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“One-litre car” may help traffic pollution

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-08-2018

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Professors at the Energy Science Centre, attached to the Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) in Zurich, have presented their contribution of a car quite similar to Loremo able to travel 100 kilometres (around 62 miles) on a tank with just 1 litre (around 1 quart), equalling to about 235 miles per gallon. They presented their contribution during Swiss Energy Week.

The automobile, which has and will be manufactured by the Swiss company Horlacher, is 75% lighter than an average family car and guzzles a tenth of the fuel thanks to vastly improved aerodynamics.

One drawback to this car is that it has none of the modern safety features found in many cars to-day. But the FIT team is designing technology that lets cars communicate with each other to avoid collisions, using similar computer systems to those in aircraft.

“This car does compromise on style, speed and comfort, but you can’t have a free lunch,” says Lino Guzzella, one of the centre’s members

Business as usual is no longer an option. If we are to survive in the future, we will have to drastically reduce carbon emissions.” Guzzella continued.

There are approximately 800 million cars on this planet and in Switzerland there are 500 cars per 1,000 people, compared with 800 in the United States and less than 50 per 1,000 in India and China.

Swiss drivers also favour more powerful, polluting vehicles than the rest of western Europe. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the main lobbying group of the automobile industry in the European Union, the average car in Switzerland has a 2 litre engine compared with 1.6 litres in neighbouring countries.

“The Swiss think they are better at cutting harmful emissions than anyone else, but they are not,” says researcher Peter de Haan van der Weg.

He believes Switzerland should introduce incentives to make people buy cleaner cars. Some countries already have such schemes: the US awards tax breaks worth up to $3,000 and the Netherlands offers €6,000 to green car owners. The Swiss authorities are currently thinking about two similar options presented by the city of Bern and the centre-left Social Democratic Party.

“Individuals are not capable of understanding the big picture because it is difficult for people to look 50 years into the future,” Mr. De Haan van der Weg said.

“Therefore it is necessary to have government regulations to force changes that will benefit the environment.”

Somalian pirates capture military ship, weapons, tanks

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-08-2018

Friday, September 26, 2008

Somalian pirates captured a Ukrainian military ship containing weapons, tanks, and ammunition on Thursday. The weapons seized ranged from grenade launchers to 33 Soviet tanks, the Ukrainian defense ministry told the press. 17 multi-national crewmen were also captured.

The “Faina” was making a delivery to the Kenyan government, which is a Western ally against terrorism.

The ship had taken a detour to avoid the pirate-controlled Somalian coast, which is notorious for holding ships and cargo ransom. Experts expect the pirates to ransom off the tanks, because they don’t have the ability to remove or use them.

The Russian navy deployed a warship on Friday to assist Somalia in securing the coastline and re-secure the ship. According to Vladimir Vysotsky, the head of the Russian Navy, “Russian ships will not be involved in any international operations,” as “they will do this job on their own.”

US military spokesman Bryan Whitman reported that the US is monitoring the events closely, because of the type of cargo captured.

Canada, meanwhile, has been assisting the UN by escorting aid ships to the war-torn area since August. Canadian officials announced they would be continuing escorts for another four weeks, to the relief of about 2.4 million Somalians receiving the aid.

Gene therapy trial for skin cancer cures two terminal patients

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-08-2018

Friday, September 1, 2006

Results of gene therapy trials at the US National Cancer Institute, Bethesda to fight cancer published online yesterday by the scientific journal Science show some levels of success. However experts have warned that despite the promise more work is needed for this to become a viable cure.

Dr Stephen Rosenberg, who lead the research team, said “It’s important to emphasize this is a highly experimental treatment that’s still in the course of development.”

The team treated 17 terminal skin cancer patients with modified cells from their immune systems. The technique uses genetically modified white blood cells (more specifically T cells) to attack and kill the cancer cells. Of the 17 subjects only 2 were cured of the disease (an aggressive form of skin cancer called a melanoma which is usually fatal in advanced stages). Before the treatment, which lasted 18 months, the patients were only expected to live for up to 6 months. The remaining 15 patients were not affected by the treatment.

One of the successful patients was Mark Origer (53) from Wisconsin. He has been fighting cancer since first being diagnosed in 1999. After finding out about the new trial on the internet he applied and, after interviews, was accepted along with 16 other candidates. The treatment removed Origer’s melanoma and also shrunk another tumor in his liver – to the extent it could be removed surgically. Doctors confirmed he was free of the disease last week, nearly 2 years after treatment began. A second man (39) was cleared of his cancer which had spread to the lungs, liver and lymph nodes. Cancer that progresses to the lymph nodes is usually untreatable and fatal.

