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It’s a GLAM wrap: Curators meet collaborators at Canberra conference

November 15, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:17 am

Monday, August 17, 2009

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Earlier this month, over 150 delegates from cultural institutions, government and the online community gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra over one and a half days for the first GLAM-WIKI conference. The conference brought together representatives from the GLAM sector, comprising galleries, libraries, archives and museums, politicians, and members of the Wikimedia community (who edit the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and its sister sites), to enter into a dialogue regarding ways the three areas can work collaboratively to preserve and promote cultural collections online.

Highlights from the conference included keynote speeches by Wikimedia Foundation Chief Program Officer Jennifer Riggs and Senator Kate Lundy, as well as a panel discussion on the political pressures involved in improving and disseminating GLAM organisations’ online collections featuring Senator Lundy as well as Senator Scott Ludlam, ACT Legislative Assembly shadow minister Alistair Coe, Government 2.0 Taskforce member Seb Chan, Adjunct Director to the Digital Library of the National Library of New Zealand Paul Reynolds and Kylie Johnson, the New Media Advisor for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Sessions focused on ways the Wikimedia and GLAM communities could better work together to further their missions of preserving, curating and sharing cultural knowledge, with streams examining the topics of legal and technical barriers, and the impact on business and education.

Two case studies were presented at the conference, the first being the Powerhouse Museum’s experimental release of some of their photographic collection to Flickr Commons, and the second the collaboration between the German Wikimedia chapter and German Federal Archives to release their collection to Wikimedia Commons. While these and other projects were examined as successful forays into open content, the recent legal action between the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery and a Wikimedian was raised in most sessions as an example of such efforts having negative consequences.

Delegates at the conference engaged in heated discussion both on- and offline, with the #GLAM-WIKI tag on Twitter generating over 500 tweets during the course of the first day. Overall, feedback from participants was strongly positive over both the event and its plans for the future.

Liam Wyatt, the Vice President of the Australian Wikimedia Chapter and organiser of the event, was impressed by the turnout. According to Wyatt, “at 170 registrations it is one of the largest Wikimedia events ever, after [international Wikimedia conference] Wikimania, and to be able to offer that for no attendance fee is testament to the support we received from our partners – most especially the WMF … There are many proposals and discussions that are now starting up as a result of the event and, rightly, these may take quite some time to bear fruit. However, what I think we have achieved immediately is to take the heat out of the debate between the cultural sector and the Wikimedia community.”

Jennifer Riggs was similarly impressed by the dialogue that came as a result of the conference. “It’s gone terrifically, really. People have had the opportunity to be really frank about the concerns that they have.”

Australian man to be executed in Singapore

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in Uncategorized @ 2:09 am

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Supporters of convicted Australian drug trafficker, Van Nguyen, gathered outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday to display thousands of messages of opposition to his death sentence.

Callers to talkback radio in Melbourne were overwhelmingly against the death penalty of Nguyen, who immediately admitted his guilt and has cooperated with authorities since being caught smuggling heroin into Singapore. Many called for a boycott of Singaporean products.

25-year-old Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in 2002 for carrying heroin and sentenced to death in March. Nguyen claims he carried the 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body in an attempt to pay off his brother Khoa’s $30,000 legal debts.

The Singapore government have announced they will execute Nguyen at dawn on December 2nd. Singapore President S. R. Nathan rejected Nguyen’s clemency four weeks ago. The Melbourne salesman was sentenced to death under Singapore law which determines a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of possessing 15 grams of heroin or more.

Nguyen’s mother was informed on Thursday by registered mail from the Singapore prisons service of the execution date. The letter stated that she should start making funeral arrangements. She will get to see her son in the three days leading up to the execution.

Despite repeated pleas for clemency from many thousands of supporters; religious groups; human rights organisations; the Pope; and the Australian Government – including Prime Minister, John Howard – Singapore officials have said Nguyen’s execution is irreversible.

