Thursday, March 22, 2007

Want a Good Greek restaurant in Astoria,NY



Check out: Taverna Kyclades in Astoria 33-07 Ditmars Blvd at 33st. phone 718 5458666

This restaurant had always appealed to me, just from walking by.
I am born and raise in Astoria , so i know my food here.As a kid i use to play in the garden behind it, when there was nothing there.


There's an indoor section and a section that's outdoor in the summer, and enclosed in the winter. It's filled with grape vines and looks very inviting. Now that I was eating what was on the menu, I decided to try this place out.The menu focused on seafood, though there were other options. Sadly, no haloumi, but they did have a lovely fried cheese dish that we got as an appetizer. I got the Salmon Steak as my entree.Very tasty, but the portions were huge. Definitely a good deal for their moderate price. I will be enjoying that salmon for the rest of week.

New mail boxes for NYC... Star Wars ????




Has anyone seen these boxes around town?
They seem to be popping up everwhere these days in New York City

well here is the story:
Coming to a Manhattan streetcorner near you - and a select few in the other four boroughs - a "Star Wars"-themed letter box in the form of lovable R2-D2.

Overnight, two dozen boxes were to get a robotic makeover as part of a gimmick to promote a new stamp out March 28.

In a news release, the Postal Service likened itself to the feisty little droid, boldly declaring that R2 "embodies the trust and dependability for which the Postal Service is so renowned."

The R2-D2 boxes will pop up in 200 cities nationwide. In New York, most will be in high-traffic areas in Manhattan, like 43rd St. and Broadway, 58th St. and Fifth Ave., and 33rd St. and Seventh Ave.

"It's a little teaser for the upcoming announcement, and we decided to have a little fun with it," said Anita Bizzotto, the post office's chief marketing officer.

While postal officials want the public to make full use of the boxes, Bizzotto urged folks not to tamper with them - noting that's a crime. Hear that, crazed "Star Wars" fans?

No Contract Extension for A-Rod

The New York Yankees don't intend to offer third baseman Alex Rodriguez an extension on his 10-year, $252 million contract.

The decision leaves him the option of opting out of his deal and becoming a free agent at the end of the season. He has four seasons left on the record contract he signed with Texas before the 2001 season. Rodriguez is owed $27 million in each of the final three seasons.

Rodriguez also can stay for 2008 and have the right to opt out of the last two seasons if the Yankees don't boost his salary to $32 million annually for the final two years.

Letterman Regular 'Bud' Melman Dies


Calvert DeForest, the white-haired, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late night television shows, has died after a long illness. The Brooklyn-born DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman's "Late Show" announced Wednesday.

He made dozens of appearances on Letterman's shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on "I Got You, Babe," doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself - a genuine, modest and nice man," Letterman said in a statement. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."

The gnomish DeForest was working as a file clerk at a drug rehabilitation center when show producers, who had seen him in a New York University student's film, came calling.

He was the first face to greet viewers when Letterman's NBC show debuted on Feb. 1, 1982, offering a parody of the prologue to the Boris Karloff film "Frankenstein."

"It was the greatest thing that had happened in my life," he once said of his first Letterman appearance.

DeForest, given the nom de tube of Melman, became a program regular. The collaboration continued when the talk show host launched "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS in 1993, though DeForest had to use his real name because of a dispute with NBC over "intellectual property."

Cue cards were often DeForest's television kryptonite, and his character inevitably appeared in an ill-fitting black suit behind thick black-rimmed glasses.

DeForest often drew laughs by his bizarre juxtaposition as a "Late Show" correspondent at events such as the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway or the anniversary Woodstock concert that year.

His last appearance on "Late Show," celebrating his 81st birthday, came in 2002.

DeForest also appeared in an assortment of other television shows and films, including "Nothing Lasts Forever" with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The skywalk over the Grand Canyon


Afraid of heights? You might tread carefully, then, if you visit Grand Canyon West, a tourist destination whose main attraction is The Skywalk. The cantilevered walkway, which is making its media debut Tuesday, is a mere 4,000 feet above the bottom of the canyon. It opens to the public on March 28.

The open-air skywalk extends 70 feet out from the rim of the canyon, where it's anchored in part by the visitor center. It will be open from dawn to dusk, and the price of admission is $25 per person. (No word on whether that price includes an airsick bag.) As many as 120 people will be allowed on the bridge at any given time; each will have to wear special shoe covers to prevent slipping and scratching.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

There AT IT AGAIN !!!!.....Jet Blue....

Flights Canceled in Newark, NYC, Throughout NortheastJetBlue on Friday canceled nearly three-fourths of all scheduled flights across the country -- most in the New York area -- because of a winter storm on the East Coast.Aiming to avoid criticism that followed a storm last month, the discount airline had canceled about 400 of its 550 flights by mid-afternoon. Included in that total were about 160 flights out of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport; 14 out of Newark Liberty International Airport, and seven out of LaGuardia Airport, said JetBlue spokesman Todd Burke."It's a strategic move to cancel your flights in advance to help you position aircraft and crews for a quick recovery when the storm is over,'' he said. "Our plan is working beautifully.''

