US automaker GM reports losses of $6 billion

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, May 7, 2009

United States automobile company General Motors announced it has lost US$6 billion in the first quarter of 2009, amidst heavy declines in revenues. Not including special items, the firm said it had lost a net $5.9 billion dollars, or $9.66 per share.

In the first quarter of last year, GM had reported a loss of $381 million, or $0.67 per share. Most financial analysts had forecast the automaker’s losses to be over $6.7 billion, or $11.05 per share. GM had also reported that it had spent $10.2 billion in an effort to prevent bankruptcy. The manufacturer has received over $15 billion in bailout money from the federal government.

The company has a deadline set at June 1 to draw up a restructuring plan. If it doesn’t do so by then, it will be obliged to file for bankruptcy protection.

“We’re focusing very much on the cost side of the business but once you start losing revenues you get into a vicious circle from which you can’t recover,” said Ray Young, the chief financial officer for GM.

“We continue to see a 60-80 percent chance of a GM bankruptcy. While the GM equity today is largely uninvestable, we increasingly believe GM may emerge substantially stronger from a bankruptcy – provided the Chapter 11 process is not overly drawn out – particularly given the scope of targeted dealer cuts,” analyst Himanshu Patel said.

Ethiopia plans to expand country’s Internet access

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Thursday, April 7, 2005

At an information technology conference in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia vowed to offer universal Internet connectivity in the country within three years. The government is working with a United States technology company Cisco Systems to fulfill this promise.

The government will invest US$40 million in the venture, which will lay nearly 10,000 km of fibre optic cable. Ethiopia currently ranks low in Internet penetration, with just 30,000 connections available for its 71 million inhabitants. Part of the program is the installation of Internet access at 450 secondary schools throughout the country.

Zenawi explained the change of heart that led to the decision to invest in this infrastructure project. “Not long ago many of us felt that we were too poor to seriously invest in information and communication technology,” he said at the conference. “We were convinced that we should invest every penny we have on securing the next meal for our people. We did not believe serious investment in ICT had anything to do with facing the challenges of poverty that kills. Now I think we know better,” he explained to the delegates.

Not everyone thinks that the government knows better. Giovani Peri, Assistant Professor of Economics at University of California, Davis, specializes in macroeconomics and growth theory. Peri believes that the Ethiopian government may be misguided in its direct investment in the build-up of information technology, and should instead create incentives for the private sector to build such infrastructure.

Professor Peri likened the Internet access project to previous failed attempts by African governments to stimulate growth via large-scale projects. “[African governments] in the past tried to build airports … in the middle of desolation.” — but people need to know that the environment is right for business, he said, not just a good airport. He said that the investment in Internet access might be too early for that country, and that before it is built, the country needs a good educational system to get the scientific community involved in the process of building technology infrastructure.

Ethiopia’s population is mostly rural, and over half of the population is illiterate. The country’s GDP per capita is US$560.

The Onion: An interview with ‘America’s Finest News Source’

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Despite the hopes of many University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) students, The Onion was not named after their student center. “People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from,” said President Sean Mills in an interview with David Shankbone, “and when I recently asked Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me the name—I’ve never heard this story about ‘see you at the un-yun’—he said it was literally that his Uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread.” According to Editorial Manager Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions.

Long before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Heck and Johnson envisioned a publication that would parody the news—and news reporting—when they were students at UW in 1988. Since its inception, The Onion has become a veritable news parody empire, with a print edition, a website that drew 5,000,000 unique visitors in the month of October, personal ads, a 24 hour news network, podcasts, and a recently launched world atlas called Our Dumb World. Al Gore and General Tommy Franks casually rattle off their favorite headlines (Gore’s was when The Onion reported he and Tipper were having the best sex of their lives after his 2000 Electoral College defeat). Many of their writers have gone on to wield great influence on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert‘s news parody shows.

And we are sorry to break the news to all you amateur headline writers: your submissions do not even get read.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Chet Clem and Sean Mills about the news empire that has become The Onion.


