Friday, November 30, 2007

Google -- A Wireless Service Provider?

Google Inc. plans to bid for wireless spectrum in an upcoming
government auction, raising the possibility the Internet's leading
search engine will become a wireless service provider.

The Federal Communications Commission is auctioning the 700 megahertz
spectrum to increase bandwidth for mobile phone and Internet services.
Television stations will be giving up that coveted section of the
airwaves -- it is extremely powerful, adept at going through walls --
when they switch to digital transmission in February 2009.

"Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in
today's wireless world,'' said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a statement

Google will apply to bid for the "C Block'' of the spectrum -- which
carries a reserve price of $4.6 billion -- because regulators
stipulated that whoever operates it must allow its users to download
any software application they want to a mobile device. Google's bid was
not unexpected, as it played a leading role in lobbying the FCC to open
the spectrum.

"Regardless of how the auction unfolds, we think it's important to put
our money where our principles are,'' wrote Chris Sacca, Google's head
of special initiatives, in a company blog.

Mobile phone companies now force subscribers to use proprietary
software to operate handsets on their network, but Google has indicated
it plans to challenge that business model. The company announced
several weeks ago that it will develop software for mobile devices.

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Bobby Van, Former Hamptons Restaurateur, Dead at 64

Bobby Van, a Juilliard-trained pianist who founded a landmark Hamptons
"gin-mill'' frequented by artists Willem De Koonig and Roy
Lichtenstein, along with literary giants including Truman Capote, Kurt
Vonnegut and Willie Morris, has died.

Robert Craig Van Velsor, known as Bobby Van, died of a staph infection
on Tuesday, said his ex-wife, Marina Van. He was 64 and had been
receiving dialysis treatments for about the past year for a failing
kidney, she said.

Although he sold the restaurant in 1986, for nearly two decades Van
played host to nightly gatherings by some of the world's greatest
writers and artists drawn to the mahogany wood decor and Tiffany lamps
in the saloon in the middle of downtown Bridgehampton.

"These were different days,'' Marina Van said. "Everybody cared about
what you wrote and what you painted. No matter where folks went to
dinner, at the end of the evening, you knew everyone was coming to
Bobby's. That was the in-crowd.''

Other writers frequently seen hanging out at "Van's'' included George
Plimpton, Irwin Shaw, Winston Groom and James Jones, she said.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apple 14th st. store in NYC to open soon.

Let the waiting line begin! Multiple sources have pointed to December 7th as the grand opening date for the 14th Street
(NYC) retail store, a spectacular, two-story corner space in the
city’s Meatpacking District. From the Friday opening day, it will
most likely open at 6 p.m. The store will be the third in Manhattan,
and will match the SoHo and Fifth Avenue stores in architectural uniqueness.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Copy Video From Your PC, and Then Watch It on Your TV

End to Broadway Strike

End to Broadway Strike Coming into Sight?
stagehands and theater producers are inching their way toward a
settlement that could end a strike that has kept most Broadway theaters
dark for more than two weeks. Union spokesman Bruce Cohen said the
wage issue is the last item on the table and talks will go round the
clock if necessary.

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Tree Lights up at Rockefeller Center

Tree Lights Up Midtown
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights are on, officially begining the holiday season in the city. Thousands of holiday revelers attended Wednesday night's 75th formal tree lighting ceremony in midtown Manhattan. This year's 84-foot-tall Norway spruce from Shelton, Connecticut is covered with 30,000 multicolored energy-efficient bulbs known as light emitting diodes, or LEDs.

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Google has announced two new features for Google

Google has announced two new features for Google Maps that mimic
features in Google Earth, begging the question: is Google Earth on
borrowed time?

The first new feature is the additional of terrain in Google Maps. The terrain fly over feature
has long been available in Google Earth, but now you can fly over a map
and see the contours of the land, all without the need to download
Google Earth.

The second new feature mimics the community contribution feature of Google Earth. “Our Maps
brings wiki-style collaboration to Google Maps, with users able to
annotate places and share those notes with friends or the greater

Google acquired Keyhole in October 2004
and it was immediately obvious as to why: Google wanted the satellite
imagery to support their move into serious mapping. Keyhole provided
Google Earth, a downloadable program that gave a then unprecedented
view of the earth through the use of satellite imagery, but Google
isn’t a software company, Picasa and a few small efforts aside.
Google has integrated many of the functions from Keyhole into Google
Maps whilst continuing to sustain Google Earth, but for how much
longer? As Google Maps takes on more and more of the functionality of
Google Earth the appeal of Earth must diminish. It also makes sense
that Google would rather grow and sustain a web product over a software
download. Google Earth will still be with us for some time to come, but
how long is now up to Google, and I’m betting that Google is
already looking at ending support sometime in the next year or two as
Google Maps becomes everything Google Earth now is, but online and
without the download.