He said most of the customers in the New York area were notified of the cancellations in advance, except for Newark.

"Newark is an unusual circumstance where we had last-minute cancellations,'' he said. "The vast majority of flights that are canceled were notified well in advance.''

Overall, about 1,400 flights at the three New York area airports were canceled by mid-afternoon, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airports.

He said the Port Authority deployed extra customer service agents to Newark to assist passengers with canceled JetBlue flights and others. Many customers there, though, fumed as they tried to rebook tickets.

Karen Opdyke, her husband, three young children and mother were trying to get to Miami after their 9 a.m. flight was canceled.

Over 200 NYC Restaurants Failed Health Inspection Since Rats


City records show that at least 235 New York restaurants failed a health inspection in the nine days after video of rats in a Manhattan fast food joint embarrassed officials into suspending an inspector who had given the eatery a passing grade.

Health officials deny that a crackdown is under way, but acknowledge that some inspectors wary of additional media attention might be giving kitchens extra scrutiny.

Overall, nearly 100 restaurants have been shuttered for health code violations in the past three weeks - a shocking total considering that inspectors closed only 558 restaurants in all of 2006.

Scores more have been allowed to stay open, but hammered with citations that will lead to big fines.

Among the unlucky was the trendy Coffee Shop in Union Square.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Grand Jury Indicts 3 Cops



A grand jury on Friday indicted three of the five officers in the 50-shoot barrage that killed an unarmed man on his wedding day, lawyers told The Associated Press. The lawyers said Marc Cooper (pictured, left), Gescard Isnora and Michael Oliver (right) had been indicted, but they did not know the exact charges. The three officers fired the most shots -- Cooper, 4, Isnora, 11, and Oliver, 31.

Gunman's Trail Of Terror In NYC


A gunman rampaged through a strip of restaurants and bars in a trendy Manhattan neighborhood, killing a pizzeria employee and two unarmed volunteer police officers before other officers shot him to death, the mayor said.

Gunman David Gavin had a fake beard, two guns and 100 rounds of ammunition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said early Thursday.

"Tonight was a horrible night for the New York Police Department and for our city," he said. "Two men who volunteered their time to make our city the safest big city in America lost their lives helping to keep it exactly that way."

The shooting began around 9 p.m. Wednesday, the mayor said. Gavin, 32, went into a Greenwich Village pizzeria, asked for a menu and then shot an employee 15 times in the back before fleeing, Bloomberg said. Police identified the employee as Alfredo Romaro, 35.

Apple iPhone on NYC STORE



Looks like Apple is continuing to build awareness for the Apple iPhone. On Monday March 12th, workers at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in New York City posted a large iPhone ad on one full side of the glass structure.

TV Reporter Cat Attack

this is one bad ass CAT...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Leopard Release In Mid/Late April?

According to multiple anonymous sources, Apple's next installment of Mac OS X (named Leopard) will arrive in mid to late April with an exact shipping date being announced later this month, perhaps alongside Adobe's Creative Suite 3 event.

While the sources are anonymous and cannot be confirmed at this time by other known and traditionally reliable means, agreement from such a variety of sources is rare. Still, Leopard's release has been prone to much hype and speculation, and we hesitate to place too much hope in such rumors (yet).

Apple's multi-touch technology seen spawning "mega-platform"

Financial experts at UBS Investment Research say they believe Apple Inc. is developing a "mega-platform" based around its recently introduced multi-touch display technology that will facilitate broad growth opportunities through an assortment of future products.
In a research note issued Tuesday, analyst Ben Reitzes encouraged his clients to look past the minute details of the initial iPhone and focus on the power that lies in the 'unannounced' multi-touch ecosystem that will eventually find its way into several products across the company's product portfolio.

"We believe this 'Mega-Platform' could help Apple become an 'open-ended' growth story once again with a logical chronology of new products for years to come," the analyst wrote.

Yoko Ono's Driver Allowed to Leave U.S. Voluntarily

A federal immigration judge has signed an order that allows Yoko Ono's former driver, who pleaded guilty to charges of trying to extort money from her, to leave the United States voluntarily rather than be deported.

Judge Alan A. Vomacka signed the order Wednesday for Koral Karsan, who has been in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security since his guilty plea in February, to return to his native Turkey without further legal proceedings.

The voluntary departure resulted from an agreement between Karsan's lawyer, Jonathan Avirom, and DHS attorney Victor Yee. Leaving voluntarily makes Karsan's re-entry into the United States less difficult than if he were deported.

