Friday, January 13, 2006
Your mobile phone records are for sale and available to anyone
Freep's Mike Wedland writes:
“In all the talk and outrage over government spying in terror investigations, everyone seems to have bypassed something else that really has the potential to violate your privacy.
A company called locatecell.com is selling, to anyone who plunks down $110, your mobile phone records. Think of this. A suspicious employer wondering if you’re looking for work elsewhere or a jealous boyfriend wondering who his girlfriend is talking to or a stalker following your teenaged daughter or a business rival looking for trade secrets or anyone of a thousand other seriously invasive scenarios are possible with this “service.”
The company - one of several that offer such “services” - promises data in one to four hours and guarantees their accuracy. “Give us the cell phone number and we will send you the calls made from the cell phone number,” it promises.
One segment of society that is seriously concerned about this is law enforcement. The Chicago Sun Times says police there have warned undercover officers not to give their cell phone numbers to informants because their safety and the safety of informants could be compromised.
The FBI also is concerned after it paid to buy the records for a special agent’s cell phone and received a trace of all the calls he made within three hours, according to a bulletin distributed by the Chicago Police Dept.”
read the rest of: PC Mike’s e-Journal � Blog Archive � Your mobile phone records are for sale and available to anyone
Five Things You Need to Know for Friday, January 13, 2006
Friday Sports News: Rematch no match at all: Pistons pummel Spurs, Aaron Neville & Dr. John to perform the national anthem at Super Bowl in Detroit, Red Wings score 5 goals in 3rd period to beat Flyers.
Nimrod Mania: Sundance Channel Documentary Series to Feature Watersmeet Nimrods
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sundance Channel founder Robert Redford announced Thursday the production of an eight-part documentary series celebrating a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and its high school basketball team. "Nimrod Nation," is scheduled to air on the cable channel in 2007 and will be set in Watersmeet (located on the Wisconsin-Michigan border). The tiny town and the gung-ho fans of the Watersmeet Nimrods have gained national attention through a series of commercials for ESPN.
Also see MICK MCCABE: Life according to the Nimrods in the Detroit Free Press
See the Watersmeet Nimrod TV ads from ESPN's Without Sports (click on far right photo)
Read Michigan school has sold $35,000 of gear from ESPN
What is a Nimrod? from Watersmeet Township School District
The Last "Bad Economic News for Michigan" Forecast We'll Post ...
at least we really, really hope it's the last
The Lansing State Journal reports that Michigan's leading economists warned Thursday that more tough times lie ahead: more plant closings, more layoffs, fewer jobs - at least through 2007. State officials project Michigan's unemployment rate will average 7.1 percent this year and next (up nearly 1% from November 2005). Regarding auto industry predictions, Sean McAlinden, chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research said: "GM will soon become the size of Ford; Ford will become the size of Chrysler, and Chrysler, thank God, will stay the size of Chrysler."
Also see Granholm: Michigan Is the Center of 21st Century Innovation from the MEDC
Munising Ice Festival
Earlier this week the Detroit Free Press had a feature on ice climbing and the annual Michigan Ice Fest. The event will be held Feb. 2-5 on the shores of Lake Superior and will attract about 400 spectators and climbers. During the festival, anyone can try climbing. Ice columns as thick as 40 feet and as high as 200 feet form along Pictured Rocks because water seeps from sandstone rocks.
Information about IceFest 2006 from Downwind Sports
Land Sales Planned by UP Power Company Raise Concerns
AP writer John Flesher reports that plans announced last week by the Upper Peninsula Power Co. to sell 7,300 acres of land near hydropower dams on several Upper Peninsula rivers for residential development have raised concerns. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service sent memos to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week, saying the company seemed to be planning "extensive shoreline development" that would conflict with license requirements. Among them: providing walk-in public access for hunting, fishing and sightseeing; retaining the shorelines' natural appearance; and protecting wildlife habitat and old growth forests.
