Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slate Magazine - Editorial and Political Cartoons, Comic Strips

Slate Magazine - Editorial and Political Cartoons, Comic Strips
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Slate Magazine - Editorial and Political Cartoons, Comic Strips

Slate Magazine - Editorial and Political Cartoons, Comic Strips
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Bogus trend story of the week: "Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe." - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine

When hunting bogus trend stories, the experienced tracker rarely needs to look beyond Page One to bag his prey. Early this week, the Washington Post lofted onto its front page a doozy of a bogus trend story titled "Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe."
Bogus trend story of the week: "Climate Fears Are Driving 'Ecomigration' Across Globe." - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine
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Bobby Jindal's Republican Response | The Daily Show | Comedy Central



Bobby Jindal's Republican Response | The Daily Show | Comedy Central
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TNRtv: Chait Goes Full Santelli



TNRtv: Chait Goes Full Santelli

Doonesbury@Slate - Daily Dose

Doonesbury@Slate - Daily Dose
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Friday, February 27, 2009

India's Economy Suffers



India's economy grew by less than expected in the last three months of 2008, official figures have shown.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.3%, compared with 7.6% in the previous three months and 8.9% in the same period a year earlier.

Agriculture, which makes up about a fifth of the economy was one of the sectors to see growth fall.

The global recession has cut demand for exports, and economists are calling for further measures to boost growth.

These have included a clamour for further interest rate cuts.

The data saw India's main stock exchange index, the Sensex fall by 2% on Friday.

Net rooms boom with Japan’s jobless



TOKYO, Japan — As a reporter, I often meet someone whose story stays with me long after the interview is over and I’ve filed my story. Such was the case of my interview with Hidefumi Ito, a 54-year-old unemployed man whom I met six months ago.

Ito had agreed to do an interview from his “net room,” a rental room the size of a closet. The room costs the equivalent of US $20 for 24 hours and has two essential job seeking items: a computer and internet hook-up.

The space was so small that Ito and I sat cross-legged in the room, taking up the whole area. My cameraman had to open the door and shoot into the room. What struck me at first is that all of Ito’s possessions — just a few items of clothing - filled the room. Then he began to share his story.

Often talking through choked tears, Ito spoke candidly and at length, describing how his upper-class life had slipped away so quickly. He was an art gallery director, selling high-priced items to the richest people in the world. The economic recession quickly killed the business and his job. Ito lived in a five-bedroom house and owned two cars, an incredible level of financial wealth in space-starved Japan. He lost his home in months to bankruptcy. Disgraced, his wife divorced him and now his three children won’t speak to him, Ito says.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leo Hickman: The truth about recycling | Environment | The Guardian

Recycling as much of our waste as possible is still the goal, says Andrews, but we must accept that some of it will need to be either incinerated or landfilled. But the wider, as yet unanswered, question is what happens when incinerating waste is seen to be more convenient than going to the cost and bother of recycling it?
Leo Hickman: The truth about recycling | Environment | The Guardian
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brown flies to meet President Obama for economy crisis talks - World Politics, World - The Independent

[Soros'] words are stronger than his previous statements: at Davos a month ago, he said the financial system was merely “dysfunctional”. He now compares the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union and added: “There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.” Another speaker, Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Fed and now adviser to President Obama, said that, while he felt capitalism would survive, “I’m not so sure about financial capitalism”.
Brown flies to meet President Obama for economy crisis talks - World Politics, World - The Independent
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After squalls in the Caribbean, Sarkozy faces a storm at home | World news | The Observer

For Denis Muzet, a media and public opinion analyst in Paris, all Sarkozy's talk of "reform", the very slogans that got him elected, now scares people. "Even in September, when he spoke of accelerating reforms, it was only the left who worried. When he says it now, everyone is worried," said Muzet.
After squalls in the Caribbean, Sarkozy faces a storm at home | World news | The Observer
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Shit hits the fan, Soros is gloomy



If you think he looks grumpy and worried, wait till you read what he has to say.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.

Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.

"We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

His comments echoed those made earlier at the same conference by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who is now a top adviser to President Barack Obama.

Volcker said industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain.

"I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world," Volcker said.

