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Android To Surpass Apple’s App Store In Size By August 2011: Report (Exclusive)

Posted about 22 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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Facebook Wants To Buy Skype

Posted about 21 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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Higher Gas Prices Leading To Increase In Stranded Drivers With Empty Gas Tanks

Posted about 18 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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MI Dealers Contribute to Higher Market Share for April; Most Automakers Saw Highest Increase in Small Cars

Posted about 14 hours ago by Mi_auto_times_thumb MI Auto Times to MI Auto Times

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April showed a shift in consumer trends as small cars increased for most large automakers. General Motors MI dealers contributed to the almost 50 percent increase in compact cars for the month.
DETROIT, M.I. – MI dealers may have seen a shift in the types of vehicles customers were interested in during the month of April. Gas prices seem to have been the biggest influence this month as the national average has reached almost $4 per gallon. Regions such as New England, the Midwest and the West Coast already have surpassed the national average and increased above $4 per gallon.
For this reason, it is no surprise consumers focused most of their attention on smaller cars that are more fuel efficient instead of trucks, which were a bigger percentage of sales for automakers like Ford in March.
[Rewind: Michigan Chevrolet Dealers Hear GM Up 97,000 Units for 2011 Even with Shift in March Sales Numbers]
General Motors took back its market share from Ford who reported 16.3 percent while GM took 20.1 percent total market share. Total sales increase for GM from this time last year was 26.6 percent while its cars percentage increased 49.8 percent. One of the vehicles that was in high demand for General Motors was the Chevrolet Cruze, which offers 36 mpg highway or 42 mpg highway on the Cruze ECO model.
“Rising fuel prices have led many to rethink their vehicle of choice,” said Don Johnson, GM Vice President for U.S. sales, in a statement made to The New York Times.
With Ford’s drop in market share from 17 percent in March, the corporation saw an increase in total sales of 16.3 percent. Ford did see an increase in cars at 26.1 percent with its MI dealers seeing the high demand for the new Fiesta and Focus.
“Dealers were telling us they were selling them right off of the convoy truck,” said Ken Czubay, Ford’s Head of U.S. sales and marketing, in a New York Times article.
Chrysler saw a 22.5 percent increase bringing its market share to just over 10 percent. Chrysler not only increased in sales and market share but also reported selling 882 Fiat 500 Micro-Cars. This was the first Fiat model that was introduced into the U.S. market.
Toyota Motor Corp on the other hand saw an overall increase of only 1.3 percent from last April with its total car sales actually decreasing 2.9 percent. Low inventories due to the Japan crisis seem to be the cause as popular small cars such as the Prius and Corolla subcompact were in very short supply. At this point, Toyota has less than a 10-day supply of Prii vehicles, but the company plans on being back to normal production by the end of the year.
The following is how other automakers ranked at the end of April:

·         Hyundai: Overall increase of 40.3 percent with a 52.3 percent increase in cars including the popular all-new Elantra

·         Nissan: Overall increase of 12.2 percent with a 7.5 percent increase in cars.

·         Honda: Overall increase of 9.8 percent with a 10.8 percent increase in cars.

The annual vehicle sales rate has been above 13 million vehicles for the third consecutive month, which is a feat in its own right especially as the average incentive spending has dropped $500 per vehicle from this time last year. MI dealers are recognizing that even without incentives, the automotive market seems to be continuing to increase.
MI Auto Times covers all Michigan automotive news all the time, featuring newly released vehicle recall information, relevant Michigan automaker news, vehicle ratings and comparisons, and everything else auto-related Michigan and world readers need to know.
Got a hot tip? Send your news tips to or connect with us on Facebook:
[Source(s): The New York Times, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Motor Intelligence]

Delta Passengers Forced To Land & Ride Bus For 5 Hours. Is $100 Coupon Enough?