Concentrations of Chemical Found in Lakes, Effect Unclear
The Detroit Free Press reports that a little-studied fire retardant has accumulated in Great Lakes sediment and game fish for decades without detection, according to new research. Dechlorane Plus was found in the sediment of lakes Erie and Michigan, in regional air samples and in the tissues of walleye in Lake Erie. It is unclear what health impacts on humans or animals (if any) might be caused.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Crain's Detroit Business
Crain's Detroit Business:
State economists on Thursday released revenue forecasts that show mixed growth and continued economic challenge.
Lansing State Journal: Rogers proposes lobbying reforms
Lansing State Journal: Rogers proposes lobbying reforms:
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, who days ago announced his candidacy for the No. 3 leadership post in the House, on Wednesday unveiled wide-ranging ethics proposals that would reform political lobbying and other practices.
Levi's sells iPod-Ready Jeans by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: And you didn't think the iPod had become an icon of pop culture?
iPod Pants- Levi's Launches iPod-Ready Jeans. These pants come with "a special joystick in the watch pocket" for operating the iPod.
I am not making this up.
A welcome home to remember by notes from away
notes from away writes: On their way home from Iraq, a plane of soliders stopped in the middle of nowhere, aka the second largest city in Maine, (Bangor) to refuel. Another plane was also refueling at the time and experiencing minor mechanical issues. The passenger of the second plane disembarked and joined the crowd welcoming home the soliders.
mlive.com: NewsFlash - Oversight groups give Michigan thumbs-up for forest management by My Michigan Connection
My Michigan Connection writes: Michigan has won a seal of approval from two independent monitoring groups for environmentally sensitive management of its 3.9 million acres of state forest.
10 January, 2006 by East Cross Street
East Cross Street writes: Ypsilanti was in the news a lot today.
I had no less than twenty-two people send me an article in USA Today titled "Auto Woes Manufacture City's Decline."
...The other bit of gossip that was newsworthy today was that the Ypsilanti Police caught a murderer.
Hey dude, where's Needle Park? by Detroit BikeBlog
Detroit BikeBlog writes: Named for Senator Lewis Cass, Cass Park is the defining point of the Cass Corridor spanning the blocks between Downtown & Midtown.
Five Things You Need to Know for Thursday, January 12, 2006
It's not Eminem getting married but... Remembering the I-96 Pileup of January 12, 2005, UM Students visit New Orleans for humanitarian trip, Motown & Michigan Through the Eyes of the World (BBC).
Heat Cost Forces Hard Choices
The Detroit Free Press has an in-depth feature looking at the impact of monthly energy expenses that have jumped at least 50% from a year ago. National standards dictate that an affordable energy bill should equal 6% of a typical household income. There are more than 180,000 Michigan households living on incomes at or below 50% of the federal poverty level and 1% of all Michiganians are below the federal poverty line. Many of these families passed the 6% mark years ago.
Kathleen Walgren, executive director of The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), a Detroit-based nonprofit, said: "This is our Katrina. We saw this coming, but I think that we haven't paid attention to good energy policy for a long time, as a country and as a state."
Michigan's Housing Market Receives Gloomy Rating
The Detroit Free Press reports that while most of the country is seeing a relatively upbeat housing market forecast, three of the nation's top economists speaking at the International Home Builder's Show in Orlando singled out Michigan as a state that will continue to struggle with housing growth and appreciation, escalating foreclosure rates and an overall dreadful economy. Some areas of the country have seen home prices soar 20% or more, but in Michigan (particularly the southeast Michigan) home prices rose an average of 1% last year.
Bringing Back the Coaster Brook Trout
Fly Rod & Reel Magazine has a feature on efforts to restore wild coaster brook trout (also called "salmon trout" - trout the size of salmon). There are only 3 recognized strains, all in Lake Superior and all in Michigan: two stream-spawning populations of the Upper Peninsula's Salmon Trout River and Isle Royale's Big & Little Siskiwit rivers and the shoal-spawners of Isle Royale's Tobin Harbor.