(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Juan Lagorio; Editing by Gary Hill)

Intercultural Information Flows Through Trends in Global Audiovisual Trade

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this paper is to review and reevaluate the concept of cultural-linguistic contraflow as it relates to global media trade, taking into account the work of Straubhaar, Robertson, Appadurai, Sinclair, and others, as well recent global developments, and especially the vast increase in global media trade since the end of the Cold War. The purpose is to gain a fuller understanding of the emerging global system of information flow and trade in broadcast materials. Case studies involving a number of bilateral and multilateral media trading relationships are re-examined. This examination provides support for Straubhaar’s asymmetrical interdependence thesis, within the context of a developing bifurcation in global cultural interchange between the "global popular" in movie production and "glocalization" in television production.
Global Media Journal

Intro to Linux interfaces



KDE

KDE is a very nice Windows interface for Linux. It is perhaps the most popular used in many distros. Some people, including myself, feel the KDE interface is too technical and cold. Here is KDE with Open SUSE Linux.



Gnome

Because of the "coldness" of KNE Gnome had become popular. Here is the standard GNOME with Ubuntu Linux.



VMWare

If any tool can be said to be a must have it is virtual technology including VMWare server, seen above, and Virtual PC 2007 from Microsoft. Virtual tools expand the amount of things you can do on your computer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Opinion - The Independent

Opinion - The Independent
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Monkey and racism

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuba Sahaab refuses to be silent

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Tuba Sahaab looks nothing like a warrior. She is a slight girl of 11, living in a simple home in a suburb of Islamabad. But in Tuba's case, looks are deceiving.

With her pen, Tuba is taking on the swords of the Taliban. She crafts poems telling of the pain and suffering of children just like her; girls banned from school, their books burned, as the hard-core Islamic militants spread their reign of terror across parts of Pakistan.

A stanza of one of her poems reads: "Tiny drops of tears, their faces like angels, Washed with blood, they sleep forever with anger."

...

And Tuba has an inspiration: U.S. President Barack Obama.

She prayed for his elections, she says. She sees in him the hope of peace in her own country. Tuba Sahaab has a dream to meet her hero. She can hardly contain her excitement.

"I want to go the White Palace and show him my poems, show him what is happening and ask him to come to Pakistan and control it because he is a super power."

Confessions of a Guantanamo guard - Americas, World - The Independent

Confessions of a Guantanamo guard - Americas, World - The Independent
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus "Package"

Won't Anyone Help Octo-Mom?

Last week, Suleman's Los Angeles-based public relations consultants severed ties with her, citing an unmanageable maelstrom of angry letters, e-mails, "endless weird phone calls" and even death threats, according to Mike Furtney who, along with his wife and partner, Joann Killeen, run the Killeen Furtney Group.

The Ambassador Agency, just outside Nashville, bills itself as the nation's oldest Christian talent agency. It has worked with personalities such as Rick Warren, the popular author and pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest.

Suleman, who is unemployed and unmarried, grew up an only child and has said that her life's desire was to be a mother.


Won't Anyone Help Octo-Mom?

California, however, is stuck.

From the election of Ronald Reagan in 1966 through the next three decades, California has been the birthplace of all sorts of political and ideological trends: from Reagan conservatism to the property tax revolt, and the affirmative action backlash to immigration turmoil. Now, it could very well go bankrupt.

And ironically enough, it's another actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger -- far more successful in his cinematic career than Reagan was -- who is ushering the Golden State out of its Golden Age.

With legislators practically sequestered in the Sacramento Capitol trying to close a $42 billion budget gap, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the story is that the state's portion of the stimulus package will barely make a dent in the state's fiscal misfortunes. California expects to get about $26 billion from the federal bill. Even assuming the state could use all of it to cover the current gap -- which it can't -- that would still leave a $16 billion hole.

By comparison, New York's budget gap for the coming fiscal year (which starts April 1) is $14 billion; it's share of the stimulus is $25 billion (and the state is already carving out creative ways to use the stimulus to help offset other planned budget cuts).

California, however, is stuck.

As the crisis drags on, the state is preparing to lay off as many as 20,000 workers today. Schwarzenegger , like Obama in Washington, is trying to convince stray Republicans in both Democrat-controlled chambers to agree to a $14 billion tax hike. That's a lot more difficult to do on the state-level than it is on the federal level given that state law requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate and Assembly to raise taxes. Republicans, chafing for years under the Democratic majority, aren't budging.