Poised to Regulate Pedicabs, Bloomberg Hesitates

A bill to regulate the bicycle taxi industry hit a surprise bump in the road on Wednesday when Mayor Michael Bloomberg had second thoughts just before he was to sign it into law.

Bloomberg was on board as the measure moved through the City Council and was approved last month. But he shifted into neutral during a bill-signing ceremony at City Hall, where a group of pedicab drivers and other opponents told him why they disagreed with the bill.

Last year throughout the hearing process, which was contentious at times, many in the fast-growing pedicab industry said they welcome some regulation, such as licensing and safety standards, to weed out freewheeling drivers and operators. But when the council passed the bill, it also capped the number of pedicabs allowed on city streets at 325, which many drivers said was unfair and would cause them to lose their jobs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NY'ers Enraged at Creep Who Attacked Elderly Woman

NEW YORK (AP) -- Here'a a tip for the guy who beat up a 101-year-old woman in a walker and took off with her purse: Get out of New York.

The vicious mugging, caught on surveillance tape, has sparked outrage in a city where people are accustomed to hearing about strange and violent crimes. Police have launched an all-out manhunt, but it's not just the cops who want the villain's head.

"I could hold him, and let the woman beat him up,'' said Joe Sarju, 59, who lives in the Queens neighborhood where the attack occurred. "I'd love to beat him, but then they would lock me up.''

The heartlessness of the March 4 attack is clearly conveyed on the grainy, black-and-white videotape, which has now been broadcast well beyond New York.

In it, 101-year-old Rose Morat is trying to leave her brick apartment building to go to church. The mugger, a man who looms over the senior citizen and is holding on to a bicycle, pretends to help her get through the vestibule.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Regis to Undergo Bypass Surgery

Regis to Undergo Bypass Surgery

Giant iPhone Ad, 5th Ave Apple Store.(PICS)

Apples iPhone is going to be HUGE! :)



read more | digg story

8-core Mac Pro Leak at Apple UK

Apple's UK Store offers a small slip which may indicate that 8-Core Mac Pro's are coming soon. "Now quad-core or 8-core processing power. Configure yours today."



read more | digg story

300 was made with Final Cut Pro, Shake, Quicktime, and Macs

Macs were preferred by the filmmakers of 300. Even though Final Cut Pro was not the main editing software used for 300 it was preferred over Avid. Shake was also the main program used for the 2D effects and Quicktime HD was the choice for creating the HD movie previews.



read more | digg story

Lawsuit Blames NYC for Failure to Hire Women as Bridge Painters


No women have been allowed to join a squad of 100 city bridge painters, the federal government said in a civil rights lawsuit filed Monday.

The city's Department of Transportation has never hired or offered to hire a woman to paint its 770 elevated bridge structures, although several have applied, the government said in a lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

A city lawyer, Georgia Pestana, responded: "We are confident the court will determine that DOT's hiring practices for bridge painters comply with civil service requirements and are gender neutral.''

But the government said the civil service requirements have not been met, in part because the city has not administered a civil service examination for bridge painters since 1992.

The city's civil service process requires that bridge painters be hired from lists following an open and competitive examination, but the city has evaded the process by hiring painters on a temporary basis, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting the city from engaging in discriminatory employment practices and forcing the city to follow a fair, open and competitive selection process for its painters.

It also seeks job offers with retroactive seniority and back pay with interest for women who lost their chances at jobs.

According to the lawsuit, the city has hired 13 of 56 people who have applied to be bridge painters since Oct. 31, 1997. During that time, four women have applied for jobs but none was hired.

The Department of Justice notified the city of its probe and tried to negotiate a settlement but failed, the lawsuit said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Regis Philbin to Undergo Bypass Surgery



Regis Philbin, co-host of "Live With Regis and Kelly,'' announced on Monday's show that he will have heart bypass surgery this week.

"Well, listen, I gotta tell you something. ... I had been feeling chest pains, you know, and, uh, shortness of breath and all those little symptoms that you hear about,'' Philbin, 75, told his TV audience. After a number of tests, doctors recommended bypass surgery.

Philbin said he was hoping to have angioplasty because "you know, you get in - bang, bang, bang - they blow it open and you leave the next day.'' But, he said, "there's some plaque in some arteries and I've got to get it cleaned out.''

He's not looking forward to the surgery.

"Darn it, I don't want to do it,'' Philbin said. "Nobody wants to do it, I guess. And I had a second opinion, I did all those things, and so they're all in agreement that it should be the bypass. And so that's what I'm gonna do.''

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Grand Jury Enters Final Phase in 50-Shot NYPD Killing Case

The police officers have told their side of the story. The surviving victims gave their version.

Now it's up to a Queens grand jury to decide whether any of the five officers broke the law in the fatal shooting of bridegroom Sean Bell and the wounding of his two friends. Lawyers involved in the case say a decision could come sometime this week.

