2008 Taste of Taiwan Cuisine features three shows for food and packaging industries

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, June 20, 2008

The third annual Taste of Taiwan Cuisine opened on Wednesday of June 18, 2008 and runs until June 21. Organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council to promote the culinary culture of Taiwan, the tradeshow featured three main shows for food and food packaging industries: “Food Taipei”, “Foodtech Taipei”, and “Taipei Pack”.

Twenty-seven countries including United States, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka, Austria, Philippines, Chile, Malaysia, Spain, Fiji, Poland, and six nations from Africa, grouped their own national pavilions for sourcing and procurement. In addition, the Taiwan Pavilion featured sections on culture, product image, brand design, and agriculture verification in Food Taipei.

Industrial solutions including medical applications, packaging machines, food CNCs, and bar-code printers are showcased in the “Foodtech Taipei” and “Taipei Pack”. Seminars and forums from security, global marketing, and policies for food, machinery, and packaging industries are also held during show hours.

After the 3-in-1 show in Taipei, the Kaohsiung International Food Show will be scheduled for November.

Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, August 13, 2009.

The French capital Paris has seen a second night of violence by demonstrators, who have blamed police for the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday.

On Sunday night youths in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, set 29 vehicles alight and threw stones and petrol bombs at police. Monday night was “relatively calm” according to Samira Amrouche, spokeswoman for the regional administration, the authorities having depolyed 40 vans of riot police only 8 vehicles were burnt.

The motorcyclist, a pizza deliveryman, was killed when he fled police attempting to examine his documents, dying when he was struck by a pursuing police vehicle according to the youths,however in the police version his death was a result of him crashing into barriers.

The current violence has echoes of the unrest in 2005, with again dissaffected youths of Arab and black descent venting their anger and frustration.

Sources

  • “Paris suburb youths fight police” — BBC Online, August 11, 2009
  • “Plea for calm after Paris violence” — Press Association, August 11, 2009

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders succeeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.

Sources

  • An. “Canadian and Mexican leaders fail to reach agreement on visas” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • An. “North American leaders wrap up summit, joint statement embodies cooperation” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • Tanya Huntington Hyde. “Ignoring Mexico’s human rights abuses” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Border ban angers Mexico truckers” — BBC Online, August 09, 2009

Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal) have foiled an alleged plot to assasinate the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. Acting on intelligence gathered over a year the Federal Police arrested five drug cartel members on Sunday and publicly paraded their captives and a number of weapons ,including automatic rifles, on Monday. Speaking during a summit of North American leaders Calderón played down the threats on his life, saying that the cartels are being destroyed by his policies.

Some 11000 have died since President Calderón’s took office in 2006 and made the war on drugs a cornerstone of his administration.

Sources

  • “Drug cartel allegedly plotted to kill Mexican leader” — CNN, August 11, 2009
  • “Mexican police foil drug cartel plot to kill president” —  August 11, 2009
  • Julie Watson. “Mexico: Suspect plotted to kill president” — Associated Press, August 10, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced by a court in Burma to a further three years of house arrest for violating the terms of her previous sentence. However her sentence was immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of Burmese head of state Senior-General Than Shwe out of respect for her father General Aung San and out of a desire for “national reconciliation”.

The period of her arrest will prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the general elections scheduled for 2010. The sentence was immediately condemned by Western leaders, and breaking from their usual silence, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) through its current chair Thailand issued a statement expressing disappointment. The ASEAN statement and talk of further European Union and United States sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on Southeast Asian country given the support of India and China.

The Chinese issued a statement calling for the world to respect Burmese sovereignty and laws, and is seen as an indication that China, a veto power will not support any United Nations actions.

John Yettaw whose unauthorised visit led to Aung San Suu Kyi’s prosecution has himself been sentenced to seven years imprisonment, four of which will be for hard labour.

Sources

  • “Asian regrets at Suu Kyi verdict” — BBC Online, August 12,2009
  • Li. “Myanmar gov’t gives reasons to commute Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence” — Xinhua News Agency, August 12, 2009

Four employees of the Rio Tinto Group have been formally arrested in China on charges of bribery and using improper practises in its negotiations with Chinese companies. The Chinese accuse the men of improperly learning the negotiating position of Chinese companies wishing to buy iron ore, and through this charging 700 billion yuan (US$102.46 billion) more then they would otherwise have been able to

The four were initially held on espionage charges and have been held since early July. The formal charges allows the Chinese authorities to hold the four a further seven months as it prepares its case against them. Their arrests followed the collapse of an attempted by Chinese owned Chinalco to raise its stake in the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group to 18%.

