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The US has released the al-Qaeda application form for digital reading

Alongside asking for the name of your grandfather and what occupation your father holds, al-Qaeda's application form is a quite extensive piece of writing as seen on Vox and released by the US Government recently as it has now been declassified.

 

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This form was found as part of Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad and is now available for public reading. Alongside in-depth religious questions, the applicant is asked about previous military experience, personal hobbies and investigations on if the prospective al-Qaeda employee has any relations to Pakistan.

 

Written quite well, it's certainly an interesting insight into what helps back al-Qaeda. It may look basic to you on the news, but there is some form of administration that must keep the whole thing afloat and this form helps portray that. Another interesting point is that it asks the applicant if they "wish to execute a suicide operation".

Continue reading 'The US has released the al-Qaeda application form for digital reading' (full post)

Kim Jong-un makes another claimed glorious achievement

If you're wondering what the North Korean leader has been up to lately, state-run media recently claimed yet another glorious achievement to add to the catalog alongside the leaders achievements including learning how to drive a car at three years old and assisting in landing a pilot on the sun.

 

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The photo and accompanying news report alleges that Kim Jong-un has climbed North Korea's highest mountain, Mt. Paektu, accompanied by hundreds of smiling North Korean fighter pilots.

 

It all looks pretty normal at first, but South Korean news reports have pointed out one photo in particular as a little odd (seen above). If you take a look a the smiling comrades in the rear it seems they're sitting perched atop a rock for comfort - however, upon closer inspection you'll notice clear air between their legs - so what are they sitting on?

Continue reading 'Kim Jong-un makes another claimed glorious achievement' (full post)

ADATA changes up its marketing plan, sponsors racing driver

In a plight to move more into the 'mainstream' market, ADATA has just announced its sponsorship of French car racing team Auto Sport Academy through a recent press release.

 

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Focusing on a driver by the name of Michael Benyahia, ADATA is helping this team complete its dream of winning the Formula 4 racing championship. We've seen a few technology brand sponsoring 'mainstream' sports like Intel and Samsung, but this is one of the first times we've seen a component manufacturer make the move into a public space.

 

Good idea or waste of marketing budget? You decide.

Continue reading 'ADATA changes up its marketing plan, sponsors racing driver' (full post)

Statues of Assange, Snowden and Manning unveiled in Berlin

Depending on which part of the political spectrum you hail from, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are either dangerous leakers, or freedom fighting whistleblowers, but either way, the trip have been commemorated in a art project which has been unveiled in Germany, according to a report published by RT News.

 

 

The work of Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, the installation 'Anything to Say?' encourages members of the public to join the trio on the empty chair situated next to them, telling media that "the fourth chair is open to anyone here in Berlin who wants to get up and say anything they want. This chair is, I guess, a place of free speech".

 

Meanwhile, last month in the US, a bust of Edward Snowden was placed in New York's Fort Greene park, but removed within hours by parks department officials.

Continue reading 'Statues of Assange, Snowden and Manning unveiled in Berlin' (full post)

Google exec amongst thousands killed in Nepal quake

The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude quake which struck Nepal on Saturday, leveling towns and triggering avalanches on Mount Everest, has tragically risen to nearly 3,200. The disaster has also claimed the life of Dan Fredinburg, an adventurous Google executive who headed the privacy division for Google X along with its product management team, who was scaling Everest at the time the quake hit.

 

 

Described as the worst quake to hit the region in 80 years, with widespread damage and injuries - even causing deaths in neighboring China and India, mainly from falling debris.

 

Google's Crisis Response team has moved fast to institute the 'Google People Finder' page, to get word on the safety of thousands of people still missing in the region, as well as proving $1 million in much needed aid.

Continue reading 'Google exec amongst thousands killed in Nepal quake' (full post)

Tech giants front Australia Senate tax avoidance inquiry

The Australian Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance continues this week, and today will welcome tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google to expand on their previously supplied written submissions and grilling by the six Senate Standing Committees on Economics members.

