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What’s bugging Google? Governments that want to censor its content. Google’s decided enough is enough, and will fight online censorship by exposing those worldwide government agencies, using a new tool that lets you see which ones have requested Google remove content from its products or services.

The U.S. government has issued 123 removal requests, with 80 percent of the total requests fulfilled.

Google is also revealing the requests and takedowns that were not fulfilled and announced that its products are being blocked in 25 out of the 100 countries in which the company offers its services.

U.K. proposing lifetime Internet bans

What do you think of a government that gives itself the power to ban you from ever going on the Internet again? It’s now the law in England, where illegal downloaders could be banned if found guilty of downloading copyrighted material. The action comes as the result of a controversial bill’s passage through Parliament.

You’ve got to read this to believe this governmental overreach.

Utility company’s technology enters your home, takes control

A Trojan horse? If you thought it would save you money, would you let your electric company take control of your thermostat?

The Arizona Public Service Co. wants to know, so it is undertaking a test project that will put customers’ thermostats into the utility’s hands.

The test is one of several energy-saving strategies APS and other utilities are rolling out nationwide to reduce peak energy demand, when utilities have to fire up extra power plants to supply electricity to customers. Critics are suspicious that this is one step closer to public-utility control of our power usage, following governmental regulations and guidelines, of course.

Twitter has the answer

Twitter and one of the biggest Q-and-A sites on the ‘Net are taking your questions a step further. Answers.com now offers answers to anyone who Tweets a question to @answersdotcom. You’ll get a reply almost immediately, which is either the top answer from the site or from WikiAnswers. It’s the answer you’ve been waiting for.

Twitter’s on top of the world, literally

Arctic explorer Eric Larson is the first person to Tweet from the North Pole, after a 51-day trek over ice floes and open water. Here is his Tweet: “Day 51. Standing on top of the world. Getting to the North Pole is the same as stopping global warming. Begin with one step.”

Maybe he can just stay there and report back from time to time about the ice floes melting. In 140 characters or less.

John Doe will hang you up

On a wall, that is. Those stately gallery-like oil paintings that traditionally only the wealthy and Fortune 500 CEOs could afford can now be yours too.

And John Doe (his real name) at Your Photo on Canvas website is making it even more affordable to have your favorite photo printed on canvas, ready for hanging or framing.

USA Today reports that Doe offers 16×20 at the standard $90, but he has a marketing arrangement with retail giant Costco offering the same prints via Costco’s website (and 50 California Costco retail stores) for $39.99. (The prices on other sizes are also dramatically lower than competitors’.)

A fascinating video shows it all coming together from your camera to the finished product. Canvas on Demand, Photogonia, CanvasPop, Mpix, Shutterfly and Snapfish also let you upload your images and put them directly onto stretched canvas.

Happy Birthday, YouTube!

View the first video ever uploaded on the site that has changed the way we view ourselves. Five years of giving us a window on the world!

Computers that changed it all

A fascinating slide show depicting the history of computers from the very first one in 1942 to the present.

Buying an Internet-ready TV

Chances are the TV set you buy today is Internet-ready. So, why pay $75 to $90 per month for cable when Hulu streams TV for free?

Netflix streams unlimited movies for less than $10 a month, and Amazon offers 50,000 on-demand titles.

Internet-connected TVs can also provide news, social-media updates and video chat on a big screen using nothing but an Ethernet cord and a broadband modem. Here are some tips to help you figure out what you need.

Speaking of Hulu …

Hulu is a joint venture of NBC, Fox and ABC that offers a comprehensive TV streaming service. For $10 a month, Hulu gives you streaming movies and is hinting that, beginning in May, it will add full seasons as well as almost immediate simulcasting of broadcast programming.

Social-media ads: How valuable are they?

Nielsen and Facebook are trying to figure out how effective brand advertising is on social media by measuring network users’ consumer attitudes, brand perception and purchase intent from social-media advertising. The take-away conclusion is that apparently Facebook ads work well in terms of campaign effectiveness.

This item explains how they slice and dice the results to come up with that conclusion.

According to Nielsen, the report leverages six months of research consisting of surveys of more than 800,000 Facebook users and more than 125 individual Facebook ad campaigns from some 70 brand advertisers.

Is Facebook using you?

Facebook is moving to the center of the Internet, the hub of what users like and do online. Facebook’s ruse to get all your data funneled to them is a simple “I Like” button, which websites can easily embed on their pages. When you click on that button, it tells Facebook to add your vote on its user stream. This will give your data to advertisers looking for targeted consumers. You like?

Career moves via Twitter

Looking for a job? Tweet your qualifications in 140 characters or less.

Business professionals, listen up!

Businesses are increasingly relying on information from social online networks, especially when it comes to developing sales leads. A new, free product recently introduced into the marketplace called Workstreamer is a web-based application tailored for business professionals to stay informed on customers, prospects, competitors, partners and vendors.

According to reports, Workstreamer pulls in information from blogs, published news articles, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Jigsaw, YouTube, Indeed (jobs) and SEC filings, as well as account-update events from CRM systems like Salesforce.com.

Workstreamer then aggregates, filters, processes, ranks and streams that information to business professionals to act on, allowing users to customize their streams and information. Workstreamer also includes a proprietary technology that scores new sources according to relevancy to a keyword search.

Through the rearview mirror

1945 – Germany announces Hitler’s death: “Fighting to the last breath …”

1961 – Castro bans elections

1973 – Watergate – Nixon takes responsibility, but admits no personal involvement

1975 – Saigon surrenders, Vietnam war ends

1986 – Meltdown at Chernobyl

1992 – Los Angeles in flames after “not guilty” verdict

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Joe Kleponis of Lusby, Md.; Bruce Rakes, Mount Juliet, Tenn.; and Russell B. Dobbyn of Gulfport, Miss., the first three who correctly guessed actor James Woods as Captain Sammy Berg in “Raid on Entebbe,” a 1977 TV movie directed by Irvin Kershner.

It is based on an actual event: Operation Entebbe and the freeing of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Entebbe, Uganda, on July 4, 1976. It was the last movie to be released featuring Academy Award–winning actor Peter Finch.

The movie quote was, “Well, if this thing works, I’ll kiss Amin’s foot.”

This week’s trivia quote: “There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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