Randi Zuckerberg Leaves Facebook, China’s Self-Driving Car, Ripping DVDs Now Legal in UK, Branson Gives London Free WiFi

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

Facebook’s Director of Marketing, Randi Zuckerberg, Gives Notice. On Wednesday, @RandiZuckerberg sent out a Tweet: “It is with mixed emotions that I announced my departure from Facebook today to launch my own initiative. More info soon…” AllThingsD reported that her new venture will be a kind of social media consultancy, RtoZMedia.


China’s Got A Self-Driving Car Too. China’s been quietly developing its own near-production-grade fully autonomous car–something akin to Google’s amazing effort–for some time, and just the other day they gave it a fully fledged test. Under its own power, the car started, navigated its way along roads and highways for 286 kilometers before stopping itself at its destination, all without a human at the controls. Even more interestingly, the hardware and artificial intelligence used sensors and scanners only, without any GPS, to navigate…demonstrating true “real time” reactions, including dealing with bad road markings and a thunderstorm. –KE

Online Ads Beat Print In Canada. The Interactive Advertising Bureau in Canada has revealed the results of a study that confirm, in some senses, the end of traditional magazine and newspaper business models is very near: For 2010 revenues from online ads were up 23% to Can$2.23 billion, while print ad revenues grew just 4% to Can$2.1 billion. Print is relegated to third place and only TV ad revenues (up just 9%) beat online ads. –KE

Biggest Ever Hack Attack Lasted Five Years. Security firm McAfee has revealed what it’s calling the largest series of sustained hack attacks ever. Apart from the numerous government assests that were hit, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., and more, international organizations like the Olympic Committee were also targeted, as was the United Nations–hackers allegedly penetrated UN servers and remained present for several years, sifting secret documents at will. McAfee blames a single “state actor” but refuses to name it. Suspicion has, inevtiably, fallen on China. Will the Pentagon see this as the first assault in a cyber war? –KE

U.K. Legalizes Format-Shifting. Adjusting copyright laws that the authorities themselves admit are out of date, the U.K. is poised to legalize the act of ripping CDs and DVDs into digital formats for re-use on mobile devices and computers. As part of the press conference this morning Vince Cable, Business Secretary in the coalition government, said it was a move to “bring the law in line with frank common sense.” It was also noted that plans to block “infringing” sites via government action were unworkable, but such moves were not ruled out for the future. –KE

Virgin Plans Free Wi-Fi Blanket For London. Richard Branson’s Virgin company is planning a network of free Wi-Fi routers for London, which will be installed in its existing roadside boxes as part of its cable network. It’s part of Virgin’s plan to advance “digital lifestyles” and it’s partly about challenging the large public network by former government owned BT–which is a paid, and sometimes highly expensive, alternative. Will it set a precedent for others to follow?


–Updated 05:45 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user stephendann]

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