David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=David_S._Touretzky_discusses_Scientology,_Anonymous_and_Tom_Cruise&oldid=4608356”

IRS goes after eBay sellers

Monday, March 28, 2005

San Jose, California — As the April 15 deadline for U.S. private citizens to file their 2004 income tax returns draws near, the government is reminding sellers on eBay that they may have to report any proceeds from sales on the auction site as taxable income.

This could be a surprise to some of the 135 million registered eBay users who consider trading on San Jose-based auction site to be a non-taxable hobby. Complicating matters, eBay says it doesn’t report individual sales figures to the government – users are responsible to report any profits on their own tax returns.

The amount of money traveling through eBay is big business. $33.8 billion worth of merchandise was sold on the site in 2004, up from $5.2 billion in 2000.

Although eBay pays taxes on its share of the sales (5.25 percent cut from each transaction as of Feb. 18), the IRS fears some small businesses are using the site to dodge tax responsibility. Adding to the confusion, some sellers may legally be a taxable business without realizing it.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a nine-point checklist it uses to determine whether or not a money-making activity is legally a business, which means money made is taxable, or a simple hobby – where it is not taxable. The IRS can consider a person to be a legal “business” even though they never incorporated or claimed to be one.

According to Woodbury, New York-based accountant Bart Fooden in an Associated Press interview, the IRS looks for such things as evidence that the auction seller depends on the eBay sales income to pay for activities other than maintaining the hobby, acts in a businesslike manner when selling on auctions or puts enough time and effort into the eBay activities that there is an obvious intent to make a profit.

But Fooden said in the same interview casual users probably have nothing to worry about. Those cleaning out closets or the garage and selling off junk for less than the original price paid are not turning a profit, so that money is not considered income and is not taxable.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=IRS_goes_after_eBay_sellers&oldid=2606836”

How To Use A Telescope Comprehensive Telescope Kits

By John B Mayall

For the budding stargazer, the most important instrument in his inventory should be a telescope. Once this debate is resolved, the next question is where to source this all important instrument from. You can work from scratch, buy all the raw material required, and build your own telescope, or you can take the easier and more practical way out and buy yourself a telescope kit which contains every last thing you will need to make you telescope and then just assemble the supplies together. It is the telescope kit that is the recommended option for a beginner. Ideally, only professional should attempt to build a telescope out of practically nothing. Telescope kits not only come with everything you need to build a good telescope, they also contain a descriptive instruction manual that will lead you through each step of the telescope construction process.

The commonly available kits have the elements and the guides for making a Dobsonian telescope. This telescope uses a secondary mirror in addition to a primary mirror. The other optical constituents of this telescope are a finder scope, an eye piece, a focuser, and the mirror support system. The housing compartment for all these elements is not included as part of the kit.

Using such kits to construct your own telescope is graced with numerous advantages. Most of these advantageous highlights are meant for beginners, who can save both time and money with this option. A complete kit allows the builder to save the time that would otherwise be spent searching high and low for the correct components. The average price of a telescope kit is $200 to $300. They can be purchased at hobby centers everywhere, and if you find a discount, the better bargains you will get.

YouTube Preview Image

For teachers who need a demonstration to incite the interest of youngsters and get them hooked onto an interesting hobby such as this, telescope kits are a good teaching aid. It is possible to use such a kit for classes in school and demonstrate the whole process to the students. There is no age restriction for this ho9bby, making it a good hobby for anyone interested in it.

Telescope kits generally are aimed at beginners, amateurs just starting out on their telescope love affair, or at students of the astronomy who intend to pursue a profession in the field someday. To build a telescope using such a kit, you do not need a degree in astronomy or even the experience of an expert. Absolutely any novice is capable of constructing a decent instrument with the instructions given. Manuals that come with the kits, are step-by-step guides, and even have diagrams that explain the methods detailed. Affordably price, and attractively marketed, these kits can pack a pretty powerful telescope and are a lure for any beginner.

It takes only 2-3 days to have an operational, fully functional telescope in your hands after you get your kit. The total work-hours required for it are hardly 15 or 20 from your time. You can work for an hour a day or work a marathon stretch over two days to complete your project. A lazy weekend is the best time to get started. There is never the complication that arises from missing a crucial element during purchase, because these kits always have everything. If you find something damaged, you can have it replaced at the store you bought the kit from. However, it is best to run through the content of the kit and check for quality at the time you make the purchase.

If you are a beginner, do not think too much about basic construction from sourced raw material. If you are a professional, however, you have the options open to you.

About the Author: Uncover more

interesting facts about telescopes

as well as getting free

hubble space telescope pictures

when you visit


, the free portal dedicated to telescope making and usage.



