Written by Nica24
I visit Rosie O’Donnell’s blog almost every day, I enjoy her. I am always amazed at the nasty, sometimes violent reaction she brings out in some people. But I want to pass this on, Rosie printed it on the home page of her blog, it was sent to her. I’m sending it as a reply to every anti-Obama email I get. It’s civil and just a little frightening to see in print. Most of the comments are amazing! I am adding a few to the diary, but read the comments, well worth the time!
- Nica24’s diary :: ::
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.
You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans…oh hell no.
Update: Thank you, I’ve never been on the rec. list. Not sure if I deserve it, but I really respect Rosie O’Donnell, and she said “pass it on”. If anything it gives you a response to all those insane armeggedon emails or those crazy relatives you just can’t ignore.
Update II: Rosie’s Blog link http://www.rosie.com/
She is also on Sirius now.
Update III: Another thing I like to ask when they are spouting Fascism, Communism, Socialism…Explain those three tenets. I haven’t found anyone on the crazy right that even understands what these words represent.
Update IV: I just had to add these, from a comment of Rezkalla’s
You didn’t get mad when the president ignored the clear and timely warning that terrorists were going to hijack planes and fly them into the WTCs.
You didn’t get mad when the weapons inspectors, who said there were no WMDs, were ignored.
You didn’t get mad when hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq.
Bonus: Trololo cat
Written by Orli Yakuel
Don’t let anyone tell you it is easy to create a successfully engaging Facebook Fan Page. It is not.
It’s not an insurmountable task either. But it requires planning, time, some kind of HTML knowledge, design skill, and imagination. Originality doesn’t hurt either.
There are great tools and tips available that will help you create an outstanding page for your brand without an immense amount of time or capital invested. I’ve been working to improve our own Go2web20 fan page and I have some tips from my experience that I’m more than happy to share.
Let me start off by saying, Facebook itself is the only true obstacle in the whole page creation process. If they accepted all code formats, it would be much easier to create any page. It would open up the space to immeasurable possibilities and we would see a wider variety of amazing, unique pages. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case so you have to find ways to work with what you’ve got and then take it up from there.
Fan Page Profile Pictures
You might not know this but you can use a picture for your profile page as large as 200 x 600 pixels. The good thing about this is a larger picture offers better visibility of the campaign itself, which may include your company logo or a promotional banner of any kind. The downside to this eye-catching stunner is that it shifts the focus away from the rest of the page. This is why you need to plan your page first. Decide where you want the eyes of your visitors to go: on your image or on the rest of the page’s elements. You can play and preview your ideas, change them back and forth, and see what’s ultimately best for goals, your page, and its users.
Facebook allows you to change the traditional boring tabs to be more exciting, original, and relevant.
If you want to change your page’s tabs, you will first need to add this FBML application to your page. Then, go to your page manager, find the FBML tab, and click ‘edit’. Within the box that opens, you will be able to change the tab name, and add HTML code. What I’d suggest that you do is to first create a main landing tab that will welcome visitors to your page.
Here’s what I did:
- I gave the tab a name – Go2web20
- Took a screenshot of my webpage and uploaded it to Flickr (optional)
- Grabbed the screenshot picture code from Flickr and inserted it in the FBML body box (FYI: I slightly edited the code, changed link destination to lead to our site, instead of the Flickr page.)
- I linked to my Website on this page since this is a big part of a fan page concept – to offer Facebook users access to my site in a new way.
- Finally, I added the Facebook comments box to enable people to leave comments in regards our website. The fb comment code can be found at this wiki page in the examples section (thanks for the tip @eyalshahar). Again, all I did was to customize it slightly with the relevant information of our site. In my opinion a huge value add in terms of engaging my users and inviting conversations to happen here.
Now, since this is the tab you want new visitors to see and experience first, you need to set it this way on your admin page. Go to your page and click on ‘Edit Page’ > ‘Wall Settings’ > then on ‘Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else’ chose the tab which you want to present first when new users enter your Facebook page. People who are already fans of your page, will see the ‘wall’ first when they enter the page. The whole point of this landing page is that you make a informational welcoming page for new visitors that is interesting enough to be an incentive to fan this page. In a sea of fan pages this is important in terms of standing out and being innovative.
If you want you can also add even more FBML tabs, but keep in mind that overall, Facebook only allows you to display and offer up to six tabs maximum, including the first two that you can’t change. So make sure you chose your tabs wisely.
If you don’t want to mess around with FBML tabs, here are some alternatives (you can also add them as extras):
Twitter Tab – This application lets you bundle your ‘Twitter Updates Tab’ into your own profile or Fan page. The process is pretty easy: just add the application and follow the instructions.