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November 28, 2007 -- The Yankees badly want Johan Santana. Here is
a problem: So does just about every other big-market team in the

Yet the complications hardly end there. The Yankees have
learned in the past 24-48 hours that the initial asking price by the
Twins is exorbitant, well beyond just the Phil Hughes/Melky Cabrera
level that had been generally anticipated.
SHERMAN: Johan Deal Would Be Painful And Pricey...But Worth It

And if the Yankees and every other interested club do not know
yet, Santana has a complete no-trade clause and will only waive that
provision if he receives an extension for at least six or seven years
at more than the $126 million that Barry Zito was bestowed last year.
The Mets are said by rival executives to badly want Santana,
but they have taken Jose Reyes and David Wright off the table and there
is serious doubt if they have the wherewithal to make a deal unless the
Twins have a particularly high regard for Carlos Gomez and Mike
Pelfrey. A young center fielder such as Gomez or Cabrera is a must in
this trade as the Twins look to replace Torii Hunter, who recently
signed with the Angels. The Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury/Coco Crisp), the
Dodgers (Matt Kemp) and the Angels (Reggie Willets) are all expected to
vie for Santana, and an NL executive said to watch out for the Cubs
(Felix Pie) and perhaps the Mariners (Adam Jones).

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Verizon Plans Wider Options for Cellphone Users

In a major shift for the mobile phone industry, Verizon
Wireless said yesterday that it planned to give customers far more
choice in what phones they could use on its network and how they use

While there are technical
limitations involved, the company’s move could lead to an
American wireless market that is more like those in Europe and Asia,
where a carrier’s customers can use any compatible phone to
easily reach a wide array of online services — and take their
phones with them when they switch companies. The move, which surprised
industry watchers because Verizon Wireless is known to be highly
protective of its traditional business, is part of a larger shift in
the communications world.

With the introduction of the iPhone from Apple, one of the first mainstream multimedia devices, and Google’s plan to make the software that runs cellphones, the industry is being pushed toward a more open approach.

Carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which is a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone,
have spent billions on cell towers and other infrastructure, and
traditionally they have tightly controlled what happens on their

They decide what phones subscribers can use and then
steer them toward ring tones, television shows and other products they
can buy

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No Settlement Reached in Broadway Negotiations

No, negotiations between striking Broadway stagehands and theater
producers have not run as long as ``Cats.'' It only seems that way.

Two days of back-to-back marathon sessions have not produced a
settlement between Local 1 and the League of American Theatres and
Producers, but both sides will return to the bargaining table Wednesday
to try again.

Progress reportedly has been slow in solving the thorny dispute that
has shut down most of Broadway since Nov. 10, although some headway
apparently has been made in lengthy discussions held Sunday, Monday and
into Tuesday.

"Talks ended this morning (Tuesday) at 7:30 a.m. without a deal after
13 hours of hard bargaining in what I can only describe as a 'rain
delay' in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series,''
Bruce Cohen, a union spokesman said. "The rainy weather should clear up
when talks resume Wednesday.''

All struck shows has been canceled through Wednesday's matinee performances, the league said.

The two sides have been meeting since last summer but negotiations only
began in earnest after Labor Day. But they weren't enough to head off a
strike as stagehands walked off the job, shutting down such hit shows
as "Wicked,'' "Jersey Boys'' and "The Lion King'' as well as two dozen
more plays and musicals.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Studios Unveil DVD Copying Schemes

The good news: Movie studios recognize that strict DRM on DVDs helps make piracy and illegal downloading an attractive route for consumers so various schemes are now being rolled out to let users copy their DVDs onto multiple devices, including PCs and handheld devices. PC World takes a look at new offerings from Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers that trial DVD copying on a limited basis. And, yes, this is a very limited launch; Fox’s new Fox Digital Copy technology is only being offered for the Live Free or Die Hard Collector’s Edition, while Warner’s system applies only to the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The bad news: The new systems don’t offer anywhere near the same flexibility as, say, copying a CD onto your computer or iPod. The FAQ for Fox Digital Copy lays out all of the requirements and restrictions, including the fact that files will only work on Windows PlaysForSure-enabled devices, i.e. no Video iPod or PSP, or even a Zune for that matter. (Here’s a list of all of video devices that are PlaysForSure). Also, users may have to connect to the internet to get a software update for the files to work on the computer. See the PC World review mentioned above for how it all worked in practice. Although not released yet, the Warner Brothers approach is expected to be similarly limiting.

