Money Matters - Simplified


Skype recovering from outage; problem blamed on supernodes

In an outage that left majority of the its 560 million users without the PC calling capabilities, Skype was down for several hours Wednesday.

Poland calls for farm subsidy reform

Warsaw, Poland -- Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki called for farm subsidy reform and denounced a French-German study on the subject.

Sawicki called the current program that assigns subsidies with two systems, one for older and one for newer EU members, a "two-speed" approach that was equitable "only in name," the EUobserver reported Tuesday.

He also called a study done by France and Germany "cosmetic."
"Unfortunately, what Germany and France proposed … has nothing to do with moving away from historic payments," he said, speaking to reporters in Warsaw.

Authenticity of 'new' Jackson song doubted

Los Angeles -- Michael Jackson's mother has unveiled what she calls an unreleased song, but it's being dismissed as a remix.

Katherine Jackson told Friday she has posted a track called "Opis None" at her JacksonSecretVault Web site.

But said Saturday the piece is merely a remix of "Destiny," a1978 single by the Jacksons.

"Destiny" is credited on BMI's site to Michael and his brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Jackie. The original recording is owned by Sony, not by Katherine Jackson, Showbiz411 said.

Facebook and Skype enter partnership

Social networking giants Facebook and Skype have entered into a partnership, according to several media reports.

School phone bug reports mass absenteeism

Reynoldsburgh, Ohio -- Parents say a phone glitch at an Ohio middle school not only wrongly informed them their kids were absent but also prevented them from sorting things out.

The automated phone system at Waggoner Road Middle School in Reynoldsburg dutifully called the parents of every fifth and sixth grader last week and informed them their little darlings had not shown up for school.

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said the result was a flood of calls to the principal's office by frantic parents. Most of the calls went into voice mail, which further perplexed the callers.

Web site calls for Colbert rally in D.C.

Washington -- A new Web site is clamoring for U.S. television satirist Stephen Colbert to lead his own patriotic rally in Washington, D.C.

Politico reported that a site called was up and running and urging the Comedy Central cable TV host to organize a gathering at the Lincoln Memorial next month.

The theme of the rally would be "Restore Truthiness to America," which Politico called a play on the high-profile and controversial "restore honor" event staged by conservative Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck.

"Truthiness" is word coined by Colbert on "The Colbert Report," his television send-up of right-wing punditry.

Justin Bieber uses Twitter to take revenge on teen

Did Detroit teen Kevin Kristopik anticipate the consequences of messing up with pop sensation Justin Bieber? Definitely he didn't.

Isiah Thomas calls off Knicks job

New York -- Former New York Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas said Wednesday he won't be returning to the NBA team as a consultant.

Five days after the announcement of his return on a part-time basis ignited a controversy over his dual role as a college coach, Thomas issued a statement saying the deal has been called off, The New York Times reported.

In the statement, Thomas said he had spoken with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Knicks executives, and that "it has become apparent that my new agreement violates certain NBA bylaws."

"Because of this, I have decided to rescind my contract with the team," the statement said.

Skype upgrades iPhone app for 3G calling

Are you one of those who have been using Wi-Fi to make Skype to Skype calls, or sending instant messages on Skype from your iPhone? Well, its time to upgrade.

Typo leads to deluge of phone calls

Chicago -- Officials in a Chicago suburb have agreed to reimburse a woman for cellphone minutes after 24,000 fliers mistakenly listed her number as a government line.

Tracy Stajszczak of Mokena, Ill., said she thought the first call she received Tuesday from someone seeking information about an Oak Park, Ill., village parking sticker was a simple wrong number, but it was quickly followed by dozens more, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

Stajszczak said she later discovered Oak Park officials sent out 24,000 fliers Tuesday mistakenly listing her cellphone number instead of the number for the village clerk's office, which is different by one digit.