14 November

Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.

Contents

  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links
13 November

Judge orders residents and city to come to agreement on partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Judge Justice Christopher Burns of the New York State Supreme Court has ordered a halt to an emergency demolition on a 19th century stable and livery on 428-430 Jersey Street in Buffalo, New York that partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11, initially causing at least 15 homes to be evacuated. At least two homes remain evacuated.

Burns orders that both the city and the group Save The Livery (www.savethelivery.com) have to come to an agreement on what to do with the building, and try to work out ways of saving at least some portions if it including the facade, side walls and a lift tower. Save The Livery is comprised of concerned area residents who have grown to love the building’s historic and unique character. On June 14, they won a temporary restraining order to stop demolition. The court ruled that the city was only allowed to remove material in immediate danger to residents and pedestrians, but stated that the demolition could only be performed with “hand tools.” The court also ordered that any rubble which had fallen into neighboring yards when the building collapsed, to be removed.

“It is in the interest of the city to have a safe environment–but also important to maintain a sense of historical preservation,” stated Burns in his ruling. Burns has given the sides until tomorrow (Friday June 20) to come to an agreement and has ordered both parties to return to court at 9:30 a.m. (eastern time) “sharp.” Activists of Save The Livery urge supporters of the stable to “fill the courtroom” to show “continued and ongoing support.” The hearing is scheduled to take place at 25 Delaware Avenue in the Supreme Court building, 3rd Floor, trial part 19.

Currently the building is owned by Bob Freudenheim who has several building violations against him because of the buildings poor condition. He has received at least five violations in three months and residents who live near the building state that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions. Many are afraid that if the building is demolished, Freudenheim’s charges of neglect will be abolished.

On June 17, developer and CEO of Savarino Companies, Sam Savarino was at the site of the stable, discussing the building with residents and preservationists. In 2006, Savarino proposed and planned The Elmwood Village Hotel, a ‘botique’ hotel on the Southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. The project was later withdrawn after residents filed a lawsuit against Savarino and the city. Wikinews extensively covered the story, and contacted Savarino for his professional opinion on the building.

“[I would] love to see it preserved. I was there to see if there was anything we could do to help, to see if anything can be salvaged. I just want to see the right thing happen, and so does the city,” stated Savarino to Wikinews who added that he was allowed inside the building for a brief period.

“The side walls are beyond repair. The roof has rotted and it could come down at any time,” added Savarino who also said that the building “below the second floor appears to be stable.” He also states that the back wall of the building, which borders several homes, appears to be intact.

“Eliminating the back wall could be a problem for the neighbors. It is not unreasonable to leave at least 12 feet” of the back wall standing, added Savarino.

Savarino did not say if he was interested in buying the property, but did state, “I am sure there are a couple of people interested” in buying the property. On Thursday, Buffalo News reported that a “businessman” might be interested in purchasing the property, though Wikinews is not able to independently confirm the report. Savarino says that with the property still slated for emergency demolition, a potential buyer could face tax fees of nearly US$300,000.

Freudenheim gave the city permission to demolish the building on Thursday June 12 during an emergency Preservation Board meeting, because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim, along with his wife Nina, were part-owners of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and were advocates to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel. They also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built. Residents say that he has been the owner for at least 22 years.

The building was first owned by a company called White Bros. and was used as a stable for a farm which once covered the land around the building for several blocks. The Buffalo Fire Department believes the building was built around 1814, while the city property database states it was built in 1870. Servants and workers of the farm were housed inside resident quarters situated at the rear of the building on what is now Summer Street, but are now cottages where area residents currently reside. Some date as far back as 1829.

At about 1950, the stable was converted into an automobile body shop and gasoline station.A property record search showed that in 1950 at least four fuel storage tanks were installed on the property. Two are listed as 550 square feet while the other two are 2,000 square feet. All of the tanks are designated as a TK4, which New York State says is used for “below ground horizontal bulk fuel storage.” The cost of installing a tank of that nature according to the state, at that time, included the tank itself, “excavation and backfill,” but did not include “the piping, ballast, or hold-down slab orring.” It is not known if the tanks are still on the property, but residents are concerned the city was not taking the precautions to find out.

11 November

US clinic plans first face transplant

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

US doctors are to interview 12 patients with a view to performing the first ever transplant of a human face.