For people who play by the rules the new offerings (and their future iterations) may make life easier. But people inclined to illegally download movies or who know how to rip a DVD onto their computer probably aren’t going to change their habits. Also, these systems face competition from technology like that offered by Sonic Solutions, which goes the other way, allowing users to burn a DVD from their downloaded films.

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IPhone Must Be Offered Without Contract Restrictions, German Court Rules

PARIS, Nov. 20 — Last month, French law forced Apple to promise that consumers could buy a version of its iPhone
in this country without having to be locked into a long-term contract
with Orange, the only mobile phone operator offering the new device.

Now, the same issue is tripping up Apple’s plans to sell the
music-playing cellphone in Germany, the largest European telephone
market. Last week, the Vodafone Group won the first round of a legal case against T-Mobile over its exclusive deal to sell the iPhone there.

A German court ruled that T-Mobile must offer the iPhone to
everyone, even without the 24-month contract that it had required for
buyers of the phone, which went on sale in Germany for 399 euros ($591)
on Nov. 9. T-Mobile is appealing the ruling.

Vodafone of Britain
had tried to secure its own pan-European exclusive deal with Apple for
the iPhone. A spokesman, Simon Gordon, said the company was not trying
to block the sale of the device but rather trying to level the playing
field in Germany. Vodafone operates Vodafone Germany, the No. 2 German
carrier. T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, is the industry leader there, with 34 million customers.

European countries have laws that protect consumers from being forced
to buy something else as a condition of buying a product. Britain does
not have the same kind of restrictions, allowing O2, a mobile network
operator owned by Telefónica of Spain, to sell the iPhone there with an 18-month exclusive contract.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Report: A-Rod plan to go around Boras came from Buffett

NEW YORK -- Warren Buffett advised Alex Rodriguez to
approach the New York Yankees and go around agent Scott Boras, The
Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The newspaper cited a person familiar with the matter, whom it
did not identify.

"A-Rod really loves being a Yankee," Buffett was quoted as
saying. He wouldn't comment on the substance of any discussions
with the player.

The two became friends several years ago.

Rodriguez, on Boras' advise, opted out of the final three
seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year contract on Oct. 28.
The Yankees had said many times that if he opted out, they wouldn't
negotiate because they would lose $21.3 million from Texas for the
final three seasons that was agreed to at the time of the 2004
trade, money to offset the $72 million New York owed from 2008-10.

Upset with developments after he opted out, Rodriguez contacted
Buffett, and the investor told him to approach the Yankees without
his agent, the Journal said.

After speaking with the investor, Rodriguez contacted a managing
director at Goldman Sachs that he knew, John Mallory, who then got
in touch with Gerald Cardinale, a Goldman Sachs managing director
who has worked with the Yankees and their YES Network.

With the assistance of the two Goldman executives, Rodriguez and
the Yankees negotiated a $275 million, 10-year contract that is in
the process of being finalized.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Holiday Season Gridlock Alert Days Start

The NYC Dept. of Transportation has designated Friday as a Gridlock Alert Day.

This is the first Gridlock Alert Day of the holiday season. Residents,
commuters and visitors are asked to use mass transit on these days.

In addition to Friday, November 16, here are the other Gridlock Alert Days for this season:

  • Wednesday, November 21

  • Wednesday, November 28

  • Friday, December 7

  • Thursday, December 13

  • Friday, December 14

  • Wednesday, December 19

  • Thursday, December 20

  • Friday, December 21

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    Officials: Jeter Owes $100,000 in Back Taxes

    There are signs the taxman isn't a Yankee fan.

    New York Yankees star Derek Jeter is in trouble for claiming he resided in Florida during his best years in the Bronx.

    The Yankee captain has an off-season home in Tampa that he says is his
    primary residence, but New York tax officials don't agree.

    New York tax officials say Jeter owes up to $100,000 in back taxes and
    interest for the years 2001 and 2003. Jeter claimed Florida
    residency in those years despite owning and renting homes in Manhattan
    and Long Island.