David Mills guilty of taking bribe linked to Silvio Berlusconi trials | Politics | guardian.co.uk

David Mills guilty of taking bribe linked to Silvio Berlusconi trials | Politics | guardian.co.uk
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Republicans try to block Guantánamo detainees from prisons in their districts | World news | guardian.co.uk

Republicans try to block Guantánamo detainees from prisons in their districts | World news | guardian.co.uk
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BBC NEWS | Technology | Pirate Bay joy at charge change

Half of the charges levelled at the founders of the Pirate Bay file-sharing site have been dropped.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Pirate Bay joy at charge change
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Happy Birthday you crazy evil little fucker



Perhaps the most evil living leader Kim Jong II of North Korea "celebrates" another year of living off the misery of his poor people.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A 'fraud' bigger than Madoff - Americas, World - The Independent

In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff's notorious Ponzi scheme.
A 'fraud' bigger than Madoff - Americas, World - The Independent
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The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming | Environment | The Guardian

The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming | Environment | The Guardian
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James Daley: 'Facts suggest that letting bikers sidle up alongside cyclists in bus lanes is a recipe for disaster' - Green Living, Environment - The Independent

For more than a month now, cyclists in London have been forced to share most of the city's major bus lanes with motorcyclists – the bright idea of Mayor Boris Johnson who, in spite of his self-professed love of bicycles, seems to be doing everything he can to make life more difficult for those of us who share his alleged passion.
James Daley: 'Facts suggest that letting bikers sidle up alongside cyclists in bus lanes is a recipe for disaster' - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
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Blame Brown: Revenge of the whistleblower - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

HBOS whistleblower Paul Moore is not the only one to argue that Mr Brown's contribution to the crisis goes back much further. As Chancellor, he presided over a weakened banking regulation structure – of his own design, in defiance of strong expert dissent at the time – and excessive consumer credit, critics say.
Blame Brown: Revenge of the whistleblower - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
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Op-Ed Columnist - They Sure Showed That Obama - NYTimes.com

This G.O.P., a largely white Southern male party with talking points instead of ideas and talking heads instead of leaders, is not unlike those “zombie banks” that we’re being asked to bail out. It is in too much denial to acknowledge its own insolvency and toxic assets. Given the mess the country is in, it would be helpful to have an adult opposition that could pull its weight, but that’s not the hand America has been dealt.
Op-Ed Columnist - They Sure Showed That Obama - NYTimes.com
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Rapelay virtual rape game banned by Amazon - Telegraph

Rapelay virtual rape game banned by Amazon - Telegraph

Withdrawn from sale: Amazon.com has stopped selling RapeLay, in which players have to stalk and rape a family of women
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1234567890 Day | Gaming and Culture - CNET News

It's won't be the epochalypse of 2038, but 3:31 p.m. PST on Friday offers a moment notable enough for some Unix fans to raise a toast.
Time for Unix nerds to celebrate 1234567890 Day | Gaming and Culture - CNET News

That's when Unix computer clocks will reach the time of 1234567890--1.2 billion seconds elapsed from January 1, 1970, the official beginning of the Unix epoch. The clock is used not just by Unix, but also by Linux, Java, JavaScript, Mac OS X, and various other technologies.

Various Web sites exist to help mark the occasion. Cool Epoch Countdown, which actually counts up, is the first I saw. 1234567890 Day helpfully includes links to a few parties to honor the occasion.

I'm amused by arbitrary milestones whose significance stems from the mathematical consequences of humans' 10 fingers. At least birthdays are anchored to physical reality--the actual revolution of Earth around the Sun--but when your car odometer passes 100,000 miles, it's only significant psychologically and perhaps in relation to your warranty. All the digits neatly in ascending order on a Unix clock is particularly silly given that the computers marking 1234567890 Day aren't even counting in base 10.

But hey, there's nothing wrong with a good excuse for a party, so you won't hear any complaints from me.

Just so long as those Unix sysadmins get back to work and patch things up so the computer world doesn't grind to a halt in 2038, when today's clocks would run out of positive 32-bit integers.

(Via The Register)

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Nepal poet finds love in detention center - Life- msnbc.com

Nepal poet finds love in detention center - Life- msnbc.com

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Pradeep Thapa bounded off the plane clutching his seven books and his journalistic credentials, his heart filled with anticipation and pride.

So when immigration officers at Newark Liberty International Airport refused Thapa entry, slapped him in handcuffs and shackles and locked him in a prison-like building with 300 other immigrants, he assumed it was all a huge mistake.

This was Thapa's third visit to America and the 31-year-old Nepalese poet had won wide acclaim for his writings about his country's politics and culture. His passport and visa were in order. He hadn't committed any crime. He had friends and a place to stay.


If anything, Thapa submitted to handcuffs and donned the drab gray prison uniform with a swelling sense of pride. So this was the other face of America, he thought, where they imprison writers just like authorities did during the civil war in Nepal. He figured he would be released soon enough and then he would write about his experience. What were a few nights behind bars for the biggest scoop of his life?

Weeks turned into months
But as nights turned into weeks and weeks into months, the loneliness, monotony and monstrous sense of injustice began to wear the poet down. Immigration officials accused him of violating his visitor visa by planning to sell his books — something Thapa says never crossed his mind. And so he waited for his case to be decided, pining for his family, his books, for fresh air — to be addressed by his own name, not just his bunk number.

It was as if he didn't exist, Thapa thought, as if all his accomplishments did not exist.

And then, after seven months of imprisonment, he began to exist like never before.

A woman walked into his life. She had short white hair and soft white skin and blue eyes that sparkled with intelligence and mirth. She wore colorful skirts and blouses and jewelry. She brought bouquets of roses from her garden. She laughed and she sang and her joyful presence lit up the cold, sterile visitors room, where a grimy glass partition separates the imprisoned from the free and the only communication between the two is by phone.

Though he couldn't smell her flowers or touch her hand, though cameras bored down from every corner recording every movement, though their conversations were monitored by guards, the prisoner poet and his unlikely visitor fell deeply, impossibly in love.

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McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/12/2009 | Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a speech in Detroit Thursday, tried to put a brave face on the tough year ahead. Thomas Donohue acknowledged that big business didn't get in the stimulus bill some of the tax-relief measures it most wanted, but promised the Chamber's support.
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 02/12/2009 | Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

"The bottom line is that at the end of the day, we're going to support the legislation. Why? Because with the markets functioning so poorly, the government is the only game in town capable of jump-starting the economy," Donohue said.
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F(acebook) off: Dumping lovers via social network | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

In the run-up to love's greatest feast, Valentine's Day, it is refreshing to hear that lovers are learning new ways to communicate with each other.
F(acebook) off: Dumping lovers via social network | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

According to a poll, 48 percent of those under 21 took the bold and enlightened step of jettisoning an inadequate partner on a social-networking site.

What could be more meaningful than sharing your rejection of someone you might have once loved with up to 5,000 of your closest friends? Truly, this is another step toward bringing people together as one, in perfect lasting harmony.

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Virtual reality can improve memory

Virtual reality can improve memory
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Intel czar: Economy is top threat to U.S. - Security- msnbc.com

WASHINGTON - The economic crisis has trumped bullets and bombs in the intelligence agencies' latest assessment of threats to the United States
Intel czar: Economy is top threat to U.S. - Security- msnbc.com

That shift is a reflection of the depth of the unfolding recession, but also of the progress made in the war against terrorists and the Obama administration's more expansive definition of national security.

Sounding more like an economist than the war-fighting Navy commander he once was, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Senate panel Thursday that if the crisis lasts more than two years, it could cause some nations' governments to collapse.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Microsoft to tweak Windows 7 settings | Beyond Binary - CNET News

In a reversal, Microsoft said on Thursday that it will make changes to the way a controversial security feature works in Windows 7.
Microsoft to tweak Windows 7 settings | Beyond Binary - CNET News


After getting lots of feedback that Windows Vista too often prompted users to approve changes, Microsoft had decided in Windows 7 to prompt users less frequently. However, in recent days, some enthusiasts and security experts warned that the specific changes Microsoft planned to make with Windows 7 could put users at risk.

Microsoft initially downplayed the risks and defended its choices around the User Account Control feature. On Thursday, though, the company's two top Windows engineers said the company will make some modifications in response to the outcry.

Microsoft won't change the default setting--which is to notify users only when a program is making changes to their system--it will add an exception when changes are being made to the UAC itself. Starting with the upcoming "release candidate" version of Windows 7, changes to the UAC settings will require user approval, senior vice presidents Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky said in a blog posting.

"With this feedback and a lot more we are going to deliver two changes to the Release Candidate that we'll all see," the pair wrote. "First, the UAC control panel will run in a high integrity process, which requires elevation. That was already in the works before this discussion...Second, changing the level of the UAC will also prompt for confirmation."

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AMD's new Phenom II chips take on Intel | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News

AMD's new Phenom II chips take on Intel | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News


The triple-core Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor is priced at $145, which AMD compares to Intel's Core 2 Duo (dual-core) E8400 processor, priced at $165. The quad-core X4 810 processor (2.6GHz) is priced at $175 versus the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor (2.33GHz), priced at $170.

The Phenom II processors fit in either AM2+ or AM3 sockets and support DDR2 or next generation DDR3 memory technology.

Models include:

  • AMD Phenom II X4 910 - (2.6GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 810 - (2.6GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 805 - (2.5GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition - (2.8GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X3 710 - (2.6GHz)

The processors are available immediately, AMD said.