The Cleveland Clinic will choose between seven women and five men to find the person most suited for the experimental procedure, which is a radical and controversial solution to extreme facial scarring or disfigurement.

Having practiced the procedure on bodies donated for medical research, the Cleveland Clinic team believe they have a 50% chance of success. The procedure will not live up to science-fiction predictions and give the recipient the appearance of the donor; the underlying bone structure is the deciding factor in the final appearance. The new face will end up resembling neither the donor nor recipient.

Surgeons in several other countries have announced being ready to perform this procedure in the past. However, the risk and non life-threatening nature of disfigurement have meant that gaining approval for the groundbreaking surgery has been difficult. Like many other transplant operations, the recipient would be required to take drugs to prevent tissue rejection for the remainder of their life. These drugs can have side effects and carry their own risks involving the patient’s immune system.

10 November

Warren Buffett to host world’s most expensive lunch

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Billionaire Warren Buffett, Chief Executive of Berkshire Hathaway, auctioned lunch with himself on eBay for US$2.63 million.

Bidding, which started on eBay a few weeks ago, attracted nine bidders, offering huge sums for the opportunity to have a steak lunch with the man said to be a “legendary investor”.

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The winning bidder, an anonymous individual, will be parting with $2.63 million for a meal with the world-famed investor and has the opportunity to bring along seven friends for the meal.

This, the latest of Buffett’s charity auctions, is providing funds to the Glide Foundation, a charity that provides food, health care, housing and job training for San Francisco’s homeless.

Over the last ten years, Buffett has netted $5.9 million in donations through such auctions.

10 November

Dog’s throat cut in Cairns, Australia

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In what the RSPCA calls a “horrific” case of animal cruelty, a dog’s jaw was taped shut, and its throat cut, in Cairns, Australia.

The Staffordshire mix, who was found by police in a critical condition last Thursday, was reportedly struggling to breath and bleeding heavily due to her throat being slashed and her muzzle being bound.

“The way they cut was almost down to the larynx, so muscles were cut but luckily they missed the jugular veins,” said Sarah Gill, the vet who stitched the 10 cm long, 3 cm deep cut.

In a statement reported on Tuesday, Inspector Cameron Buswell, a law enforcement officer with the RSPCA animal welfare charity, said it is hard to comprehend that there are people in the community capable of this level of cruelty.

“This would have to be up there as one of the more horrific cases we’ve dealt with […]The poor dog must have been petrified. How she didn’t die is miraculous.” he said.

Named ‘Franky’ by rescuers, the dog is progressing well along her road to recovery, has a warm, loving and kind nature, and has begun to come out of her shell, Buswell said.

“She is a really nice natured animal and she loves being with people.”

This has become apart of string of violent attacks on pets in Queensland. Another dog in North Queensland named ‘Boof’ was beaten and left to die with a 30 kg chain around his neck in January. In May, a family dog in Toowoomba had its throat slit and a rubber band placed around the wound, twice.

The RSPCA is appealing for information from the public regarding the person or persons responsible for the latest attack.

9 November

Italy brush Ukraine aside 3-0 to reach semi-final

Friday, June 30, 2006

Italy took their chances to take a comfortable win in their Fifa World Cup quarter-final match against Ukraine, Friday.

Gianluca Zambrotta scored the game winner after six minutes and Luca Toni netted a double in the second half to secure a semi-final game with the host nation, Germany.

Zambrotta’s early goal for Italy was a 30 yard low hard swinging drive that beat the Ukraine keeper at his near post.

Italy played a very effective counter attack game ceding 58 per cent of possession to Ukraine while they equalled their opponents creativity in front of goal with seven shots on target.

Ukraine played good football in the second period and while they were still one goal down were unlucky not to net an equaliser. They were up against an Italian defence that had conceded just one goal in the tournament – which was an own goal – and was to complete a third consecutive shut out.

On 48 minutes Gianluigi Buffon made a match-winning save from Maksym Kalinichenko. In the process of tipping the downward header onto the post Buffon head-butted the upright.

As Ukraine upped the pressure Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro then made a crucial winning header clearance as Andiry Shevchenko lurked behind.

When Buffon saved again and Zambrotta cleared off the line from Kalinichenko Ukraine coach Oleg Blohkin rued the missed chances. A minute later an Italian attack led to a corner, taken short Totti’s near-post ball met a diving Toni and it was suddenly 2-0.

