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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector: K'Naan

May 18th, 2010
06:50 PM ET

"They'll call me freedom, just like Wavin' a flag": so opens this year's official World Cup anthem by Somali-Canadian poet, rapper and musician K'Naan.

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caption="K'Naan is your Connector of the Day."]

It's an uplifting hip-hop number, taken from his recent album Troubadour.

In an art form that relies on story-telling, K'Naan's own background offers a tale of overcoming adversity. He escaped life in violent somalia, and achieved fame in his adopted country of Canada and around the world with his African-influenced rap tunes.

He's proven an articulate spokesman for Somalia and the continent as a whole, yet the use of one of his songs for the South Africa World Cup theme has generated some controversy for the simple fact it wasn't written or recorded in Africa itself.

Critics have compared K'Naan's sound to both Bob Marley and Eminem, but he describes his work as "urgent music with a message".

He has taken part in some high-profile musical collaborations: working with British band Keane in 2009 and more recently with American artist Jason Mraz.

So here's your chance to ask K'Naan a question about his career and his involvement in the World Cup.

Leave your questions below, and don't forget to tell us where you're writing in from.

Friday's Connector: Arundhati Roy

May 18th, 2010
02:14 PM ET

When "The God of Small Things" first hit bookshelves in 1997, Indian born author Arundhati Roy was instantly catapulted to global fame.

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caption="Arundhati Roy is your Connector of the Day."]

Her debut novel shot up the "New York Times" bestsellers list and snapped up the coveted Booker Prize for Fiction.

Roy was no stranger to success -– she’d already won a National Film Award for Best Screenplay - but even she was shocked at the amount of international attention.

Roy has continued to hold the spotlight thanks to tireless political activism on issues as far-ranging as India’s nuclear weapons, Enron and the war on terror.

Her efforts were finally recognized in 2004 when she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize.

Roy’s not afraid to speak her mind about the social causes close to her heart, even if it means getting criticized in the process or even being sent to jail.

Currently, Roy has a new book of essays out called "Field Notes on Democracy".

Friday's Connector: Brett Ratner

May 17th, 2010
05:19 PM ET

Best known for blockbusters like the action-comedy "Rush Hour" franchise and "X-Men: The Last Stand", Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood’s most successful directors.

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caption="Brett Ratner is your Connector of the Day."]

Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Ratner attended High School in Israel, and became the youngest film major at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts at age 16.

Ratner directed his first feature film just ten years later - the surprise box office hit comedy "Money Talks," starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker.

Since then, he's made eight feature films which have grossed over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide in a short amount of time. "X-Men: The Last Stand" opened with a staggering $123 million in just four days - the biggest Memorial Day weekend in history at the box office.

Away from the silver screen, Ratner has directed more than 100 music videos for the likes of Madonna, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z and Miley Cyrus, and he's also moved into book publishing and photography.

His publishing company, Rat Press, is re-releasing out of print books about Hollywood, and his photographs have appeared in "Vanity Fair" and "Vogue Homme."

Most recently, he's edited the Indian movie "Kites" starring Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori for western audiences; the film will be released on May 21.

Wednesday's Connector: Hrithik Roshan

May 17th, 2010
12:24 PM ET

Born into a Bollywood dynasty, it's perhaps a bit unsurprising that Hrithik Roshan first appeared on film as a child.

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caption="Hrithik Roshan is your Connector of the Day."]

After a short stint as an assistant director on films directed by his father, Roshan began to star in a spate of big banner movies.

Roshan even brought India its first celluloid superhero in the movie "Krrish".

Performances in other movies like "Jodhaa Akbar" won Roshan critical acclaim and numerous accolades at film festivals in India and across the world.

With the eagerly anticipated release of "Kites", his international plaudits look set to increase as the film is about to premiere in the United States and the United Kingdom.

There's even an English version of the movie entitled "Kites: The Remix" which was edited by Hollywood producer, Brett Ratner.

Adobe and Apple continue to do battle

May 14th, 2010
04:23 PM ET

Dozens of newspapers and tech websites around the world had large spread advertisements from tech giant Adobe, saying that they "love Apple", despite being locked in a bitter dispute with the company.

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caption="Does the battle between Adobe and Apple impact you?"]

Ads appeared in publications including the "Wall Street Journal" and "Financial Times" and was a play on words of the popular slogan "I love New York" - but instead this time it read "We love Apple".

The two companies have been in a bitter war against each other as Apple refuses to use Adobe's flash player software on its iPod and iPad platforms.

In a blog last month, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs wrote that "letting a third-party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform."

He also said the format leads to crashes, hinders app development and doesn't work well with touch-screen devices.

Adobe has argued against the move by Apple and has said in an open letter to the public that the internet should "be open to everyone".

"We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have, what browser they like, or what device suits their needs," co-founders of Adobe Chuck Geschke and John Warnock wrote.

"No company — no matter how big or how creative — should dictate what you can create, how you create it, or what you can experience on the web."

We want to know what you think.

Is it fair that Apple doesn't include Adobe flash as an option on their platforms? Should it be open to everyone?


Filed under:  General
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