Posted about 14 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via The Consumerist by Chris Morran on 5/5/11

Earlier this week, a Delta flight from Atlanta to West Palm Beach, FL, was forced to land in Tampa after the cabin filled with smoke. Passengers were taken off the plane and put on a bus for the 5-hour trip to their final destination. They were also each given a $100 coupon for use toward a future Delta flight. To some passengers, it's not the size of the compensation that caused offense, but the apparent lack of give-a-damn demonstrated by Delta.
In a letter to the airline, one passenger writes:

Once we landed safely I expected a much higher level of service from Delta Airlines. The only consolation or compassion we heard was from either the pilot or Co-pilot when he said "SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE" as we deplaned. I suggest it was more than an inconvenience.
We subsequently were told by the ground crew that they made arrangements to bus us from Tampa to PBI and we were getting a $100.00 coupon. I expected some help or compassion, even to ask, "Is everyone ok? Do any of you require help?" Instead we were told to go downstairs and wait for the buses. Some were in shock but we followed your instruction as we were told. Initially there was not one Delta employee to speak with, to check on us, to supply water, anything...
Eventually we were herded onto buses and sent on our way for an approximately 5 hour trip. (The bus driver took the slow route to save on the tolls.) Most importantly though, not one Delta employee was with the 3 buses.
As an aside, Delta was generous enough to supply us with an 8 ounce bottle of water.
Upon arrival at PBI there was a Delta baggage handler there but we saw not one person to make sure we were well.
At this point I have to say Shame on you Delta Air Lines. I am not sure about of any of the other passengers but I am still shaking and nervous as is [redacted] who was traveling with me. I have to say once more that this was more than an inconvenience, we had no control while in the air and as a passenger I could do nothing but fear the worst.
I understand the airline industry has changed and we will never again go back to the service levels we once had but your lack of empathy and consideration is inexcusable.
I would hope in the future you would give your passengers the treatment they deserve for flying with you.
WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach followed up with Delta regarding this complaint and received the following response:

We reviewed this customer's letter and apologize she was not pleased with our support following the diversion of her flight. I also checked with our Palm Beach operation and the Station Manager tells me he and a few of his employees met the busses upon their arrival...
Either way, we are planning to follow-up with this customer so we can further express this sentiment and ensure that the details of her experience are passed along to our Tampa and West Palm Beach stations.
Is there anything the airline could have done to make these passengers less peeved? Would a $100 refund, as opposed to a coupon, have been a better option? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Scary moments in the sky for passengers on Delta flight 1147 []

Michaels Warns Customers Of Possible Data Breach

Posted about 14 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via The Consumerist by Laura Northrup on 5/5/11

If you've shopped at a Michaels big-box craft store recently and used a credit or debit card, keep an eye on your statements, especially if you shopped in the greater Chicago area. The chain notified customers on its e-mail list earlier today about a possible PIN pad breach in Chicago that may apply to other stores as well.
Here's the message that went out to customers: just a warning to look out for suspicious charges.
Dear Michaels Customer: Michaels has just learned that it may have been a victim of PIN pad tampering in the Chicago area and that customer credit and debit card information may have been compromised.
In the event that this is a more widespread issue, we are taking the precautionary measure of alerting all of our customers so that they may protect themselves. We recommend immediately contacting your bank and/or credit card company to check for and report any unauthorized charges, as well as seek their advice on how to protect your account in the event that your information has been taken. Additional information is available on the Federal Trade Commission website at
We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you, and we want you to know that we are working with law enforcement authorities in every way we can to help in the investigation. As always, we thank you for being a Michaels customer.
Thank you.
John B. Menzer
CEO, Michaels Stores
Thanks, Vincent!

