Game modified to match New Zealand, police investigate
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Game modified to match New Zealand, police investigate

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A New Zealand teenager’s conversion of the popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video game is gaining popularity and the New Zealand Police are unhappy at their portrayal. Stacy O’Callaghan talked to Wikinews’ Gabriel Pollard about his mod.

The police cars and the police officers have been given a makeover to resemble the New Zealand versions. The planes were branded Air New Zealand, and ambulances were converted to match the local Wellington scheme, among various other changes.

The Beehive, Te Papa and the Sky Tower are looking to be added to the game also. O’Callaghan says, “We actually have the models for these buildings but haven’t figured out how to import them into the game.

“Theres plenty more to come, but thats our progress so far.”

Despite media reports stating the Police were investigating whether or not the mod breached the law prohibiting the unauthorised use of police insignia, O’Callaghan has not heard from the Police at all. He says that if the Police did contact him with their concerns then he might consider taking the download offline. “If people want to start getting all legal and stuff, then I will just remove it.

“I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t hate NZ Police, I think they are actually one of the best Police forces in the world.”

The 17-year-old has said that his total conversion mod for the San Andreas version of GTA is “fairly popular”. “The mod has been fairly popular considering NZ’s population, and considering NZ’ers aren’t exactly game mod fanatics,” O’Callaghan says. He says the latest version of the mod he uploaded has so far had 466 downloads.

He has made the mod publicly available for any gamer who wants to play the New Zealand-branded version of the game and enjoy the game as much as he now does. O’Callaghan says he doesn’t want to make money off the game change.

The original plan was for the GTA modification to only transform the police cars into New Zealand branded cars but was later extended when O’Callaghan was contacted by other developers. He says, “I originally started with just the police cars back in November last year and left it at that, and then after uploading it people came to me saying they wanted to help out with it and so about a couple of months ago we started making this total conversion.”

O’Callaghan says in the future he would like to join the New Zealand Police and work in computer forensics, failing that he’d like to go into the IT industry.

Looking For A Qualified Plumber, Find One Near Northbrook, Il

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byAlma Abell

Plumbing problems are more prevalent than you might think. This is especially true in older homes. Most homeowners are adept at dealing with minor problems such as unclogging the kitchen drain and replacing the washer in a tap. It is the bigger problems that require the skills and knowledge of a professional plumber in Northbrook, IL. Ensuring that you hire a skilled plumber in extremely important, as such there are a few questions you should pose before you engage a company in Northbrook, IL.

License and Insurance

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It is extremely important that the plumber you hire is licensed and insured. If you are hiring the firm for the first time, you should ask to see supporting documents; in this way, you can assure yourself that everything is current. Always check to see that the company has workers comp and liability insurance.

References

A responsible professional plumber will be happy to provide you with the details of past customers, people that you can contact to verify the quality of their work. It is in your best interest to follow through once you have been given references. Find out how well the work was done. Were they happy with the people and the workmanship and are they comfortable recommending their services?

Cost

Of course, the cost is always an important issue. However, cost should not be the deciding factor. Do not hesitate to make three or four inquiries, but always remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”

Experience

The best companies are those that are well versed in dealing with your plumbing problem. Most plumbers are capable of handling simple problems such as leaks, clogged drains, etc.; however, it is important that the plumber you hire is capable of dealing with any problems regardless of how difficult they may be.

If you are looking for a qualified plumber with years of experience, you are invited to contact BMW Plumbing, Inc. near Northbrook, IL.

Report into 2003/2004 New South Wales (Australia) hospital safety released
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Report into 2003/2004 New South Wales (Australia) hospital safety released

Monday, January 31, 2005

New South Wales – 452 serious incidents that occurred during 2003 and 2004 have been brought to light, by a report released today about the safety of patients in the hospital system in New South Wales, Australia. Many of the incidents highlighted by the report resulted in injury, or even death.

The report detailed 13 patients who had operations that they were not meant to have or who had the wrong part of the body operated upon. It also noted that another 22 were seriously injured in falls in wards and bathrooms.

Other statistics included four suicides in hospital, with another 128 occurring in community care. Another nine people retained surgical instruments or materials inside them after the operation. The rest of the serious incidents related to labour and delivery problems (26) and clinical management problems (157).

Camel Rock Festival held in Scilly
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Camel Rock Festival held in Scilly

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The August Bank Holiday weekend, as usual, played host to many festivals and musical events around the UK, not least the Camel Rock Festival held at Porthcressa on the Isles of Scilly. But will it be the last?

Local bands included those formed at the Five Islands’ School, the members of the Steamband under the temporary name Senile Shambles and the rhythm and blues band, Roadrunner. Bands imported from mainland England included Murdoch, from Manchester.

The event, deemed ‘unique’ in the local press, raises money for local musical projects on the islands. It’s future is, as always, in doubt due to the amount of work for organisers and volunteers, especially for the clean-up operation. Organiser Paul Lewis hopes that the event will return next year as long as there are still volunteers.

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

Monday, August 17, 2009

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

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.”

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Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”
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Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York —A proposed hotel that was supposed to be built at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York is apparently off the table. The former proposal was going to be called The Elmwood Village Hotel and would have consisted of 72 rooms and cost between $7 to $10 million American dollars to build.

Today several unknown individuals were seen removing a sign that was dedicated to the “Elmwood Village Gateway,” which signifies the beginning of the Elmwood Village at the formerly proposed project’s location.

Nearly an hour later the men replaced the sign with a different and unexpected sign: “For Sale: 5 commercial parcels and 1 carriage house, By: Owner.” Those 5 “parcels” are 1109-1121 Elmwood and 999 Forest Avenue, which is located in an illegal alley, according to the City of Buffalo, behind the 5 other properties on Elmwood. Hans Mobius owns all properties named in the sale.

Sam Savarino, CEO of Savarino Companies never owned the properties and has repeatadly told Wikinews in exclusive interviews that he still had a “contract to buy the properties” and on October 2, 2006 told Wikinews in an exclusive interview that he “extended” the “agreement to purchase the property[s] and will have it under contract for what we hope is a sufficient period of time.”

“He [Mobius] is undoubtedly concerned because he has lost some tenants and is a bit impatient. I think he has properly portrayed the situation,” said Savarino in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

Savarino also says that there may be “legal issues” to work out now, before anything else can move forward, regarding the proposal.

“There are some legal complexities that must be sorted out before anything can happen there,” added Savarino.

The welcome sign was; however, not removed entirely. The sign was placed, facing the same direction of north, on the side of the Forest Plaza Art Gallery, a new art gallery located on the corner of Forest and Elmwood.

Nancy Pollina, owner of Don Apparel which was located at 1109 Elmwood, but closed on October 14, 2006 considers this a possible “victory” in regards to the lawsuit filed against the hotel to stop it from being built, alleging that several laws were broken, including not performing an Environmental Impact Study before the proposal was approved by the city, during its approval and the proposal was “rushed.” Patricia Morris, who operates Don Apparel with Pollina, Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway, were also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They filed the suit with a lawyer representing them, Arthur J. Giacalone, on April 25, 2006 in New York State Supreme Court, but the case has never gone to a courtroom.

Giacalone believes that a press release issued in July regarding the project was nothing but a statement to “save face,” but that the placement of the for sale sign might be a way of convincing Savarino to speed up the sale of the properties.

“I thought all along that Savarino’s July press release might be no more than an effort to save face. But we have no way of knowing. Similarly, Mobius might have put the for-sale sign up in an attempt to pressure Savarino into closing the deal. There’s no way to tell,” said Giacalone in an exclusive interview with Wikinews.

In regards to the lawsuit, Giacalone thinks it may now be in “limbo.”

“The lawsuit still sits in limbo,” added Giacalone.

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

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Google launches free city wide Wi-Fi in Mountain View, California
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Google launches free city wide Wi-Fi in Mountain View, California

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Google on Wednesday inaugurated a free city-wide Wi-Fi system in its home town of Mountain View, California. Google insisted that it had no plans to offer a similar service nationwide. Most residents of Mountain View, can connect to the Internet via a Mesh Wi-Fi network for free. Google said that its network “eventually will cover the entire city” and serve as “testing ground for future innovations.” The network is currently setup in downtown Mountain View, and much of the suburbs are yet to be hooked up.

The wireless network (Wi-Fi) covers 90% of Mountain View. It offers maximum data transfer rate of up to 1 Megabit per second, which is slightly slower than DSL.

The system costs about US$1 million to build and uses 380 transceivers mounted on street-lights throughout the 31 km² city. Reviews of the network say that it works smoothly in open areas, but that connections can be patchy in enclosed spaces.

Chris Sacca, Google’s head of special initiatives, said that “the main purpose of his company’s backing local wi-fi access is to clear the way for broadband entrepreneurs and overcome legal roadblocks by established telephone and cable TV providers”.

Mountain View, which has about 72,000 residents, is the largest U.S. city with totally free Internet access available throughout the entire community.

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Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire
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Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

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New edition of Canada’s Food Guide released
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New edition of Canada’s Food Guide released

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A new version of Canada’s Food Guide was announced by Canadian Health Minister Tony Clement on Feb. 5, 2007. The guide has helped Canadians with healthy eating habits since 1942 but was last updated in 1992. It is the Canadian government’s most-requested publication after income tax forms.

Changes to the Food Guide include:

  • a first-time recommendation to include a small amount of unsaturated fat in regular diets;
  • physical activity to complement healthy eating;
  • advice for some people to take vitamin supplements;
  • an advisory to limit foods with excess salt, sugar, fat and calories, which is considered an unprecedented caution regarding junk food.
Examples of the Food Guide’s four groups (clockwise from top left): vegetables and fruit, grain products, meat and its alternatives, milk and its alternatives
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