Monday, June 30, 2008

IBC Monday: In The News


VANCOUVER, BC -- A three-year-old Calgary girl was rushed to hospital
in Vancouver on Thursday morning after she accidentally drank
windshield-washer fluid she thought was water.

The driver of the limo, operated by Richmond, B.C.-based LimoJet Gold,
offered his passengers a blue plastic bottle, which he believed to
contain water.

Three-year-old Olivia Kittson, who had the flu, had just arrived in
town with her mother, Elisha, when she was sick to her stomach in the
back of the limo taking them from the airport to the condo they had

Olivia took a sip. But when the two arrived at the condo, Elisha drank
from the same bottle and realized it contained a toxic chemical.

According to her husband, Kelly, Elisha called a doctor and was told
to bring Olivia to B.C. Children's Hospital. "A tablespoon of this
stuff is considered extremely toxic," said Kelly, who is still in Calgary.

"I called the limo company that drove them and they confirmed it was
window-washer fluid," he said. "Some of the drivers, I guess, when
they have a little bit leftover from the big containers, they pour it
into these bottles."

Olivia underwent blood tests and was discharged, he said, but likely
had a long night of vomiting ahead of her. "Her liver can't process
the chemical," Kelly said.

"They want my wife to keep an eye on her and if things change, to
bring her back to the hospital."

Elisha was certain she spat out all of the washer fluid after she took
a sip, he said.

Carolyn Bauer, operations manager for LimoJet, said she feels
"absolutely awful" about what happened to Olivia. "I can't apologize
enough for the terror they must be feeling and the pain of seeing
their child in the hospital," she said.

When she heard what happened, Bauer said she went to the airport and
removed every water bottle from each of the company's vehicles.

"I told (the drivers): If a customer asks for water, just pull over
at a store," she said. "Don't give it out."

The driver, who has children, is devastated, Bauer said.

She hasn't questioned him yet about what happened and said she plans
to wait until he is in a better frame of mind. "I'm just going to
continue on the investigation," Bauer said.

"I've spoken with the mother many times. She's going to keep me
updated about the little girl."

Kelly, who is at home with his nine-month-old son, said the company's
owner apologized to their family and he's satisfied with how they
handled the incident.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tech Tuesday: Pioneer Universal Rear-View Camera

Universal Rear-View Camera for use with Pioneer A/V and Navigation products featuring a Rear View Camera Input. Pioneer is a world leader in the consumer electronics industry and digital entertainment products. The confidence to innovate. The skill to harness the limitless possibilities of cutting-edge technology. The commitment to enhance the lives of its customers throughout the world. These are the qualities that have put Pioneer at the forefront of new product development. Also Compatible with older Pioneer models. Buy Product here: Pioneer Car NDBC2 Universal Rear View Camera

Monday, June 23, 2008

IBC: In The News - George Carlin Dies at 71

Comic pioneer George Carlin dies at 71

George Carlin, an extraordinary standup comedian whose dark social satire won him multigenerational popularity and a starring role in the most famous broadcast obscenity case of modern times, died Sunday of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 71.

The Manhattan-born comedian, who always said his often-cynical satire simply reflected his real-life disdain for mankind's greed, stupidity and inconsideration, had a history of heart problems. He also did a stint in rehab in 2003 for drug dependency.

The TV network Comedy Central in 2004 named him the second best standup comedian of all time, behind Richard Pryor.

Late last week the Kennedy Center announced he would receive its annual Mark Twain prize for American humor this November.

Carlin became one of the most popular standup comedians in America in the 1960s and early 1970s through programs like "The Ed Sullivan Show."

He seemed ambivalent about that success, though, and gradually shifted much of his act to a counterculture posture reminiscent of the late Lenny Bruce. Carlin admired Bruce and was in the building when Bruce was arrested for obscenity.

Carlin was one of the first comedians to dress "naturally" for a standup routine, in jeans and a beard, and his most famous routine became "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television."

The comic point of the bit was that everyone says the words, but that we hypocritically pretend to find them offensive in the media. He was arrested for performing that routine in Milwaukee in 1972. A year later the routine was broadcast by radio station WBAI in New York, which was sanctioned by the FCC for broadcasting obscene language during daytime hours.

