Archive for May, 2009

Twitter goes to Television

May 31, 2009

Anyone remember Tiny Tim?  He was the first fad I remembered as a kid whose weird persona caught the nation’s fancy in the late sixties.  Twitter to me is the latest Tiny Tim or The Friendster or Netscape of 2009.  I’m not saying the functionality of Twitter won’t live on but really, the hype is momumentally silly.

“How’s this for a tweet: Twitter is coming to a television near you.

Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment Partners on Monday announced they have partnered with the social-networking and micro-blogging service to develop the first TV series that incorporates Twitter into the action of the show.

Created by novelist Amy Ephron, sister of Nora and Delia Ephron, the show will feature ordinary people competing while on the trail of celebrities.”



Arthritis drug has fungal infection side effects

May 31, 2009

“The FDA issued a MedWatch Alert on Thursday to remind doctors about the potential side effects of Simponi, a recently-approved drug for treatment of arthritis, which can increase the risk of serious fungal infections. Delays in recognizing the infections and starting patients on antifungal treatments could result in potentially life-threatening injuries.”


Opelika Alabama citizens can speak out about Charter cable

May 31, 2009

“Opelika citizens will have a chance Tuesday to air their feelings about Charter Communications Inc., whose 20-year franchise agreement with the city expires in December.

Charter tied for last in a national survey on customer service in 2008 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earllier this year.

“We will probably not make any demands Tuesday night. This is an opportunity for our citizens to express how they feel about the service they have received from Charter,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, who is in charge of renegotiating Charter’s non-exclusive franchise agreement. “Part of the renewal process is to have this public hearing so we can get citizen input.”

“…The Opelika City Council will meet Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Opelika City Hall located at 204 South 7th St.”

Call for consumer financial products protections

May 30, 2009

Banks are going to fight this one tooth and nail:

“The real problem for consumers is not the lack of laws to protect them. In many cases, they exist. The deeper failure is the lack of any federal agency looking out for consumers’ interest across a wide array of financial products, from credit cards to “payday loans” to mortgages. Oversight is splintered across an array of agencies that tend to treat consumer protection as a stepchild.

 Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who heads the Congressional Oversight Panel for the government’s financial rescue, had the right idea in 2007 when she wrote that consumers get better federal protection when they buy a toaster than when they take out a mortgage on the biggest purchase of their lives, a home.”


What court will hear chinese drywall cases?

May 30, 2009

“With myriad lawsuits being filed across the country related to the growing problem of defective drywall, a panel of federal judges is now set to decide where all of the cases will be centralized.

The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation — known as the MDL panel — held a hearing in Louisville, Ky., this week on Chinese drywall.

The federal courtroom in Louisville was packed Wednesday with dozens of lawyers from at least a half-dozen states, all of whom had an interest in the seven-judge panel’s ruling, expected in about two weeks.

At issue is which federal district court — and which judge — will be assigned the massive task of centralizing all U.S. cases involving defective drywall.”


Social Media Saturday: Facebook privacy illusory

May 30, 2009

“The fact that an individual may have restricted viewing of his/her Facebook profile to preapproved individuals is irrelevant, as courts have generally held that a party who maintains a private or limited-access Facebook profile stands in the same position as one who sets up a publicly available profile. In both cases, Facebook postings that relate to any matter at issue in an action must be identified and produced for examination.

It has also been held that a plaintiff must submit to cross-examination from defense lawyers with regard to postings made by the plaintiff on his/her Facebook account, regardless of whether the content was available to the public or not.

In reaching this conclusion, an Ontario Superior Court Justice stated that “to permit a party claiming very substantial damages for loss of enjoyment of life to hide behind self-set privacy controls on a Web site, the primary purpose of which is to enable people to share information about how they lead their social lives, risks depriving the opposite party of access to material that may be relevant to ensuring a fair trial.”


People eliminating cable tv

May 29, 2009

Given the abuses and monopolistic tendencies of the cable industry, I think this is good news:

“Some 900,000 U.S. homes didn’t pay for TV and relied solely on Web TV last year, according to estimates from consulting firm Parks Associates, which projects that the number will grow this year. And 8% of adults now view television shows online at least once a week, up from 6% who did so in 2008, according to a survey by the Leichtman Research Group. The same survey found that 8% of adults who watch video online now watch TV less often.

Overall, while the number of households paying for cable rose 2% last year, pay-TV growth has slowed considerably. In the last three months of 2008, pay-TV penetration grew by only 0.7%, or 220,000 homes, its lowest rate on record, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.”


Antibiotic Levaquin: next mass tort candidate?

May 29, 2009

“Three new Levaquin Lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey state court, joining other similar cases filed in state and federal courts throughout the country, alleging that the antibiotic caused plaintiffs to suffer painful tendon ruptures.

Levaquin (levofloxacin) was first approved by the FDA in December 1996 to prevent infection by stopping reproduction of bacteria. However, a number of users have developed Levaquin tendon ruptures and tendonitis as a side effect of the medication, which the complaints allege Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn about.”


Wikipedia bans Scientology

May 29, 2009

“In an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits, the Wikipedia supreme court has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.

Closing out the longest-running court case in Wikiland history, the site’s Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the move, which takes effect immediately.”


Friday Freebies: Free cd and dvd burner

May 29, 2009

StarBurn is a powerful tool for grabbing, burning and mastering CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD media. StarBurn supports all types of optical storage media (including CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Dual layer DVD-R & DVD+R, BD-R/RE, HD-DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM) as well as a wide variety of burning hardware.