Sources

  • Anne Barrowclough. “Rio Tinto China executives charged with bribery” — The Times, August 12, 2009
  • “Watchdog on secrets: Rio caused “huge loss”” — Xinhua News Agency, August 10, 2009
  • “A souring relationship” — The Economist, August 10, 2009

Michael Jackson will be the star of a film to be released on October 28, some four months after his death. The film will be primarily cut from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the series of concerts that would have taken place at the O2 in London, but will also feature interviews with Jackson’s family and friends.

The film becomes possible after AEG Live, the promoter of the O2 concerts, reached an US$60 million agreement with Columbia Pictures for over 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his swan song.

“He was the architect of ‘This is it‘, and we were his builders…” said Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s collaborator on the project “…it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph.”

Sources

  • Rosie Swash. “Michael Jackson film gets October release date” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Michael Jackson rehearsal film set for worldwide cinematic release” — New Musical Express, August 11, 2009

Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is the 39th observance of Earth Day in the northern hemisphere. Earth day is celebrated in Autumn on November 30 in the southern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the first Earth Day in April 1970 in the United States, and it is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. Earth Day is the biggest environmental event which addresses issues and educates people on environmental awareness on a global scale.

This year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will beam high-definition images to the NASA website and television. By doing so, NASA hopes to increase appreciation of global climate issues. There will also be a Washington exhibit relating to environmental issues viewed from space as well.

At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center activities will focus on their slogan for Earth Day 2009, “Just One Drop … PRICELESS” and will demonstrate how the Environmental Control Life Support System operates as used on the International Space Staton (ISS).

Amongst the many festivals, WorldFest is a solar powered music celebration held in Los Angeles, California. Buenos Aires will also feature its second Earth Day event featuring a music festival as well.

“We are in a new era of energy innovation,” said Daniel Yergin at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) forum. Lithium-ion batteries are providing electric storage solutions for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Dodge Circuit EV. Algae fuel is a new form of biofuel, but is still under development.

“Energy Smackdown” was a competitive household activity which compared energy usage between 60 separate households across three cities in or near Boston. The various competitors came up with a variety of innovative methods to cut their carbon footprint, installing solar electric panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and using a caulking gun to seal the home from drafts.

“In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimate.

Miami is installing a smart grid which will use individual household smart meters to allow energy consumers know via a web site, their exact home energy usage. “To me these are prudent and smart investments that will easily pay for themselves. It will show the nation how to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges all at the same time.” said Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council ACC, says the plastic bag industry is prepared to spend US$50 million to revamp their manufacturing facilities and will collect 470 million pounds of recycled plastic every year to make plastic bags of 40% recycled content. The ACC is providing a donation to the Keep America Beautiful environmental organisation, both of whom endorse this new project. The Earth Day Network (EDN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would like to see an end to the use of plastic bags, however. “We don’t want people to use disposable bags. We want people to use reusable bags,” says Darby Hoover of the NRDC.

Calgary researchers will begin field surveys to help save the “Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens). “Northern Leopard Frogs are threatened in Alberta, but endangered in British Columbia,” said Dr. Des Smith, Primary Investigator and Research Scientist with the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research. “It is essential to develop new monitoring techniques for Northern Leopard” said Breana McKnight, Field Team Leader and Endangered Species Researcher.

The traditional Earth day ceremony of planting trees is garnering further attention in Japan as Koichi Nakatani, the nation’s Tree Planting Father travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Students can take part in an Earth Day photo contest sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies which will feature images and scientific student research for the environmental change depicted in each photo submitted.

“Earth Day should be about teaching about the environment every day,” said Sean Mille director of education for EDN, “We emphasize taking action for your classroom, school, district or community.” 25,000 schools across America made use of the environmental curriculum developed by the National Civic Education Project, the Green Schools Campaign and the Educator’s Network. Lesson plans are broad and varied and may focus on water pollution, recycling, composting, using chemistry to convert cafeteria left-overs into biodiesel or ethanol fuel or converting go-carts to operate on biodiesel or ethanol fuels in shop class.

