PostHeaderIcon
British computer magazine discovers electricity cost of running computers

Wednesday, March 30, 2005British computer magazine PC Pro has investigated the electricity costs of running today’s computers.

Their investigations showed that an individual could save £250 a year while a medium-sized business could potentially save £5,000 a year by making changes to the way computers and their peripherals are operated.

A CRT monitor uses £150 of electricity over five years; enough to pay for a new low-power LCD monitor. Using a screen saver, rather than turning the monitor off or using many computers’ built-in feature to turn monitors off after a period of inactivity, could cost £100 alone in a year.

It was also discovered that turning a single laser printer off overnight and on weekends would save £70 over the life of the printer.

Many others computer users however run ‘distributed computing’ projects while their computers are idle, such as the ‘@home’ series of projects (including the well-known ‘SETI@home’).

PostHeaderIcon
California Supreme Court defers ruling on same-sex marriage ban

Thursday, March 5, 2009

After hours of hearing arguments in the case questioning the legality of the ban on same-sex marriages in California, in the United States, the state’s Supreme Court deferred ruling on the ban, known as Proposition 8. The court could issue a ruling in the next 90 days.

Opponents of the ban were fighting to have the law overturned— saying it was unconstitutional for the state to have banned same-sex marriages. Californians voted in November 2008 to ban same-sex marriages, leaving the nearly 20,000 married same-sex couples wondering if their marriages, which were legal at the time they were married, would be voided.

“Prop 8 opponents would have the court choose between the inalienable right to marry and the right of the people to change the constitution as they see fit, and what I’m picking up from the oral argument in this case is this court should willy-nilly disregard the will of the people,” Justice Joyce Kennard said while addressing Shannon Minter, the lawyer representing the opponents of the ban.

One of the petitioners in the case against Proposition 8, Robin Tyler, told Reuters that she thinks “they [the court] are going to uphold our marriages and they are going to uphold Proposition 8, and it’s a loss.”

In June 2008, the state supreme court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. Between that time, and November 2008, 18,000 same-sex couples were legally married in California. Currently in the United States, same-sex marriages are only legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

PostHeaderIcon
“PGR4” pre-launch in Taiwan: TOP Drivers’ Derby

Saturday, September 29, 2007

After the launch of “Halo 3” on Tuesday (September 25), Microsoft promoted a brand new Xbox360 racing game “Project Gotham Racing 4” (PGR4) with a friendship match as a “TOP on TOP” competition between Taiwanese World Cyber Games (WCG) PGR3 Delegate You-cheng Liu and “Drift Master of Taiwan” Po-hsiung Chou at YAMAHA MotorTown in Taipei City, Taiwan.

Before the friendship match, Cary Chen (Senior Product Marketing Manager of Entertainment and Device Division, Microsoft Taiwan) show the new features on PGR4 to the press, VIPs, and guests and praised the “PGR” game series with the “Kudos” skill points. He remarked that in the “PGR4”, not only joined new car type and racing motorcycles, but also add Dynamic Weather System feature for the performance of new different type experiences on weathers, driving, and racing lane.

Chen also remarked that PGR series is surely respected because of the racing game competition factor on WCG from 2006. This “PGR” series can realize lots of dreams of players on making some special skills which can’t be done on reality. With the Xbox Live linking, PGR series has successfully made a great achievement.

After the presentation and demos, Microsoft Taiwan held a friendship match. Before the match, Y. C. Liu welcomed P. H. Chou with Chou drove a BMW car to the main entrance. After the entrance, the match started. With the witnesses of VIPs, press, and players, Liu won the friendship match by the turning fault of Chou. Even though Chou wanted to invite Live as a racer in reality after the match, but Liu temporarily declined with his consideration.

Microsoft Taiwan announced that the Chinese Version of “PGR4” will be available on October 5, and welcomed players competing with “I want ‘PGR4’ Helmet!” photo competition. And also, “Yamaha PGR4 Cup – Taiwan Driving Master Championship” will be held and set qualification section in October and final section in December of Information Month in Taipei.

