Children massacred in Kenyan school

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

During a raid by cattle rustlers in northern Kenya, as many as 55 Kenyans were killed, twenty of them children.

Up to 400 members of the Borana tribe living across the border in Ethiopia attacked the nomadic Gabra people aiming to steal their livestock. The societies are not monetarized – cattle is the main form of wealth.

The two groups have been fighting over water and pastures for years in the semi-arid land. Cross-border raids for livestock are very common in the area, but it is said that this is one of the most deadly and severe attacks in Kenya’s history. The attack may be in retaliation for an earlier raid on the Borana, in which six people were killed.

Whole families were killed in this most recent attack. Okille Hukha survived when he ran into a bush, but his wife and four children were murdered. Darare Bathachas’ son, wife and grandson were also killed, but she survived by going under a bed.

A woman watched as her four children were killed, and her husband beheaded. A grandmother spoke of how she hid under a table while her forty year old son, his wife and their nursery school age son were killed.

Ten Borana were later killed in a revenge attack.

Kenyan police are pursuing the attackers, moving on foot in the rugged terrain but supported by three helicopters. Thousands of sheep and goats as well as cattle, camels and donkeys have been recovered.

The Kenyan Red Cross Society have sent a helicopter carrying medics and supplies to aid the injured in the local hospital.

Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

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

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

Alaskan Governor and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s email account hacked

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

A hacker who has claimed to be loosely associated with internet group Anonymous managed to hack into the email account of Alaskan Governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 16.

Partial contents of her email account – including two family photos, email messages and contact lists – were subsequently hosted online at Wikileaks.org, a website that anonymously hosts leaked government and corporate documents. Anonymous, who were responsible for attacks on Scientology in the past, have claimed credit for the intrusion. The email account has been used by Palin for conducting government business and communication, circumventing transparency laws.

The hacker gained access to Palin’s account by answering Yahoo!’s security questions, finding the answers on websites like Wikipedia.org. The hacker was apparently careless and frightened, and posted the new password on 4chan.org as well as a few hasty screenshots. In the screenshots were proxy data, which Ctunnel.com owner Gabriel Ramuglia plans to use to help with FBI investigations.

I read all of the e-mails in the Palin’s account and found nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped. All I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor and pictures of her family.

“White hat” hackers, however, have discovered that the hacker’s online identity was linked to the email address of David Kernell, the son of Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell. When confronted, Kernell made no confirmation of that. While 4chan has deleted all images of the email account, the screenshots have quickly spread to blogs and news websites online.

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Comet Wild samples near home

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stardust, a NASA space capsule carrying precious comet samples from deep space, is scheduled to return to earth January 15, 2006.

Scientists hope to discover new meaning to the beginning of our solar system.

Stardust’s 2.9 billion mile round-trip mission took it halfway to Jupiter to catch particles from Comet Wild 2 two years ago. Its journey will have lasted a total of just over seven years when it lands in the Utah desert.

On Sunday, the ship will remain in space while a 100-pound (45 kg) capsule loaded with comet dust returns to earth and lands at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 3:12 a.m. local time (5:12 a.m. EST or 1012 GMT). If the skies are all clear on January 15, then people from Northern California, Oregon and Nevada could get quite a show as the capsule enters Earth’s atmosphere. The show will be quick, but should prove impressive.

Comets are thought to be remnants from the process of planet formation, and scientists said the dust collected by Stardust will give them their first opportunity to study pristine samples of materials formed billions of years ago. The particles from the comet were captured using a tennis-racket-sized space probe containing ice-cube sized compartments lined with aerogel, a porous substance that is 99.9 percent air. It is the first time since 1972 that any solid extraterrestrial material has been collected and brought back to Earth, and the first time ever for comet particles.

During its descent over the desert, the capsule is scheduled to deploy two parachutes, though NASA officials said they have prepared for the possibility of a hard landing. A NASA probe called Genesis crashed to Earth in 2004 when its parachute failed to open. That craft had been on a three-year mission to collect solar wind ions, which were recovered by scientists even though the spacecraft was destroyed.

Stardust’s project manager, Tom Duxbury, said that “after the Genesis incident and the Columbia shuttle disaster, the mission’s team spent six months testing and reviewing the spacecraft’s design to make sure there were no errors”. Once the craft is recovered, it will be whisked away to the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Only after it is in a secure lab, free of potential contamination, will the probe be pried open to reveal its payload.

“We are at the end of a fantastic voyage,” Don Brownlee, the lead scientist for the mission known as Stardust, recently told reporters at a media briefing. “We will learn a phenomenal amount… from the most primitive materials in our solar system. It is a real thrilling time.” Now, near the end of its long voyage home, the probe is set to plunge back to Earth in the predawn hours on Sunday.

National Park Service covers donation box at United Airlines Flight 93 memorial

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Friday, June 8, 2007

On June 7, Mike Svonavec, the owner of the land in Somerset County, Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001 has a US$10 million price tag for his property which is sought by the group, Families of Flight 93 and the United States National Park Service, (NPS) for building a memorial dedicated to those on the plane. Svonavec also placed a box on the crash site temporary memorial, where visitors can leave a “donation” to pay for his asking price for the land as well as the cost of providing security at the site.

The NPS has covered the donation box with a trash bag and told Svonavec in a letter to remove it by the end of Friday June 8, but Svonavec said that he will not remove the box.

“I have no intentions of removing the box from my property. My only plans are to try to cooperate with the Park Service with regard to the sale of the property,” said Svonavec.

Svonavec accused the NPS of trying to take over his property after they placed the bag over the box.

“It’s just unbelievable to my mind that that’s the direction they would take, taking control of the property like a guest would at your house,” added Svonavec.

“The bottom line is we feel the National Park Service can’t effectively carry out our mission without exercising the exclusive use and control of the site as provided for in our agreement with the property owners,” said Joanne Hanley who is the Superintendent of the memorial.

Although NPS tour guides are telling tourists and others who visit the memorial, they are shocked to learn that the money they donate is going to Svonavec and not the memorial. “They’re alarmed that they may have given their money to something that they didn’t want to give their money to,” said one of the 43 guides who volunteer at the memorial, Donna Glessner.

The land is currently under contract with the NPS and the memorial is allowed to be on the land according to an act of the United States Congress who in 2002 authorized the memorial to be placed on the land.

Currently, the U.S. National Park Service only owns approximately 60 acres of the land. PBS Coals Inc. owns 864 acres of the land and Svonavec owns 273 acres. The entire field is nearly 2,000 acres.

Web.com announces second quarter results

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Web.com, a web-hosting and online services company, has released its second quarter financial results and associated statements – and it’s clear that the company has experienced both the ups and downs of executing on its goals.

On the upside, the company achieved an industry-first achievement of securing a non-exclusive license agreement with Hostopia.com Inc. last month. The agreement granted Hostopia rights to two of Web.com’s patents over five years on a non-transferable basis. The specific licensed patents were U.S. Patent numbers 5,680,152 and 6,789,103 and broadly cover methods for website building and web hosting control panels. Importantly for revenues, the license agreement states that Hostopia will pay Web.com a royalty equal to 10% of their gross U.S. retail revenues for five years.

On the downside, the company failed to deliver on the expected and announced acquisition of Houston-based WebSource Media – a business offering “easy and affordable built-to-order websites”. The announced acquisiton was to have added about $9 million in annual revenue to Web.com.

However, according to published reports from Web.com, the company filed to rescind its acquisition of WebSource media just about one month after the announcement. This action was taken after the Federal Trade Commission filed a sealed action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas against WebSource Media, L.L.C. and its members – alleging unfair and deceptive acts and business practices prior to the acquisition.

In a press release issued by Web.com, President and CEO Jeff Stibel discussed the effects of the rescinded acquisition on the second quarter resutls, “Web.com continued to drive subscriber growth across its core website and web services plans by refining our sales and marketing efforts and working closely with strategic distribution partners. While we had unfortunate news about an acquisition we made during the quarter, the company has moved on and is working on further solidifying its position as a leader in the industry.”

On the financial side of the report, Web.com reported that total revenues for the quarter were $12.1 million, down from $12.3 million in the first quarter of 2006. The second quarter marked the last quarter of recognizing Verizon revenues (a deal that was initially cancelled in December 2004 and terminated in the second quarter of 2006).

On the organic customer acquisition side of the equation, the company reported that net subscribers totaled approximately 148,000 for the quarter, down from approximately 149,000 in the first quarter of 2006. The reduction in the second quarter as compared to the first quarter includes the loss of approximately 3,200 Verizon subscribers. Excluding the loss of Verizon subscribers, the company added approximately 1,600 subscribers in the quarter.

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

British TV presenter Rico Daniels tells Wikinews about being ‘The Salvager’

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rico Daniels is a British TV presenter living in France who is known for his two television series — The Salvager — whilst he still lived in the UK and then Le Salvager after he moved to France. Rico has been in a variety of jobs but his passion is now his profession – he turns unwanted ‘junk’ into unusual pieces of furniture. Rico’s creations and the methods used to fabricate them are the subject of the Salvager shows.

Rico spoke to Wikinews in January about his inspiration and early life, future plans, other hobbies and more. Read on for the full exclusive interview, published for the first time:

Live 8 concerts around the world to “End Poverty Now”

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Saturday, July 2, 2005

Massive music concerts took place around the planet under the Live 8 banner in an effort to put pressure on the leaders of the eight richest countries in the world to end global poverty.

All concerts were timed to take place between noon and 10pm local time, with over a million people expected to attend concerts in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US, Canada, South Africa and Russia. The events were broadcast to a potential audience of five and a half billion people world-wide.

The largest concert was in the US in Philadelphia where, over the course of 7 hours, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to watch Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Destiny’s Child, Dave Matthews Band, and Black Eyed Peas among others. Philadelphia native Will Smith both performed and was the opening presenter. Peak attendance, the maximum amount of people believed to be watching Live 8 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at a given time, is estimated to have been between 600,000 and 800,000.

In Hyde Park in London, 205,000 people watched acts including Elton John, Madonna, Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Pink Floyd. The concert was opened by Sir Paul McCartney and U2 playing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – the first time the song has ever been performed live by a Beatle. It ended at 11.58pm with all of the acts coming on stage to sing one last time.

Bill Gates – founder of Microsoft and the richest man in the world (owning $46.5 billion) – appeared on the London stage to discuss the challenges facing the world, before introducing Dido. Later, Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN addressed the audience, thanking them for their support.

However, the first concert to open – in Japan – only drew 10,000 spectators, disappointing many.

The concerts follow on 20 years after the Live Aid concert organised by Bob Geldof, which was created to raise money for famine victims in Ethopia.

By contrast, the aim of Live 8 – also organised by Geldof – is not fund-raising but instead to apply pressure to the leaders of the G8 to end world poverty, which claims the lives of 50,000 every day.

The Live 8 organisers are urging the G8 to:

  1. Double the aid sent to the world’s poorest countries,
  2. Fully cancel their debts,
  3. Change the trade laws so that they can build their own future.

The Finance Ministers of the G8 agreed a plan last month to cancel the debt of 18 of the poorest countries to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Fund, but are requiring other countries to end political and financial corruption before they become elegible for debt relief.

On Thursday the President of the United States, George W. Bush, announced that the US will double US aid to Africa by 2010 – increasing to $8.6 billion a year. Bob Geldof welcomed the news, saying “This is the first time we have heard this sort of language.

“This is very, very positive indeed.”

Contents

  • 1 Line-up
    • 1.1 London, United Kingdom
    • 1.2 Berlin, Germany
    • 1.3 Philadelphia, United States
    • 1.4 Paris, France
    • 1.5 Rome, Italy
    • 1.6 Moscow, Russia
    • 1.7 Barrie, Canada
    • 1.8 Johannesburg, South Africa
    • 1.9 Tokyo, Japan
    • 1.10 In Cornwall
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

TOP