T cells can attack and destroy bacteria and other harmful cells like cancer cells. However cancer cells sometimes reduce the signals on their outer surface by which they are recognised, so the immune system cannot affect them. Gene therapy involves modifying some of a patients T cells to contain a new receptor. (Receptors are what enable the immune cell to identify harmful cells, like those corrupted by viruses. The new receptor is inserted with the use of a viral vector, i.e. a virus made safe to insert the receptor in the cell.

In the trial, T Cells were removed from each patient and modified in the laboratory. Patients underwent chemotherapy to kill most of their current immune system, which was replaced by the mutated cells. The modified cells successfully survived after injection into the body – making up 10% of the subject’s T cell count during the first 2 months. The team is now looking for ways to enable the cells to survive longer and in greater numbers.

Experts have called this a significant technical advance but warn that more patients need testing and the technique refining before any conclusive results can be drawn. Dr Edel O’Toole, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesman, said: “I think that the success of this approach in two patients shows promise, however 15 patients did not respond to the treatment suggesting that further work is needed to optimise this approach for all patients, which could take many years.”

Rosenberg now hopes to run a new trial with possibly stronger gene therapy treatments, he is currently awaiting FDA approval.

Gene therapy was much hyped after it’s first successful application in so called “bubble boys” (patients with severe combined immunodeficiency). After follow-up, these trials were stopped when it was discovered that three of eleven patients in one trial had developed leukemia.

Remote Assistance service of Windows OS vulnerable to attack

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2018

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Until a patch is issued, Microsoft recommends that users close or block TCP port 3389, the port opened when the Remote Assistance service of its Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) is enabled. The Remote Assistance feature is a service of the OS that allows Internet Technology administrators of corporate workgroups remote access to other desktops to perform maintenance and other configuration tasks from their own computer. It can also be used by on-line tech support sites. A support assistant can go into a user’s machine, if the service is enabled, and themself make changes directly to another person’s computer to resolve an issue.

To initialize the remote assistance feature, the user of the helper computer must first make a request of the user of the target computer. Compliance must be granted by the user of the target machine, which then fully opens the communication port of the target machine to the helper computer. The operator of the helper computer then has control of target computer to make changes at will. The user of the target machine can watch in a separate window the actions of the helper, and either party to the session can end it at any time.

In a telephone conversation with a Microsoft representative Tuesday, it was learned that work to develop a security patch is underway, but when it will be available is unclear. It was cited that a patch must work consistently across multiple platform versions of the OS.

The vulnerability, thought at first to affect only Windows XP SP2, is now believed to affect all current Windows editions, including Windows 2000, Windows XP SP1, Windows XP Professional x64, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Server x64.

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is not enabled by default, however if the service is enabled, a Denial of Service attack could cause the OS to restart unexpectedly according to Microsoft, or experience buffer overflows according to Symantec. The RDP is enabled by default on Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Microsoft suggests users block TCP port 3389 (the port used by RDP) on their firewall, or disable Terminal Services or Remote Desktop if not required by the user. The remote desktop connections could also be secured using either Internet Protocol Security or a virtual private network connection until a patch is ready.

To disable Remote Assistance on a Windows XP Edition, the steps are:

  1. click ‘Start’, right-click ‘My Computer’, select ‘Properties’
  2. select ‘Remote’ tab on top of the ‘Systems Properties’ window, clear checkbox that says “Allow Remote Assistance invitations to be sent from this computer.”
  3. click ‘Apply’ button

The group, Internet Storm Center, detected spikes in scanning for port 3389 beginning July 6. Larger numbers of systems scanned were reported on July 13. Crackers may be scanning for vulnerable machines, the group said.

“It’s a kernel vulnerability,” said VP of engineering for Symantec Alfred Huger, “so it will be difficult to exploit reliably. But he [the original discoverer] found the vulnerability with a commonly-used tool, so if he can find it, so can others. I don’t think it will turn it into a large-scale worm, but then, some kernel vulnerabilities have ended up as just that, like the Witty worm.”

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Culture of creativity features at Furnal Equinox 2018

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Visual art, fabric art, photography, performance, dance, virtual reality, and music were all the subject of sessions at Furnal Equinox 2018, a conference held from March 16 to 18 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle. Canada’s largest furry convention by attendance, the annual event offers dozens of subculture-specific programs.

The convention’s communications and public relations coordinator for the event, Ronnie, describes furries as “people that enjoy arts and culture centred around animals and animal-themed topics, essentially. Furnal Equinox in particular, we like to celebrate in a very visual and very […] artistic nature, where we have lots of arts and performances and crafts that go on, and people celebrate with lots of socialisation involved.”

Of the attendees, Ronnie told Wikinews “they come from all walks of life. They are people of all ages, sizes, all sorts of backgrounds, and they come together under one mutual interest, which is their love for animal culture.”

