Occupation in London enters fifth day


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and other “Occupy” protests, activists set up camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Saturday, and they plan to remain indefinitely. The protest thus far has been described as “largely peaceful” by a police spokesman.

On Saturday, an estimated thousand or more people attempted to protest in Paternoster Square, the site of the London Stock Exchange, but were blocked by police enforcing a High Court judgment. Julian Assange from Wikileaks also joined the protest to address the activists. A flag flies over the occupation showing the ‘Anonymous’ logo of a headless man in a black suit.

At around 9:30am Wednesday, many campers were still asleep, but around 30–50 people were listening in solidarity to trade union representatives from the National Shop Stewards Network, while 20 to 30 officers from the City of London police watched on. On the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the speakers spoke about a variety of struggles including strikes by electricians that started in August against Balfour Beatty, one of Britain’s largest construction firms. Solidarity was expressed with the travellers at Dale Farm, and speakers described how the media and others were trying to “divide” workers, students and elderly people. One of the speakers said that while today they are occupying the square in London, “tomorrow we will be occupying universities and colleges” and spoke of the suspension of Vik Chechi, the Unison branch secretary who has been suspended by Queen Mary University. By 9:45am, the trade union talks had finished and the sound system was reactivated and reggae music started playing.

After the talks peter out, activity begins to resume on the site: people sorting out tents and serving food, under signs and banners playfully mixing politics (“The London Stock Exchange: Britain’s Biggest Casino”) with Internet memes (a Reddit cartoon man depicted saying “Y U NO JOIN US?”).

Anti-tax tea parties held across the USA


Friday, April 17, 2009

Anti-tax anti-spending rallies called Tea Parties took place across the United States Wednesday. The rallies were held in various locations from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California.

Wednesday was chosen by organizers as it is the federal income tax filing deadline, as well as the deadline for many states. The rallies were named after the Boston Tea Party, a 1773 pre-American Revolution event protesting taxation without representation.

Organizers indicated that Tea Parties took place at more than 850 locations, with a combined total of 750,000 to over 1 million attendees. The Americans for Tax Reform has tallied 242 locations with around 299,071 attendees.

In Washington, D.C., several thousand protesters demonstrated outside the White House about taxes and excess spending by the national government. The Secret Service stopped the rally after a suspicious package was tossed over the White House fence. With the area cleared, a bomb squad robot inspected the package that turned out to be a box of tea bags. The area was reopened.

Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman has history of lawsuits


Monday, April 11, 2005

Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claims to have found the notorious “chili finger” at a Wendy’s outlet in San Jose, California, has filed lawsuits against other businesses, according to researchers at the Associated Press. Her previous court battles included the national El Pollo Loco chicken-chain, a previous employer, and even General Motors.

Ayala successfully won her suit for medical expenses against El Pollo Loco, after her daughter Genesis contracted salmonella poisoning from eating at the restaurant. However, Ayala lost another suit in 2000 claiming that a wheel fell off her car.

Ayala’s original account of the incident spoke “emotionally and with disgust” to the San Jose Mercury News when she described it to the paper.

“Lies, lies, lies, that’s all I am hearing. They should look at Wendy’s. What are they hiding? Why are we being victimized again and again?” Ayala recently told The Associated Press. Ayala is now in her Las Vegas home, avoiding reporters.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” family spokesman Ken Bono told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My mom has 10 lawsuits. A lot of people have lawsuits. Why would she sue for money? She has plenty of money,” he said.

Nick Muyo, a spokesman for the San Jose Police department, said not to expect new information in the case for at least a week.

“We just want to step back and take a deep breath,” Muyo told Knight Ridder Newspapers. “From a law enforcement point of view, once you establish it is a human finger, you have to wonder is this a case of industrial accident or is this a case of unreported homicide,” he said.

Las Vegas police searched Anna Ayala’s home on Wednesday, retrieving a cooler and other effects from her home, such as a makeup case.