This is the end result:
Flickr Tab – Same application but for Flickr photos. I found it more relevant to put this tab on my personal Facebook profile, but it is really depends on your brand’s goals and needs.
Foursquare Tab – I actually really like this tab, despite the fact, that I’m a Gowalla girl myself…
If you are creating a page for your company and want a Foursquare tab, here’s what you can do:
- Create a venue for your brand/company/HQs on the Foursquare website (if you haven’t done this already)
- Add this PlaceWidget application and follow the simple instructions.
And, that’s it. You now have a new tab on your page, Foursquare, and everyone can see how popular your spot is and read the tips visitors have left, furthering user engagement in a new way and offering visitors a chance to appear on your Facebook page and add their own tips.
Spotlight the People on your Team
If you go through all the trouble of creating your own brand page, make sure you spotlight your team’s players and say something about the people behind the curtain. It adds a personal touch to your page and builds a connection between fans and the people involved in the project. Again, with the help of the FBML tab, I’ve created a tab that tells more about my team at Go2web20 (it is was pretty easy since we’re just two people). But even if you have lots of people on your team, it is important to give some background about company management and staff accomplishments or to at least name one contact person that can be reached easily.
Participate on your stream – that’s the whole point
I have to admit that I’m not as active on my own Facebook fan page (insert shame here) as I should be. I blame both Facebook and myself. First, I take accountability for not checking the page as often as I should. But, I also blame Facebook for not providing the right tools to track comments and conversations on pages like the ones available for our own profiles. It is really up to you how often you check your fan page activity. But, don’t think you can now sit back and put your feet up. This is not one of those “build it and they will come” scenarios. Don’t take it for granted that you have a page available. No matter how great you’ve made it, if you aren’t active, it defeats the whole purpose of having one. A fan page requires maintenance. You have to be there for your page visitors. You have to talk with your fans. You have to answer questions, absorb feedback, and overall, make the conversation flow with consistent fresh content.
I really think Facebook never predicted the volume of pages people would create and the effect of these pages on businesses/brands. Obviously, Facebook isn’t currently providing the right type of support and tools for pages builders. Until Facebook reconciles these changes into their Facebook pages concept and tunes into the importance that pages have garnered over the last few months, we’ll end up with somewhat crappy looking pages that we’re creating with just about any and every tool we can muster up.
Written by WDCore Editorial
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on the Earth to view satellite images, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others. This amazing software allows you to search the whole planet right from your comfortable rooms. Fans of Google Earth have been on a virtual searching chase looking for anything interesting and amazing. Here we have collected some of the mind blowing and spectacular sights to mesmerize you. Enjoy and feel free to share it with others.
The terrain in Alberta, Canada accidentally forms what looks like a human face when viewed from the air or when viewing the satellite pic in Google Maps.
The Osmington White Horse, outside Sutton Poyntz, UK. This prehistoric figure is carved into the white chalk of the hillside – such horse carved shapes are called “Leucippotomy”.
Here’s another weird satellite pic from Google Maps of some downtown Houston skyscrapers. This effect has become known as the “Escher Effect”, or the “Google Escher Effect”.
The 130,000 square yard islet of Galesnjak came to prominence after its unusual shape was highlighted on Google Earth.
Land Art or “Earth Art” appearing in a field near the airport in Munich, Germany.
Yum! Brands Inc created the logo near Rachel, Nevada, and claimed it’s the first ad that can be seen from space. If you recall, the same company had previously wanted to beam a laser ad up onto the moon for Pizza Hut, but had later scaled back to buying ad placement on the side of a Russian rocket.
Crop circle art made in the shape of the iconic Firefox Logo near Portland, Oregon,
Canadian artist Melanie Coles built a large image of the iconic “Waldo” onto a rooftop at an undisclosed location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Marriage proposal seen on a rooftop via Google Maps.
Giant Pink Bunny created by a group of artists near Artesina, Italy as seen in Google Maps.
This Coca-Cola logo in Google Maps was apparently created out of coke bottles just outside of Arica in Chile.
Out of some sort of fear that they might forget who he was, the people of Mongolia have carved the likeness of Ghenghis Khan onto a hillside outside of Ulaanbaatar. (See it in Google Maps.)
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man – one of the world’s most recognizable illustrations – is rendered here in crop art in Germany.
The Palm Islands are artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on which major commercial and residential infrastructure will be constructed. They are being constructed by Nakheel Properties, a property developer in the United Arab Emirates, who hired Belgian and Dutch dredging and marine contractor Jan De Nul and Van Oord, some of the world’s specialists in land reclamation. The islands are the Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira.
