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Current Affairs Posts - Page 6

Ellen breaks Twitter records at the Oscars thanks to celebrities

Ellen broke Twitter during the Oscars, thanks to a celebrity-filled selfie that she took at the event itself. Ellen's post to Twitter broke the social network temporarily, where history was made for Twitter.

 

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Shortly after Twitter went down, DeGeneres said: "We got an email from Twitter and we crashed and broke Twitter. We have made history". Bradley Cooper, star of American Hustle, took the picture, which was posted up to Ellen's Twitter account. He took the picture using the front-facing camera on a Samsung smartphone.

 

You can see a number of celebrities in the shot, including Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and more. The selfie saw an amazing, record-breaking 3 million re-tweets. The previous record was from US President Barack Obama, with his "Four More Years" re-election victory shot. Obama saw over 780,000 re-tweets, but now DeGeneres' re-tweet has blown that out of the water.

Bill Gates is once again the richest man in the world says Forbes

Forbes has just released its annual report that list the richest people in the world. If everyone is accounted for, the list shows that there are 1,565 people on Earth with a net-worth of $1 billion or more, with the entirety of the list totaling $6.4 trillion. In 2011, The Atlantic reported that the combined wealth of the world was a staggering $200 trillion, meaning that this list from Forbes accounts for about 3.2-percent of the entire world's wealth.

 

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Microsoft's founder and worldwide philanthropist Bill Gates has returned to the top of the list with more than $76 billion in net-worth, while Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison round out the top five.Michael Bloomberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg make up numbers 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21. Carl Icahn, Steve Ballmer, Phil Knight, and Michael Dell made the top 50 with more than $17.5 billion each.

 

It's been four years since Bill Gates was last listed as the richest man in the world, and when you consider that he has already given away more than $28 billion through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the staggering amount of wealth Gates has earned in his life is simply mind boggling. To put that into perspective, it would take someone who earns $25 per hour about 1,120,000,000 hours or 46,635,685 days, or 10,647 months, or 127,769 years of hard work before they would even earn the amount of money Bill Gates has given away.

Keurig will use DRM in new coffee machines to stave off refill market

Keurig's single cup coffee system is one of the hottest trends in both the home and office today, and as a result hundreds of third-party K-Cup refill brands have popped up all over the US and Canada. Much like the inkjet printer market or even gaming consoles, the profit is not in the main system, but is in the refills of coffee, ink, or game licenses. With refill competitors offering refills that are cheaper by up to 25-percent Keurig is not making as much money as it would like.

 

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It appears that Keurig is looking to remedy this problem in a similar way that the software industry has attempted to thwart off piracy. In official documentation from an on-going lawsuit between TreeHouse Foods and Keurig, the plaintiff (TreeHouse Foods) says that Keurig is working on a DRM system that would only allow its K-Cups and officially licensed refills to work with the system. While no information was given on exactly how this DRM system will work, I expect that it will be RFID tag based.

 

During its quarterly earnings call, Keurig's CEO confirmed that it was working on a system that will not work with unlicensed refill cups, and that the next generation of coffee machines from the company will be "game-changing." Industry analyst suggest that the Keurig 2.0 will launch this fall, and that if a DRM system is introduced customers can expect a rise in price for both the machines and the "official refills." What do you think about this? Is Keurig shooting themselves in the foot, or will officially licensed refill cups make you more apt to buy a Keurig?

Google's Barge is moving from San Francisco to Stockton

The mysterious Google Barge is moving, from its position in the San Francisco Bay, to Stockton, California. Google has been in trouble with local authorities, so it is now moving the floating (future) showroom.

 

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The company had a 35-day window to move its Barge, after the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission gave the company a little over a month to get it settled. Without a permit, Google could face charges of up to $30,000. Google still decided, even with near limitless funds behind it, to move its Barge.

 

The vessel should be making a move sometime next week, but let's hope that we hear more about what is going on inside of it soon.

Couple from California discovers $10M in lost gold coins in back yard

Have you ever dreamed of stumbling across a pile of buried treasure and striking it rich? I know I have had that exact dream many times before in my 30 years on planet earth. For one California couple, that dream became a reality recently when hiking with their dog on the couples property in Sierra Nevada. While walking their dog, the couple basically tripped over several tin cans filled with more than 1,400 rare, mint condition gold coins dating between 1847 to 1894.

 

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The coins are all in super-rare uncirculated, mint condition, with some of them being worth up to $1 million each. Their total weight in gold only equates to about $3k on the current market, but the fact that these coins are rare and as perfect as perfect can get makes them highly valuable to collectors world wide. The coins themselves are some of the first to be struck in California and are in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, The couple says that they will put the coins up for sale on Amazon while keeping a few of them as keepsakes, and will use the money to pay off their debts and donate to charity.