Permanent Link:


OpenSync Interview – syncing on the free desktop

Friday, May 19, 2006

This interview intends to provide some insight into OpenSync, an upcoming free unified data synchronization solution for free software desktops such as KDE, commonly used as part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Hi Cornelius, Armin and Tobias. As you are now getting close to version 1.0 of OpenSync, which is expected to become the new synchronisation framework for KDE and other free desktops, we are quite interested in the merits it can provide for KDE users and for developers, as well as for the Open Source Community as a whole. So there’s one key-question before I move deeper into the details of OpenSync:

What does OpenSync accomplish, that no one did before?


First of all it does its job of synchronizing data like addressbooks and calendars between desktop applications and mobile devices like PDAs and cell phones.
But the new thing about OpenSync is that it isn’t tied to a particular device or a specific platform. It provides an extensible and modular framework that is easy to adopt for application developers and people implementing support for syncing with mobile devices.
OpenSync is also independent of the desktop platform. It will be the common syncing backend for at least KDE and GNOME and other projects are likely to join. That means that the free desktop will have one common syncing solution. This is something really new.

How do the end-users profit from using synching solutions that interface with OpenSync as framework?


First, the users will be able to actually synchronize all their data. By using one common framework there won’t be any “missing links”, where one application can sync one set of devices and another application a different one. With OpenSync all applications can sync all devices.
Second, the users will get a consistent and common user interface for syncing across all applications and devices. This will be much simpler to use than the current incoherent collection of syncing programs you need if you have more than the very basic needs.

How does OpenSync help developers with coding?


It’s a very flexible and well-designed framework that makes it quite easy for developers to add support for new devices and new types of data. It’s also very easy to add support for OpenSync to applications.
The big achievement of OpenSync is that it hides all the gory details of syncing from the developers who work on applications and device support. That makes it possible for the developers to concentrate on their area of expertise without having to care what’s going on behind the scenes.
I have written quite a lot of synchronization code in the past. Trust me, it’s much better, if someone just takes care of it for you, and that’s what OpenSync does.


Another point to mention is the python wrapper for opensync, so you are not bound to C or C++, but can develop plugins in a high level scripting language.

Why should producers of portable devices get involved with your team?


OpenSync will be the one common syncing solution for the free desktop. That means there is a single point of contact for device manufacturers who want to add support for their devices. That’s much more feasible than addressing all the different applications and solutions we had before. With OpenSync it hopefully will become interesting for manufacturers to officially support Linux for their devices.

Do you also plan to support applications of OpenSync in proprietary systems like OSX and Windows?


OpenSync is designed to be cross-platform, so it is able to run on other systems like Windows. How well this works is always a question of people actually using and developing for this system. As far as I know there isn’t a real Windows community around OpenSync yet. But the technical foundation is there, so if there is somebody interested in working on a unified syncing solution on Windows, everybody is welcome to join the project.

What does your synchronisation framework do for KDE and for KitchenSync in particular?


OpenSync replaces the KDE-specific synchronization frameworks we had before. Even in KDE we had several separate syncing implementations and with OpenSync we can get replace them with a common framework. We had a more generic syncing solution in KDE under development. This was quite similar from a design point of view to OpenSync, but it never got to the level of maturity we would have needed, because of lack of resources. As OpenSync fills this gap we are happy to be able to remove our old code and now concentrate on our core business.

What was your personal reason for getting involved with OpenSync?


I wrote a lot of synchronization code in the past, which mainly came from the time where I was maintaining KOrganizer and working on KAddressBook. But this always was driven by necessity and not passion. I wanted to have all my calendar and contact data in one place, but my main objective was to work on the applications and user interfaces handling the data and not on the underlying code synchronizing the data.
So when the OpenSync project was created I was very interested. At GUADEC in Stuttgart I met with Armin, the maintainer of OpenSync, and we talked about integrating OpenSync with KDE. Everything seemed to fit together quite well, so at Linuxtag the same year we had another meeting with some more KDE people. In the end we agreed to go with OpenSync and a couple of weeks later we met again in Nuernberg for three days of hacking and created the KDE frontend for OpenSync. In retrospect it was a very pleasant and straightforward process to get where we are now.


My reason to get involved (or better to start) OpenSync was my involvement with its predecessor Multisync. I am working as a system administrator for a small consulting company and so I saw some problems when trying to find a synchronization solution for Linux.
At that point I joined the Multisync project to implement some plugins that I thought would be nice to have. After some time I became the maintainer of the project. But I was unhappy with some technical aspects of the project, especially the tight coupling between the syncing logic and the GUI, its dependencies on GNOME libraries and its lack of flexibility.


