links for 2010-12-30

  • The Liverpool and Northern Onondaga Public Libraries are already offering a service called "Freegal," which offers free MP3 downloads from Sony Music's catalog, and more than a half-dozen other libraries.
  • Time Warner customers can expect their cable rates to go up soon, along with their telephone and internet rates.
  • It started 19 years ago as a purchase of a simple holiday decoration for Joanne Gerace’s fireplace mantle.
    Now, the 58-year-old Utica resident’s collection has grown to include 289 different nutcrackers from all around the world.
  • Members of the state Public Employees Federation and Civil Service Employees Association held vigils around the state this afternoon in a last-ditch effort to prevent the layoff of 902 state workers. Their last day of work is Friday, the last day of Gov. David Paterson’s term.
  • The city's campaign to scare smokers with grotesque images of decaying teeth or a diseased lung wherever tobacco products are sold was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge who concluded that only the federal government can dictate warnings that must accompany the promotion of cigarettes.
  • Upset the federal government recently extended tax cuts for the rich, three professors at Yale and Cornell universities have created a website that encourages wealthy Americans to give their tax savings to charities and send a political message in the process.
  • Stranded passengers lost their tempers and got into yelling matches with airline employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport after delays stymied their plans yet again
  • David Milz, 49, told The Associated Press he came up with the one-liner over the summer when he was joking around with colleagues. He thought it might be good enough to win the Burlington Liars Club's annual contest, but the call he received Wednesday was still a surprise.
  • Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo has shifted the venue for his first major policy speech from the state Assembly chamber to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
  • The NFL has fined Brett Favre $50,000 for a "failure to cooperate" with the investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos
  • "It's really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he's doing certain things that he's not. It's just a big old political game that I don't want to be part of."
  • Senate Republicans who will retake the chamber’s majority in January say the Democrats ran up at least $10 million in deficits despite having a bigger budget for their operations and must slash payroll.
  • New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state’s retirement fund will be a lead plaintiff in the class-action federal suit by investors against BP over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Taxpayers face mounting bills to make up for years of underfunding pensions for local governments, school districts.