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In 1996 an American college girl named Jennifer Ringley decided she wanted to start broadcasting her life to the world via a primitive webcam. JenniCam was born and the Internet would never be the same.

Post-JenniCam thousands of people decided that the Web would be a better place once it featured grainy footage of what their nipples were doing. But Technology was slow to catch up and budding e-exhibitionists were forced to endure an awful lot of buffering.

Now video technology has advanced, Justin.TV is huge, and everyone's on the lookout for the next online TV experience. One contender, Friction.tv, promises to encourage 'opinion and debate' by allowing people to discuss the latest news and cultural happenings via video clips.

It's billed as a 'virtual speakers' corner' but, is that really a good thing? It's a sad but true fact that the majority of people who feel the need to stand on a box and bellow their opinions at strangers are not the types you'd necessarily sit next to in the pub. The front page of Friction.tv features the loathsome Nick Ferrari arguing in favour of Global Warming. Need we say more?

Who knows, maybe it will take off, but until then we'll be visiting the real life speakers' corner for our dose of nutters. At least they have an ice cream van there.


by RH
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