Well, I have been a KDE PIM developer for several years now, so there was no way around getting in touch with synchronization and KitchenSync. Although I liked the idea of KitchenSync, I hated the code and the user interface […]. So when we discussed to switch to OpenSync and reimplementing the user interface, I volunteered immediately.

Can you tell us a bit about your further plans and ideas?


The next thing will be the 1.0 release of OpenSync. We will release KitchenSync as frontend in parallel.


There are of course a lot of things on my todo and my wishlist for opensync. For the near future the most important step is the 1.0 release, of course, where we still have some missing features in OpenSync as well as in the plugins.
One thing I would really like to see is a thunderbird plugin for OpenSync. I use thunderbird personally and would really like to keep my contacts up to date with my cellular, but I was not yet able to find the time to implement it.


One thing that would really rock in future versions of OpenSync is an automatic hardware detection mechanism, so when you plugin your Palm or switch on your bluetooth device, OpenSync will create a synchronization group automatically and ask the user to start syncing. To bring OpenSync to the level of _The Syncing Solution [tm]_ we must reduce the necessary configuration to a minimum.

What was the most dire problem you had to face when creating OpenSync and how did you face it?


Fortunately the problems which I personally would consider to be dire are solved by the implementation of OpenSync which is well hidden from the outside world and [they are] an area I didn’t work on 😉


I guess that I am the right person to answer this question then 🙂
The most complicated part of OpenSync is definitely the format conversion, which is responsible for converting the format of one device to the format that another device understands.
There are a lot of subsystems in this format conversion that make it so complex, like conversion path searching, comparing items, detection of mime types and last but not least the conversion itself. So this was a hard piece of work.

What was the greatest moment for you?


I think the greatest moment was when, after three days of concentrated hacking, we had a first working version of the KDE frontend for OpenSync. This was at meeting at the SUSE offices in Nuernberg and we were able to successfully do a small presentation and demo to a group of interested SUSE people.


I don’t remember a distinct “greatest moment”. But what is a really great feeling is to see that a project catches on, that other people get involved, use the code you have written and improve it in ways that you haven’t thought of initially.


Hmm, also hacking on OpenSync/KitcheSync is much fun in general, the greatest moment was when the new KitchenSync frontend synced two directories via OpenSync the first time. But it was also cool when we managed to get the IrMC plugin working again after porting it to OpenSync.

As we now know the worst problem you faced and your greatest moment, the only one missing is: What was your weirdest experience while working on OpenSync?


Not directly related to OpenSync, but pretty weird was meeting a co-worker at the Amsterdam airport when returning from the last OpenSync meeting. I don’t know how high the chance is to meet somebody you know on a big random airport not related at all to the places where you or the other person live, but it was quite surprising.


Since my favorite language is C++, I was always confused how people can use plain C for such a project, half the time your are busy with writing code for allocating/freeing memory areas. Nevertheless Armin did a great job and he is always a help for solving strange C problems 🙂

Now I’d like to move on to some more specific questions about current and planned abilities of OpenSync. As first, I’ve got a personal one:

I have an old iPod sitting around here. Can I or will I be able to use a program utilizing OpenSync to synchronize my calendars, contacts and music to it?


I’m not aware of any iPod support for OpenSync up to now, but if it doesn’t exist yet, why not write it? OpenSync makes this easy. This is a chance for everybody with the personal desire to sync one device or another to get involved.


I dont think that there is iPod support yet for OpenSync. But it would definitely be possible to use OpenSync for this task. So if someone would like to implement an iPod plugin, I would be glad to help 🙂

Which other devices do you already support?


At this time, OpenSync supports Palms, SyncML and IrMC capable devices.

Which programs already implement OpenSync and where can we check back to find new additions?


On the application side there is support for Evolution [GNOME] and Kontact with KitchenSync [KDE] on the frontend side and the backend side and some more. I expect that further applications will adopt OpenSync once the 1.0 version is released.


Besides kitchensync there already are a command line tool and a port of the multisync GUI. Aside from the GUIs, I would really like to see OpenSync being used in other applications as well. One possibility for example would to be integrate OpenSync into Evolution to give users the possibility to synchronize their devices directly from this application. News can generally be found on the OpenSync web site www.opensync.org.

It is time to give the developers something to devour, too. I’ll keep this as a short twice-fold technical dive before coming to the takeoff question, even though I’m sure there’s information for a double-volume book on technical subleties.

As first dive: How did you integrate OpenSync in KitchenSync, viewed from the coding side?


OpenSync provides a C interface. We wrapped this with a small C++ library and put KitchenSync on top. Due to the object oriented nature of the OpenSync interfaces this was quite easy.
Recently I also started to write a D-Bus frontend for OpenSync. This also is a nice way to integrate OpenSync which provides a wide variety of options regarding programming languages and system configurations.