The case eventually worked its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the sanction was upheld in a 5-4 vote that has continued to guide broadcast obscenity and indecency policy through today.

Carlin said that ruling simply reinforced the original point of the routine - and his own frustration with America. He stopped voting after George McGovern was defeated by Richard Nixon in 1972, he said, calling elections "the illusion of choice."

The "Seven Dirty Words" case did reinforce his stature as a counterculture hero, though, and he was the first host of a new TV comedy show called "Saturday Night Live" in October 1975.

A year later he unexpectedly quit live performing. He returned five years later with the acclaimed album "A Place for My Stuff" and began a series of HBO specials he would continue until early this year. He also performed regularly in Las Vegas.

He took a number of TV and movie roles over the years, introducing himself to a new generation of fans with the "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" series and an even newer generation with children's shows like "Thomas the Tank Engine."

He did voiceovers in films that included "Cars" and in 1993 he got his own sitcom on Fox, "The George Carlin Show." He played George O'Grady, a New York cab driver, and the show ran 27 episodes.

Carlin also wrote several best-selling books, including "Brain Droppings." Columnist Mike Barnicle, a big fan, was fired from the Boston Globe after borrowing too liberally from a Carlin essay there.

He was a frequent guest with radio host Don Imus, one of many performers who hailed Carlin as a deity of modern comedy.

Carlin grew up on W. 121st St., which he would later joke that he and his friends "called 'White Harlem' because it sounded tougher than 'Morningside Heights.' "

He attended Cardinal Hayes High, dropping out at 14. He was in the Air Force before he tried his hand at show biz.

While growing up he developed a lifelong love of New York street-corner rhythm and blues and remained a lifelong fan even after he moved to the West Coast.

Off-stage, he was married for 26 years to the former Brenda Hosbrook, until she died in 1997. They had one daughter, Kelly.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weekend Dispatcher Blog

(Weekend Dispatcher is my updates on my working hours from Saturday 7pm to Sunday 7am. Through out the night I'll just post various things that are taking place, so continue refreshing for new updates.)

7:30PM-Beginning my shift not much happening, seems like a pretty slow night.
I hope the night goes quickly and morning comes. There is just one reservation scheduled for tonight, I'm pretty sure that there will be a few live calls, but as I see I only have 1 driver working, not a good thing.

9PM- 3 Reservations, 0 Cars, Pissy passengers waiting to get picked up- Not Cool. I don't want to be apologizing the whole night...sheesh where are my drivers?!?

10:15PM - Hey!! 2 drivers appear out of nowhere, I'll take any drivers right about now. What I won't take is drivers going to the wrong location, when they already 30 minutes late. Bummer!


Thursday, June 19, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says in a
draft regulation that automakers could improve fuel efficiency
standards to as high as a fleet-wide average of 38.3 miles per gallon
by 2020.

Meeting that standard could cost carmakers as much as $30 billion a
year, as stated in the 252-page draft of the EPA proposition. The EPA
sent similar versions of its proposal to other agencies, including the
Transportation Department, on Tuesday for final review amid a flurry
of meetings with the White House to finalize the draft.

The proposal comes on top of another unveiled in April by the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that would raise fuel
efficiency standards to a fleet-wide average of 31.6 mpg through 2015.
The NHTSA plan is seen as the first step on the way to a congressional
mandate of 35 mpg by 2020, a 40 percent increase over current

The EPA proposal, which will be unveiled Monday, lays out a broad
number of areas in which the agency could limit greenhouse gases,
including autos, ships, aircraft, nonroad vehicles such as farm and
construction equipment, along with solid waste incinerators. The EPA
will seek public comment before issuing a more formal proposal that
could come before year's end. A final regulation isn't expected before
the Bush Administration leaves office.

Carmakers haven't seen the proposal and declined to comment.

"When it is released, we'll review it and act appropriately," said
Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile
Manufacturers, the trade group that represents Detroit's Big Three,
Toyota and six other automakers.

