Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Red Hot Chili Peppers to release 18 new songs over the next six months

new songs by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has revealed that the band will be releasing 18 new songs over the next six months.

The bassist confirmed that the band have been busy writing while they've been touring their tenth studio album 'I'm With You' and will be putting out new material as 7'' vinyl singles and digital download.

Taking to his Twitter account, Flea wrote: "We have been writing stuff while touring. We are also going to put out 18 new songs over the next 6 months on 7 inch and digitally."

The band's drummer Chad Smith had previously said that the funk punks had at least "10 more songs" ready to release from their sessions for 'I'm With You', which it seems will form part of the 18 tracks they will now put out.

Red Hot Chili Peppers will return to the UK and Ireland this summer to play three huge outdoor shows. The band will play Knebworth Park near Stevenage on June 23, Sunderland's Stadium Of Light on June 24 and Dublin's Croke Park on June 26.

You can watch a video interview where the band discuss working with Blur's Damon Albarn by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking.

News by NME

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pakistan blocks Twitter over contentious tweets

pakistan blocks twitter
 Pakistan blocks Twitter

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter for several hours because it refused to remove tweets considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country's top telecommunications officials.

The tweets were promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous.

The government restored access to Twitter before midnight Sunday, about eight hours after it initially blocked access, possibly because of public criticism it received for its censorship.

Twitter spokesman Gabriel Stricker said the company had not taken down any tweets or made any other changes before Pakistan stopped blocking the site.

Yaseen said Sunday afternoon that Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology had ordered the telecommunications authority to block Twitter because the company refused to remove the offending tweets.

The ministry informed Yaseen to restore access to Twitter Sunday evening, but he did not know what led to the decision.

Yaseen said Facebook had agreed to address Pakistan's concern about the competition.

Facebook confirmed in a written statement that it blocked access to the content in Pakistan. The site noted that it occasionally restricts content when it is illegal or offensive out of respect for local laws and culture.

A top court in Pakistan ordered a ban on Facebook in 2010 amid anger over a similar competition. The ban was lifted about two weeks later, after Facebook blocked the particular page in Pakistan. The Pakistani government said at the time that it would continue to monitor other major websites for anti-Islamic links and content.

Even when Twitter was blocked Sunday, many people based in Pakistan continued to use the website by employing programs that disguise the user's location. There was widespread criticism of the government's action by those on Twitter, who tend to be more liberal than average Pakistanis.

"Another cheap moral stunt by Pakistan," tweeted liberal Pakistani columnist Nadeem Paracha.

The 2010 Facebook controversy sparked many in Pakistan's liberal elite to question why Pakistanis could not be entrusted to decide for themselves whether or not to look at a website. Some observers noted that Pakistan had gone further than several other Muslim countries by banning Facebook, and said it showed the rise of conservative Islam in the country.

There were a handful of protests against Facebook back in 2010, often organized by student members of radical Islamic groups. Some of the protesters carried signs advocating holy war against the website for allowing the competition page to be posted in the first place.

News by AP

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Twitter resists US court's demand for Occupy tweets

twitter-occupy wall street
Twitter-Occupy Wall Street
Twitter is contesting a US court order ordering it to hand over the message history of one of its users.

A New York state court has called on the firm to release tweets written by an activist who took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests last year.

The micro-blogging service disputes a judge's ruling that messages are owned by the firm rather than its users.

The American Civil Liberties Union commended the company for defending free speech rights.

Twitter's lawyer, Ben Lee, said: "Twitter's terms of service make absolutely clear that its users 'own' their own content. Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users."

Boston march

The case centres around Malcolm Harris, managing editor of the New Inquiry website.

He was arrested on 1 October along with hundreds of other campaigners during a march across Brooklyn Bridge.

Prosecutors claim tweets by Mr Harris would reveal that he was "well aware of police instructions" ordering protesters not to block traffic.

Mr Harris's lawyer had tried to block access to the postings, but a judge ruled that once the messages had been sent they became the property of Twitter, meaning the defendant was not protected by Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

Twitter's lawyers argued that the judge had misunderstood how the service worked, noting that the Stored Communications Act gave its members the right to challenge requests for information on their user history.

Constitutional rights

"This is a big deal," said the American Civil Liberties Union in a blog post.