  • 1 How The Onion writes an issue
  • 2 The headlines
  • 3 The features and the columnists
  • 4 The photojournalism
  • 5 What The Onion will not publish
  • 6 Reactions to Onion stories
  • 7 The Presidential Seal
  • 8 The Onion’s readership
  • 9 Future features
  • 10 Handling national tragedies
  • 11 The Onion movie and Onion News Network
  • 12 Relationship with other satirical news programs
  • 13 Unsolicited material
  • 14 Source

Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Update since publication

This article mentions that Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, although this is disputed.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

A Florida man is being charged with 3rd degree felony for logging into a private Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Internet access point without permission. Benjamin Smith III, 41, is set for a pre-trial hearing this month in the first case of its kind in the United States.

This kind of activity occurs frequently, but often goes undetected by the owners of these wireless access points (WAPs). Unauthorized users range from casual Web browsers, to users sending e-mails, to users involved in pornography or even illegal endeavours.

According to Richard Dinon, owner of the WAP Smith allegedly broke into, Smith was using a laptop in an automobile while parked outside Dinon’s residence.

There are many steps an owner of one of these access points can take to secure them from outside users. Dinon reportedly knew how to take these steps, but had not bothered because his “neighbors are older.”

City of Buffalo, N.Y. fighting lawsuit against hotel proposal

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized
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

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Councilmember Joesph Golombek has responded to the lawsuit filed against the city of Buffalo for allegedly ‘fast-tracking’ a hotel that will be built on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo. The lawsuit, filed by Attorney Arthur J. Giacalone, was filed in New York State Supreme Court on April 21, 2006.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a 72-room, seven-million-dollar hotel proposed by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Its construction would require the demolition of at least five buildings, currently at 1109-1121 Elmwood, which house several shops and residents. Although the properties are “under contract,” it is still not known whether Savarino Construction actually owns the buildings. It is believed that Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo mayoral candidate, is still the owner. The hotel is expected to be a franchise of the Wyndham Hotels group. Buffalo’s Common Council, Planning Board, Mayor of Buffalo, Byron W. Brown, Savarino Construction Services Corporation, Hans J. Mobius and his son Hans S. Mobius owners of the properties at stake, Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant on Elmwood, and Cendant Corporation, the parent company of Wyndham Hotels are among those named in the suit.

Councilmember Joesph Golombek said that the Law Department is “fighting the lawsuit because they believe that we did everything fairly and properly (as well as legally).”

Golombek also stated that the lawsuit “could delay the start of the project” and that if he were “Mr. Savarino I would counter sue for any damages a postponement could bring.”

“Except for the lawsuit the city is finished with the project. In my opinion I believe those opposed to the project are simply use to the city procrastinating on projects. This one was passed quickly by comparison. Thus part of their frustration.” said Golombek.

“I understand the frustration of some of the people opposed to the project. But, in order for Elmwood to grow and thrive it will need to change. This change is a positive for that community,” he added.

Golombek also said that he is looking into “helping the displaced businesses.”

At least five businesses, Six Nations Gift Shop, Don Apparel, H.O.D. Tattoo, Skunk Tail Glass Company, and Mondo Video, will be forced to close their doors or relocate. Many of the buildings are also home to residents who will also have to move.

“I have personally contacted adjacent and nearby business associations and property owners to ask about the possibility of helping the displaced businesses. Hopefully the project will go through in a timely fashion and the displaced businesses will be able to relocate,” said Golombek.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. on June 8, 2006 in the Supreme Court building at 50 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, on the 8th floor, part 31.

==Related Wikinews==

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Others named in lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, April 26, 2006
  • “Lawsuit sends Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal to New York Supreme Court” — Wikinews, April 25, 2006

Sai Baba upsets Telangana activists

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, February 18, 2007File:Sathyasaibaba.jpg

Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba, 81, found himself embroiled in a political row after his recent remarks characterising the partition of the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) as a “great sin”.

On a recent visit to Chennai he publicly spoke out against the proposed partition of India’s fourth largest state, calling such a move a “mahapapam” (great sin) and claimed that there was no demand from the people to bifurcate AP into Telangana and Andhra states.

The comments caused an outcry among pro-Telangana activists who angrily voiced their protests in street marches and attacks on the Sivam building, the Baba’s temple in Hyderabad, which was staffed by a few devotees. Shouting anti-Sai Baba slogans, the protestors pulled down a large picture of the holy man and trampled on it before taking it outside and setting it on fire. An effigy of the Baba was also reported to have been burnt, and twenty protestors were arrested following several police complaints.

