Thrill rides in U.S., Canada shut down after girl’s feet are severed


Friday, June 22, 2007

The United States amusement park operator Six Flags has shut down nine thrill rides at four parks after a 13-year-old girl’s feet were cut off on a tower-drop ride yesterday at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville.

Kentucky state officials said a loose cable on a ride called the Superman Tower of Power severed the girl’s feet above the ankles, but they had not determined how the cable broke free, or at what point in the ride the accident happened. The ride lifts passengers 177 feet (54 metres) straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 mph (86 km/h).

The girl, whose identity has not been released, was taken to a hospital. Details of her condition were not immediately available.

Six Flags spokeswoman Carolyn McLean told The Courier-Journal that there has never been a major incident on the Tower of Power. Formerly known as the Hellavator, the ride was built in 1995.

In addition to Kentucky Kingdom, rides have been shut down at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois; Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri; and Six Flags America, Prince George’s County, Maryland.

A Superman Tower of Power Ride at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has not been shut down because it is not the same as the ones in Kentucky and the other locations that have been shut, Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg told the Associated Press.

The rides that have been shut down are made by a Swiss-owned company called Intamin.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company said it was shutting down similar thrill rides at its theme parks at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio; Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia; Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Great America in Santa Clara, California.

Java creator criticizes .Net


Saturday, February 5, 2005

AustraliaJames Gosling, the creator of the Java programming language, said last week that he believes Microsoft is wrong in its decision to support C and C++ programming languages in the common language runtime in Microsoft .NET. According to him, this decision may lead to severe security flaws in .NET. Gosling is currently in Australia, giving talks and visiting friends.

According to Gosling, the problem lies with the programming languages and some of their characteristics: “C++ allowed you to do arbitrary casting, arbitrary adding of images and pointers, and converting them back and forth between pointers in a very, very unstructured way.”

The Java language was developed due to limitations of C++. Gosling began using C++ for the former Sun Microsystems‘s star-seven project. At that time Gosling concluded C++ was inadequate and created the Oak language. The Oak language would become the language known today as Java. The former star-seven project shares its defining characteristics with networked software applications today: safety and portability.

Gosling continues: “If you look at the security model in Java and the reliability model, and a lot of things in the exception handling, they depend really critically on the fact that there is some integrity to the properties of objects. So if somebody gives you an object and says ‘This is an image’, then it is an image. It’s not like a pointer to a stream, where it just casts an image.”

Charles Sterling, a Microsoft developer and product manager of the .NET framework, didn’t entirely disagree with Gosling’s thoughts. But he said that .NET defines different types of code. And there is the code which is managed by the .NET framework. All new Microsoft languages, such as C# and Visual Basic.NET, produce only code managed by the .NET framework, so they are safe.

A key idea that has not shown up in Gosling’s talk is that Java itself allows a very similar process to occur. Java’s JNI (Java Native Interface) allows the integration of the same unsafe code that prompted Gosling’s central thesis.

However, Gosling says languages like C and C++ can still produce unsafe code which would not follow the rules of safety of .NET. This sort of code, usually found in old software applications, requires additional .NET permissions to execute. Sterling says it is up to developers to decide whether or not to use unsafe code in their .NET applications.

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Market maker Bernard L. Madoff arrested in $50B ‘giant Ponzi scheme’


 Correction — January 10, 2009 This article incorrectly states that Mr Madoff attended Hofstra University Law School. His education was actually with Hofstra College, which he graduated from in 1960. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top broker and Wall Street adviser Bernard L. Madoff, aged 70, was arrested and charged by the FBI on Thursday with a single count of securities fraud, also known as stock fraud and investment fraud. He allegedly told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that his $50 billion business “is all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme (since at least 2005).” Mr. Madoff faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5 million. FBI agent Theodore Cacioppi said Mr. Madoff’s investment advisory business had “deceived investors by operating a securities business in which he traded and lost investor money, and then paid certain investors purported returns on investment with the principal received from other, different investors, which resulted in investors’ losses of approximately $50 billion dollars.”

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is also the founder and primary owner of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. The firm is one of the top market maker firms on Wall Street. He founded his family firm with an initial investment of $5,000, after attending Hofstra University Law School. He saved the money earned from a job lifeguarding at Rockaway Beach in Queens and a part time job installing underground sprinkler systems.