Over the past three months, 23 grand jurors have listened to more than 60 witnesses testify about a complex case in which four detectives and one police officer unleashed a barrage of 50 bullets on the three black men, all unarmed, as they were in their car leaving a bachelor party at a Queens strip club at dawn on Nov. 25. The killing of Bell hours before his wedding sparked community outrage and raised questions about police tactics.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Survey: Vista now in use on less than 1% of PCs

Windows Vista may yet prove to be an unstoppable juggernaut, but statistics released today by a market research firm show that the new operating system hasn't even licked its nine-year old ancestor.

Vista was being used on less than 1% of PCs tracked in February by Aliso Viejo-based Net Applications Inc., making it the sixth most-popular operating system. That puts it behind Windows 98, which is still used on 1.5% of computers.

Apple exec disses Vista as no threat to Leopard

Apple Inc.'s CFO yesterday said Windows Vista is no threat to Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" and argued that the steep hardware requirements of Microsoft's new operating system will give Leopard an opportunity to step in and grab more market share.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco, Peter Oppenheimer added that if history is any indicator, Apple would see a bump in revenue the quarter that Leopard -- Apple's name for Mac OS X 10.5 -- is released. When asked to give a more specific ship date for Leopard, however, Oppenheimer declined, repeating only what Apple has said for months: "This spring."

Apple May Use Flash Memory For Notebooks

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. may sell zippy notebook computers later this year that use the same type of fast memory as music players and digital cameras, driving down prices of hard-disk drives, an analyst said Thursday.

The maker of the popular iPod music player and Macintosh computers hopes to introduce so-called flash memory in small computers known as subnotebooks in the second half of 2007, Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research who has a "buy" rating on Apple shares and does not own any stock, said in investor notes Wednesday and Thursday.

A shift to flash memory in place of much slower hard-disk drives would eliminate one headache for consumers: lengthy start-up times when turning on computers.

Apple of Cupertino, California, already uses flash memory in its iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle music players. Flash memory is lighter, uses less power and takes up less space than hard-disk drives.

Wu, who was among the first analysts to forecast the unveiling of Apple's iPhone music player/phone earlier this year, cited unnamed industry sources as the basis for his report.

"The time is right for the flash makers to make a move" as flash memory prices decline, Wu said by telephone. "Apple, from what we understand, is pretty much ready. The ball is in the flash vendors' court."

Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox said the company does not comment "on rumor and speculation". Apple shares were up 60 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $88.32 in early afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

A mugger attacked a 101-year-old woman


A mugger attacked a 101-year-old woman in Queens, punching her in the face and knocking her over before making off with her purse, according to police and a security-camera video. The same suspect moved on to victimize an 85-year-old woman shortly afterward. Police are looking to the public for tips that could help identify him. The robberies happened in separate buildings in the Jamaica section of Queens on Sunday.

The 101-year-old woman was assaulted in her building's lobby around 12:30 p.m. Security-camera footage, aired in news reports, showed the mugger approaching her, whacking her in the face and sending her and her walker tumbling.

"I was not unconscious, but I was startled, and I thought: What happened?" said the woman, Rose Morat. The suspect took her purse, police said.

About a half-hour later, 85-year-old Solange Elizee was assaulted outside her apartment. Police said the suspect followed her on elevator and got out on a different floor from hers, but then confronted her by her apartment door.

Elizee said he asked her in the elevator what floor she was headed to, explaining, "I like to help old people."

But as she went to close her door, he threatened, "'I get you,'" Elizee said. She said the suspect also beat her in the face and pushed her down.

Friday, March 09, 2007

DRY-OUT TIME


AFTER it was reported that heavy drinking played a role in the cancellation of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth's reunion tour, Eddie announced he was going into rehab. "I would like Van Halen fans to know how much I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Without you, there is no Van Halen," he wrote in a statement. "At the moment, I do not feel I can give you my best. That's why I have decided to enter a rehabilitation facility to work on myself, so that in the future I can deliver the 110 percent I feel I owe you and want to give you."

SECOND BABY? for linda


IS Linda Evangelista pregnant again? The supermodel - who gave birth to Augustin James Evangelista last year, but refused to name the father - has been dating billionaire Peter Morton for the past six months. A friend says she's expecting again and the baby is his. Morton, who sold the hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas last year, is also the father of Harry Morton. Morton and a rep for Evangelista didn't return calls.

YOKO PULLS PLUG ON BEATLES DOCU.

- MONTHS back, I reported that in 1970 Yoko Ono's first husband Tony Cox shot 10 hours of John Lennon in cinéma vérité - at their home, in rehearsals, wherever - before The Beatles busted up. Cut into two hours, this improvisational "3 Days in the Life" was to be shown as we speak at a place called the Berwick Academy in some foreign state called Maine.

I now report, ain't happening. Berwick just pulled it.

