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Current Affairs Posts - Page 34

Nicki Minaj closes Twitter account to protest Web piracy

The state of internet piracy, I'm sure, is at unprecedented levels. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a single household in the United States that hasn't done some sort of copyright infringement or straight illegal music downloading. Nicki Minaj has had enough after tracks from her upcoming, unreleased album ended up online.


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So she took the protest to her fans via Twitter, or rather, the lack of her having a Twitter anymore. In silent protest, she closed her Twitter account on Sunday. "Like seriously, it's but so much a person can take," Minaj wrote Sunday on Twitter just prior to closing down her account. She told fans, "Good f---ing bye," according to multiple reports.


This whole tirade came after Minaj accused the fan site of posting some of the tracks from her upcoming album online. More and more artists are speaking out against web piracy. In her defense, studies have shown that rap music is among the most pirated genres. However, it could just be a marketing ploy since leaking copyrighted material before it reaches market is a criminal offense.

Amazon is adding CDs to its trade-in program, will exchange for gift cards

Announced today, Amazon is now accepting used audio CDs through its trade-in program. In exchange for your used and unwanted CDs you will receive Amazon Gift Cards. Amazon's current program allows old electronic gadgets, textbooks, DVDs, and games to be turned in for gift cards. The program covers shipping costs.


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The CDs are expected to be added to the program today, but it's not yet available on the Amazon website. Because of this, I am unable to say just how much money you will get for your CDs, but I can't expect it will be much. I would hope it's at least enough to get digital copies of half the tracks from the CD you sent in. More as it becomes available.

Amazon CEO leading the attempt to recover Apollo 11 rocket engines from ocean

The Saturn V rocket is, in my opinion, the most beautiful space craft ever built. Oh, it's also the most powerful man-made vehicle ever built. On it's launch for the Apollo 11 mission, several of the engines fell into the Atlantic ocean and now the CEO of Amazon wants to recover them.


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It's not clear how Mr. Bezos knows that these are indeed the engines from the Apollo 11 space mission, but any sort of artifact recovery is certainly very cool. "We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in," he wrote. "They hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see."


The objects are property of NASA, and NASA has not yet been contacted regarding this. "There has always been great interest in artifacts from the early days of space exploration and his announcement only adds to the enthusiasm of those interested in NASA's history," NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said in a statement.


The bottom of the ocean is littered with engines and other parts of space craft that fall off after lift off. So, while they may not be from the Saturn V Apollo 11 mission, they most likely are from space mission.

Google Street View takes armchair tourism to the Alps

Tourism from the seat of your own home seems to be the way of the future. From Pinterest posters posting beautiful pictures of places they would like to travel, to Google taking Street View to the Amazon rain forest. Well now, you can use Google Street View to take a ride on the famous UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina railway line.


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The imagery is available directly in Google Maps like all Street View data is, but it is also available in its only gallery located here. The image collection process for this latest edition started last year just like the Amazon project. You can see a video about how they did it below. You can also visit the newly updated Street View Gallery.

Continue reading 'Google Street View takes armchair tourism to the Alps' (full post)

Batman gets pulled over in his Batmobile, didn't have license plates

Lenny B. Robinson, or, Batman, was pulled over by police just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, because his Batmobile did not have any proper license plate. The Batmobile in question is a sexy looking black Lamborghini.


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Robinson, or Batman, was on his way to a children's hospital to bring some happiness, before the police pulled him over. Robinson had nothing but a tag with the Batman logo on it, and of course, is not legal enough to ensure police don't notice it and pull you over. Batman had the real plates in his car, which ensured he escaped the ticket. One of the officers on the scene said:


The car was registered, and the man explained that he goes to hospitals and does work with kids (while in costume).


WHY SO SERIOUS, police officers?

Chinese woman wins $10k iTunes gift card for downloading the 25th billionth App

A very lucky Chinese woman has just won Apple's contest to be the downloader of the 25th billionth (!!!) app from the App Store. The lucky woman, Fu Chunli from Qingdao won the contest by downloading the free version of Disney's 'Where's My Water?'. In return, Apple rewarded her with an iTunes gift card worth $10,000 USD.


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Apple also invited Fu to the Beijing store to collect her prize. Once she arrived, she was met by journalists and photographers, and was given a tour of the store as well as a demonstration of Apple products by the staff. Fu wasn't very familiar with most Apple products, as she only purchased herself an iPhone just a month before winning the $10k prize.


