Wikimedia fundraiser highlights webcomic community’s frustration with Wikipedia guidelines

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 20-03-2019

Monday, October 29, 2007

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

On Monday, October 22, as the latest Wikimedia fundraiser began, Wikinews reporter Brian McNeil thought his own small donation could be turned into a bigger donation by his buying some advertising on a popular website and encouraging others to contribute. With this in mind he approached Howard Tayler, creator of the Schlock Mercenary webcomic.

Tayler’s response was not as McNeil expected, prompting a Wikinews investigation. Tayler refused to help the foundation raise money although he conceded that he does sometimes use the site. Instead he explained that some members of the webcomic community feel slighted by Wikipedia because over 50 articles on webcomics were deemed not to meet their notability guidelines and were deleted during January and February of 2007. Some members of the webcomics community considered this unacceptable. Whilst some of the comic related articles deleted did not qualify for inclusion in the encyclopedia under Wikipedia guidelines, the deletion of a large number of articles in such a short time period struck some webcomics writers and fans as a selective purge.

Much of the criticism has been focused on Wikipedia editor Dragonfiend, who has described notability as “whether a topic has been noted by independent reputable sources”. She has said that “If we include every article that anyone wants to write, then the encyclopedia becomes useless because nobody can find the actual needle of worthwhile information on a topic hidden in that hay stack of trivia.” She has said Wikipedia should only have articles on webcomics like Penny Arcade, Get Your War On, Fetus-X, and Achewood.

This deletion of numerous webcomic articles has not sat well with some in the webcomic community. Modern Tales editor and Websnark blogger Eric Burns has written that “There are people — and Dragonfiend is clearly one of them — who are clearly going through Wikipedia looking for articles that should be weeded out as non-notable. and they’re doing it in fields they clearly — I mean, clearly — have no interest, experience or knowledge.”

Erfworld and PartiallyClips writer Rob Balder has expressed similar viewpoints, calling the deletion of the webcomics articles a “goddamned crime” and describing a “deletionist jihad” by “the politest bunch of book-burning assholes on the planet”. Balder also labelled “Deletionism” as a form of “naughtymancy” magic in Erfworld. Deletionism refers to the Wikipedia ideology that favours relatively rigorous standards for maintaining access to articles, as opposed to inclusionism which favours keeping and amending problematic articles.

There is concern among some webcomic groups that the notability guidelines are too rigorous for the typical webcomic. The standards usually require significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, which is rare since even comics with dedicated followings do not always attract mainstream book publishers or reviews from mainstream journalists. It seems that this policy has alienated webcomic artists and fans and discouraged them from contributing to Wikipedia.

Conflicts such as this are not uncommon. Members of a Wikimedia Foundation mailing list pointed to other examples where the application of the rules has been perceived to be selective, leaving other communities disgruntled with a variety of Wikimedia projects, not just Wikipedia.

Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 20-03-2019

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links

IRA orders end to armed campaign

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 20-03-2019

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Provisional Irish Republican Army, in a statement released earlier today (in one form as a DVD, with the statement being read by Séanna Breathnach), has declared that it intends to end its campaign of violence and decommission its weapons.

The move comes after international pressure to decommission weapons and cease all violent activity, particularly after allegations regarding the murder of Robert McCartney in Short Strand, Belfast, and a burglary of the Northern Bank in December of last year.

Members have been ordered to dump all arms and cease all paramilitary activity as of 16.00 BST (15.00 UTC) today, and the organisation’s leadership states that it will pursue its aims through exclusively peaceful means. The statement reaffirms the IRA’s view that its “armed struggle was entirely legitimate” as a means of pursuing the organisation’s goal of a united Ireland, but states that many suffered during this conflict and that society is now compelled to build a lasting peace.

In its statement the IRA also appealed to the British government and Northern Irish Protestants to renew negotiations with them.

Reaction to the statement has been mixed.

