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Best of the Web: 27 August 2010

Best of the Web: 27 August 2010

Fifty best websites 2010; How to minimize politics in your company; Dealing with offensive remarks at work; Why taxes are so low in the Middle East; Conflict minerals.

August 27, 2010 1:15 by

50 best websites 2010

We do this whole Best of the Web thing weekly, with a few articles or websites each time. Time Magazine likes a bigger bang for their buck, so they’ve compiled a list of the top 50 websites for the year. We don’t have time to go through them all, but rest assured there are some gems, divided neatly into sections: Music and Video, Sports, Family and Kids, News and Info, Financial and Productivity, Shopping and Travel, Health and Fitness, Social Media, Games, and Education.

Our favourite is obviously the Onion, the brilliant satirical news site, but we’ve always got time for Pogo (a site housing classic games like Scrabble and Risk) and Movieclips (where you can watch clips from your favourite movies and splice them together). For the more sensible, how about Wikinvest (yes, another wiki), a site which can help you monitor your stock portfolio? Or if like Kipp, you haven’t worked your way up to a stock portfolio (we have a stock of biscuits) you could better yourself with the famous MIT, which offers many of its course content for free online.


How to minimize politics in your company

Office politics: To some, it’s an ongoing battle, and an opportunity to get ahead in the rat race; play it right and you could leapfrog your colleagues in the fight for both promotion and superiority. To those of us who aren’t sociopaths, it’s a terribly frustrating game of over-sensitivity and workplace one-upmanship that can get in the way of actual work, and make the office a living hell.

Thanks to Business Insider, then, for trying to save us from “people advancing their careers or agendas by means other than merit and contribution.” In other words, the office politicians. This article has three key tips to ensure your organization doesn’t fall foul of them, including building “strict processes for potentially political issues.”


Dealing with offensive remarks at work

We’re all about resolution today (no, seriously, we are) so this little pictorial guide seemed appropriate to follow up the battle against office politics. Forbes offers a step-by-step guide to what you should do if you’re the recipient of an offensive comment from one of your colleagues – or anyone else for that matter. First things first, think your situation through. You can also help yourself out by garnering some support, and ensuring all the evidence is on your side.


Why taxes are low in the Middle East

For some, this article by the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker will offer an insightful, interesting take on the political and social structure of Middle Eastern countries, and the role tax plays in their survival. For others, it will be an over-generalized, over-simplified attempt to link the grabbing headline to some complicated socio-political thinking that there isn’t room to discuss in a newspaper column. Either way, it’s an intriguing article that makes you think deeply about the role of taxation our world. Are we really worse off for not having many taxes? And is Europe better off for having sky-high taxation?


Conflict minerals: Is there blood on your laptop?

Fresh from learning some of the truths about the diamond industry in our Business of Diamonds, we stumbled across this video story from Time. “Diamonds aren’t the only consumer good with potentially corrupt origins,” says the report. “Some of the materials used in everyday electronics are mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” it continues. That’s right – many of our phones and laptops operate thanks to minerals obtained in conflict areas.

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