"Law enforcement agencies... are becoming increasingly aggressive in their attempts to obtain information about what people are doing on the internet.

"If internet users cannot protect their own constitutional rights, the only hope is that internet companies do so."

One media analyst said Twitter's action also reflected its wider desire to avoid becoming caught up in litigation.

"Twitter, like any internet service provider, wants people who upload material to be responsible - it doesn't want to be in a position where it has to review all of the tweets," Benedict Evans from Enders Analysis told the BBC.

"It sees itself as being like an email provider and doesn't want to have to worry about issues of copyright (and) libel about other matters relating to what people post.

"That said, it can't totally avoid the issue. We have seen cases of US courts forcing email providers to hand over evidence, and Twitter has access to the data."

News by BBC

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

U.S. fears reprisals after Afghan shooting rampage

an Afghan man sits next to the dead bodies killed by US Army
An Afghan man sits next to the dead bodies killed by US Army
(Reuters) - U.S. officials warned on Monday of possible reprisal attacks after 16 Afghan villagers, mostly children and women, were killed in a likely "rogue" shooting by a U.S. soldier that weakens the West's tenuous grip on a decade-old war.

Washington has rushed to distance the shootings, blamed on a lone U.S. soldier, from the efforts of the 90,000-strong U.S. force in Afghanistan, but the rampage in southern Kandahar province is certain to inflame anti-Western anger once again.

It comes less than three weeks after U.S. troops inadvertently burned copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, at the main NATO base in Afghanistan, sparking widespread protests in which 30 people were killed.

"The U.S. Embassy in Kabul alerts U.S. citizens in Afghanistan that as a result of a tragic shooting incident in Kandahar province involving a U.S. service member, there is a risk of anti-American feelings and protests in coming days, especially in the eastern and southern provinces," the embassy said in an emergency statement on its website.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, toppled by U.S.-backed forces in late 2001. Southern and eastern provinces have seen some of the fiercest fighting of the war, increasingly unpopular among Americans and their European allies.

Early on Monday, the embassy said on its Twitter feed restrictions had been placed on the movements of all embassy personnel in the south.

A sharp increase in attacks on U.S. troops by Afghan forces followed the Koran burning. Sunday's incident in Kandahar was one of the worst of its kind, witnesses describing it as a "night-time massacre" that killed nine children and three women.

Villagers in three houses were attacked and many civilians were wounded, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Deeply saddened, U.S. President Barack Obama called Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, promising to establish the facts quickly and "to hold fully accountable anyone responsible.

"This incident is tragic and shocking and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement.

However, such incidents fuel anti-Western sentiment among Afghans and are quickly exploited by the insurgents. The Afghan Taliban said it would take revenge.


The burning of copies of Koran at Bagram air base touched off widespread anger among Afghan officials, security forces and civilians alike. It also shows the challenges that remain as foreign forces prepare to withdraw combat troops and hand security responsibility to Afghans by the end of 2014.

Sunday's attack may also harden a growing consensus in Washington about what can be accomplished in Afghanistan even after a troop surge meant to turn the war around.

The bill for the war has already exceeded $500 billion and more than 1,900 U.S. troops have been killed, with the total number of foreign troops killed approaching 3,000.

"These killings only serve to reinforce the mindset that the whole war is broken and that there's little we can do about it beyond trying to cut our losses and leave," said Joshua Foust, a security expert with the American Security Project.

Karzai, whose relationship with his Western backers is fraught at the best of times, seethed. Civilian casualties caused by U.S. and other Western forces have long been a major cause of friction between Washington and Kabul.

He condemned the rampage as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation. Karzai's office released a statement quoting a villager as saying "American soldiers woke my family up and shot them in the face".

There were conflicting accounts of how many U.S. soldiers were involved, with witness accounts saying there were several.

Officials from the U.S. Embassy, ISAF and from Washington said it appeared there was only one. An ISAF spokesman said the lone U.S. soldier "walked back to the base and turned himself in to U.S. forces this morning", adding there had been no military operations in the area.

The soldier in custody was described by one U.S. official in Washington as a staff sergeant who was married with three children. The sergeant had served three tours in Iraq but was on his first deployment in Afghanistan, the official said.

