The dramatic manhunt for suspects in the Boston marathon bombings that took place in the evening and early morning hours of April 18 and 19 was covered extremely well by a group of non-journalist online civilians . . . until it fell apart under its own weight.

It began with a tweet at roughly 11 pm, saying that shots had been fired on the MIT campus. As an editor on the FT’s newsdesk in New York, I alerted our reporter on the ground in Boston and began to hunt online for more information. Read more

Images and video poured out of Boston on Monday as runners and spectators of the city’s historic marathon posted their media across the internet after two bombs exploded near the race’s finish line.

As the content hit the internet, individuals online started to piece things together. Certain people were seen carrying black backpacks. Some of these people appeared later without the backpacks. A black backpack found at the scene was believed to hold one of the bombs.

This is the world of internet sleuthing, and depending on who you ask, it’s becoming either a shining example of crowdsourcing or a dangerous vigilante trend. Read more

“Die, my dear doctor? That is the last thing I shall do.” — the last words of former British prime minister Lord Palmerston.

Of course, he never had to worry about leaving behind a Facebook profile, an email account, or other abandoned online haunts.

The question of what happens to our online real estate after we die is a sensitive subject, as people grow concerned that what gets left behind could be used illegally or, even worse, become a source of post-mortem embarrassment.

In an effort to address these issues, Google has rolled out “Inactive Account Manager”, which can be set up to delete an account, send messages, and even share data in the event of an untimely demise.

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From the newspaper that brought you “How to spend it”, we now bring you “How to spend it: bitcoin edition”.

Looking for a guitar, a new Samsung tablet, or even some real estate? Open up that digital wallet and fork over your virtual currency.

Bitcoin hit another high today, leaving sceptical pundits in its wake as it broke through the $200 level. The currency is mostly seen as a store of value – with the FT’s Izabella Kaminska adroitly pointing out that it might serve as a type of online memory more than a monetary unit – but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend it.

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