PATH: BS | Technology | Internet | Web Sites

User Mutiny: The Great Reddit Blackout of 2015

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There's a huge mutiny in progress over at Reddit.com. This is an Internet-first as far as I know and it'll probably be big news soon. The company fired an employee that was responsible for helping a bunch of moderators of different subs, and left them in chaos. They decided to make their part of Reddit private, and then in solidarity hundreds of other moderators joined and have been turning off parts of Reddit one-by-one since yesterday.

This is going to be very interesting... Imagine if everybody on YouTube or Facebook suddenly made all their content private? That's what's in the early stages of happening on Reddit. It will be very interesting to see how the company reacts. On one of my subs,we're having a discussion as to whether or not we'll join what they're calling the "Great Blackout of 2015"

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The Truth About Fraud And Advertising On Facebook

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These days everybody is using Facebook. But did you know if you pay to promote something, you might actually hurt your business and waste your money? A diligent Internet truth-seeker shows you in this video that all is not what it seems when it comes to advertising on Facebook, and even Facebook itself is at least indirectly involved in phony and fraudulent activity.

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Top 8 Most Bizarre/Interesting/Outrageous Subreddits

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[Your 15m]
It's no secret I like Reddit. I myself run a few popular subreddits. But like many, it's impossible to have a love-love relationship with this site. For every cool section, there's another one that makes your skin crawl. For every person you can relate to, there's eighteen dozen who appear to be Tourettes-infected-6-year-olds.

We could talk for days about the pros/cons of their shallow and binary up/down-vote system, and how it seems to ultimately pander to a mean demographic that nobody wants to own, but at the same time, the largely "hands off"-style of allowing anyone with the slightest inclination to create their own sub-community, has allows the place to prosper wildly.

And every time I come across something odd, I think it can't be topped. I continue to prove myself wrong. Here is a list of some of my "most bizarre" subreddits recently discovered...

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GoDaddy's Psychopathic Superbowl Commercial Sparks Outrage

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[Pubic Relations]
A huge Internet outrage has erupted in the wake of GoDaddy's latest commercial leak online of what was apparently going to be their Superbowl commercial. Which has now been pulled.

In what appears to be a clear attempt to court sadist and sociopathic customers, they tell the tale of the abandoned puppy that desperately tries to find its way back to its owner (a GoDaddy customer) who expresses excitement at the puppy returning home after its arduous journey so she can ship it off to someone who bought it off her GoDaddy web site... yes... WHAT?


Watch the video - we have it here. GoDaddy has pulled it from the Internet.

The original YouTube link was here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2AHrCtOHqc

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Facebook Faces Class Action Over Scanning Private Messages

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Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a U.S. judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.

But Hamilton said Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business."

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Your ISP May Be Messing With Your Internet Activity

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About one percent of the Web pages being delivered on the Internet are being changed in transit, sometimes in a harmful way, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

In a paper, the researchers document some troubling practices. In July and August they tested data sent to about 50,000 computers and discovered that a small number of ISPs were injecting ads into Web pages on their networks. They also found that some Web browsing and ad-blocking software was actually making Web surfing more dangerous by introducing security vulnerabilities into pages.

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Army Denies Access To Its Public Library Of Documents

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The Army has shut down public access to the largest online collection of its doctrinal publications, a move criticized by open-government advocates as unnecessary secrecy by a runaway bureaucracy.

Army officials moved the Reimer Digital Library ( http://atiam.train.army.mil) behind a password-protected firewall on Feb. 6, restricting access to an electronic trove that is popular with researchers for its wealth of field and technical manuals and documents on military operations, education, training and technology. All are unclassified, and most already are approved for public release.

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Ebay Changes Policy: Retaliatory Feedback Is No More!

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eBay has announced new changes to their feedback system. Sellers aren't too happy, but buyers may be thrilled. Among the new changes, sellers will no longer be able to leave negative/neutral feedback for buyers.

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AT&T Has A Problem With Net Neutrality

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AT&T chief Ed Whitacre handed the keys over to his replacement Randall Stephenson yesterday, but not before giving a rousing pep talk to fellow executives in the company’s San Antonio board room. We just received exclusive video of the AT&T chairman’s parting speech.

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Webcam Too Much for Small Children, Lactose Intolerant

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[Video]
Oh, you've seen live webcams. Some of them weren't even porn...there were baby pandas to watch, Swiss Alps to check weather conditions on, even live executions in dangerous parts of the world that you really wish you hadn't seen. But you've never seen this kind of live webcam before. It's so suspenseful...so shocking...that you might just not be able to handle this much excitement.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-03 10:57:42 | Comment on this Article

Google Rolls Back Map Imagery - Makes Katrina Damage Disappear

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[Environment]
Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy.

Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy, full-bodied trees.

UPDATE: Accused by a Democrat in the U.S. Congress of "airbrushing history," Google said it has now replaced pre-Hurricane Katrina satellite images of the Gulf Coast region with more recent aerial photographs.

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A Tale Of Two Registrars And 75,000 Screwed Customers

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What happens when you do business with a seemingly professional domain registration company and then they blip off the Internet and you lose control of your domain? Well, you might be dealing with the New Jersey-based domain company called "RegisterFly" - whose management team tried to oust each other, which resulted in their customers getting shafted and not having access to their domains. The CEO of the company is accused of mishandling funds. The web site has been up and down, and now there are actually two separate versions of the same web site online at .net and .com that look to be run by different groups.

What does ICANN, the authority that's supposed to regulate this industry have to say? Apparently not much other than, "Hey, don't do that!"

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-04-17 20:50:30 | Comment on this Article

"Vagina Institute" Poorly Disguised Sham

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[Sex]
Finally...a group devoted to serious scientific study of female sexuality. "The Vagina Institute specializes in collecting and processing, data and information about the vulva and vagina." Or is it?

As if the serious grammatical error in the very sentence describing the institute's mission weren't already a dead giveaway that something is up here, it takes about five seconds to figure out that the site is a gigantic fraud...not-very-good porn and, what's more, propaganda for various ineffective techniques to "enhance" women's naughty bits poorly disguised as clinical study of real medical and sexual issues. (URL withheld because we don't want to help its page rank...Google it if you must see for yourself.)

I've got no problem with porn, and hey, the Internet is unregulated...if you want to put up a site suggesting that poontang is ugly and needs dubiously effective, costly fixes at the earliest possible opportunity, have at it. But come on...let's at least be honest about it. The sad thing about this site is that a few women might actually come here looking for information about their vaginas and whether they are "normal," and come away convinced that they need to spend thousands of dollars on "natural, non-surgical solutions" before any guy would ever deign to look at them down there. (After all, everyone knows that looking is the #1 priority for guys when they've got a willing naked woman on their hands.) This site is no different from spam telling you how to make your penis bigger, except that it's not as up-front about it.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2012-07-08 03:21:40 | Comment on this Article

The Church of Google?

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Their web site states, "The Church Of Googlism believes a convincing argument can be made stating that the search engine Google is the closest mankind has ever come to experiencing an actual Deity. It is the ultimate bridge between people and information.

Deities are typically described by their unique attributes such as being all knowing, being everywhere at once, the ability to pray to them (and have your prayers answered), immortality and their sense of morality. Google exhibits all of these characteristics perfectly."

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Popular Web Site Deletes Itself And Shuts Down

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Couchsurfing.com, a popular web site used to link people from all over the world together to share accomodations, has shut down permanently.

Why would a popular, successful web site suddenly shut down? Well apparently they had a hard drive crash and no good backups... after three years of operation. They completely lost their web site and database system and are unable to get it restored. God help whoever their IT people go to work for next!

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-07-03 09:47:06 | Comment on this Article

Paine Webber Exec. Takes Down Network Because Bonus Was Too Low

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Roger Duronio was paid a salary of $125,000 by the bank and was expecting a bonus of $50,000. When he only got $32,000 he decided to take revenge on the bank, prosecutors claim.

A US court has heard how a disgruntled IT manager allegedly wiped out all UBS Paine Webber servers for a day leaving traders unable to trade because he was unhappy with his bonus.

Not only is Roger Duronio accused of using a "logic bomb" to crash the investment bank's servers he is also accused of going short on UBS shares just before the incident - so if UBS shares fell in value Duronio would make a profit. UBS yesterday asked the judge to keep the trial secret to avoid embarrassment and injury to the bank - the judge refused.

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All Is Not Fair In Love In CyberSpace

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Online dating is a huge industry now. So big that some claim it's a huge marketplace for fraud and scamming, which is prompting lawmakers to consider passing legislation to regulate more of these activities.

The incidence of would-be suitors being scammed out of money for plane tickets and other items is increasing, as is "date bait" e-mails from ficticious, flirtatious women used to entice people to renew their online memberships. Who's at fault if the cute Russian girl never shows up after you send her a few grand to fly to the states? You say you left your wife because you found your soulmate online... and you haven't met her in person yet? I'm sure you're doing the right thing, right?

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Study Reveals Even Sponsored Links May Contain Spyware

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A recent study by McAffee company, Siteadvisor.com has revealed some interesting data: that virtually all the search engine results contain links to sites that install adware and subversive programs. Ok, that's nothing new, but some search engines are "cleaner" than others.