Neighbors and relatives of the dead said they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Panjwai district, about 35 km from the provincial capital Kandahar City, at about 2 a.m. They said the soldiers entered homes and opened fire.

However, Afghan Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid said a U.S. soldier burst into three homes near his base in the middle of the night, killing a total of 16 people, including 11 people in the first house.

Villager Haji Samad said his children and grandchildren were among 11 relatives killed.

"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," a weeping Samad told Reuters at the scene, with blood splattered on the walls of his home.

Neighbours said they had awoken to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, who they described as laughing and drunk.

"Their bodies were riddled with bullets," said Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where the killings took place.

A senior U.S. defence official in Washington rejected such accounts. "Based on the preliminary information we have this account is flatly wrong," the official said. "We believe one U.S. service member acted alone, not a group of U.S. soldiers."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also called Karzai to offer his condolences. "I condemn such violence and am shocked and saddened that a U.S. service member is alleged to be involved, clearly acting outside his chain of command," Panetta said.

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

IFAB testing goal-line tech

Two systems set for final tests and could be in place by 2014
Football's lawmakers have revealed they will go ahead with final tests on two goal-line technology systems set to revolutionise the game.

The International FA Board (IFAB) will now run final tests on the systems - one by British company Hawk-Eye and the other developed by German firm GoalRef - ahead of a final decision in July.

Hawk-Eye is a camera-based system used in other sports while GoalRef uses a magnetic field with a special ball to identify a goal situation.

The second test phase will take place between now and June and ensure each system is robust enough to remain accurate in a match situation.

FA general secretary Alex Horne told a press conference in Bagshot, Surrey: "It's an important step forward for us but it is important that we do test it for failure.

"It must be accurate otherwise it won't be worth having."

Horne admitted it was "very unlikely" that any systems could be in place in the Premier League for the start of next season.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already expressed his excitement at the developments and is keen to avoid a repeat of the incident at the 2010 World Cup, when Frank Lampard had a legal goal disallowed for England against Germany.

Blatter said via Twitter: "Exciting news that 2 goal-line technology companies meet criteria - now for further testing and decision."

He added: "If technology works we will use it in 2014 to avoid situations like the Lampard goal."

News by Skysports

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston Dead: Stars React to Legend's Sudden Death

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston is dead at age 48. The singer's publicist Kristen Foster has confirmed today (Feb. 11) that Whitney has passed away. Allegedly, the icon's bodyguard found Houston's body. Stars are mourning the fallen legend's tragic passing in an outpouring of messages on Twitter. See a round-up of tweets in remembrance of the late singer below.

Biography of
Whitney Houston More at IMDbPro 
Date of Birth
9 August 1963, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Date of Death

11 February 2012, Beverly Hills, California, USA

Birth Name
Whitney Elizabeth Houston

The Prom Queen of Soul

5' 8" (1.73 m)

Bobby Brown     (18 July 1992 - 24 April 2007) (divorced) 1 child


Daughter of Cissy Houston (gospel-blues singer).

Cousin of Dionne Warwick and 'Dee Dee Warwick'.

Multi-Grammy award winning singer; has had an unequaled run of seven consecutive #1 records (1980s) in the USA, and held the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 for 14 weeks with "I Will Always Love You" in 1993.

Brothers: Michael and Gary.

Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world. [1991]

Hawaiian security guards discovered a half an ounce of marijuana in baggage being carried by Whitney & husband Bobby Brown. The couple were permitted to board their plane. [11 January 2000]

Appeared on the covers on Seventeen and Glamour magazines before becoming a major recording artist.

Mother of Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Was a fashion model before she started singing professionally.


Erroneously reported deceased by various radio stations and publications. Houston spokesperson quickly denies rumours. [14 September 2001]

Born at 8:55 PM EDT.

Her 1987 album "Whitney" knocked Simple Minds' "Live in the City of Light" off number one on the British album chart and kept Marillion's "Clutching at Straws" at number two.

Measurements: 34B-26-34 (1984 model card), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Her 1987 album "Whitney" became the first female album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Her performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Superbowl shot to #20 on the Billboard Charts. Supported mainly due to the Gulf War.

Holds the record for winning the most American Music Awards, twenty-six in total.

Ranked #61 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll

Her #1 hit "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" was ranked #86 on VH1's 100 Greatest Dance Songs.

