You might get fined in New York for texting if this bill becomes law. Christian Vierig / Getty Images No matter how important your text might be, if you’re crossing the street, New York thinks it can wait. New York state Sen. John Liu introduced a bill last week that would ban texting while walking. Pedestrians could be fined between $25 and $250 if they’re seen “using any portable device” while crossing a roadway, according to a copy of the bill obtained by The Guardian. “Using” a device means looking at it, playing games, being online, sending emails, texting and more, according to the bill. The legislation makes exceptions for emergency first-responders and those trying to contact hospitals, fire departments, police and other emergency services.”This bill in no way absolves drivers of their mandate to yield to pedestrians, and simply reminds people to resume texting after getting across the street safely,” Liu said in an emailed statement. Marco Conner, interim executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said he is opposed to the bill. “We should first identify the problem and the cause,” Conner said.Conner said that Liu fails to cite data that pedestrians are the ones causing their own injuries or deaths by walking into traffic while distracted. Instead, Conner said a recent rise in pedestrian fatalities nationwide “is believed to all be driver related.”In terms of solutions, Conner said he doesn’t see more regulation of phones as the answer. Conner said reducing vehicle speeds and reducing the number of vehicles on the streets should be priorities instead. Tags 3 Comments Share your voice Mobile
Dozens of blue-collar Bangladeshi workers at a factory in Dubai are preparing to sue their employer as he has not paid them in months, reports UNB.They are among a group of 300 workers stuck there without money and food. Some of them have become illegal residents after their visas expired and the company has taken no step to renew them.Bangladesh consulate’s first secretary (labour) Fakir Muhammad Munawar Hossain told UNB that 168 of the workers are Bangladeshis. “We’re in touch with them,” he said.One of them told Khaleej Times that they were penniless and had no food to eat. “Our visas are expired and our passports are still with the employer. We cannot work elsewhere as we don’t have our documents,” he said.Dar Al Ber Society charity has been distributing food items and conducted a medical camp at the workers’ accommodation on Wednesday after learning about the situation from an Indian expat.Munawar said the workers were employed by a “reputable Indian construction company” which recently went bankrupt and that some workers had not been paid in six or more months.Most of the workers’ salaries range in between 700 and 1,500 dirham (roughly Tk 16,000 and Tk 34,500).The employer, who has not been named, promised to clear the dues at the earliest, Khaleej Times reported.The UAE is one of the most preferred destinations of Bangladeshi workers in the Middle-East. Last year, they sent back $2,425.4 million or 15.6 per cent of the total remittance.Munawar said they were providing the workers with legal assistance and food but solving the problem will be a bit complex under the local law.He also spoke about an alternative. “If they give up on their demand, they can go back with the guarantee money.”But the Bangladeshi workers told him that they will move the court. “The procedures can take about seven months,” the first secretary said. “We’ll assist anyone willing to file cases and help those who want to go back.”Munawar said the problem being faced by the Bangladeshi workers was not uncommon. “Many companies are being shut down regularly and we’re doing whatever we can to help our workers,” he said.But the situation appeared to be very grim for the workers. One of them told the newspaper that they had to depend on the mercy of the passerby or nearby cafeterias for meals.”It’s too embarrassing to beg for food. We came here to work with dignity … not to beg or become illegal residents,” he said.
This story appears in the February 2011 issue of . Subscribe » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » January 25, 2011 Lexmark GenesisPhoto © David JohnsonThe all-in-one business printer/fax machine/scanner is becoming a work of art.The touch-activated Lexmark Genesis pushes the bounds of small-business imaging both in performance and good looks. The 15-inch-by-16-inch Genesis is about half the size of an average all-in-one printer. It holds pages vertically, so it can scan both sides of a document in a zippy three seconds. And the unit, which connects directly to the web, is controlled via a slick 4.3-inch touch-activated screen that’s about the size of an iPhone.Performance is solid, with high quality and decent speed: 33 pages per minute in black and white, and 30 pages in color. But what really makes the Genesis unique is its design. Its attractive black form factor looks more like a high-end audio component than a printer, yet it doesn’t compromise its image quality or functionality for light business use.The Genesis is far from perfect. The vertical page layout can be clumsy when lots of copies are required, and it is not a battle-tested concept for printers. (Who knows how hinges, hardware and electronics will hold up after years in the office?) And then there is the cost: $400, in a world where $60 buys a lot of printer.But for folks who want their printers to make a statement, the Genesis is an intriguing option.