PostHeaderIcon
Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The property at 605 Forest in Buffalo was the center of attention at last night’s public meeting held at the offices of Forever Elmwood on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, confirmed last night that the company will be seeking a variance for the 605 Forest property. Originally, both the 605 and 607 Forest Avenue properties were going to have variances placed on them. As it stands, 607 Forest will not be directly affected by the proposal, should it go forward. Both 605 and 607 are currently occupied by residents.

During Monday night’s meeting, Pano Georgiadis, owner of 605 Forest and owner of Pano’s Resuraunt at 1081 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to “sue” Savarino Construction if they tried to obtain a variance on his property to build the Elmwood Village Hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposal by Savarino Construction that would be placed on the corner of Forest and Elmwood in Buffalo. In order for the project to move forward, at least five buildings (1119-1121 Elmwood) which include both residences and businesses will have to be demolished. The hotel was designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Although the properties are “under contract,” according to Hassett, it is unclear whether Savarino Construction owns the properties. Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo Mayoral candidate, is still believed to own them.

Currently, none of the properties is zoned for a hotel.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews asked Hassett what kind of zoning permit they [Savarino] would be applying for and, if 605 Forest is included, what zone that would be.

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

“There is a ‘special development plan’ in front of the council, which changes only one thing about the zoning. It allows one permitted use for just a hotel. The rest of the zoning remains as it is under the current Elmwood Business District zoning. 605 and 607 Forest are not required for the project. They are not part of the footprint for the project. Let me answer this question again. This is on the record, in council: 605 needs to be rezoned in order to facilitate the project because of the sideyard requirement. Anything in C-2 is excluded besides the hotel. So we’ve taken the C-2 and included the hotel as a permitted use, and excluded everything else and everything else remains the same.”

However, during the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett was quoted as saying that the two properties were “off the agenda.”

“Now Karl said, at the last meeting, that they will build this hotel right on the borderline [property line]. If a wall forty-five to fifty feet high goes next to this house, of course it’s not right. You really have to go with whatever the city code says, so you have to get back as many feet as the city code says,” said Georgiadis.

“If you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one,” added Georgiadis. “First of all I think we are all wasting our time here, you [Savarino], have already made up your mind, but if you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you. If you build a hotel, in my idea its going to fail. It’s doomed, ok. [If] it’s going to be a home for the disabled, for the homeless, for recovery people, but that’s another story. Then how is it going to be when we say, well I told you so? You will be over and done with. Its very hard to take a four story building [hotel] down.”

Georgiadis stated last night that he was against the proposal and signed a petition to stop it, jokingly saying, “this isn’t a paper to sign to build the hotel, is it? Don’t make me sign the wrong thing.”

Joseph Golombeck, district councilman, was at Monday’s public meeting and said, “we also did request this and the reason we are doing this as a special business district is so that it has to be this specific plan. They [Savarino] can’t go halfway through it and in six months decide that [the hotel] it’s going to be three floors. They can’t decide it’s going to be five floors. It has to be, per law, exactly what it is that they brought to us [the public] so far, and then ultimately to the City of Buffalo Common Council when it’s approved. So if it gets approved, it has to be this specific, exact project. They couldn’t make it fifty parking spots, they couldn’t make it thirty. It has to be specifically what they have right here.”

A man who lives on Granger Street in Buffalo attended the meeting, speaking in favor of the hotel development. He claimed, “There are a lot of low property values. Hopefully if we embrace development, our property values, for those of us who have property, will go up. There are a lot of people unfortunately, who are working hard, that do not get a chance to come to these meetings. I myself was at work and wasn’t able to go to the last two meetings. I express that we appreciate that you [Savarino] invest in the City of Buffalo and for what you hope, because I do not think Savarino is into losing money. These people are not in business to be losing money here. They are hoping for the success of this [the hotel] more than any one of us. They are hoping that the property values in this area will go up more than any one of us, because it will benefit them [the residents and business owners], more than any one of us. I want this city to develop. I don’t think anybody else is here understanding that we’re looking for development in this city, we are looking for the city to get better. The councilman here is not interested in Buffalo failing.”

Evelyn Bencinich, resident of Granger Street, would have the hotel directly behind her home, if it were to be built.

“What about construction [time]? Is that just for the exterior, the nine months? Or does that include the interior? Is there going to be blasting through bedrock? Is there property protection for damage? Are you [Savarino and the Frizlen Group] responsible?”, asked Bencinich.

According to Frizlen, there is a layer of solid bedrock at least 30 feet from the surface of the land saying, “we anticipate that the bedrock is at least thirty feet down.” He also admitted that “we haven’t done any soil sporrings,” but did say “the bedrock is somewhere in between twenty-five and thirty feet [down], we don’t need to go that deep. So blasting is most likely out of it [the question].”

“Personally, I can only speak from the city side, but a few years ago we rebuilt Vulcan Street, in the northwest corner of Buffalo, and there were a couple of properties that were damaged and they [the owners] were able to file a claim against the company that did the work and they won in each case. It was the same thing with a school that was built on Military Road. There were a couple of problems with foundations on a couple of properties, and they weren’t sure if caused by the school or not, but the insurance company ended up paying them,” answered Golombeck.

“I would assume that Savarino is insured with someone. So if there is a problem with anything that happens to your properties, what I would recommend is that anybody that lives on Granger Place, if this does go through, that you get pictures taken of your basement and of your foundations, because God forbid if there is a problem, you want to have an[sic] before and after [picture]. You don’t want to come afterwards and there’s a crack in there [foundation] and you have no way of proving that it happened,” added Golombeck.

According to Golombeck, the properties that Mobius owns have been “in housing court on several occasions, but has a date of April 11, 2006 that he is going back [to court] for these properties. So it is in housing court and I wouldn’t know Mr. Mobius if he walked in this room right now,” stated Golombeck.

“I’ve gone after him on numerous occasions and everytime he gets out of housing court with a slap on the wrist. If I am a conspiracy theorist and say that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I can only get him into housing court. Once he’s in housing court, the judge rules on it. Now I don’t mean to take any shots at previous administrations, but I am hoping with the new administration, being in here, that the inspections department is going to be a much better department than it has been for the previous several years.”

The city’s Planning Board on March 14, 2006, agreed to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal back to the Common Council so that it may “be opened back up to discussion from the public.”

On March 2, 2006 the Common Council sent the proposal “to committee” for further discussion and also requesting that the public be “engaged further.”

During that meeting, Justin Azzeralla, Executive Director for Forwever Elmwood, said that the organization “supports the hotel project.”

Also on March 2, the planning board agreed to table, or postpone, any decision on the hotel proposal for at least thirty days, also citing the need for the public to be “more engaged.”

The Common Council is expected to meet on March 21, 2006 at 2:00pm local time where they may approve or deny the proposal.

According to The Buffalo News, at least six Common Council members support the hotel project and are pledging to vote to approve it at the meeting on Tuesday, March 21.

However, the city’s Planning Board will get the final say on the project.

PostHeaderIcon
Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Monday, May 8, 2006

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at www.commondreams.org,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

PostHeaderIcon
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Shona Bracken, Toronto Danforth

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Shona Bracken is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election in Toronto—Danforth. Wikinews interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

PostHeaderIcon
DirecTV tunes out Trio, network in limbo

Saturday, January 1, 2005

The future of the artsy Trio channel became increasingly grim Saturday as satellite TV giant DirecTV dropped the fledgling network from its national channel lineup.

When DirectTV programmers threw the off switch at 6 a.m. eastern standard time Jan. 1, Trio, an NBC Universal-owned cable television channel, lost two-thirds of its 20 million household subscribers. The channel’s remaining 8 million subscribers may not give it enough audience to ensure its survival, according to some experts.

The network received critical acclaim for a quirky lineup that includes the series, Brilliant But Cancelled, which took American broadcast networks, including parent NBC, to task for cancelling quality programs.

Trio originally got its start in the 1980s as a Canadian cable channel owned by the CBC. Its original slate was described as “a general entertainment channel that features the most successful contemporary dramas, documentaries and films from Canada, the UK and Australia. For the last six years, TRIO has been the largest exporter of Canadian TV programs to the US with over 3,000 hours of content,” according to CBC press releases.

