Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A storm that has been passing through the midwest some parts of the nation will arrive in New England late tonight. This will be the first major snowstorm of the winter season for the northeast.

There is currently a winter storm warning for most of Massachusetts. It is predicted that there could be near-blizzard conditions in the morning. The storm is expected to bring several inches of snow to the area.

There are currently parking bans in effect in some areas of Massachusetts.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The European Commission currently has proposals on the table to extend performers’ copyright terms. Described by Professor Martin Kretschmer as the “Beatles Extension Act”, the proposed measure would extend copyright from 50 to 95 years after recording. A vast number of classical tracks are at stake; the copyright on recordings from the fifties and early sixties is nearing its expiration date, after which it would normally enter the public domain or become ‘public property’. E.U. Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy is proposing this extension, and if the other relevant Directorate Generales (Information Society, Consumers, Culture, Trade, Competition, etc.) agree with the proposal, it will be sent to the European Parliament.

Wikinews contacted Erik Josefsson, European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.), who invited us to Brussels, the heart of E.U. policy making, to discuss this new proposal and its implications. Expecting an office interview, we arrived to discover that the event was a party and meetup conveniently coinciding with FOSDEM 2008 (the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting). The meetup was in a sprawling city centre apartment festooned with E.F.F. flags and looked to be a party that would go on into the early hours of the morning with copious food and drink on tap. As more people showed up for the event it turned out that it was a truly international crowd, with guests from all over Europe.

Eddan Katz, the new International Affairs Director of the E.F.F., had come over from the U.S. to connect to the European E.F.F. network, and he gladly took part in our interview. Eddan Katz explained that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is “A non-profit organisation working to protect civil liberties and freedoms online. The E.F.F. has fought for information privacy rights online, in relation to both the government and companies who, with insufficient transparency, collect, aggregate and make abuse of information about individuals.” Another major focus of their advocacy is intellectual property, said Eddan: “The E.F.F. represents what would be the public interest, those parts of society that don’t have a concentration of power, that the private interests do have in terms of lobbying.”

Becky Hogge, Executive Director of the U.K.’s Open Rights Group (O.R.G.), joined our discussion as well. “The goals of the Open Rights Group are very simple: we speak up whenever we see civil, consumer or human rights being affected by the poor implementation or the poor regulation of new technologies,” Becky summarised. “In that sense, people call us -I mean the E.F.F. has been around, in internet years, since the beginning of time- but the Open Rights Group is often called the British E.F.F.


  • 1 The interview
    • 1.1 Cliff Richard’s pension
    • 1.2 Perpetual patents?
    • 1.3 The fight moves from the U.K. to Europe
    • 1.4 Reclaiming democratic processes in the E.U.
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

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byAlma Abell

To grow your business, you need to be able to compete with larger companies. As a new business owner, though, you may not have the time or resources to devote to a fully staffed office. Fortunately, you have options. By using virtual offices Columbia MO businesses can ensure that all of their calls are answered quickly and efficiently. These pros and cons of virtual offices will help you decide if outsourcing is right for your business.


* You don’t need to invest in office infrastructure, such as desks, computer equipment and a phone system until your business is big enough to absorb the costs.

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* You don’t have to supervise your office staff to ensure they are providing quality customer service to your customers.

* You can have your calls answered even when you are sleeping. Call centers are open 24-hours a day so your customers can call your business when it is convenient for them.

* You don’t have to spend your valuable time training employees to handle your customers’ phone calls. Just provide all the information to the virtual office and they will train the call center representatives.

As your business starts to grow and you need to decide who will answer your customers’ calls, consider these pros and cons of outsourcing. Visit to find out how virtual offices in Columbia MO companies use to handle their customer service needs can help you grow your business without investing money and time that you don’t have yet.


* When you need to get new or different information to your customers, you have to contact your representative at the virtual office who has to relay the information to the customer service representative. This process can take time whereas, if you answer calls in-house, you can make changes immediately.

* As competent as a virtual office employee may be, the can not understand your business like an employee who works at your company full-time.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has penned a stiff reminder to drug giants Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC: pull your 15-second “reminder” ad for the erectile dysfunction drug, Levitra, off TV.

FDA said there is no evidence Levitra is better than rival drugs Viagra from Pfizer, or Cialis, owned by Eli Lilly and Co., in producing results that make female partners happy.

Levitra and Cialis together control about 30 per cent of the market for such drugs, but Pfizer takes the majority share.

Reminder ads can only call attention to a drug, not claim it works better, or at all.

“In one of [the ad’s] scenes, the man strokes the woman’s hair and face as she affectionately puts her hand on his wrist,” the FDA wrote. “In the other, she puts her arms around his neck and they embrace.”

“The totality of the TV ad also represents or suggests that Levitra will provide a satisfying sexual experience from the female partner’s perspective,” the agency wrote.

Glaxo spokesman Michael Fleming said the drug makers would comply. Bayer developed Levitra and partnered with Glaxo to market the pills in 2001. Bayer recently turned its part of the promotion over to Schering-Plough Corp.