Gearaldton City: The Wonderful Recreational Features

Author: Admin  |  Category: Camping

Gearaldton City: The Wonderful Recreational Features

by

Robert Duce

A city and port in Western Australia, Geraldton is a good location for fishing, wheat, sheep, mining and tourism. Its beautiful beaches and sunny weather make it a haven for many Western Australians and tourists. The port is also the center of many recreational activities like surfing, diving and yachting. It is also the export center for mining, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fishing industries. The city which stretches out through the Batavia Coast is a perfect place for sporting facilities, entertainment, culture and shopping. The cultural diversity, Mediterranean climate and popularity of horse racing are added features in the city making it a good place for caravans.

Geraldton Caravan Parks offer different overwhelming services for anyone who want to stay overnight as they can provide pitches for caravan parking, tent camping and limited cabin facilities. The pitches are air-conditioned with water services and others facilities that are equipped with electronic devices such as televisions, telephone and Wi-Fi connections. Geraldton Caravan Parks also provide impressing picnic areas, laundry facilities, bathhouses, swimming pool and hot tub as well as bars, restaurants and convenience stores. Caravans are well known recreational vehicles with living quarters for people to enjoy camping while travelling. These originally provide shelter for circus performers, knife sharpeners, thespians and groomsmen who travel from places to places to seek a market for their skills.

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Visitors of Australian Coral Coast who are looking for a place to stay whether on the beach or center town can avail of the services of a Geraldton Accommodation. Some of the optional places to stay include apartments, hotels, bed and breakfast places as well as luxury resorts. All sorts of accommodations are available to suit individual requirements of the guests. For couples or guests who are traveling alone, apartments in studio type with one bedroom are suitable for them while those who travel as a family can choose the apartments with two or three bedrooms. Travelers who are looking for Geraldton Accommodation with a wider space and more rooms to stay can rent a whole house in the place. Some of these houses are located near the beach while others are in central town area.

Among the spectacular attractions in Geraldton are the Old Goal which is now a museum and craft centre, the magnificent St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and the Western Australian Museum-Geraldton. Self-drive tours are also encouraged in the place especially during wildflower season that usually comes in between July and November. Guests can also experience a remarkable tour on the amazing 122 Abrolhos Islands either by boat or plane and experience a snorkeling adventure that s worth remembering. Comfortable air-conditioned small buses and four wheeled vehicles with friendly operators are also available to take travelers into the city s iconic buildings and explore the sand dunes.

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All change for Nottingham, England trams as new operator announced

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, it emerged on Monday that Arrow Light Rail — the existing operators of Nottingham, England’s Express Transit (NET) system — were to have their contract ripped up, after the preferred bidder for the construction of Phase 2 was announced. The change means that the entire network will be able to be integrated throughout, rather than having two operators effectively running two separate systems.

Nottingham City Council have selected Tramlink Nottingham as their preferred bidder to construct and operate the NET Phase Two lines to Chilwell and Clifton, and will now enter talks with the consortium, made up of Alstom, Keolis, Trent Barton, VINCI Construction UK, OFI Infravia and Meridiam Infrastructure, to finalise the exact details of the contract. It is expected that the concessionary contract will be awarded during the coming summer, with construction starting before the end of the year. The contract will run for 23 years.

We received two very strong bids but Tramlink Nottingham has come out on top. We look forward to working with them to develop their proposals before awarding the full contract.

Tramlink Nottingham chairman Roger Harrison said: “Building on Arrow’s successful legacy, we are excited to be taking forward the next chapter in Nottingham’s tram story.

“Our focus now will be on working with Nottingham City Council to ensure NET Phase Two can be introduced at the earliest opportunity.”

The reshuffle of operating consortium means that Nottingham City Transport (NCT) — the main provider of bus services within Nottingham — will have no part to play in the extended network, despite the numerous awards and high satisfaction levels NET has had since its opening; it is the only one of Britain’s five light rail networks to be an instant success.

“We’re obviously very disappointed not to be part of the selected preferred consortium. Nottingham’s tram has won numerous awards and after seven years passengers continue to praise its operation. We would have relished the opportunity to have been part of this continuing success,” said NCT’s Managing Director Mark Fowles.

But the council stresses that they are still committed to the future of the company.

“This decision in no way reflects the excellent job Arrow Light Rail Limited has done operating the tram since its launch. Annual customer satisfaction figures remain very high and this is testament to this operation,” added Jane Todd. “The decision to appoint a new consortium to build and operate the extended tram network was made on the basis of selecting the best proposal to meet the council’s objectives for the future of the tram system. The overall offer from the Tramlink Nottingham consortium was stronger. Although disappointing for NCT it is nonetheless good news for the integration of public transport services that the city’s other major bus operator, Trent Barton, is part of the preferred bidder. I am certain NCT will continue to provide award winning bus services for the people of Nottingham.”