Despite the incident, which has dramatically reduced sales at Northern California Wendy’s outlets, die-hard Wendy’s fans are still turning up for lunch, even at the outlet where the finger was found, at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

“We’ve eaten here for years,” a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle under the condition that he remain anonymous. “They’re very nice people. When we work Spartan Stadium, we always eat here,” he said.

San Jose City Council candidate Andrew Diaz still eats the chili. And he witnessed the finger discovery.

“I walked away real slow,” Diaz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t want any commotion,” he said.

Drone smartphone app to help heart attack victims in remote areas announced


Monday, August 26, 2013

German non-profit organization Definetz announced on Friday the development of the ‘Defikopter’: a medical drone, launched by smartphone app, designed to be able to fly defibrillators to heart attack victims in remote areas quicker than an ambulance.

The Defikopter is to be launched by an app that sends out the GPS coordinates of the victim. With the ability to fly at 70km per hour in all weather conditions, the eight-armed octocopter could reach any patient within a ten kilometre radius.

The invention has received cautious praise from German medical services; the drone is still in the development and testing stage. Definetz and collaborating drone builder Height Tech have not issued any information about the release of the smartphone app or about when the drone will be available for medical services to purchase.

“We’ll have to see how much these drones can help,” German emergency services union representative Marco König told The Local. German news site Mittelbayerische reports a price tag of €20,000 (US$26,000) apiece.

One major problem Definetz faces is the law that requires all unmanned flying vehicles in Germany to be supervised. Another is that only members of the public who downloaded the app ‘just in case’ of an emergency, plus emergency workers with the app, could summon a drone.

Hubble telescope spots oldest galaxies ever seen


Thursday, December 10, 2009

American and European scientists say the upgraded Hubble space telescope has spotted the oldest galaxies ever seen. The images were taken with the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in August this year.

The galaxies are about 13 billion light years from Earth, meaning they formed less than one billion years after the Big Bang — the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the universe.

WFC3 was installed in May this year, during a mission by the space shuttle Atlantis to repair and upgrade Hubble. Experts say the new instrument will let them peer even further back in time, to when the universe was in its infancy. The more distant a galaxy is, the more its light is “redshifted” due to expansion of the universe. Light from the furthest galaxies is shifted to infrared wavelengths invisible to the human eye, but WFC3 can detect these.

The new image was taken in August, in the same region as a 2004 visible light image known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The 2004 photo previously showed the most distant galaxies, but the new infrared pictures from the WFC3 allow even more remote galaxies to be seen.

At these distances, you’re really looking back in time, like you have a time machine

Capturing the image took four days, and the total exposure lasted 173,000 seconds. In the three months since, twelve scientific papers have been submitted on it. On Tuesday one of these confirmed the galaxies as the furthest ever seen.

They are also the oldest, with the light from them having taken around 13 billion years to reach Earth.

“At these distances, you’re really looking back in time, like you have a time machine,” said Ray Villard, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “Those things don’t exist anymore.”

The photo could be one of the ultimate achievements of the Hubble telescope, now almost twenty years old.

“These new observations are likely to be the most sensitive images Hubble will ever take,” said Professor Jim Dunlop of the University of Edinburgh.

The servicing mission in May extended the telescope’s life by around five years, but it is scheduled to be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope in 2014. This will use infrared imaging and have a greater collecting area than Hubble, and it is thought that it may be able make out objects from just 100 million years after the Big Bang.

“We’ve really pushed Hubble to its limits,” said Villard, “and we need a bigger space telescope to go back even farther. It shows us there are really exciting things to look for with the Webb telescope.”

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<br\>This image, taken in August 2009 by the Hubble telescope with its WFC3 upgrade, shows the oldest galaxies ever seen. Image: NASA, ESA.

<br\>Astronaut working on Hubble during Servicing Mission 4 in May 2009, which included the installation of WFC3. Image: NASA.

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The Hubble Space Telescope, seen from Space Shuttle Atlantis. Image: NASA.