A force in Wall Street trading for nearly 50 years, he has been active in the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. securities industry. His firm was one of the five most active firms in the development of the NASDAQ, having been known for “paying for order flow,” in other word paying a broker to execute a customer’s order through Madoff. He argued that the payment to the broker did not alter the price that the customer received. He ran the investment advisory as a secretive business, however.

Dan Horwitz, counsel of Mr. Madoff, in an interview, said that “he is a longstanding leader in the financial-services industry with an unblemished record; he is a person of integrity; he intends to fight to get through this unfortunate event.” Mr. Madoff was released on his own recognizance on the same day of his arrest, after his 2 sons turned him in, and posting $10 million bail secured by his Manhattan apartment. Without entering any plea, the Court set the preliminary hearing for January 12.

Madoff’s hedge fund scheme may rank among the biggest fraud in history. When former energy trading giant Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001, one of the largest at the time, it had $63.4 billion in assets. The scheme would dwarf past Ponzis, and it would further be nearly five times the telecommunication company WorldCom fraud and bankruptcy proceedings in 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a separate civil suit on Thursday against Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and its eponymous founder Mr. Madoff. It was docketed as “U.S. v. Madoff,” 08-MAG-02735, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). SEC, New York associate director of enforcement, Andrew M. Calamari, asked the judge to issue seizure orders on the firm and its assets, and appoint a receiver. The SEC pleads, among others, that “it was an ongoing $50 billion swindle; our complaint alleges a stunning fraud that appears to be of epic proportions.” It further accused the defendant of “paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from other, different investors” for years. Madoff’s hedge fund business had previously claimed to have served between 11 and 25 clients and had $17.1 billion in assets under management. But virtually all of the assets were missing.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Louis L. Stanton on Thursday appointed Lee Richards, a Manhattan lawyer, as the firm’s receiver. A hearing is set for Friday, for a ruling on the SEC’s petition to grant plenary powers to the receiver over the entire firm, and an absolute asset sequestration.

Doug Kass, president of hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management said that “this is a major blow to confidence that is already shattered — anyone on the fence will probably try to take their money out.”

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

The Benefits Of Professional Fine Art Installation In Los Angeles


byAlma Abell

Protecting the value of your fine art should take priority, professional fine art installation in Los Angeles is an easy choice when protection is a priority. There are some very clear benefits to choosing an experienced professional to handle your installations just like museums and galleries do.

The Priority

Of course, you want to be able to enjoy your art as well as protect it, a professional fine art installation in Los Angeles allows you to do both perfectly. There are three immediate benefits to having a professional install your fine art:

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  1. Your art is protected from damage
  2. It is installed correctly and will stay safe
  3. It will look its best

Protection

Protecting your art when moving it from one location to another is critical. Most art damage happens during transport. Regular house movers are not trained in how to handle fine art and it is a completely different process from moving furnishings and other goods. Ensuring that your art is moved correctly for installation is critical to protecting it. Having an expert move your art whether you are moving it from one room to another or you are moving it across the globe prevents damage.

The Correct Installation

There is a reason that galleries and museums hire experts to install the art. Making sure that the art is installed correctly is an important factor in enjoying the art with confidence and not having to worry about accidents. A trusted provider that specializes in installations has the tools and materials that it takes to safely install your artwork and help you to enjoy it.

It Looks Better

Expert art installation looks better. The experts know how and where to display art to take advantage of the best lighting and area to showcase the art work. Professional installation can mean highlighting the work so that everyone can enjoy it more fully.

Your Art Deserves Special Attention

Whether you want to display your art in the home, at the office or you have a gallery, professional installation is the key to getting the results that you want. You will get the protection assurance that you need and the results that you want by turning to the professionals at Art Pack. With over 40 years of experience serving galleries, museums and homes in the area you know that you will get the best in professional services.

Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Monday, Australian telecommunications company Telstra has introduced dual carrier HSPA+ standard for broadband Internet business customers in the Next G network. This is the first time this technology is being introduced on national scale. The bandwidths the users can deploy increased into two to three times, with Telstra becoming the world’s fastest national mobile broadband service. The switch started with enabling the service for premium users. After some feedback, Telstra may expand the plan.

Contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Technology
  • 3 Election campaign
  • 4 Distribution
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links

The higher speeds for wireless are intended to simplify and ease multitasking of users.

John Paitaridis, Telstra’s executive director, network products and services in Enterprise & Government, said “One of the reasons we decided to launch first to Enterprise And Government and Business customers is that clients are saying that their ability to access applications quicker makes a difference to their business and when they start to equate time savings and doing calculations around productivity it does become a return on investment.”

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff also stated that the efforts aren’t as sudden as it might seem, having feedback of many users as the base.

Australians are telling us they can’t afford to be tied to the desk all day and these new speeds mean they can now access mobile broadband at speeds typically reserved for the office. We have been deploying the high-speed capability in the network since December 2009 and now, with the launch of the new Ultimate USB Modem, these new speeds are available to customers across all capital city CBDs and associated airports, selected metropolitan areas and in more than 100 regional locations. These high-speed zones cover approximately 50 per cent of the Australian population and match the areas of highest customer demand and will make the frustration of waiting around for files to download a thing of the past. In other metropolitan and regional areas, the Telstra Ultimate USB Modem offers typical download speeds ranging from 550kbps up to 8Mbps… Our customers have told us that they want higher speed mobile broadband so they can work more flexibly outside of the office and we are delighted to be the first in the world to offer these new blistering speeds on a national network. The new Telstra Ultimate USB Modem provides customers with the speeds needed to handle large files, multi-task and update cloud-hosted applications effortlessly on the go when they are in a coverage area.

Previous modems were able to reach peak speed 21Mbps, with real life speeds ranging from 0.5Mbps to 8 Mbps. The theoretically expected maximum of the new technology is 42Mbps with user speeds varying between 1.1 and 20 Mbps. The new speed is twice as fast. This is caused by that the dual-carrier “Evolved High-Speed Packet Access” technology allows networks to send and receive wireless data using two channels simultaneously. This technology can be deployed on Next G networks. Telstra switched to them in February, thus making the switch to HSPA possible now.

Telstra delayed the implementation of the new technology until elections end. This decision was intended to avoid wrong interpretation of them by Coalition. Coalition’s claims include that wireless networks can be an alternative to the Labor party “fibre-to-the-home” proposal to introduce more expensive wired Internet. The announcement of the new technology, initially planned on August 25, was delayed, with Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton explaining, “We just didn’t want to feel like we were influencing the [telecommunications] debate.”

The political parties have different plans on development and funds on the Internet. The Labor party aims to spend AUD 43 billion to bring 1 Gbps wired Internet nationwide, and the Coalition plans to spend AUD 6 billion to introduce a variety of improvements including upgrade of existing copper Internet as well as expansion of wireless Internet to support 12Mbps. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said in the past that Australians shouldn’t assume wireless technologies won’t ever be comparable to fixed-line technology. Telstra’s upgrade shows that wireless broadband is reaching the 100 Mbps minimum speeds promised by Labor’s national broadband network.

Telstra has only 2000 devices which support the new technology. This is why the opportunity to try it out is being given only to the Business plan customers, and they receive it for the same price as they were paying for the previous NextG plan. Since October 5, the device will be available for sale, with the Business customers able to buy it with 75% discount and a prepaid data allowance. The upgrade is expected to cover roughly 50% of the population. This is happening at the same time as one of Telstra’s competitors Vodafone is doubling data download quotas on mobile cap plans.

As some testing showed, real life download speeds reached only about the half of the maximum. Telstra executive director of wireless Mike Wright explained that the predicted figures were the estimates, with real life speeds lower due to interfering environmental conditions: “It’s possible to achieve better than the typical user speed claims, but those claims occur in the ideal network environment with good signal quality. When you’re out on the streets you get a lot of variation where the network is subject to signal quality, your location and the network load.”

US stock markets reach 12-year lows


Thursday, March 5, 2009

US stock markets dropped to twelve-year lows on Thursday, amidst falling confidence in the financial sector and worries over whether the US automobile manufacturer General Motors will be able to keep operating.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 4.08%, or 280.52 points, at the closing bell, reaching a level of 6595.32, a new 12-year low. The Nasdaq Composite lost 54.15 points, or 4%, to 1299.59, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 plunged by 30.27 points, or 4.25%, closing at 682.60.