Staff currently employed by Arrow Light Rail are expected to be transferred over to Tramlink Nottingham around August, when further details of the contract will become clear. Other changes that are proposed for the network include ‘smart card’ ticketing — similar to the highly successful Oyster scheme that is in use across Transport for London’s service — and the phasing out of tram conductors in favour of on-platform ticketing machines. Current conductors will be offered new roles within the company, though talks are still on-going about how to combat any potential fare-dodgers.

Furthermore, an additional 22 tram vehicles will be built by consortium member Alstom for the extended network, though these will be of a different design to the 15 existing vehicles, which were built by Bombardier to their Incentro design for the system’s opening. The new trams will be part of Alstom’s Citadis family, and will bring the total tram fleet to 37. This will also allow for service frequencies to be increased and for overcrowding to be eased at peak times.

Ticketing arrangements for the network will also change when the new consortium takes over. Currently, combined tickets, cards and passes can be used for the tram and NCT buses, but these are due to be phased out and replaced with the new smart cards in time for the opening of the extensions. Prior to that, passengers will be able to use combined tickets, cards and passes for the tram and Trent Barton buses, in a similar arrangement to that which is already offered for NCT.

Pat Armstrong, director for NET, said: “The move is very much towards more sophisticated smart ticketing, like the Oyster card in London. You use the same card but the money goes back to the company you are travelling with.”

The extended network, new trams and numerous other changes should be fully operational by the end of 2014, but NET users and tramway enthusiasts had mixed views on the matter:

“I think it’s a bad idea to phase out the conductors,” said Andrew Blood, assistant editor of the Tramways Monthly e-magazine, “Not only do they help with revenue protection, but they are also responsible for the high passenger satisfaction levels on the system. In short, they keep tram users feeling safe.”

Greg Smith, from Hucknall, was pleased that service levels were going to increase: “The fact that the trams will be running more frequently is a massive bonus in my eyes. The service we get at [the Hucknall] end of the line is great already, but if [the trams] are running more frequently it’s just another advantage of the system over the bus.” But he was also wary of on-platform ticketing being brought into place: “I’m not sure that losing the conductors in favour of ticket machines is the way to go, though.”

Rocketeers find possible impact crater in Nevada

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, March 9, 2007

Imagine coming back from a camping trip in the desert. Then a few months later you notice in your photos from the trip that you camped inside a giant impact crater so big that no one documented it before. Could it happen?

During several trips to the Black Rock Desert, mostly while supporting the Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team for suborbital space rocket launch efforts, Ian Kluft KO6YQ noticed some oddities in rock formations. He had a little experience with volcanoes, and some rocks in the area looked unusual. There seemed to be some lava here and there – but where was the volcano? He observed that even a large caldera should have mostly volcanic rocks. He then noticed some curved geographic structures in satellite imagery which made him curious if it might be an impact crater.

A TV documentary about meteor impacts mentioned some characteristics of impact craters. He went to the Internet to learn more. He noticed some of his own pictures of the area had cone shaped structures which might be “shatter cones” due to an impact shock wave that passed through the rocks. Discussion with others produced suggestions and volunteers who joined the effort. More circular features in satellite photographs were found. Igneous dikes through white layers of rock had been described and were visible in many photos.

The possible impact crater is 30 miles (48 km) wide east-to-west and 40 miles (64 km) north-to-south centered around 40.984045 N, 118.916016 W. That is in northwestern Nevada halfway between Reno and the Oregon border. The apparent ancient geological structure is so old that much of it is eroded away. The forces that eroded the Black Rock Desert itself, whether glacier or stream, have apparently cut through the crater rims and floor to do it.

Following an expedition to the area in late January, more possible shatter cones were observed in one of the rock samples collected. These are only formed by the shock wave of an impact event or nuclear explosion. The nearest nuclear test was underground at Sand Springs Range in central Nevada. Atmospheric tests at the Nevada Test Site were at the southern, and opposite, end of the state. So that points toward an impact if confirmed. But professional geologists will want to have the final word on confirming them.

In addition to shatter cones, rock samples were thought to contain shocked quartz because the criss-cross fractures looked like examples in online documents. But this group of volunteers doesn’t have equipment for proper photography of shocked quartz. If found, that would be another way to prove the impact origin of the rocks.