    Jeter's lawyers say they will try to reach an agreement with tax officials.

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    Yankees Give A-Rod Biggest Contract in Sports History

    Yankees Give A-Rod Biggest Contract in Sports History

    The New York Yankees agreed to give Alex Rodriguez the biggest contract in sports history.

    supers star third baseman agreed with the Yankees on a 10-year, $275
    million contract, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
    His previous contract, signed after the 2000 season with the Rangers
    ball club was also for 10 years, but for $252 million. That’s the
    same contract A-Rod opted out of during Game 4 of last month's World Series.

    contract is not yet official. The details of the dontract must be
    finalized, but these are just minor details and the biggest difficulty
    in keeping Rodriguez in pinstripes was left behind. He will play for
    the Yankees through the age of 42 and will be a key factor in drawning
    the fans to the ew Yankee Stadium which will open in 2009.

    the contract there will be incentives connected to A-Rod's expected
    chase of Barry Bonds' all-time home run record. A-Rod has passed the
    500th home run milestone on Aug. 4 at the age of 32 to become the
    youngest player to reach that feat. This season he hit 54 homer runs
    and now has 518 for his career. But he struggled in the playoffs and
    the Yankees were eliminated in the first round for the third straight

    "It looks good," said Hank Steinbrenner about the deal
    between the Yankees and Rodrigues. The deal will probably be made
    official before Monday, when A-Rod will most likely be designated as
    this year's AL MVP winner.

    Meanwhile, the negotiations with
    Mariano Rivera have reached a halt. The Yankees have made a three-year,
    $45 million offer to Rivera and that would be the final offert sais
    Hank Steinbrenner. Rivera said he wanted four years.

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    Barry Bonds indicted for allegedly lying under oath

    Home run king Barry Bonds, the owner of the most sacred record in sports and once considered a lock for the Hall of Fame, was indicted Thursday for allegedly lying under oath to a grand jury about his steroid use.

    Federal prosecutors charged the 43-year-old slugger with perjury and obstruction of justice in a 10-page indictment filed in United States District Court in San Francisco, four years after investigators raided the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative and Bonds testified that he never knowingly used steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

    According to the indictment, investigators obtained evidence that indicated Bonds, baseball's career leader in home runs with 762, had tested positive for anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in their Sept. 3, 2003, raid at BALCO's Burlingame, Calif., offices and a subsequent raid on trainer Greg Anderson's home. Bonds, however, denied knowingly using steroids when he was confronted with evidence when he testified before the grand jury on Dec. 4, 2004.

    "There's this number associated on a document with your name, and corresponding to Barry B. on the other document, and it does have these two listed anabolic steroids as testing positive with it," an unnamed prosecutor had asked Bonds, according to the indictment. "Do you follow my question?"

    "I follow where you're going, yeah," Bonds responded.

    "So I
    guess I got to ask the question again, I mean, did you take steroids?
    And specifically this test is in November of 2000," the prosecutor
    continued. "So, I'm going to ask you, in the weeks and months leading
    up to November 2000, were you taking steroids?"


    If convicted, Bonds faces up to 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 7.

    legal team said it did not believe the ballplayer would ever be
    convicted and blasted the Department of Justice for what it called
    unethical behavior.

    Barry Bonds leaves the federal courthouse in San Francisco after testifying before BALCO grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003.

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    Wednesday, November 14, 2007


    November 14, 2007 -- Hank Steinbrenner opened the door even wider for
    Mariano Rivera to return to the Yankees yesterday and - perhaps more
    interesting - did not slam the door on the potential of bringing back Alex Rodriguez.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Maybe it is just wishful thinking or part of a negotiating strategy,
    but in recent days the Yankees began to hear some buzz that Rodriguez
    was interested in engaging the organization in conversations. Until
    yesterday, Steinbrenner had dismissed Rodriguez since his agent, Scott
    Boras, announced during Game 4 of the World Series that his client was
    opting out of the final three years of his contract. Upset that
    Rodriguez would not even return his calls or negotiate with the club,
    Steinbrenner said the Yanks were moving on without Rodriguez, and the
    organization was unified behind that strategy.

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    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Will Success, or All That Money From Google, Spoil Firefox?

    Only a couple of years ago, Firefox was the little browser that
    could — an open-source program created by thousands of
    contributors around the world without the benefit of a giant company
    Microsoft to finance it.