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Another image from WFC3, showing NGC 6302 — popularly known as the “Butterfly Nebula” Image: NASA, ESA.

GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata


Friday, April 3, 2009

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can reinvent themselves.

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy. We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success,” said Barack Obama, President of the United States. “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.”File:Sinsheim quer.jpg

Chrysler will receive CA$1 billion and may in fact be eligible for as much as CA$4 billion. If Chrysler succeeds in the next 30 days with a restructuring plan it would be eligible for a US$6 billion loan. A part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan must include a partnership with Fiat within 30 days to appease the US administration. Fiat is a supplier of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, and the merger will help Chrysler to be viable in the North American market. A Chrysler court bankruptcy would inevitably lead to it being sold off.

As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, Tom LaSorda, the president of Chrysler announced that Canadian operations would fold if it does not receive both the US commitment of $2.3 billion of aid and a new Canadian Auto Workers CAW contract to reduce all-in costs by CA$19 per hour. As a result of this announcement Chrysler’s auto sales volume in Canada dropped 23% compared to March of 2008.

GM has until the end of May to restructure its company to receive up to CA$7.5 billion. As part of the companies restructuring, General Motor’s chief executive Rick Wagoner was replaced Sunday with Fritz Henderson, the current chief operating officer. Henderson spoke out on Tuesday that GM has submitted a restructuring plan which would close five plants, and this may be increased to meet the requirements for financial aid. He is in full compliance with Obama’s auto task force to seek bankruptcy if GM cannot negotiate with their unions, bondholders and others.

GM recently brought forward the “GM Total Confidence” program providing consumer purchase protection for customers who lose their job for economic reasons within the first two years from purchase. As a result of Chrysler’s restructuring announcement in Canada, GM’s Canadian vehicle sales volume fell only 17.3% compared to 2008, an increase from the previous month.

GM must reduce some of its legacy costs which include its pensions and union health care costs. A part of GM’s ailments arose from investing in supplying truck and SUVs during an economy of high gas prices when consumers were demanding fuel efficient vehicles.

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, is hoping that the CAW will support the restructuring process and re-negotiate their agreement. Whereas a United Auto Workers negotiator has said, “I don’t see how the UAW will do anything until they see what the bondholders will give up.”

The Obama administration is looking toward bankruptcy proceedings for the automakers, “as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. [It will] quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down. What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.” said Obama.

The auto parts suppliers and IT software exporters in India have already been affected by the declining auto sales. GM and Chrysler software contracts provide US$300 to 350 million a year to vendors in India. As well these two major automakers usually award US$1 billion contracts to auto parts suppliers. “We are worried and closely watching the developments in the US to gauge the impact. The decline in auto sales in the US has already hit the order books of Indian suppliers,” said a Delhi auto parts supplier.

“Going forward, the industry will undoubtedly be smaller, but if our efforts are successful it will be viable and it will support good jobs for Canadians,” said Clements.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s Congresswoman put forward the CARS act which provides a US$3,000 to 5,000 incentive for those who trade in their vehicle for a fuel-efficient car. “It clearly stimulates the economy, and it gets the consumer into the showroom and gets them buying again. But importantly — and this is what I particularly like about it — it really helps the environment quite a bit in two respects.” said William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company has not come forward with requests for assistance.

Since December GM and Chrysler have received US$17.4 billion government loans.

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Five Key Benefits Of In Floor Heating Cincinnati


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In Floor Heating, also known as underfloor heating, is a heating system that combines conduction, convection and radiation to enhance and control indoor thermal comfort. Apart from the general heating aspect of In Floor Heating, the system offers other important benefits to its users. Here are five key benefits of In Floor Heating in Cincinnati area.

1. Comfort – Floor-based heating systems offer greater comfort levels than other types of heating because of the way they deliver their heat. Unlike forced air heating systems, floor based heating gently warms the surfaces of everything and everyone in the room. These systems also tend to be less drying than air heating systems, which adds to their derived comfort levels.

