DirecTV tunes out Trio, network in limbo

Saturday, January 1, 2005

The future of the artsy Trio channel became increasingly grim Saturday as satellite TV giant DirecTV dropped the fledgling network from its national channel lineup.

When DirectTV programmers threw the off switch at 6 a.m. eastern standard time Jan. 1, Trio, an NBC Universal-owned cable television channel, lost two-thirds of its 20 million household subscribers. The channel’s remaining 8 million subscribers may not give it enough audience to ensure its survival, according to some experts.

The network received critical acclaim for a quirky lineup that includes the series, Brilliant But Cancelled, which took American broadcast networks, including parent NBC, to task for cancelling quality programs.

Trio originally got its start in the 1980s as a Canadian cable channel owned by the CBC. Its original slate was described as “a general entertainment channel that features the most successful contemporary dramas, documentaries and films from Canada, the UK and Australia. For the last six years, TRIO has been the largest exporter of Canadian TV programs to the US with over 3,000 hours of content,” according to CBC press releases.

The channel’s Canadian roots were cut in 2000 when media mogul Barry Diller snapped up Trio and sister channel News World International from the CBC and partner Power Corp. for $155 million in cash. Diller saw the channel as a cheap consolation prize after he was outbid by NBC for the Bravo cable network earlier that year. Within months, Diller rebranded Trio, dumped the Canadian dramas and geared it more toward edgier pop culture programming.

Over the next couple of years, Trio changed hands twice. First to Vivendi Universal, then to NBC in a package deal that landed the American TV network a movie studio and the USA and SCI FI cable networks. Trio was seen as more of an afterthought at the time.

In a hint of what may be the fate of the channel, NBC Universal moved most of Trio’s executive and programming staff over to Bravo, a now-sibling network, which is seen in 80 million U.S. homes. Some experts predict that Trio will eventually be folded with its more successful programming ported over to Bravo.

“Trio was a refreshing oasis on the dial, with a quirky pop-culture attitude that showed in its programming. Trio leaving is kind of like having a witty friend move out of town,” Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, MSNBC television critic said in her weekly column. “It’ll be missed.”

NBC Universal has not commented publicly on the long-term future or specific plans for Trio channel besides to say it was committed to programming the network for current subscribers as the conglomerate re-evaluates its digital cable strategy.


Installing The Right Solar Energy Panels In Palm Springs, Ca Offers Many Advantages Through The Years

byAlma Abell

When it comes to permanent measures to reduce your energy bill and be more economically friendly, fewer tasks produce the results that installing solar panels does because this is an inexpensive and simple step that saves everybody money. The companies that install solar energy panels in Palm Springs, CA can help you determine which ones are right for you. Whether your home or office is small or large, they will make sure that you get the solar energy panels you need without spending a lot of money.

The Best Companies to Handle the Task

The best company to choose when you’re interested in getting solar energy panels installed is one with the expertise and knowledge to provide you with the perfect panels for your own roof. Solar panels come in a variety of sizes and designs and the right company can help you determine which ones will look best in your home or office. You can browse our website to get additional information or contact us for a free consultation and quote. Either way, you are guaranteed to get something that works great and looks great, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Is it Complex?

Many people know little about solar panels and if you are a beginner, do not worry. Companies that offer this service can explain their benefits, their prices, and their main advantages and perks. They describe these solar energy panels in detail and help you determine how much yours will cost, giving you the information you need before you sign anything. Best of all, these companies can design, install, and maintain your panels from then on, enabling you to feel comfortable with your decision. Solar panels are economically and environmentally responsible and purchasing them is cheaper and easier than you might think.


Man arrested in connection with Honolulu toddler death

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Matthew Higa, 23, has been arrested in connection with the death of a 23-month-old boy. Higa is alleged to have thrown the child from a pedestrian overpass into oncoming traffic on Honolulu’s H-1 Freeway.