And for the second, deeper dive:

Can you give us a quick outline of those inner workings of OpenSync, from the developers view, which make OpenSync especially viable for application in several different desktop environments?


That’s really a question for Armin. For those who are interested I would recommend to have a look at the OpenSync website. There is a nice white paper about the internal structure and functionality of OpenSync.


OpenSync consists of several parts:
First there is the plugin API which defines what functions a plugin has to implement so that OpenSync can dlopen() it. There are 2 types of plugins:
A sync plugin which can synchronize a certain device or application and which provides functions for the initialization, handling the connection to a device and reading and writing items. Then there is a format plugin which defines a format and how to convert, compare and detect it.
The next part is a set of helper functions which are provided to ease to programming of synchronization plugins. These helper functions include things like handling plugin config files, HashTables which can be used to detect changes in sets of items, functions to detect when a resync of devices is necessary etc.
The syncing logic itself resides in the sync engine, which is a separate part. The sync engine is responsible for deciding when to call the connect function of a plugin, when to read or write from it. The engine also takes care of invoking the format conversion functions so that each plugin gets the items in its required format.
If you want more information and details about the inner workings of OpenSync, you should really visit the opensync.org website or ask its developers.

To add some more spice for those of our readers, whose interest you just managed to spawn (or to skyrocket), please tell us where they can get more information on the OpenSync Framework, how they can best meet and help you and how they can help improving sync-support for KDE by helping OpenSync.


Again, the OpenSync web site is the right source for information. Regarding the KDE side, the kde-pim@kde.org mailing list is probably the right address. At the moment the most important help would be everything which gets the OpenSync 1.0 release done.
[And even though] I already said it, it can’t be repeated too often: OpenSync will be the one unified syncing solution for the free desktop. Cross-device, cross-platform, cross-desktop.
It’s the first time I feel well when thinking about syncing 😉.


Regarding OpenSync, the best places to ask would be the opensync mailing lists at sourceforge or the #opensync irc channel on the freenode.net servers.
There are always a lot of things where we could need a helping hand and where we would be really glad to get some help. So everyone who is interested in OpenSync is welcome to join.

Many thanks for your time!


Thanks for doing the interview. It’s always fun to talk about OpenSync, because it’s really the right thing.


Thank you for taking your time and doing this interview. I really appreciate your help!


Thanks for your work. Publication and marketing is something that is really missing in the open source community. We have nice software but nobody knows 😉

Further Information on OpenSync can be found on the OpenSync Website: www.opensync.org

This Interview was done by Arne Babenhauserheide in April 2006 via e-mail and KOffice on behalf of himself, the OpenSource Community, SpreadKDE.org and the Dot (dot.kde.org).It was first published on the Dot and is licensed under the cc-attribution-sharealike-license.A pdf-version with pictures can be found at opensync-interview.pdf (OpenDocument version: opensync-interview.odt)

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.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=OpenSync_Interview_-_syncing_on_the_free_desktop&oldid=2290386”

Interview with Usenet search sites targeted by the MPAA

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced it had launched seven lawsuits against operators of websites it claims had been “facilitating the distribution of copyright works”.

In its announcement, the MPAA said it had commenced legal action against the following BitTorrent tracking sites: isohunt.com, bthub.com, and torrentbox.com, which are all owned by the same person; torrentspy.com; niteshadow.com as well as ed2k site ed2k-it.com and Usenet search engines nzb-zone.com, binnews.com, and dvdrs.net.

Despite the announcement on its website and in the media, the MPAA has failed to notify the administrators of the sites involved directly. Joe from Binnews told Wikinews he only found out about the MPAA’s actions after reading it on several news sites. He said, “At first, I double read the article making sure we were not being punk’d. But then I was shocked that we had to read about it publicly first. As of today (February 25), we have yet to get anything (from the MPAA)”.

“Descds”, an administrator of dvdrs.net told Wikinews that the first he knew of the action being taken against the site was when he was approached by the press and users of his site. He said, “We haven’t been informed by the MPAA and quite frankly are outraged by the method they have adopted to file these lawsuits. In actual fact we would still be none the wiser had our members and members of the press not have contacted us.”

“When we found out about the filed lawsuit we was first worried (after all we are only a small site with limited funds), then shocked and finally outraged. Had the MPAA contacted us anytime in the sites history regards their concerns we would have happily worked with them to gain a resolve,” he said.

Descds also said that despite attempts to contact the MPAA he has received no response.

When asked by Wikinews how they felt about discovering the MPAA’s lawsuits both administrators said they would have appreciated being notified before the announcement was made public.

Binnews told Wikinews, “We do feel they should have notified first. We do not even have a confirmation this is for real.”