However, automakers fear that with the new proposal they could be
subjected to two sets of federal rules: One from NHTSA, which sets
requirements for fuel economy or miles per gallon. And the other from
the EPA, which has the authority to set limits on tailpipe emissions,
which can be equated to mpg, under the Clean Air Act.

According to the EPA draft, the agency is considering "establishing
standards for the 2020 or 2025 time frame, and even longer. The
establishment of a long-term road map could help ensure that the
billions of dollars in technology research and development are focused
on long-term needs."The proposal argues that automakers could meet a
new tailpipe emissions limit of 232 grams of carbon dioxide per mile,
which equates to 38.3 mpg by 2020. The EPA said about 40 percent of
the new vehicle fleet in 2020 would be using diesel engines and full
hybrid systems (including plug-in electric hybrid vehicles). The
agency assumes that plug-ins are "a viable technology beginning in 2012."

The EPA estimates that the cost per vehicle would be $1,927 or more
than $30 billion annually based on average yearly sales. It said the
payback for consumers in terms of savings from better fuel economy
would be from 3.4 to 7.4 years assuming $3.50-a-gallon gas. It
predicts an eventual net societal benefit of $2 trillion, based on the
benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The White House declined to comment on the EPA draft.

The proposal is certain to give fuel to environmental advocates who
think automakers can do more than Congress mandated in December.
Lawmakers ordered a 40 percent increase in fuel economy to an industry
fleet-wide average of 35 mpg by 2020.

David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club, said the
auto section of the EPA draft, if it remains, could lend support to
California and 13 other states' efforts to impose their own tailpipe
efficiency standards.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tech Tuesday: Bose

The innovation driving the Acoustimass® 6 speaker system is the powered Acoustimass module. Free from the audible distortion that can betray its location, the Acoustimass module can be placed anywherebehind furniture or drapes, for exampleand the rich, broad spectrum of music and movie sound appears to come from the small cube speakers. Innovative Bose technologies let you hear new details and nuances even in your most played favorites. The system's five Virtually Invisible® cube speakers deliver vivid and lifelike music and movie performance. Just 3 inches square, these small speakers faithfully reproduce the clarity and natural sound of a live performance. The Acoustimass 6 speaker system is designed to blend effortlessly with your décor. Accessory mounting options allow each small cube speaker to be mounted to your walls or elegantly displayed on speaker stands.

Monday, June 16, 2008

IBC Monday: In The News

Oil prices steady ahead of Saudi meeting

VIENNA, Austria — Oil prices held steady Monday as traders weighed Saudi plans to boost production and new OPEC concerns about the high costs of crude.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery rose 76 cents to $135.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by noon in Europe. It fell $1.88 to settle at $134.86 on Friday.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, told U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon over the weekend that it would boost output by 200,000 barrels a day, or by 2 percent, from June to July. In May, the kingdom raised production by 300,000 barrels a day. That appeared to be largely ignored by traders amid sustained global demand.

However, traders believe that there is growing concern within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that high prices will suppress the global appetite for oil, and that the organization may take action to stabilize the market.

"This is not a one-way story now. The industry is becoming more jittery and beginning to respond. Saudi, and OPEC generally, fear permanent demand erosion at these price levels," said Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist at Australia and New Zealand Bank in Melbourne, Australia.

Traders will be watching for outcome of a July 22 meeting of oil producing and consuming nations in Jeddah, called by Saudi.

"As we look ahead to this week, all eyes will be on Sundays 'oil price summit' in Jeddah," said analyst and trader Stephen Schork, in his Schork Report. "If the Saudis do not succeed in popping the balloon here, then off to $150 we go."

Crude prices have reached record highs, surpassing $139 per barrel on June 6 after surging nearly $11 in the biggest single-day price leap ever. The price of a barrel has swung back and forth by about $10 since then.

In its monthly market report, OPEC said market volatility reconfirmed the view that "current price levels do not reflect supply and demand realities."

The cartel cut its 2008 global demand forecast, saying it now expects demand to increase by 1.28 percent to an average of 86.9 million barrels daily, down from a previous forecast of 1.35 percent.

That downward revision follows similar moves by the U.S. Energy Department and the International Energy Agency earlier in the week.

Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago, said the revised forecasts suggest global demand for oil is slowing. That trend could accelerate, he added, if prices don't come down soon.

