Why do you suppose Google chairman Eric Schmidt declined to join Obama’s administration as Treasury secretary? Or Commerce secretary? Or the newly invented “secretary of business” czar … er, Cabinet post?

Might it have something to do with the fact that Google avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by moving nearly $10 billion in revenue into a shell company?

Probably not. Cheating on taxes doesn’t bother FOB (“Friends of Obama”). Why, just ask current Treasury Secretary Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner.

Or perhaps it’s just as Schmidt claimed: He doesn’t want to work for the federal government. Let’s face it, Schmidt has been able to accomplish quite a bit on the outside. Why ruin a good thing?

According to a report published in The Telegraph, “Mr Schmidt played in a key role in the re-election of President Barack Obama last month, helping to oversee Google’s $700,000 donation to his campaign.”

Or $1.9 million, depending on who you’re quoting.

President Obama and Google’s Eric Schmidt have had a close relationship since at least 2007. Rumor has it, the pair enjoy tech talk over an occasional dinner followed by the pair’s other favorite pastime, a friendly game of “I Spy.”

Whether you believe him or not, Julian Assange of Wikileaks says Google and Facebook “are cooperating with the shadowy forces behind mass surveillance.”

“And then you also have Google and Facebook, who started up predominantly serving the public, but also have developed side projects to service the U.S. intelligence complex,” Assange said in an interview with Russia Today.

“And individuals are constantly pushing their thoughts into Google as each thing that they want to research; it is pushed via emails, and on Facebook, through their social relationships. That’s an undreamt of spy database,” Assange said. “Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation, given the richness and sophistication of relationships expressed.”

Anyone for a game of three-dimensional realpolitik chess?

Innovator of the Year for Square

It’s small, it’s white and it’s half the size of a domino. It fits on your smart phone and with a downloadable app, it swipes and debits your customer’s credit card purchase. Whether you’re selling your craft at a fair or costume jewelry at a flea market, you can compete with the big boys, because this little gadget is changing the way small business does business.

You’ve probably seen it – it’s called “Square.” Its creator is Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who because of it, has been named “Innovator of the Year for 2012″ by American Banker.

“Small businesses that never before accepted credit cards, from popcorn stands and coffee shops to PTA boards and taxi drivers, are now swiping customers’ cards through Square devices – and quietly helping the banking industry’s long war against cash in the process,” American Banker reports. “An August deal with Starbucks will aggressively expand Square’s power and presence, giving its digital wallet a national foothold in one of the only stores where customers regularly pay with their phones instead of their credit cards.”

According to American Banker, “Some banks are trying to challenge Square at its own game. Bank of America this fall came out with a similar mobile card reader for its small business customers. But other established payments companies, including Citigroup and Visa, have welcomed Square and even invested in it.”

Bet on the convenient little white Square to become as ubiquitous as the smart phone.

On Twitter, no one can hear you scream!

When someone types in all caps, IT CAN BE PRETTY ANNOYING. Like shouting, it COMMANDS YOUR ATTENTION.

Other grammatical idiosyncrasies can get under folks’ skin too, like the improper use of “its, its and it’s,” or “your and you’re” or “two, to and too,” for example.

It drives grammar perfectionists crazy. To wit, this piece in the Washington Post tells of Nate Fanaro of Buffalo, who, tired of being shouted at, created an automated Twitter grammar bot that finds you if you’re tweeting in all caps. So WATCH OUT! You could get a friendly reminder: “Give lowercase a chance,” or “On Twitter, no one can hear you scream,” compliments of @CapsCop.

College ed made simple

Accredited Online Colleges is a useful site if you want to further your education without incurring huge loans. Or if you’re disabled and a course of on-campus study isn’t practical for your circumstances. Accredited Online Colleges points to both offline and online educational paths to degrees from an accredited institution.

Like Facebook, but…

Tea Party conservatives have created a Facebook-like website.

The Tea Party Community website, family owned and operated by conservative Christians, was built to provide an online safe haven social community for all of the Tea Parties across America to utilize and enjoy. Check it out.

Meanwhile, a Cairo court convicted the Coptic Christian blogger who shared an anti-Islam film on social networking sites, sentencing him to three years in prison for blasphemy and contempt of religion. The Blaze’s Billy Hallowell reported on the attack in this video.

Bits & Bytes


Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.