Dvdrs said, “We have stated many times had the MPAA personally contacted us we would have happily listened to their issues and acted accordingly. We are doing nothing wrong legally on our site and to be made look like an established piracy ring is an outrage. We have worked extremely hard on site to keep within international laws and they have publicly destroyed everything we have worked towards in the last two years. We are receiving negative PR and this is totally unacceptable.”

Wikinews has discovered that both Binnews and dvdrs.net have procedures in place for dealing with alleged copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Despite this, both sites deny ever being contacted by any organisation with a “takedown” notice.

When asked if Binnews ever received a takedown notice, Binnews replied, “Nope, we have never received a notice from anyone. My cell phone is tied to the site, we have proper DMCA guidelines on the site and no one has contacted us.”

When asked the same question, Dvdrs said, “No never. We would actively respond to any DMCA request quickly and efficiently. We fully support the law and would never try to evade anything within its scope. Had a DMCA been issued by any member, our site would have immediately deleted the offensive file.”

When asked how they would deal with a DMCA takedown notice, Binnews said, “We would act quite quickly. An email sent to the alert system is tied into all of “staff” members, my cell phone and my email.”

According to Dvdrs, they would be equally as compliant. “We would immediately delete the offending file on our server and conduct a thorough research into any files that may also be connected to the one mentioned. We would also respond to the request personally with a follow up email expressing our actions,” they said.

Wikinews asked the administrators if they thought their sites were any different to conventional search engines like Google and Yahoo. Binnews replied, “No, you can go to any search engine and find just about anything.”

Dvdrs also shares Binnews’ position telling Wikinews, “No. We index what is already readily available on commercial, tax paying, US based registered companies hard drives. All we are doing is pointing to files not on our network, much the same way google or any search bot operates. We do not host these files and without the premium paid service of third parties our marked up text based XML files are useless. We have never hosted illegal files and only offer information.”

Dvdrs has expressed that if the MPAA deems them illegal they should also target those who are actually hosting the files. Descds said, “We feel that should the MPAA deem us illegal then they must also target premium paid Usenet Providers who act as the transit for these files. Ironically both Easynews and Usenetserver offer both indexing and carrier for these files and yet have received no such lawsuits filed.”

“We also find it ironic still that Newzbin, creators, instigators and promoters of the NZB format and un-arguably the biggest Usenet Indexing site in the world have received no lawsuits filed. We feel that we are being rail roaded and are not at all happy about it.”

On the other hand, Binnews was surprised that the MPAA did not target ISPs and Usenet providers in the first instance. “Cut the head off and there is nothing for us to index and report on. If the ISPs acted in a proper manner and did what they are more than capable of, we would not be assisting people in combating piracy on their networks,” they said.

Despite being outraged with the MPAA and its actions, Descds said that despite being outside of US juristiction he is happy to assist the MPAA in anyway necessary. “We would like it known for the record that we are actively trying to reach a resolve regards this action by the MPAA. We have contacted them and said openly many times we would welcome their input and act accordingly. Should they feel that NZBS are illegal we will remove those sections immediately and await a legal judgement on their legality. DVDRS is not a pirate network and to call us such has insulted our member base.”

“I would also like it noted that although we host in the US i am actually a UK citizen who currently does not have to adhere to their communications and judgements. However, such is our resolve that I would happily comply should communication between us take place. We can offer little more to help this but hope that the MPAA retract their statement that we are an organised pirate network and restore our good name. Should the MPAA decide to not communicate with us and continue their legal actions we will instruct our attorneys and contact legal bodies like the EFF for help on this matter,” he added.

Binnews also had this to say of the MPAA’s lawsuit: “Binnews does not host any files, the claim that we read “BinNews.com offers files for over 3,000 movies” is 100% completely false. We do not host any files, never have and never will. We provide a legitimate service to copyright holders. No where on our site does it say, “join us, we can give you free movies.” We do not even have pre-made nzb files.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Interview_with_Usenet_search_sites_targeted_by_the_MPAA&oldid=4592907”

Somali pirates seize Greek freighter, 25 crew in the Gulf of Aden

Thursday, September 18, 2008

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), pirates have seized a Greek bulk carrier en route to Kenya with 25 crew on board in the Gulf of Aden some 370 kilometers from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Noel Choong, who represents the International Maritime Bureau, advised ships traveling through the gulf to take extra precautions. “It appears that the pirates are now attacking ships in two areas, the eastern part of Somalia and northern parts of the Horn of Africa nation,” he said. “Ships are warned to take extra measures and stay 200 nautical miles away from the coast. They must maintain a strict watch.

The Gulf of Aden is a dangerous place for ships, with many incidents of piracy occurring regularly in the Gulf.