"It's a sign that maybe the bull run could come to an end. You don't want to say that for sure, but you're starting to see some shifts," Flynn said.

In other Nymex trading, July heating oil futures added 3.5 cents to $3.8719 a gallon, and July natural gas futures rose by more than 2 pennies to $12.647 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gasoline futures were up marginally at $3.4695.

In London, July Brent crude lost 66 cents to $134.45 on the ICE Futures exchange.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

IBC Featured Site:

This blog is all about the new online car classified website,, that allows dealers and private owners to buy and sell new and used cars for free. This car buying and selling website is unique in that is fully embraces the social element of web 2.0, and plans to leverage the transparency of the new internet to make buying and selling cars online easier than its ever been before. Users of the site can create profiles and interact with each other allowing for a more seamless car buying process to take place. This blog will provide updates made to this car buying and selling service as well as commentary, reviews, and advice about online car classifieds and the auto industry.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tech Tuesday: The iPhone 3G Unveiled

Almost a year after upending the mobile-phone world with its first wireless handset, the iPhone, Apple unveiled a souped-up second version of the device, the iPhone 3G.

Introduced by Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs in a June 9 keynote address in San Francisco, the iPhone 3G will sell for $199 for an 8GB version and $299 for a 16GB version. The new prices represent a departure from a year ago when the first devices sold for $599 on the upper end. The iPhone 3G will be available in 22 countries beginning July 11, and will eventually be sold in 70 countries in all.

The new phone derives its name from the faster Internet downloads available on advanced, or third-generation (3G), wireless networks. Jobs told the audience the new iPhone downloads Web pages as much as 36% faster than comparable phones from Nokia (NOK) and Palm (PALM). The new phone also sports a feature that lets users know their location using GPS satellites. Phones that run GPS technology are able to access an array of location-aware applications, including mapping within address books. Other improvements over the original device include improved audio quality on phone calls.

Juicing Demand
Improvements to the first version of the iPhone—the lower price in particular—will likely generate greater demand for one of Apple's most successful products to date. "If anyone needed proof that Apple was ready, willing, and able to go after lots of mobile-phone users, they got it today," says Gartner (IT) analyst Mike McGuire. "Apple is showing itself to be really serious about the phone market." Apple has sold 6 million units since the iPhone was introduced at the end of June, 2007. "More people desired to buy it, but they couldn't afford it," Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook says.

Demand for the iPhone also stands to benefit the wireless carriers on whose networks the device runs—although Cook says the lower price reflects a subsidy that will be absorbed by the service providers. The official iPhone provider in the U.S. is AT&T (T). "The launch of 3G iPhone will be another opportunity for [Apple's] exclusive providers to boost [revenue per user] and market share gains, continuing what 2G iPhone started," UBS (UBS) analyst John Hodulik wrote in a research report.

Apple's stock dropped during the keynote, falling as much as $7.25, or nearly 4%, by 2 p.m. Eastern time, though it later recouped losses. Apple shares had slipped $4.03, or 2.2%, to 181.61 by the close of trading.

Apple also added features designed to make this version of the iPhone more attractive to business users. These include the ability to read documents from Microsoft Office (MSFT), including documents in Word, spreadsheets in Excel, and PowerPoint presentations. "We sort of checked the boxes on everything the enterprise wanted," Cook says.

Several New Features
Another new feature is a service called MobileMe, an expansion of Apple's existing .Mac Web service, which offers hosted e-mail, online storage, and other services for users of Apple's Macintosh computers. During the presentation, Apple Senior Vice-President Phil Schiller described the service as "Exchange for the rest of us," referring to Microsoft's widely used corporate e-mail, calendar, and contact-list tools.

-mail messages, calendar updates, and contacts are updated live via a wireless Internet connection, and data are synchronized between the iPhone and a Macintosh or Windows PC.

Google's (GOOG) map application has been integrated into contact lists. The service also lets users update their online photo albums directly from iPhones. Users will also be able to store up to 20GB of data from both their computers or their iPhones via an application called iDisk. The service will be available for $99 a year, and also available for a free 60-day trial starting in July.

