March 18, 2005

LinkNews Digest [03/18/2005]

Lawyer Accidentally Sues Self

Alton attorney Emert Wyss thought he could make money in a Madison County class action lawsuit, but he accidentally sued himself instead. Now he has four law firms after his money - and he hired all four.

Wyss’s boomerang litigation started in 2002, when he invited Carmelita McLaughlin to his office at 1600 Washington St. in Alton. Acting as her attorney when she bought a home in Alton and when she refinanced it, on both occasions she had chosen Centerre Title--a company that Wyss owned--to close her loans...
(Full Story)

McDonalds to Offshore Drive-Thru Clerks

Somebody please tell me this is a cruel hoax.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp. wants to outsource your neighborhood drive-through. The world's largest fast-food chain said on Thursday it is looking into using remote call centers to take customer orders in an effort to improve service at its drive-throughs.

"If you're in L.A.... and you hear a person with a North Dakota accent taking your order, you'll know what we're up to," McDonald's Chief Executive Jim Skinner told analysts at the Bear Stearns Retail, Restaurants & Apparel Conference in New York. Call center professionals with "very strong communication skills" could help boost order accuracy and ultimately speed up the time it takes customers to get in and out of the drive-throughs, the company said.
First off, if you can't find one person that speaks English in the place besides the magager, this is not going to fix the root problem. Second: A North Dakota accent? Riiiiight. If this goes through, I give it a year until it's a Bangalore, India accent.

"What's That Smell? Christ!"

You can find candles with just about every fragrance imaginable, from blueberry to ocean mist to hot apple pie. Now there's a candle that lets you experience the scent of Jesus, and they've been selling out by the case.

"We see it as a ministry, " says Bob Tosterud, who together with his wife came up with the idea for the candle. Light up the candle called "His Essence" and its makers say you'll experience the fragrance of Christ.

"We wanted people to be able to experience Christ in new ways and to be able to read a bible and have that scent and that candle as a reminder that he is with us all the time." (LINK via

AOL *Gasp* Does the Right Thing

Last week, the blogs were abuzz with the discovery that the AOL Terms of Service (ToS) agreement had a loophole that would possibly allow AOL to monitor your AIM messages and consider them "public". Well, the company surprised us all this week by clarifying their ToS with AIM Messages EXCLUDED. Good for them.

Bowlers to Sniff More Balls in 2005

MILWAUKEE - Odors associated with bowling traditionally include smelly feet, cigarette smoke and beer. But what about grape, amaretto and cherry? One bowling ball manufacturer — Storm Products Inc. — is putting fruit and other popular scents into its mid- to high-end bowling balls, resulting in a steady increase in sales.

More than half the bowlers on the Professional Bowlers Association tour last year used them, including four-time PBA champion Ryan Shafer. Shafer, who has a contract with Storm, said he may have won a match two years ago in Kansas City because an opponent was distracted by his black licorice-scented ball.

Storm Products' first scented balls — green apple and citrus — came out in the spring of 2000. Since then, the company has produced about 40 scents. The current scents are black cherry, chocolate, lemonade, plum, blueberry, grape, banana, cinnamon, orange, amaretto and cherry. (LINK)

The Motorcycle Whisperer

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Environmentally minded British motorcycle engineers have produced a zero-emission bike that ticks all the right boxes except one -- it's too quiet. So quiet in fact that its designers are looking to introduce artificial vroom to keep potential customers happy.

Powered by a high pressure hydrogen fuel cell, the Emissions Neutral Vehicle (ENV) produces the equivalent noise of a personal computer fan belt. Not only is that distinctly wimpish in the eyes of many bikers, it could also be dangerous. Makers Intelligent Energy are looking at ways to produce an artificial engine noise that will alert people to its presence, making sure the machine is not silent and deadly. (LINK)

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