The local coroner’s office noted that the child died on impact after falling 30 feet (9 meters) from the overpass. This occurred during Thursday’s lunch rush hour in the heart of downtown. Upon impact, several cars struck the child, which caused traffic to grind to a halt.

The toddler, Cyrus Nainoa Tupa?i Belt, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:07 p.m. (2207 UTC), approximately 27 minutes after being allegedly being ejected from the overpass by Higa. The portion of H-1 was closed for approximately five hours with traffic diverted to side streets. The freeway was reopened in time for the evening commute.

At first the relationship between Higa and the child was unclear, but later reports stated that Higa lived adjacent to him and had babysat him on previous occasions. The boy’s mother was out of town at the time of his death, but it was revealed that the child was supposed to be in the custody of his father and not with Higa.

Higa graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2003. In the summer of 2004 Higa was involved in an incident where police reports indicate a three-car race resulted in the death of a friend. Higa has since had a criminal history, with more than a dozen arrests but no convictions, and reports from neighbors of erratic behavior.

Queen’s Medical Center, which houses a psychiatric ward in Honolulu, noted that he was a patient there as recently as December 11, 2007. When arrested, Higa was wearing hospital scrubs, which were not immediately conducive to whether Higa was a patient in Queen’s psychiatric wing in the last couple of days. A representative of Queen’s declined to comment on whether Higa was admitted in the last week.


UN: Military attacks on Darfur violated international law

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A United Nations report released Thursday states that recent attacks carried out on four villages in Darfur by the Sudanese military and armed miltias were a violation of international law.

The attacks, which involved aerial bombardment in two of the villages, left a total of 115 people dead and over 30,000 forcibly displaced, according to the report. Damage to civilian property was extensive; homes, schools, and shops were systematically destroyed, vandalized, or set ablaze, food reserves were burned, and livestock was looted. In addition, there were several reports of rape in one village.

The report, issued jointly by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN African Union Mission in Darfur, describes attacks on the West Darfur villages of Saraf Jidad, Sirba, Silea and Abu Suruj in January and February. The attacks were part of a Sudanese military campaign to regain control of West Darfur’s northern corridor and drive out rebel insurgents from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The damage to civilians was deemed to be a “deliberate and integral part” of the military strategy. In failing to “distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives”, the UN accused the Sudanese military of violating international humanitarian law. The activities of the JEM were also denounced, as they were found to be in violation of the 2004 N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement.

In Saraf Jidad, which was attacked three times in January, 26 civilians were killed, and almost the entire population was displaced. Witnesses described the attackers as Arab men called Janjaweed, who have had the assistance of the Sudanese government. The men were seen riding horses and camels, and some were in military vehicles. After exchanging fire with the JEM, they entered the town, where they started torching homes and shooting at civilians.

An Antonov flew into the area and dropped three bombs … I saw many houses set ablaze by the bombing. People started running randomly in fear and confusion.

One of the victims from Saraf Jidad, who was around 80 years old, recalled the January 24 attack. “The attackers entered my house,” he said. “They were four, in military uniforms. One of them hit my head with the butt of his gun. I fell down. He told me, ‘If you do not all move from here we will burn you alive.’ At that, they set my house on fire. I was inside, but managed to escape though I had my arms injured by the fire.”

In the other three villages, witnesses reported seeing Antonov planes and military helicopters along with the armed militiamen and Sudanese troops. In Silea, the ground offensive was preceded by three aerial bombardments in different areas of the town. Nearly the entire population of 10,600 was displaced, with some having to go across the border to Chad.

One witness of the Silea attack reported, “An Antonov flew into the area and dropped three bombs … I saw many houses set ablaze by the bombing. People started running randomly in fear and confusion. I witnessed SAF and Janjaweed looting houses, shops and NGO offices. They would load the stolen goods in their cars and on their camels and horses and take them away.”

