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Showing posts from August, 2013

Amazon.com Inc Takes Tax Fight to Supreme Court

Fresh and interesting post from Mashable about Amazon trying to take tax fight to Supreme Court. At issue, a New York State law forcing online retailers to collect sales tax on shipments to state residents:
"It is perhaps the one remaining venue where Jeff Bezos has yet to emerge victorious: the Supreme Court. Now, he could even prove dominant there.
Amazon petitioned the nation’s highest court on Wednesday to hear its challenge against a 2008 New York State law that requires online retailers to collect sales tax. The company has hired famed Washington, D.C., attorney Ted Olson to represent it.
The online sales tax issue is maddeningly complex, and it is muddied even further by the fact that Amazon has already agreed to collect sales taxes in many states, including New Jersey and California. Bezos has also repeatedly made plain his support for a federal law called the Marketplace Fairness Act, currently stalled in the House of Representatives, which would require all online retailer…

Apple Working On Intelligent Brightness Control And Automated FaceTime Camera Selection (from TechCrunch)

Fresh and interesting post from TechCrunch regarding a new patent application from Apple:  
"Ideally, your smart device of the future anticipates your needs and adjusts itself to suit them without requiring input on your behalf. Two newly published patent applications (spotted by AppleInsider) from Apple describe systems that could help do just that for future iPhones and iPads, via selective screen brightness control and auto camera switching during FaceTime video calls. The first patent application describes a way for a user to selectively adjust brightness and contrast of different user interface elements independently of one another. Essentially, this could work in practice by doing things like selective lightboxing as you might see on a photo-focused website, foregrounding elements that contain active content and providing enhanced visibility as well as offering some battery savings. This is something that some apps already offer, giving users control over what elements are dar…

Short Video About Smartphone Overuse: "I Forgot My Phone"

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The following short film ("I forgot my phone") about smartphone overuse has been watched on Youtube more than 7 million times in 3 days. Pretty huge, right. Why? That's a very good question. Indeed, this movie simply emphasizes how much we use our phone on a daily basis. Well, I guess we didn't need it a 2-minutes short film to realize that... but apparently it turns out that people's comments on Youtube are telling the contrary: "This is probably the most impressive video ever, it shows you how people depend on their mobiles (...)", "OMG this is so true", "mobile phones - (dis)connecting people", "so sad and so true", etc.
It seems that without a smartphone today you are just on another disconnected "planet". And here is the film/video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OINa46HeWg8
What do you think about it? 

The Pirate Bay Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

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Founded in September 2003 by a collective of hackers and activists (Gottfrid Svartholm Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde), the small Swedish BitTorrent tracker grew to become a global icon for online piracy[1] (for a more detailed history, click here). The website is probably the most famous piracy site on the Web for illegally downloading copyrighted material.







To avoid censorship[2], for its 10th birthday, the BitTorrent site released a new “Pirate Browser”[3]. This browser (see picture on the left) “allows you to circumvent censorship that certain countries such as Iran, North Korea, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland impose onto their citizens”[4].



If you are not familiar with The Pirate Bay (TPB), I highly recommend you watch this great documentary available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfRFh_h5ICE

Happy Birthday TPB!

Jeffrey Bezos buys the Washington Post for $250 million

Despite the fact that Amazon lost $39 million last year, Jeffrey Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, has bought the Washington Post for $250 million. 
"Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, who revolutionized the book business, isnow aiming to do the same with one of the nation's most storied newspapers"said the Los Angeles Times.
More info:  - http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021546456_brierwapobezosxml.html#.UgCRdAEP0Pk.google_plusone_share

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-washington-post-bezos-20130806,0,4515179.story
and, of course, from the Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/washington-post-to-be-sold-to-jeff-bezos/2013/08/05/ca537c9e-fe0c-11e2-9711-3708310f6f4d_story.html?hpid=z1

It also has to be noted that "Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase;Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner (emphasis added) when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days" explained the Washingt…

Google News vs. the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers: Google "wins"

(Short Update).