Mr Howard had argued that Nguyen should be spared, citing mitigating circumstances in his case which pointed to the fact that he was not a serial drug trafficker but had merely been trying to pay off his brother’s debts.

The Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, says the Singaporean Government has shown no compassion whatsoever in its treatment of Van Nguyen and his family.

“What’s happening is brutal, is inappropriate. I, and the Victorian Government, vehemently oppose the death penalty in any circumstances”, he told ABC Radio. “This is a young kid who has assisted the police all the way… In any other country, he would get a discount in relation to the penalty. But because there is a mandatory death penalty for drug offences in Singapore, this young man may well be executed. It is just grossly inappropriate.”

“Singapore maintains that capital punishment is a criminal justice issue; it is the sovereign right of every country to decide whether or not to include capital punishment within its criminal justice system,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Singapore argues that there was no international consensus that capital punishment should be abolished. At the most recent meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 66 countries dissociated themselves from a resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong affirmed Singapore’s position by saying that it has to “stand firm on drugs to protect its citizens from the scourge and to ensure the country does not become a conduit for the trafficking of illicit drugs.”

In reply to a letter appealing for clemency from his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said: “Mr Nguyen imported almost 400gm of pure heroin which would have supplied more than 26,000 doses to drug addicts.”

No one will be permitted to see Nguyen on the morning of his execution. His body will be released to his mother.

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

November 9, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:42 am

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani commemorates Iran-Iraq battle victory

October 31, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:03 am

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani commemorated the “the glories of the Islamic Revolution, the Sacred Defense in particular” during Friday prayers. He used the occasion “especially at a point when Iran’s defensive powers might be underestimated.” On 24 of May 1982, Iran drove Iraq out of Khorramshahr near its border with Iraq.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani has been the chairman of the Expediency Council which resolves government disputes arising out of legislations and advises Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Rafsanjani chided the Western countries for equipping Iraq during the war and said the Iraqi army used “hideous chemical weapons of the most destructive kind and that they targeted Iranian cities, ships and planes, taking advantage of the West’s intelligence and ammunition.”

Next, Rafsanjani indicated that Iran was open to compromise and negotiation on the impasse of Iran’s nuclear activities. Nevertheless, he stated the Iran would not brook pre-conditions. He stated, “They set a precondition for negotiations, which is humiliating to us.” He, moreover, said,

If the West is honest in its claim, doors for negotiation in the field of nuclear issue will be open.

Rafsanjani has also accused the West of wanting to bring about discord among Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims. A few days ago, he called King Abdallah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia to exchange view regarding this issue. King Abdullah responded that Iran has strengthened bond among Islamic nations and praised the Islamic Republic. On a similar note, in a meeting with the parliament speaker of Morocco, Rafsanjani said, “Resolving problems requires convergence and assistance from other Islamic countries.”

Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro

October 30, 2019 0

in Uncategorized @ 2:54 am

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Today at midnight, the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Malta, both small island states in the Mediterranean and former British colonies, adopted the euro as their official currency; less than four years after their accession to the European Union. Because Cyprus and Malta are in different time zones, Cyprus adopted the euro one hour before Malta did the same. In both countries the euro was welcomed with outdoor celebrations, including a fireworks display in Malta’s capital Valletta. According to the BBC Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has said the euro “will benefit consumers and businesses alike because of the eurozone’s low inflation, low interest rates and large market.”

The BBC reports that Cypriot and Maltese leaders “made symbolic withdrawals of euros from cash machines just minutes into the New Year.” TIME reports that Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had to wait a little while before getting his hands on the new currency because “an automated teller machine did not work when Gonzi tried to withdraw euros, and he was obliged to use a different ATM.”

