Mar
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Former Formula 1 designer unveils new electric car

Monday, November 9, 2009

Former Formula One McLaren designer Gordon Murray has unveiled a new all-electric car.

The car model, which is known as the T.27, is due to be developed over the course of the next 16 months with four prototypes. The process that will be used during the course of the manufacturing of the vehicle is called iStream. The technology iStream had been invented by Gordon Murray in 1999 and means that all the parts are designed using a computer.

The project has approximately received £9,000,000 (US$14,919,000) in investment. The electric car is designed for urban purposes, such as in cities or towns. The weight of the vehicle is just 600 kilograms. It has the ability to travel at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and can go for a maximum of 100 miles between recharges.

The designer thinks that motorists will some day be travelling in vehicles like this. Murray believes that the new car will be ‘the most efficient electric vehicle on earth’.

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Mar
22
2019
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British ISPs restrict access to Wikipedia amid child pornography allegations

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikinews has learned at least six of the United Kingdom’s main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have implemented monitoring and filtering mechanisms that are causing major problems for UK contributors on websites operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, in addition to 1,200 other websites. The filters appear to be applied because Wikimedia sites are hosting a Scorpions album cover which some call child pornography. Scorpions are a German hard rock band who have used several controversial album covers and are perhaps best known for the song Rock You Like a Hurricane.

The measures applied redirect traffic for a significant portion of the UK’s Internet population through six servers which can log and filter the content available to the end user. A serious side-effect of this is the inability of administrators on Wikimedia sites to block vandals, and other troublemakers, without potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent UK contributors who work on WMF sites in good faith.

The filtering is in response to the Internet Watch Foundation‘s list of websites that host content reported to contain inappropriate images of naked children. The IWF considers those images child pornography. However, in the United States, where the websites of the Wikimedia Foundation are hosted, it is not considered obscene under the criteria of the Miller test, which requires that an obscene work lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” – as album art is used to “brand” the album, it is considered to be artistic.

Contributors or individuals attempting to view an affected image or file, depending on their ISP, may get a warning saying, “we have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.” Other ISPs provide blank pages, 404 errors, or other means of blocking the content. Due to a configuration mistake at one Internet service provider, some users have reported being totally unable to access Wikimedia sites to the Wikipedia technical help desk.

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“The Protection of Children Act 1978 as amended in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, makes it an offence to take, make, permit to be taken, distribute, show, possess with intent to distribute, and advertise indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children under the age of eighteen. The ‘making’ of such images includes downloading, that is, making a copy of a child sexual abuse image on a computer, so, in the UK, accessing such content online is a serious criminal offence,” says the IWF on their website in an article updated on November 28. The IWF say there are at least 800 to 1,200 websites on the list of those who host or contain offensive material. The list is not public and the IWF never notified Wikimedia Foundation about the blocking of Wikipedia content. The affected page does not display any message informing the user about blocked content on most ISPs, instead, a technical error message is shown.

However, Demon Internet redirects users to a block message on the IWF’s site explaining that the page was blocked as the organization suspects child porn or links to it to be present. The IWF states that, “we do not notify site owners that their websites are on our list.”

The concern for Wikimedia is for some images like an album cover from a 1976 record of the Scorpions titled Virgin Killer. It displays an underage girl, posing nude, with a lens crack crossing over her genitals, but nothing blocking out her breasts. The girl appears to be around ten years old. In the U.S., the band later replaced the image with one of the group. The cover was uploaded to Wikipedia in 2006, but Wikinews learned that on May 9, 2008 at (21:17 UTC), despite a result of strong consensus to ‘keep’ in a deletion request, the image was deleted, however for a different reason. It was deleted due to a claim by an administrator that it violated Wikipedia’s policy for dealing with copyrighted images, which require that any images used under the doctrine of fair use must alongside other criteria, “significantly increase readers’ understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding”, with the administrator claiming that the article “lacked meaningful discussion” of the album art. This result was overturned using the deletion review process. Earlier, on December 6, the image was put back up for a deletion request, but it was later closed as Wikimedia “does not censor”.

