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Thursday News - 4/4/13

Roger Ebert died of cancer today at the age of 70. The famous movie critic has been battling thyroid cancer for over decade, eventually requiring the partial removal of his jaw which left him unable to speak, eat, or drink. Prior to the sad news, Netflix announced the release date for the long-awaited revival season of "Arrested Development"; the quirky television show that Fox cancelled several years earlier to much fan disappointment.

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg hosted the official reveal of their Home app today where he also socialized with several executives from various up-and-coming tech start-ups. Linkedin updated their website to include user tagging in posts and Apple was rumored to be working toward a deal with Warner Music and Universal Music Group for a free international iTunes music streaming service. A flurry of start-up activity made news today, including the launch of a social media app that raises capital for non-profits, a pinterest-styled website dedicated to wedding planning, and an anonymous secret sharing app called Whisper. Meanwhile, analysts discussed the potential of a future without Microsoft within as little as four years if the tech giant is unable to capture a significant portion of the tablet os market.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (known as CISPA) was proposed again in the U.S. Congress. The cyber security legislation is nearly identical to its predecessor apart from a single proposed amendment focused on ensuring that companies sharing Internet traffic data will take appropriate efforts to remove any personally identifiable information. New rumors surfaced of yet another Vodafone deal; this time with Deutsche Telekom to allow the company to provide television service to various parts of Germany.

Anonymous continued to commandeer and deface various official North Korean government websites and accounts while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for all parties involved in the escalating Asia-Pacific crisis to "calm down the situation and engage in dialogue." Coupled with the tense stand-off of nations is the building concern over a potential bird flu epidemic in China as another individual died from the latest version of the virus. The United Nations and Syria remained at an impasse over how much access chemical weapons inspectors should have when investigating recent allegations against illegal use of the banned weaponry. Britain's finance minister commented on the recent government overhaul of the country's welfare system, causing a bit of a stir as the nation closely follows a manslaughter case involving a jobless man who killed six children.

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