Columnar jointed columns hundreds of feet tall appear on some bluffs in locations that appeared consistent with part of a slowly cooling crater floor. But that alone only helps as part of a bigger picture, because volcanoes can have lava cool in columnar joints as well.

They also found local geological studies which described oddities which could be explained by an impact event. Layers of rocks in the mining district called Sulphur left geologists with a mystery about the cause of chemical alterations since 1980. The group compared it with information in online geological texts like “Traces of Catastrophe” by Dr Bevan M French of the Smithsonian Institution. Layers of impact ejecta seemed to explain the rock layers better than the previous theory about acid uniformly cooking the rocks across the region, and only in one layer of rocks. A separate 1980 study 40 miles away identified an immense air-fall tuff layer in the Soldier Meadows area as having been deposited in a single unit, yet couldn’t locate the volcano which produced this enormous volume. Fault diagrams published online by a mining operation at Sulphur on the edge of the circular structure from the satellite photo also look like curved terraced faults in the wall of a crater.

The mining geologists who wrote papers from 1980 to 2002 had not mentioned the possibility of a crater. But they were each gathering single puzzling pieces of information. A larger image seemed to be forming when putting the pieces together. The group hopes the information will be helpful to geologists who do further work in the region.

The theory hasn’t been put to any test by professionals yet. Some responses point out that the elliptical region reported as the possible impact crater could also be the volcanic caldera that the 1980 study was looking for. If so, such a large volcanic caldera would still be a significant discovery for the region.

This will remain officially a mystery for a while until the professional geologists get to study it. There is a lot of information available online for those who are interested.

Reasons Why It’s Smart To Hire Professional Painting Contractors

Author: Admin  |  Category: Painting Services

Reasons why It’s Smart to Hire Professional Painting Contractors

by

Rodney Ellison

The economic system has turned a lot of ruined homeowners which always retain the services of the specialist painting contractors, professional roofers, landscapers, into do it nation regarding do-it-yourselfers. You might have to battle big tasks you would do not have considered undertaking before beyond necessity. Provided that their main undertaking started in under price range, it would be well worth the work to help save the money. I can’t tell you an exact number of weekend break warriors that will deeply regret ever trying to outdo the professionals, but I might guess it’s greater than 50% of types that chosen to save the dollars and do it by themselves. If it needs to be done and also you honestly do not want painting contractors, then discover all you can regarding doing it effectively, so it seems nice ultimately.

vThere are lots of unsung rewards that come with hiring a professional house painter to do your work. That gets completed really quickly. There isnrrrt worry about dumping the paint along with cans. They will bring their unique tools and equipment which is the best. Rug and areas that aren’t allowed to be painted truly don’t get coloured. Painting isn’t something you simply start undertaking one day; this is a skill that can training along with countless hours involving practice. Painting contractors know how to prepare the top and how to produce a job search stunning using attention to detail. To have a excellent experience with your own professional house painters along with crew, have got all the details of the you need and need, or what you think you need and want. This will be very important when inquiring them to create a quote for your home. In the event you follow my own advice as well as stick to the easy steps I am going to offer you, the experience will likely be great.

– Choose which areas you would like painted.

– Notice what has to be repaired or perhaps replaced prior to the painting begins. It is possible to cut a few cost over bill if you undertake the mending ahead of time.

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– Choose your paint shades and smoothness. See if you can obtain a better value by providing all the paint or maybe the company receives a better price for higher quality paints.

– Don’t merely talk to one particular professional house painting company. You want no less than three quotes. Get testimonials from people you know who have had their houses painted. Learn who the actual used regardless of whether you like or even hate the work the staff did. Ask the others whatever they liked as well as didn’t like about the ones that they used and if they would make use of them again.

– Have the contractor onto your house to offer the quote. Make sure you are equally on the same page when it comes to after that be done for the quoted value.

– Don’t let price tag be our only determining factor when you select your current painting contractors. Ask for guide from residents that have proved helpful for.

– Find everything in composing. You want a begin and conclusion date; the total cost; when you have to pay them back, and just what comes with the deal at that price.

– Be sure that you have certain details written about what colors go in which. And what exact paint is he going to be employing.

– Absolutely obtain it in writing that they may be responsible for your cleanup, both the materials in addition to your home or yard.

– Find everything off the beaten track and the bedrooms ready to allow them to come in and initiate their prep and painting. Include any home furniture that you can’t get free from the room. You\’re one that models the tone with the work place.

