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News shorts for March: Apple’s inspections, the emerging dark side of Twitter, Expo Chicago, and good ol’ Rick Santorum.

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Earlier this year, Twitter moved to the dark side when they announced:

“Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country – while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”

Yes, from now on, the blue snitch bird will filter tweets to respect specific restrictions of each country it reaches, and if you dare say something “inappropriate,” this is what you will see.

[UPDATE: Please see below for the reason that the sections discussing computer mediated filtering are deleted.]

According to Forbes contributor, Mark Gibbs, Twitter has made an “epic mistake” and trying to avoid political pressure, “they’ve dug themselves a huge hole that they won’t be able to climb out of.
“ … and that is where bad guys belong.

Illustrations by
Quinn Keaveney (left)
and Emily Haasch (right).


The absolute good guy of the last weeks is without a doubt, Satan’s biggest enemy, Rick Santorum. (Is it a coincidence that santo in Spanish means saint?).

He talks more about god than the most obsessive priest, reverend or nun, and the he has recently been gaining territory by speaking left and right about Obama’s “phony ideology,” and affirming that America is indeed “suffering from the prolonged attack of Satan,” which he, of course, knows how to fight.

As Karen Santorum, said on a talk show, her husband’s candidacy is clearly “God’s will.”

Anyway, it is for none of those reasons that Saint Rick is our good guy of the month; in fact, the thought of him taking control of the country is completely terrifying. He is our chosen one only for the fact that no one else has given us so many hysterical moments as this, lets say, “memorable,” quote machine.


The Next Art Fair announced in an email to vendors at the beginning of February that it would no longer be running, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. The art fair, which was the largest art fair in Chicago, was cancelled due to the lack of financial interest in Chicago, as art fairs along the coasts seem to have more pull. The Next Art Fair, which was formerly the Chicago Art Fair, was already facing financial difficulties when it was purchased by Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. The show was scheduled to run from April 27-29, 2012.

Expo Chicago launches later this year, running at Navy Pier from September 20-23, but for the smaller, independent artists and art galleries, the situation seems worrisome. The fate of the beloved Midway Art Fair is unsure and as the coastal fairs pull artists out of the center of the country, Chicago risks losing the artists who have made Chicago so vibrant.


For years, Apple has declined to talk about the conditions under which their electronics are being produced, but just recently they announced that an outside organization has began auditing the processes behind their overseas factories.

At last, and after being the subject of mass criticism, protests and investigative news reports about punishing working conditions in their company, they have agreed to make public the information that they formerly considered secret. According to The New York Times, “The company has asked an outside group – a nonprofit financed partly by participating companies like Apple – to publicly identify specific factories where abuses are discovered.

The inspection will cover more than 90 percent of the places where Apple’s products are assembled and, being a leader in technology production, the results of this investigation and the decisions Apple takes after analyzing them, are likely to affect policy among other important producers of technology gadgets.

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