Apple is able to make such a large price cut because wireless carriers including AT&T will subsidize about half the price of the new phone. Under existing arrangements, Apple takes a cut of the revenue collected by carriers for iPhone service plans. Analysts have speculated that Apple's share is as high as 30%, though precise deal terms have not been disclosed.

Under arrangements for the new iPhone, Apple is relinquishing the revenue-sharing arrangements in exchange for subsidies it hopes will move more phones off shelves. "Higher unit volumes will offset removal of carrier revenue share payments," Piper Jaffray (PJC) analyst Gene Munster wrote in a June 9 research note. AT&T said in a regulatory filing that its bottom line will take a hit as a result of the subsidies. Earnings will be cut 10¢ to 12¢ through the end of 2009, the company said. Owners of iPhones tend to generate double the monthly service revenue as owners of other devices, AT&T added.

Apple also introduced several new software applications created by third-party developers. Earlier this year, Apple made available a kit that makes it easier for software writers to create applications for the iPhone (, 3/6/08).

New applications include an auction program from eBay (EBAY), a series of games from Sega and Pangea Software, a friend locator from wireless startup Loopt, and a pair of medical programs from Modality. The Associated Press, the global news organization, also demonstrated a service called the Mobile News Network, which gathers news content based on the phone's location, but also gives iPhone owners the ability to send photos and text to the AP when they see news happening. The blogging service TypePad also debuted an application for blogging directly from the iPhone.

Widespread Apps
Jobs said applications will be available from Apple's iTunes store and will be available in 62 countries. Small applications that require 10MB of memory or less will be downloadable over the air, while larger ones will require either a Wi-Fi connection or installation directly from iTunes. Developers who sell their software through iTunes will set the prices and will be allowed to keep 70% of the revenue from sales.

Corporate customers will be able to distribute applications to employees. Corporate technology managers will have the ability to authorize phones on their networks, and then create an approved list of applications that can run on those phones.

Monday, June 9, 2008

IBC Monday: In The News

Unprecedented: National Average Gas Price Hits $4

NEW YORK — The average price of regular gas crept up to $4 a gallon for the first time over the weekend, passing the once-unthinkable milestone just in time for the peak summer travel season.

Prices at the pump are expected to keep climbing, especially after last week's furious surge in oil prices, which neared $140 a barrel in a record-shattering rally Friday.

While Americans who have to drive will feel the biggest squeeze, the increased prices also translate into higher costs for consumers and businesses, who will be forced to shoulder increased costs for food and anything else that needs to be transported.

"I don't think we've felt quite the full impact of $138 or $139 a barrel oil," said Jason Toews, co-founder of fuel price research site

Gas prices rolled past their latest threshold Sunday, increasing to $4.005 a gallon overnight from $3.988 the day before, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Of course, drivers in many parts of the country have already been paying well above that price for some time.

California has seen some of the highest prices; a gallon there now averages $4.436 a gallon, the most in the country. Missourians are paying the least at the pump, with a gallon in the Show-Me State selling for a relatively cheap $3.802 a gallon.

Prices have risen by about 20 cents in the past three weeks, according to a report by the Lundberg Survey released Sunday.

Truckers and others with diesel engines under the hood have it even worse off. A gallon of diesel now sells for $4.762, up nearly a penny overnight, according to AAA and OPIS. Prices hit a record atop $4.79 at the end of May.

Skyrocketing oil prices, which are trading at more than double their level last year, are largely to blame for the surge. Crude prices shot up more than 13 percent late last week in their biggest two-day price gain in history.

Benchmark light, sweet crude for July delivery officially finished the week at $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but at one point jumped as high as $139.12.

"This could be a real weight on the economy," James Cordier, president of Tampa, Fla.-based trading firm Liberty Trading Group, said of oil's jump Friday. "With every nickel that gas goes up, people are driving less and less."

Oil's latest surge caught some longtime petroleum industry veterans off-guard, and left analysts wondering if it represented a one-time spike or the beginning of a new wave of advances.

Yolanda Cade, managing director of public relations at AAA, said gas prices are likely to rise further, although the automotive club is waiting to see where oil prices head this week before making any new predictions.