  • “I think it has all the clarity that people have looked for this past 12 months. Of course there are lots of other issues in the peace process, which we have to continue to build on and build confidence on” — Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister)
  • “This may be the day when finally, after all the false dawns and dashed hopes, peace replaced war, politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland. […] It is what we have striven for and worked for throughout the eight years since the Good Friday Agreement.” — Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • “For the first time we have heard directly from the IRA not Sinn Fein that henceforward they are going to adopt peaceful means in seeking their political objectives” — Peter Mandelson, European Union Commissioner, former Northern Ireland Secretary
  • “11 years after the first IRA ceasefire these are the words that we needed and wanted to hear.” — Alex Attwood, SDLP
  • “I know there have been some who have been sceptical about whether republicans, the IRA in particular, were really interested in this process. I think today’s statement shows that they are. The IRA doesn’t have to do this. It is only doing this to try and give some assurance to those who are nervous or who are genuinely concerned. The IRA is not just stretching itself. It is actually overstretching itself to try to bring about the restoration of the peace process.” — Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein President

The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm this afternoon.

All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever.

The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible.

We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this.

The Army Council took these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and Volunteers.

We appreciate the honest and forthright way in which the consultation process was carried out and the depth and content of the submissions. We are proud of the comradely way in which this truly historic discussion was conducted. The outcome of our consultations show very strong support among IRA Volunteers for the Sinn Féin peace strategy.

There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties. The overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully support this process. They and friends of Irish unity throughout the world want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Notwithstanding these difficulties our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country. It is the responsibility of all Volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of our patriot dead, those who went to jail, Volunteers, their families and the wider republican base. We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate.

We are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative on all sides to build a just and lasting peace.

The issue of the defence of nationalist and republican communities has been raised with us. There is a responsibility on society to ensure that there is no re-occurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s. There is also a universal responsibility to tackle sectarianism in all its forms.

The IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity and independence and to building the Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation.

We call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans everywhere.

We are confident that by working together Irish republicans can achieve our objectives. Every Volunteer is aware of the import of the decisions we have taken and all Óglaigh are compelled to fully comply with these orders.

There is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the considerable energy and goodwill which there is for the peace process. This comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives is our contribution to this and to the continued endeavours to bring about independence and unity for the people of Ireland.

Three Walmart superstores open in Canada

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-03-2019

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Wal-Mart Canada’s first three supercenters opened in Ancaster, London and Stouffville, Ontario.

The idea originally started in the United States in late 2005 and was announced that it would be arriving in Canada.

Flat screen TVs suspended from the ceiling will feature a television network, featuring fashion shows of Wal-Mart’s clothing lines, TV commercials featuring brands the retailer carries, and corporate messages.

With an expanded selection of electronics, hardware, home and housewares, the Wal-Mart supercentre could be compared to Future Shop, Home Depot, Home Outfitters, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Fortinos. The supercentre has wider aisles, higher ceilings, clear signage, and cash registers in selected departments such as electronics and clothing.

“Our goal is to become the one-stop shop for customers,” said Mario Pilozzi, chief executive of Wal-Mart Canada. “You see how fresh that is today? We are going to maintain that freshness in these stores.”

Wal-Mart’s Canadian supercentres are more sophisticated then their U.S. counterparts, because Canadian grocers have created higher expectations among the average consumer, company officials say.

However, Wal-Mart openings are controversial in many communities. Activists claim they can be detrimental to local economies, driving out locally owned businesses, lowering wages, and leading to suburban sprawl.

Wal-Mart already has plans to open fourteen new supercentres in 2007, of them Scarborough, Sarnia, Brampton and Vaughan will be early in the year.

Russian commander: Tu-160s penetrate US airspace undetected

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-03-2019

Tuesday, April 25, 2006File:Tu 16019.jpg

A senior Russian air force commander has claimed that new, upgraded Tu-160 bomber aircraft were unchallenged by US air defense systems when they penetrated a radar zone near the Canadian coast in US territory during an April training exercise, reports the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Commander of Russia’s long-range strategic bombers, Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said that the bombers successfully carried out four mock Tu-95MS cruise missile launches, 200 mock bombings, and 53 mock sorties during the exercise. The RIA Novosti reported that the United States Air Force is currently investigating how the Tu-160’s escaped detection.

Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said, “They were unable to detect the planes either with radars or visually.”

Khvorov denies any link of the tests to the current US-Iranian tension, saying, “Of course, our exercises did not have anything to do with the situation in Iran, but their organization indirectly echoed in that region.”

