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Category:May 27, 2010

? May 26, 2010
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Wikimedia Commons celebrates first anniversary

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.

PostHeaderIcon A Few Tips On Installing Insulation Foam Wichita Ks

byAlma Abell

When you want to make your home more energy efficient, one of the things you will need to do is get the best insulation for the house. This way, you will reduce the amount of heat needed to keep the house warm. This is not only good for the environment, it also ensures that you don’t spend too much money on heating. Most of the time, you will find that the cost of installing Insulation foam Wichita KS will be much less compared to how much you will save on heating costs in the long run. This means that doing this is a very good economic decision.

However, there are a number of things you need to consider when you want to install insulation foam Wichita KS and which will affect the quality of the end result. The most important of these is making sure that you get the work done by a high quality expert. Most of them will be able to figure out exactly how to install the insulation foam in Wichita KS so that it provides enough insulation, without having to waste most of this material. This means that in the end, you will end up utilizing a minimum amount of it to get the maximum insulation.

In addition to that, the issue of security and safety has to be thought through when installing the insulation foam Wichita KS. You need to remember that most of such materials are highly flammable. This means that if they are not installed correct, they could end up being the cause of fires in the house. A good example of this is when they are installed in an area that has a lot of heat, such as a heater. The only way to avoid this is by working with a high quality contractor who can figure out where not to do the insulation to reduce the risk of events such as fires.

As you can see, there are many benefits to installing insulation foam Wichita KS. However, the only way to reap these benefits is by doing it using the help of a professional. This way, you can fully benefit from them while at the same time reducing the risk of using the insulation. You can Browse Site like Northstarcomfort.com for available insulation services.

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Former Timberwolf Eddie Griffin dies at 25

Friday, August 24, 2007

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Eddie Griffin died on August 17, 2007, at age 25 due to injuries sustained in a car crash, the Harris County medical examiner’s office confirmed on Tuesday.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves forward, who was waived in March for violating the League’s substance abuse program, ignored a railroad warning, drove his SUV through a barrier, and collided with a moving train at about 1:30 a.m., according to Houston Police. His vehicle caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames.

No identification was found and the body was badly burned. For that reason, dental records were used to identify him. Griffin, who played college Basketball at Seton Hall University, played for the Houston Rockets from 2001–2003, and the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2004–2007. The five-year veteran had been battling alcoholism since leaving Seton Hall. He is survived by his three-year-old daughter Amaree.

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Toxic wetlands may be cause of thousands of bird deaths in Western Australia

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Western Australian government authorities say they believe a toxin may be responsible for the recent mysterious death of an estimated 5,000 birds found in the area of Esperance – on the state’s south eastern coastline. Autopsies by toxicologists from the WA Department of Agriculture will test for organochlorins, organophosphates and heavy metals.

Esperance residents first noticed large numbers of dead birds littering their streets and gardens on December 7 last year. Populations of honeyeaters, wattle birds and miners have reportedly been effected.

The birds were being found vomiting and convulsing in bushland and suburban backyards over an extensive area. Department of Environment and Conservation‘s (DEC) nature conservation coordinator Mike Fitzgerald says toxic wetlands near Esperance are the most likely reason for the mass bird deaths.

The DEC says it has failed to figure out the cause of death despite interviewing industry groups, farmers, grain handlers and timber companies about pesticide and chemical use.

Birds Australia, the peak group dedicated to the conservation, study and enjoyment of Australia’s native birds and their habitats, said it had not heard of a similar occurrence. “Not on that scale, and all at the same time, and also the fact that it’s several different species,” chief executive Graeme Hamilton told the Sunday Times. “You’d have to call that a most unusual event and one that we’d all have to be concerned about.”

Mike Fitzgerald said the DEC were looking at something “pretty potent.” “This is not a normal situation. The common thing that we have seen and heard is that the affected birds have an insatiable thirst… If it turns out to be a toxin that is responsible, that will raise more questions because there is no obvious source of exposure.”

The deaths could be a result of a drier than normal winter, causing algal and bacterial blooms in the Esperance Lakes Nature Reserves. Esperance recorded 457mm rainfall in 2006; the average is 620mm.

Initially, health authorities feared a virus, such as the deadly avian bird flu, was responsible. That was quickly ruled out, along with poisoning from bacteria or eating poisoned insects.