Her powerful rendition of "I Will Always Love You" from _Bodyguard, The (1992)_ was ranked #65 on the American Film Institute's list of "The 100 Years of The Greatest Songs".

Named after actress Whitney Blake.

Once "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" hit #1 in February of 1988, she was honored as the first artist in history to ever have seven consecutive Billboard number 1 singles. An accomplishment that she still holds to this day.

Almost received the role of Sondra Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" (1984). The role went to Sabrina Le Beauf, whose theater experience won her the role.

The Whitney E. Houston academy is located in her home town of East Orange, New Jersey

She has a school named after her (1997) formerly Franklin School, now the Whitney E. Houston School of Creative and Performing Arts in her hometown of East Orange, New Jersey.

Her remake of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" for The Bodyguard (1992) became the topic of the NBC news show "Now" (1993) because it was so overplayed and people were sick of it. It was the first song ever to be the topic on a news show for being too overplayed.

"I Will Always Love You" is the best-selling single by a female artist, and the biggest- selling non-charity single of all time, with world sales of nearly nine million copies.

The Preacher's Wife (1996) soundtrack is the best-selling gospel album of all time. The soundtrack also remained at number one for for a record twenty-six weeks on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart.

After spending one week at number one, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" spent the next eleven weeks at number two, the longest number-two stay in Hot 100 history.

She has fourteen gold singles in the United States, behind only Madonna among female artists.

She is the only female artist to have three albums sell over nine million copies each: "Whitney Houston" (1985), "Whitney" (1987), and "The Bodyguard" (1992).

The world's best selling debut album by a female is "Whitney Houston" (1985), with over twenty-four million copies sold.

The world's biggest selling soundtrack is The Bodyguard with over thirty-seven million units sold. It also ranks as the best-selling female album of all time.

Ex-wife of Bobby Brown.

Second cousin of David Elliott and Damon Elliott.

Ranked #24 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.

Her mother was at one time a background singer for Elvis Presley.

Her godmother is Aretha Franklin.

Her family moved from Newark to East Orange, NJ in the wake of rioting in Newark when she was 4 years old.

Was offered the role of Grace Hitchens on "Glee" (2009), but turned the part down. Eve was then cast instead.

Returned to work four months after giving birth to her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in order to participate in "The Bodyguard World Tour", performing songs from her debut motion picture The Bodyguard (1992).

In addition to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Houston became pregnant another three times (in 1991, 1994 and 1996) during her relationship to Bobby Brown; on all of those occasions she suffered miscarriages.

Personal Quotes

I almost wish I could be more exciting, that I could match what is happening out there to me.

I've got a good man. He takes care of me. I don't have to be scared of anything because I know he will kick every ass... disrespect him and you've got a problem.

God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?"

I was aware of people staring at me. No one moved. They seemed almost in trance. I just stared at the clock in the center of the church. When I finished, everyone clapped and started crying.

I know that I could really kill for my daughter. I know because I'm living for her, so I'm fierce when it comes down to it. And I feel the same about my husband and my family. I'm just fiercely protective. It's like, that's my lair and nobody messes with my lair.

[on the death of Michael Jackson] I am full of grief.


The Preacher's Wife (1996)     $10,000,000

Where Are They Now

(January 2005) Currently working on her 7th studio album. The recording is set to begin in March and the release date is rumored to be in Fall of 2005.

(September 2005) Currently working on her 7th studio album (which is untitled at the moment.) Recording began in the summer of 2005 and the album is expected to be released by the end of 2005 or in early 2006. The album is already being highly anticipated by fans and critics, who are sure that Whitney can deliver a positive comeback.

(February 2006) Album(which is untitled) will be release in October 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

President Obama: Everybody Must Play By The Same Rules

Barack Obama, US President
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama used Tuesday's State of the Union address to lay out a vision of America in which everybody gets a fair shot at economic success and everybody -- including "the wealthy" -- plays by the same rules as the average citizen.

Obama's address, which comes in the midst of a rapidly escalating presidential campaign season, delivered a strong message about the need for social and economic equality and put forward a handful of new policy ideas targeting tax reform, college affordability and clean energy. But by and large, Obama's third State of the Union was focused on proposals for boosting the economy and ensuring protections for the middle class.

"Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same," Obama said. "It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody."

Obama laid out some notable new policy proposals, including the creation of a new international minimum tax on U.S. companies making profits overseas; the launching of a new trade enforcement unit that would target unfair trade practices in countries around the world, including China; and a plan to shift federal aid away from colleges that don't keep down tuition costs. He also announced that the Defense Department will make history's largest renewable energy purchase -- totaling 1 gigawatt. The president can use his executive power to make the last item happen.

Ahead of the address, senior administration officials who spoke only on background and wouldn't be quoted, said the underlying message of the speech is that Obama's economic policies have been working and should be continued. The country had already lost 4 million jobs to the recession before Obama came into office and lost another 4 million before his policies took effect, they said. By contrast, Obama's policies have created more than 3 million private sector jobs in the past two years.

The officials also highlighted a new initiative to place 2 million people in jobs through new partnerships with businesses and community colleges. Steve Jobs, the recently deceased CEO of Apple, had pressed Obama for proposals like this in a past meeting, said the officials.

During his remarks, Obama reiterated his support for instituting the "Buffett rule," a concept that he and congressional Democrats have been pushing for months as a way to pay for their legislative priorities. Named after billionaire Warren Buffett, the rule would require people making more than $1 million to pay a minimum effective rate of at least 30 percent.

Warren Buffett's secretary Debbie Bosanek was a guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union. Buffett has made the case that millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at higher rates by pointing out that Bosanek pays a lower effective rate than he does.

"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by," Obama said. "Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them."

Other notable attendees at the event included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who made the trip to Washington, D.C.,two days before she plans to step down to focus on her recovery after being shot in the head in Tucson in Jan. 2011. Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, also attended as a guest of the First Lady.

The president isn't wasting any time when it comes to selling his economic vision to the country. On Wednesday, he'll kick off a three-day tour of five states, Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan, which are key battlegrounds in the upcoming presidential race. The move is a convenient way for Obama to connect his governing activities to his campaigning, which has already gotten off the ground but is not yet operating at full force.

Obama is also slated to sit down with ABC's Diane Sawyer on Thursday for his first post-State of the Union interview. Sawyer is soliciting questions from the public to ask the president.

In the meantime, White House officials will spend the week managing a social media blitz. On Tuesday night, administration officials planned to take questions from the public about the address submitted via Twitter, Facebook and Google+ in front of a live audience -- and to respond to questions in real time via Twitter, using the hashtag #WHChat and #SOTU.

From Wednesday through Friday, senior administration officials will host a marathon of online question and answer sessions via Twitter. Wednesday's panel will focus on general questions about the address. Community-focused discussions with policy advisers will take place Thursday and Friday's Q&A will be directed toward specific policy issues, including health, education and jobs. People who want to participate can ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat, and administration officials will respond in real time.

News by Huffingtonpost

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia to shut for 24 hours to stop anti-piracy act

wikipedia-jimmy wales
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia
(Reuters) - Wikipedia, the popular community-edited online encyclopedia, will black out its English-language site for 24 hours to seek support against proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said threatens the future of the Internet.

The service will be the highest profile name to join a growing campaign starting at midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday that will see it black out its page so that visitors will only see information about the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

The information will urge Wikipedia readers to contact their local congressman to vote against the bills. Other smaller sites leading the campaign include and Cheezeburger.

"This is a quite clumsily drafted legislation which is dangerous for an open Internet," said Wales in an interview.

The decision to black out the site was decided by voting within the Wikipedia community of writers and editors who manage the free service, Wales said. The English language Wikipedia receives more than 25 million average daily visitors from around the world, according to comScore data.

The bills pit technology companies like Google Inc and Facebook against the bill's supporters, including Hollywood studios and music labels, which say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

The SOPA legislation under consideration in the House of Representatives aims to crack down on online sales of pirated American movies, music or other goods by forcing Internet companies to block access to foreign sites offering material that violates U.S. copyright laws. Supporters argue the bill is unlikely to have an impact on U.S.-based websites.

U.S. advertising networks could also be required to stop online ads, and search engines would be barred from directly linking to websites found to be distributing pirated goods.