"We've cautioned gasoline station owners against not recklessly increasing retail prices just because of one big jump in the crude market," she said Sunday. "One day of trading doesn't constitute a market trend."

A number of factors are behind oil's ascent.

Soaring demand in Asia and elsewhere is ensuring global supplies remain tight even as Americans cut back; recent figures from the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration showed U.S. gasoline demand actually fell 1.4 percent over the last four weeks.

A tumbling dollar is also contributing to the increase. Many traders buy commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation when the dollar is falling, and a weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for investors dealing in other currencies.

The rapid increase has also enticed speculators, frustrated by low returns elsewhere, looking to make a quick profit.

The influx of so much fresh money into energy markets has caught the attention of federal watchdogs. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently said it has begun a probe of U.S. oil markets focused on possible price manipulation.

For many drivers, the higher gas prices mean rethinking everyday habits.

Some are reining in gas consumption, either by cutting back on all but the most essential driving or looking anew at alternatives like public transportation. Sales of gas-guzzling vans and sport utility vehicles are down, while those of fuel-efficient compacts and hybrids are on the rise.

Others are getting creative.

Take Robert Torrey of Connecticut, the state tied with Alaska as the second most expensive for gas. After leaving work in the town of Windsor Locks last week, he drove across the border into Massachusetts to fill up his van with $100 worth of gas. He figures he's saving about $10 per fill-up by traveling the 18 miles north.

"I let it run all the way down to the bottom before I get here," said Torrey, while pumping gas at the Pride station off I-91 in Springfield, Mass. "I try to combine it with other trips while I'm up here, so that makes it worth the drive."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Picture(s) Of The Week




Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mercedes-Benz Delivers 300,000

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class with the splendid auto parts is grasping its long-term the success story of the predecessor model in the year since its market launch. Over 300,000 customers have bought either a sedan or station wagon option of the latest model since its official world premiere back on March 31, 2007.

“The sedan got off to an excellent start, and since its premiere at dealerships at the end of last year, the new C-Class station wagon has also been enjoying high popularity. Both models, in fact, have posted growth rates of 70 percent on the corresponding periods from the prior year since their respective launches. As a result, the new C-Class has been the worldwide leader in its market segment since the beginning of 2008,” says Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Furthermore, according to reports, German clients are also very excited about the new-fangled C-Class. The model was once again the best-selling vehicle in the mid-range segment in April according to Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority. The most significant market for the C-Class is Germany which accountable for the company’s 25 percent of overall sales, followed by the U.S., UK, Italy, and South Africa. A sum of 290,000 C-Class sedans from the 204 Series has been internationally distributed from the time when the market launch in the spring of 2007.

“In the first year of sales, one out of every two C-Class customers in Germany chose the Avantgarde line and in other core markets the share of total sales sometimes is even higher,” explains Maier. “The response of our customers to the sporty design of the C-Class Avantgarde even exceeded our expectations. This new product strategy makes the vehicle very attractive to the most diverse customers within the heterogeneous C-Class customer base, and it also enables us to win over new customers to the Mercedes-Benz brand.”

The C-Class customers are also fascinated by the vehicle’s even more dynamic chassis along with the new model’s distinguishing design and dazzling car parts, which showcases a discerning moisturizing system that provides superior comfort as well. The latest station wagon provides more legroom than any other first-class station wagon in its class with maximum cargo capacity of 1,500 liters. It’s not astonishing that the C-Class station wagon was also the top-selling model in its division in Germany last April given all these characteristics.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tech Tuesday: TomTom GO 930 GPS

When it comes to in-car GPS, TomTom has always been of the philosophy that its products should be about navigation first. The company doesn't spend much time fussing over extras like multimedia, but rather focuses energy on navigation tools that will help the driver. The TomTom GO 930 is a good example of this as it brings some new functions, such as advanced lane guidance, address entry via voice, and smarter route planning based on historical traffic data. Though there are some kinks that need to be worked out, they're all welcome and useful additions. Plus, the portable navigation system offers text-to-speech functionality, integrated Bluetooth, and most importantly, accurate directions. If you're in the market for a high-end, feature-packed GPS, the TomTom GO 930 solid choice. The TomTom GO 930 is available now for $499.95.
Buy Now TomTom GO 930 4.3-Inch Touchscreen Portable GPS Navigator

Monday, June 2, 2008

IBC Monday : In The News

Crane victim's last words to fiancee: 'I love you'

Donald Leo's last words to his fiancée were: "I love you."