She’s got a massive syndicated show and a magazine called O, and she was dubbed the most powerful celebrity in the world by Forbes. Why shouldn’t Oprah get her own corn maze? An Arizona farmer created this 2004 tribute to the TV talk-show host.
This blood-red lake outside Iraq’s Sadr City garnered a fair share of macabre speculation when it was noticed in 2007. One tipster told the tech blog Boing Boing that he was “told by a friend” that slaughterhouses in Iraq sometimes dump blood into canals. No one has offered an official explanation, but it’s more likely that the color comes from sewage, pollution or a water-treatment process.
Written by John D. Sutter
For the world to tackle truly important problems, people have to stop looking to religion to guide their moral compasses, the philosopher Sam Harris told CNN.
“We should be talking about real problems, like nuclear proliferation and genocide and poverty and the crisis in education,” Harris said in a recent interview at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. TED is a nonprofit group dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.”
“These are issues which tremendous swings in human well-being depend on. And it’s not at the center of our moral concern.”
Religion causes people to fixate on issues of less moral importance, said Harris, a well-known secularist, philosopher and neuroscientist who is the author of the books “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation.”
“Religion has convinced us that there’s something else entirely other than concerns about suffering. There’s concerns about what God wants, there’s concerns about what’s going to happen in the afterlife,” he said.
“And, therefore, we talk about things like gay marriage as if it’s the greatest problem of the 21st century. We even have a liberal president who ostensibly is against gay marriage because his faith tells him it’s an abomination.
“It’s completely insane.”
Watch Harris’ talk at the TED Conference
Harris also said people should not be afraid to declare that certain acts are right and others are wrong. A person who would spill battery acid on a girl for trying to learn to read, for instance, he said, is objectively wrong by scientific standards.
“It’s not our job to not judge it and say, ‘Well, to each his own. Everyone has to work out their own strategy for human fulfillment.’ That’s just not true,” he said.
“There’s people who are wrong about human fulfillment.”
Harris placed no faith in the idea that Muslims and Christians will be able to put their differences aside and cooperate on global issues.
“There’s no way to reconcile Islam with Christianity,” he said. “This difference of opinion admits of compromise as much as a coin toss does.”
Good job, little one
Written by B.Z
The Shawshank Redemption is a timeless story of hope, friendship, and, of course, imprisonment. Like any cult film, there is a rabid army of Shawshank fans online debating the correct pronunciation of Zihuatanejo and unearthing obscure film facts. A classic model for its prison-film contemporaries, Shawshank no doubt helped pave the way for the gritty realism of our very own prison drama series, “Cell”. In honor of perhaps the most memorable prison film of all time, below is a list of 11 cool things you may not have known about The Shawshank Redemption, no matter how many times you may have seen it on TBS. Check them out, then watch it again like a real Shawshank buff.
1. Animal Cruelty?
The ASPCA closely monitored all scenes between Brooks, the elderly library attendant, and his pet crow. They actually objected to a particular scene in which Brooks fed a live maggot to the crow. Apparently, this was considered “cruel” to the maggot (really?). In order to finish the scene per ASPCA guidelines, the crew used a maggot that already died of “natural causes.” Right.
2. Mini Morgan Cameos
Morgan Freeman’s son, Alfonso Freeman, has two notable cameos in the film. The photographs of a young Morgan Freeman on Red’s parole documents are actually pictures of Alfonso. Also, when the new batch of prisoners enters the prison for the first time, Alfonso is the young man taunting the inmates, “Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We’re reeling ‘em in!”
3. Why You’ve Seen it 100 Times
This one’s a bit more obvious, but ever wonder why The Shawshank Redemption always seems to be on cable? Once the film’s VHS/DVD rentals and sales took off under Warner distribution, Ted Turner sold the rights to his own network, TNT, for a relatively meager sum. So blame Turner for your watching The Shawshank Redemption 100 times on TV even though you own the DVD.
4. Rob Reiner
Prolific actor and director Rob Reiner, who directed two other Stephen King adaptations, Stand by Me (1986) and Misery (1990), was initially interested in directing The Shawshank Redemption. He intended to cast Tom Cruise as Andy and Harrison Ford as Red.
5. Yoo-Hoo, Not Doo-Doo
The feces Andy crawls through in the sewer scene is actually chocolate syrup. Not that we would expect it to be actual dung or anything. Interestingly, a fan who has visited the Mansfield Reformatory, the former prison-cum-Shawshank set, noted that a section of that tunnel still smells like chocolate.
6. Biblical Allusion
In a subtle touch of cinematic symbolism, when Warden Norton examines the Bible in which Andy hid his rock pick, he opens it to the Book of Exodus, which tells the story of the Jews’ escape from bondage.