If you can afford the idea let the painting contractors perform their wonder. You will be consequently glad that you just did. Your house is your citadel and it should reflect the one which live inside.

How dedicated are you to paint sheen guide? Ok, cool… so you\’re serious – then read about how to paint a room.

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Wikimedia Commons celebrates first anniversary

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

One year ago today, September 7, 2004, the Wikimedia Commons project was presented to the public. Wikimedia Commons, or simply Commons, is a repository for multimedia files that include images, videos, computer animations, and music as well as spoken texts. They currently count more than 232,000 such files.

All of Commons content is published under a free licence, so the use of its files is permitted outside the project itself. Its main mission is to provide the international Wikipedias with images. Like Wikipedia, the Commons is based on a simple wiki principle that permits every user to contribute and change content. The project is organized into so-called gallery pages, and/or by adding files into categories organized in multiple topics that help facilitate the speedy location of desired files. Often it exists already a direct link from the Wikipedia page to the corresponding page in the Commons.

The Wikimedia Commons proposal was originated by the German Erik Möller, (Eloquence), in March 2004. Eloquence was until recently the Chief Research Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. Up until the launch of Commons, it was time consuming to use material from one Wikipedia language project in a sister project of a different language. Each file had to be uploaded into each language edition of Wikipedia, and be described and licensed again. The goal was to reduce this redundant effort into one upload, which it can be said that this was successful.

The language in use on the project’s Main Page is English because it is an international project, but many information pages exist in multiple languages. Judging by the experience of other Wikimedia Foundation projects, it is only a question of time before further localization occurs at Commons. This will make it easier for users with fewer skills in foreign languages to also contribute files.

The content in the Commons is growing at a rapid pace. Within the last month alone, the number of images and other files has grown by more than 43,000. This represents a 22,7 % increase in relation to the prior month. While the Wikipedia projects usually compare themselves with the more widely known encyclopedias like Britannica and Brockhaus, a competitor Commons would likely be considered the huge commercial photo archives like Getty Images and Corbis, who possess more than 70 million images each. In relation to them, the Commons is very small at the moment. However, most of the important buildings and landmarks world wide are already featured in its database.

Like other Wikimedia Foundation projects, the Commons face certain challenges and problems. Sometimes people upload offensive images. The community has had to establish clear criteria about which content is acceptable, and which is not. There should not be unfair censorship. Obvious transgressions can be pointed out by anybody, and they are usually deleted rapidly by the administrators.

A sensitive topic is copyrights, and the rights of the owner of the pictured images. International rules have not yet been made compatible. In certain ways, the Wikimedia Foundation opens new territory in the area of intellectual property. Before Commons, it was almost exclusively a domain of professionals to publish images who were well aware of the legal issues. Now it is possible for huge numbers of photo amateurs to publish. Like with offensive content, obvious violations of copyright are deleted the moment they are brought to notice of the administrators. However, it is quite possible there will be an upcoming international debate if the free publication of certain content, e.g. images of national heritage objects, is in the overwhelming public interest. In cases such as this, private interests which might prevent publication are of lesser importance.

The contribution of Wikimedia Commons to a wide array of issues in research, reporting, education, tourism or others, at a global scale, is difficult to fathom at the moment. Most likely though the impact will be gigantic.

New Zealand army Unimog crash leaves one solider dead

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Private Meredith Simms, 18-years-old, died yesterday when the New Zealand Army Mercedes-Benz Unimog truck he was travelling in left the road and fell 100-metres down a steep bank 2.30 p.m. yesterday (NZST), coming to rest on railway tracks. The soldier driving the truck was critically injured and was flown by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Wellington Hospital, where he is being treated for spinal cord injuries.

The Unimog was travelling in a convoy 14-kilometres southeast of Blenheim on State Highway 1, Weld Pass.

The New Zealand police have launched an inquiry into the fatal accident. The Unimog has been removed from the scene of the crash and will now be examined. The police say that they will guard the scene and finish examining it today.

The accident occurred when the Unimog was returning back to the Burnham Military Camp, Christchurch, where all soldiers were from. It followed a ten day exercise which involved 15 vehicles in Marlborough. The other soldiers went to the RNZAF Base Woodbourne base to receive counselling from a military chaplain, military psychologist and police victim support, they are returning to Burnham today.

The family of the deceased said their son “died doing what he loved,” and have requested privacy.

Simms’ death has been referred to a coroner.

Since 1994 there have been eight fatal accidents involving Unimogs.

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