 

"I don't like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever," said veteran numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders. "It's like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." Before listing the coins for sale on Amazon, the couple will lend several of them to the Numismatic Association for its National Money Show, which opens tomorrow in Atlanta.

Continue reading 'Couple from California discovers $10M in lost gold coins in back yard' (full post)

Snowden's latest: NSA sets up online "Honey Traps" to capture people

The leaks just don't stop from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, with Glenn Greenwald reporting on his latest leak that US spy agencies manipulate and control online behavior in more ways than one.

 

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The NSA even goes as far as making something the GCHQ calls "Honey Traps", which leads to some very suspect behavior. This includes changing a targeted users photos on social networking sites, writing a blog purporting to be one of their victims, and then contacting their colleagues, neighbors, friends and so forth. These tactics are being used by GCHQ's previously unknown and secret JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group).

 

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This is something that the spy agencies call "false flag operations", to purposely deceive and set individuals up for the fall. Not only do the spy agencies discredit a target, but companies can be targeted, too. The work they do will leak confidential information to companies or the press through blogs and other means, post negative information on various forums, which will sometimes stop deals or even ruin business relationships.

Continue reading 'Snowden's latest: NSA sets up online "Honey Traps" to capture people' (full post)

Venezuela shuts down its Internet after protests lead to deaths

Over the past week or so, Venezuela has spiralled into chaos. Protests over the country's poor economy and food security have forced the government to not only shut down Twitter and TV in the country, but now the Internet has been completely cut off.

 

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Authorities shut down Internet access to a major city and its surrounding area, with state-run ISP, CANTV, which controls most of the country's Internet, cutting off the web to San Cristóbal, the capital city of the state of Tachira and one of the centers of the protests. During the week, the Venezuelan government restricted TV networks throughout the state, blocked parts of Twitter, Facebook, news sites, and more.

 

The riots have led to multiple deaths, with Bill Woodcock, an Internet traffic expert, talking with the Washington Post, who said that the country has "a pretty tight control over the Internet compared to other countries. Not as tight as Cuba, but probably tighter than anybody else".

Continue reading 'Venezuela shuts down its Internet after protests lead to deaths' (full post)

US Post Office approves Steve Jobs commemorative stamp for 2015

Many regard Steve Jobs as one of the biggest visionary of our generation, and given his turn-around of Apple, and the success of the iPhone, iPod and iPad lines they may be true. Today the Washington Post outed the stamp commemorative postage stamp that will honor Jobs.. Additional honorees will be Elvis Presley and James Brown, both who have had stamps in the past.

 

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In what should be a Today I Learned post on Reddit, the stamps are approved by a "Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee which is comprised of of a maximum of 15 members whose backgrounds reflect a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise. All share an interest in the stamp program and the needs of the mailing public. An excerpt about the committee duties has been posted below.

 

The primary goal of the committee is to select a good balance of subjects appealing to a broad audience for recommendation to the Postmaster General. These subjects will be contemporary, timely, relevant, interesting and educational. In addition to the Postal Service's extensive line of mail-use stamps, approximately 25 new subjects for commemorative stamps are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, including stamp collectors.

Edward Snowden asks Russia for protection, after threats from the US

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden can't catch a break, where the former NSA contractor has asked Russian law enforcement for security. The reasoning behind this is there have reportedly been threats made by US officials over Snowden's life.

 

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After threats to Snowden were made last week, Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said: "We are concerned with the situation around Edward. We see the statements made by some US officials containing potential and implicit threats and openly calling for causing him bodily harm".

 

BuzzFeed posted an article, using words from a US intelligence officer who provided a full explanation of a possible Snowden capture, where he said: "We would end it very quickly... Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it's a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower".

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden asks Russia for protection, after threats from the US' (full post)

Super Bowl XLVIII takes record for most watched live stream event

Despite being called one of the worst games in NFL history, Super Bowl XLVIII will go down in the history books as one of the most watched live-stream events in the history of the internet. This past Sunday night, an average of 528,000 people joined the stream per minute, a gain of more than 20,000 viewers over last years Super Bowl.

 

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Fox Sport's says that Super Bowl XLVIII now holds the record for the most viewed live streaming sporting event ever, and that it also saw more viewers tuning in for longer than previous live streams. On average, live stream viewers watched the stream about 25-percent longer than any previous Super Bowl. Additionally, Fox Sports says that its Sports Go app hit the number one spot for downloaded apps on iPad and iPhones during the Super Bowl. For those interested, the most viewers tuned in to the live stream around the third quarter when 1.1 million viewers watched the game simultaneously on their devices.

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