>> The European union may start spying on your VoIP calls, Microsoft wants its money back, and digital download taxes are starting to become a reality. It's Monday, February twenty third, I'm Natalie Del Conte, and it's time to get Loaded.
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The European union may start tapping your voice over IP calls, if you're part of the mob that is. Euro Just is the European union's judicial cooperation unit. The organization is afraid that criminals are communicating over VoIP in order to avoid wire tapped phone calls. For this reason, they're not only looking into how they would tap VoIP calls, but how they would do this without violating the civil liberties of non-criminals. It could be tricky. So be careful what you say and do over Skype, whatever that might be.
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Even though Microsoft was a member of the high tech layoff club, the company is still trying to boost employment by rolling out a training program called Elevate America. The program is offering free certification and technical training, starting in Washington State, where the company is headquartered. Elevate America is a partnership of local governments, private, public, and community organizations. It will be free or low cost, and offer training to people of all ages and education levels. But in the same breath that Microsoft is doing something so nice, they're also doing something not so nice to the people they already laid off. Apparently the company overpaid some of the fallen employees in their severance packages due to an accounting error. Now they're asking those employees to give that money back. They are asking nicely, although the letter does say that their could be some legal ramifications if the money is not repaid. I can imagine the laid off can ill afford to give any money back, as if getting laid off wasn't bad enough. That sucks. It sucks living in Wisconsin. Well maybe not living there, but shopping online if you live there. The state of Wisconsin has passed legislation that requires residents to pay a 5% tax on all digital downloads, including music, games, books, ringtones, and more. The government expects to make six point seven million dollars per year on this new tax. It will go into effect on October first. Sorry Wisconsonites, and sorry to everyone else, because it looks like this tax may start spreading to other states like a virus. But I will take this opportunity to remind you that at least Loaded is a free download, no tax required. Asus may start using Android as the operating system for its line of Netbooks. The company started out making the EPC line with Linux, then went to Windows XP, but they may just decide that they don't need a big hefty operating system after all. While nothing has been confirmed, spokesperson Samson Hu [assumed spelling] says the company has already allocated resources to this engineering effort. It wouldn't be a bad idea, with most of what we do living in the cloud these days, we really don't need massive amounts of computing power, or a single platform to just send an email or edit a document. What do you think? Could Android be an operating system for an actual computer? Or do you even want that? Write in at email@example.com. Canadians can receive Twitters over text message again. This function was pulled from our neighbors to the north last November, but just last week it was reinstated. Canadians could previously send tweeds over SMS, but they couldn't receive them due to carrier costs. This ability is still dead in Europe and Australia, but Twitter says that they're working to bring it back post haste. Speaking of Australia, the company has a new social network aimed specifically at children with disabilities. Livewire is being called the Facebook for sick kids. It's a place where children coping with disability or disease can go to find support and interaction with one another.
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>> Well hey Jane, thanks for letting us come to your house. So it's Jane Abecka [assumed spelling], what's your -
>> But the network is not just for talking about their condition. Children can play games, blog, chat, and more. You can check it out, and point it to anyone who might benefit from it at livewire.org.au.
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Those are your headlines for today, but I'll be back tomorrow with more. Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Del Conte with CNET TV, and you've just been Loaded.
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