This documentary showed up through the parent of one of its alumni. However, attorneys suddenly informed them Yoko "retains a copyright interest in the footage and had not granted permission for a public showing." Seems they thought the rights were held by some entity called World Wide Video LLC - whoever they are - and in proper legalese, Yoko says that they - whoever they are - don't own borscht.

Lawyers state Yoko "owns all rights, title and copyrights in and to all film, outtakes and videotapes" of this particular thing. "Her copyright is registered in the United States Copyright Office at Volume 8485, Pages 472 through 475." They use phrases like "on notice . . . willful infringement . . . statutory damages, actual damages, imposition of attorney fees" and "no releases have been executed by our client" nor any "synchronization licenses granted for use of any musical composition contained" in the thing and etc., etc., and blaah blaah.

"Ask The Chauffeur"

TONY'S new vlog...

Why Apple Macs are best for business

Not too long ago, ad agencies, design firms and other creative companies were about the only businesses that widely deployed Macintosh computers to their employees. But for a number of reasons, word of the benefits of Apple hardware -- and software -- on enterprise desktops is now spreading. That list of reasons includes:

-- Years of spyware, malware and virus headaches that affect Windows XP have pushed IT managers to scramble for new options they might not have considered in the past.
-- The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use.
-- Many corporate applications have been ported to W3-compliant Web services that are OS agnostic.
-- The Mac platform has moved to Windows-compatible Intel chips, which are less expensive, more powerful than older PowerPC processors and make virtualization a viable alternative.

Health Commissioner: Rats Are Not A Health Risk


The recent rat-fest caught on tape at a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant in the Village has renewed fears, prompting the city's Health Department to lead the charge to eradicate rodents.

The city spends $8 million a year on rodent control and has a team of more than 100 inspectors who close about 500 restaurants each year.

“We can always use more to address the problem. It's a big problem,” says Deputy Health Commissioner Jessica Leighton.

Leighton points out rats are a quality of life issue, not a health risk.

“They are not what causes food borne disease; they are not what causes poor health conditions,” says Leighton.

She says the city has stepped up its efforts in the last few years and is using new technologies to target neighborhoods prone to rats.

“For certain communities, the reasons that they have high rodent problems will be different than in other communities and we are trying to address the underlying factors,” says Leighton.

Robert Sullivan knows more about rats than anyone. In 2001, he spent a year studying them in an alleyway in downtown Manhattan.

“You can see where they would crawl in and out of abandoned buildings,” he says.

The result of all his research was the bestseller "Rats.”

“I'm not crazy about rats. I don't love them. I don't live with them all the time,” he says.

Apple 7th Most Admired Company

Fortune magazine has ranked Apple as America's 7th most admired company in its survey of the Top 20 Most Admired Companies. The survey was conducted by asking 3,322 "executives, directors, and securities analysts to select the 10 companies they admire most."

According to more detailed results, Apple ranked first in Innovation and sixth in Quality of products/services, and was the second-highest ranked computer company (behind IBM)

iPod Nano, Mac Mini Announcements This Month?


reports that supplies of several Apple products appear to be at extremely low levels, but will ship in quantity within a matter of weeks. While the pattern may simply reflect a stronger than normal demand, it is also a strong indication that product launches are on the way.

Models facing shortages are reported to be all versions of the Mac mini and the iPod Nano as well as the HiFi. The site notes that their sources indicate that the Nano will be shipping again as early as next week, indicating that if an update should occur, it may occur as early as next week.

Other models mentioned facing a shortage include the entry-level combo drive iMac, the mid-range MacBook Pro, and the entry-level and black MacBooks.

MEGA jackpot BLI$$ IN N.Y., TOO

March 9, 2007 -- Even though no one grabbed a share of the record $390 million Mega Millions jackpot in New York, eight Empire State entrants scored runner-up prizes of $250,000 each.

Two winning tickets were sold in Manhattan, one each in Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, and one upstate.

In neighboring New Jersey, not only did someone win half of the multistate jackpot Tuesday, but two other runner-up tickets worth $250,000 each were sold.

No one had claimed any of the New Jersey prizes in the multistate lottery as of yesterday.

The top ticket, sold in Woodbine, Cape May County, is worth $195 million if the winner accepts an annuity and has a cash value of $116.5 million, but that's before a federal tax of 25 percent. New Jersey does not tax lottery winnings.

More Officers Testify In Sean Bell Shooting

A Queens grand jury will hear from more officers who were involved in the shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell on what would have been his wedding day last November.

Detective Mike Oliver, who fired 31 of the 50 bullets, is expected to testify on Friday.

Undercover Officer Gescard Isnora, who fired 11 shots, started his testimony Wednesday afternoon. Isnora was the first to fire at the car Bell and his friends were in outside Club Kalua on November 25th.

He is the officer police say approached Bell's car with his shield and gun, and who, police say, was struck by the car as Bell and his friends tried to escape. He fired the first shots, shots that, according to police accounts, convinced other officers they were being fired upon.

