Weird Tech: Facebook forces HSBC to back down

HSBC was forced to bin plans to collect overdraft fees from students leaving university this summer

Just because all eyes have been on Berlin's IFA over the last couple of days, don't be fooled into thinking that's all that's been happening in the world of tech. Far from it. While the likes of Philips and Sharp have been busy battling it out for ownership of your walls and wallets in 2010, Weird Tech has been keeping an eye on events a little more... immediate. Like Facebook bringing HSBC to its knees.

The social networking site played host to a country-wide student protest against HSBC this week. So strong was the campaign that HSBC was forced to bin plans to collect overdraft fees from students leaving university this summer. Go Facebook.

But Newton's Third Law of Motion proved true for Web 2.0 as well. And while UK students demonstrated the positive force of web-based communities, a reminder of the equally negative sides duly became apparent via YouTube. A 19-year-old became the latest to foul of the law after posting a video of himself driving at speeds of more than 140mph on a single-carriage road in Scotland.

Japan takes on the moon

While scientists in the UK conducted "a unique conservation experiment" by transforming the Yorkshire Dales into a set for Animal Big Brother, the Japanese as usual went one-up. The country announced plans to treat its citizens to what's been termed a " space fireworks show" as part of an experiment to study the atmosphere.

In other news: before returning to college, 17-year-old George Hotz first cashed in on AT&T's exclusive deal with Apple. In what must be a strong contender for deal of the year, the teenager negotiated three locked 8GB iPhones and a Nissan 350Z in return for his unlocked iPhone. Sweet.

And down in Oz a Melbourne schoolboy cracked the Federal Government's new AU$84 million internet porn filter in less than half an hour.

Gadget corner

Now, here at we have no need for an alarm clock in the morning - we jump out of bed fresh faced and ready to go. However, if we were to need some form of motivation to crawl out of bed, then a modified alarm clock that can be punched, slapped or kicked to shut it up would definitely be it.

Talking of telling the time, check out the Crucified Cuckoo clock. It's a nice touch for any wall. And while we're on the domestic front, if you're after a more effective way to cut steak, why not learn how to do it laser style.

And finally...

The use of mobile phones, PDAs and laptops has been banned along a stretch of beach in the Caribbean. Thank you! We've been saying that ever since we had to put up with a big German guy barking into his mobile on a neighbouring sunlounger all day long.

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.