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Media

US To Host World Press Freedom Day 614

Posted by samzenpus
from the enjoy-the-freedom dept.
rekrowyalp writes "From the press release: 'The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.' Oh the irony."

+ - Dec 7th: 1st revolution attempt on banking system->

Submitted by Ariastis
Ariastis (797888) writes "On December 7th, a social revolution attempt will be taking place in Europe and all over the World. The Bank Run 2010, a movement started in France, invites citizens all over the world to empty their bank accounts in order to cause a meltdown of the traditional banking system by making the banks run dry on hard currency (Most banks keep only around 10% of their total account value in hard currency). In their own word : We, the citizens of the 21st century, heirs of generations who have sacrificed so that we may live free and dignified, demand the creation of a CITIZENS BANK- serving citizens, a bank that would put our money away from speculative fever, free of all financial bubbles designed to burst one day, free of operations that transform our loans & assets and use our debt to buy other assets.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Twitter Appears to Censor Wikileaks-Related Trends->

Submitted by Sheep
Sheep (250395) writes "This past week I found it weird that none of the words #wikileaks, #cablegate, #cables, #Assange, etc. were actually "trending" on Twitter. Today, my fears of some secret censorship going on, are slowly coming true. It appears that Twitter is censoring all these keywords, essentially trying to minimize the effect Wikileaks can have on the world through Twitter's democratized popularization of information. It's ironic that last year Twitter suspended their own scheduled server maintenance in order to not interrupt its users from tweeting on Iran's revolution, and now it appears to censor, and manipulate public opinion as it sees fit!"
Link to Original Source
Idle

+ - In China, kids attach condoms to their phones->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In what's apparently a move to display the message "I play safe," some Chinese kids are attaching condoms to their cell phones. Instead of keeping their jimmy hats in their pockets or wallets like us puritan Westerners, the young and hip of the Far East are just putting it out there, saying, "Look, I use condoms." Good for you, proactive Chinese teens!
The phone charms are called "Interesting Imported Condoms," and the wrappers feature zodiac signs or popular cartoon characters such as Astroboy. This, it seems, helps the phone charms appeal to teens, a demographic for whom condoms can be important.
We're not saying, though, that these "Interesting Imported Condoms" should be brought over here. In fact, InventorSpot notes that the condoms are generic, with no manufacturer, type, or expiration date shown. This writer wouldn't trust his health, or the next 18 years of his life, to a mystery like that. He thinks that instead he'll stick with the dispensers in his local dive bar.
Then again, maybe these condoms aren't meant to be used but rather just to say, "Seriously, I'm careful, you should be too." If so, there's nothing wrong with that.

Read more:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20024626-1.html#ixzz17FU3MMf8
http://www.chinahush.com/2010/10/31/condom-cell-phone-chain-for-emergency-use/"

Link to Original Source
Businesses

What the Top US Companies Pay In Taxes 658

Posted by kdawson
from the or-don't dept.
theodp writes "If you've ever wondered how it's possible that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric, Forbes has an explanation. You, my friend, do not have the tax benefit of overseas operations. Microsoft, for example, has its overseas subsidiaries license software to its US parent company in return for handsome royalties that get taxed at lower overseas rates. Exxon limits its tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands that shelter cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan, and Abu Dhabi. As a result, of the $15B it paid in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas. Likewise, GE has $84B in overseas income parked indefinitely outside the US. Now quit your carping and get back to filling out that 1040!"
Books

Kindle, Zune DRM Restrictions Coming Into Focus 311

Posted by kdawson
from the lie-down-with-dogs dept.
It's not news that the media you buy for both Kindle and Zune are protected by DRM. Readers are sending in stories of some of the ramifications of that fact. First, Absentminded-Artist notes an account at Gear Diary recounting what an Amazon rep told one user about download limits on Kindle books. "One facet of the Kindle's DRM has reared an ugly head: download limitations. Upgraded your iPhone recently? Bought a new Kindle? You may not be able to reload your entire library. There's an unadvertised flag: 'You mean when you go to buy the book it doesn't say "this book can be downloaded this number of times" even though that limitation is there?' To which [the rep] replied, 'No, I'm very sorry it doesn't.'" Next, reader Rjak writes "DRM is a bad idea, poorly implemented. One of the many many valid reasons to drop Zune and its marketplace is the DRM validation error you see below. The vast majority of the music I had purchased last year is completely gone. There's no refund, the music doesn't exist on the service anymore, the files are just garbage now. Here's the error (screen capture): 'This item is no longer available at Zune Marketplace. Because of this, you can no longer play it or sync it with your Zune. There might be another iteration of it available in Zune Marketplace.'" Update: 06/23 00:28 GMT by KD : The Gear Diary blog has been updated with what may be more definitive information from Amazon on how the Kindle DRM behaves.
Internet Explorer

IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser 311

Posted by timothy
from the how-awfullly-polite dept.
We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."

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