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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 14th, 2009, 11:10 pm 
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42317 wrote:
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i do not know much about the business of scientology but i wonder if members can use it as a tax shelter... if i earned 20 million a year i think i might look into other ways than giving 10 million to the government. just a thought.

Well, churches don't pay taxes, right?


Correct. In the 1960s the Scientology group was forced to give up its tax exempt status. Unfortunately in the early 1990s, after some legal matters...it was given the tax exempt church status.

Be reminded, this so called religion was created by a well known science fiction author. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 15th, 2009, 1:33 am 
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zero_chaos wrote:
42317 wrote:
dbd_addict wrote:
i do not know much about the business of scientology but i wonder if members can use it as a tax shelter... if i earned 20 million a year i think i might look into other ways than giving 10 million to the government. just a thought.

Well, churches don't pay taxes, right?


Correct. In the 1960s the Scientology group was forced to give up its tax exempt status. Unfortunately in the early 1990s, after some legal matters...it was given the tax exempt church status.

Be reminded, this so called religion was created by a well known science fiction author. :roll:

Not to mention that the religion was founded on a bet too.

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 15th, 2009, 12:06 pm 
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zero_chaos wrote:
Be reminded, this so called religion was created by a well known science fiction author. :roll:

... who once said,
"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 8:22 pm 
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I know this ain't exactly 42317's cup of tea when it comes to news, but i'm pretty sure most of you have heard about this by now...

I sincerely hope she's in a better place.

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/brittany-murp ... 2/32963?nc


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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 11:29 pm 
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Yea, that's sad news. She was very young too, I mean for a cardiac arrest.

Also, the virtuoso guitar player John Frusciante has officially left the Chili Peppers. He is going to focus now only on his solo work.
I've always thought that his music with the Chili Peppers was great, I've always loved the band, but I'm actually a bigger fan of his solo work. He does a lot of experimental stuff, and in my opinion it has a lot more feeling.
Once he left the Chili's because he hated the whole mainstream rockstar vibe they were getting, but became a heroin addict, lost everything (even his teeth) and with great willpower quit drugs. He was taken back into the band and wrote music for a few great albums during 10 years. Now he is quitting do to do something he loves more, and that he has been doing for most of his career, work on his solo material.
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/frusciante_officially_leaves_the_red_hot_chili_peppers.html

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 21st, 2009, 1:55 am 
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G-Core wrote:
I know this ain't exactly 42317's cup of tea when it comes to news, but i'm pretty sure most of you have heard about this by now...

I sincerely hope she's in a better place.

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/brittany-murp ... 2/32963?nc

I've only just heard about this. It's a sad, shocking story. Shocking, because of how out of the blue Murphy's death is.

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 24th, 2009, 11:34 am 
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G-Core wrote:
I know this ain't exactly 42317's cup of tea when it comes to news, but i'm pretty sure most of you have heard about this by now...
http://omg.yahoo.com/news/brittany-murp ... 2/32963?nc

I don't even know who that is.
Or rather: I didn't know who that is until my girlfriend told me...

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 24th, 2009, 4:59 pm 
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42317 wrote:
G-Core wrote:
I know this ain't exactly 42317's cup of tea when it comes to news, but i'm pretty sure most of you have heard about this by now...
http://omg.yahoo.com/news/brittany-murp ... 2/32963?nc

I don't even know who that is.
Or rather: I didn't know who that is until my girlfriend told me...

I wasn't terribly familiar with her stuff myself. She was in Girl, Interrupted, which has won a few awards, including an Oscar. That's the only movie of hers that comes to mind, for me; from time to time I'd hear about her, but none of it is truly memorable for me. She was also in Clueless, 8 Mile and Sin City as well, going by her imdb page.

Still...both sad and strange come to mind about her passing.

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 24th, 2009, 5:59 pm 
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The two movies in particular that i have watched and am a vivid fan of her work are 8 Mile and Just Married.