Every stock in the Dow Jones, other than Wal-Mart, either lost ground or remained even, and all stocks in the S&P 500 index lost ground.

General Motors’ shares lost 15.5% after the auto firm announced that its auditors had “substantial doubt” over whether it would be able to keep operating.

Shares of financial companies were lower by nine percent, with Bank of America losing 11.7% and Citigroup falling by 9.7%.

“What’s most worrisome is that we haven’t hit the crescendo yet,” said Bill Groeneveld, the head trader for vFinance Investments. “Asset-management divisions are getting calls to just liquidate everything, and we haven’t seen the big players come back in at all.”

“This is one of the worst bear markets in the last 100 years; it started out with the credit crisis and the subprime [loans], but it is like a forest fire that has raced across the clearing and ignited other parts: Autos, auto parts, the insurance companies have been hit very hard. The credit crisis is causing an unraveling of industry after industry because the banks don’t lend,” said David Dreman, the chief investment officer of Dreman Value Management.

European markets were also lower today, with the London’s FTSE index losing 3.2% and the DAX index of Germany falling by five percent.

Delivering Vitamins In Gelatin Capsules


byAlma Abell

Private label vitamins can be produced in different forms; the common methods are liquid, tablets and gelatin capsules. Although these are the common delivery methods, high dosage vitamins can be delivered intravenously but this must be done under doctor supervision. Gelatin capsules are often used for the delivery of drugs and supplements, especially those that are in powder form. A gelatin capsule is little more than a small, two part shell that is used to enclose the active ingredients. Gelatin capsules are virtually tasteless and odorless and they do not cause any digestive problems. Gelatin is quite inert and does not interact with the contents.

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There are certain substances that can hard to swallow; a good example is fish oil. By putting this in a gelatin capsule, it makes it considerably easier for many people to ingest it. This is true as well with certain spices that are beneficial when taken as a supplement; this includes cayenne pepper and cinnamon. The taste of the contents is eliminated and as the capsule dissolves in the stomach, the private label vitamins and other supplements are released with no perceptible taste.

Another major advantage to gelatin capsules is the fact that the dosage is uniform. Capsules which contain commercial drugs are closely monitored as to dosage, it must be accurate. Many people who take supplements which are in powder form purchase the empty capsules in bulk and fill them at home. This is quite acceptable as the dosage of supplements does not have to be as accurate as drugs.

Gelatin is a product which comes from either pig or cattle bones; it can also come from fish. Because of the source, drugs and supplements that are delivered by gelatin capsule may not be acceptable to vegans, vegetarians and those that must avoid certain animals due to their religion.

As a result of these aversions, capsules are also produced from vegetable matter. These capsules are based on cellulose or an edible polymer. Although these capsules, also available in one or two parts, are a little more expensive, it does allow those who cannot tolerate gelatin capsules to partake of the supplement. Vegetarian capsules do not have the same shelf life as gelatin as they tend to be softer; as a result the product is usually packaged in smaller quantities so it is purchased freshly packed.

CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre


Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party incumbent David Christopherson is standing for re-election in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

From 1985-1990, he served as a Hamilton City Councillor for Ward Four. He was elected to Ontario legislature in 1990, defeating a Liberal cabinet minister. Under Bob Rae, Christopherson served as Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor-General. He did not seek re-election to legislature in 2003, opting to run for mayor of Hamilton. Considered a frontrunner, he lost to Larry Di Ianni.

He returned to politics just months later, changing his focus to federal politics. Christopherson beat Liberal cabinet minister Stan Keyes, the incumbent, serving as NDP critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy. He has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus.

Wikinews contacted David Christopherson, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

First elected in 2004, David Christopherson is the only MP to have represented Hamilton Centre, which was created in 2003 from parts of three other ridings. Only 38 km², small versus other area ridings, its located on the south side of Hamilton Harbour. Alphabetically, Christopherson’s challengers are Anthony Giles (Libertarian), John Livingstone (Green), Lisa Nussey (Marxist-Leninist), Leon O’Connor (Conservative), Ryan Sparrow (Communist), and Helen M. Wilson (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.