Four hours earlier pirates had attacked another vessel, a chemical tanker from Hong Kong, which was at the time carrying 22 crew members. Following that attack, the gulf was described by the managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association as an “incredibly dangerous place.”

In response to this, several large shipping organisations have called for countries to deploy forces from their Navies in the Gulf of Aden.

“The shipping industry’s plea is in response to a situation which it describes as in danger of spiralling completely and irretrievably out of control,” said the group which consisted of the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo, Bimco and Intertanko. “Continued inaction against these violent acts could prompt shipowners to redirect their ships via the Cape of Good Hope, with severe consequences for international trade, including increased prices for delivered goods.”

How should piracy be dealt with in the Gulf of Aden?
Add or view comments

The group also said that there have been 40 hijackings in the gulf, resulting in 133 crew members being kidnapped and 10 ships being held. According to the IMB six gangs totalling approximately 1,200 people have carried out these attacks.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Somali_pirates_seize_Greek_freighter,_25_crew_in_the_Gulf_of_Aden&oldid=4458577”

Avoid A Troubleshooting Maintenance Issue With Mobile On Demand Storage

byAlma Abell

For all different purposes, businesses often need to rent mobile on demand storage units. Some companies need to move large quantities of items on a regular basis, and others need a temporary fix to trouble. For example, some companies have a Troubleshooting maintenance issue that resolves the business to move off-site for several days. Instead of losing out on business opportunities due to this Troubleshooting maintenance issue, owners decide that they will set up shop in an alternate location. That is where the services of Modsny.com come into play. Owners can use these units to bring their services and supplies to a secondary location and sell from there.

YouTube Preview Image

Also, some businesses like to set up a temporary secondary location even when a problem does not exist with a primary one. That is especially true for businesses that are looking to reach more members of their target audiences. For example, they may know of locations where many of their target audience members live, but the location may be far from the main business area. Instead of missing out on these business opportunities, the owners decide to fill up trucks and bring services directly to these individuals. Using mobile storage units allows companies to bring all of the necessary supplies and equipment so that customers have the chance to receive the full experience.

Sometimes, businesses decide that they are going to move locations. In those cases, they may also need these mobile storage units. Perhaps the company needs time before all of the equipment is moved into the new area, or maybe they are just in need of assistance with transporting all of the goods. This company is located in East Patchogue, which has a fairly central location on Long Island. Therefore, they trucks can get out to the east end of the Island or the busy streets of the city in a fairy short period of time This location allows these units to prove useful for people all throughout the area. No matter what their plans are for the businesses, using this company is possible for a smoother and more efficient transition.

Tweet us on Twitter!

Wikinews interviews co-discoverers of Ziegler’s crocodile newt

Monday, March 25, 2013

  • 1
  • 2

In February, Japanese herpetologists Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui (of the Kyoto University), and Tao Thien Nguyen (of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) discovered Ziegler’s crocodile newt in Vietnam. The new species, called Tylototriton ziegleri, is characterised by a unique morphology, most noticeably the rough skin. The researchers noticed the new set of species features when examining a specimen in National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo and confirmed the species after a field study and DNA analysis.

On February 18, the researchers successfully published the paper at Current Herpetology,published by the Herpetological Society of Japan.

Masafumi Matsui asked Kanto Nishikawa to identify the species from the museum. After a discussion with Tao Thien Nguyen, younger brother of T. Q. Nguyen, co-author of an existing Tylototriton vietnamensis species, Kanto Nishikawa identified the species as a new one.

Last Friday, Wikinews interviewed the research team about the study.

((Wikinews)) What is most particular in the new species morphology?

Kanto Nishikawa: Very rough skin.

((WN)) What kind of environments do the newts live in?

KN: Secondary and primary forest, near wet land.

((WN)) What do the newts eat?

KN: Probably small invertebrates, like earthworms, insect, and snails…

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

KN: Calipers for measuring specimens, DNA sequencer and PC for molecular analysis.

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

KN: Collecting in the wild, analysis of data, and getting research permission.
Tao Thien Nguyen: I am also co-author of paper.
TTN: I was conducted survey in Hagiang and Cao Bang provinces during two year 2010 and 2011. I collected total 10 samples of Tylototriton in the nature habitat for our research,
TTN: I like Nikon camera very much and the photos taken by Nikon D300 body with Macro-len 60:2.8,

((WN)) Who did you have to get research permission from?

KN: From local government or national museum where Mr. Tao belongs to. We need many permissions not only for conducting research, but also exporting (= borrowing) specimens. This is common for researchers.

((WN)) What was the purpose of the field study? Is an alive individual required for DNA analysis, for species description and depiction, or for something else?