However, what's most shocking is that the results indicated that sponsored (paid advertisement) links were two-to-four times more likely to lead to spyware than "organic" (non-sponsored) results. This is especially true for certain common keyword searches like "free screensavers" and "download music." (My mantra has always been, anything that calls itself "free" should immediately be under great suspicion)

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Myspace Picture Leads To Arrest

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Here's a suggestion to you kids out there. I know it's a tough life for you, with parents and school and all that stuff. But if you're running around toting a backpack and car containing hashish, marijuana, compact digital scales, packaging materials, bongs, 4 knives, over a dozen hypodermic syringes, gun powder and potassium nitrate, you might not want to call attention to yourself with a picture of you smoking from a Bong on Myspace. Just a thought. Getting busted trying to make homemade bombs might be a drag, not to mention the whole, "Look at me world, I smoke pot" Myspace attention grab.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-06-12 10:41:22 | Comment on this Article

Best Way To Find Cheap Gasoline?

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[Industry]
A neat site online called GasBuddy has compiled an interactive U.S. map showing gas prices by county. Unfortunately, the more desireable, more populous places seem to have the highest prices, so unless you're keen on living in Utah, you probably will have a hard time finding a fuel bargain. But the site does break down listings to individual stations by price so it's worth a look.

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Short Toots

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[Essential Factoids]
  • A school in Colorado has banned flag-waving. Plus, apple pies have been ruled "Too sticky" for the cafeteria's floors.

  • In a speech given in Washington, D.C., President Bush said about democracy, "One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry." Apparently, in monarchies, dead children are met with laughter and merrymaking.

  • A study in Michigan found that children behave better, and sleep more soundly, after their tonsils are removed. It helps if the parents threaten to take them back to the hospital and have other parts cut out if they don't straighten up.

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Illegal Government Cookies, Anyone?

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It seems that in addition to the warrentless spying that the NSA has been doing on American citizens, in clear violation of U.S. law, isn't the only way they've been keeping an eye on us. There was also the illegal cookies.

In a posting on his googlewatch.org website a privacy activist, Daniel Brandt, says he discovered that the NSA was using tracking devices when he logged on to the agency website on Christmas Day. He found the site was using two persistent cookies that would not expire until 2035, well beyond the life of most computers.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-01-01 20:40:37 | Comment on this Article

Million Dollar Home Page Idea

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a million dollars in four months on the Internet. And, astonishingly enough, it's legal, and does not involve food items shaped vaguely like religious icons.

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eBay Can't Even Tell Which "eBay E-Mail" is Fake

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A sophisticated phishing attack has proven to be so successful, it has tricked eBay Inc.'s own fraud investigations team into endorsing it as legitimate, according to an independent security consultant who reported the attack to eBay.

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You've Got Mail! (and Herpes)

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A new web site has been launched in Los Angeles with the noble concept of allowing people to e-mail others anonymously and notify them that they may have been exposed to a sexually-transmitted disease.

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Is Overstock.com's CEO Completely Insane?

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Amidst a myriad of complaints over customer service, falling stock prices and other problems, revelations surface that Overstock.com, the online retailer that masquarades as a metaphor for an orgasm, has a CEO that may very well be a total nutjob.

CEO Patrick Byrne has held calls with financial analysts in which he delved into his sexuality and experiences with cocaine, in the midst of a tirade on how a cabal led by a "Sith Lord" was out to destroy his company.

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Which Search Engine Is Most Relevent? Take the Blind Test.

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Here's an interesting process. You type in a search query, preferably something you're familiar with; the site displays un-branded results from popular search engines and you vote for which one you think is most relevant. Afterward, the results are revealed and you can see how others have voted. A nice, objective method of analyzing the usefulness of the Internet's most popular search engines.

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Microsoft Blacks Out Area 51; Google Doesn't

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[Beating Dead Horses]
In the war between Earth image browsers, it doesn't seem like much of a challenge. Microsoft's satellite imagery shows vintage stuff like the twin towers and the nonexistence of things like Apple's headquarters (presumably due to old satellite data) whereas Google's system is up to date and in color. Another interesting tidbit is that the infamous Area 51 shows up on Google but Microsoft has it blacked out. No word yet if Microsoft has also blacked out Barbara Striesand's home.

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Fox Acquires MySpace.com

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New Corporation, run by Rupert Murdock & Co., which also owns Fox, has acquired Intermix Media, Inc., operators of the popular MySpace.com online community. This move heralds the formation of a new division within Murdock's empire, Fox Interactive Media. News Corp shelled out $580 Million in the transaction.

