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Archive for Saturday, January 11, 2003

Briefly

January 11, 2003

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San Francisco: Microsoft reaches $1.1 billion settlement

Microsoft has reached a $1.1 billion settlement with consumers in California who accused the software giant of violating the state's antitrust and unfair competition laws.

Under the agreement announced Friday night, proceeds of the settlement will be distributed in the form of vouchers redeemable for computers and software products.

The settlement stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 1999 on behalf of California consumers and businesses who bought Microsoft's operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software between February 1995 and December 2001.

Lawyers for both sides said the deal, which must be approved by a judge, could benefit more than 13 million consumers and 3 million children in 4,700 schools.

Similar antitrust class-action lawsuits have been filed in 16 other states.

North Carolina: Nothing ruled out in plane crash probe

Federal investigators wrapped up work at a commuter plane crash site Friday and said nothing had been ruled out as a potential cause of the accident that killed 21 people this week.

National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia said crews had recovered cables connecting cockpit controls to the elevators, key pieces of tail equipment that determine the plane's pitch. He said the only damage found was caused by Wednesday's crash.

However, Goglia said that didn't rule out the possibility that the cables may have had improper tension or even become detached before the accident.

A final report on the cause of the crash is expected to take months.

New York City: Most expensive burger makes debut at $41

And yes, it comes with fries.

A 20-ounce burger fashioned from ultra-tender Kobe beef made its debut this week at the landmark Old Homestead restaurant. At $41, it is the most expensive hamburger in the city.

It is the first time the 135-year-old steakhouse has ever put a burger on its menu. The restaurant bills it as "The World's Most Decadent Hamburger."

"This is not about price," restaurant owner Marc Sherry said Friday, when the restaurant sold nearly 200 of the new burgers. "This is an event."

Kobe beef, imported from Japan, comes from cattle raised on beer and massaged daily to make the meat soft and succulent.

The burger, which has a piece of herb butter in the middle of each patty, comes on a special roll with exotic mushrooms and microgreens -- shredded baby lettuce.

Philadelphia: Wife denied frozen sperm

The wife of a New York mobster who smuggled his sperm out of prison can't use the sample to get pregnant, a federal appeals court ruled.

Maria Parlavecchio of Garfield, N.J., has been trying to win custody of the frozen semen since last year, when she was placed on probation for helping to sneak a cryogenic preservation kit into the Allenwood Federal Prison.

Her husband, convicted racketeer Antonino Parlavecchio, smuggled the kit back out through a guard in an attempt to have her artificially inseminated.

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