Another image that is questionable could be a screenshot from the 1938 film Child Bride. Its goal was to bring to light the attempts at banning child marriages. In the article on Wikipedia, a screenshot appears of then 12-year-old Shirley Mills partially naked after skinny dipping. In the photo, at least one of her breasts can be seen.

Other albums featuring nudity below the age of sixteen have previously caused controversy; Blind Faith attracted criticism as did Houses of the Holy, and Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Multiple companies have gone public stating that they implement the recommendations of the Internet Watch Foundation. Not all of these are known to have implemented measures against Wikimedia sites; the major UK ISPs thought to have affected Wikimedia sites are Telefonica O2/Be Unlimited, Virgin Media, Easynet, Plusnet, Demon, and Opal Telecommunications (TalkTalk).

Wikinews has contacted Wikimedia’s legal counsel, Mike Godwin and the IWF for a statement, but neither have replied as of this time.

 This story has updates See Wikimedia, IWF respond to block of Wikipedia over child pornography allegations 
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Mar
21
2019
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Suresh Joachim breaks ironing world record

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

BramptonSuresh Joachim of Mississauga, Ontario continues to amaze, breaking yet another world record, this time at The Bay Court in Shoppers World.

From Thursday, September 22 at 8 am, to Saturday, September 24 at 3:05 pm, Suresh ironed continuously for 55 hours and 5 minutes, in front of the thousands of onlookers shopping at the mall those three days.

The achievement, now submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records, breaks the previous record by Eufemia Stadler of Zurich, Switzerland. Stadler completed 40 hours of continuous ironing from September 16-18, 1999.

Originally from Sri Lanka and Australia, Joachim is no stranger to the folks at Guinness. He currently holds twenty other records, ranging from greatest distance travelled on ‘up’ and ‘down’ escalators (225.44 km between May 25 and May 31 1998), furthest travelled on a treadmill in one week (659.27 km at a gym in Paris, France), and longest dance marathon by an individual (100 hours at the Dixie Outlet Mall).

This September, Suresh watched television in the lobby of WABC in New York City for 69 hours and 7 minutes, breaking the previous record by 19 hours. The event was covered daily on the talk show “Live with Regis and Kelly” as part of their Guinness World Record Breaker Week. He also recently set the record for longest time rocking in a rocking chair, at 75 hours.

A DJ on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire recently tried to break Joachim’s record for longest continuous time as a DJ. He was unsuccessful, and Suresh’s 120-hour World Record set on Geethavaani Tamil Radio in Scarborough stands unharmed.

The event helped raise funds for the Universal Fund for Suffering Children, whose funds are “utilized to save the world’s children from poverty, disease and war.” All of Joachim’s stunts have been dedicated to this charity.

What’s next for Suresh? He plans to start static cycling from October 18th, 2005 to October 22nd, 2005, in Britain. Suresh’s goal is 150 world records, which would beat the long-time record breaker Ashrita Furman, who has accumulated 94 records. While Furman started two decades ago, Suresh only discovered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1991, and started record breaking in 1996.

You can visit Suresh online at www.sureshjoachim.org

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Mar
21
2019
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Two Michigan children, aged 9 and 11, charged with sex crimes

Friday, September 21, 2007

Two boys, aged nine and 11, have been charged with coercing a seven-year-old male schoolmate in Howell, Michigan, to perform oral sex on multiple occasions, while on their way to school four months ago. All the children attend Howell Elementary School.

The victim’s father reported the alleged abuse to police after the seven-year-old boy was caught performing oral sex on his younger brother – and explained that he had done it before on the school bus.

The two boys charged with sexual misconduct could be listed on Michigan state’s sex offender registry if they are convicted. The older boy has been released on a US$25,000 bond, with the condition of 24-hour monitoring.