The Cypriot pound (CYP) and the Maltese lira (MTL) will remain in use during a dual circulation period that will last until the end of this month, at which point they will cease to be legal tender. However, it will still be possible to exchange them for Euro free of charge after the end of this period. Commercial banks in Cyprus will exchange Cypriot pounds for Euro until 30 June, but only for amounts up to CYP 1000 per customer and per transaction in banknotes and up to CYP 5O in coins. The Central Bank of Cyprus will exchange coins until the end of 2009 and banknotes until the end of 2017. Maltese commercial banks will exchange Maltese lira for Euro until the end of March, with a limit for non-customers of MTL 250, whereas the Central Bank of Malta will exchange coins until 1 February 2010 and banknotes until 1 February 2018.

We’re sorry to say goodbye to our pound but happy to welcome the euro.

The single currency has replaced the Cypriot pound and the Maltese lira at a rate of one euro to 0.585274 Cypriot pound and 0.4293 to the Maltese lira, or 1.71 euro per Cypriot pound and 2.33 per Maltese lira. This conversion rate had been fixed on 10 July 2007 by Ecofin, the council comprising the finance ministers of the EU Member States.

Today with the adoption of the Euro, Cyprus and Malta have become even more integrated in the heart of the European Union, less than four years after they joined the EU.

Cyprus and Malta are the 14th and the 15th country to join the Eurozone, which already includes Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Slovenia. All EU Member States are required to join the Eurozone once certain conditions are fulfilled, except Denmark and the United Kingdom which have negotiated a so-called opt-out that allows them not to adopt the single currency.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the de facto independent Turkish-controlled area in the north of Cyprus, will not join the Eurozone. Northern Cyprus is not part of the European Union and is recognised only by Turkey. As a result, the Turkish lira will remain the official currency in the north of the island; however, TIME reports that “many Turkish Cypriot merchants will also accept euros along with Turkish lira.” Cypriot Euro coins are inscribed in both Greek and Turkish.

The euro will also be legal tender in the Sovereign Base Areas, British military bases in Cyprus.

The national sides of the Cypriot Euro coins feature three separate designs for the three series of coins. The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins feature the mouflon, or wild sheep, the 10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature the Kyrenia ship, the wreck of a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship discovered in 1967 and salvaged closed to Kyrenia, and the €1 and €2 coins feature the Idol of Pomos, a prehistoric sculpture from the village of Pomos, three national symbols of Cyprus. The designs were jointly created by Tatiana Soteropoulos and Erik Maell.

The Maltese euro coins’ national sides will also feature national motifs. The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins will feature the altar of the Mnajdra temple grouping, a complex of three Neolithic temples on the southern coast of Malta and one of the oldest free-standing temple groupings in the world, the 10, 20 and 50-cent coins will feature the Coat of Arms of Malta, and the €1 and €2 coins will bear the Maltese cross, a symbol associated with an order of Christian warriors known as the Knights Hospitaller or Knights of Malta, which was based on Malta for more than 250 years after they had been given the islands by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The designs of Maltese engraver Noel Galea Bason were selected after two rounds of public consultations in which people were invited to vote via SMS.

Both Cyprus and Malta have taken a number of steps to address fears of undue price rises. 7,130 Cypriot companies have subscribed to a Fair Pricing Code launched by the authorities and the Cypriot government urged companies to round their prices down. In Malta, the FAIR initiative, a fair pricing scheme, was put in place in January 2007. This scheme, which provides for administrative fines for those failing to respect their commitment, now involves 80% of all retail outlets. Malta, according to the BBC, has also signed 12 price stabilisation agreements with importers, which will last until March 2008.

In both countries, the authorities will monitor retailers to ensure they do not exploit the changeover for unfair gain by rounding up their prices, contributing to inflation.

Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

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in Uncategorized @ 2:52 am

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.

Category:May 16, 2010

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in Uncategorized @ 2:41 am
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News briefs:July 14, 2010

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in Uncategorized @ 2:28 am
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All About Paragliding And Parasailing}

October 18, 2019 0

in Surveyors @ 2:22 am

All About Paragliding And Parasailing

by

Joy Smit

Many people don’t know the difference between paragliding and parasailing. In fact, many claim that powered paragliding and parasailing are one and the same. This misconception is probably due to the fact that riders are both propelled into the air.