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GE Smart Grid Augemented Reality

Augmented Reality Demo from GE
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Facebook | Tom Tomorrow's Photos - Tom Tomorrow Photos


This is from a pretty left-wing cartoonist, someone who would most definitely have been branded un-american by the previous administration and its party. The irony that he actually witnessed this happening outside his home would of course have been lost.

Seeing this brought me back to the way it felt that day to watch the whole event, in his case in person, in mine on television from half a world away. The shock and horror of the thing, the unbelievable sadness, seems worlds away now. That is because so many horrible things have happened since that 9/11 has become just one in a long sequence of horrors: Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Katrina, the meltdown of the global economy, I can't even remember them all.

Most of all, though, Iraq. The United States, led by the Bush administration, acted so disgracefully that it managed to lose most of the world's sympathy for the attack. Bin Laden, who may or may not have actually been involved but lost little time taking credit, claimed the United States was purely and simply a perpetrator of evil. Even those of us who felt the country often did terrible misguided and even evil things were taken aback. Yes, we thought, a doer of evil deeds at times, but also a great nation, one that had stood for justice and human rights repeatedly in its history, one which, whatever inequity and injustice remained within its own boundaries, had still done a remarkable job of providing for a huge percentage of its own people.

With Iraq and the bullying, weak way in which the United States carried it out, the country seemed to confirm the worst statements of its attackers. It was hard not to feel a powerful shame as I watched Colin Powell in the United Nations and found myself praying that somehow Dominique de Villepin would prevail, that the country of my birth would be defeated however ingloriously in this debate, that the French, for god's sakes, would carry the day.

The truth is, the United States failed long before its wicked response to 9/11, long before 9/11 even happened. George Bush was the manifestation of that failure: of the immaturity of those on the left who became convinced in 2000 that there was no difference between Al Gore and Bush and therefore voted for Ralph Nader; of the fear and racism of the many southern whites who turned to the GOP not because they suddenly stopped liking government benefits but because they didn't want government benefits to go to those people and who turned to the GOP in growing numbers after the democrats passed the Civil Rights Act; to the mass of people who, confronted with the situation would surely know better but who were too busy gorging themselves with their credit cards to care one way or the other; and to all of us who built a society in which a small number of people get the lion's share of wealth while the rest, richer to be sure than much of the rest of the world -- not that that's saying much -- have to work so hard to make ends meet that they couldn't possibly keep up with politics even if they wanted to.

Perhaps Obama is right after all not to pursue Bush officials. If you try to indict everyone involved, sooner or later damn near all of us will have to go to prison. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone. Still, it'd be awfully nice to get a good crack at Rumsfeld. I'd love to wipe the smirk right off his face.
Facebook | Tom Tomorrow's Photos - Tom Tomorrow Photos
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Friday, February 06, 2009

eightbar » Blog Archive » Augmented reality anywhere from MIT

Thankyou to AnnieOk for pointing me towards the video and articles here on the MIT Fluid interfaces that got such a good reception at TED 2009. This is brilliant work. You have to see this and go to wired to read the rest of the article.
eightbar » Blog Archive » Augmented reality anywhere from MIT
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Gianluigi Cuccureddu, on Social Media

Gianluigi Cuccureddu,

Gianluigi Cuccureddu, Web Marketing Strategist & Tactician: “Start listening and learning right now.Social Media/participatory marketing is here to stay, start researching how your target audience behaves and how it can help your business to achieve objectives. Start now because these insights aren’t created overnight, it takes time, patience and efforts to learn.”
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Monday, February 02, 2009


BBC Reports an interesting .com story here!!!


The Woolworths brand is to be re-launched as an online retailer after being bought by Daily Telegraph owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay.

The much-loved High Street chain went into administration in November and its more than 800 stores closed a month ago after struggling with debts of £385m.

It is thought only a fraction of the former total of almost 30,000 staff will get their jobs back.

Woolworths' children's clothing label Ladybird is also to be re-born online.

And the real economic loser is? CHINA!!!!!


BBC Reports:

In China, an estimated 20 million workers from rural areas who had been working in cities have lost their jobs, according to a senior official.

A survey carried out in 15 provinces suggests about 15% of the total migrant labour pool is now unemployed.

There are fears that if large numbers of workers cannot find jobs, that could lead to social unrest.

The Chinese government researchers visited 165 villages across the country to try to build an accurate picture.

They were looking at how the economic malaise here is spreading.

The data they collected suggests the number of migrant workers now unemployed is 20 million - far higher than had been announced previously.