The bus where the alleged events occurred was equipped with a video camera, but Chuck Breiner, superintendent of the school, says that they do not reveal any sexual activity between passengers.

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Mar
19
2019
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Stardust comet samples “visible to the naked eye”

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stardust, a NASA space probe, returned with more than scientists bargained for.

“I didn’t see anything,” said University of Washington astronomer, Don Brownlee, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center Tuesday.

But then, technicians flipped over the collection grid and scientists all around let out a huge gasp of excitement.

“It’s better than we could have possibly hoped for,” Brownlee said. “It exceeds all expectations. We have a huge number of impacts, and some are quite big and visible to the naked eye. It’s a huge success.”

In a memo from NASA, scientists said “hundreds of particles” could be seen in the collection tray. “There were two particularly large comet particles that had ‘exploded’ inside,” said the memo.

A lot of the largest particles shattered into little bits of black debris when they landed on the collecter. But many other visible particles left tracks as they landed at 13,000 MPH and stopped fully intact. “I remember warning people not to be disappointed if these tracks were very hard to see, but they are absolutely stunning,” Brownlee said.

Before they opened the collector, Brownlee admitted that no one really knew whether or not the device had actually caught any particles. “You just don’t know if nature is going to cooperate or not. It has been a magic mission.”

“The capsule tumbled several times when it landed by parachute in the Utah desert, but the impact didn’t crack the aerogel,” said Brownlee.

NASA researcher Scott Sandford said the collection effort “succeeded well beyond our wildest hopes. I am not sure if it is good clean-room protocol to hug each other, but there was a lot of it going on for the first 10 minutes or so,” he added.

Stardust traveled nearly 3 billion miles and went around the Sun 3 times. Stardust’s mission in space lasted 7 years.

Scientists also hope to use Distributed Computing to help with looking over the samples. They will use a VM (Virtual Microscope) which will be developed by the University of California at Berkeley. The developers, computer scientist David Anderson, director of the SETI@home project and physics graduate student, Joshua Von Korff, are expected to design the program which is expected to go public in March.

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Mar
19
2019
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Wikinews interviews Aurélien Miralles about Sirenoscincus mobydick species discovery

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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A group of researchers published a paper about their discovery of a new species of Madagascar mermaid skink lizards last December. The species is the fourth forelimbs-only terrestrial tetrapods species known to science, and the first one which also has no fingers on the forelimbs.

The species was collected at Marosely, Boriziny (French: Port-Bergé), Sofia Region, Madagascar. The Sirenoscincus mobydick name is after the existing parent genus, and a sperm whale from the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

This week, Wikinews interviewed one of the researchers, French zoologist Aurélien Miralles, about the research.

((Wikinews)) What caused your initial interest in Madagascar lizards?

Aurélien Miralles: Well, I would say that since I am a child I am fascinated by the biodiversity of tropical countries, and more especially by reptiles. I did a PhD on the evolution and systematics of skink lizards from South America. Then, I get a Humboldt grant to do a postdoc in Germany, at the Miguel Vences Lab, in order to study Malagasy skinks. Madagascar being a fabulous hotspot for reptiles (and not only for reptiles actually), it was a very nice opportunity. Professor Vences proposed me to associate our complementary fields of expertise: he is expert in herpetology for Madagascar, and I am expert in skinks lizards (family Scincidae). It was a very fruitful experience, and many other results have still to [be] published.

((WN)) How was the new species discovered?

AM: By a very funny coincidence actually. In 2010, I went to Madagascar for a long trip through the south of the island, in the semi-arid bush for collecting lizards and snakes samples. Then, during the last days, just before coming back to Germany, I have visited by coincidence the zoological collection of the University of Antananarivo. In that place, I found an old jar of ethanol with two weird little specimens previously collected by a student who didn’t realize it was something new. Being expert on skinks, I immediately recognised it was something very probably new, very different from all the other known species.

((WN)) What does “Sirenoscincus” stand for?

