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Holy crow…. we had an earthquake in NJ last night! I know NJ is on a major fault line but this is the only one I have heard of in years. Very scary!

According to the USGS, Morris County experienced a 3.0 magnitude quake. Residents reported hearing loud noises and feeling homes shaking at the time

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My apologies for “borrowing” this from Gizmodo, but I was so mad when I read it and until I relax a little, I won’t be able to type coherently…

Timothy Butler over at OFB did some sleuthing and found that AT&T is downgrading its EDGE/2G service to the weaker 1900 MHz band. Their response to those with newly-lousy service? Buy a new phone.

EDGE/2G was previously using the 850 MHz band, which compared to the new 1900 MHz offered superior coverage, especially indoors. The switch, as confirmed by AT&T sources, is designed to boost the network’s 3G coverage, but that leaves many users of previously functioning phones, including the original iPhone, with worse service, especially in rural areas. An AT&T PR representative, as well as several customer service reps, offered the same solution: buy a new 3G phone, at the customer’s expense.

AT&T representative Mark Siegel denied that AT&T is forcing customers to upgrade operational phones to 3G, but this all amounts to a definite push, intentional or not. Customers who have recently purchased EDGE/2G phones may now find their phone unable to get adequate service in areas previously covered.

As much as we love the push for better, faster networks, it shouldn’t have to come at the expense of those with last-generation phones. [OFB]

Source – Gizmodo.. go visit them please 🙂

Written by Katie Lawson , Staff Writer, RedCross.org

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 — In an effort to avoid usual blood shortages in the winter months, blood service providers have designated January as Volunteer Blood Donor month. This year, the American Red Cross is inviting those who have never donated to become first-time donors while encouraging those who have made given blood in the past to become regular donors.

A Good Time to Give

Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood. Whether it is used to help an accident victim, an organ donor recipient or a patient with cancer, more than 38,000 blood donations are needed in hospitals every day around the country.

There is never a bad time to donate blood; however, there are times when donations – particularly new volunteer donors – are needed all the more. The winter months usually bring a general shortage of donors. Many people find themselves traveling for the holidays, out of their normal routine and unable to donate. Others may be affected by illness or inclement weather.

To be eligible to give blood, you must be a healthy individual over the age of 17, who has not donated in the past eight weeks (56 days) and weigh at least 110 pounds. That means, if you began giving blood at the age of 17 and donated every 56 days until the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood and potentially helped save more than 1,000 lives! Donors who contribute regularly often say they do so because they want to help others. Remember, because blood cannot be manufactured, there is no substitute – it must come through generous voluntary donors.

Full article is here…

RedCross.org

If so, the police would like a word with him…

I came across an interesting article on the BBC News website. The UK is digitizing books that virtually no one has seen in maybe hundreds of years! This is incredible…. putting knowledge back in the hands of the people. This is our heritage and has the potential to be truly amazing. As a book person who can read a smattering of Middle and Old English I can’t wait to see some of these file! Heck even if I can’t manage to read them the artwork in the books will worth the time to look.

LINK at BBC New

More than 100,000 old books previously unavailable to the public will go online thanks to a mass digitisation programme at the British Library.

The programme focuses on 19th Century books, many of which are unknown as few were reprinted after first editions.

The library believes online access to the titles will help teachers.

“If there are no modern editions teachers cannot use them for their courses,” said Dr Kristian Jensen, from the British Library.

“What we can read now is predetermined by a long tradition of what has been considered great literature,” he added.

At full production approximately 50,000 pages per working day will be scanned.

Project’s output

Approximately 30 terabytes of storage will be required to accommodate the project’s output.

The first 25 million pages are expected to take two years to complete. Texts which are hard to get hold of will particularly benefit from the digitisation.

Sir, I tip my hat to you!  I love to see it when the victims fight back and win!  A cab driver in Germany was mugged recently.  As we all know that cab driving is a really risky job and I feel for these guys.  The cabbie didn’t take being mugged very well.  Seems he fought back and won!  He got his money back plus the muggers wallet!  LOL, I love it.  The cabbie locked himself in his cab and waited for the police.  I guess since the mugger knew there was no way out, since the cabbie had his license, waited patiently on the curb.  LOL!

Link to article…..

Bad news about TorrentSpy via C-Net news….

A court decision reached last month but under seal until Friday could force Web sites to track visitors if the sites become defendants in a lawsuit.

TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent search engine, was ordered on May 29 by a federal judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles to create logs detailing users’ activities on the site. The judge, Jacqueline Chooljian, however, granted a stay of the order on Friday to allow TorrentSpy to file an appeal.

The appeal must be filed by June 12, according to Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy’s attorney.

TorrentSpy has promised in its privacy policy never to track visitors without their consent.

“It is likely that TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users,” Rothken said. “If this order were allowed to stand, it would mean that Web sites can be required by discovery judges to track what their users do even if their privacy policy says otherwise.”

greg.jpg Now this will make my kid happy! He still likes the Wiggles, not as much as he used to, but this would still be a fun trip. Granted Great Adventure is pretty expensive to go to for the day, but it is cheaper than the mortgage price that is charged to go to the stage show in NY.

Wiggles section opening at Great Adventure
They went from being an Australian children’s music group to a universal kiddy-rock sensation with songs such as “Fruit Salad” and “Hot Potato.” Now the Wiggles — Anthony, Sam, Jeff and Murray — will have their own section of a New Jersey theme park.

Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson is scheduled to open a new Wiggles-themed area on April 2, with rides, merchandise and a restaurant named for a Wiggles album — the Yummy Yummy Café.

Six Flags New England and Chicago are also opening Wiggles World sections this year, said group member Murray Cook, known to fans as the red Wiggle for the color of his hair and his shirt.

“This is just amazing for us, and we are looking forward to seeing it open,” Cook said in a recent phone interview from the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where the group was about to perform.

Cook said he and the rest of the group plan to make an appearance at the park and perform there during the 2007 season, although they will not be part of the regular events.

Rides to be featured in Wiggles World at Great Adventure include the Big Red Car Ride, Big Red Plane Ride, Dorothy the Dinosaur’s Racing to the Rainbow Balloon Ride, Bouncin’ With Wags Ride and the S.S. Feathersword Pirate Ship jam, packed with lots of things to explore. Wiggles merchandise will be available for sale.

At the Yummy Yummy Café, the child-friendly menu will have some appropriate dishes: fruit salad and hot potatoes.

Contributed by Allison Freeman LINK

Ford posted the largest loss for a company EVER! $12.7 Billion! That’s more debt than a lot of small countries. How is this possible? It’s just mind boggling. Don’t they have an accounting staff? Perhaps someone on that team went up to the CFO on January 2, 2006 and said “eehhem, boss…. I think we’re in trouble.” I just don’t get it. How are they still in business? How are they paying there employees? I am very confused…..

LINK

Charles Littleton, 22, was defiant, even after being Tasered by police, when he resisted efforts to remove him from a Saginaw, Mich., City Council meeting. He said he had to stand up for his right to wear his Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap, despite a rule banning hats for men inside. “It means more than just a hat,” he said. “It’s like my crown. It’s like asking a king to remove his crown.”