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When Asus launched the Asus EEE PC 701 last year, it started a revolution: the Internet Appliance. Finally there was a very cheap, extremely light (less than 1Kg) and small laptop with great connectivity, solid state memory (no hard drive) and a very simple user interface, so simple in fact that the device was initially targeted at kids. But very soon everyone wanted one, (young and not so young) and it took me a month on a backorder list, to get one.
Now they’ve updated it using the same winning format but with a 9 inch screen rather than the original 7 inch screen (but the device is the same size and weight). They’ve also upgraded the internal solid state drive to 20 GB and made lots of other improvements, creating an even better ultra portable device.

Read more on Trusted Reviews and then place your order because there’ll be millions queuing up to get one.

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According to the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) a peace lobby group in Washington, the break down for US federal income tax spending for 2007 was as follows:

43% Military Spending
20% Health Care
12% Poverty, housing and income support
11% National Debt interest
7% Government operations police, courts, etc.
3% Education and Jobs
3% Science and the environment
1% Diplomacy

Read more on their site

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As was expected, the Olympic torch relay through London was the focus of both peaceful and not so peaceful protest against China’s human rights record in Tibet. As the world looks on, protesters have leveraged huge focus on China and what’s happening in Tibet.

The Olympic Games are a once in a lifetime opportunity for China to present itself and influence world opinion, and as it grows as a major world economic and political power, this opportunity could be lost or leveraged.

No country, no matter what their size and potential power, can afford to disregard world opinion.

Some indication of a change of attitude, with regard to human rights, and with regard to Tibet, could possibly turn this around, and make it a win-win situation for China, Tibet and the Olympic Games.

Read the full story of the London protests in the Guardian here

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This video simulation and actual footage, shows the ATV, Europe’s new supply space vessel for the international space station. The actual size of the “Jules Verne”, apart from it’s booster rockets, is about the size of a double decker bus. It docked with the space station on 3rd April 2008.

View the video on the Guardian site.

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macbook air cc dan taylor

A MacBook Air was hacked in two minutes by a software engineer at a security conference contest. He exploited an unknown security hole in Apple’s Safari browser and could claim a $10,000 prize. No public disclosure on the bug details will be made until Apple has addressed the issue.

Read more at News.Com

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ABC News Primetime recently ran a test to gauge reaction to Muslim racism in the USA. This video on YouTube.com shows quite surprising results: 15% approved racism, 32% challenged racism, but most surprising is that 53% were silent. Obviously this is just one test so it doesn’t represent the broad US opinion, however it does raise the difficult question: What is the US national attitude towards Muslims living in America?

It made me think about a recent conversation I had with an estate agent in London. He was a perfectly decent guy (as far as estate agents can be !!) and we had several conversations about quite a range of topics, however, after telling me about a Muslim woman who had looked at the same property he was showing me, he said “I cant help it, but every time I look at a Muslim, all I can see is a terrorist”. I said nothing, as I was taken aback, however I did think, (and I’m Irish) that if that had been 15 years ago, in the 1990’s (the time when there were IRA bombings in London) he would probably have said “…every time I look at an Irishman all I can see is a terrorist”.

Terrorist actions have more effect than just a terrifying consequence for their victims, they can also polarize a community in the country attacked, which can have long lasting, and often hidden, effects.

So it seems to me that the essence of racism is focusing on the actions of a few and then treating everyone from that country or race as if they have the same attitude. I’m not sure how to combat this because we are constantly bombarded with images of the horrors in Iraq. however, I am sure that 99% of their population, like us, just wants to live a decent life.

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hitler cc pingnews.com

“Venus and the Cupid” a painting by Lucas Cranach, a Reformation artist in the 16th century, was once owned by Hitler. It was bought in the 1960’s by the British National Gallery, however an art historian has traced it back to Hitler’s Munich flat…
Read the full story in the Guardian.

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