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Archive for July 14th, 2008

Apple sells 1 million new 3G iPhones over introductory weekend

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Apple has sold 1 million new iPhones in its initial weekend, on par with estimates set by analysts, sending its stock rising more than 2 percent.

The original iPhone, introduced in late June 2007 in the United States only, sold about 270,000 units in its first two days. Sales topped 1 million by early September. The new device sells in 21 countries…to start.

IPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. “It took 74 days to sell the first 1 million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world…”

“We don’t yet know the breakdown of how many phones were sold to new customers and how many existing iPhone customers upgraded, but regardless, sales during the first weekend were very impressive,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecommunications analyst, in a note.

I find the critter interesting as a mobile platform – more so than as a smart phone. I don’t travel on business anymore; so, I don’t plan on getting one. Yet.

My wife may surprise me one of these days, though – and show up with one for herself. Working in banking IT, she could use something with expanded capabilities.

Reflecting that broad range, the new iPhone App Store downloaded 10 million apps over the first weekend.

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Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Geek, Technology

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How to solve the cost of gasoline…

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…if you believe. Eh?

Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Religion

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Why dying is forbidden in this Arctic township

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It is forbidden to die in the Arctic town of Longyearbyen.

Should you have the misfortune to fall gravely ill, you can expect to be despatched by aeroplane or ship to another part of Norway to end your days.

And if you are terminally unlucky and succumb to misfortune or disease, no-one will bury you here.

The town’s small graveyard stopped accepting newcomers 70 years ago, after it was discovered that the bodies were failing to decompose.

Corpses preserved by permafrost have since become objects of morbid curiosity. Scientists recently removed tissue from a man who did die here. They found traces of the influenza virus which carried him and many others away in an epidemic in 1917.
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Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Culture, Earth

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Secular Turks indicted for ‘coup plot’

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Demonstrations supporting the secular state have counted millions on the streets
AP Photo by MURAD SEZER

Turkish prosecutors have indicted 86 secular Turks on terrorism charges for their alleged involvement in plots to topple the Islamic-rooted government.

Aykut Cengiz Engin said the suspects, believed to include at least one former general and an opposition politician, were charged either with belonging to a terrorist organisation, or of provoking a military coup.

A court must now decide within two weeks whether to open the case.

The suspects accuse the government of eroding Turkey’s secular laws and making too many concessions to Christian and Kurdish minorities as part of the nation’s bid to join the European Union.

It doesn’t get more complicated than this…
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Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Culture, Politics, Religion

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Brit babes busted in oral sex competition

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Nine British women were facing prostitution charges after being arrested at the weekend for taking part in an oral sex competition in the Greek holiday island of Zakynthos, say police.

Six British and six Greek men, including two bar owners, were also charged in the incident, which took place at Laganas beach in the south of the Ionian island, which lies off the west coast of mainland Greece.

The women, who came to the popular resort on holiday, had been paid to take part in the competition, which was video recorded and was to be posted on the Internet, police said.

The men were charged with encouraging obscene behavior.

Do we know any men who don’t encourage obscene behavior?

Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Culture

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Principal promises school is drug-free. Uh-huh.

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There is no drug problem at Westlake Boys High School, says its headmaster Craig Monaghan.

He is defending the school after a two-week investigation found 12 year 10 pupils using or dealing cannabis. The pupils were excluded from the school for “gross misconduct”.

Mr Monaghan guarantees there are no more Westlake students using drugs in school. “I’m 100 percent certain there are no drugs left in the school…

North Shore police area commander inspector Les Paterson says It is almost impossible to prevent students getting drugs into schools. “What can we do – set up border patrols?

Schools need to rely on education, common sense and good parenting to stop drugs problems, he says.

“It would be draconian and bizarre to go down the route they have in the United States where you basically get searched on your way in.

The copper’s brain is closer to Earth than the headmaster, of course.

I have to wonder what sort of education the school provides about sex – in light of their fascination with Zero Tolerance.

Thanks, K B

Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 8:00 am

MINI Cooper D – 65 mpg Diesel Dream

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The diesel-powered MINI Cooper D is a mileage-minded enthusiast’s dream car. With slot car handling and truly remarkable fuel mileage figures, it’s hard not to drool over the little gem. While MINI Cooper gas mileage is good, the MINI D’s numbers are insanely great.

After months of anticipation, I had the chance that few have had here in America. I spent the better part of a day with a sweet six-speed…MINI D.

Looking at the specs, it’s clear to see why this is the high-MPG king of the hot hatches. The six-speed manual transmission-equipped MINI Cooper D is rated at…roughly 50 city / 67 highway here in the States.

Alas, MINI hasn’t brought their diesel coupe to America. And there’s no official word on when, where, or if it might happen. But I knew that one had recently arrived here in the States, as part of Bosch’s in-house Euro Diesel fleet.

My long awaited day in the sun with the MINI D took place while attending the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles conference in Las Vegas. I had to pinch myself when the good folks at Bosch handed me the keys.

Read the road test. He certainly had a great deal of fun driving the car – pretty much a given with the Mini Cooper platform.

The opportunity to do that whilst not consuming a boatload of fuel is a bonus that many of us are looking forward to.

Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 6:00 am

Beer, bucks, bye-bye Budweiser!

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Is NASCAR ready for this?

Anheuser-Busch…has entered talks that could see Belgian rival InBev announce a takeover in the next few days, according to reports in the United States.

St Louis-based Anheuser is said to have abandoned its opposition to the deal after InBev raised its offer from $65 a share to $70, valuing the business at more than $50 billion.

The takeover proposal has sparked uproar among customers and politicians at home who want the classic American brand to stay in US hands. Many people in St Louis fear job losses and the end of the brewer’s longstanding support for local charitable and civic projects.

Some large shareholders in Anheuser though, including the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who owns 5%, are understood to have put pressure on the brewer’s management to do a deal.

Some American brand names are still worth something – to someone.

And, according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s a done deal.

Written by Ed Campbell

July 14, 2008 at 12:30 am

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