A recall announced by the Eastman Kodak Co. last month likely sent sparks flying – literally. The camera company issued a voluntarily recall of its DC5000 zoom digital cameras to repair a manufacturing defect that could potentially result in users receiving an electrical shock, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the CSPC, there have been 12 reports of electrical shocks, although there were no reports of serious injuries. Kodak said the defect is the result of a small wire inside the camera that, under certain circumstances, can cause a short circuit. Kodak said it will cover the cost of shipping and repairs, and the company has set up a toll-free number for inquiries: 1-888-793-2977. For more details, visit

eBay seeks law over politics

Online auction baron eBay may be looking for legal bidders to take action against a parody Web site. The spoof site,, comes complete with a tag line stating: Government Favours for Auction Prices and lampoons California Governor Gray Davis. The site is produced by his opponent, Republican Bill Simon’s campaign, and proposes to sell favours from Davis. Simon reps said the site is meant to demonstrate that Davis runs a “pay-to-play” administration, while projecting the same look and feel of the eBay site. According to an eBay spokesperson, the company is taking a “good hard look” at the situation. However, Simon campaign workers say they are sticking by the site and have no intentions of shutting it down.

Blue light special on Roth stocks

The man who made out of Nortel Networks like a bandit has ended his connection to the telecom equipment maker, selling all remaining shares for approximately $1.16 million. John Roth, former CEO, recently sold a total of 751,245 shares at $1.55 each, according to a filing with the Ontario Securities Commission, a far cry from the 2000 stock peak price of $124.50 per share. That same year, Roth took home $123.5 million in gains from stock options. Since then, Nortel shares have plummeted 99 per cent as a result of the decreasing demand for telecom equipment.

Online mourning bridges distance issues

Losing a loved one is often difficult, and can be more devastating for those who are unable to attend funeral services. With that in mind, a Toronto-based Web site offers a different approach by providing Internet viewing systems for funeral homes throughout the world. Online-Funeral offers funeral homes the ability to provide Web sites for families to allow relatives and friends to view real-time coverage of visitations. The company also provides custom CD-ROMs containing video, digital photos and copies of messages sent to families. Last month, the site offered free memorial pages to families in remembrance of Sept. 11. For details visit

Jeans settle cell phone fears

Stirring up more debate on the health hazards of cell phone use, U.S. jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. last month announced a new line of pants fitted with anti-radiation pockets for mobile phone users. According to the company, the launch of the anti-radiation line, called Icon S-Fit, comes in response to consumer concerns, and a Levi’s spokesperson said that the company’s intention “is not to cash in on consumer fears.” Still, years of research have failed to show any adverse health risks associated with cell phones. The pants will be launched next year under Levi’s Dockers brand.

Napster lured with indecent proposal

Napster has had its share of tough times in the recent past, but one industry is willing to overlook its troubles and embrace it with open arms. Last month Spain-based Private Media Group Inc., an adult entertainment (read porn) site expressed interest in purchasing some of the now-defunct music sharing mogul’s assets to flaunt its own. Private Media said it plans to use the Napster trademark to offer millions of adults worldwide the ability to swap adult-oriented content for free. The company also stated that it has no interest in acquiring Napster’s file-sharing technology, but is in collaboration with other companies to develop a peer-to-peer platform. Napster recently closed its doors and is in the process of liquidating its remaining assets after a U.S. bankruptcy court blocked its final sale to German media company Bertelsmann AG.

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