The village of Abu Suruj was also bombed, but no casualties were reported from this bombing. However, over 75 percent of the town was burnt down by ground troops, and 30 people were killed.

In Sirba, the pattern of attack was similar to that of Abu Suruj. Half of the village was burned down and 45 people were killed. One victim described an encounter with an armed man: “I was holding tight my four-year-old brother; I was scared that the man was going to shoot him. Instead he left. After a few seconds the roof of the house was burning. He saw we were inside and he set the hut on fire to burn us alive. We escaped from the window and ran in different directions.”

Witnesses reported acts of sexual violence being committed by the attackers in Sirba, and UN investigators believe at least 10 women were victims of rape. An eyewitness reported four girls being taken into a hut and raped at gunpoint by Sudanese soldiers.

There were also reports of air and ground attacks in Jebel Moon, where many victims had fled following the attacks, but the UN was denied access to the area.

On March 3, the UN met with a West Darfur security official to address their concerns. The official argued that the JEM had taken control of the villages and a deployment of troops was necessary to regain these areas. He also denied that the Sudanese military was involved in the Saraf Jidad attacks, stating they were done by Arab tribes who had nothing to do with the military campaign.


Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.

First Sign Of Your Lifestyle Porch Furniture}

First Sign Of Your Lifestyle – Porch Furniture


Adam PetersAs you enter the house, the first thing you see is the furniture in the porch and the patio. The first glance at this decides your opinion regarding the house. Hence, the porch furniture should reflect your life style.

Love At First Sight – Porch Furniture

Your guest comes into your house through the porch and immediately makes an intelligent guess about you. If he/she likes it is probable that you will make immediate friendship with your guest. Hence, make sure that your life style is reflected in the porch furniture that you select.

Modern Life style Porch Furniture

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The modern life style uses lot of chrome, glass and stainless materials as the material is long lasting and virtually maintenance free. The only care that you require is just dusting and cleaning. The steel furniture requires no polishing or waxing like the wooden furniture.

Hence, if you are a modern person or wish to maintain a contemporary lifestyle, your porch furniture has to be all glass, chrome, and stainless steel. The furniture is light and can be moved around the place easily.

Period Life Style Porch Furniture

Period life styles cannot be complete without the wrought iron furniture. The wrought iron furniture was in vogue during the sixteenth and seventeenth century and if you are adopting the royal life style, you have to have the wrought iron or the cast iron furniture. Furniture has to be matched by the period lifestyle furnishing like drapes and matching period rugs. The furniture tends to be heavy and moving this kind of furniture is generally not desired. Wood can also be used in such furniture and the wood furniture tends to be heavy too.

Period Life Style Porch Furniture

The porch furniture in such cases is generally light and may be made of wood or glass & chrome. The use of glass in such cases tends to be light and the stress is more utility value rather than the show. The furniture is generally light and can be moved easily. Materials Used In Porch Furniture

Glass: Toughened diamond cut glass is used for making the furniture. The thickness is generally more than ” and care has to be taken to see that the glass is placed on the furniture with care and it does not slip any time. This can be disastrous if the glass slips to the ground. The glass may not break but it will definitely cause injury, sometimes serious.

Wood: Veneer board or the pressed boards look cheap in the porch furniture. Any wood that can take a polish with or without high gloss is ideal for porch furniture.

Wrought Iron: Normally the wrought iron is painted pristine white or jet-black. Wrought iron furniture with other colors does not look as elegant as black or white color.

Care Of Porch Furniture

Care of the furniture with modern life style is minimal. The glass and chrome furniture does not require and polishing and just dusting every day is good enough.

The wrought iron furniture requires regular painting if you wish to retain the look to its original conditions. This means that some pieces of furniture will have to be removed for cleaning and painting. This would mean that some pieces of furniture have to be kept as extra to replace the furniture removed for painting. Apart from painting wrought iron does not require any maintenance. Wooden furniture has to be polished at regular intervals to keep them in new conditions.