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ParasailingIn parasailing, you need a motorized vehicle and a canopy to make you airborne. You can’t go parasailing alone, you will need an experienced and well-trained team to drive your vehicle and inflate your canopy. It is a common misconception that parasailing can only be done on water. Parasailing can be both done on the sea and on land.The common method of parasailing is aquatic parasailing, which is done in bodies of water. This method has three types: winchboat, platform and beach. The simplest form of parasailing is the beach type, while the most complicated is winchboat, where a special type of boat called a winchboat is needed to aid your landing and liftoff. Platform parasailing, where you will ascend and descend on a platform, has waned in popularity because of some safety issues.Terrestrial parasailing is usually done in deserts or probably in large areas of barren land. It is not safe to parasail on areas that are covered in trees and shrubs because you might get snagged on the branches of a tree during landing or liftoff. Jeeps are the usual vehicles of choice for this parasailing method because they are sturdier.Powered ParaglidingPPG, short for Powered Paragliding, is actually very different from parasailing. In PPG, you don’t need a plane to drop you in the air or a boat or vehicle to hoist you up. An inflatable wing and a portable-backpack motor are just what you need to start powered paragliding. The motor will be the one to propel you into the air, while your inflatable wing will keep you airborne.Major differences of parasailing and powered paraglidingThe most blatant difference is that you can go solo in PPG, while parasailing is a team effort. The manner by which a person is lifted off also differs. You are propelled by a motorized backpack unit in PPG, while in parasailing, you are at the mercy of wind velocity, towrope length and vehicle speed.You only need to listen to a few minutes of water safety lessons before you can go parasailing. The people who must undergo special safety training are the ones that will handle the equipment. However, in PPG, you need to attend at least five days of training to be able to enjoy a worry-free solo flight.

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Jawbone found in Aruba is not Natalee Holloway’s

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in Uncategorized @ 2:13 am

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A jawbone found in Aruba is not that of missing American Natalee Holloway, who was a recent high school-graduate at the time of her disappearance. Officials confirmed the news after Dutch scientists completed tests on the bone. The jawbone, which also had a wisdom tooth with it, was found by an American tourist close to the Phoenix Hotel. A second bone had also been found by another tourist earlier this month.

The bone was sent to the Netherlands Forensic Institute where scientists completed tests. They compared the bone to dental records given to them by Natalee’s father, from which they confirmed the the bone was not that of Natalee, although it was human. It was said to be unlikely that the bone was Holloway’s as there is no physical evidence that she was murdered.

Beth accepts the forensic conclusions, is emotionally exhausted from the inexplicably long wait, and deeply disappointed in the time and manner in which she learned of the results.

Taco Stein, the Aruban Solicitor General, released a statement after the announcement was made. He commented on the speed of the identification; he said that they had quickly ruled out Holloway because her records had shown that she had her wisdom teeth previously removed.

Tim Miller, the Director of the Texas EquuSearch, released a statement after talking to Natalee’s father. He said “Dave [Natalee’s father] has been in contact with Aruban authorities and spoke with FBI this morning, the agent working the case. Dave believes it is Natalee.”

An attorney for Natalee’s mother, Beth Twitty, released a statement saying “Beth accepts the forensic conclusions, is emotionally exhausted from the inexplicably long wait, and deeply disappointed in the time and manner in which she learned of the results.” He commented on the Aruban authorities saying that “Apparently Aruban prosecutors were more sensitive to media concerns than the painful vigil of a mother.”

Natalee Holloway disappeared on the island in 2005 while on a school trip. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with three men, one of which was later identified as Joran van der Sloot. Van der Sloot was detained twice by police but has never been charged with Holloway’s disappearance. He is currently in Peru facing a different murder charge. Aruban authorities have said that they are checking neighboring islands to find a match for other missing persons.

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