When Ashton sent in his condolences, i was particularly happy that he addressed her because even though he's with Demi now, it more or less implied that he never forgot Brittany and the relationship they shared together. :D Even Brittany's widow husband was really grateful about Ashton's words. :)

Many more Hollywood celebrities who knew her for a long time or even for only a moment have also sent in their words of comfort to her loved ones.


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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: December 26th, 2009, 3:33 pm 
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I remember her well in her roles...especially 8 Mile and Sin City...so it was a surprise since she was still so young...2009 has to hurry and finish...it's killing all the famous people :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: January 14th, 2010, 8:25 am 
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From the official Google blog:

A new approach to China
1/12/2010 03:00:00 PM
Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different.

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses--including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors--have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users' computers.

We have already used information gained from this attack to make infrastructure and architectural improvements that enhance security for Google and for our users. In terms of individual users, we would advise people to deploy reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on their computers, to install patches for their operating systems and to update their web browsers. Always be cautious when clicking on links appearing in instant messages and emails, or when asked to share personal information like passwords online. You can read more here about our cyber-security recommendations. People wanting to learn more about these kinds of attacks can read this Report to Congress (PDF) by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (see p. 163-), as well as a related analysis (PDF) prepared for the Commission, Nart Villeneuve's blog and this presentation on the GhostNet spying incident.

We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech. In the last two decades, China's economic reform programs and its citizens' entrepreneurial flair have lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty. Indeed, this great nation is at the heart of much economic progress and development in the world today.

We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that "we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China."

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.


--- end of text ---

News services call this "Google threatens to withdraw from China". But inhowfar is this a threat, i.e. is there potentially severe damage to the threatened? There are other service providers than Google and I guess that a lot of them will be all to happy to take over Google's market share. In other words, the data and information transfer will be getting done by someone else, the Chinese government says "so what?", and the only real economic loss will be Google's. They will think twice before pulling out of China's large and growing market, but of course there's still a slight chance they'll leave as a form of protest. But only if the businessmen running Google have a real set of ethics, as mentioned in the text, and not just financial objectives veiled by moralistic smooth-talk.

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: January 19th, 2010, 2:11 pm 
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Google is not your stereotypical RuthlessAndCruel, Co. I mean, they've been in trouble sometimes for things like those, even opposing other big businesses. Their company motto itself is "Don't be evil", and the Chinese government is the closest thing to Evil itself that there is at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: January 19th, 2010, 3:16 pm 
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Libertista wrote:
Google is not your stereotypical RuthlessAndCruel, Co.

Google is a multi-billion Dollar business based on selling information, and Google's behavior as to how to collect as much data as possible from their clients and using it for commercial purposes does not quite help to place Google high on the list of my personal most wanted future employers.

Haha, but who am I to talk... I'm the one who's actually about to apply for a job (civilian administration) in the US Air Force, of all things! Bomb, bomb, kaboom!
Well, at least they're not feeding businesses with data to get me more individual advertising. :sweat:

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: February 5th, 2010, 12:23 pm 
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The death of Ted Kennedy and the election of his successor has left German media and journalists rather stupefied.
Fact is that the Democrats have dropped from 60 seats to 59 seats, thus they have lost the strategic 60 % majority which they need to stop filibusters - right? Surely a bad thing for president Obama, but German news got it totally wrong.
Many a newspaper claimed that the Democrats had lost their majority in the Senate, or at least the absolute majority - which is, of course, not true. Also many don't seem to realize the difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate, so they've come up with comparisons to the Clinton era by stating the US president could now be outvoted in every matter...

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 Post subject: Re: The official NEWS Thread
PostPosted: February 7th, 2010, 12:00 pm 
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Today is presidential elections-day here in Costa Rica.
There will be some really interesting games that I'd like to follow as well:
Chelsea - Arsenal in the morning, just a couple of hours away and later this evening the SuperBowl!!

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