Business Diary: A bit of Glee at the 'Huffington Post'

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The Independent Online

The Huffington Post is one of the voices of liberal America, and we certainly need those in the era of the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. So what has been attracting the most views at this rare ray of light in an increasingly poisonous political discourse across the Atlantic? The best way to fight back against the right-wing crazies? How tolerance is a thoroughly good thing? Well, no. Second on the most-viewed list for several days has been, erm, a bit of a fuss over a racy photoshoot by the cast of teen drama Glee.

Scary stuff from Ann Summers

The risqué retailer Ann Summers is always good for raising a smile. This time there's a bit of a fuss about a festive Halloween advert, which has been blocked by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) after listeners complained about its (surprise, surprise) sexual nature. The offending (if not offensive) ad for Halloween outifts apparently began by featuring screams of fear, which were then replaced by screams of another kind. It was only aired after the watershed but the watchdog thinks it is too much and isn't much scared by the retailer's planned appeal.

There'll never be a Farmville famine

Technology blog The Wall has dug out a stat which perhaps ought to make us think a bit: apparently 105,000 hours are spent on virtual farming (and other games) in a month on Facebook. The source looks a bit flakey but, if it's even half-right, just think about this. How many of those hours would you need to actually solve Africa's real food shortages? Some of the cash spent on virtual fertiliser for those Farmville farms wouldn't hurt either, while we're at it.

Shared Earth is behind the times

We're fond of the Fair Trade movement, but the retailer Shared Earth really needs to pull its head out of the sand when it comes to indulging in self-promotion. "Is this the end of the recession?" it asks boldly, announcing that two new stores will be open by Christmas. Hate to rain on your parade, chaps, but the recession actually ended officially in the fourth quarter of last year. And what we are all worrying about now is whether George Osborne's axe will create the next one.