“Programming at Furnal Equinox involves[…] a lot of informational panels, so you can find out about topics from art and how to draw, or how to visually incorporate different elements into your artworks. You can also find panels that teach you how to write better, be a better fiction author for example,” explained the event representative.

At one panel Wikinews attended, members of its all-volunteer organising committee spoke of the year-long process of planning the event, and their reasons for committing such a significant amount of their time. Said one panelist, “if you’re happy, we’re happy.”

The largest hub of activity at the convention was a dealer’s room; nicknamed the “Dealer’s Den”, giving it an anthropomorphic twist. Vendors were selling original visual art, wearables like faux fur tails or ears, or things like jewellery or soap with motifs that would interest attendees.

The back area of the room was dedicated to a charity auction, with proceeds benefiting Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. According to the convention website, the charity is “dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected, and abandoned farmed animals. Their goal is to provide a safe, life-long home for all of their residents, and to educate the public about the true nature of farmed animals through tours, volunteer programs, and community outreach.”

Split into groups, some attendees played “Fursuit Games” in front of an audience, like trying to toss a ball into a garbage can. The activity made harder, of course, by the limited dexterity and vision the most of the costumes entail.

Police officer killed as car bomb explodes in Omagh, Northern Ireland

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-08-2018

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A bomb positioned below the car of a police officer in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom has exploded, killing him. The unidentified 25-year-old officer, recently employed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland after graduating from a college of police training three weeks prior, was directly involved in the incident as he sat inside the vehicle outside his residence in Omagh, County Tyrone, which occurred at a time immediately before 1600 BST (1500 UTC) today. The man, who died at this location, has now been identified as Constable Ronan Kerr.

I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in NI want to move on. It’s only a few Neanderthal who want to go back. They will not drag us back to the past.

It is currently uncertain as to whether or not any other individuals were killed or injured as a result of the incident. It is also unclear who was responsible for committing the act. It is thought that dissident republicans were responsible for the bomb blowing up today, due to numerous similar prior incidents involving them.

Gerry Adams, the current president of Sinn Féin, has stated: “I want to send my condolences to his family at this hugely traumatic time. Sinn Féin is determined that those responsible will not set back the progress of the peace and political process.”

Shaun Woodward, the present Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has claimed that “[t]his evil and cowardly attack will sicken everyone across Northern Ireland. These crimes are targeted on those who protect the community. We all deeply mourn the brave young man whose life was taken by this savage crime. We all have a duty to stop those behind it from succeeding.”

Over the course of the past one-and-a-half years, numerous incidents of a similar nature have taken place with Police Service of Northern Ireland employees being targeted. Despite various devices being unsuccessful in detonating, a police officer suffered an explosion in January 2010. As a consequence, both of his legs were lost. In a separate incident in May 2008, another police officer lost their legs as the result of a bomb attack. In March 2009, a group of dissident republicans were responsible for fatally shooting a policeman in Craigavon, County Armagh.

David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, said of today’s incident: “Those who carried out this wicked and cowardly crime will never succeed in dragging Northern Ireland back to a dark and bloody past. Their actions are rejected by the overwhelming majority of people right from all parts of the community.” Meanwhile, Peter Robinson, the current First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive, commented that “[i]t was a young man who was bravely entering the police service, recognising that he was putting his life on the line. I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in NI want to move on. It’s only a few Neanderthal who want to go back. They will not drag us back to the past.”

Getting Interior Designers London

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Posted by | Posted in Curtains | Posted on 14-08-2018

Read An Opinion On:

Getting interior designers London

by

nick sutherland

Quite a shame sometimes because some people still make the effort of doing their own interior decorating. And because they don\’t actually know how to go about designing their properties, the results are, while not exactly disastrous, just do not live up to a design that works. This is where interior designers London come in. Whether you\’re looking to furnish a commercial or a residential property, interior designers are there to address your every need, letting you enjoy the property of your dreams.

Where to look for an interior designer

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Interior designers London are easily available through your local phone book directory, but they are more easily available as well over the internet. Since they are easy to find, you should have no trouble then drafting a list of options for you to consider in getting a home interior design team. You can also check with family and friends for referrals. Someone may have recently had some work done on their property and was thoroughly pleased. You can have a similar experience if you go with their design service provider. Not to mention some savings with the help of referral systems, if there are any in place. Even without referral systems anyway, the guarantee coming from someone you trust that you are in good hands should definitely account for something. Just as with any kind of product or service, do make the effort to compare interior designers London first so you can pick out the best one for you. Picking out the best one for you, of course, helps in ensuring that you get the results you are looking for.

Talking to an interior designer

You\’re going to want interior designers London you can actually talk to. You\’re going to want designers who make the effort to get to know you because this means that you will be provided with home interior design that is particularly suited for your lifestyle. You have needs to be met, after all. If your interior designer doesn\’t even make the effort to get to know you, can\’t even talk to you properly, how then will they be able to give you the interior decorating design you want, right?

