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LG Dare Cellphone

LG just dropped some heavy cell phone news this morning with the announcement of three new handsets for Verizon Wireless. The most intriguing of the lot is the LG Dare, a phone that will join the ranks of the LG Vu, the Samsung Instinct, and the Apple iPhone as a full-fledged touch-screen handset. The one difference seems to be that the Dare has a stylus, with "advanced handwriting recognition" plus a virtual QWERTY keyboard. It will have V Cast support, a 3.2-megapixel camera that promises to adapt to low light levels, a built-in photo editing tool, plus the capability to upload the photos to a "social networking site" (MySpace or Facebook, perhaps?). Not a lot of information on the Dare yet, but we hope to learn more once it launches in July.

LG Decoy

LG Decoy

(Credit: LG)

The next phone on the list is the LG Decoy, which we mentioned in an earlier rumor about the phone's release. As you'll recall, the Decoy is the first ever phone to have a stowaway Bluetooth headset integrated into the back of the device. The Decoy is a slider phone, and will also have V Cast and VZ Navigator support. It will be in stores on June 16.

LG Chocolate 3

LG Chocolate 3

(Credit: LG)

And last, but definitely not least, is the LG Chocolate 3. Instead of its predecessor's slider form factor, the Chocolate 3 will be in flip form with the music player control wheel on the outside. Features include an FM transmitter, an MP3 player of course, V Cast support, dual speakers, stereo Bluetooth, 1GB of internal memory plus a microSD card slot, a 2.0-megapixel camera, and more. According to reports, the Chocolate 3 will arrive in stores in July as well.

It certainly looks like LG has been very busy, with all these devices coming out around the same time frame. No pricing information yet, but we'll definitely keep you updated on these phones, and keep a look out for our reviews as soon as we get them.

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Susan Lyne Steps Down

Martha Stewart Living CEO Lyne steps down

Media veteran Susan Lyne is stepping down as chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc after nearly four years of navigating the lifestyle brand through quarterly losses and the brief imprisonment of its founder.

Martha Stewart Living said on Wednesday it will make two of its executives co-CEOs: Wenda Harris Millard, a former Yahoo Inc executive who now serves as president of media, and Robin Marino, president of merchandising.

Shares of the media and merchandising company fell 6 percent.

Lyne joined the company in late 2004 while its founder and namesake Martha Stewart served a five-month prison sentence over a suspicious stock sale.

The former head of entertainment at television network ABC, Lyne was hired to turn the company around as it suffered from a flight of advertisers and falling circulation. At ABC, Lyne was credited with spotting such hit series as "Desperate Housewives."

"Our principal goal was to rebuild the company and return it to profitability. We have done that," Lyne said in a company statement on Wednesday.

She gave no explanation for her departure and was not immediately available for comment. Media industry columnists and blogs have speculated that Lyne could vie for a top role at publisher Time Inc, among other jobs.

In recent quarters, Martha Stewart Living reported improved advertising at its flagship magazine and growth for its websites. It has also taken steps to diversify its brand beyond a reliance on Stewart's own tips for gracious living, including a deal with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

But investor concerns over future growth have weighed on company shares, which are off nearly 14 percent this year.

The shares have fallen 57 percent since Lyne was named CEO, with much of that decline coming in the second half of 2007 due to concerns over a weakening U.S. economy and its toll on the publishing business.

"The stock price is undervalued by Wall Street, but not undervalued by Main Street," Martha Stewart Living Chairman Charles Koppelman told Reuters.

"It's certainly not undervalued by our current partners and potential partners," he said. "A lot of that is market conditions."

Millard and Marino joined the company under Lyne's tenure, bringing their expertise in the areas of online advertising and retail merchandising. Marino was previously president and chief operating officer at luxury designer Kate Spade Inc.

Both will report to Koppelman and retain responsibilities for the divisions they oversee now. Asked whether the choice of a co-CEO structure suggested a potential for eventually splitting the units, Koppelman said, "Absolutely not."

Millard said in a joint interview that she and Marino already coordinate closely in running their respective segments of the company. "We saw an opportunity for even more collaboration," she said.

Marino said, "The most valuable asset in the world is having a media platform residing next to me. Others in the merchandising world would die for it."

Martha Stewart shares were down 49 cents to $7.49 near midday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Tulsa Teachers Credit Union

TTCU scam hits cellphones, email inboxes

Scammers have targeted thousands of Green Country residents with a fake message warning them about supposed security problems with their credit union accounts.

The fake messages, a form of scam known as "phishing," tell people that their Tulsa Teachers Credit Union (TTCU) account information might have been compromised.

They then ask that the potential scam victims call a phone number or click on an Internet link and enter their personal account information.

Actually following those instructions would completely compromise the security of the accounts involved, and allow the scammers access to steal the funds.

TTCU issued a statement Tuesday which reads, in part, that the fake messages have gone out to AT&T, US Cellular, TMobile, and Sprint customers.

The Tulsa Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about the scam, and has launched an investigation.

TTCU says that no accounts have actually been compromised, as the email claims, and that no one should actually call the numbers or click on the links contained in the fake messages.

Some people have called 2NEWS to report that they've actually received phone calls stating that TTCU's database has suffered a security breach.

The credit union states unequivocally that its database has not been compromised, and notes that most of the phishing messages have actually gone to people who don't even have accounts at the credit union.

TTCU has received so many phone calls about the scam that their phone system has gotten overwhelmed at times.

The credit union was started in 1934 by a group of Tulsa teachers and now boasts more than 77,000 members, making it the largest state-chartered credit union in Oklahoma.

2NEWS reporter Beth Burnett will have a full report on the scam and its implications Wednesday evening on 2NEWS HD at 6:00 p.m.

Original Source :


Smoking Salvia Induces Out of Body Experience

Salvia Divinorum – known as Diviner’s Sage – is getting some press lately due to a number of US jurisdictions considering a ban on its sale. But Salvia is nothing new: the Mazatec Shamans of Mexico believed its hallucinogenic powers helped users on their spiritual quest, whatever that may have been. Since then Native Americans have chewed Salvia leaves, also feeling its mild hallucinogenic properties were, if not good for them, then at least the helped fritter away the hours.

Chewing or smoking Salvia leaves on their own may have a limited effect on the users, and many suppliers sell concentrated plant extract which may be rated at 10x, 20x or 60x concentration. These are rather more potent than the plant in its ‘raw’ form and they lead to the intense experiences that politicians and lawmakers are beginning to get interested in. Reported hallucinogenic effects include outer-body experiences and perceived time travel, man.

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