Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday saw the latest edition of the vetted version of Wikipedia, which is aimed at educational use, go quietly online. The extensively revised version covers over five thousand topics, targeting the eight to seventeen years age group. Partnerships with the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Hole in the Wall project will see it distributed in South Africa and India as well as copies being available globally via the offices of SOS Children UK’s umbrella organisation, SOS Kinderdorf worldwide.

First launched in 2006 as a 4,000 article edition, the extract of Wikipedia has employed hi-tech distribution methods, as well as offering a website version which has steadily climbed up in ranking to above other reviewed Wikipedia rivals and copies; the 2007 version was available on the BitTorrent peer to peer network to keep distribution costs down and was equivalent to a fifteen-volume printed encyclopedia. Monday’s release is compared to a twenty-volume print edition.

Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen.

Key to the process for selecting articles is the English National Curriculum and similar educational standards around the world. The initial vision was to bring this wealth of knowledge to schools where access to the Internet was poor or unavailable, but copies of Wikipedia for Schools can be found on many first world school intranets and web servers. Among the compelling reasons to adopt the project are the vetting and additional study materials which overcome the oft-publicised concerns many educators have with the million article plus Wikipedia that anyone can edit.

In today’s press release announcing the launch, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner expressed delight at seeing the project bring out a new version, “Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen. Wikipedia is released under a free content license so that individuals and institutions can easily adapt, reuse and customize its content: we encourage others, like SOS Children, to do exactly that.”

Running 192 schools in the developing world, SOS Children sees Wikipedia for Schools as a key piece in fulfilling the educational aspect of their mission. SOS Children’s Chairwoman, Mary Cockcroft gave us an introduction and, a Wikipedia administrator himself, the charity’s CEO Andrew Cates spoke to Wikinews at length about the project.

You are part of SOS-Kinderdorf International, can you explain a little about how this works in terms of distributing funds raised in the UK and involving UK citizens in work outside the country?

Mary Cockcroft: SOS Children[‘s Villages] is a “club” of member charities in 130 countries helping orphans and vulnerable children. The club elects SOS-Kinderdorf International as secretary. SOS is a large organisation whose members in aggregate turned over $1bn in 2007, and whose projects include owning and running 192 schools and family-based care for 70,000 children. However much of these funds are raised locally, with for example the member charities in each of India, Pakistan and South Africa raise considerably more funds in their own country than SOS UK does from the UK. Nonetheless SOS Children UK principally raises funds to finance projects in the developing world, and has only financially small projects in the UK (such as the Schools Wikipedia, which is very low cost because of extensive use of volunteers). This year we expect about 80% of our UK income will leave the UK for overseas SOS associations, and some of the remaining 20% will pay for project oversight. We do not spend money in the UK on Direct Mail or TV advertising. Our UK office is involved in overseeing projects we finance and a small number of high-skilled volunteers from the UK help overseas. However around 98% of SOS staff worldwide are local nationals, as are most volunteers.

((WN)) How much work does the UK charity actually carry out within the home country? Are there failings within the government system for orphans and other needy children that you feel obliged to remedy?

MC: We are deeply unhappy about the situation of children in out-of-home care in the UK. However our care model of 168 hour-a-week resident mothers does not fit with the UK philosophy for children without parental care. Internationally SOS always has a policy of sharing best practice and we are working to improve understanding of our way of working, which appears to us to have far better outcomes than the existing one in the UK. Ultimately though the legal responsibility for these children lies with government and we cannot remedy anything without their invitation.

((WN)) Who first came up with the idea of doing a vetted Wikipedia extract? What was the impetus? Was it more for the developing world than first world?

Andrew Cates: I honestly cannot remember who first suggested it, but it came from somewhere in the Wikipedia community rather than from the charity. The original product was very much pitched at the developing world where the Internet is only available if at all over an expensive phone line. I worked in West Africa 1993-1996 and I know well at how thirsty for knowledge people are and how ingenious they will be in overcoming technical obstacles if the need for infrastructure is removed.

((WN)) In reading past year’s announcements there’s some pride in the project being picked up and used in the first world, was this expected or a pleasant surprise?

AC: It was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think we had realised what the barriers schools faced in using the main Wikipedia were. It isn’t just pupils posting material about teachers or meeting strangers: the “Random Article” button on every page could potentially deliver an article on hardcore porn. We had already started when discussion broke on banning Wikipedia from classrooms and I am sure we benefited from it.

((WN)) Can you give an outline of the selection and vetting process? Is it primarily Wikipedians working on this, or are people from the educational establishment brought in?

AC: It was a long and painful process, even with a really good database system. Articles were taken into the proposal funnel from three main sources: direct proposals for inclusion from Wikipedians, lists which came from the Release Version team and proposals drawn up from working through National Curriculum subjects by SOS volunteers. In a few cases where we felt articles were missing we asked the community to write them (e.g. Portal:Early Modern Britain, which is a curriculum subject, was kindly written just for us): These “proposals” were then looked at by mainly SOS volunteers (some onwiki, some offline). Our offices are in the middle of Cambridge and we get high quality volunteers, who skim read each article and then compared two versions from the article history by credible WP editors a significant period apart (this picks up most graffiti vandalism which runs at about 3% of articles). Once they had identified a “best” version they marked any sections or text strings for deletion (sections which were just a list of links to other articles not included, empty sections, sex scandals etc). A substantial sample of each volunteers work was then doubled checked for quality by one of two office staff (of whom I was one). We then have a script which does some automated removals and clean ups. Once we had a selection we posted it to relevant wikiprojects and a few “experts” and got any extra steers.

((WN)) Will you be making use of BitTorrent for distribution again this year? Was it a success in 2007?

AC: BitTorrent was a bit disappointing in that it got us the only substantial criticisms we received online. A lot of people find it too much effort to use. However for the period we offered a straight http: download we had huge problems with spiders eating vast bandwidth (the file is 3.5G: a few thousand rogue spider downloads and it starts to hurt). As per last year therefore our main two channels will be free download by BitTorrent and mailing the DVDs free all over the world. At a pinch we will (as before) put straight copies up for individuals who cannot get it any other way, and we have some copies on memory sticks for on distributors.

((WN)) Is it your opinion that the UK Government should be encouraging the adoption of projects like this as mainstream educational resources?

AC: Clearly yes. We have had a very enthusiastic reaction from schools and the teaching community. We think every school should have an intranet copy. We expect the Government to catch on in a few years. That is not to say that Wikipedia is as good as resources developed by teachers for teachers such as lesson plans etc. but it is a fantastic resource.

((WN)) You’re a Wikipedia administrator, all too often a thankless task. What prompted you to get involved in the first place? What are the most notable highs and lows of your involvement with the project?

AC: Funnily the thing I have found most amazing about Wikipedia is not widely discussed, which is the effect of Wikipedia policies on new editors. I have seen countless extreme POV new editors, who come in and try to get their opinions included slowly learn not only that there are other opinions to consider but that elements of their own opinion which are not well founded. Watching someone arrive often (on pages on religions for example) full of condemnation for others, gradually become understanding and diplomatic is one of the biggest buzzes there is. The downside though is where correcting things which are wrong is too painfully slow because you need to find sources. I was a post-doc at Cambridge University in combustion and I know the article on Bunsen burners has several really significant errors concerning the flame structure and flow structure. But sadly I cannot correct it because I am still looking around for a reliable source.

((WN)) Do you believe schools should encourage students to get involved contributing to the editable version of Wikipedia? Does SOS Children encourage those who are multilingual to work on non-English versions?

AC: I think older students have a lot to learn from becoming involved in editing Wikipedia.

((WN)) To close, is there anything you’d like to add to encourage use of Wikipedia for Schools, or to persuade educators to gain a better understanding of Wikipedia?

AC: I would encourage people to feed back to the project online or via the charity. The Wikipedia community set out to help educate the world and are broadly incredibly well motivated to help. As soon as we understand what can be done to improve things people are already on the task.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, announced Friday that Iran is scheduled to launch its first nuclear power plant in Bushehr. Russia said that it will start loading fuel into the reactor on August 21, 2010.

Russia has assisted Iran in the construction of this reactor since the mid-1990s. The proposal to build this reactor was put forth 35 years ago by Mohammad Rez? Sh?h Pahlavi, the former emperor of Iran.

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, the current president of Russia, said that Iran and Russia are in active trade partnership. Medvedev called on Iran last month to explain its nuclear program.

The official launch is scheduled for August 21, 2010. Russia has promised to run the plant by supplying fuel and taking away fuel waste.



Saturday, December 11, 2004

VIENNA –Doctors from the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna say “there is no doubt” Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin.

Yushchenko’s body had about 1,000 times more than the normal concentration of the toxin. It is unknown if there were any other poisons in his system.

Although it has not yet been proven that the poisoning was deliberate, doctors suspect it was. “We suspect a cause triggered by a third party,” said Michael Zimpfer, head doctor at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He suggested the poison may have been administered orally, through food or drink.

Today’s announcements are a follow-up of an earlier press conference, where Dr. Korpan that there were three hypotheses under consideration, one of them involving dioxin. He did not reveal what the other two hypotheses were. Dr. Michael Zimpfer, director of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic emphasized that time there was no proof yet to specify the substance causing the illness.

Yushchenko left Kiev on Friday (2004-10-12) for further examination in Vienna. When Yushchenko fell ill on October 6th, Ukrainian doctors had initially diagnosed food poisoning, leading to speculation that he had been poisoned deliberately. The illness has disfigured Yushchenko’s body and face which doctors say could take up to two years to heal.

He fell seriously ill on the September 6th, during his presidential campaign. Yushchenko was taken to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic of Vienna, where he stayed for four days under Dr. Korpan’s care. He was diagnosed with “acute pancreatitis, accompanied by interstitial edematous changes.” These symptoms were said to be due to “a serious viral infection and chemical substances which are not normally found in food products” as his campaign officials put it. In laymans terms, he developed an infection in the pancreas and got a bad skin condition that disfigured his face with cysts and lesions. The skin condition has similarities with the chloracne associated with dioxin posioning according to a British toxicologist John Henry.

Earlier, doctor Nikolai Korpan of Rudolfinerhaus clinic confirmed today that the illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was caused by an attempt to kill him.

  • Ukraine political crisis – Wikinews’ special coverage portal



Get More Information Here:

byAlma Abell

Implant dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry that involves the placing of dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots which have the prosthetic teeth attached to them. Only an experienced dental surgeon can place dental implants for the best results. You will want to work with a tooth restoration specialist who is proficient in the area of implant dentistry and can provide a secure implantation, safe procedure, and exceptional results.

There are many different benefits of implant dentistry. The primary benefit is in the replacement of the missing tooth or teeth. When the tooth is replaced, the benefits are increased in that they allow the patient to eat and chew with much more ease. They can also speak more clearly and pronounce words with greater efficiency when the dental implants have been placed. In addition to the functional benefits provided by the implants, patients often enjoy increased self confidence and much more ease in social situations. Implant dentistry makes all of this possible with the introduction of dental implants.

YouTube Preview Image

What is involved in implant dentistry

Prior to the surgery, your dentist will fully inspect the teeth to see where the implants need to be placed. Measurements will be taken and a mold of the mouth will also need to be taken. Then the implants will be created. Prior to affixing the prosthetic teeth, titanium posts will need to be inserted into the upper or lower jawbone, or both depending on where the implant will be placed. Following this, a healing time must elapse to allow the process of osseointegration to occur. This is when the bone fuses to the titanium post and creates a secure foundation for the implanted tooth just a like a real tooth root.

Once the bone has fused to the titanium post, the artificial tooth can be applied. The end result is an enhanced smile and increased oral functionality. Implant dentistry has made it possible for those without the opportunity to smile, chew, and speak normally to be able to do these things with ease. For individuals interested in this dental treatment, the first step is to meet with a dentist who specializes in implant dentistry.

Enjoy the benefits of implant dentistry by scheduling a consultation with a dental professional today.

The practice of Dr. Alan P. Friedler provides implant dentistry for your smile enhancement goals. Schedule an appointment today and find out more about their services when you visit them online at greatamericansmile.com.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

News reports have said that British television and radio presenter Vernon Kay has been forced to state that he is not dead after an editor to the free content encyclopedia Wikipedia posted inaccurate claims that he was dead.

He said that “I am alive and kicking. A few friends rang to check that I was all right. I wish I was on a yacht in Greece,” in response to the claims.

After seeing these reports, Wikinews decided to investigate these edits further.

Wikinews learned that the first of these edits was made by a user contributing from the IP address 86.22.190.95. The IP address was from the United Kingdom and used by a user of the Virgin Media internet service.

The IP address added the claim at 10:05 UTC on September, 13 2008. They claimed that “Vernon Kay sadly passed away after falling off a yacht on Holiday in Greece.”

The next user to add to the claims was contributing from the IP address 86.22.191.253, which was also from the United Kingdom and used by a user of the Virgin Media internet service. This user claimed that “his funeral will be held on Friday the 19th of September in Bolton,” in addition to expanding on the report of his death.

At 11:11 UTC, over one hour after the claim was initially made, a new user, who identified himself as Woody55, removed the claims that he was dead, saying that Kay is “not dead.”

Just six minutes later, however, the claims were re-added. An edit war then took place with several contributors adding and removing the complaints over the next few days. The article was protected by a Wikipedia administrator from editing by new and anonymous users.



Saturday, January 15, 2005

United States –”IBM hereby commits not to assert any of the 500 U.S. patents listed below, as well as all counterparts of these patents issued in other countries, against the development, use or distribution of Open Source Software.” [1]

So begins the pledge IBM has made to “any individual, community, or company” writing or using software defined as “open source” by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

The patents include software for text recognition and database management.[2]

“True innovation leadership is about more than just the numbers of patents granted. It’s about innovating to benefit customers, partners and society”, said Dr. John E. Kelly, IBM senior vice president, Technology and Intellectual Property. “Our pledge today is the beginning of a new era in how IBM will manage intellectual property.”[3]

“This is not a one-time event”, said Dr. Kelly. “While IBM will continue to demonstrate leadership in patent output, through measures such as today’s pledge, we will increasingly use patents to encourage and protect global innovation and interoperability through open standards and we urge others to do so as well.”

Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford Law School and free software proponent commented: “This is exciting. It is IBM making good on its commitment to encourage a different kind of software development and recognizing the burden that patents can impose.”[4]

Not all are confident of IBM’s motives, though.

Florian Mueller, campaign manager of anti-patent website,NoSoftwarePatents.com, accused IBM of hypocrisy because of lobbying in the European Union to push through theComputer Implemented Inventions Directive.

“IBM is just being hypocritical because they want to appease the open source community and make themselves popular,” said Mueller.

“In Europe, IBM is a driving force behind the extension of the scope of patentability with respect to software. If IBM wants to assume the role of a post-Christmas benefactor, they’d better stop their aggressive patent lobbying in the EU and their shameless squeezing of small and medium-sized companies with its patent portfolio.” [5]



Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lloyd Helferty is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Thornhill riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his 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.



Friday, August 19, 2005

Commander Sergei Krikalev and flight engineer John Phillips began a planned six-hour spacewalk earlier today, their first in the four months both men have been on the station. This week Krikalev exceeded Sergei Avdeyev‘s record of 748 (non-consecutive) days in space.

Their tasks include retrieval and replacement of several experiments, photographing a materials science experiment, retrieving radiation sensors, installation of a television camera for the first arrival of Europe’s new cargo vessel and relocation of a grapple fixture for a crane. This will make room for the next shuttle crew to deliver radiation shields.

However, that delivery is going to have to wait.

NASA delayed the next Shuttle flight until next year so their engineers have time to address the foam problem that occurred during the most recent flight. A rushed timetable for the previous launch has been criticised as a major contributing factor to the “same behavioral problems that contributed to the Columbia tragedy,” an AP story stated.



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Peter Ormond is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Hamilton Centre riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Ormond did not answer three questions: “Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?”, “Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?”, and “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?”

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.



Thursday, May 18, 2006

Today the New Zealand Finance Minister, Hon. Dr Michael Cullen, presented the 2006 New Zealand Budget to the House of Representatives. There is a NZ$8.5 billion OBERAC surplus and a NZ$1.5 billion cash surplus.

It has been labelled as the “Bondi Budget” by National leader Don Brash, “Helen Clark and Michael Cullen believe there is a place for tax cuts – it’s called Australia” he said.

The budget allocates new operating spending of $9.6 billion and capital of $2.7 billion over the next four years.

Key issues in the budget includes:

  • The Telecom New Zealand local loop unbundling (released earlier due to leak).
  • $1.3 billion extra for transport.
  • $3 billion extra for health care, over the next four years.
  • $361 million extra for schooling
  • $166 million extra for tertiary education and skill training
  • $162 million extra for early childhood education


« Older Entries