Archive > March 2009

Homeowners file lawsuit over Chinese drywall

admin » 31 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Homeowners file lawsuit over Chinese drywall

Homeowners in Cape Coral are filing a class action lawsuit against Engle homes, alleging it used Chinese drywall to build homes in Cape Coral.

Joyce and Sonny Dowdy thought they’d never leave their home in Coral Lakes.

“We have a wonderful house, we’re just scared to even stay here,” said Sonny Dowdy.

“I still love the house. I just don’t love what it’s doing to us at this point,” said Joyce Dowdy.

They say the Chinese drywall that Engle Homes used to build their house is ruining the coils in their air conditioner. They worry the drywall is also to blame for mysterious health ailments.

“I’ve never had nose bleeds in my life, and my nose is bleeding a lot, insomnia, skin itching,” she said.

Their neighbor Richard Laudermilk thinks the drywall in his home caused a rash on his arm. “My doctor has no idea,” said Laudermilk.

There hasn’t been a link between the drywall and health problems, but
the drywall has been linked to corrode copper.

Attorney David Durkee is handling the lawsuit against Engle Homes. “The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of anyone in this community that has defective drywall within their homes,” said Durkee.

Source

Continue reading...

Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Zencore Plus

admin » 31 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Zencore Plus

Bodee LLC is conducting this recall after being informed by representatives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that lab analysis by FDA of Zencore Plus samples found the product contains benzamidenafil which is a newly discovered PDE5 inhibitor. Although different in structure, benzamidenafil is likely to have the same pharmacological properties as the other three PDE5 inhibitors, sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil, which are the active ingredients of three FDA approved drugs for Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Zencore Plus does not contain any of these three active ingredients. The use of Zencore Plus by an unsuspecting user of organic nitrates may pose a life-threatening risk of sudden and profound drop of blood pressure due to potential interaction between benzamidenafil and organic nitrates. The probability of this occurrence is unknown; therefore, it may cause a public health risk when used as a dietary supplement.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

Chinese-made drywall ruining homes

admin » 31 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Chinese-made drywall ruining homes

Officials are looking into claims that Chinese-made drywall installed in some Florida homes is emitting smelly, corrosive gases and ruining household systems such as air conditioners, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

The Florida Health Department, which is investigating whether the drywall poses any health risks, said it has received more than 140 homeowner complaints. And class-action lawsuits allege defective drywall has caused problems in at least three states — Florida, Louisiana and Alabama — while some attorneys involved claim such drywall may have been used in tens of thousands of U.S. homes.

Homeowners’ lawsuits contend the drywall has caused them to suffer health problems such as headaches and sore throats and face huge repair expenses.

The drywall is alleged to have high levels of sulfur and, according to homeowners’ complaints, the sulfur-based gases smell of rotten eggs and corrode piping and wiring, causing electronics and appliances to fail.

“It’s economically devastating, and it’s emotionally devastating,” said Florida attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, who filed one of the lawsuits. It would cost a third of an affected home’s value to fix the dwelling, Gonzalez said.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags:

Google starts venture fund

admin » 31 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Google starts venture fund

Online search and advertising giant Google Inc. set up a venture capital fund.

In a post on its company blog, Rich Miner and Bill Maris, who will manage the Google Ventures fund, said they plan to invest in “promising new technology companies.”

Maris started Burlee.com, a web hosting business, and he worked before that at Investor AB, a Swedish industrial holding company. He’s working out of Mountain View, where Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is based.

Miner came to Google via Android, which Google bought in 2005. He also worked for Orange Ventures. He’s working out of Boston, Mass.

News reports said the fund has about $100 million to invest.

The fund has already invested in two businesses — electric grid management company Silver Spring Networks Inc. of Redwood City and Pixazza Inc. of Mountain View, which links online images with related products that are for sale.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags:

10 Search Engines To Watch

admin » 26 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

10 Search Engines To Watch

BURLINGAME, Calif.–There is life after Google–though the increasing number of search alternatives popping up around the U.S. are careful not to take the search giant head-on.

With three-quarters of all search traffic, Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) might seem unassailable. But potential competitors are busy developing new ways of finding information and hunting down the investors they need to support them. Last year, more than 50 new search companies raised $330 million in venture financing, according to MoneyTree.

So how are these aspiring search engines proceeding? Mostly, by not following the example of Cuil.com (pronounced “cool”). Cuil’s name means “knowledge” in Gaelic, but it might as well stand for “cautionary tale.”

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company was founded by former Google executives and made a splash when it debuted last May by bragging of a search index three times the size of Google’s. It got the expected traffic bump from curiosity seekers, but traffic quickly cooled off as people returned to Google. However better Cuil might have been than Google, it wasn’t better enough to get users to make the switch.

In Pictures: 10 Search Engines To Watch

Continue Reading

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

Google Improves Search Results

admin » 24 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Google Improves Search Results

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has tweaked its search technology in hopes of providing better search results. It now offers a refined list of associated searches and also provides lengthier snippets of each result to let you glean more information on the results page before clicking.

Today Google made adjustments to its core search product. Together, they should provide end users with slightly improved search results.

The first change it is bringing is new ways to generate associated searches. Google’s Ori Allon, Technical Lead, Search Quality Team, explains, “For example, if you search for [principles of physics], our algorithms understand that ‘angular momentum,’ ’special relativity,’ ‘big bang’ and ‘quantum mechanic’ are related terms that could help you find what you need.”

I performed a few tests to see how this worked. The first search I conducted was for “tube amplifiers“. The main results were mostly informational web sites on how vacuum tube amplifiers work. At the bottom of the page was the Searches Related to: Tube Amplifiers. It listed “vacuum tube amplifiers,” “guitar tube amplifiers,” and several other search terms that combined different variations of things associated with tube amplifiers.