AM: I am not the author of the genus name Sirenoscincus. This genus name was already existing. It has been described by Sakata and Hikida (two Japanese herpetologists). “Sireno” means mermaid. “Scincus” means skinks, a group of little lizards on which I am particularly focusing my studies. So, Sirenoscinus means “mermaid skink”, in reference to [the] fact it has forelimbs but no hindlimbs.

((WN)) How deep underground do the lizards live?

AM: Hard to answer this question because nothing is known on the ecology of this species. But more reasonably, we can hypothesize, by comparison to similar species of skinks, that it is probably living just under the sand surface, [a] few centimeters deep, probably no more, or below [a] rock, leaf litter, or piece of dead wood.

((WN)) What do the lizards eat?

AM: Again, by analogy, I would say most likely small invertebrates (insects, larvae, worms etc…).

((WN)) What equipment was used during the research?

AM: Classic equipment (microscope) and also a state-of-the-art device: a micro CT-scan. It is a big device producing [a] 3D picture of the internal structure without damaging the specimen. It is actually very similar to the scanner used in human medicine, but this one is specially designed for small specimens. Otherwise, I am currently studying the DNA of this species and closely related species in order to determine its phylogenetic position compared to other species with legs, in order to learn more about the evolutionary phenomena leading to limb loss.

((WN)) There are several news sources that have a photo of the species. Is it a photo as seen in a CT-scan?

AM: No, this picture showing a whitish specimen on a black background is not a CT-scan. It is a normal photograph of the collection specimen preserved in alcohol (the one that was in the jar). You can see the complete of picture (including CT-scan 3D radiography, drawing…) in the original scientific publication.

((WN)) Do you know when the newly discovered mermaid skink species was put into the jar? Do you have its photo (of the jar)?

AM: No, I have no picture of the jar. The specimen has been collected in November 2004.

((WN)) What were the roles of the people involved in the research? What activity was most time-consuming?

AM: As first investigator, I did most of the work…and the longest part of the work was to examine closely related species in order to do comparisons…and also to check the complete bibliography related to this topic and to write the paper.
Mrs Anjeriniaina is the student who […] collected the specimen a couple of years ago.
Mrs Hipsley and Mr Müller learnt me how to use the CT-scan, and helped me concerning some point relative to internal morphology. Mr Vences helped me as supervisors. Additionally, all of them have corrected the article, and gave me many relevant advices and corrections, thus improving the quality and the reliability of the paper.

((WN)) Did you get in touch with an external entity to get the new species officially recognised?

AM: No. In zoology, it is only needed to publish the description of a new species (and to give it a name) in a scientific journal, and to designate a holotype specimen (= specimen that will be the official reference for this species), to get this new species “officially” recognised by the scientific community. That does not mean that this new species is “correct” (it might be invalidated by subsequent counter-studies), but that means that this discovery and the new name of [the] species are officially existing.

((WN)) Are there any further plans on exploring the species habitat and lifestyle?

AM: No, not really for the time being, because ecology is not our field of expertise. But other studies (including molecular studies) are currently in progress, in order to focus on the phylogenetic position and the evolution of this species.

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Mar
18
2019
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Common Problems With Heat Pumps In Queen Creek Az

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byAlma Abell

One of the most vital parts of heating and cooling your home properly is having a heat pump that is fully functional. There are many different problems that can arise when dealing with HVAC systems, so when you notice there is a problem you should call a professional immediately. Here are some of the most common problems that happen to Heat Pumps Queen Creek AZ.

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Noisy Pump

In general, mostHeat Pumps Queen Creek AZshould be extremely quiet when they are in use, which means that if you hear a noise there is probably an issue that needs to be addressed. Some noises will come directly from the heat pump, while others will only be heard through the ducts and vents of you system. In some cases, a loose nut or bolt could be the culprit, which means a professional should be brought in to properly tighten and fix the issue. If you check all of the hardware and belts but the noise is still happening, you will need to call in a professional to do a more thorough check in order to find the root of the problem.