"His perception was based on observations that he made, conversations that he overheard, and actions of certain individuals both inside and outside of the club before the shooting that obviously led him to believe that imminent danger was upon them,” said Michael Palladino of the Detectives Endowment Association.

Palladino said they would not let the press photograph Isnora because it could compromise investigations he was involved in, though a high-ranking police source said this was not an issue.

8 Children, 1 Adult Killed in Bronx House Fire


the screams filled the street as flames tore through the burning Bronx building: "Help me! Help me! Please! Please!'' Neighbor Edward Soto raced toward the fire through the frigid night air, then stared in disbelief as an infant fell from the building and through the smoke.



"All I see is just a big cloud of white dust, and out of nowhere comes the first baby,'' said Soto, who caught the child while with another neighbor, David Todd. Moments later, Soto caught a second child hurled through a shattered window by a screaming mother trapped inside the three-story inferno. Both children survived.

The dramatic scene unfolded during New York's City's deadliest blaze in 17 years - a fire that claimed nine victims early Thursday, eight children and one adult. The victims were all relatives who shared the home near Yankee Stadium after immigrating from western Africa. The heartbreaking word of the fire spread across two continents, from the South Bronx to villages in Mali.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

North Jersey Town Tells HBO to 'Fuhgeddaboudit'


When it comes to filming the final scene of the acclaimed mob drama "The Sopranos,'' this North Jersey town has told HBO to fuhgeddaboudit.

The town this week denied the show's producers a permit to shoot here because the mayor and council members say the show depicts Italian-Americans in a poor light.

The owners of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor selected for the scene said the personal opinions of Bloomfield Mayor Raymond McCarthy and the council shouldn't stand in the way.

"He should do what's good for the town and not let his personal feelings dictate his decision,'' Chris Carley, co-owner of Holsten's Brookdale Confectionary, which sells homemade ice cream, said of McCarthy.

The town first approved the permits last week. But after complaints, the council brought back the issue for a second vote on Monday and rejected it. Officials have agreed to consider the permits for a third time at a meeting next Monday.

The mayor, whose wife is Italian, has said he opposes how the mob drama portrays Italian-Americans.

"I don't think 'The Sopranos' depicts the life of a typical Italian-American in a positive way and I still don't like the way people see New Jersey based upon 'The Sopranos' series,'' he said, adding that he plans to oppose the permit again on Monday.

"What the rest of the council does, that's their choice. I stand by my convictions,'' he said.

As a member of Unico, an Italian-American civic group, "I am pledged to honoring my commitment to its mission to speak out in defense of Italian-American dignity,'' McCarthy wrote in a statement. ``This is what I chose to do in this case.''

At least one council member, Peggy O'Boyle Dunigan, said she has changed her mind and now wants to allow the show to shoot here.

She said she was given incorrect information that the Essex County executive didn't like the show, and she has been since flooded with calls of support for Holsten's, where she is a regular customer. She is not a regular viewer of the show.

"If you don't like the show, you can turn it off,'' she said. "It's hard enough to have a small business in town I don't want to discourage them.''

"The Sopranos,'' which debuted in 1999, tells the story of fictional New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, and his family. Scenes for the Emmy-winning show have been shot in New Jersey and New York. The show is scheduled to begin its final season on April 8.

Carley said the ice cream shop has been used in commercials and he was thrilled with the news it had been selected for the HBO drama.

He and his business partner, Ron Stark, said they were told by HBO officials that the 1939 building would be used for the final scene of the series finale. While they hadn't finished negotiating a price, the shop would have been used for three days in late March, with one day for shooting and two days to set up and break down.

Creator David Chase had been in twice to scout, said the partners, whose wives are both Italian.

"Jughead" The Bear Dies At Bronx Zoo


Jughead – a 13-year-old popular grizzly bear who called the Bronx Zoo home for the last 12 years – passed away last Friday during abdominal surgery.

He is survived by his brother Archie and two females named Betty and Veronica.

The four grizzlies were brought to the Bronx from Yellowstone Park after officials ruled they were dangerous and were too used to being around humans.

Attorney: Police commissioner Kelly Murder Plot Suspect Mentally Ill


An attorney for the Rikers Island inmate charged with plotting to kill the police commissioner and blow up police headquarters says her client is mentally ill, and that his threats were nothing more than talk.

David Brown, 47, was arraigned Tuesday on criminal solicitation charges.

Investigators say Brown offered an undercover police officer $65,000 to kill Ray Kelly and blow up One Police Plaza. He expressed anger over Kelly's handling of the Sean Bell shooting.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he thinks it's clear that Brown needs psychiatric help. But he adds that he takes this threat and all others against the city very seriously

Tonys new format is ask the Chauffeur....

any question about nyc or the area just drop tony a line by email or leave a comment and he will help yeah !!!!!