Andriy Gusin then connected with a header and hit the crossbar but though the Ukraine effort was vigorous on the day they did not score.

Ten minutes after Toni’s first World Cup goal, Zambrotta dribbled into the penalty area from the left side and passed the ball to Toni who tapped in his second goal from five yards.

An unsung hero of the match was Gennaro Gattuso whose hard work in midfield earned him Fifa’s Man of the Match award.

Contents

  • 1 Quarter-finals
  • 2 Formations
    • 2.1 Italy
    • 2.2 Ukraine
  • 3 Officials
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources
9 November

Blow out sales prices likely on mattresses as new U.S. fire-resistant standards take effect

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If you are in the market for new bedding, and not too concerned with the new United States guidelines for mattress fire resistance, now might be a good time to buy. Mattresses sold in the U.S. must meet new federal guidelines for flammability starting on July 1.

The peak heat release rate is limited to 200 kW during a 30 minute test. The total heat release is limited to 15 MJ within the first 10 minutes.”

The flammability of mattress sets sold in the U.S. is subject to a new mandatory federal regulation requirement passed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 16 last year. The requirement, costing mattress manufacturers an estimated $100 million to meet, is scheduled to take effect on July 1. The commission anticipates that the new standards will save 270 lives and 1,330 injuries per year from mattress fires.

“We’ve passed a new open flame regulation and the whole idea behind the regulation is to make sure that if a mattress catches on fire that the fire burns slowly enough that people have enough time to get out of the house and get away,” said Hal Stratton, chairman of the CPSC

Radio and TV advertising spots are reacting to the new regulation by discounting prices on mattresses that fail to meet the new guidelines. Sales made in the mattress industry, like the automobile industry, are highly negotiable on price. The new regulation does not appear to have much “teeth” for mattresses already in the distribution pipeline, but it is a new law that is a bargaining position for potential buyers.

8 November

US First Lady undergoes neck surgery

Saturday, September 8, 2007

United States First Lady Laura Bush underwent elective surgery on Saturday at George Washington University Hospital and is now “resting comfortably at the White House,” according to spokeswoman Sally McDonough. Last month, the First Lady injured her neck and shoulder during a hiking trip.

The neck surgery, called posterior cervical foraminotomy, was performed to alleviate pressure on several pinched nerves in her neck.

Laura was not able to accompany President George W. Bush for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Sydney, Australia because of the procedure.

The spokeswoman said the outpatient surgery was a minimally invasive procedure, and lasted about two-and-a-half hours.

After unsuccessful physical therapy treatments, doctors reportedly suggested surgery.

The First Lady reportedly spoke with the President during his trip back from the APEC forum and according to White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino “he [Bush] said she sounded very well…He looks forward to getting back to help her in the recovery.”

8 November

Efforts to cap Deepwater Horizon oil spill delayed again

 Correction — May 11, 2011 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

An attempt to cap the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has hit yet another obstacle, reported officials from British Petroleum (BP).

Friday night’s attempt to install a 6-inch (15.2cm) tube into the leaking drill pipe was only the latest in a series of efforts by BP to stop or slow down the spill. Previously, the oil company had tried to enclose the pipe with a large container dome, and then lowered a smaller “top hat” container dome. The siphon tube method is designed to reduce the amount of oil flowing into the ocean, but is not a permanent solution to stopping the leak altogether. It will draw the oil from the broken pipe to a tanker at the surface, said BP.

The tube was to be inserted into the broken pipe by robotic submarines, but the attempt on Friday to do so was unsuccessful, causing it to be taken back up for changes. The problem was a metal frame on the tube, which had changed position and this prevented the tube sent down from the drill ship Discover Enterprise from connecting. The tube had not been inserted into the leaking drill pipe before it was brought back up.

BP said that it would try again Saturday night (local time) to slow the leak using a reconfigured tube. If this attempt is unsuccessful, they will use the smaller dome to cap the leak, and may also try to plug the leak by covering it with trash, mud, or concrete. The company is already in the process of drilling relief wells to completely stop the leak, but this is expected to take several more months. The amount of oil currently leaking from the pipe is disputed, and BP said it has spent several hundred million US dollars in response to the oil spill.

BP was also given permission yesterday by the US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency to use chemical oil dispersants to combat the spill.

8 November

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.


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