Google has repeatedly said the bill goes too far and could hurt investment. Along with other Internet companies such as Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and eBay, it has run advertisements in major newspapers urging Washington lawmakers to rethink their approach.

White House officials raised concerns on Saturday about SOPA saying they believe it could make businesses on the Internet vulnerable to litigation and harm legal activity and free speech.

"We're happy to see opposition is building and that the White House has started to pay attention," said Wales.

News of the White House's comments prompted a prominent supporter of the bill News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch to slam the Obama administration.

"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," he posted on his personal Twitter account Saturday. News Corp owns a vast array of media properties from Fox TV, the Wall Street Journal to Twentieth Century Fox studios.

Wales said the bill in its current form was too broad and could make it difficult for a site like Wikipedia, which he said relies on open exchange of information. He said the bill also places the burden of proof on the distributor of content in the case of any dispute over copyright ownership.

"I do think copyright holders have legitimate issues, but there are ways of approaching the issue that don't involve censorship," Wales said.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Retired linebacker’s wife dies one month after their wedding

chris draft
Chris Draft
One month after getting married, former NFL linebacker Chris Draft lost his wife today after a long bout with lung cancer. She was so weakened by the disease that she was in a wheelchair for the private wedding, just one month before she died.

Draft, who played most of his 12-year career in Atlanta, released a statement on his wife on their family foundation website.

Not just an inspiration, but a light, and a force that led the way with a beautiful, sweet smile and bright shining eyes that both belied the pure steel of her strength and determination.

Strong is too pale, too shallow and too small of a word to describe Keasha's vibrancy… Quite simply, she was ferocious. She fiercely held onto life, and love with a forcefulness that was absolutely awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking. Rest in peace, Mrs. Draft.

Twitter was flooded with people moved by the Draft's love story. Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons  shared his condolences via Twitter, and a guestbook commemorating her quickly was filled with messages of support to the Draft family.

News by Yahoo

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Congress calls on Twitter to block Taliban

Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
American congressmen are calling on Twitter to block Taliban propagandists from the micro-blogging site.

Senators want to stop feeds which boast of insurgent attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan and the casualties they inflict.

Aides for Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the move was part of a wider attempt to eliminate violent Islamist extremist propaganda from the internet and social media.

The Taliban movement has embraced the social network as part of its propaganda effort and regularly tweets about attacks or posts links to its statements.

The information has ranged from highly accurate, up-to-the-minute accounts of unfolding spectacular attacks, to often completely fabricated or wildly exaggerated reports of American and British casualties.

Twitter feeds including @ABalkhi, which has more than 4,100 followers, and @alemarahweb, which has more than 6,200 followers, regularly feature tweeted boasts about the deaths of "cowardly invaders" and "puppet" Afghan government forces.

News by Telegraph

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Record labels criticise Google over illegal downloads

Singer Adele
Google has failed to deliver on promises to tackle illegal file-sharing, according to an organisation which represents music labels around the world.

The IFPI said guarantees Google had made about copyright infringement 12 months ago "remained unfulfilled".

It conceded that the search engine had made "modest steps", but alleged it was profiting from piracy.

In response, Google declined to comment on what it called a "press stunt".

In the report, the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) accused Google of making money from "sites and applications that engage in piracy".

It said, as the world's biggest search engine, it had a "special responsibility" to protect copyrighted music.

It said some work had been done but that more action had to be taken if Google "is not to continue to be abused as a vehicle for piracy."

"Google also needs to do more to ensure that it does not derive revenue from illegal activity and supports the digital marketplace in which it itself is a participant," it added.

Speaking on behalf of record labels around the world, the IFPI has urged Google to take action, including spending money to prioritise search results which direct users to legal music services.

In September 2011 Google's Senior Vice President & General Counsel Kent Walker blogged about the company's commitment to copyright material.

He wrote: "Making high-value content available in authorised forms is a crucial part of the battle against online infringement."

In a statement to the BBC, Google also "pointed to congressional testimony by the company's copyright counsel, Katherine Oyama, last month about what it's doing to fight online piracy".

Oyama was attending a hearing on controversial US legislation, which would give the US government the power to request court orders to shut down websites associated with piracy.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) has the backing of Hollywood and the music industry, but the founders of Google, Twitter and eBay - amongst others - have criticised the bill.

Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Oyama detailed some of Google's current measures to fight piracy, arguing that further legislation was unnecessary.

"The only long-term way to beat piracy online is to offer consumers more compelling legitimate alternative," she said, highlighting how Google created revenue for record labels by selling adverts around their music videos on YouTube.

She added that Google had closed down almost 150,000 accounts from people who attempted to use sponsored search results to advertise counterfeit goods.

Oyama also described Google's speed in removing pirated material from search results and YouTube accounts. She said that, in 75% of cases, the offending links were removed from its pages within six hours of receiving notice from the copyright holder.
'Not Google's job'

Newsbeat asked people what they thought about the issue.

Kim Jarrett, 23, from Essex, said: "I don't think it's Google's job to stop it.

"It's a search engine for people trying to find information and if information is there it's not for them to censor it.

"If record companies have a problem with illegal downloading of music then they should speak to their lawyers and get in touch with the websites themselves."

Annie Lee, 18, from London added: "I do think that Google has some stake and responsibility, but at the same time it's not really their domain - they're just out there as the search engine.

"[But] Google could stop having on their search results all these different download sites - it is pretty straightforward.

"But at the same time people are just going to keep devising new ways to do it."

News by BBC

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bikini girl LeAnn Rimes and husband Eddie Cibrian raise the temperature with a steamy show of affection

short bikini
LeAnn Rimes with her Husband

Things got a lot hotter in Mexico yesterday as bikini-clad LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian put on a steamy display.

The loved-up couple couldn't keep their hands nor lips off one another as they watched the sun go down on the balcony of their Cabo hotel.

Slipping her slim frame into yet another string bikini, LeAnn, 29 and Eddie, enjoyed cocktails at sunset.

With his arms wrapped around his slender wife, the former Playboy Club actor pulled her in for a lingering kiss.

Of course, LeAnn happily obliged staring longingly into her handsome hubby's eyes as they enjoyed endless smooches and cuddles.

While LeAnn has come under fire for her super slim figure, Eddie certainly seemed to approve, with admiring his wife's body in her purple sparkly and lace two-piece .

Sipping on a Corona beer, the handsome star wore a black t-shirt, checked boardshorts and a baseball cap.

LeAnn, who was clutching on a flute of champagne, seemingly spotted something out at sea, making the couple erupt into a fit of giggles.

The pair are staying at the ultra-exclusive One & Only Palmilla, where the average price per night is over $750 US.

Earlier this year LeAnn was approached in a Chicago restaurant by a diner who bluntly told her: 'You need to eat something.'

Furiously the star took to Twitter in rebuttal, posting: ‘How dare someone come to me at a table w/ the boys and tell me I need to eat something.'

She has often taken to Twitter to document what she has eaten since the incident.

Yesterday it was no exception with LeAnn tweeting from fully-stocked beach bar.

'My man's & a FULL tequila bar!....sushi too,' she wrote.

Today, the star, who is often seen wearing a bikini, took time out to use Twitter to promote one of her favourite swimsuit lines.

The gold bedazzled bikini, which she slipped into to frolic around the sands of Mexico with Eddie last year, apparently has since sold like hotcakes.

'Some guy at the restaurant just told me I owed him money because his wife had to have the gold @BeachBunnySwim bikini I had last year. Funny,' LeAnn wrote on her Twitter.

Earlier today, the couple indulged in some early morning horseback riding which LeAnn described as 'magical'.

'Wow, horseback riding on the sand was magical! Gorgeous day already. Very spiritual morning,' she wrote on the social networking page.

LeAnn and Eddie, who married in April, jetted out for their romantic getaway from LAX over the weekend.

It seems LeAnn may have had some trouble on the plane after tweeting: 'So happy my hubby speaks Spanish cause they didn't have English customs forms on the plane. There are some VERY confused people.'

And before the pair's trip, the country singer revealed she had been stocking up on her said swimwear.

'Take out day & I'm in charge, but not before a little Diane's Beachwear shopping for a hat. :) #getmeonaplanenow,' she wrote.

But after they landed the singer could relax properly but still has since made sure to tweet plently of updates with pictures of her and Eddie looking suitably loved up.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Russians voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election

vote in russia
Vote in Russia
(Reuters) - Russians voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election seen as a test of Vladimir Putin's personal authority before his planned return to the presidency, and an electoral watchdog complained of 'massive cyber attacks' on a website alleging violations.

