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Quake and tsunami strike JapanApple could sell up to 600,000 iPad 2s this weekend, Amazon ends its affiliates program in Illinois, and social networking is being used to spread news of the tsunami in Japan.
-It's Friday, March 11, I'm Jeff Bakalar and it's time to get Loaded. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Sendai, Japan today. An early report show extensive damage along the northeast region. Video and photos of the disaster are flooding the web through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. And Google has taken the unusual step of posting tsunami warnings in the Pacific Rim on it's highly traffic home page. Google has also launched Person Finder to help find people by name or leave information for love ones. You can visit redcross.org to find out how you can help, and as with many disasters, please be sure to check with reliable sources before making donations through online websites or cellphone services. It's very possible that Apple could sell up to 600,000 iPad 2s this weekend says an analyst from Gleacher & Co. Last year, the company sold 300,000 of them in just 24 hours. This year though, it's being sold in many more locations simultaneously including Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Verizon and AT&T stores. Of course, the iPad 2 goes on sale today in your time zone at 5 p.m. And attendees of the South by Southwest Festival in Austin can also get their iPad 2s from the pop-up Apple Store that was constructed just a few days ago. Amazon.com is not letting up in its battle over state's efforts to collect sales tax. The internet retailer yesterday notified its affiliates in Illinois that it would be ending its program after Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that would require in-state affiliates to collect sales taxes on items purchased by Illinois residence. Amazon opposes many states efforts because it believes it's unfair for retailers to collect state taxes even if they don't have a physical presence in the state. Amazon is threatening to cut off affiliates in California, and has already done so in Colorado, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. It looks like Sony CEO Howard Stringer is about to choose his successor. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai, the man who's currently in charge of the PlayStation brand has been tapped to head the company's entire consumer electronic division stretching well beyond just video games. An Xbox promotional site is being blamed for a hacker's discovery of a way to generate working codes for Microsoft Points. According to the company, around 1.2 million dollars worth of points were generated by hackers most of them hailing from the Tech Game forums. Microsoft says it's looking into the banning of guilty accounts. Finally, the highly anticipated sci-fi mystery movie from producers Steven Spielberg and director JJ Abrams called Super 8 revealed its trailer through Twitter today. Paramount Pictures released the trailer by tweeting from @super8movie and the video itself is being hosted by TwitVid. Check out the mystery monster flick right now to get a preview of the film. That is your news for the day. Remember cnet.com/loaded for links to the stories we discussed today. I'm Jeff Bakalar for cnet.com and you've just been Loaded.