Shares of Bayer fell 75 cents to $32.96 on Friday. Shares of GlaxoSmithKline rose 32 cents to close at $47.82. Schering-Plough shares rose 8 cents to end at $20.65.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Renault driver Fernando Alonso finished third in the Brazilian Grand Prix, held at the Autodromo Carlos Pace near São Paulo. McLaren drivers and championship rivals Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikonnen finished first and second respectively; although Alonso’s third place decreased his lead in championship points over Raikonnen, his closest rival, to 23, he nonetheless was able to secure the 2005 Drivers’ World Championship. Since the winner of a Formula One Grand Prix earns 10 points and only two races remain, Raikonnen no longer has a mathematical possibility of becoming World Champion.

Alonso thus ends the five-year long reign of Michael Schumacher at the top of Formula One. At 24, he also became the youngest Formula One World Champion, ahead of Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi, who was 25 when he took the crown in 1972. He is also the first Spaniard to take that title.

Even though the Drivers’ Championship is over, the Constructors’ Championship will most likely go down to the wire during the last two races of the season in Suzuka (Japan) and Shanghai. Even though Renault has led the Championship for most of the season, Raikonnen’s recent victories in the Hungarian, Turkish, Belgian and Brazilian Grand Prix have given McLaren a two-point lead over Renault, ensuring that both teams will fight hard for every point in the final races.

The race commenced with an incident between David Coulthard and Antonio Pizzonio touching wheels, forcing the latter’s Williams-BMW into his teammate Mark Webber’s car, putting all three of them out of the race (Webber eventually did manage to rejoin after lengthy repairs). The incident necessitated the deployment of the safety car until the track was cleared. Following the restart, Giancarlo Fisichella repassed reigning seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher almost immediately, although Schumacher ultimately regained the position during the first pitstop round.

Montoya was never challenged for the race lead, and was not required to assist his teammate as Alonso’s third place ensured that a win for Raikonnen would have made no difference regarding the outcome of the world championship. McLaren’s one-two finish was their first such result since the 2000 Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite pre-race concerns about rain, the race remained dry.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

byAlma Abell

Cincinnati, Ohio is a wonderful city that combines historic architecture with modern day living. It is visited by thousands of tourist annually. Located in the Ohio valley, this great city boasts a myriad of culinary cuisines that include fresh seafood and fine quality cuts of beef. Finding great steak restaurants can seem daunting however if you have a palate that craves fine dining, specifically exquisite surf & turf you will be in for a treat.

With over 24 Steakhouse Restaurants in Cincinnati to choose from, there is one that stands out from among the rest. That restaurant is Tony’s Steaks and Seafood. Created by Tony Ricci this restaurant was an inspiration of his younger years in Italy as he watched his mother prepared meals for family and friends. Tony was motivated to pursue his dream of having his own restaurant where he could serve delicious meals and offer a unique dining experience to all who entered his establishment.

Located in the heart of the city his restaurant features an upscale dining atmosphere with an exclusive jazz band that performs during the weekends. With a staff of professionals, Tony’s ensures each customer experiences a memorable atmosphere. The menu features various seafood items, prime steaks along with a myriad of Mediterranean dishes prepared by trained chefs. The assorted bar menu boasts oysters, shrimp and crab legs all of which can be steamed or prepared to order according to the customer’s taste. The pasta dishes features authentic Italian flavors while the entrees include fine cuts of fish and chicken. The highlight of the menu is the Steak and Chops section. Patrons can request Filet Mignon, Bone in Prime Ribs or New Zealand Rack of Lamb or other great cuts of beef. Tony’s also features specials that are altered weekly which provides an opportunity for regular clients to experience different dishes and expand their palates.

Tony’s also offers membership to their Diner’s Club and Diamond Club. Diamond Club members receive prioritizes reservations as well as preferred pricing on various wines. Tony’s has received a number of positive reviews and ratings that separate them from the average steakhouse. If you are in the area be sure to drop in and experience culinary cuisine at one of the finest Steakhouse Restaurants in Cincinnati. You will not be disappointed in your decision.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

After seven weeks in the Southern Ocean disrupting the Japanese whaling fleet, a Canadian registered anti-whaling ship, the Farley Mowat, has been detained by South African authorities.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel, its captain Paul Watson, and his crew, have been detained indefinitely. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) have placed a guard on the gangplank and are patrolling the ship.

The Farley Mowat, which sailed from Melbourne, Australia on December 6, was detained in Cape Town harbour, following a request from the Canadian government. A SAMSA official said the ship did not have the required certification.

“They don’t have the right certificates for the skipper, the first-mate or the chief engineer,” an official said. According to SAMSA, the detention adheres to Canadian maritime laws and followed correspondence from Canada, who requested that the authorities check the ship.

According to Scoop Independent, the ship and crew have been detained due to the International Maritime Organization’s ISPS Code. Under Canadian maritime law, both the captain and first officer should be Canadian nationals. Captain Paul Watson is Canadian, First Officer Alex Cornelissen is Dutch.

SAMSA claims that the Farley Mowat was not in possession of an international ship security certificate or a ship security plan.

This means the ship allegedly does not comply with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) – a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. The code was developed in response to the perceived maritime threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The official said the detention was in line with Canadian maritime laws and followed correspondence from Canada requesting the authorities check the ship.

However, Captain Paul Watson says political pressure from Japan is behind the detention of the boat. He says he does not have the necessary documentation required by officials as the boat is registered as a yacht and not a commercial vessel.

Monday, November 28, 2005

U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”

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