Michigan Mall Picks up 7-11 as Advertiser
The Detroit News reports that Michigan Mall, a localized Internet search engine and online directory has picked up 7-Eleven as an advertiser as the convenience store giant seeks to sell franchises in Michigan. According to the article, there has been a trend over the last seven or eight years towards vertical portals, portals that are dedicated to a single industry or topic.
Northern UP Ski Trails in Great Shape
While most of Michigan remains in the grip of a mini-heat wave, the Mining Journal reports that northern UP cross-country ski trails are in great condition, despite a lack of significant recent snowfall. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has 11 miles of groomed ski trails at Grand Marais and another 11 at Munising. Also highlighted are Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming and Noquemanon Trail.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Cross-Country Ski Trail Maps
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The Brothers Grimm?
ESPN columnist Michael Smith reports:
League and Lions sources tell me that the Detroit job is Pittsburgh assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm's when the Steelers' season concludes ... Millen and Grimm are two of a kind -- hard-nosed, blue-collar, Pennsylvania guys -- who were teammates with the Redskins in 1991. Grimm has been around winning organizations in Washington and Pittsburgh. He'll stress the discipline and physical style of football, especially on offense, that Millen wants. It's not sexy, but that's not what the Lions need right now. The sexy hire got Millen into trouble the last time. Detroit needs substance.
"Automotion" Calendar targeted by ADA by Northern Michigan Detroit Sports Blog
Leelanau Sports Guy writes: The American Decency Association is after the Detroit Pistons because of the dance team's 2006 swimsuit calendar. The ADA "views the calendar as inappropriate for a pro sports team to market when the team is supported by many families, women and impressionable young children."
American Life in Poetry: Column 041 by The Poetry Factory
Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate writes: Those photos in family albums, what do they show us about the lives of people, and what don't they tell? What are they holding back? Here Diane Thiel, who teaches in New Mexico, peers into one of those pictures.
Louis Comfort Tiffany by dETROITfUNK
dETROITfUNK writes: Sanders was being prepped for restoration, but the owner backed out. The decision to demolish came very recently, and attention turned to salvaging the priceless Tiffany glass mosaics that adorn the facade of Sanders.
On This Day : January 11th In History by Red Tape Blog
Red Tape writes: On Jan. 11, 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report saying smoking may be hazardous to one's health.
Global Warming, Detroit Style by River Rant
River Rant writes: The River Rant Committee on Serotonin Uptake is pleased to announce the sun appeared today, after a most lengthy multi-day absence. We were starting to wonder if the scientists of the 1970's, before the global warming hype took hold, were correct in their prediction of an imminent cooling pattern where the sun disappeared and the earth became a huge blue ice ball.
Five Things You Need to Know for Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Which way the wind blows: Toronto testing Lake Ontario wind farm, Gary Indiana Mayor looks to develop Lake Michigan shoreline for tourism (now, about that smell...).
Fewer Michigan Teens Dying, More Abused or Neglected
The Lansing State Journal reports that fewer Michigan teens are dying, getting arrested, having babies and dropping out of school according to Kids Count in Michigan Data Book 2005, an annual report on the state of Michigan's youth. However, there were 29,737 confirmed cases of abuse or neglect in 2004, about 40% higher than in 1995.
Michigan League for Human Services web site (Data book available later today)
Republicans Turn Attention to Small Business
The Detroit Free Press reports that Republican lawmakers announced plans to seek a cut in the state's alternative business tax for small businesses from 2% to 1%, reducing taxes for Michigan's 30,000 small businesses by an average of $700. They also hope to head off proposed tougher ergonomic standards on businesses which they say would be too costly for employers. Gov. Granholm's office responded that these tax cuts lack a funding mechanism.
News Review Talks with DeVos
The Petoskey News-Review has a fairly detailed article relating the position of Michigan gubinatorial candidate Dick DeVos that is well worth a read. In addition to his assessment of issues facing the state, the article also discusses Devos's plans to eliminate the state's Single Business Tax, substantially reduce personal property taxes and agressively promote Michigan as a tourist destination.
