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Microsoft launches search-based social network with hint of Pinterest

With all of the social media attention focused on Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg’s wedding and Pakistan briefly blocking Twitter this weekend, Microsoft has quietly launched its own attempt at a social networkThe So.Cl website, which has been in private Beta since December last year, is a social search service, which encourages members to share web-links.The service, like Pinterest, lets users have a board, which they can populate with links from Bing searches. The design, however, is much more like Google+.Users can share “rich posts,” that contains images and links, presented visually, and can also host “video parties” where they watch YouTube videos together.Social studiesThe idea was for So.Cl to provide assistance with academic research, allowing students to easily share relevant links with followers. It was initially trialed with college students in Washington, Syracuse and New York but is now open to all. You can sign up today using your Facebook or Windows Live logins.Somewhat strangely, it also posts what you search for to a news feed, so it’s not really advisable to be indulging in any dubious activities while using the service unless you want a ‘so and so just searched for porn’ on your page.Related StoriesGame of Thrones tops torrent charts in 2012Now you’ll have to ask TalkTalk to turn your porn on

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With all of the social media attention focused on Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg’s wedding and Pakistan briefly blocking Twitter this weekend, Microsoft has quietly launched its own attempt at a social networkThe So.Cl website, which has been in private Beta since December last year, is a social search service, which encourages members to share web-links.

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The service, like Pinterest, lets users have a board, which they can populate with links from Bing searches. The design, however, is much more like Google+.Users can share “rich posts,” that contains images and links, presented visually, and can also host “video parties” where they watch YouTube videos together.Social studiesThe idea was for So.Cl to provide assistance with academic research, allowing students to easily share relevant links with followers. It was initially trialed with college students in Washington, Syracuse and New York but is now open to all. You can sign up today using your Facebook or Windows Live logins.

Microsoft launches So.Cl, search-based social network with hint of Pinterest

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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