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Ambos go jumbo as obesity rates soar

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 14:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

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OUR obesity crisis has forced the ambulance service to introduce super-sized vehicles to squeeze in overweight patients.

The workload for these heavy-duty ambulances has more than doubled in the past three years.

And specially designed air ambulances are also soon to be introduced.

NSW Ambulance was the first in Australia to introduce the ambulances, which cost nearly $100,000 more than a regular vehicle, in 1999.

Now two more multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) have been added and the weight-carrying capacity of stretchers increased from 180kg to 220kg.

“The workload for these vehicles continues to increase — as does the range of tasks the vehicles are called on to perform,” NSW Ambulance general manager of operations Michael Willis said.

Recent studies estimate 67 per cent of Australian men and 52 per cent of women aged 25 years and over are overweight or obese.


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The thing about Army red tape — it sticks

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 14:10 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

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Reuben Miller has discharge papers that cut him loose from the Army last June, a job at a transmission repair shop and a rented house in Falcon.

He thinks he’s about as civilian as they come.

The Army’s computers agree with Miller. Records show the veteran who served two tours in Iraq is honorably discharged and no longer eligible for medical care on post or other services given to soldiers.

But prosecutors at Fort Carson say Miller is still a soldier — a soldier in a pile of trouble.

“It’s a mess,” said Miller, who has been restricted to post and is living in a barracks while he awaits trial on charges that he left the Army after he was granted his discharge last summer.

Things started to go awry for then-Spc. Miller during his second yearlong deployment in Iraq. In November 2005, while Miller was in Tal Afar with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a pair of night-vision goggles disappeared while he was on guard duty.

The Army said Miller hid them as a prank. Miller says he had nothing to do with it. The goggles were found in less than half an hour.

But the Army wouldn’t let the missing-goggles issue drop. A few weeks after Miller returned from Iraq, prosecutors at Fort Carson charged him with misappropriating military gear and damaging equipment.

He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The court-martial was scheduled for July 7, a week after Miller was scheduled to leave the service.

Miller had two sets of orders in hand, one telling him to attend the court-martial and the other telling him to get out of the Army. Miller picked the latter, filled out his discharge forms, turned in his uniforms and got a final paycheck.

He was given discharge papers, Defense Department form No. 214, that say he served honorably and left at the end of his enlistment.

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When Miller didn’t show for his July 7 court-martial, a legal battle ensued, with the Army proving to a judge that Miller’s discharge was void. Miller went back to Fort Carson where he was convicted in a court-martial Aug. 1, reduced in rank to private first class and given extra duty.

But Miller wasn’t paid. He wasn’t allowed to live in the barracks. He couldn’t shop at the commissary or have his teeth cleaned by an Army dentist.

Miller, Army computers said, was no longer a soldier.

Miller hung in purgatory for a month, seeking help from anyone who would listen. He said he was told to leave.

“They said there’s nothing they could do for me because I’m not in the Army,” he said.

The Army, which doesn’t dispute that all of Miller’s papers and their computers showed him discharged, says Miller left without permission. He still must perform that extra duty, they say.


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U.S. attorney’s firing may be connected to CIA corruption probe

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 13:51 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.

Feinstein, D-Calif., said the timing of the e-mail suggested that Lam’s dismissal may have been connected to the corruption probe.


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Car accident + open paint buckets

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 8:38 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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If you get into even a smallish car accident… and you are carrying open paint buckets in the back… all of the Internet will point and laugh at you.

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Comments:

  1. IT’s the VAN GO!!

  2. it’s the VAN GO(gh)

  3. Doesn’t seems too smallish of an accident but… LOL VANGOGH!!!

  4. Did no one notice that all the windows were up? A car with open paint buckets and all the windows rolled up? Would it not be safe to say that the driver was a little high on paint fumes?

Dogs sniffing out pirate copies

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 8:29 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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Two dogs trained in Northern Ireland are getting a break in the movie business, by sniffing out pirates.

Female black Labradors, Flo and Lucky, are being used by the authorities in Malaysia in the battle against music and film rip-offs.

They are believed to be the first dogs in the world trained to sniff the chemicals used to make optical disks.

They can lead handlers to disks labelled as other items, but cannot tell which are real and which are fake.

So, yet another way to annoy genuine customers with all kinds of crap. You buy some legit DVDs during your vacation, and when you get home, you get treated as a criminal. As in, “aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”


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P2P File-Sharing Ruins Physical Piracy Business

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 8:22 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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Tony started his life of piracy sometime in the 1990’s working markets, car-boot sales and pubs in the UK, selling counterfeit PC applications/games and console discs for a fraction of the retail price. “The profit was amazing back then” he recalls “We were getting £25 ($48) for a couple of PSX games and £15 ($29) for a single CDR with the latest utilities on. We couldn’t make them fast enough.” Things were looking good for his little enterprise and before long he was clearing up to £1000 ($1,942) profit each week.

According to Tony, the first 2 hours of every Saturday and Sunday morning at the local flea market always proved the most exciting. “We’d take 60 cases of CDRs down in the van and as soon as we got there a crowd would swarm around us. We had no competition and it was obvious the punters had no other suppliers. Inside 30 minutes, 90% of the stock would be gone with some customers taking 2 or 3 cases each, presumably to sell on. After 3 hours we were cleared out and on our way home, always with huge amounts of money.”

By 2001, Tony was renting a factory unit and employing 3 people to operate duplicators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but although business was lively right up to 2004, profits were being squeezed every year. Forced to increase the amount of media burnt each week to make up for the shortfall in profit, it became clear that the business was in trouble – demand was falling dramatically.

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Tony is very clear about why his rags to riches story has gone back to rags again. “File-sharing, P2P – call it what you like. When you asked a customer why he wasn’t buying anything, 9 times out of 10 it was ‘BitTorrent this, LimeWire that’. Add that to the fact that huge numbers of PC users have burners and fast broadband and its obvious why I had to get out and earn a living another way. We had it good for a while but I don’t think those days are coming back.”

P2P is a very powerful machine and although Tony could see that his operation was feeling its effects, he admits that he sat back and did nothing about it and consequently, his business has paid the ultimate price. Other industries affected by P2P should take note: Don’t be a Tony. Overhaul your business model. Quickly.


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Musicload: 75% of customer service problems caused by DRM

Posted on March 19th, 2007 at 8:18 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

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Deutsche Telekom’s Musicload, one of the largest online music stores in Europe, has come out strongly against DRM on account of its
effects on the marketplace and its customers, according to German-language Heise Online.

Musicload said in a letter distributed last week that customers are having consistent problems with DRM, so much so that 3 out of 4 customer service calls are ultimately the result of the frustrations that come with DRM. In a business where the major music labels expect to be paid well for their source material, the costs of supporting DRM are borne entirely by the music retailers. If the labels’ love affair with DRM is hurting the companies trying to make a go at selling music online, something is horribly wrong.

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Musicload has also tried to differentiate itself by allowing independent music labels to sell their music on the service sans DRM, and the move has reportedly been a success. Championing the “Comeback of MP3,” Musicload said that artists choosing to drop DRM saw a 40 percent increase in sales since December, and that more artists and labels are showing interest.


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