Typo kills Net.
A problem during routine maintenance of Sweden's top-level domain, .se, took down the Internet for the country for about an hour Oct. 12. The .se registry used an incorrectly configured script to update the .se zone, according to an Oct. 13 blog post by Sweden-based Pingdom, which monitors Web site performance. A period was dropped at the end of the DNS domain name system records for the Swedish top-level domain, breaking the entire DNS lookup chain. Users could not access Web sites ending in .se and email to Swedish domain names stopped working. For some sites the problems took longer to resolve because DNS lookups are cached externally and those servers had to be flushed, Pingdom said.

Dole Foods lawsuit.
Dole Foods is withdrawing a defamation lawsuit against a Swedish filmmaker after complaints in Sweden it was trying to limit free speech, the company said Oct. 15. Dole sued filmmaker Fredrik Gertten for showing the documentary "Bananas!" despite a court ruling the case on which the film was based was part of a massive extortion plot against the company. The documentary shows the alleged plight of Nicaraguan workers who say they were made sterile by a pesticide used at Dole banana plantations in the 1970s. Dole's lawsuit sparked protests in Sweden, where critics said the food company was trying to interfere with the freedom of speech. In a statement, Dole said it decided to withdraw the lawsuit "in light of the free speech concerns being expressed in Sweden, although it continues to believe in the merits of its case."

ABBA star back in court over house
ABBA musician Björn Ulvaeus, who attempted to build a home on protected land in Sweden is headed back to the Environmental Court of Appeal, Swedish media reported Oct. 17. The Swedish news agency TT reported the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency filed a second appeal after its first attempt to shoot down a special dispensation granted Ulvaeus failed. The land conflict began when Ulvaeus, 64, sought permission to build a home and studio on protected lands on the Swedish island of Furillen. The Furillen property was protected under Swedish planning regulations meant to preserve coastal areas and beaches used by the general public. Despite those regulations, Ulvaeus received special dispensation from Gotland county Gov. Marianne Samuelsson. The environmental court backed the decision and rejected the initial appeal by the environmental protection agency. TT said the new appeal alleges there is insufficient reasoning for the dispensation and the decision violates coastal protection regulations.

Stockholm odds and ends.
Where can one buy good bagels in Stockholm? Which is the longest street? Where is classical music on CD’s available? What’s Stockholm’s geographical center? And does one pronounce Sturehof with an “f” at the end, or with a “v”? Inquiring minds want to know, so let’s set it all straight. The place in Stockholm that counts as the absolute center is the obelisk at Slottsbacken. Bagels, which were invented in Cracow, Poland in the 16th century as a bread designed for Lent, can be bought in Stockholm at Daglivs or eaten at Bagel deli on S:t Göransgatan 67. Many stores in Stockholm discontinued selling classical CD’s– so what’s a classical music aficionado to do? Check out Classicdisc on Tegnérgatan 4, and also the little store next to Akademibokhandeln on Mäster Samuelsgatan 32. NK also opened a small store for jazz and classical music next to their bookstore, almost immediately after they closed their big record store. Stureho”f” or Stureho”v”. Well, it might be spelled with an “f” at the end, but it is pronounced with a “v”. The longest street in Stockholm (within the old city tolls) is Valhallavägen (it is 3,532 meters long, about 11,587.93 in feet).

Cigarettes cause lung cancer.
Hardly a news flash, but soon the dangers of smoking will become even more apparent – especially if you’re a smoker in Sweden. In Canada, smokers have been met with terrifying pictures of what lung cancer caused by cigarette smoking looks like since 2000, when scar photos began being printed on cigarette packages. Canada was the first country to show this type of warning photos, but other countries followed. Belgium was first in Europe. Now it’s Sweden’s turn. “We’re looking into it and hope to be done next year,” says Margaretha Haglund, tobacco expert at Folkhälsoinstitutet (The Swedish National Institute of Public Health). Maria Larsson, Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health, is also for publishing these photos on Swedish packs of cigarettes. There are some 40 photos to choose from. “Some of them don’t fit the Swedish bill of press law,” Haglund adds.

Opposition holds upper hand.
According to a new voter poll from Sifo, the opposition red-green coalition have the support of 49.2 % of the Swedish electorate, an established lead over the governing Alliance on 44.4%. The opposition parties of the Social Democrats, Green and Left parties have increased their lead by 1.4 percentage points since the Sifo September poll and now enjoy the support of an extra 280,000 voters in comparison to the Alliance. Both the Christian Democrats and the far-right Sweden Democrats have climbed above the 4 percent threshold needed to claim parliamentary seats at a general election, with 4.3 and 4.7 percent respectively. The Sweden Democrats thereby achieved their strongest poll showing yet. The increase in support has come from voters, which had not previously registered a preference.

Nine-year old hockey talent.
Oliver Wahlstrom, a kid from Maine, showed some serious hockey talent at a game recently when he spun around, picked up the puck on the blade of his stick and flung it past a stunned goalie. We are proud to tell you he’s half Swedish. His father, Joakim Wahlstrom, who played youth hockey at AIK and four years of college hockey at University of Maine. Now everybody wants to talk to the child wonder, even the Wahington Capital star Alexander Ovetjkin called. Agents from NHL also want to meet with Oliver, even though 9 years old isn’t quite old enough.