Controversy erupts over German Anarchist Pogo Party’s campaign ad

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, September 8, 2005

The German Anarchist Pogo Party ran a campaign ad (Download hereNSFW) which, instead of discussing the party’s politics, featured various party scenes set to a heavy metal soundtrack. The spot included revellers smashing furniture, pouring beer down each other’s throats, and women dancing topless. The spot ends with the proclamation: “My vote for the rubbish”.

The ARD refused to air the ad because it “violates the human dignity” and showed only a heavily censored version at an earlier airtime. The Party then sued the station and got an injuction by an appeal court in Münster only minutes before the next ad was due, forcing the ARD to air the spot uncensored, right before their evening news flagship.

The ad has offended a number of people, but has likely gained the party nationwide attention among its younger demographics who could access campaign websites online ( The Hamburg-based APPD and every other party is entitled by law to free television airtime on Germany’s public TV Station ARD and ZDF for its advertisements because it is an officially registered political party competing for the upcoming federal elections. Its next ad is scheduled for Monday night, although broadcasting authorities may again censor the ad.

The party has a membership of approximately 750 — German newspapers posit that the ads will have little impact on the upcoming election.

Trenchless Pipe Boring Machines Bid Farewell To Noise, Disruption And Disturbance}

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Earthmoving

Trenchless Pipe Boring Machines Bid Farewell To Noise, Disruption And Disturbance


William Penworthy

Trenchless pipe boring machines have revolutionised the way in which pipes are being laid, massively decreasing the amount of disruption and delay that is normally associated with open trench pipe laying and repair. Underground thrust boring is a fast, efficient and safe means by which pipes and tunnels can be laid without having to disrupt the ground surface. Ground heave is virtually nonexistent, and whether the pipe is being laid under a road, a railway line, a building or a river makes relatively little difference.

But how do trenchless pipe boring machines work? How is it possible to ensure that a pipe being laid is properly in place, and isnt running too close to existing pipes or cables, or encounters solid items such as tree roots or foundations?

In order for underground thrust boring to take place, two small bore holes are created either end of where the new section of pipe is to be laid. If the pipe is to be run underground across the width of a road, or under a railway track or even from one side of a building to the other, the only work required is to dig the two small bore holes. These are unlikely to cause much, if any disruption at all.

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Another advantage of underground thrust boring is that it is significantly quieter than traditional open trench work, meaning that far less disruption and disturbance is caused to neighbouring homes and businesses. Normally one assumes that the laying of a new pipe will involve heavy plant machinery and pneumatic drills – all of which causes harsh noise and unpleasant vibrations which carry significant distances. The sharp vibrations from pneumatic machinery can also cause damage to nearby pipes and cables in some instances.

Instead of using pneumatic machinery, trenchless pipe boring machines use hydraulic power instead. Hydraulics are more powerful than pneumatics, and very much quieter. There are no vibrations, meaning that local businesses and homes may be entirely unaware of the fact that work is going on at all. Very little risk of damage to nearby cables or pipes is likely since the hydraulic action is smooth and controlled.

The moling equipment, so named because of its similarity to the creatures which tunnel away underground, is lowered into the first bore hole. An auger or drill head is fixed to the front of the boring machine, and this then begins to drill or bore its way horizontally towards the second bore hole. Additional auger heads may be fitted if necessary, and in some cases the pipe is attached to the rear of the thrust boring machine. As the moling equipment drills its way through the ground, the pipe is then pulled in behind it, filling the excavated tunnel.

Once the pipe boring machine has reached the second bore hole, the auger head is uncoupled, and the moling equipment detached from the pipe. In some instances the pipe is not attached the rear of the moling equipment, and once the tunnel has been created, the machine is then reinserted into the second bore hole, and pulls the pipe into the tunnel. In a few cases the tunnel may be slightly widened during this process if, for example, the pipe required is of a particularly large diameter.

