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Rose Callaghan: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Comedy

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Hello, I’m comedian and internet aficionado Rose Callaghan. I have ADHD and am what many would consider “underemployed” so obviously spend most of my time on the internet arguing with people on Twitter and watching TikToks.

I live and breathe the internet and unfortunately/sadly haven’t been able to stop posting since I first created an account on LiveJournal in the year 2002.

Me and the internet have had some crazy times together. Like when my OkCupid page ended up on 200 websites of “insane internet dating profiles”, or when my website kept getting hacked and diverted to Russian porn for a year.

A few years ago I made an online show called Overshare with my friend Jared Jekyll (edited by my fiance – thanks babe!) purely for discussing random weird stuff we find on the internet. I also make sketches about the greatest TV franchise ever – The Bachelor – and also did a podcast about The Bachelor and Bachelorette.

These are my favourite things on the internet.

1. Alastair Green’s lo-fi sketches

I’m really into lo-fi Twitter sketch videos. Sorry to get all earnest with you but I like with Twitter how you can break the rules of how the platform is supposed to work and represent content and conversations in different ways. Twitter isn’t where you’re “supposed” to post videos which maybe is why I really like low-fi/ad-hoc Twitter sketch videos.

If you are looking for characterisations of UK conservative types talking about British political issues that you don’t really understand and other very specific characters, then Alastair Green is your guy. I’ve been cackling over his videos for the last couple of years.

They are all filmed in front of the same white background and little to no effort is put into costuming and I am here for it.

2. ‘Is the answer India?’

I have watched this video so many times. It’s so funny and I beg of you please watch until the end. The optimism of this guy to keep taking these calls despite what keeps happening is truly inspiring.

3. Contact Tracys

As Covid wreaks havoc on Australia, the government has no choice but to recruit the best contact tracers in the biz – the Tracys. Your favourite zoomers use the magic of the internet to track down Covid cases and teach these public servants a few lessons along the way. Also love a bit of bi-representation in there. Yes king!

Featuring the very talented Freudian Nip and written by Freudian Nip along with other very funny people, Nina Oyama and Bec Shaw. Very nice!

4. Aunty Donna – Amazing Magic Compilation featuring TimTimFed!

This is my favourite of all the Aunty Donna videos, of which there are many, and I think they are all funny so this really says something!

5. Megan Stalter’s interpretation of the woman who booked Four Seasons Total Landscaping instead of the hotel for Trump’s press conference

I’m literally obsessed with Megan Stalter and basically every video she has ever done. Megan blew up during Covid and if she doesn’t have her own TV show soon I’m going to die.

I say this as much as I hate to encourage anyone who said “Why don’t you do some comedy online?!” to an out-of-work comedian during lockdown. Please don’t mention the words “zoom comedy gig” to me ever again!

6. Eva Victor when she definitely did not murder her husband

You may have noticed a trend here. Oh, you spent millions of dollars filming a comedy movie with a fancy camera? Sorry, if it’s not filmed in portrait mode using the front-facing camera of an iPhone, I’m not interested! Eva Victor posts lots of sketches on her Twitter page and they are very funny.

7. Inside Amy Schumer – Amy’s dream breakup

One of the best sketch shows to come out in the last 20 years! I could post dozens of sketches from this show because it was so funny and well-written. Heaps of these videos went super viral when they were posted online because they really hit the nail on the head with a lot of zeitgeisty issues that were affecting women at that time.

8. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard: Architectural Digest Open Door

I’m obsessed with this video series on YouTube that the magazine Architectural Digest does where celebrities show off their expensive, ridiculous houses. Usually in normal media scenarios, celebrities try to pretend like they are normal and just like everyone else. Except when they are trying to impress Architectural Digest magazine.

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard’s tour of their New York brownstone is a real highlight as it becomes pretty clear that in real life they are kind of insufferable … and they really like teak. It’s like a really pretentious version of MTV cribs.

9. Joanne the Scammer: Caucasian living

Joanne is an icon and invented the modern meaning of the word “cancelled”. Honestly, truly.

10. Baby Spa videos

Are these funny or just cute? Hard to say but I am obsessed with videos of babies at these weird baby spa things where they put tiny babies’ heads in a floatie and put them in a little baby pool. Awww!

Did I also recently have a baby and am obsessed with babies? Guilty as charged!

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London is the best European city for founders, Startup Genome report

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The UK capital was the only European city to make the top ten in Startup Genome’s ranking, tying with New York in second place for the second year in a row.

London is Europe’s number one start-up city, according to a recent report by Startup Genome. The research and advisory body which specialises in start-ups released its ‘Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021’ report today (22 September).

The report identified London and New York as joint second-best cities in the world for start-ups. London was the only European location to make it into the top ten. The city is attractive to founders thanks to its educated workforce and tax incentives, the report found.

Silicon Valley in California took the top spot, unsurprisingly. This year’s global rankings were dominated by the US, with half of the top 30 ecosystems coming from this region, followed by Asia with 27pc and Europe with 17pc of the top performing ecosystems globally.

Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles alone contributed more than 70pc to the US’s total ecosystem value.

Paris made the top 20, coming in at number 12. The Amsterdam-Delta region followed in thirteenth place. Dublin improved its rank from the previous year’s report, coming in at number 36 this time.

Beijing, Boston, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Seattle and Stockholm also made the top ten best start-up cities.

The global start-up economy is currently worth more than $3.8trn in ecosystem value. There are 79 ecosystems generating over $4bn in value, which is more than double the number identified in 2017. This time last year, 91 ecosystems had achieved unicorn status.

Also in 2020, Startup Genome published a report indicating its concerns over the future of the start-ups ecosystem during Covid-19. The report suggested that 42pc of start-ups were in what it called ‘the red zone,’ meaning they had three months or fewer runway ahead of them.

Several countries  including the UK, France and Germany introduced special support packages for start-ups. Irish non-profit Scale Ireland also introduced a similar start-up scheme for Irish companies.

“Entrepreneurs, policymakers, and community leaders in Europe have been working hard to build inclusive innovation ecosystems that are engines of economic growth and job creation for all,” commented JF Gauthier, founder and CEO of Startup Genome on the report’s release.

“The Global Startup Ecosystem Report is the foundation of knowledge where we, as a global network, come together to identify what policies actually produce economic impact and in what context,” Gauthier added.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

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Facebook oversight board to review system that exempts elite users | Facebook

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Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board says it will review the company’s “XCheck” system, an internal program that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules.

The decision follows an investigation by the Wall Street Journal that revealed that reviews of posts by well-known users such as celebrities, politicians and journalists are steered into the separate system.

Under the program, some users are “whitelisted”, or not subject to enforcement action, while others are allowed to post material that violates Facebook rules pending content reviews that often do not take place. The Xcheck system, for example, allowed Brazilian footballer Neymar to post nude pictures of a woman who had accused him of rape, according to the report.

Users were identified for additional scrutiny based on criteria such as being “newsworthy”, “influential or popular” or “PR risky”, the Wall Street Journal found. By 2020 there were 5.8 million users on the XCheck list, according to the newspaper.

The oversight board said Tuesday that it expects to have a briefing with Facebook on the system and “will be reporting what we hear from this” as part of a report it will publish in October.

The board may also make other recommendations, although Facebook is not bound to follow these.

The Journal’s report, the board said, has drawn “renewed attention to the seemingly inconsistent way that the company makes decisions, and why greater transparency and independent oversight of Facebook matters so much for users”.

Facebook told the Journal in response to its investigation that the system “was designed for an important reason: to create an additional step so we can accurately enforce policies on content that could require more understanding”. The company added that criticism of it was “fair” and that it was working to fix it.

A representative for Facebook declined to comment to the Associated Press on the oversight board’s decision.

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Philippines imposes 12 per cent digital services tax • The Register

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The Philippines has become the latest nation to impose a digital services tax.

Such taxes require the likes of Netflix and Spotify to pay local sales taxes even though their services are delivered – legally, notionally, and physically – from beyond local jurisdiction.

The Philippines has chosen a rate of 12 per cent, mirroring local value added taxes.

“We have now clarified that digital services and the goods and services traded through digital service providers should generally be subject to VAT. This is just a matter of common tax sense,” said Joey Salceda, a member of the Philippines’ House of Representatives and a backer of the change to the nation’s tax code.

Salceda tied the change to post-pandemic economic recovery.

“If brick and mortar establishments, which are the hardest-hit by the pandemic, have to pay VAT, the giants of e-commerce shouldn’t be exempt,” he said.

However, local companies that are already exempt from VAT by virtue of low turnover won’t be caught by the extension of the tax into the virtual realm.

Salceda’s amendments are designed to catch content streamers, but also online software sales – including mobile apps – plus SaaS and hosted software. The Philippines’ News Agency’s report on the amendment’s passage into law even mentions firewalls as subject to VAT.

The Philippines is not alone in introducing a digital services tax to raise more revenue after the COVID-19 pandemic hurt government revenue – Indonesia used the same logic in 2020 .

But the taxes are controversial because they are seen as a unilateral response to the wider issue of multinational companies picking the jurisdictions in which they’ll pay tax – a practice that erodes national tax bases. The G7 group of nations, and the OECD, think that collaborations that shift tax liabilities to nations where goods and services are acquired and consumed are the most appropriate response, and that harmonising global tax laws to make big tech pay up wherever they do business is a better plan than digital services taxes.

The USA has backed that view of digital services taxes, by announcing it will impose tariffson nations that introduce them – but is yet to enact that plan.

Meanwhile, the process of creating a global approach to multinational tax shenanigans is taking years to agree and implement.

But The Philippines wants more cash in its coffers – and to demonstrate that local businesses aren’t being disadvantaged – ASAP. ®

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