The doomed crane operator reminded Janine Belcastro of their special bond on Friday as he headed out the door to the upper East Side construction site where he was killed.

"He told Janine he loved her before he went to work that day," her sister, Lynda Belcastro, said yesterday.

Leo, 30, was killed when a piece of the 200-foot Kodiak crane crashed onto E.91st St.

Since the tragic accident, Janine Belcastro has been so distraught she has refused to eat, a family friend said.

Construction worker Ramadan Kurtij, 27, also died after he was crushed by debris.

Leo's friends and relatives who were expecting to gather for Leo's June 21 wedding instead found themselves yesterday at his wake.

"We were looking forward to going to the wedding," Adriana Lusterino, 55, said. "It's tragic."

Janine Belcastro wore shades and wept as she left the Hanley Funeral Home in Staten Island. She was flanked by family and friends who hugged and kissed her.

"He was engaging, intelligent and modest," Belcastro's cousin George Guida said. "He was an all-around great guy. He would have been a great addition to the family."

Jay Plachinski, 29, a correction officer from Danbury, Conn., played high school football with Leo.

He learned of his friend's death on the TV news. "I was like, 'Not Don. He's too tough,'" Plachinski said. "Don's going to live forever."

About 200 people packed the wake, as crews continued to clear the remnants of the hulking crane from the street in front of 333 E. 91st St.

Prosecutors were investigating whether a damaged part was used to erect the crane, and could file criminal charges, officials said yesterday.

"Right now the real question is whether or not one of the pieces of equipment had been damaged and was reused," Gov. Paterso after a news conference with Mayor Bloomberg. "If that's the case ... it would really be a criminal violation."

Barbara Thompson, spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, said an investigator from the rackets bureau went to the site soon after the crane plummeted from the sky.

The rackets bureau looks into all construction fatalities, and usually quickly deems them accidental deaths. This time, the probe is more complicated.

Inspectors from the city Buildings Department and the federal Occupational Safey and Health Administration were trying to determine whether the turntable on the crane was damaged at another construction site.

The crane part may have been repaired and improperly reused at the E.91st St. site, said Kate Lindquist, spokeswoman for the Buildings Department.

Frank Lomma, whose New York Crane company owned the derrick, did not return calls for comment.

The toppled crane tore through a luxury apartment building across the street at 354 E. 91st St., destroying several apartments and a line of balconies.

Valerie Ackerman, a 37-year-old caterer, was sleeping but felt the reverberation from her fifth-floor apartment. By yesterday, she was worrying about the cost of boarding her dog and staying at a hotel. "We don't know whether they're going to reimburse or what," she said. "It's very frustrating. ... Nobody's telling us anything."

Larry Bliss, 35, and his wife Gina, 34, moved into their 13th-floor apartment a week before the incident.

Their nanny was in the apartment with their two children, Lainie, 2, and Sadia, 5 months, when the crane collapsed. The nanny was hysterical when she phoned her employer.

"I thought that the building was destroyed," Gina Bliss said.

Two days later, her own outlook was more pragmatic.

"It's life," Gina Bliss said. "We were lucky that our children got out safe. Some people have not been so lucky."

The deadly plunge came 2-1/2 months after seven people were killed in a midtown crane collapse.

That incident punctuated a string of safety violations - including falling objects - and fatalities at construction sites around the city.

Bloomberg said the criminal investigation into the latest collapse was "not surprising."

Despite the latest disaster, Bloomberg gave a vote of confidence to acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

"This guy's a real go-getter, he's proactive," Bloomberg said. "We want development in our city. But make no mistake, safety comes first."

The Voice of Empathy

Empathy What iѕ empathy?  It is a соmрlеx social bеhаviоr that invоlvеѕ thе ability to undеrѕtаnd аnd ѕhаrе thе feelings and em...