Great Play a must see while in NY...

 
SPAMALOT is highly recommended as a play to see in NY, ALSO Jersey BOYS

NYC goes global to attract tourists


The city's tourism office officially launched its first major international advertising effort Wednesday, aiming to sell potential visitors a new New York, one that's as much the birthplace of hip-hop as it is the home of the Empire State

The campaign is part of an ambitious strategy in the last year to promote New York City around the globe. The tourism office, NYC & Company, already has bureaus in places like Dublin, Buenos Aires and London, and plans to open a total of eight offices in 2007, from Toronto to Tokyo.

Despite its reputation as a top destination, the city has never before embarked on a global ad campaign — relying instead on smaller, local efforts in foreign countries.

At stake are billions of dollars. Some 44 million people visited the city in 2006, generating an estimated $24 billion for the local economy and outpacing such cities as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he would like the city to reach the goal of 50 million annual tourists by 2015.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Second Life's looming tax threat

Second Life is a virtual world that anyone with a broadband Internet connection can enter. Users download software and create an avatar - a cartoon-like character that they control with their mouse and keyboard that represents them in the digital world.When users login to Second Life, they begin the in-world experience.



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Taxi Drivers Rally Against TLC's Proposed Changes


Some city cabbies are trying to put the brakes on new requirements set to go into effect in all city cabs by the end of the year.

Members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance will hold a rally in Lower Manhattan this afternoon to protest a plan to equip all cabs with a system that will provide television service, credit card processing and GPS tracking.

They say the tracking is an invasion of privacy, and they're not ruling out a strike if it goes forward.

"There’s a strong possibility you know that we will have to walk out,” said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “What we are asking for is very reasonable. We are saying, respect the privacy of taxi cab drivers just like you would of any other American."

"I don't work for UPS or I don't work for FedEx. I don't get paid by the hour, you know,” said a driver. “So I think they have no right to be tracking the people."

The alliance is also concerned about the money medallion owners will have to shell out for the new systems and the credit card transaction fees that will come out of drivers' profits.

Rikers Island Inmate Arraigned In Plot To Kill Top Cop


A Rikers Island inmate – apparently upset over the NYPD's handling of the Sean Bell case – was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on charges he plotted to kill the police commissioner and blow up police headquarters.

David Brown, 47, has been charged with criminal solicitation and is being held without bail.

Investigators say Brown offered an undercover officer $15,000 to kill Police Commissioner Ray Kelly by "chopping off his head" and another $150,000 to bomb police headquarters.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mega Millions Jackpot Increases Again, Now $355 Million


The jackpot in the multistate Mega Millions lottery drawing has grown again Monday to $355 million.

In addition, the drawing is being moved from Atlanta, Ga. to Times Square, because the $355 million jackpot is the largest in the game's history, the lottery's Web site said.

None of the tickets sold for Friday night's drawing matched all five lotto numbers and the Mega Ball. The winning numbers were 14, 21, 33, 35 and 51, and the Mega Ball number was 43.

Eleven second-prize winners matched the five lotto numbers, winning $250,000 each. And another 108 players each won $10,000 by matching four numbers and the Mega Ball number.

The Mega Millions drawing will be held Tuesday night. The Web site for the lottery said New York Lottery icon Yolanda Vega will draw the winning numbers at 11:00 p.m., EST.

Las Vegas' aging Sahara casino sold


LAS VEGAS - Owners of the Sahara Hotel and Casino, a Rat Pack hangout and the setting of the original "Ocean's Eleven" film, have agreed to sell the aging property to an investor group.

Officials from Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group LLC and San Mateo, Calif.-based Stockbridge Real Estate Funds said they've entered into a contract to purchase the Moroccan-themed casino and hotel from Gordon Gaming Corp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The Sahara is one of the last remaining original properties on the Las Vegas Strip, and we are thrilled with the possibilities that it presents," SBE Entertainment CEO Sam Nazarian said in a statement late Friday.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Robert Di Niro - War On Terror!

very serious.....

9,000 users switch from PCs to Macs every day

That at least is the estimate of Tom Yager, chief technologist at the InfoWorld Test Center. Based on estimates made by Steve Jobs, half of new Macs in the U.S. are sold to first-time Apple buyers. He set up a long-time Windows user (and Mac basher) on a new MacBook running an exact duplicate of her PC inside and sat back to watch whats happens.



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Adobe will offer ad-supported Photoshop online

Mike Ricciuti and Martin LaMonica for News.com
Hoping to get a jump on Google and other competitors, Adobe Systems plans to release a hosted version of its popular Photoshop image-editing application within six months, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

The new online service is part of a larger move to introduce ad-supported online services to complement its existing products and broaden the company reach into the consumer market, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen told CNET News.com.

Chizen said Adobe laid the foundation for a hosted Photoshop product with Adobe Remix, a Web-based video-editing tool it now offers through the PhotoBucket media-sharing site.