The channel’s Canadian roots were cut in 2000 when media mogul Barry Diller snapped up Trio and sister channel News World International from the CBC and partner Power Corp. for $155 million in cash. Diller saw the channel as a cheap consolation prize after he was outbid by NBC for the Bravo cable network earlier that year. Within months, Diller rebranded Trio, dumped the Canadian dramas and geared it more toward edgier pop culture programming.

Over the next couple of years, Trio changed hands twice. First to Vivendi Universal, then to NBC in a package deal that landed the American TV network a movie studio and the USA and SCI FI cable networks. Trio was seen as more of an afterthought at the time.

In a hint of what may be the fate of the channel, NBC Universal moved most of Trio’s executive and programming staff over to Bravo, a now-sibling network, which is seen in 80 million U.S. homes. Some experts predict that Trio will eventually be folded with its more successful programming ported over to Bravo.

“Trio was a refreshing oasis on the dial, with a quirky pop-culture attitude that showed in its programming. Trio leaving is kind of like having a witty friend move out of town,” Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, MSNBC television critic said in her weekly column. “It’ll be missed.”

NBC Universal has not commented publicly on the long-term future or specific plans for Trio channel besides to say it was committed to programming the network for current subscribers as the conglomerate re-evaluates its digital cable strategy.

PostHeaderIcon
IMF: World on brink of recession; prepares special loan program

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the world is on the brink of a global recession but predicts the economy will begin to recover by late 2009.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF, stressed nations must work together to avert a global recession and warns there is “no domestic solution” to the crisis. He also said this week’s coordinated interest rate cuts around the world are a good example of the international cooperation needed to restore faltering economies.

Furthermore, he announced the IMF has activated an emergency program Wednesday that allows the fund to provide loans more easily and quickly to emerging countries in economic trouble. This program was first used during the 1997 Asian crisis.

The program might be used in Iceland, which has seen major problems hitting the financial sector. Iceland has been forced to nationalize the three largest banks and, most recently, Kaupthing Bank.

The IMF chief made these remarks in Washington D.C. on Thursday, as top officials from IMF nations and the G-7 industrialized countries are gathering for meetings on economic issues. U.S. President George Bush is set to meet with G-7 finance ministers at the White House on Saturday.

PostHeaderIcon Benefits Of Hiring An Auto Accident Attorney In Cecil County

byadmin

When you own a car, you are bound to get involved in an accident or incident at one point. Accidents normally bring lots of damages and repairs and medical expense bills. However, when this happens due to the reckless and negligent acts of another person, you shouldn’t have to pay these bills alone. The best way to make sure that you are compensated for the damages that result from an accident is hiring an auto accident attorney in Cecil County. Here are some of the reasons.

They will know how much to ask for

A competent auto accident lawyer will know how to look at an accident case and use the evidence on damages and injuries to determine how much you should be paid. A common mistake that people make when they decide to pursue auto accident cases on their own is settling for less than what they deserve. Sometimes, especially when medical expenses are involved, the insurers want to pay before the full extent of the damages has been established. A lawyer will help you avoid getting cheated.

YouTube Preview Image

\They collect the needed evidence

For an accident claim to be accepted, the court must establish that:

* Physical, mental or psychological harm was caused to you.

* That the damage was a result of the negligence of the other party

It is the responsibility of the lawyer to prove that the other party acted in a way that they weren’t supposed to. Also, they have to prove that the other party’s departure from the standard mode of conduct is what led to the damages that you are suffering. They do this by gathering your medical records covering both before and after the accidents. If possible, they will look for eye witness accounts and show medical bills to show the financial burden that the accident has caused you.

Litigation

There are certain times when an out of court settlement becomes impossible. In these cases, the lawyer will represent you in court. They will table the evidence before judge and jury and get you the compensation you deserve.

The best thing about hiring an Auto Accident Attorney in Cecil County is that they don’t get paid until you do. Law Office of Daniel J. Earnshaw LLC is one of the competent accident lawyers in Cecil County.

PostHeaderIcon
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Vicki Gunn, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Vicki Gunn is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.