Adam Peters is a freelance author who contributes adding interesting articles to a railings website. Adam publishes ideas for railing plans and deck designs at http://www.deck-porch-railings.com . More articles about

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Bucharest to host its first ever CowParade

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, will become the first southeastern European city to host CowParade.

Between June 1 and the end of August this year, the city will be flooded by herds of decorated cow sculptures, exhibited at well-known landmarks, such as The Palace of the Parliament, Europe’s largest building, as well as on the streets and outside metro stations. Over 3000 local and international artists will participate in the event, decorating more than 100 life-sized fibreglass cows. The decorated cows will feature Romanian and Bucharestean themes, as well as issues related to international city life.

After the event ends, all the cows will be auctioned off, with the proceeds donated to the Special Olympics Romania, a charity helping athletes with mental disabilities. The Bucharest CowParade is organised by Event Horizon, a Romanian marketing consultancy.

CowParade, which was first held in Zurich in 1998, has been held in 22 cities in 5 continents and is today the world’s largest public art event.

Bucharest was chosen from over 500 other candidate cities and has waited for the event for a couple of years. The new local government in Bucharest wants to relaunch the city’s image as a creative and colourful metropolis and have therefore enthusiastically supported the exhibition. The high-profile event is expected to boost the image of Bucharest worldwide, especially in the artistic scene.


Jamaica: Violence kills at least 30

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Authorities in Jamaica say that gunfights in the capital Kingston have left at least 30 people dead, as hundreds of troops and police search for an alleged drug kingpin wanted by the US. At least 25 people were injured as well.

The violence has been triggered by the Jamaican government’s efforts to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged leader of the “Shower Posse” group. Armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum of western Kingston on Monday in an effort to locate Coke, who has not been found. Last week, Coke’s supporters barricaded the area in an attempt to thwart his arrest.

The trouble has forced the closure of schools and businesses across the capital, and the government has appealed for blood donations for the wounded. A state of emergency is in effect for parts of Kingston.

The US has issued a travel alert to warn citizens against visiting the island nation. Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has promised “strong and decisive” action to restore order.


New toll proposal on U.S. Interstate 95 nearing passage

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A $5 toll proposal for travel on Interstate 95 is gaining momentum in North Carolina, and has passed this week in the Virginia General Assembly. Toll booths would be set up at the border between the two states to collect revenues estimated in excess of $150 million annually, money that would be split by each state to help pay for needed maintenance of the interstate highway.

Virginia has apparently changed plans to go it alone with road improvement priorities to the I-95 section at the approach and departure corridors to Washington, D.C. The state strategy of partnering with private, for-profit road construction companies, such as Clark Construction Group and Fluor Virginia Inc., necessarily meant the placement of revenue collecting toll booths where they are least wanted and most inconvenient, on the already congested interstate travel points near the capital city of the United States.

Two proposals to widen the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project with more high-occupancy-vehicle lanes near Washington, D.C. on the Virginia side come at a combined cost in the range of $1.5 billion for the state to complete. A public-private partnership to fund the improvements, looked at by Virginia’s Department of Transportation in January 2005, has now taken on a less region specific funding solution in favor of an interstate solution.

As a practical matter, toll collection booths located at the North Carolina-Virginia state line would spare motorists in the most affected Virginia region the hassle and expense of toll payments, but it misses imposing a toll on roadway users who are most responsible for the needed improvements. That expense, as currently proposed, is passed on to motorists using I-95 for the longer haul.

North Carolina governor Mike Easley has remained opposed to a Virginia-North Carolina Interstate Toll Road Compact. The estimated $4 billion in needed repairs to I-95 in that state, where in some places the roadway is 20-years-old, places a stress on budget resources necessary for the state to perform needed maintenance.

Senator Clark Jenkins of Tarboro County in North Carolina proposed legislation “to get the discussion started about the concept.”