Like Adobe Remix, the hosted Photoshop service will be free and marketed as an entry-level version of Adobe's more sophisticated digital image editors, including Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Chizen envisions revenue from the Photoshop service will come from online advertising.

pics of old Astoria

 
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taken from Shore Blvd/ Ditmars Blvd at the turn of the 20 century.

Con Edison at work in Astoria last summer

 
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Think Secret Dishes on Final Cut Pro 6, Final Cut Extreme, HD MacBook Pro

Most notable among the additions planned for Final Cut Pro 6 will be the release of a new, hardware-accelerated version of the software dubbed Final Cut Extreme. Sources say Extreme is slated to ship later this year, likely in the summer, with a price range of $10,000 to $30,000, depending on configuration.



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'SMOTHER' MA SUES LANDLORD FOR RATS !!!!!

A Bronx mother has filed an $80 million lawsuit against her landlord, saying her apartment was so infested with rats she was forced to sleep with her infant son, causing him to die in her bed of suffocation.



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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Apple to hold special event at NAB

Apple will hold a special event at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show on Sunday, April 15. While no details were available on what, if anything, will be announced at the event, Apple has used such events in the past to launch significant product releases.


In 2005, the company used an event at NAB to launch Final Cut Studio and Soundtrack Pro. A similar event was used to launch Motion in Las Vegas.

Apple will also have a large booth at the show. Typically the first booth in the South Hall, Apple has moved the booth this year to accommodate the larger size.

Sopranos' Mobster Snuffs `Dancing' Role

`Sopranos' Tough Guy Vincent Pastore Drops Out of `Dancing With the Stars'

Vincent Pastore, who played a tough-guy mobster in the early years of "The Sopranos,' has dropped out of "Dancing With the Stars" after a week of training.

At least this time he wasn't sent off to sleep with the fishes, the fate that befell his "Sopranos" character.
"I didn't realize just how physically demanding it would be for me. Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity," Pastore said in a statement Wednesday.

The 60-year-old actor had joined 10 other celebrities for the fourth season of ABC's 10-week dance competition, which returns March 19. ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

"ABC will be announcing a replacement shortly," said Conrad Green, executive producer of "Dancing With the Stars."

The new cast includes Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno, boxer Laila Ali, former 'N Sync member Joey Fatone, country singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus and Paul McCartney's estranged wife, Heather Mills.

Mills, an activist for animal rights and the elimination of the use of land mines, will be the show's first contestant with an artificial limb.

No More Freewheeling Pedicabs? NYC Will Now Regulate Them

NEW YORK (AP) -- Putting the brakes on the bicycle taxi industry before it spins out of control, the City Council on Wednesday created licensing and safety standards while capping the number of the contraptions allowed on the streets.

The pedicabs, which look like giant tricycles with passenger carriages in the back, are a mode of transport for tourists and some residents who favor pollution-free alternatives or want to cut through vehicular traffic jams.

But as pedicabs have become more popular, particularly in bustling tourist areas such as Times Square or Fifth Avenue near Central Park, some critics have said they actually cause traffic jams because they tend to congregate on corners as they troll for customers. They are a common sight around tourist attractions and stadiums in many major cities, including Orlando, Fla., Denver, Boston, Houston and San Diego.

A number of cities have already adopted regulations or are considering them. In Las Vegas, pedicabs were banned from the Strip, where critics said they posed a danger to riders and pedestrians.

There have been no known fatal pedicab accidents in New York, but some passengers have been injured in collisions with cars and buses. A 2001 pedicab crash in which one passenger's shoulder was hurt resulted in a settlement for nearly $2 million. In San Diego last year, a rider suffered a serious head injury when he fell out of a pedicab and was hit by a car.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the pedicab law would increase safety.

"This bill will go a long way to adding to street safety where pedicabs are operating, to add to the safety of those who are operating pedicabs and to add to the safety of those who are riding in pedicabs,'' she said.

Pedicabs have rolled around New York for years without any sort of regulation, unlike the city's yellow taxis, horse-drawn carriages and other vehicles for hire.

Since the council took up the issue last year, pedicab associations said they supported the effort and welcomed regulation to help weed out reckless drivers and companies.

But some angry pedicab drivers and groups gathered at City Hall on Wednesday, saying the legislation goes too far.
Among other things, capping the number of pedicabs at 325 amounts to a "pedicab death sentence,'' they said.

"If they do this, that means that many of us will lose our jobs,'' said driver Mega Martinez. "The city is regulating us out of business.''

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has estimated that there are between 300 and 400 pedicabs currently operating and that about half the devices on the streets each day are not insured.

The law approved by the City Council on Wednesday creates a regulatory framework that includes licensing and insurance requirements and stipulates that each pedicab must post its formula for calculating fares.

NYC Traffic Cam