The first deaths were reported by Esperance resident Michelle Crisp – who lives close to the worst-affected area. Dozens of native birds began dying in her back yard a week before Christmas. She says she contacted neighbours to discover if they were experiencing the same thing. Mrs Crisp found four dead birds, then 16, then 30 and finally up to 80.

Mike Fitzgerald said that any one of hundreds of toxins could be causing the deaths but so far all leads had not produced any answers.

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Banned film ‘The Profit’ appears on Web

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Copies of The Profit, a 2001 film blocked from distribution in the United States due to a court injunction won by the Church of Scientology, appeared on the Internet Friday on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on the video sharing site YouTube.

Directed by former film executive Peter N. Alexander, the movie has been characterized by critics as a parody of Scientology and of its founder L. Ron Hubbard. Alexander was a Scientologist for twenty years, and left the organization in 1997. The film was funded by Bob Minton, a former critic of Scientology who later signed an agreement with the Church of Scientology and has attempted to stop distribution of the film. Alexander has stated that the movie is based on his research into cults, and when asked by the St. Petersburg Times about parallels to Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard said: “I’ll let you draw that conclusion … I say it’s entirely fictional.”

The film was released in August 2001, and was shown at a movie theatre in Clearwater, Florida and at a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France. A Scientology spokesman gave a statement at the time saying “the movie is fiction and has nothing to do with Scientology”. The Church of Scientology later took legal action in an attempt to stop further distribution of the film. The Church of Scientology claimed that the film was intended to influence the jury pool in the wrongful death case of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died under Scientology care in Clearwater, Florida.

In April 2002, a Pinellas County, Florida judge issued a court order enjoining The Profit from worldwide distribution for an indefinite period. According to the original court injunction received by Wikinews, the movie was originally banned because the court found that it could be seen as a parody of Scientology. In his April 20, 2002 ruling on the injunction, Judge Robert E. Beach of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County, Florida wrote: “…an average person viewing the film entitled The Profit could perceive that it is a parody of the Church of Scientology”.

“To the extent that any person considered as a potential juror in evaluating any issues involving the Church of Scientology, the process of voir dire provides a fair and complete remedy to eliminate any potential juror that may possibly have been influenced to be less than fair and impartial,” added Beach.

Luke Lirot, the attorney for the film’s production company, announced on the film’s website on April 7, 2007 that “We have absolutely no exposure for any repercussions from the court order,” but that the film was still blocked from distribution due to an ongoing legal battle. Lirot wrote: “all that’s stopping the release of the movie is the legal battle with the partner who was compromised by Scientology (Robert Minton) and is currently using his power as partner to stop the release of the film.”

In an October 2007 article, The Times described the film as “banned in the US because of a lawsuit taken out against it by The Church of Scientology,” and Russ Kick’s The Disinformation Book of Lists included the film in his “List of 16 Movies Banned in the U.S.”. An 8-minute teaser segment from The Profit appeared on the film’s website and on the video sharing site YouTube in February 2008, and an attorney representing Bob Minton sent a letter to Luke Lirot requesting that the film clip be taken down. In a response letter, Lirot wrote that “Rather than damage any asset of the LLC, the short clip merely keeps the film in the public eye, and in a positive way.”

On Friday, copies of the film began to circulate on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on YouTube. A link related to the film’s appearance on the Internet on the community-based link aggregator website Digg.com had 3,638 “Diggs” – and hit the front page of the site’s Entertainment section on Saturday.

I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there.

On Saturday, Scientology critic and Emmy award-winning journalist Mark Bunker put a streaming version of the film on his website, www.xenutv.com, and encouraged others to watch and discuss the film on a real-time chat channel. In a video posting to YouTube Saturday, Bunker said “I did not do it. I had nothing to do with it … I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there … people are finally having a chance to see it. A lot of people have been curious over the years and there’s been a lot of interest in seeing the film, so finally you can.”

We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.

On the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, a poster by the username “Alexia Death” commented on the film’s appearance on the Internet in the context of censorship: “It is out! And so it is a WIN if many people review it even if they say it SUCKS! … Being bad is no cause to allow censorship … And being censored is no cause to assume its good”. A post to the blog Blogsreel commented: “We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.”

