Nominations for this year's MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) have been announced, with Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis leading the pack with six nominations apiece.

Timberlake's 'Mirrors' will face off against the duo's 'Thrift Shop' for the coveted of Video Of The Year, with Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines', Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and Bruno Mars' 'Locked Out Of Heaven' also in the running.

The record for most MTV Music Video Awards nominations in one year is held by Lady Gaga who notched up a formidable 13 nominations in 2010, including 10 for her track “Bad Romance”.

Unsurprisingly, she went on to become the top winner of the night at the actual awards show, with her team-up with Beyonce on "Telephone" taking Best Collaboration and "Bad Romance" winning seven separate awards including Video of the Year.

While it’s certainly had its critics, it seems like every day a new use is being found for the Xbox Kinect motion controller.

Microsoft Research Asia may have found the best alternative use yet however, with their developers turning the console add-on into a clever sign language reader.

Developers at the unit have created software that allows the Kinect to recognise almost every American Sign Language gesture via hand tracking, even at conversational speeds.

Launched on 4 November 2010, by 3 January 2011, the Kinect sensor had sold 8 million units – an average of 133,333 a day – making it the fastest-selling videogames peripheral of all time.

Actor Tom Hanks is to reprise his role as Da Vinci Code professor Robert Langdon in a new mystery thriller it has been confirmed today.

Hanks will reunite with director Ron Howard for the film version of Dan Brown's latest best-selling novel, Inferno, which is pencilled in for December 2015 release.

Brown holds the record for highest annual earnings for an author after pocketing an estimated $76.5 million (£43.8 million) in 2005.

Finally, the world has been celebrating the 95th birthday of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

South African schoolchildren sang "Happy Birthday" during morning assemblies while crowds left flowers and candles outside the Pretoria hospital where he has been receiving urgent medical care since June for a lung ailment.

Mandela who was president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, holds the unenviable record of longest period of incarceration for a future head of state after being interned in three different prisons (most notably Robben Island) as a political prisoner from 5 August 1962 to 11 February 1990 – a total of 27 years 6 months 6 days.