No Heat

One of the most common issues with Heat Pumps Queen Creek AZ is the lack of heat coming from the vents. A bad thermostat or igniter could be the problem, but having a professional check your system is the only way to know for sure. One of the first things that you should do before calling the professionals in is to reset the breaker of your HVAC system. In some cases, this will help to get the heating pump working again. In most cases, a professional will need to do all of the repairs to your system in order to make sure that they are done properly.

If you are looking for a company that works on Heat Pumps Queen Creek AZ, then be sure to contact the professionals at Sterling Services. They offer many years of experience in the industry as well as financing for more expensive jobs. You can call them or visit their website at sterlingair.us for more information.

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Mar
18
2019
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Nine firefighters killed in South Carolina blaze

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nine firefighters were killed on Monday while battling a massive fire at a furniture warehouse in Charleston, South Carolina.

Firefighters were called to the scene of a massive blaze at the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, S.C. at around 6:30 p.m. EST. At around 7 p.m., nine firefighters were sent inside the inferno to rescue people who were trapped inside the building. They rescued two before the ceiling collapsed on top of them. All nine firefighters who were inside the warehouse died. They are:

  • Capt. William Hutchinson, 48
  • Capt. Mike Benke, 49
  • Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34
  • FF Mark Kelsey, 40
  • FF Bradford Baity, 37
  • FF Michael French, 27
  • FF James “Earl” Drayton, 56
  • FF Brandon Thompson, 27
  • FF Melven Champaign, 46

The disaster recalls Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire that killed six firefighters on Dec. 3, 1999, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The chief of the Worcester Fire Department flew down to South Carolina for the memorial service.

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Mar
17
2019
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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.
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Mar
17
2019
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New Jersey officials: Stimulus bill hurting Atlantic City casinos

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A New Jersey congressman says restrictions on federal stimulus money are hurting gaming destinations like Atlantic City, and he is seeking to repeal a provision banning the use of funds for casinos or other gaming establishments.

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Is Ken Calemmo right to suggest that the gaming industry is as important as manufacturing, retail or finance?
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“The demonization of gaming destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City for business travel is wrong, wrong, wrong,” U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo said Friday during a press conference in front of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The $787 billion federal stimulus bill passed in February specifically prohibits casinos from applying for funds for infrastructure improvements and other similar projects. LoBiondo said Atlantic City is losing millions of dollars in business as a result of that provision.

Casinos’ revenues dropped 19.2 percent in February 2009 month compared to February 2008, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. LoBiondo said $160 million worth of business and 120,000 visitors have chosen other cities for their tourism plans due to the stimulus bill, according to Atlantic City Convention Center figures.

The administration also recently determined other groups like nonprofit organizations and local governments may not spend their stimulus money at casino properties. State officials said the rules are damaging a major pillar of the New Jersey economy.

“Are those jobs somehow less important or less meaningful than those in the manufacturing, retail or financial industries?” said Ken Calemmo, chairman-elect of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

Anti-gambling officials said the stimulus law does not prohibit casinos from taking advantage of tax breaks, and Atlantic City officials should not complain about the stimulus bill because the city is too reliant on an unreliable revenue stream.

“There isn’t a state, including New Jersey or Nevada, that could gamble themselves rich, any more than an individual could gamble themselves rich,” said Tom Grey, field director for StopPredatoryGambling.org. “They should’ve diversified (the economy) instead of chasing their loss.”

But Joe Kelly, chamber president, said 35,000 people work at New Jersey casinos, and thousands more around the state work for outside vendors that depend on casinos for their business.

“It is not just an Atlantic County issue. It is not just a Cape May issue,” Kelly said. “There’s purchasing done by every county.”

LoBiondo is working to repeal the provision with U.S. Rep Shelly Berkley, co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Cascus, and has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has a history of representing the interests of the gaming industry.

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