2. Undetectable – The fact that floor-heating systems are completely undetectable to the naked eye is a huge benefit to its users. Typical units that emit heat are usually not aesthetically appealing and often limit furniture arrangement options. Eliminate aesthetic issues completely by installing the heating element under any type of flooring.

3. Quiet – Typical heating systems, such as those that use forced air, tend to be extremely noisy during operation. Floor heating systems are exceptionally quiet and are often even completely silent during operation, depending on its design. In homes or other spaces where maintaining a quiet space is important, this type of heating system proves invaluable.

4. Durable – Heating systems combined with concrete slab flooring are some of the most durable surfaces imaginable. Along with providing consistent and comfortable heat, this type of flooring easily withstands every day wear and tear in busy and high traffic work areas. This type of heating system is ideal for spaces such as garages, recreation rooms, basements and industrial buildings.

5. Clean – An important benefit of floor-based heating systems is how clean they remain during operation. Heating systems that depend on airflow tend to deliver and circulate dust, germs and odors during operation. Underfloor heating eliminates this issue, which helps to keep your space clean and free of harmful allergens.

These are five of the major benefits of utilizing In Floor Heating Cincinnati. Along with providing a more natural feeling heat, underfloor heating systems also reduce energy costs because it is easier to maintain room comfort at a lower temperature. When you are ready to enjoy the many benefits of in floor heating, employ highly qualified specialists who offer guaranteed satisfaction with your heating system for years to come.

2007 Baseball World Cup: Highlights from Day 4 to Day 6


Monday, November 12, 2007

Australia and Cuba have qualified for the Quarter Final of the 2007 Baseball World Cup. There was only one game taking place today between Chinese Taipei and Italy in Tianmu Baseball Stadium. After six days of play, the competition will most certainly heat up in next 48 hours with every team fiercely vying to qualify for the Quarter Final which takes place Friday, November 15.

Contents

  • 1 Day 4: Australia set records in single game
    • 1.1 Other Results at Day 4
      • 1.1.1 Group A
      • 1.1.2 Group B
  • 2 Day 5: Australia and Cuba qualify for Quarter Final
    • 2.1 Cuba vs Venezuela
    • 2.2 Australia wins thriller against S Korea
    • 2.3 Other Results on Day 5
      • 2.3.1 Group A
      • 2.3.2 Group B
  • 3 Day 6: Host edges Italy in controversy
  • 4 Tomorrow’s fixtures
    • 4.1 Group A
    • 4.2 Group B
  • 5 Sources

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USPTO partially confirms validity of Amazon “1-click patent”


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an office action, which confirmed the patentability of claims 6 to 10 of the Amazon 1-Click patent, US 5,960,411. The patent examiner, however, rejected claims 1 to 5 and 11 to 15. Amazon now has up to six months to amend the rejected claims to overcome the examiner’s rejection, provide arguments to demonstrate that the examiner is in error and/or provide evidence to demonstrate the patentability of their claims. During this period, the entire patent is still considered valid under US patent law.

The USPTO is reconsidering the patentability of the claims due to a request for reexamination filed by New Zealander Peter Calveley. Mr. Calveley used internet archives to show that defunct company Digi Cash used a similar technique prior to Amazon. Despite costing a substantial sum of cash and requiring donations to prepare and file the request for reexamination, Calveley said he did it as a game and hopes that his success inspires others to play the same game.

“One Click” shopping is an ecommerce technique, which allows a customer to purchase products via the Internet without repeatedly entering personal information such as name and address. At the time it was introduced it eased the frustration of on-line shopping.

Amazon filed the patent application for 1-click shopping in early 1997 and was granted the patent in September 1999. 23 days later Amazon sued rival Barnes & Noble for alleged infringement by its “Express Lane” ordering which was introduced in 1998. In December 1999 Amazon won an interim injunction against Barnes & Noble but the USA Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lifted this injunction in February 2001. The parties then settled their dispute for undisclosed terms. Amazon has since successfully licensed the technique to other e-sellers such as Apple.