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9/11 through bin Laden’s death: How tech has changed over the years

bin laden death compound

Osama Bin Laden's death is a clear victory in the war on terror for the U.S., but as someone who was working in New York City on September 11, 2001, this event also highlights just how much has changed in the world of technology, communication and news dissemination in the last 10 years.

Nearly a decade ago, I marveled at how technology allowed us to not only learn about the attack on the World Trade Center, but experience it as it unfolded. Back then,  I relied heavily on AOL's Instant Messenger to communicate with my team in the office and those scattered around the country. As a result, AIM was a constant presence on my desktop and it's through that platform that I learned of the first jet hitting one of the towers. With that distressing information in hand, our staff gathered in a conference room to watch TV news on a larger projection TV. As a result, we all witnessed the second plane hit the other tower and knew we were under attack.

I used AIM throughout the day to stay in touch with family, friends, and co-workers. Most of my news updates, however, were delivered via TV and radio. There was no Google News, no Facebook, no Twitter, or YouTube for anyone to post eyewitness accounts.

Last night, much of the world learned of Osama bin Laden's death hours before President Barack Obama announced it in a televised news conference at roughly 11:35pm Eastern. Back in 2001, those sharing news about the airplane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers were simply repeating what they had seen on local television networks. Real news was rarely traded on the point-to-point instant messaging service. In fact, there was no concept of a viral network or participants simply sharing what they were experiencing to a wider group without thought of import or impact.

Click to continue reading 9/11 through bin Laden’s death: How tech has changed over the years


MSNBC to Lift Keith Olbermann’s Suspension Tuesday

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Cable, News,

Keith Olbermann will be back in his office before his laptop gets cold.

The newsman will be behind the desk on Tuesday, when MSNBC relaxes the suspension he earned for violating NBC rules. (Olbermann donated $2,400 to three different political campaigns: Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords.)

Phil Griffin, chief exec, said that Olbermann’s two-day ban was “an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.”

Click to continue reading MSNBC to Lift Keith Olbermann’s Suspension Tuesday

Read More | Yahoo! News

VIDEO: Zach Galifianakis Smokes Joint During HBO Panel

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Talk Shows, Cable, HBO, Video,

UPDATE: Maher's rep claims the "joint" wasn't real.

Zach Galifianakis may not be a Mel Gibson supporter, but there is one thing he is in favor of: the legalization of marijuana.

During the recent broadcast of , the Hangover star surprised his fellow roundtable guests when he pulled out a special prop for the discussion on Proposition 19.

Just in case you were wondering if Zach was simply blowing smoke, conservative commentary Margaret Hoover (the woman seen laughing) verified he wasn’t.

Read More | The Live Feed

Quote of the Day: Eminem Supports Gay Marriage

Posted by Robin Paulson Categories: Music, Weddings, Legal Issues,


“I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.”

- Controversial, twice-divorced rapper weighs in on the gay marriage issue.

(Make sure to check out our other notable quotes.)

Read More | New York Times via Perez Hilton

Lady Gaga Fears Contracting Lupus, Campaigns For Sexual Education

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Music, Television,

Lady Gaga in concert“Telephone” pop star is taking special care of herself to stop her getting lupus.

Gaga is not currently unwell with the disease, which can cause severe skin damage as well as harming many of the body’s organs, but is forced to pay special attention to her health to prevent her from falling ill.

“Lupus is in my family, it’s genetic. It’s funny because my mother told me the other day that my fans are worried because I did talk about the fact that I was tested for lupus. The truth is I don’t have any signs or symptoms of lupus but I have tested borderline positive for the disease. As of right now, I do not have it, but I have to take good care of myself.”

The 24-year-old singer recently underwent a series of medical tests after her aunt died from the disease. While she is trying hard to look after her health, the pop star is also busy campaigning to stop young homosexual people in America being judged by their sexuality.

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Michael Moore Shifts Focus to Economy

Michael MooreWhat a difference a few months make.

Not surprisingly, the state of the economy has many people changing their plans these days…and that includes filmmaker Michael Moore. Earlier this summer, Paramount Vantage said the director would be producing a follow-up to 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11. The movie, which was to have picked up chronologically where the last documentary left off, was originally supposed to tackle “what’s going on in the world, and America’s place in it.” Now it appears the sequel may get a slight shift in tone.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Michael’s project may now move from foreign policy to the financial crisis at home and abroad. That’s a subject matter that could dramatically change for Americans by the time the film is actually released. (It’s projected to debut in the spring.) It’s also a topic that some fear may be too pessimistic during an era of change. (Isn’t life supposed to get better during Barack’s time in office?)

But what Moore ultimately does with his currently-untitled film is still really anyone’s guess. I suppose it will just all depend on how our country is faring in the next few months…

Read More | Hollywood Reporter

Rachael Ray Ad Pulled Due to Political Controversy

Rachael Ray's infamous Dunkin' Donut ad


While Food Network favorite Rachael Ray may have a lot of haters, no one has ever accused her of supporting terrorism… until now.

The 30 Minute Meals star was featured in an Internet ad for Dunkin’ Donut, advertising their line of iced drinks. Despite what appears to be a very normal, innocent ad, the popular donut chain was forced to pull it due to complaints about her advocating Muslim extremism!

How, might one ask, is this picture (seen above) have anything to do with Islamic terrorism? Well, according to columnist/blogger Michelle Malkin, the scarf Ray wears in the photo resembles that of a kaffiyeh, which Malkin explains, “has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”

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Access Hollywood

See Josh Brolin as George W. Bush

As we have reported, director Oliver Stone is currently filming his third piece about a U.S. Commander-in-Chief.  This movie, though, will be his first about a living president, and his first about one still in office.

In this week’s edition of Entertainment Weekly, we get our first glimpses of W‘s George and Laura Bush: (No Country for Old Men) and Elizabeth Banks (The 40-Year-Old Virgin).

EW, Elizabeth Banks and Josh BrolinJosh Brolin as George W. Bush

Although Stone denies he is any way trying to influence the upcoming election, many believe the timing of the film’s release is quite suspect.  (It could be released sometime this fall.)  You can read more of the magazine’s interview here and judge for yourself.

Read More |

Entertainment Weekly

Another Tense Exchange on The View

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Daytime, Talk Shows, ABC, Gossip, Video,

Followers of are used to hearing a difference of political opinions on a daily basis.  But every once in a while, a particularly tense exchange will perk up our ears.

Check out the moment when Whoopi Goldberg becomes exasperated and rolls her eyes at co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  (Who could blame her?)  Hasselbeck later returns her own courteous gesture when she insincerely listens to what Goldberg has to say.

In Theaters This Weekend (12/14)

The Kite Runner

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend: