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February 13, 2019

Exclusive interview with prominent blogger, David Farrar

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Freelance journalist writing for Wikinews, Gabriel Pollard, with help from Brian Anderton, has interviewed New Zealand-based blogger, David Farrar on blogging, web 2.0, and the Internet in general.

David Farrar is most known for his “fairly popular” blog, Kiwiblog, where he posts on various topics, including politics and technology. He is the vice-president of the Internet Society of New Zealand, and has been involved in helping to split Telecom New Zealand up and in anti-spam legislation.

David Farrar first started using the “best invention ever,” Internet, in February 1996 after having owned a BBC Micro microcomputer since 1982. On the Internet he debated various issues using Usenet newsgroups. Kiwiblog now serves for this purpose. He then got his own personal Internet account with ihug in August of that year.

Farrar also has political ties, which can be seen in some of his blog posts. For eight years, Farrar worked for various Prime Ministers (PM) and Opposition leaders for the National Party, working with the likes of former PM Jim Bolger and former PM Jenny Shipley in the Media Services Unit of Ministerial Services.

Until Farrar landed himself a job in parliament, he had been using mainly Apple computers, “[I] finally converted to Microsoft in 1997 after being the only person in Parliament to have a Mac!”

Farrar was involved with introducing public e-mail for ministers, and the first Prime Minister website.

In 2004, after leaving politics, Farrar set up his polling and research company.

Kiwiblog, sparked by now defunct blog NZ Pundit by Gordon King, currently receives over 300,000 visitors a month. He suspects that Russell Brown, and the Spareroom blogs get well over 100,000 visitors. “There’s then probably a dozen or so other bloggers who get into the tens of thousands.”

“Gordon [King] would post wonderful polemics challenging the conventional thinking and reporting, and after a few months of reading him I realized that I also had views and could try sharing them with the world. So in July 2003 I made my first post, and enjoyed it ever since.”

Farrar admits to not having a deliberate strategy for promoting himself and his blog, he just found that doing more posts in a day and posting what he was interested in got the visitors that were interested in the same things. “Oh and most important of all is to have a sense of humour and enjoy doing it.”

If Farrar wasn’t blogging, he says he would be “Earning money! I spend far too long blogging when I should be working on more business. However it is doing well enough that I can divide my time up between my business, InternetNZ and blogging and not starve.”

Farrar has a few tips for those politicians who have started a blog, or are looking at starting one up, “Very few are successful because [they] treat it as a one way communication tool where they just post press releases or travel diaries. Rodney Hide is the best example of doing it the right way. John Key is video blogging and responding to comments through future videos, which is a different way to interact.” But still warns that most readers of blog prefer “honest opinion” instead of reading what the politicians want them to read.

Farrar is a huge supporter of Wikipedia and says that he uses it multiples times a day. He says that he was “very proud” when the Wikipedia community regarded him as notable enough to have his own entry.

“I wish I had more time to edit Wikipedia. There’s lots more NZ content to get onto there.”

Sites like YouTube, which Farrar uses daily, show that they can leave big brand names like Google Video for dead if they show strong innovation, Farrar says.

Farrar says the success to websites such as Wikipedia and YouTube is because of multiple user generated content, “…rather than tightly controlled content from one source.” The focus on the community at large is also a major factor of their success.

When asked where he sees the Internet in decades from now, his simple response was, “I wish I knew.” But he does predict every house in New Zealand will be connected to the Internet via fibre optics.

One scenario Farrar drew was, “…being able to see a map of your local area on your phone, and not just get told where the nearest toilets or bookstore is, but also if any of your friends are nearby.”

David Farrar would just like to say thanks for the opportunity of being interviewed on Wikinews.

Uncategorized @ 2:14 am
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Oil in Alberta spill may be carcinogenic

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The province of Alberta, Canada is considering legal action against Canadian National Railway for failing to warn that a derailment last week contaminated Wabamun Lake with a hazardous chemical.

The 700,000 litres of heavy Bunker C fuel oil that spilled into the lake asphyxiated birds and killed fish.

In addition, one of the ruptured tanker cars sent 70,000 liters of Imperial Pole Treating Oil into the lake. This oil is a yellow mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Naphthalene, a component of this “very toxic material” is suspected of causing skin cancer if touched and lung or other cancers if inhaled.[1] Inhalation is promoted by actions that cause splashing or foaming. The mineral oil is used in connection with pentachlorophenol for preserving wooden utility poles.

Wabamun Lake is a popular summertime recreational area about 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Edmonton, Alberta.

The 766-megawatt Keephills power generating plant, one of 3 in Wabamun, was shut down because the coal-fired plant uses water from the lake. Edmonton’s health authority ordered people not to swim, boat or rescue animals in the lake and to stop using its water or any water from nearby wells for cooking, drinking, showering or brushing teeth. These warnings came 3 days after many residents, including children, had been wading into the oil slick without protective clothing to save wildlife injured by the spill and others had been routinely depending on the lakewater for home use. Why the alert was not issued sooner remains under investigation and may result in criminal charges. Canadian National Railway had been informed of the nature of the oil when it was loaded by Imperial Oil Ltd., Canada’s largest petroleum company. Imperial Oil is posting informational updates on a special website [2]. In addition The Wabamun Residents Committee has established an information website [3].

Uncategorized @ 2:02 am
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February 11, 2019

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”

Contents

  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources
Uncategorized @ 2:37 am
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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Uncategorized @ 2:26 am
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Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

Uncategorized @ 2:07 am
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February 10, 2019

World’s oldest seaborne passenger vessel on tour as floating library

May 2, 2005

The Merchant Vessel (MV) Doulos, listed in the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship, has docked in the port of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman this week. The ship was built in 1914, two years after the Titanic, but unlike the more famous luxury liner, Doulos has over 90 years of safe sailing to her credit. This “Grand Old Lady of the Sea” has undergone several periods of rebuilding and expansion throughout the 20th century and sailed under three different names, before being purchased by a Christian missionary group, Operation Mobilisation (OM), in 1977 and converted for their use.

Doulos bills itself as “the world’s largest floating book fair”, and carries half a million books which represent about 6,000 distinct titles, which are donated and sold for modest fees to support the vessel’s operation. The books represent Christian literature and educational material in various languages. Sailing from port to port throughout Asia and Africa, the crew of the Doulos sometimes finds itself faced with local restrictions against the sale of Christian literature, which it handles by separating the sacred books from the secular with a canvas divider, and evangelizing the guards who are sent to control access to the banned books.

Most places visited by the Doulos and its sister ship Logos II (which travels North and South America) receive them with an enthusiastic welcome. “Most places we visit don’t have Borders or Barnes and Noble,” said Lane Powell, publications editor for OM. “In other countries literature is more highly valued and this can be the biggest thing in town,” Powell continued in his interview with ASSIST News Service. “People line up one to two miles in some parts of the world. We have 6,000 people coming on the Logos II in one day.”

The OM website claims that, since 1970, the two ships have together reached 30 million people in 140 countries, in 435 ports around the world. The crews themselves are also quite international in character, with volunteers from 50 different countries. Powell gives credit to their shared Christian background for their ability to get along with each other despite their differences. The names of their ships also have Christian meaning: doulos means “servant” and logos means “word”, as in holy scripture.

The ship recently sailed to Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt before coming to the Gulf of Oman, and docking in its Sultan Qaboos port, where it was received in style by the Tourism Minister Rajiha bint Abdulameer bin Ali, one of three female ministers in the cabinet. Oman is the only country in the Gulf to have its own tourism ministry, created last year to encourage visitors to come partake in Omani life and culture.

Said bin Ali to the Daily Times, “We are absolutely delighted to have a roving library second to none, busy inculcating reading habits among people at a time when it matters most.”

Also speaking to the Daily Times, Murthadha Hassan Ali said, “The importance of such a visit can’t be over-emphasised in days when reading habits are waning and people are swarming restaurants as if we were born only to eat… Book remains your best companion, TV or no TV.” Ali described himself as a “compulsive book reader”, and wants someday to start a public library in the capital city of Muscat, which currently has none.

The 425 foot long (130m) library will weigh anchor and continue its missionary journey starting May 9, with plans to sail to Kenya, on Africa’s east coast.

Uncategorized @ 2:31 am
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February 9, 2019

HIV-positive man receives 35 years for spitting on Dallas police officer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.

Uncategorized @ 2:40 am
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga 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.

Uncategorized @ 2:24 am
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5 Ways Your Real Estate Lawyer Can Effectively Assist You

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Real estate transactions are complicated. If you plan to sell or purchase a home, it would be wise to engage the services of an experienced real estate lawyer:

Draw up contracts

These types of negotiations will inevitably include contracts. You’ll want to have a lawyer develop one to ensure the terms and conditions are fair for both parties. For a contract to be legally binding, it must comply with state and federal laws. This is a task that your lawyer can easily take care of for you.

Offer legal guidance

Some contracts must be submitted within a given time frame. Your lawyer will make sure you know the legal deadlines to know just how much time you have to read through a contract.

Do a title search

Your lawyer will also perform a title search to make sure the property you want to buy is free of any liens or encumbrances, Investopedia says. That way, you can decide if you want to take on the legal hassle of buying the home or not. In case you want to buy the property and the search turns up that the seller will need to pay for a lien first, your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and help you get the home at a much reduced price.

Handle property transfers

Have assets you want to transfer to your heirs? Your lawyer will make sure any property transfers will be legally binding and compliant with state laws. You won’t have to worry about the transfers violating any of the terms or conditions of your partnership or trust, if there are any.

File paperwork

Real estate deeds need to be filed at a state and country level. A real estate lawyer can do this for you so you will not have to do so.

February 8, 2019

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.

Uncategorized @ 2:38 am
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