7. Set Design
The interior shots of Shawshank State Prison were taken on a set built from scratch. The cell block was created in an old warehouse not far from the Mansfield Reformatory (also known as the Ohio State Reformatory).
8. Inglourious Inmate
Brad Pitt was originally cast to play the role of Tommy Williams, the inmate who could have exonerated Andy. Instead, Gil Bellows got the part.
9. Final Scene
The final scene, in which Red finds Andy on a beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, was not intended to be in the film at all. Director Frank Darabont wanted the film to stay as true to Stephen King’s short story as possible, and refused to shoot the scene because it was not in the original story. Associates persuaded him to shoot the scene, but Darabont still wanted to cut it until positive reactions from test audiences convinced him otherwise.
10. Dollar Baby
Darabont became pen pals with King when he adapted his 1986 novel, The Woman In The Room, as part of the author’s “Dollar Baby” program that, for $1, grants student filmmakers permission to adapt his books and screen them at film festivals. They finally met for the first time when Darabont optioned The Shawshank Redemption. Darabont also directed King’s The Green Mile.
11. Identity Crisis
In King’s version, Red is an Irishman (hence the name). In casting Freeman for the role, perhaps Darabont didn’t remain too faithful to the author’s character detail, after all. So when Andy asks Freeman’s character why they call him Red and he replies, “Maybe it’s because I’m Irish,” it’s more than just a dry quip.
Catch this Shawshank Spoof in Comedy Series, Blue Movies.
Written by Cowboy
Men lie to women and women lie to men, but the opposing sexes go about these things in different ways. Women usually tend to lie in order to spare feelings and make people feel better — or to keep the peace. At the center of the male lie is, most commonly, either his ego or his unwillingness to cause drama, or to get in trouble — but both parties are almost always guilty of lying to conceal something. Consistent lying can tear two people apart, no matter the intention, so we’ve gathered 15 examples of lies men tell their girlfriends. Watch out for these, no matter which end of the lie you’re at.
“I can fix it.”
Let’s be honest: Men love to think they can fix anything. It’s practically programmed into their genetics. Even if they don’t know how to fix something, it’s very likely that they won’t admit to it, to save their ego. Remember to question whether or not he really can fix what he says he can, to avoid some ridiculous bathroom flooding disaster. If he doesn’t have the requisite skills, then hire a professional, or let him learn how the proper way before ruining something.
“You look great in anything!”
This lie is a classic example of a man trying to cover his ass, but sadly, it’s one of the “good” lies men tell — he’s just trying to be nice. It’s not even reasonable to think that a woman would look great in every outfit — no matter how hot she is. Some women simply fail at fashion, or at least have some sort of blunder at one time or another. Not to mention, most women don’t have personal stylists like Hollywood celebs do, so failure happens more often than we like to think. It’s just best to be honest about what she’s wearing, to save her — and you — from later embarrassment.
“I wasn’t looking [at that ridiculously hot girl.]“
Another common one, though this is a simple White Lie, it can seriously piss off your girlfriend. She knows you were looking, she saw you looking, and even she was looking at that ridiculously hot girl. If your girlfriend confronts you about looking at another woman, don’t lie, hopefully you’ll remember something about her and make an innocent comment about her cute haircut. Maybe you’ll avoid a blow up. Otherwise, just get better at checking other women out on the sly.
“I tried to call you.”
This is a pretty pathetic lie, but men — and women — still use it. Men will try to blame it all on some technical difficulty, hoping his girlfriend will get confused and stop questioning it, but the lazy men will leave it simply at this excuse. If your boyfriend uses this one on you, then he was probably doing something he shouldn’t have been, like that new girl at work. Or, he simply could have forgotten all about you — but at that point, is there a difference?
“I won’t be able to call you. I won’t have signal.”
Another pathetic lie that both sexes are guilty of using, men will frequently take advantage of this one when: He has plans to go somewhere his girlfriend would disapprove of, he doesn’t want to call her in front of his single friends, or he just plain needs time away from her. Maybe he’s actually out in the mountains camping, and there will be no signal, but that’s not the case very often.
“I only had a couple of beers.”
Men use this one when they don’t want to get in trouble. It’s completely ridiculous, because almost any girlfriend can tell when a guy has downed a whole six-pack and a few shots. We could chalk this one up to being a drunken lie, or maybe only a couple of beers were actually consumed while six shots were taken. Either way, you’re probably in trouble anyway if your girlfriend is drilling you about how much you had to drink, so you may as well ‘fess up to it.
“I’m stuck in traffic.”
