and the accusations that he hit a road police office on his Mercedez.
Russia’s ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ caught in web of criminal accusations, police searches, and big money deals
In the past fortnight, Pavel Durov, the 28-year-old founder of Russia’s biggest social network, has been accused of running over a policeman, had his home and office searched, whilst his partners sold a large share of the firm – despite his wishes. On April 9 several Russian news channels simultaneously reported that four days earlier, a man in a white Mercedes tried to outrun a police car, hit a policeman, and then escaped arrest as the passenger of the car was detained. All of the stories connected the white car of Durov, alleging he was the driver, although it appears that the only vehicle meeting such a description at Vkontakte is owned by another senior employee. The story was accompanied by an edited video, in which a white Mercedes moves several times, on a packed street, while the driver talks to policemen standing by his window. There seems to be no injury to the driver, nor is anyone detained. Durov’s representatives said that the multi-millionaire does not even drive, using the metro instead. Police say that an investigation has been opened, but have declined to name a suspect. On Tuesday, the story was given fresh legs, when police appeared at Durov’s flat and office. “Around twenty people dressed in leather overcoats – who look like Bolshevik commissars – appeared all of a sudden. Simply walked around the different offices, didn’t seem to be doing anything,” is how Nikolay Durov, Pavel’s brother described the search on his Vkontakte profile. The officers confiscated the complex’s CCTV footage before leaving. “This appears more like a media campaign. I did not have anything to do with any hit-and-run,” Durov told Vedomosti newspaper. On Wednesday afternoon, Vkontakte confirmed that 48 percent of the network – was purchased off Durov’s co-founders United Capital Partners (UCP) by an investment fund headed by Ilya Scherbovich, a senior figure at Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company. The sum of the deal was not disclosed. But the website – which is visited by 40 million daily and according to Amazon’s Alexa Internet is the 25th most popular site in the world – was estimated to be worth between $2-$3.5 bln by market analysts.
Last Month a Moscow-based investment fund run by Ilya Sherbovich bought 48 per cent of VKontakte, Russian’s answer to Facebook, and now the company may be in trouble. Currently the Russian businessman is playing down concerns he has been brought in to crack down on activists who use the network to protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The purchase has been reported to have taken VK by surprise. According to the Globe and Mail, the purchase also came just days before police raided the company’s headquarters in St. Petersburg as part of an investigation into a car accident and allegations the company’s founder, Pavel Durov, ran over a policeman. VKontakte spokesman Georgy Lobushkin denied that Durov was involved or even owned a car. “When you drive over a policeman, it’s very important to drive back and forward a few times to squeeze out all the soft parts,” Durov himself wrote jokingly on VKontakte. The suspicious part about the story is that Durov, 28, has disappeared. Those inside VK are indicating that Sherbovich’s arrival and the police raid are part of an effort by the Kremlin to intimidate the seven-year old company, which has become a tool for protesters to communicate and organize. VKontakte currently has around 200 million registered users.
After Boston Bombing, Russians To Get Access To FBI Data Comment Now Follow Comments Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI)Director Robert Mueller: Russian intelligence services will have access to some FBI data from now on in hopes to both avoid another Boston Marathon style disaster and help protect athletes and fans at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that such mass surveillance is necessary to fight terrorism to be able to expose terrorists' contacts.