For the most part, all you can expect from interior designers London are designs for your property. But since you\’re going to be implementing that design anyway, you might as well get design companies that have builders and other service providers as well so you don\’t have to go to different companies to get work done for your property. Not only is this very convenient, but this can also let you save loads on costs in the long run because certain fees may be consolidated since the services are essentially provided by just one company. You may have no need to work with a budget but you have to agree that it doesn\’t hurt to save on costs. Speaking of costs, do let your interior designer know if you have certain budgetary needs so they can make the necessary arrangements. You know you\’re with a good interior designer if they are capable of working with your requests without compromising on quality.

Part of talking also to interior designers London should involve taking a look at their portfolios. There is benefit in getting experienced designers but you should care more for what is in their portfolio rather than the years they have logged in with the industry. It\’s true that the more experienced a designer is, the more likely they are to produce impressive portfolios. However, there are also tons of talented but young designers out there who have just as impressive, if not more impressive, interior design ideas.

Working with an interior designer

Your interior designer should keep you in the loop at all times. This is your property, after all, and you have every right to know how things are coming along. After you\’ve signed up with an interior design company, agree on a schedule that both of you will adhere to. Include here the projected timeline so it is clear how long the project should last and the intervals wherein the interior designers London should check in with you for updates. This way, you know when to expect updates, and the design company knows what is expected of them at a certain time. Apart from simply being given updates, you should also see first-hand samples of the materials that will be used on your property, including estimates provided by third-party service providers. If the interior designers London are not able to provide you with these, do start being wary that something suspicious may be going on with the project, unless your design team is able to provide you with a reasonable explanation.

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-08-2018

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-08-2018

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Hezbollah-Israel war continues for a third day

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Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-08-2018

Friday, July 14, 2006

The fighting continues as Israel launches a fresh wave of attacks on Lebanese targets Friday, striking Beirut’s International airport, the road from Lebanon to Damascus and a power plant. Since Wednesday, Hezbollah have fired over 300 rockets into towns in northern Israel, killing four civilians and wounding dozens. Hezbollah rockets reached as far south as the port city of Haifa.

Lebanon said on Friday that Israel had launched “a widespread barbaric aggression” with the intention of hurting Lebanon. The country urged the United Nations community to stop the military offensive. “The targets chosen are connected either directly or indirectly with terrorism,” Israeli Air Force General Ido Nehushtan, said.

The Israeli attacks included the southern suburb of Beirut where Israel says Hezbollah has a stronghold. Most roads and bridges leading to the southern suburb of Beirut have been shelled, isolating the suburb from the rest of the country. The attacks came after Israeli planes dropped leaflets on the evening of July 13, warning residents in the mainly Shiite south suburb of impending attacks to Hezbollah property.

Israel says Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, is also a target. “Nasrallah has issued his own sentence.” said Ronnie Bar-On, the Israeli interior minister. The home and headquarters of Hezbollah’s spiritual leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah was hit by Israeli missiles, but Nasrallah and his nearest were unhurt in the attack. Nasrallah said in a televised address after the attack that Hezbollah is ready for an “open war” with Israel.

This comes after Ehud Olmert said Lebanon had committed an “act of war” when Hezbollah attacked Israel.

“You wanted an open war and we are ready for an open war”, Nasrallah said in the broadcast. “You have chosen an all-out war with a nation which … has the capability, the experience and the courage.” He continued saying that Lebanon would either surrender or “have faith in Allah and victory”.

The Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora described the conflict as a “controlled war” and called it an opportunity to address the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Five civilians were killed and at least 50 have been wounded in Lebanon on Friday after Israeli attacks. According to Lebanon, 63 people have been killed and 167 wounded in the country since the raids commenced on Wednesday.

The Israeli military and Israel’s ambassador to the UN said that the rockets fired into Haifa on Thursday by Hezbollah were manufactured in Iran. Lebanese PM Siniora said that it was puzzling for Hezbollah to perform the attacks unsupported.

States worldwide have called for the release of the prisoners and for Israel to exercise restraint, while Lebanon has urged the UN Security Council, which held an emergency meeting on Friday, to pass a ceasefire resolution.

Lebanon’s UN envoy, Nouhad Mahmoud, claimed that Israel’s attacks on Lebanon “will not resolve the problem, but will further complicate it. The Security Council meets today in the shadow of a widespread barbaric aggression waged by Israel to this very moment against my nation,” he said. “What Israel is undertaking is an act of aggression and devastation aimed at bringing Lebanon to its knees and subverting it by any means.”

Israel’s chief of staff, Dan Halutz, said Friday that all three soldiers were alive and in a “reasonable” state of health.