So maybe everyone uses this lie at some point, but if a man tells his girlfriend that he’s “stuck in traffic,” he’s probably doing something he shouldn’t — again. At least with this lie, the man had the courtesy to keep in touch with his girlfriend — despite lying. If he says he’s stuck in traffic, then a girlfriend can assume he’ll be home within a couple hours (usually). He might be off at the arcade, grabbing a quick beer with his buds, doing the secretary, or he could really be in traffic were this lie told in a place like LA or Atlanta. Whether it will work or not depends on the girlfriend and how often the lie is used, so if you’re the type of guy to go this route, do so sparingly.
In most cases, women and men are very different about how they express emotion, especially when it comes to something that’s bothering them. Some women will take this route as well, but men are the usual suspects because they like to protect their egos. They like to deal with things — fix things — themselves. We all know that men can’t fix everything, so it goes to say that they can’t fix everything that’s bothering them. So, what happens if a man says this? Usually it’s best for the girlfriend to just leave it alone, and support him in other ways — maybe throw in a sexual favor or two. If it gets bad, then it comes time to crack down on the silly emo business and force him to talk about it.
“I love your cooking.”
This lie is pretty easy to see through, but somehow men still think it works. It may with some women, but others will be able to tell when her boyfriend isn’t enjoying the food. This is another attempt for a man to stroke his girlfriend’s ego in whatever way he can — but if you hate her cooking, just be honest. Maybe offer some constructive criticism, or suggest your favorite dish and a family recipe. Basically, if you do nothing about it you might be stuck with it for a long, long time.
“I make [obscene number]! We’ll be fine.”
Whether or not chivalry is really dead doesn’t matter — most men still feel paternalistic about the women they love. This lie is usually used to rid a girlfriend of worry, but it does way more harm than good. Once she finds out the truth (and she will), then all that trust and comfort you built up will be torn down, while she stresses out about the new financial issues that just “cropped up.” And many women like to hold grudges, so you may or may not be screwed. Being honest about your work situation will do far more good than harm — it’s always nice to have a teammate. If she bolts when she finds out you don’t make enough to satisfy her retail therapy needs, then you win in the long run.
“It doesn’t bother me if you forget to shave your legs.”
Men like to make their girlfriends feel like they love them for more than looks, because it creates a sense of security. Even if a man is completely in love with his girlfriend, and says that he doesn’t mind if she forgets to shave anything, he’s just being nice. Men don’t want to caress their girlfriend’s legs just to be reminded of his own hairy body. In fact, using this lie could be dangerous. Imagine if your girlfriend takes you seriously and just never shaves her legs again? You should support her grooming habits by being honest, and you’ll only benefit in the long term.
“Trust me, I’d never lie to you!”
It’s sad that we had to put this one on the list, but men use it, and women actually believe it. A man’s girlfriend may be so completely enamored that she turns blind to a clearly bullshit-lie like this one. Basically, if anyone has to tell you they’d never lie, they probably are lying. They might as well say, “don’t trust me, I’d definitely lie to you.”
“I love spending time with your mom.”
When a man tells his girlfriend this, it usually means that he’s trying pretty hard to make her fall in love with him — and will say anything to make it happen. Excepting the rare case that a man truly likes his girlfriend’s mom, most men don’t go out of their way spending girl time with her mom anyway. Unfortunately for many women, they’re usually too flattered by the comment to notice that her boyfriend is lying through his teeth. Everything is revealed through body language — so keep an eye out on your boyfriend to see if he’s lying or not.
“I’ll fix the garbage disposal as soon as my back stops hurting.”
This is a perfect example of a lie men use as “hassle prevention.” Men don’t like nagging girlfriends, so they use lies like these to avoid the nagging and hold it off as long as possible. These lies are fine to use every once in a while, and even women — seeing through them anyway — will just let their boyfriends slide, until it becomes a habit. Keep that in mind and use this one when you really need to, or you may find yourself single again.
“I don’t think of other women.”
If you’ve ever tried to not think of something, chances are, you had a hard time. When men tell their girlfriends that they “never think of other women,” they’re lying — simple as that. Really, it’s unreasonable to expect a guy to keep the opposite sex out of his head 24 hours a day. There may come a time when a man thinks of another woman to spice things up, but it doesn’t mean he loves his girlfriend any less — at least, not usually. They just can’t help it, it’s a fact of life — but that doesn’t mean women should be dimwitted enough to believe this one.
Bonus: Have you tried online dating?
Via: Online Schools
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watch this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress, and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.
After work, I drive my NHTSA bar back home on DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.
I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post of FreeRepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.
On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.
So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.
Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.
In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.
Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer