Thursday, August 18, 2011

700 Cats Seized in Florida

August 19, 2011

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) seized some 700 cats from Pennie and Steven Lefkowitz, residents of Alachua County, Florida on June 7 and 8 after the couple established their own cat sanctuary.

It isn’t unusual for as many as 700 cats to be found in one sanctuary so the media was silent about the issue. Interest in the case rose months after the seizure because the fate of the couple was finally decided.

Animal rights activists had been torn over what to do about the violations. Some thought the couple should be given “mandatory mental health evaluations and therapy.” Others opted for jail time. On the night of Aug. 15, things were settled: the Lefkowitzes were arrested and are now facing 47 counts of animal cruelty, “46 for cats and one for a rooster.”


HP Touchpad: another Victim of iPad’s Popularity

August 19, 2011

After its launching on June 1, HP pulled the plug Thursday on its TouchPad tablet device and plans to discontinue its WebOS-based smartphones.

HP CEO Leo Apotheker said “Our TouchPad hasnot been gaining enough traction in the marketplace. We have made the difficult but necessary decision to shut down the WebOS hardware operations” during a conference call.

Significant competition is one of the blamed factors for the unexpected shutdown plans. The company’s chief added that HP will be "exploring options" as to what next to do with WebOS.

Del Prete says of the decision to kill WebOS devices. "They decided to pull the trigger early. It was a combination that the iPad was a runaway hit and the Apple ecosystem made it hard for HP to match with its TouchPad.”


Jackie Chan Death Hoax

August 18, 2011

A Facebook Page is saying that Jackie Chan had died of a heart attack on Aug. 17 which caused a stir but the Hong Kong actor’s spokesman told E! News that Chan is "very much alive."

Chan's alleged death was yet another in a series of celebrity death hoaxes that have spread through cyberspace in recent years. In fact, it was only in March that Chan’s death was last fabricated.

CNN's John D. Sutter wrote a story on online celebrity death hoaxes in 2009 and said that part of the reason the phenomenon is so persistent is that the Internet greatly accelerated the speed of information flow, making it “difficult to verify what’s true and what may be so shockingly false.”


11–Year-Old Mayor Names Street Justin Bieber Way

August 18, 2011

What will an 11-year-old do if she was Mayor? Name your town’s main street after your favorite singer.

This is what Caroline Gonzalez did when she won the right to be mayor of Forney, 23 miles east of Dallas, for 24 hours through a Facebook competition designed to promote interest in politics among young people.

When asked by E! Online why she chose to honor the singer, Caroline’s answer was, "Because I really like Justin Bieber. I like his music and I like him. And I thought, why not have a street in my home town named after my favorite singer?"

The sign, which would only be displayed Tuesday, caused the city to spend $20, the Dallas Morning News reported.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Social Media Turning Socially Dangerous?

August 17, 2011

Flash mobs have become a global phenomenon. A social-media-fueled riot in England and flash-mob violence in several American cities, including Philadelphia and Cleveland, has officials debating how much they should and legally can crack down.

Involved in the looting and civil unrest around London used BlackBerry messages to organize, Access to social media for anyone suspected of using it for criminal activity led British Prime Minister David Cameron to suggest shutting it down.

Los Angeles also faced the issue brought by social media last month when a DJ sent out a Twitter message that caused hundreds to converge on Hollywood Boulevard. Police were called in to control the crowd.


Google acquiring Motorola Mobility

August 17, 2011

Google Inc. said that it will pay $12.5 billion for cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the biggest acquisition in the Internet search giant’s history and one designed to make it a more formidable competitor to Apple Inc. and its iPhone.

More and better smartphones for consumers will be the result Google’s Chief Executive, Larry Page said. Google, producer of the popular Android software for smartphones and tablet computers, will now be able to make its own hardware once it owns Motorola. Motorola manufactures Droid smartphones and tablet computer, Xoom.