But how do those using the trenchless pipe boring machines know where to drill? Even drilling a hole in your wall at home can be risky if you havent checked for live electrical cables or existing pipes. The solution is to equip the head of the underground thrust boring machine with a set of sensors which transmit radio signals through the ground. These are then bounced back from anything reasonably solid, allowing those using the moling equipment to capture a virtual 3D map of the ground. Any nearby pipes, cables, foundations or even tree roots are detected.

The pipe boring machines are guided manually, so that if an obstacle is detected, the drilling equipment can be steered and manoeuvred around it. Sensors allow for very accurate positioning of the boring equipment – to within a few millimetres, meaning that the tunnel created is always laid along a safe path. This is particularly important in cases where pipes are being laid in urban or industrial areas, where a large number of pipes or cables may already exist underground, or where foundations may otherwise prove awkward.

Although the humble mole has been digging tunnels for many years, this kind of technology is still relatively new. However, those industries and utility companies who are now using trenchless pipe boring machines are finding that they can lay pipes more safely, more quickly and at less cost – as well as drastically reducing the disruption, disturbance and damage normally associated with open trench work. Underground thrust boring may be invisible to most of us, but it is in its very discreetness that the advantages lie.

trenchless pipe boring machines


underground thrust boring


Article Source:

Trenchless Pipe Boring Machines Bid Farewell To Noise, Disruption And Disturbance}

Post-Kyoto agreement is subject of G8 debate

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Leaders from the 7 richest industrialised countries and Russia will have to deal with climate issues at the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. While France and Germany are calling for quantifiable greenhouse gas emission cuts, the U.S. and Japan believe that growing economies such as India and China would need to join in on such efforts.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G8 summit yesterday said the two main topics were climate change and combating poverty in Africa. She said her first talks with president Bush were good, and added: “I trust that we will work out joint positions on that.” Bush acknowledged that he has “strong desire to work … on a post-Kyoto agreement.”

We all can make major strides, and yet there won’t be a reduction until China and India are participants

Merkel had proposed a 50% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, helping to keep global temperature rise to no more than 3.6°C. White House adviser James Connaughton however said that “At this point in time we are not prepared to adopt that proposal.”

President George W. Bush finds himself in a position between the pressure from France and Germany, but on the other hand he wants to urge countries like India and China to join climate efforts. He told reporters that: “The United States can serve as a bridge between some nations who believe that now is the time to come up with a set goal … and those who are reluctant to participate in the dialogue. … We all can make major strides, and yet there won’t be a reduction until China and India are participants.”

President Bush will defend his plan today to organise a separate conference on global warming with the 15 biggest polluters to set their own goals, and to rely on technological innovations to achieve part of the emission targets. When asked about the U.S. plans, Merkel said in a television interview that she didn’t expect the differences to disappear overnight. At the G8 summit she said stated: “I think we all know that the goals agreed by the European Union cannot be accepted by the entire world.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “On climate change …We agreed that Japan and the United States would be working together for the creation of an effective framework which is flexible, and that we would be cooperating to achieve that end in the future.”

The new President of France Nicolas Sarkozy wants the U.S. to increase their efforts on climate issues. He told reporters yesterday: “We need quantifiable targets in the final text. It is an extremely important point and I intend to talk to the president of the United States about it as early as this evening. … President Bush has made a first effort, but we need to set ourselves targets to clearly show the determination of the G-8 to act and to obtain results… If we don’t act now, it will be too late to avoid a disaster. It will cost less than if we wait.”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. plans to deal with global warming “very pragmatic and interesting.” Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi recognised that “the American president has made comments in the last few days that have been more open than in the past.” Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair also welcomed the U.S. engagement for “substantial” reductions, which the U.S. is aiming for, according to a recent U.S. draft G8 document.

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso at the G8 summit said he thought the E.U. was taking a leading role in the climate debate, also by influencing the position of countries like the U.S. and China. He believes a global agreement to follow Kyoto is needed, possibly by 2009. He stressed that, as this was a problem created by all nations, effecting all, it had to be tackled within the UN-framework, and that agreements made by only a number of states would fall short of what is needed. He also doubted the possibility that hard numbers on emissions cuts would result from this summit.

Other topics at the G8 Summit will be development in Africa (including the fight against AIDS and malaria), the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization, and the U.S. plans to set up a missile defence shield in Europe.

The U.S. is the only G8 country that has not ratified the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.