    Since then, Firefox, which has
    prospered under the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, has grown to be the
    largest rival to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, with 15 to 20
    percent of the browser market worldwide and higher percentages in
    Europe and among technology devotees. It is the most popular
    alternative browser since Netscape, with about three times as many
    users as
    Apple’s Safari.

    Part of Firefox’s appeal was its origins as a nonprofit venture,
    a people-powered revolution involving the most basic Internet
    technology, the Web browser. Also, because the core code was open,
    Firefox could tap into developers’ creativity; they are
    encouraged to soup up the browser, whether by blocking ads from
    commercial Web sites, a popular add-on, or by creating
    “skins” to customize the browser’s appearance.

    in trying to build on this success, the Mozilla Foundation has come to
    resemble an investor-backed Silicon Valley start-up more than a scrappy
    collaborative underdog. Siobhan O’Mahony, an assistant professor
    at the School of Management of the University of California.

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    Great White Way Still Dark

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS)
    -- Striking stagehands and theater producers traded accusations but not
    much else as the work stoppage that has shut down more than two dozen
    Broadway plays and musicals entered its third day Monday.

    1010 WINS Audio: Glenn Schuck Reports

    James J. Claffey Jr., president of Local One, fired the first salvo
    Sunday, declaring that the stagehands would remain off the job until
    producers started acting "honorably'' at the negotiating table.

    Have Tickets? Refund Information

    Speaking at a somber news conference, Claffey said the League of
    Theatres and Producers needs to make a "constructive'' adjustment to
    its counter offers.

    "We want respect at the table,'' he said. "If there's no respect, they
    will not see Local One at the table. The lack of respect is something
    we are not going to deal with.''

    Shot back Charlotte St. Martin, the league's executive director: Local
    One "left the negotiating table and abruptly went on the picket line.''

    She said the union "refused to budge on nearly every issue, protecting
    wasteful, costly and indefensible rules that are embedded like dead
    weights in contracts so obscure and old that no one truly remembers
    how, when or why they were introduced. The union wants you to believe
    they are the victims, the little guys.''

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    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    How Joel Osteen Inspires Millions

    How Joel Osteen Inspires Millions

    Business leaders can learn a lot from the popular evangelist's

    uplifting style. Accentuating the hopeful empowers people to take action

    It's easy to spot Joel Osteen. The pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church has been featured on 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and other major network shows in addition to countless magazine and newspaper articles, mostly focusing on his new best seller, Become a Better You.

    The book was released in October with an initial printing of 3 million
    copies. Lakewood Church averages 47,000 attendees for Osteen's weekly
    services. Osteen has influence.

    As a communications coach, I make observations on what makes a
    particular speaker inspiring to his or her listeners. The secret behind
    Osteen's charisma is this: He speaks the language of hope.

    According to Osteen, "As parents, we can profoundly influence the
    direction of our children's lives by the words we say to them. I
    believe as husbands and wives we can set the direction for our entire
    family. As a business owner, you can help set the direction of your
    employees. With our words, we have the ability to help mold and shape
    the future of anyone over whom we have influence."

    As a communications coach, I make observations on what makes a
    particular speaker inspiring to his or her listeners. The secret behind
    Osteen's charisma is this: He speaks the language of hope.

    According to Osteen, "As parents, we can profoundly influence the
    direction of our children's lives by the words we say to them. I
    believe as husbands and wives we can set the direction for our entire
    family. As a business owner, you can help set the direction of your
    employees. With our words, we have the ability to help mold and shape
    the future of anyone over whom we have influence."

    If that's the case, and I believe it is, then dwelling on the
    negative (for example, focusing on how "bad " things are, how the
    economy will ruin your business, etc.) will demoralize your listeners.
    Speaking in positive, optimistic language, however, will leave everyone
    inspired and energized by your presence.

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    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Christmas is coming to NY...

    Crews Prepare Rockefeller Center Tree for Trip

    NEW YORK (AP) -- This year's Rockefeller Center tree is 84 feet tall and 48 feet in diameter.

    It's scheduled to be cut down Wednesday by a two-man crew using a giant hand saw at the Shelton, Connecticut home of Joe and Judy Rivnyak.

    The tree will then be hoisted by a huge crane onto a 115-foot long trailer and brought to New York City, where it is expected to arrive on the ninth of this month.

    New Yorkers will get to see it lit up in a ceremony planned for November 28.