I also performed a more detailed search for “iPhone developers organization“. There were eight associated results, each of which offered alternatives to my initial search.

Google also says it will provide better results for longer queries. The more words you type into the search field, generally the more scattered your results are. Google hopes its improvements will refine results for longer searches.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

Exxon’s Endless Lawsuit

admin » 23 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Exxon’s Endless Lawsuit

The Exxon Valdez disaster happened 20 years ago, but the lawsuit drags on. How the oil company actually made money by battling for so long.

exxon-valdez

Today’s typical college sophomore hadn’t even been born when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef near Valdez, Alaska, in the pre-dawn hours of March 24, 1989.

Its hull pierced by jagged rock, the ship spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, killing hundreds of thousands of seabirds, destroying billions of fish eggs, crippling the salmon fishery, and virtually wiping out the sound’s herring.

The disaster seemed to be a clear case of negligence: the ship’s captain, Joseph Hazelwood, was legally intoxicated at the time, and had surrendered the wheel to overworked subordinates as it navigated the difficult, shoal-dotted waters of the sound.

But in a tale rivaling the protracted legal wrangling in Bleak House, litigation over the spill continues to drag on, two decades later, and the fishermen, cannery workers, and others whose lives were wrecked have yet to find out how much they may receive in compensation.

Three numbers put the spill and its attendant lawsuits into perspective: 1.6 billion, 20, and 6,000.

The first number—1.6 billion—represents the approximate dollar payout that Exxon Mobil Corp. will make to plaintiffs. Maybe. One third of that amount would come from interest that tolled with the 1994 verdict—but the company is continuing to fight that matter.

The second figure—20—is the percentage of any payout that will be vacuumed up by the more than 80 law firms that have represented the plaintiffs.

The final number—6,000—is the most sobering, marking as it does an estimate of how many of the original litigants have died since the first suits were filed. Some 32,000 plaintiffs remain.

Liability questions focused on the captain, who had previously been disciplined for drinking on the job. A jury found Exxon responsible in 1994, awarding $287 million in compensatory damages (a number that rises to $507 million when other settlements are added in) and $5 billion in punitive damages.

Exxon appealed, arguing, among other things, that the captain’s malfeasance could not be imputed to the company and that it had already been punished enough by fines and cleanup costs.

Over the next 13 years, the matter ping-ponged between the U.S. District Court in Alaska and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which in 2007 cut the punitive award to $2.5 billion.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

NY man with polio wins lawsuit against Lederle Laboratories

admin » 23 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

NY man with polio wins lawsuit against Lederle Laboratories

A Staten Island man stricken with polio has won a multimillion dollar lawsuit against a drug maker, claiming he contracted polio 30 years ago while changing his daughter’s diaper.

Dominick Tenuto was awarded $22.5 million on Friday, believed to be one of the highest awards ever on Staten Island.

The lawsuit claims that the oral vaccine Tenuto’s daughter received, which contained a live virus, passed through her body and infected Tenuto while he was changing her diaper.

The 61-year-old Tenuto, a former Wall Street executive, sued two years after contracting polio and losing his job.

The drug maker, Lederle Laboratories, plans to appeal.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

Microsoft CEO Still Sees Possible Yahoo Deal

admin » 19 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Microsoft CEO Still Sees Possible Yahoo Deal

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Thursday that a search partnership with Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) remains a compelling prospect and an important step to better compete with Google Inc. (GOOG).

“Over time, there’s still a good opportunity to do a deal [with Yahoo],” Ballmer said at a media summit held by McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP) in New York. His comments echo recent remarks by him and other Microsoft officials in signaling the company’s continued interest in Yahoo’s search business.

Ballmer said he expects to sit down and talk with Yahoo’s new chief executive, Carol Bartz, after she settles into her new post. Bartz has said she isn’t yet prepared to make decisions about the future of the Internet giant’s search business, but she has argued it remains an important part of the company.

“Obviously, I spoke very strongly about my views on the economics of a search partnership with my bid last year,” Ballmer said Thursday. “Luckily, I was bailed out of this economy by Yahoo,” which last year rejected Microsoft’s takeover offer of $31 a share.

Source

Continue reading...

Public Citizen Blasts FDA Delay on Recall

admin » 17 March 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Public Citizen Blasts FDA Delay on Recall

A consumer watchdog group scolded the Food and Drug Administration Thursday for taking weeks to evaluate the latest problem with Baxter’s drug pumps, which have been plagued by safety issues for years.

In January, Baxter International sent a warning to customers about issues with its Colleague infusion pumps that could cause them to stop pumping and overheat. On Wednesday the company said the FDA classified the announcement as a Class I recall, its most severe warning. The classification applies to problems that can cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.”

Public Citizen’s Dr. Sidney Wolfe blasted the agency in a letter Thursday for not moving faster.

“Why did it take the FDA 47 days, almost 7 weeks … to decide that this problem was serious enough to merit being classified as a Class I recall?” Wolfe wrote in a letter to acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Frank Torti.

FDA’s classification has limited real-world impact. Baxter’s products are not actually being called off the market, but the serious warning is necessary because malfunctions with the devices can be fatal.

Wolfe pointed out that Baxter’s infusion pumps have been subject to problems for years. Since 2005 the FDA has issued seven Class I recalls on the Colleague pumps, which have been linked to at least 19 deaths. Wolfe called on the agency to physically remove the devices from hospitals and clinics, where they are used to deliver medicine and intravenous fluids.

“Why has the FDA not used its authority for mandatory device recalls, to remove these devices which have a long history of serious, life-threatening problems?” Wolfe asked.

The FDA did not respond to requests for comment Thursday evening.

Source

Continue reading...

Tags: , ,