KN: Yes, for collecting alive one for DNA, and compiling information on habitat, ecology, breeding sites of the species.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_co-discoverers_of_Ziegler%27s_crocodile_newt&oldid=4567541”

Mothers, teachers air more concerns about leukemia cases at California elementary school

Saturday, June 18, 2005

On Thursday night, California State Senator Joe Dunn held the second town hall meeting regarding a recent outbreak of leukemia in schoolchildren, at Franklin Elementary in Santa Ana, California. Representatives from the City of Santa Ana, the Santa Ana Unified School District, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) were available to answer the community’s questions.

Senator Dunn started off the meeting by thanking the panelists and parents for showing their support by attending. “We are trying to address a very, very important issue. What’s the issue? We have high rates of cancer, leukemia, and respiratory problems in our children. Why are our kids sick? This is a very difficult question,” he said. “What’s causing the sickness in our children, and how can we avoid it? We can all agree that no one wants to see another sick child in Santa Ana.” The audience applauded. “Three weeks ago, we heard from two parents and a teacher, they told us about some deaths.”

The previous town hall meeting was held to address concerns of the community about a steel plating manufacturing plant that applied to the AQMD for a permit to expand its facilities to increase pollution emissions. Parents and teachers were concerned over the facts that the plant was located directly adjacent to Kennedy Elementary School, and that their children were experiencing high levels of lead, respiratory problems, excessive nose-bleeding, and leukemia.

“How many businesses in Santa Ana are required to obtain permits for [emissions] of hazardous pollutants?” This question Dunn posed at the last meeting was answered by the AQMD and the Orange County Sanitation District, who provided maps of Santa Ana with green flags indicating where businesses with emissions permits were located. “I can tell you one thing, at the end of the meeting, we won’t have all of the answers… but we’ll certainly have another Town Hall meeting.

Initial concerns were raised when five boys attending Franklin Elementary were diagnosed with the same type of leukemia in Spring 2002. Attempts to gain an investigation from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) into possible causes were not successful as the Center told parents that the cases “were in an acceptable range”. Parents, teachers, public officials, and doctors remain unconvinced. In the past three years, 19 mothers living in an apartment building a block away from Franklin were also diagnosed with leukemia.

Dunn then introduced a teacher at Franklin, Tammy Sanchez. Tammy said, “In December 2002, we received some very disturbing news. One of my students was diagnosed with leukemia. Then, more children at Franklin were diagnosed with leukemia. I later found out that three kids at a nearby apartment building were diagnosed with leukemia. Sanchez then explained about more cancer-related deaths near Franklin, including 19 mothers all living in he same apartment building who were diagnosed with leukemia, which took over three minutes. “To me, this is way too much,” said Sanchez.

Socorro Molina, whose son Diego, a student at Franklin, is undergoing treatment for his leukemia, had this to say: “My son has leukemia. I’m worried, because there are many kids. Children who played with my son died from leukemia. They should do some investigations of these companies.” Senator Dunn responded, “Thank you, Socorro. I know it’s difficult to share that privately, and you have shared this with us publicly on two occasions.”

Senator Dunn then said, “at the end of that [previous] meeting, we were requested by a parent for a map of all businesses releasing toxic materials. We asked the AQMD for a map that showed every single business [in Santa Ana] that releases harmful materials into our air. This is that map. The heaviest concentration of these businesses are, guess where? Near Franklin. This map is striking. The OCSD gave us a map showing all businesses that release toxic materials into our sewers. The largest concentration of these businesses are, guess where? Near Franklin and Kennedy [Elementary Schools].” Senator Dunn promised that at the next town hall meeting, he will have a panel of scientists present to determine if the substances released by these business pose a health risk to residents of the area. “We are going to keep at this until we find out what is making our kids sick,” he said.

Santa Ana City Council member Jose Solorio said that “the city has been following the media’s attention. I got to tell you, this is a very complex issue. The city has jurisdiction over land use; they can issue restrictions. We, as elected officials, need to know more.” Solorio then introduced the city’s planning director and other city officials. Solorio added, “the mayor of Santa Ana, Miguel Pulido, is a board-member for AQMD.” Miguel Pulido has not attended any of the town hall meetings, and has not spoken about this issue at any time.

Dunn then introduced the next panelist, Santa Ana Unified School District board member Rosemary Avila. She said, “the school board is looking into this. I’ve talked to some teachers on the phone I believe the federal disease organization has been contacted about this.” The Center for Disease Control was notified by parents of the leukemia cases in Santa Ana, but stated that they were “within the acceptable range”. Avila then introduced some school board officials, and said, “there has been some concern in the past, and we have looked into that. As a school district, we really have to act not out of fear, but with facts.”