Fu was still learning the basics of the App Store, and was completely unaware of the competition until she was contacted by Apple, at first, she thought it was a hoax, until it began to sink in. The Chinese media have dubbed Fu the "Apple Girl" from China, as she is the first Chinese resident to have won an Apple contest.

Continue reading 'Chinese woman wins $10k iTunes gift card for downloading the 25th billionth App' (full post)

Did the Mexican Government know there was going to be a big earthquake on March 20th?

It was only a few days ago now that I posted that I expected a sizeable earthquake to happen on March 22, and within 48 hours of this date, a 7.9-magnitude (downgraded to 7.4) an earthquake hit Oaxaca, Mexico. Right now you're thinking, well, that's weird... but that's not even the interesting part.


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The interesting part is that the government of the state of Chiapas, had actually prepared for a massive drill of a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, for 12:00 of that day. Just 180 seconds later, an actual, real, 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit. Luckily, as far as reports go now, there have been no casualties, but what is that for a coincidence? Could we even call it a coincidence? The government of the state of Chiapas, had massively prepared for this drill, which was reportedly a reason to test the response capability of the State System of Civil Protection and General Population in the even of a large-scale disturbing phenomenon.


Then we have the El Heraldo, which reported the following on March 2nd, 2012:


As part of preparations for the next megasimulacro March 20, state authorities of Civil Protection (CP) performed exercise tests before a cabinet to simulate the response to a contingency situation, an earthquake measuring 7.9 degrees on the scale Richter.

Continue reading 'Did the Mexican Government know there was going to be a big earthquake on March 20th?' (full post)

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange will run for the Australian Senate

WikiLeaks have just announced that its founder, and leader, Julian Assange, will be running for a seat in the Australian Senate, reports the ABC. At the moment, Assange is in England head of a possible extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in 2010.


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Assange is currently on bail waiting for a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against the extradition. Although Assange is going through all of this legal drama, WikiLeaks has announced that Assange is eligible to run for the Upper House. WikiLeaks said on Twitter:


We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained.


Julian has decided to run.


The name of the Lalor candidate and the state Julian will run for will be announced at the appropriate time.


I'll vote for you, Julian.

More than 80,000 of Einstein's documents going online

Einstein, one of the foremost thinkers of his time, is having his birthday celebrated in a unique, and almost ironic way. Similar to how most people these days have a FaceBook, Einstein is having in excess of 80,000 of his documents posted online. These documents range from his public life, to his personal life, to his school life, and detail a very curious man who was concerned with the human condition.


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The newly updated and expanded site contains more than 80,000 documents. This includes more than 40,000 documents contained in Albert Einstein's personal papers and over 30,000 additional Einstein and Einstein-related documents discovered since the 1980s. As a person who idolizes the late, great physicist, I know for a fact that I will be perusing the online collection. The collection now includes manuscripts with the one of the most famous and iconic equations ever written: e=mc^2


If you would like to take a look at the documents, you can find them online here. Images of documents in the archive and related notes can be obtained by contacting the Hebrew University's Media Relations Department at Photos must be credited to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Mobile phones are more important to women than boyfriends

Sorry men, but someone had to break it to you. I'm just happy it was me. We knew it was coming, we knew someone would eventually have a study which confirmed what many of us already were thinking. No? Not sure what I'm talking about? Let's put it in simple terms: A new study shows that four out of ten women would be devastated if they lost their phone. A third of women admitted they could live happily without a man.


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As you can see in the above list, a woman's most treasured possession is her mother, followed by photographs, and then her mobile phone. Even her best friend comes in above a boyfriend. Men, we are 5th on her list, and in my opinion, I can't believe we're not farther down. I can think of several things that women seem to like more then men. Cars and shoes come to mind and they only placed 12th and 14th respectively.


This comes from a new study ran by online pawnbroker Mothers are understandable to come before a boyfriend, as blood is thicker than water as they say. The thing I find curious is that there is not a mention of a husband on the list. So either husbands aren't treasured at all, or they got grouped into the 'boyfriend' category. Either way, I'm amazed that we got outclassed by mobile phones and photos. Especially if the photos are of the girl with her boyfriend. Ironic, don't you think?

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