Putin remains by far the most popular politician in the vast country of more than 140 million people but there are some signs Russians may be wearying of his cultivated strong-man image.

The 59-year-old ex-spy looked stern and said only that he hoped for good results for his ruling United Russia party as he walked past supporters to vote in Moscow.

"I will vote for Putin. Everything he gets involved in, he manages well," said Father Vasily, 61, a white-bearded monk from a nearby monastery. "It's too early for a new generation. They will be in charge another 20 years. We are Russians, we are Asians, we need a strong leadership."

A Western-financed electoral watchdog and two liberal media outlets said their sites had been shut down by hackers intent on silencing allegations of violations. Sites belonging to the Ekho Moskvy radio station, online news portal and the watchdog Golos went down at around 8 a.m.

"Massive cyber attacks are taking place on the sites of Golos and the map showing violations," Golos said on Twitter.

Golos said it was excluded from several polling booths in the Siberian Tomsk region. Moscow prosecutors launched an investigation last week into Golos' activities after lawmakers objected to its Western financing.

On Saturday, customs officers held Golos's director for 12 hours at a Moscow airport and Washington said on Friday it was concerned by "a pattern of harassment" against the watchdog.

Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov wrote on Twitter: "It is obvious the election day attack on the (radio) site is part of an attempt to prevent publishing information about violations."

President Dmitry Medvedev, who is stepping aside next year so that Putin can return to the presidency, has dismissed talk of electoral fraud. Neither the general prosecutor's office nor the Central Election Commission could be reached for comment.


Some voters said they would vote for Just Russia, which calls itself 'new socialist', or the Communists, who retain support largely among poorer citizens 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union and the advent of a free-market system.

"United Russia has lost touch with reality," said a 30-year-old history teacher in St Petersburg who gave his name only as Alexander. He was planning to switch his vote to the Communists.

Others in Russia's second city said they would vote for liberal, Western-leaning Yabloko.

The biggest liberal opposition group was barred from taking part. One of its co-leaders, former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, put a big X across the ballot paper and wrote: "Give us back our elections, vermin."

About 30 opposition protesters gathered by the Kremlin screaming: "Your elections are a farce!" through loudspeakers. Twelve were detained by police, Reuters witnesses said.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, voting at a cultural centre decked out with Soviet-style hammer and sickle flags, said there appeared to be election violations in several parts of the country spanning 9,000 km (5,600 miles).

"I just spoke to our people in Siberia and the Far East and the situation is very worrying," he said.

Opinion polls before the vote put Putin's party on course to win a majority but less than the 315 seats it now has in the 450-seat lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

If Putin's party gets less than two-thirds of seats, it would be stripped of its so called constitutional majority which allows it to change the constitution and even approve the impeachment of the president.


Supporters say Putin saved Russia during his 2000-2008 presidency, restoring Kremlin control over sprawling regions and reviving an economy mired in post-Soviet chaos.

His use of military force to crush a rebellion in the southern Muslim region of Chechnya also won him broad support, and security was tight there on election day.

Opposition parties say the election was unfair from the start because of authorities' support for United Russia with cash and television air time.

Putin has no serious personal rivals as Russia's leader. He remains the ultimate arbiter between the clans which control the world's biggest energy producer.

But his party has had to fight against opponents who have branded it a collection of "swindlers and thieves" and combat a growing sense of unease among voters at Putin's grip on power.

"I shall not vote. I shall cross out all the parties on the list and write: 'Down with the party of swindlers and thieves,'" said Nikolai Markovtsev, an independent deputy in the Vladivostok city legislature on the Pacific seaboard.

"These are not elections: this is sacrilege," he said.

Opponents say Putin has crafted a brittle political system which excludes independent voices and that Russians are growing tired of Putin's swaggering image.

Putin is almost certain to win the March 4 presidential election and could extend his rule until 2024 if he wins the maximum two more terms, but signs of disenchantment are worrying for the Kremlin's political managers.

Sports fans booed and whistled at Putin at a Moscow martial arts fight last month -- an exceptional event in a country inclined to show respect and restraint towards leaders..

($1 = 30.8947 Russian roubles)

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