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29 Feb 2012 10:32


World: U.S. scores diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea

  • the deal The U.S. got North Korea to agree to curb its nuclear testing and enrichment processes and allow outside investigators to monitor its main reactor, which is a fairly major breakthrough for the countries.
  • the perk In exchange, North Korea will get 240,000 metric tons of food aid. While the U.S. has long considered offering aid for purely humanitarian reasons, North Korea insisted that it be tied to this deal. source
  • » Significant, if “limited”: This result came after a set of talks last week that initially did not seem to go well, but later proved be palatable for the North Koreans. The two countries previously were close to some sort of deal before Kim Jong-il’s death, but the latest development seems to have gone over. “The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, “but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these.”

18 Oct 2011 10:15


World: Israel: Gilad Shalit freed, along with hundreds of Palestinians

  • I thought that I would find myself in this situation many more years. If they wanted to secure my freedom, they had to pay a price for this.
  • Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit • Discussing his situation on Egyptian television this morning after getting freed from captivity in the Gaza Strip. Freedom for Shalit, who was there for five years, did cost Israel immensely — they had to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to allow for his freedom. Nearly 500 were freed today. In Palestine, those prisoners were welcomed with cheers by Hamas — while Shalit’s own return was much more subdued, with Israeli officials concerned that freeing so many prisoners at once could cause security issues. source

17 Oct 2011 11:45


World: Israel’s prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit draws heavy controversy

  • 1,000 number of Palestinian prisoners expected to be freed in an exchange with Israel; as you might guess, this is controversial for some
  • one number of Israeli prisoners expected to be freed in exchange; this one, however, is Gilad Shalit, whose plight is fairly well-known source
  • » The fight goes to court: While Shalit’s parents fight for his freedom, families of the victims of militants in Israel aren’t exactly quite happy with this situation, and are trying to fight it in court. It’s unlikely the court is willing to fix this, but Israeli leaders are trying to soft-pedal this nonetheless. “I understand the difficulty in accepting that the vile people who committed the heinous crimes against your loved ones will not pay the full price they deserve,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a letter to families affected by the exchange.

09 Oct 2011 11:17


Culture: The Simpsons gets a longer lifespan, but the voice actors lose out

  • whoo-hoo After a few weeks of tense negotiations with the show’s voice actors, “The Simpsons” will have two more full seasons before it finally goes into syndication heaven — making for 25 full years.
  • d’oh The negotiations centered on a fight over giving the voice actors back-end profits, which appears to be something they weren’t able to get. Also, fans of the show may just want to see it end. source

10 May 2011 20:42


Tech: Report: Skype held out for their magic number — $7 billion

  • Microsoft really wanted this. Microsoft right now is trying to do things to keep up with other faster-growing technology companies.
  • Bahl & Gaynor Inc. money manager Matt McCormick • Explaining why Microsoft went after Skype — offering a reported $8.5 billion for the company. They offered that much because they had to. Skype reportedly rebuffed any offers that were less than $7 billion. Steve Ballmer, during the announcement of the deal, suggested that the technology would be used for, among other things, its Xbox console, Office technology, Windows Mobile phones (where they could gain a real advantage, by the way) and corporate phone software. Skype is so widely-used that Microsoft could be sitting on the next generation of phone technology — something they need to stay in the game. (Also, a side note: Google was the only other serious bidder, but they didn’t get close to $7 billion.) source

09 May 2011 22:12


Tech: BREAKING: Microsoft close to buying out Skype. Holy cats!

  • $7 billion for Microsoft to prove that they’re still in the game source
  • » The deal is close: Reports suggest a deal could be reached by Tuesday, which of course would be big. See, Skype has a huge userbase — around 663 million users — and they make billions of minutes worth of VOIP calls each year. Clearly Microsoft would be a better choice to own this company than eBay, but then again, anyone would’ve been a better choice than eBay.

07 Mar 2011 11:00


U.S.: Wisconsin Senate Dems pushing for border-line meeting

  • yesterday A report came out suggesting that Wisconsin Democrats were willing to come back to the state without any major victories in tow. The report was later denied, with one state senator suggesting they were taken out of context.
  • today State Sen. Mark Miller is in fact pushing for a meeting between Walker, the Senate Majority Leader and the Dems near the Wisconsin-Illinois border. We bet Walker will trap one of them in a car and bring them back to Madison. source

27 Feb 2011 23:01


Biz: GaoPeng’s Deal of the day: Groupon has a Chinese site now


26 Feb 2011 16:33


Politics: Here’s the extent of the GOP’s compromising in Wisconsin

  • deal One Republican state senator, Dale Schultz, made a plan that would force even deeper cuts on the unions, but, in a concession, would allow them to keep their collective bargaining rights.
  • no deal Unfortunately, Schultz never submitted this proposal because every other Republican – along with Gov. Scott Walker – made it clear that there would be zero compromise. They suck. source

14 Feb 2011 10:53


Tech: Why is everyone skeptical of Nokia’s Microsoft deal, anyway?

  • reason The company’s newest CEO, Stephen Elop, was an executive at Microsoft before becoming Nokia’s figurehead – and he just spearheaded the Microsoft deal.
  • evidence The new president of U.S.-focused Nokia, Inc. is Chris Weber, who spent 16 years at Microsoft. Gaining competitive advantage by trojan horse much? source
  • » Here comes the denial: While many are suspicious of Elop’s motives, he personally denies that’s what took place. “The obvious answer is no,” Elop said. “We made sure that the entire management team was involved in the process, and of course the board of directors of Nokia are the only ones that can make this significant of a decision about Nokia. They made that final decision on Thursday night.” For some reason, we’re guessing he had that response ready.