Great Lakes Joins Science Education Network
The Traverse City Record-Eagle has a feature on a new program that will bring together research scientists and science teachers for workshops, curriculum development and other projects aimed at improving Great Lakes education. The program should help produce Great Lakes science lessons that can be used in schools across the region and that take advantage of the latest scientific information.
Michigan Sea Grant web site
COSEE Great Lakes site
Restaurant Group Forecasts Modest Sales Increase for 2006
Crain's Detroit Business reports that the Michigan Restaurant Association expects sales for the state's food and beverage industry to increase by about 4.1% in 2006, a slower growth rate than many other states. Michigan restaurant sales to top $12.3 billion in 2006, up from projected 2005 sales of $11.8 billion (estimated 4.4% sales increase).
Michigan Restaurant Association web site
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
All tech attention turns to Apple by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote to announce all sorts of new products and services. Apple is incredibly secretive about its plans, wisey causing all sorts of speculation.
Would You Pay $213 for a Postcard? by ypsi~dixit
Y. writes: LOCAL HISTORIAN WYSTAN STEVENS alerts the Washtenaw Historical Society email list that a rare Ann Arbor postcard sold for a cool $213 on eBay. He says:
"A really rare, double real-photo post card of the University of Michigan football team, 16 men facing the camera in a single line, with three coaches (including head coach Fielding H. Yost), was sold on eBay on January 5, 2006, for the stupendous sum of $213.27.
Camaro Concept Video Podcast by GM Fastlane
GM Fastlane writes: In FastLane's first video podcast, the Wall Street Journal's Detroit Bureau Chief Joe White interviews GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz at the North American International Auto Show about the design and heritage of the Camaro concept vehicle.
WARNING: Large file (28.8 MB)
Another Reason to Use FireFox. by neadfiles
James by The Snowsuit Effort
The Snowsuit Effort writes: "I'm homeless because of the government."
"I slept out last night, covered up with blankets."
"I go into the casinos to get warm."
So You Wanna Coach In The NBA? Better Double Think That by out of bounds
out of bounds writes: I once asked Earl Cureton, the old U-D Titan and two-time NBA Champion, why in the world Isiah Thomas was bringing John Long and him out of retirement and onto the end of the Toronto Raptors bench. This was in 1996 -- has it been nine years already? -- and Thomas was looking for his two former Pistons teammates to provide some sort of stability to a young and unrefined roster.
Five Things You Need to Know for Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Listen up: Shoreline property owners are asking US Supreme Court to reverse Michigan beachwalking ruling, interview w/ Muskegon Fury owner Tony Lisman, Zipcar: Car-sharing gets profitable.
Michigan Pages Add Two New Sections
Absolute Michigan's Michigan Pages have added two new sections. The first is called Build Michigan! and is dedicated to exploring the future of Michigan's business landscape, industry and built environment. Also released are the Michigan History Pages, featuring links to articles about the the rich heritage of the Great Lakes State and regular features from Michigan History Magazine.
Michigan History Pages
2005 Michigan Wine Grape Harvest Spectacular
The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council reports that the third-warmest summer in state history led to an early harvest of completely mature and healthy grapes. Although the quantity was about average, the quality was again rated as far above average, making 4 straight years of excellent vintages.
Rodgers Seeking Majority Whip Post
The Lansing State Journal reports that Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) called for ethics reform in Congress and announced Monday that he is running for majority whip of the US House of Representatives. Rogers highlighted his past as an FBI agent who investigated public corruption and organized crime in Chicago and portrayed himself as the candidate for change. The whip is the third-highest leadership position in the House, behind majority leader and speaker and current chief deputy whip Eric Cantor of Virginia is considered the front-runner to replace Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri should Blunt become majority leader.
Read Rogers bids for House job in the Detroit News
Warm Wet Winter Means Trouble for Loggers
The Lansing State Journal reports that the mild winter weather is hurting Upper Peninsula lumber operations. Typically, the ground will be be frozen by December, but the woods are still muddy, limiting the State Forest areas available to logging and severely impacting logging companies bottom line. Winter logging can account for up to 3/4 of logging.
