GigaOM: “Google CEO Eric Shmidt Resigns from Apple Board”

Things are starting to get heated in what seems to be the wake of some heavy competition in the smartphone industry:

“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”

SOURCE.

This just after the FCC’s investigation of Apple and AT&T after Google Voice Apps were rejected. GigaOM’s Om Malik raises a good point: Google is a growing company, and with lobbying power in Washington, Google could have silently initiated the FCC’s investigation. Is Jobs merely responding by dropping Google CEO Eric Shmidt off the board?

One can only assume.

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Must Needed Firefox Add-Ons Day #1: Power Twitter

powertwitter_ssTo celebrate Firefox’s one billion download landmark, I’m going to write a series of posts for the next week dealing with “must needed” Firefox add-ons. Being a FF user who never really explored too many FF add-ons, the add-ons I post I will actually start using on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully by the end of the week I can manage to make browsing the internet a much more enjoyable experience.

Today I came across a neat little Twitter add-on called Power Twitter. This add-on works inside the Twitter website. Some features include: link shrinking; inlines of Youtube, Google Maps, Flickr, and more; Facebook status updates; and photo uploading. As you can see from the screen shot of Power Twitter in action at the right, each individual tweet is much more engaging and informative to the end user. You can check out all the features and download the add-on at Power Twitter’s add-on page.

One drawback is that some Twitter pages may load slower than others because the add-on will retrieve information from links posted in each tweet. For me, the load times weren’t too bad, but I’m running on a 25mb down /3 mb up connection (and I just noticed that I’m even downloading torrents at the moment).

Stay tuned throughout the week for more add-ons that I’m going to be using.

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Firefox Hits One Billion Downloads

ffThis feat has somehow stayed under the radar for me as I’ve just caught wind of this today. Apparently a few days ago (the night of July 30th), Firefox hit one billion downloads. While obviously this doesn’t constitute as one billion users actively using the program, the Digital Daily explains it best:

As Mozilla CEO John Lilly told me this morning, “It’s a billion votes–a billion intentional decisions–for people to take control of how they interact with the Web. We–the whole Mozilla community, really–are really proud to have been part of building a product that’s been downloaded so many times, but more importantly, we’re all proud to have helped people take more control over their online lives by making intentional decisions.”

SOURCE

Also check out Firefox’s nifty One Billion + You website.

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Associated Press Now Charging $2.50 Per Word

The Associated Press signed a deal in April with iCopyright, provider of the intelligent copyright system. Their plans include for anyone planning on reprinting an article or even 5 words of an article, the AP expects you to cough up $2.50 per word. That’s $12.50 per five words, and $100 for 251 words or more, meaning just about any reprint of an article will cost $100. But I guess educational and non-profit organizations get a discount. How gracious.

It’s understandable that the AP is uptight given the fact that social media is making ad revenue off of their content, however much said social media websites credit the AP. Still, not only will this idea not be popular, in my opinion this can only hurt the AP; in the end, they’re directly attacking sources of traffic for a system that will not work.

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Ben Bernanke: “I don’t know” when asked which Foreign Financial Institutions Took Over $500 Billion in Central Liquidity Swaps

This Grayson guy really knew what buttons to push, and did a fantastic job showing that Bernanke needed to step up his audit-game.

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TV on the Internet? Enjoyment in Live Streams

Justin.tv LogoLately I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite TV programs through Justin.tv, a live stream community. Anyone on the site is able to stream whatever video they want straight from their desktop to hundreds if not thousands of viewers. So, I’m sure you’re wondering – how is this legal?

According to Wikipedia, “Justin.tv argues that it is similar to a person walking around with a camera on his head but facing your television screen.” And so under current laws, Justin.tv’s existance is legal. Regardless, if someone reports streams broadcasting content owned by another individual or corporation, Justin.tv is obligated to shut down the stream and suspend or ban the account.

Thankfully most people aren’t a-holes and, I don’t know, actually like coming together from all over the world to enjoy the same experiences. I would surmise that at least 75% of the channels on Justin.tv stream content is “bootlegged” to hundreds if not thousands of viewers.

I’ll start to worry when Youtube users start getting prosecuted in droves.

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Increasing the Unemployment Rate through Minimum Wage?

It’s like every time I turn on the news I hear something the government is doing that’s in effect systematically speeding up the U.S.’s downfall. Today and for the past week there’s been talk about the minimum wage’s 70 cent jump to $7.25.

John Stossel of ABC News’ 20/20 explains.

Let’s just kill jobs we spent billions to save, right?

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