Jill Whynot of the AQMD noted that “there are 515 facilities [in Santa Ana] that we issue permits to”. Barry Wallerstein, Executive Officer of the AQMD said, “we appreciate the forum. There appears to be a need for closer air quality monitoring. So, I propose that we make Santa Ana a high priority and closely monitor air quality in your community.” That statement was met with much applause from the audience.

Senator Dunn responded, “we thank the AQMD for being here and answering our questions. We will be sure to let everybody know about any updates. When I looked at the map, I was struck. There are 515 permitted businesses in Santa Ana. We will bring some scientists in at the next town hall meeting to determine which businesses are releasing carcinogenic pollutants,” he said. “When I look at the maps, there are two pockets of permitted facilities in Santa Ana. Do you [AQMD] look at the cumulative impact of facilities grouped together [when considering issuing a permit]?” Dunn posed.

Dr. Wallerstein responded, “the short answer is ‘partially'”.

Senator Dunn, responding to Dr. Wallerstein’s comments, said “if we need to give AQMD more power in terms of cumulative impact of permitted facilities, then we will introduce legislation to give them that power.” The Senator then asked City Councilman Solorio, “does the city in any way look at what type of business it is, or its cumulative impact [when approving a business]?”

Solorio responded, “one of the main things the city does is make a General Plan, and unlike Irvine or Newport Beach, we are an older city.” Solorio went on to talk about how in the future, the city could pass litigation limit permits, and said that “we all need to do our part”. Referring to concerns about the steel plating plant next to a school, he said, “Markland came into an industrial area, so they have a legal right to set up shop”.

Dunn asked Solorio if the city is now looking at regulation to limit this, and Solorio responded, “We always have opportunities to look at our General Plan, and we need to have solid facts to make those decisions”. Dunn asked Dr. Wallerstein, “what about this pocket of businesses in south Santa Ana, is that unusual?” Wallerstein responded, “Senator, I don’t think that’s an issue”.

Dunn then opened up the floor to public questions and comments. One mother of three asked, “when are we going to have answers?”, while a younger woman said, directed toward the AQMD, “your job is to know if this is going to give kids leukemia. I’m very disappointed”. One woman said, “I live in Heninger Park, where all of the kids are getting Leukemia. I’ve been trying to tell the city and Code Enforcement about illegal underground painters and mechanics who leave paint and fumes behind; which is causing residents to leave”.

There was intense debate over the public officials’ efforts to investigate health quality at the location in question. Parents expressed their concerns about water quality and illegal activities in the community; and spoke about their children’s various health problems, from high copper and lead levels in the bloodstream, to respiratory and lung problems, and cancer.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page and notes page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page and notes page for more details.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Mothers,_teachers_air_more_concerns_about_leukemia_cases_at_California_elementary_school&oldid=1982898”

US salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, brand recalls product

Sunday, January 11, 2009

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an outbreak of salmonella that has affected at least 399 people in 42 different U.S. states has been linked to King Nut, an American brand of peanut butter. In Minnesota, the state’s Health Department announced that bacteria tests for the disease on a tub of creamy King Nut peanut butter had tested positive for the disease, initiating a recall by its distributor in Solon, King Nut Companies.

Workers found evidence from these tests that the brand caused the outbreak. This has not been completely proven, however, as the Food and Drug Administration and King Nut itself are still conducting tests to discover if the case is isolated or related to the nationwide incident.

According to a statement made by the Health Department, the brand is used in many places including schools, hospitals, some restaurants and retirement homes, 20 alone being in Minnesota. A tub of peanut butter used inside of a retirement home where many of its citizens had become sick was tested positive by Minnesota’s health department.

We are very sorry this happened. We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.

Yesterday, King Nut Companies recalled all peanut butter distributed by their company. The president of King Nut Companies, Martin Kanan, said in a statement yesterday, “We are very sorry this happened. We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.”

In a web statement, King Nut told all of its customers to “put on hold all of their peanut butter in question. A recall of this product will be announced Monday morning. At this point it is unclear what Peanut Corporation of America will do with regard to this case or the national case of the salmonella outbreak.” The Peanut Corporation of America, located in Lynchburg but also operating in the states of Texas and Georgia, is the manufacturer for King Nut.

Salmonellosis is an infection of salmonella bacteria that usually results in diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms are normally developed 12 to 72 hours after a person is infected, and can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Most of the time, the infected person will recover from the disease, but younger and older people have higher risks of it developing and becoming serious. Rarely, salmonella can cause hospitalization, and very rarely, it can lead to death.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_salmonella_outbreak_linked_to_peanut_butter,_brand_recalls_product&oldid=2262028”

Page 1 of 145

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén