18 March

Bush requests $80bn to pay for on-going military operations

Wednesday, January 26, 2005U.S. President George W. Bush has asked the U.S. Congress for an additional $80bn to pay for the on-going military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is on top of $25bn approved by Congress last summer in the fiscal defense appropriations bill for 2005. Bush states that this money is to provide U.S. troops with “whatever they need to protect themselves” and also to fight terrorism in Iraq.

The money will support the ‘global war on terror’ until September 30, 2005. Of the $80bn, $75bn will be spent on the repair and replacement of equipment, training of the Iraqi security forces, and basic personnel costs.

The remaining $5bn will be used to fund State Department embassy construction, activities in Iraq, and humanitarian operations in Darfur, Sudan.

17 March

Opponents: New Zealand government sneaks bill into House to avoid public backlash

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The New Zealand Government has tabled the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill, despite unprecedented political opposition.

In 2003 the Hon Annette King signed a Treaty with Australia agreeing to hand control of the natural health products sector over to an Australian regulatory body, however she needs to pass enabling legislation in New Zealand. “This will be a world-class joint scheme designed to regulate the safety, quality, effectiveness and promotion of therapeutic products in both New Zealand and Australia. That includes the regulation of complementary and alternative medicines, over-the-counter and prescription medicines, medical devices, blood and blood products and tissues and cellular therapies,” Ms King said.

Twice the Bill has been thrown out by select committees, but the Government is determined to ram it through Parliament, according to the New Zealand Health Trust.

“Late tonight the Bill was finally tabled, with no announcement from the Minister,” said Amy Adams, spokesperson for the Trust, “Clearly the Minister is keen to sneak it into Parliament under cover of the silly season, in the hope that she can keep it under the public’s radar.”

“I welcome the support of a majority of the House who want to see the Bill go to Select Committee where New Zealanders can have their say,” Ms King said.

The NZ Health Trust conducted research earlier this year which showed 62% of New Zealanders used natural health products. “This Bill represents a massive and irreparable change to the way we make rules for New Zealand dietary supplements,” Mrs Adams said.

“Under the proposed regime, well over a million New Zealand consumers would find the choice of products adversely affected, and experience cost increases. So you can see why the Government is trying to sneak this into the House without any fuss – they don’t want the public to know.”

All the political parties except Labour have pledged their opposition the proposal, despite some intense lobbying by Australian and New Zealand officials.

“It is a very serious thing to hand sovereignty over your country over to another nation,” Mrs Adams said. “And all the other political parties see the sense in making sure the sector is regulated from New Zealand – not as a minor state of Australia.”

Ms King said: “The Bill… ensures that New Zealand will have an equal say in the setting up and running of the new Authority and joint scheme.” The new authority will be like a crown-owned entity and will have to provide an anuual report and a statement of intent to parliament each year.

17 March

Mars rover Opportunity successfully escapes sand trap

Monday, June 6, 2005

The Mars rover Opportunity has successfully escaped from a sand trap. JPL engineers cheered when images returned from Mars showed the rover’s wheels were free. Engineers worked for nearly five weeks to carefully maneuver the rover out of the sand dune.

“After a nerve-wracking month of hard work, the rover team is both elated and relieved to finally see our wheels sitting on top of the sand instead of half buried in it,” said Jeffrey Biesiadecki, a JPL rover mobility engineer.

Traction was difficult in the ripple-shaped dune of windblown dust and sand that Opportunity drove into on April 26. In the weeks following, the rover churned 192 meters (629 feet) worth of wheel rotations before gaining enough traction to actually move one meter (about three feet). The rover team directed the drives in cautious increments from May 13 through June 4.

“We did careful testing for how to get Opportunity out of the sand. Then we patiently followed the strategy developed from the testing, monitoring every step of the way,” Biesiadecki said. “We hope to have Opportunity busy with a full schedule of scientific exploration again shortly.”

Opportunity’s next task is to examine the site to provide a better understanding of what makes that ripple different from the dozens of similar ones the rover easily crossed. “After we analyze this area, we’ll be able to plan safer driving in the terrain ahead,” said JPL’s Jim Erickson, rover project manager.

Both Spirit and Opportunity have worked in harsh Martian conditions much longer than anticipated. They have been studying geology on opposite sides of Mars for more than a year of extended missions since successfully completing their three-month primary missions in April 2004.

“The first thing we’re going to do is simply take a hard look at the stuff we were stuck in,” said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He is the principal investigator for the Mars rovers’ science instruments. “After that, we will begin a cautious set of moves to get us on our way southward again. South is where we think the best science is, so that’s still where we want to go.”

Shortly after landing in January 2004, Opportunity found layered bedrock that bore geological evidence for a shallow ancient sea. Spirit did not find extensive layered bedrock until more than a year later, after driving more than two miles and climbing into a range of hills known as “Columbia Hills.”

17 March

Norwegian military security agency accused of conducting illegal surveillance of PM

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yesterday, Norwegian news outlets reported that Defense Security Service (Forsvarets sikkerhetstjeneste [FOST]) had conducted illegal surveillance against the prime minister’s office and other government offices.

Kripos, a division of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police, did a police search of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence’s top-secret intelligence agency’s computer equipment in Jørstadmoen, after a request by the Ministry of Defense.

While remaining confident that the case will be investigated in a correct way, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stated to Aftenposten late Wednesday that “it’s important that the police now find out what actually has happened.”

Verdens Gang reported that to their knowledge, the surveillance happened in connection with FOST, having the responsibility for the computer security of key personnel within the prime minister’s office and other government offices. For practical reasons these people have been connected to the military secure lines. Sources with insight to the surveillance process explained to Aftenposten that when a possible breach of computer security is detected its protocol that the person be given a notice that he may be in process off or already have broken the security rules. A person, possible within the Prime minister’s office has most likely received such a note and has reacted to the fact that the computer traffic had been under surveillance.

Vice admiral Jan Eirik Finseth told Verdens Gang that the Defense security agency’s computer security section, reported that computer communication lines had been put under surveillance by military communications lines. Vice admiral Finseth stated to Verdens Gang that “the circumstances is of such a nature that the police [were] asked to investigate if anything of this may be illegal.”

When Wikinews contacted State attorney Petter Mandt, who leads the investigation, we received confirmation that a search in Jørstadmoen took place, but he would not comment on what was confiscated, if anything. Mandt also stated that they would not comment on any specifics or give any details on the investigation, but explained that for use of a police search there has to be more than 50% probable suspicion that something illegal may have happened. When asked if suspicion was that the prime minister’s office had been put under illegal surveillance, Mandt refused to comment and stated that he will comment on neither how many nor who the individuals involved are.

Defense political spokesperson for Socialistic left (Sv) Bjørn Jacobsen, told Wikinews that “it’s important to find out what, if anything has happened,” but that “it’s shocking that there even exist[s] a reason for a police search.” When asked what will happen if anything illegal is found to have taken place, Jacobsen responded by pointing out that in this case the prosecutors will have to decide on what to do next, but stated that “parliament will have to see if the law and regulations ha[ve] to be changed. It’s important to stop an eventual bad culture before it sticks to the walls.”

This is the second investigation of illegal government surveillance in Norway since the Lund commission’s report uncovered illegal surveillance of communist, socialist, and other persons, which the Norwegian Police Security Service deemed to be dangerous.

Wikinews was unable to get any comments from the Norwegian Military Defense when contacted.

16 March

Top exorcist says schoolgirl was kidnapped for Vatican sex ring

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gabriel Amorth, the Roman Catholic Church’s leading exorcist, has suggested missing schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi was kidnapped for sexual abuse at orgies attended by foreign diplomats and arranged by Vatican police. Orlandi was fifteen when she vanished in 1983.

Amorth, 85, who was appointed by the late Pope John Paul II, makes his remarks as Italian police try to determine if bones buried near the body of a mobster belong to Orlandi. Anonymous claims have suggested the tomb of Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis contains clues to her disappearance.

Investigators are examining bones removed from his burial site in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare. Buried in a nearby crypt, the bones are thought to be centuries old but forensic tests are ongoing. One theory is Pedis kidnapped Orlandi to press Vatican officials over a financial dispute, with his onetime lover claiming her body was disposed of in a cement mixer.

Amorth refutes this explanation, and also an alleged “international dimension”; another theory is that the kidnapping was to try and secure freedom for Mehmet Ali Agca of Turkey, who shot at the pope in 1981. Orlandi’s vanishing “was a crime with a sexual motive” says Amorth. “Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme [policeman] acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls.”

He further told La Stampa “The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle”. “It has already previously been stated by [the late] monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes.”

Orlandi has not been seen since she set off from the family apartment in the Vatican City, heading for a Rome music lesson. Orlandi’s father worked for the Holy See. Amorth is a controversial priest who lays claim to thousands of exorcisms and has criticised activities such as yoga and children reading Harry Potter books as spiritually harmful.

16 March

NGOs in Taiwan to promote carbon-decreasing movements in different sectors before Earth Day

Monday, April 14, 2008

Before the annual Earth Day on April 22, several environmental-related events were progressively promoted in Taiwan. For example, industrial and academical units promoted several energy-efficiency policies, parts and accessories, and products in three recently-closed trade shows (AutoTronics Taipei, Motorcycle Taiwan, and Taipei AMPA) respectively located at TWTC and TWTC Nangang with the international environmental laws and policies promoted in several nations including Taiwan. Taiwan Railway Administration promoted “Twin-rail Environmental Train” (in Chinese: ??????) for bicycle and mass transportation industries. And also, HBO Taiwan promoted the movement of “Decreasing chopsticks to save the earth” (in Chinese: ?????) to drive the public changing habits on common food habits when using environmental tablewares.

It’s bad and worse on the major issue of greenhouse effect because of bad habits on common people in the presence. not only the event by HBO, [I think] the public should pay more attention to understand the importance of energy-saving to improve the environment in Taiwan.

By the way, he also commented on the upcoming event of “Taiwan Bicycle Day” and “Project of Light-weighted Electronic Vehicle” by ITRI and said:

In fact, the Taipei City Government had provided several bicycle lanes on several riverside parks and roads for riding. And about the “Project of LEV” by ITRI, although it was firmly a good idea for energy-efficiency and will bring into reality in the future, but the ITRI should consider some sectors on energy resources and the LEC-related policies must be considered by governments.Generally, not only bicycles, I hope the public can use the public transport like city bus and the MRT to support the world-wide movement of carbon-decreasing.

16 March

Huawei B932 Vs Huawei B560, Device Comparison, The Slim Vs The Bulky}

Submitted by: YMOZ Ymoz1

Though very different in terms of physical attributes, Huawei B932 and Huawei B560 are

two worth comparing routers. The former is a mini router, while the latter is quite bulky.

Size of course, comes with perks and drawbacks. Check out this device comparison from

YMOZ.com online store to know more of the difference between this two. Read this Huawei

B932 vs Huawei B560.

Huawei B932 Quick Review

3G HSPA/HSDPA/UMTS – 2100/900Mhz and 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE – 850/900/1800/

1900MHz network bands.

Support Voice Call Function.

Remote Management via Browser.

HSDPA/UMTS WAN interface.

Huawei B560 Quick Overview

This Huawei WiFi router works with 3G HSPA/HSDPA/UMTS – 900/2100Mhz and 2G

YouTube Preview Image

GSM/GPRS/EDGE – 850/900/1800/1900 MHz network bands.

It supports voice call function.

Comes with Remote Management via Browser.

Works for HSDPA network and can provide download speed of up to 7.2Mbit/s, and up

to 2Mbit/s at HSUPA.