It wouldn't be difficult to speculate that the motive behind this was to recapture the audiences that have been lost to New Corp's other television, print and cinema divisions. The big question is whether people will start a mass exodus from MySpace if they start seeing Bill O'Reilly ads all over the place? Can we now expect MySpace.com to be "Fair and balanced?"

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-07-21 23:38:13 | Comment on this Article

Popular Web Site Desperately Tries to De-Promote Itself

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SomethingAwful got a segment on G4-TechTV and the order came down from high up, "If we see an increase in traffic as a result of your TV appearance, you've failed." Watch as the hilarity unfolds as a popular counterculture web site, desperately tries to de-emphasize its significance on a burned out cable channel.

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Dell Shuts Down Part Of Its Online Customer Service

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Want to complain on Dell's website about its customer service? Too late - the Customer Support Forums, operational until last Friday, have been shut down, apparently to try to quell bad publicity there about Dell products and especially after-care service.

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Hackers Shut Down Phishing Sites

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[Activists]
In the wake of the government and law enforcement's seemingly profound inability to enforce fraud laws and go after spammers and scammers online, computer people are taking matters into their own hands and taking action against online scam operations.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2005-05-26 14:48:01 | Comment on this Article

PA Republican Wants To Stop Free Weather Reports

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Pennsylvania representative Rick Santorum, under the control of corporate interests who run commercial weather services, is introducing legislation to shut down the free weather information available online from the National Weather Service. This is taxpayer-funded, valuable information available to the people that is encroaching on profits of select corporate interests and they're buying politicians to shut it down. Shame Shame.

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Your Macromedia/Flash Browser Plug-In Has Been Spying on You!

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Who knew? Though we probably should have suspected, that Macromedia's Flash Plug-in, which most browsers are using to view cute animation and annoying ads, also has the ability to store personal identification information and even listen in on your computer's microphone or internet-enabled camera!

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How To Destroy A Web Page For Fun

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[The "Buzz"]
A new site promises an interesting and creative way for people to take their frustrations out on web sites.

Still no cure for cancer, but it's refreshing to know that more technical people are spending so much time and energy on important pursuits like these.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-07-17 18:22:54 | Comment on this Article

Utah Governor Forces ISPs To Filter Internet Content

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Utah's governor has defied criticism from technology firms and free speech activists to sign into law a bill designed to protect children from Internet pornography, which forces ISPs to block access to web sites deemed "harmful to minors". Utah huh? I thought the Mormons were supposed to be the model family structure? Are they now admitting that they need state-sanctioned help in controlling what media their children have access to? Then again, this state also has the highest prozac consumption in the country, so methinks this bubble has finally burst.

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Online Banks' Poor Web Design Compromises Customers' Security

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The "net-smart" consumer knows better than to fall for phishing scams where dubious people try to con you into submitting personal information into a mysterious web form, but now thanks vulnerabilities and poor design in many online banks' web sites themselves, crooks can use the bank's web site, such as Charter One to display the illegal activity within a frame from their own web site! To add insult to injury, Netcraft reports that most banks are among the slowest entities to fix these types of problems.

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DailyKOS offline/down/sabotaged

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[Activists]
The infamous left-oriented web site DailyKOS, for whatever reason, is currently offline. It's actually still online but due to site design, poor choice in domain registrar, they are being kept offline.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2012-11-02 19:27:11 | Comment on this Article

Amazon seeks to patent search history, and never delete it.

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The USPTO has published Amazon.com's patent application for Persistently storing and serving event data, a fancy way of saying Amazon wants to own the process of remembering everything a user searches on. What's even more interesting is that as part of the patent application, Amazon's version of allowing a user to "delete his search history" merely renders the information "undisplayable" but still makes the information available for other (potentially dubious?) uses. Furthermore, Amazon requested the USPTO to not make the application public.

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Gangsta Cultcha Hits Da Search Engines Y'erd Meh!

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[The "Buzz"]
You say you want to do some research for your term paper, but you want it with an urban, gangsta rap edge that so beautifully epitomizes your Infro-mational needz? Well, worry no mo, mah nizzle... Gazoogle iz in da howze!

READ MORE | 15 comments since 2007-11-30 11:39:38 | Comment on this Article

Google blog reveals lonely life of techies

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[Lonely People]
"At Google we take user email seriously. If you ask us for help with a Google-related problem, we'll do our best to solve it. If you send us product feedback, we'll consider and perhaps implement your suggestion. And if you impugn the artistic integrity of the guy who draws the Google doodles, you can expect a very direct and very public smackdown."

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Grass roots web site eats into corporate profits

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The popular underground classifieds web site Craigslist, recently partially acquired by eBay, is now getting attention as mainstream media are complaining that Craigslist is costing them millions in lost revenue.

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