Hybrids Move From Hype to Production
MITECHNEWS.COM reports that while there is a lot less hype from automakers at the 2006 North American International Auto Show about alternative energy-powered vehicles, Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler are moving into hard-core production of hybrid vehicles. The automakers have unveiled several new hybrids including a hybrid Tahoe and the (relatively inexpensive) Saturn Vue Green Line.
Also see the Center for Automotive Research
Monday, January 09, 2006
Autosim show by Detroit Metblog
Jeffrey Widen posts a funny Auto Show cartoon.
Lobbyist Abraham by Politics [Michigan]
Politics [Michigan] writes: Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary and U.S. Senator from Michigan, has formed a Washington, D.C., consulting firm, The Abraham Group, specializing in energy issues.
Apple fan spoofs Gates' WIndows Vista presentation by PC Mike's E-Journal
Mike Wendland writes: I noted in my coverage of Bill Gates' keynote speech at CES in Las Vegas Wednesday night how much his preview of Vista (the Microsoft code name for the next upgrade to Windows) reminded me of my Mac and the Apple OS X operating system.
I wasn't alone in seeing the similarities. Check out these two spoofs of the Gates keynote from a Mac fan.
NEW WAYS TO DISPLAY: Setting the scene by The Content Manager
The Content Manager writes: "Shiny new cars and trucks are the stars of this year's auto show, but a supporting cast of elaborate technology-driven displays is becoming increasingly important at setting the scene.
CASH STRAPPED BIOLOGISTS LEAN ON VOLUNTEERS by GLRC
GLRC writes: For years, federal and state governments have cut funding for wildlife protection. That's led to complaints from biologists who say they don't have enough money to adequately do their jobs, but it's also led to a new movement.
Five Things You Need to Know for Monday, January 9, 2006
Cha-cha-cha-changes: It's a very fast, new world, and I can barely keep up, Google moves into the PC desktop space with Google Pack, Mike Wedland Cruises Hi-tech Highways.
2006 North American International Auto Show
The 2006 Auto Show runs January 8-22. In addition to lots of video, the
Detroit News has a number of podcasts and coverage in the Autos Insider Weblog.
The Detroit Free Press reports that DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group
appears poised to surpass Ford Motor Co. to become the second-largest
producer of cars and trucks in North America and also features video from Mark Phelan.
Detroit Free Press Auto Show Coverage
See 2006 Auto Show Photo Gallery in the Freep
UP Power Company Selling Reservoir Land (cool waterfall photo!)
The Mining Journal reports that the Upper Peninsula Power Co. is divesting itself of thousands of acres of land surrounding reservoirs in the Upper Peninsula. Late last week the company announced the sale to Naterra Land of about 9,200 acres of property surrounding the Bond Falls, Boney Falls and Cataract Basin reservoirs and is also seeking to sell property surrounding the Autrain Flowage in Alger County, Pricket Dam in Houghton and Baraga counties and Victoria Dam in Ontonagon County.
New Arsenic Water Standards Coming
The Lansing State Journal reports that hundreds of schools, cities, businesses, restaurants and mobile home parks across Michigan are scrambling to make sure their drinking water is considered free of dangerous arsenic levels by January 23rd. The EPA has increased the standard from 50 to 10 parts per billion because a growing number of studies linked arsenic to cancer.
State Lawmakers Look to Warm Things Up
The Lansing State Journal reports that with heating bills up over 50%, Michigan lawmakers are working on legislation that would cover more low-income residents and give them more aid, prevent utility shutoffs during the winter months and offer tax credits to people who buy energy-efficient appliances.
Study Looks at Mass Transit in SE Michigan
The Detroit News reports that a report from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments found those who drive between Ann Arbor and Detroit would use public transportation as long as the ride were as quick as a car, stations were convenient to home and workplace and service operated on a reliable schedule. Options include light rail line, express bus routes and commuter railroad.
More at annarbordetroitrapidtransitstudy.com
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