Huawei B932 vs Huawei B560, Performance Comparison

Huawei B932 Performance

The Huawei B932 supports two (2) working modes of wireless gateway and USB modem. It can

e connected to your computing devices exact needs and available ports.

This device is quite nice to have in your home or office, as it can support data transmission rate

of up to 7.2 Mbps for download at HSDPA. It also sports web-based management, parameters

pre-setting and plug-and-play setting for three placement methods; desktop, desktop inclining,

and wall-mounted.

Within this excellent router, Huawei equipped it with Built-in WCDMA and WLAN high gain

antenna, which supports receiving diversity and equalizer providing you with stable reception

even with the lowest areas.

Huawei B560 Performance

The unlocked Huawei B560 on the other hand, is a little bulky WiFi hotspot. It is a 3G and

3.5G router with 3G embedded chip that allows users to surf the web wirelessly, easily. This

device also has with 4 Ethernet ports to connect wired users to the internet, 1 analogue port fo

attaching phone, supports WiFi to connect multiple devices and an external antenna to improve

signal stability.

When attached to your computer via USB, the Huawei B560 HSDPA router it works as a 3G

USB modem, and in this mode, the Ethernet ports and WiFi connectivity options are disabled.

Supporting up to 32 WiFi enabled devices simultaneously, the Huawei B560 3G UMTS Route

is an excellent gateway. One of the best things about this router is its high speed connectivity

that peaks up to 7.2Mbps download speed and 5.76Mbps upload speed. Also, with RJ-11 port,

this mobile router can support VOiP telephony. There is also an external antenna port to allow

the router to function as a 3G Wireless Router, providing better internet reception in low areas.

Bottom Line

The Huawei B932 is a 3G mini router and the worlds first slim wireless home gateway. It

combines telephone service and data all in one device, and support two working modes of

wireless router and USB modem. The Huawei B560 on the other hand, is quite bulky, but it is

capable of supporting up to 32 different WiFi enabled devices at 3G speed of up to 7.2Mbps

speed. Both are highly rated routers and have their own sets of perks.

About the Author: The Huawei B560 on the other hand, is quite bulky, but it iscapable of supporting up to 32 different WiFi enabled devices at 3G speed of up to 7.2Mbps speed. Both are highly rated routers and have their own sets of perks. And More Visit :




Permanent Link:


16 March

68 pieces of luggage found behind Texas pet store

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

At least 68 different pieces of luggage has been found behind a pet store inside a garbage dumpster in Houston, Texas. The luggage came from several different international flights and authorities do not know how they got there or if the contents of the luggage have been stolen.

“We’re going to be investigating and the authorities are going to be investigating,” said spokeswoman for Continental Airlines, Mary Clark. All luggage was handed over to Continental Airlines.

The luggage is reported to have been sifted through, and most pieces have come from all over the world. The luggage is reported to have come from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Some pieces of the luggage have name tags and Clark states that “we’re trying to reach whoever we need to let them know the bags are there.”

Officers with the Houston Police Department are in charge of the investigation. The luggage was found by individuals who own the pet store.

The FBI has stated that the bags do not pose any danger.

16 March

Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British Royal Air Force gave the all clear at the Lyneham air base in Wiltshire, England after an earlier bomb scare.

It had earlier been reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside a vehicle by a bomb sniffing dog. According to BBC News, the vehicle was parked outside the air base’s fence. Officials would not elaborate on what was inside the vehicle, but BBC reports that the vehicle was possibly military and that bomb residue was found on the vehicle.

A Royal Air Force spokesman said a bomb squad was called to the location to investigate the find. “An EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team are on site and currently working to make the area safe. It is too early to speculate at this stage.” Officials say the reaction was routine and situations like this are treated as if a device had been found. Anytime a dog is alerted to possible explosives, the proper teams are called in to investigate.

RAF Lyneham is one of the UK’s largest air bases, and is home to the RAF’s fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Many bodies of the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan are brought to the base from the country.

16 March

Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005File:Turing1.jpg

More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.File:ALICE Birthday Cake.jpg

Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots.Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

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