 

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In 2013, Google paid just $7.1m AUD in corporate tax on revenues of $358 million, while Apple paid $80 million to government on $6b in revenue. Both companies remain adamant that they fully comply with all Federal tax obligations in their written submissions which can be viewed here.

 

Last year, a report by the Australian Financial Review detailed Apple Corporations tax minimisation strategy, which is alleged to be responsible for funneling up to $9B in profit to the Ireland based tax haven over a number of years.

Crowdfund campaign aims to save endangered Aussie parrot species

One of the more recent offshoots of e-commerce, crowdfunding campaigns have willed some excellent products to existence thanks to the web, with notable success stories including the Pebble Smartwatch, Oculus Rift and Ouya. Now, a philanthropic campaign has been launched to save the future of a incredibly endangered Australian parrot species.

 

 

Scientists and conservationists from The Australian National University have launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform Pozible to save the swift parrot from extinction. With less than 1000 breeding pairs in the wild in the Australian island state Tasmania (yes - the same place made famous for the Tasmanian Devil), it's incredibly important to rescue the species before they become extinct, thanks to threats posed by the natural and developing world. The campaign aims to raise $40,000 AUD to trial a range of breeding boxes that prevent the parrots threat, the Sugar Glider from entering.

 

The campaign is off to a good start, with over half of the target funds already raised - although more is still needed. The campaign will be supported by us here at TweakTown.

Continue reading 'Crowdfund campaign aims to save endangered Aussie parrot species' (full post)

HP Australia 500 million AUD in the red over three years

Reporting almost half a billion dollars (AUD) in losses over the past three years, iTnews has told us that "with its latest financial results revealing the company does not expect things to look up any time soon."

 

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With a $152 million AU loss in its 2014 financial year ending October 2014, this follows a greater $270 million loss in fiscal 2013 and a $58 million loss in 2012. If you're wondering if things were ever looking up for HP, they did post a $134 million profit in 2011 - but this has now all been blown away.

 

After writing off $161 million in deferred tax assets in 2014, they were hit with a $165.9 million tax bill. As explained to us, a company will generally undergo this process when they don't expect to make a profit in the next few years.

 

Looking on the brighter side of things, their revenue did grow slightly to $3.6 billion in fiscal 2013 from $3.3 billion posted previously, however, their costs were raised from $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion - reportedly due to increased cost of inventory.

Continue reading 'HP Australia 500 million AUD in the red over three years' (full post)

Hewlett Packard is securing Wi-Fi network device maker Aruba Networks

Hewlett Packard (HP) is about to spend $2.7 billion on an acquisition of Wi-Fi specialist company Aruba networks, reportedly "in an effort to help boost its share in the wireless local area network market" as claimed by iTNews.

 

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In a bid to catch up to Cisco Systems, HP is hoping this purchase will bring them a little closer and help them with the development of bring your own device (BYOD) structures worldwide. This market is expected to grow by 40 percent to $13 billion by 2019 as according to Dell'Oro Group and HP wants a larger portion of this to be theirs.

 

Aruba currently services large-scale clients such as California State University and the Dalian Wanda Group, who are responsible for controlling China's largest property developer and cinema chain.

Nutella creator Michele Ferrero passes away

Nutella addicts, put down your chocolaty spread for a moment and tip your hat to the creator of the delectable treat, Michele Ferrero, who has passed away at the ripe old age of 89.

 

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Ferrero's father Pietro Ferrero established the company that carried his name in 1946, Pietro Ferrero created the recipe for a creamy hazelnut and cocoa mix which was later tweaked and sold to market as Nutella when it was launched by Michele Ferrero in 1964. Since then, it's gone on to be the highest selling chocolate nut spread, beloved by millions. Under Michele's leadership Ferrero expanded its range of products exponentially, including Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello, Mon Chéri and the Kinder chocolate line, including the egg-favorite Kinder Surprise.

 

At the time of his death, Ferrero was the richest man in Italy, with a net worth of $30 billion.

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