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Twerk, selfie & bitcoin added to Oxford Dictionary

If you think these words were just for teens sending texts to each other, think again.

Several digital words that have budged into our everyday lexicon have been added to the Oxford dictionary.

Well, not the printed dictionary yet…it’s not like they can just quickly print an updated version. But the Oxford University Press, which is behind the Oxford English Dictionary, is adding several new words to the online dictionary.

One of the words being added is something you’ve heard used a lot since Sunday, when Miley Cyrus stunned the world as she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards and twerked on stage. So, if you’re wondering what that is:

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France considering tax on tablets, smartphones

Consumers buying iPhones and Galaxy tablets in France could soon be paying a little extra to get their digital doses of mobile technology.

The government there is also weighing the possibility of taxing foreign music and video streaming services, such as YouTube.

What could possibly prompt a government to stack an extra fee on to a smartphone, or a viral video from Psy?

In France, there are several taxes and fees tacked on to various items – these are taxes and fees that help pump almost a billion dollars into the country’s film industry, for example.

That money helps filmmakers produce French films. But as more people get music from iTunes and watch video from YouTube – on mobile devices – the government (and artists) miss out on possible revenue.

So it seems the solution, at least in the eyes of French policymakers, is to add a new tax.

A special panel set up to solve this cultural crisis has pitched a 1 per cent tax on “Internet-connecting devices,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

This levy would apply to everything from smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktops – even web-enabled TV sets and gaming consoles.

It’s not all about rolling out new tax grabs. The WSJ also reports that the panel suggests the government nix a massive and expensive anti-piracy department, that’s been as successful at convicting illegal downloaders as the Leafs have been at advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

France isn’t the only country considering new revenue sources from digital streams. The United States Senate has approved a tax on things bought over the web.

The motion still needs to get approval in the House of Representatives, but it’s passed at least one hurdle.

Would you be opposed to paying a tax on your smartphones? Or on the music and video you get over the web, just to support the cultural entertainment industry?

Unicef slams Facebook, Twitter ‘slacktivism’

The international humanitarian aid group Unicef is slamming people who ‘Like’ and retweet things on social media that aim to help people in need, because ultimately, clicking the Like button is a slacker’s way of getting involved, it seems.

unicefadTo get the point across, Unicef started an ad campaign to show people that actions speak louder than Likes.

 Slacktivism is what happens when someone does something, or starts something, but what they’ve done doesn’t really make a difference.

Unicef Sweden’s director of communications says that likes and social media is a good “first step” to getting involved, but people need to do more for things to actually happen.

“Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance,” Petra Hallebrant told the Atlantic.

The ad campaign to get the message across is so brilliant, you would think it came from the office of Don Draper on Mad Men.

One of Unicef’s ads shows a man and woman out at a restaurant. When it comes time to pay the bill, the two say they’ll split the bill 50-50, but he’ll pay for his share in ‘Likes’ while she has to actually pay money.

Another video shows a little boy saying he’ll get sick, but he thinks everything will be alright because Unicef Sweden got 177,000 likes on Facebook.

At the end of the videos, they show a message that says vaccines can’t be bought with likes, so make a donation to the organization.


This is quite possibly the first major campaign against slacktivism – which runs rampant on Facebook and Twitter.

People took part in memorial runs for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings – but who actually donated to the groups helping the victims return to living normal lives again?

And women on Facebook wrote cryptic status updates saying where they like it (to put their purse) for breast cancer awareness, but did they actually donate to research projects or groups helping patients?

Unicef thinks slacktivism is a problem on social networking sites like Facebook – do you agree?

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