Southwest Vacations Lets Deal Expire, Sends You To Phone Sex Line To Complain

Posted about 14 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via The Consumerist by Laura Northrup on 5/5/11

Luke learned two interesting things recently while booking his Vegas vacation through Southwest Vacations. First, Southwest Vacations isn't a part of Southwest Airlines, as he had assumed. Second, deals that are available when you first begin your online transaction aren't necessarily available once you finally check out. Not knowing that second bit of information cost him the "free" show tickets that were the reason he chose a more expensive booking through Southwest Vacations in the first place.
A few weeks back i booked a package through Southwest Vacations. the package was a few bucks more then booking SW for air and the hotel I wanted independently, but the show tickets made it a great deal. During checkout it is explained that the booking of the show tickets occurs 3-5 days after competed purchase. Well i'm writing you so i guess you can imagine that a week and half later when my hotel and air tickets arrived there was no mention of show tickets. I called customer service and learned a couple of things:
1. Despite using the logo and similar branding Southwest vacations is not a part of southwest airlines (they use SWA exclusively for air travel though)
2. The free ticket promotion expired and i'm using their words "23 minutes prior to completing your purchase."
Not one to rush to extremes I sent a letter to their (SW vacations) customer service asking to correct this issue as the offer was made at the time I began my purchase
I received an email from SW vacations acknowledging the time difference (again 23 minutes ) and that they would ask the MGM grand to provide me with two tickets but there would be no guarantees.
Yesterday I received an email from SW Air stating they were aware of my incident and that i was instructed to call a different company (Mark Travel Company) to see about getting show tickets issued. The number they provided is 1800-243-5683 when I dialed i was given a message telling me where the best live talk is happening. -great info to know, but not the response i was looking for.
I'm hoping you could post this or provide contact info for an EECB, as i couldn't find one on your site in a way to get this issue handled. i leave for vegas in two weeks and am bummed i'm not receiving what i was promised.

Homeland Security Demands Mozilla Remove Firefox Extension That Redirects Se...

Posted about 13 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via Techdirt by Mike Masnick on 5/5/11

Apparently, the folks at Homeland Security are not at all pleased with the very, very simple Firefox extension, called MAFIAAfire, that negates ICE's domain seizures, by automatically rerouting users to alternate domains. Apparently, DHS demanded that Mozilla take the extension down from its listing of Firefox extensions claiming that the add-on "circumvented" DHS's seizure orders. Thankfully, Mozilla didn't just fold, but instead left it up and sent DHS a list of questions concerning the request. The list of questions is really fantastic, as it goes way beyond the direct request to really get to the heart of the questionable nature of ICE's activity with domain seizures:
To help us evaluate the Department of Homeland Security's request to take-down/remove the add-on from Mozilla's websites, can you please provide the following additional information: 1. Have any courts determined that is unlawful or illegal in any way? If so, on what basis? (Please provide any relevant rulings)
2. Have any courts determined that the seized domains related to are unlawful, illegal or liable for infringement in any way? (please provide relevant rulings)
3. Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on or is this request based on other reasons? If other reasons, can you please specify.
4. Has DHS, or any copyright owners involved in this matter, taken any legal action against or the seized domains, including DMCA requests?
5. What protections are in place for or the seized domain owners if eventually a court decides they were not unlawful?
6. Can you please provide copies of any briefs that accompanied the affidavit considered by the court that issued the relevant seizure orders?
7. Can you please provide a copy of the relevant seizure order upon which your request to Mozilla to take down is based?
8. Please identify exactly what the infringements by the owners of the domains consisted of, with reference to the substantive standards of Section 106 and to any case law establishing that the actions of the seized domain owners constituted civil or criminal copyright infringement.
9. Did any copyright owners furnish affidavits in connection with the domain seizures? Had any copyright owners served DMCA takedown notices on the seized domains or (if so please provide us with a copy)
10. Has the Government furnished the domain owners with formal notice of the seizures, triggering the time period for a response by the owners? If so, when, and have there been any responses yet by owners?
11. Has the Government communicated its concerns directly with If so, what response, if any, did make?
It's always nice to see some organizations not just roll over when the government comes calling. Kudos to Mozilla for not just refusing to takedown MAFIAAfire, but for also asking serious questions of DHS. Of course, DHS has refused to respond at all...Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

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