When World Events Take Center Stage

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In an otherwise slow news week for technology, even big news for the industry would be dwarfed by the catastrophe in Asia.

During a conversation earlier this week, Intel spokesman Chuck Molloy said it didn't appear that his company's operations in Malaysia or elsewhere in the region had been affected by the deadly earthquake and tsunamis on Sunday. But in the same breath, he let it be known that Intel is very concerned about its employees and their families in the region. That's where the real concern is this week.

Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Amazon.com answered complaints by a U.N. official that the U.S. was "stingy" in offering relief assistance to the millions affected in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sumatra and elsewhere by doing what the company does best. It took the issue online and gave Amazon.com customers the ability to contribute to a relief fund with a few simple clicks.

In little more than a day, Amazon's customers (who come from all over the world) had apparently kicked in more cash to the relief effort than some entire countries.

And that's to say nothing of the blogger community. Michele Catalano at The Command Post was one who quickly compiled an easy-to-navigate listing of various charities taking donations to help those in need in the wake of the disaster.

So even if you're home, on vacation or in an office during the last week of the year, you're not more than a minute or two away from providing real help.

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