To protect Google and its Android software for smartphones and tablets against a host of costly patent lawsuits filed by its rivals, is the reason behind the strategic move. Thousands of patents which Motorola holds, will now be owned by Google. Android products are “under threat from some companies who are looking to use patents to compete,’’ said David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Xenith: Stanford’s Fastest Solar Car

August 16, 2011

The Stanford Solar Car Project has been working on Xenith, its latest all-solar vehicle for two years which later this year will travel across the Australian Outback powered by nothing but sunlight. The team boasts that Xenith is the fastest solar car ever built.

Xenith will race in The World Solar Challenge, a race which is held every two years and challenges teams to build ultra-efficient solar vehicles in a 3,000-kilometer race from Darwin to Adelaide. This year's race will take place October 16-23.

The rules of the race vary for each event, giving teams just two years to conceptualize and build their vehicles. The idea is to constantly push the boundaries of what the vehicle can be, ranging in designs from ultra conceptual abstract ideas that may be less practical, and working toward real-world applications of energy efficiency that could be applied to future consumer products.


Niagara Falls Twist

August 16, 2011

Canadian police searching for a 19-year-old international student from Japan who fell after climbing over a safety railing have found a man’s body instead.

The foreign student was taking photos with a friend at Table Rock, at the top of Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the falls about 8:30 pm on Sunday when she climbed over one of the railings as seen on CCTV footage.

She sat on one of the pillars between the railings to pose for a photo while holding an umbrella. She lost her balance on her way back down and fell into Niagara River about 20 meters upstream from the falls

In search for the Japanese woman who fell on the Canadian side of the falls on Sunday, the body of an unidentified man in the Niagara River whirlpool at the base of the falls was found instead. Officials told the Star the discovery of the man's body is not believed to be linked to the woman's fall.


Gay Craigslist Tryst Pressures Indiana State Rep to Resign

August 15, 2011

Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle is pressured to resign a day after The Indianapolis Star received a series of emails suggesting the politician had arranged a sexual rendezvous with an 18-year-old man via Craigslist.

Apparently, the Republican state representative had responded to a posting on Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section and offered a young man $80 plus a tip to meet him at an Indianapolis hotel.

The state rep didn’t deny the existence or authenticity of the emails when he was asked to comment by the Star. He would only say he was “aware of a shakedown.” Pressed further, he referred any and all questions to his lawyer.

Hinkle’s lawyer, Peter Nugent, says he doesn’t know whether his Hinkle plans to resign. Nugent was still trying to figure out exactly what had gone down when the Star reached out for comment. “I’m making progress,” Nugent said.


Extreme Couponing Causes Increased Newspaper Theft

August 15, 2011

TLC ‘s Extreme Couponing, a reality television show which debuted in April has been blamed as the reason behind the increase in the number of newspapers being stolen across the country.

“Enter the world of bargain shoppers who have mastered the art of saving!” says TLC’s website on “Extreme Couponing.”

The series shows how people save hundreds of dollars on groceries by using coupons but some shoppers, in their eagerness to duplicate the huge savings, have chosen to do bad and even illegal behavior like stealing from newsstands, climbing into recycling bins, and photocopying coupons.


Dr Pepper Family Feud

August 12, 2011

Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, the parent company, is suing a small Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas while the latter claims that its big corporate parent is trying to drive it out of business.

The parent company claims the bottler is effectively diluting the brand name, by changing it, and is violating its licensing agreement by selling their product outside of its six-county territory.

Dublin Dr Pepper fired back Wednesday in a lawsuit, saying in part, "Dr Pepper-Snapple has turned its back on Dublin and the goodwill among the thousands of people who love this true Texas treasure that comes in an 8-ounce bottle."


Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie Wedding

August 12, 2011

An online appeal asking for the marriages of Muppet flat-mates Bert and Ernie has sparked comments, controversies and lots of tweets.

Lair Scott, a Chicago Resident, posted the petition seeking matrimony for the "Sesame Street" chums as a way to make gay and lesbian kids who watching the show feel better about themselves, and to promote tolerance for people who are different.

The marriage could legally happen, Scott said, since Sesame Street is located in New York, where gay marriage became legal in June. By Thursday afternoon, Scott's petition had collected 5,800 signatures.

According to Sesame Workshop, producer of the long-running children's series, Bert and Ernie were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves and are good friends. Sesame Workshop also added that they never declared them to be gay, much less romantically attached.