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    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Carey Softball Challenge

    The Chauffeurs won 8-7 played at the ICYP feild in Astoria, Queens

    Saturday, November 03, 2007


    MONEY PLAYER: According to industry sources, the Yankees were notified through Alex Rodriguez's agent they couldn't even meet with him unless there was a $350 million offer on the table.


    November 3, 2007 -- The Yankees were out of the Alex Rodriguez negotiations before they even began.

    According to a report on, confirmed by The Post last night through industry sources, before A-Rod opted out the Yankees were notified through agent Scott Boras they could not even meet with their MVP third baseman unless they presented an offer of $350 million as a starting point.

    The Yankees made a substantial offer before Rodriguez opted out, but still came up short by more than $100 million to meet his price. The Yankees were done with any negotiations once Rodriguez opted out.

    Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman declined to comment if there was, in essence, a $350 million ultimatum - but sources said that's exactly what the Boras demand amounted to.

    The Yankees repeatedly made it clear an opt-out would end negotiations, and that is what happened.

    "We called Alex and never got a return call,'' Hank Steinbrenner said. "The [contract] number was really insignificant.''

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    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Joe Torre Hired to Manage Dodgers

    Joe Torre was hired Thursday to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,
    taking the job two weeks after walking away from the New York Yankees.

    Torre moved from one storied franchise to another, getting a
    three-year contract. He takes over a team that finished fourth in the
    NL West this season and hasn't won the World Series since 1988.

    The 67-year-old Torre becomes the Dodgers' eighth manager since they
    moved west from Brooklyn for the 1958 season. Torre grew up in
    Brooklyn, rooting for the rival New York Giants and detesting the

    "As a kid growing up, you didn't like them,'' Torre said on WFAN
    radio in New York less than an hour before the hiring was announced.
    "As a player, to me the Dodgers were the Yankees of the National League
    because ... you either loved them or you hated them.''

    Torre guided the Yankees to four World Series championships from
    1996-2000, and they made the playoffs in all 12 years he managed them.
    After New York was beaten in the first round by Cleveland last month,
    the Yankees offered him a one-year contract with a paycut.

    Insulted, Torre turned it down. Torre was hired by the Dodgers on
    the same day the Yankees formally introduced Joe Girardi as their

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    New era dawns with Girardi at helm

    Joe Girardi grinned, slipping on the pinstripes once more, signaling the opening of a new era in Yankees baseball.

    Girardi was formally introduced as the 32nd manager in club history on Thursday, posing for photographs and reiterating his excitement for perhaps the biggest challenge of his multifaceted career in a press conference held in the Stadium Club at Yankee Stadium.

    "I can't tell you how honored we are to be putting on this uniform for the third time," Girardi said after donning a jersey with the No. 27 on its back -- appropriate, perhaps, since Girardi will be trying to lead the Yankees to their 27th World Series title.

    "This is the place to be. For the Girardis, this place is home."

    The 43-year-old Girardi, the 2006 National League Manager of the Year, agreed to terms earlier in the week on a three-year contract reportedly worth upward of $8 million.

    Succeeding Joe Torre after a 12-year run at the helm, Girardi inherits a Yankees club prepared for some transition, continuing to filter in younger talent while attempting to win its first World Series championship since 2000.

    Though Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner preached during the interview process that observers should have "patience" with the new manager, saying that he would not necessarily be inheriting the 1996 Yankees, Girardi has objected to that viewpoint.

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    Avis Acquires 45% of Carey International Limousine

    PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Avis Budget Group, Inc. announced today that it has acquired a significant interest in Carey International Inc. In connection with this transaction, Avis Budget Group invested approximately $60 million in cash and now owns approximately 45% of Carey’s common stock. In addition, Avis Budget also obtained a one-year option to increase its ownership stake in Carey to approximately 80%, subject to certain conditions, which would likely include the assumption or repayment of Carey’s existing indebtedness. Carey International, with approximately $250 million in revenue in 2006, is the market share leader in the approximately $5 billion chauffeured ground transportation category. Carey offers its customers consistently superior premium service through the industry’s only franchise system. Carey operates in 550 cities and 60 countries through its network of franchisees and alliance partners.

    “With this investment, Avis Budget Group expects to be able to offer corporate customers and travel partners the most complete portfolio of local ground transportation products and services available anywhere,” said Avis Budget Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald L. Nelson. “As the world’s premier chauffeured services brand, Carey provides premium-quality services across a broad geographic footprint, making it an ideal partner for Avis Budget.”

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    NYC Traffic Cam