In a post on Sunday to the message board attached to the official website for the film, attorney Luke Lirot asked that individuals stop distributing copies of The Profit over the Internet. Lirot wrote: “It has been brought to my attention that several unauthorized transmissions and downloads of this protected work have taken place over the last 72 hours. Such actions are copyright violations and are unlawful. I request that any further distribution and/or dissemination of this important work cease immediately and any copies of the work that have been downloaded please be deleted.” In his statement, Lirot recognized the rights of individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also said that unauthorized distribution of the film “will only serve to harm the goal of vast distribution”.

Blog postings have attributed the film’s appearance on the Internet as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology organized by the Internet-based group Anonymous, but this has not been confirmed. Wikinews previously reported on international protests against Scientology which took place as part of Project Chanology on February 10 and March 15. A third international protest by Anonymous is scheduled for April 12. Titled “Operation Reconnect”, the third international protest will focus on highlighting Scientology’s practice of disconnection.

PostHeaderIcon How Does Your Doctor In Mo Keep You Well During Cold And Flu Season?

byAlma Abell

During cold and flu season, it can be difficult to keep yourself well. There are so many cold and flu viruses going around during these months and it is important to know when you simply have a minor cold virus and when it is something more serious, like an infection or the flu. This information can help you to be proactive in receiving the medical care you need from the Doctor in MO. This will help to ensure you see your doctor and get the medical treatment you need, so you can fully recover.

What are the Symptoms You Should Not Ignore?Everyone knows what it feels like to get the sniffles. Most of the time a simple cold is nothing to be concerned about. It will simply run its course and you will recover. If you have had a cold and then begin to experience pain and pressure in your sinuses and a foul odor in your breath, you could be suffering with a sinus infection. People are more prone to these infections after they have been through a cold. If you feel pain and pressure in your sinus areas, make sure you are checked by the Doctor in MO, so you can be assured you are treated properly.

Colds typically do not cause you to run high fevers. If your temperature is over 101, this could be a sign you either have the flu virus or an infection. High fevers can be serious and should not be overlooked. Your doctor will be able to test you for the flu virus, as well as see if you are experiencing any form of infection. If you have an infection, you will need to be treated through an antibiotic.

Lingering symptoms, like cough and sore throat should also not be ignored. Any symptom that continues to plaque you for weeks on end could mean a sign of a serious medical condition. It is important you never overlook your health. Through routine medical examination and checkups, you can help your body to stay healthy. To schedule an appointment for your health screening, contact Missouri Delta Medical Center today.

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Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, €120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”

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Iraqis vote in massive numbers

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

BAQDAD, Iraq –The Iraqis turned out in large numbers to the national election of January 30, 2005, risking their lives and ignoring the threats and attacks of terrorist groups. The rebels caused at least 44 deaths during the election. Ten of the deaths were caused by suicide attacks. The Al-Qaeda organization announced on a website that 13 suicide attackers participated in the attacks.

Despite the violence, a ‘loosely estimated’ 60% of the 14 million registered electors appeared to vote, according to the Electoral Commission. Proportional representation was the voting method used to select the members for a 275-strong assembly that will then draw up a constitution. The Iraqis faced up to threats, attacks, and the inconvenience of long lines caused by the security measures at polling booths.

This was the first free election held in Iraq in over 50 years. The 2005 Iraq election was very different than the previous one in 2002 during the regime of Saddam Hussein. At that time the Iraq elector was offered “yes” or “no” choices in a referendum for the only candidate, Saddam Hussein. The results of that election showed 100 percent in favor of Hussein in a 100 percent turnout. That election was called the mother of all election frauds, since any Iraqi elector who didn’t appear and vote for Hussein was condemned to death. [1], [2]

Mahdeya Saleh, an 80 year old Iraqi citizen said: “I had often been forced to vote under Saddam Hussein. Today I come out of my own will to choose freely the candidate of my choice for the first and last time in my life.” [3]

“Why should I be afraid?” Arifa Abed Mohamed told a Christian Science Monitor reporter at a Baghdad polling station. “I am afraid only from God.”

Other Iraqis expressed a similar disregard for the rebels’ threats. “I would have crawled here if I had to,” Samir Hassan told a Reuters reporter. “I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me.” Hassan lost his leg in an October 2004 car-bomb attack.

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Category:April 29, 2010

? April 28, 2010
April 30, 2010 ?
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