The Tupolev Tu-160 is a strategic bomber introduced in 1987. It resembles the North American B-1B Lancer, but is larger and faster, being powered by four NK-32 afterburning turbofans, the largest in any combat aircraft. It is not considered to be a stealth aircraft due to its exposed engine inlets and broad wing gloves.

According to Khvorov over the course of this year, two additional Tu-160s will be commissioned for the long-range strategic bomber fleet with the numerous upgrades, including the ability to launch cruise missiles, aviation bombs, and satellite communication.

UK Wikinews Shorts: March 14, 2010

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-03-2019

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, March 14, 2010.

‘Bloody Sunday Inquiry’ publishes report into British Army killing of activists in Northern Ireland

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 18-03-2019

Thursday, June 17, 2010

File:Civil Rights Mural SMC May 2007.jpg

On Tuesday, the “Bloody Sunday Inquiry” published its report into 1972 British Army killing of fourteen civil rights activists in Northern Ireland.

The Saville Inquiry, a twelve-year-long public inquiry into the fatal shooting, published their 5,000-page report; stating, the deaths were “unjustified”.

The events of “Bloody Sunday” in 1972 saw soldiers open fire on civilians during a civil rights march. Family members and supporters of the victims reacted positively to the report, as they gathering outside the Guildhall in Derry.

“What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons. He also said, “[t]he Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces, and for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry”, and that “[t]here is no doubt. There’s nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities”.

Cameron said the Saville report states that those killed did not pose a threat and some of those killed and injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying. Some of the key findings were;

  • “The firing by soldiers of 1 Para caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury”;
  • “Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers”;
  • Accounts by soldiers were rejected and some had “knowingly put forward false accounts”;
  • The paratroopers shot first and later members of the official IRA fired a number of shots but this “did not provide an explanation for why soldiers targeted and hit people”;
  • Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, was “probably armed with a sub-machine gun” on the day, but did not engage in “any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”.

Twenty-seven civil rights activists were shot by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (of which “1 Para” was identified as the regiment mainly responsible) during an illegal Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) march in the Bogside area of Derry in 1972. The NICRA was an organisation, formed in early 1967, which campaigned against discrimination of the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland and had five key demands: “one man, one vote”; an end to gerrymandering, housing discrimination, public authority discrimination and the abolition of the B Specials police reserve.

In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, an inquiry by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery, justified British army actions on the day and claimed that many of the activists were armed with guns and nail bombs. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader MP Mark Durkan said, “[t]he families have waited a long time for justice and for a long time the reputations and innocence of their loved ones have been smeared by the findings of Widgery”.

The shootings lead to the strengthening of Irish republicans’ anti-British army arguments in the Nationalist community and provided the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) with queues of new recruits for its “long war”, which resulted in 30 years of The Troubles.

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The 12-year inquiry is the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British judicial history, costing around £200 million. Around 2,500 people gave testimony, including 505 civilians, nine experts and forensic scientists, 49 journalists, 245 military personnel, 35 paramilitaries or former paramilitaries, 39 politicians and civil servants, seven priests and 33 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. Evidence included 160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words, 13 volumes of photographs, 121 audio tapes and 10 video tapes.

The victims included Patrick Doherty (32), Hugh Gilmour (17), Jackie Duddy (17), John Young (17), Kevin McElhinney (17), Michael Kelly (17), Gerald Donaghey (17), William Nash (19), Michael McDaid (20), Jim Wray (22), William McKinney (27) and Bernard “Barney” McGuigan (41). John Johnston (59) died four months later.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 17-03-2019

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 16-03-2019

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 Background
    • 1.2 Campaign
    • 1.3 Issues
    • 1.4 Future
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External link

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei: Three awards, One target

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Tud95B on 14-03-2019

Monday, June 23, 2008

2008 COMPUTEX Taipei, the largest trade fair since its inception in 1982, featured several seminars and forums, expansions on show spaces to TWTC Nangang, great transformations for theme pavilions, and WiMAX Taipei Expo, mainly promoted by Taipei Computer Association (TCA). Besides of ICT industry, “design” progressively became the critical factor for the future of the other industries. To promote innovative “Made In Taiwan” products, pavilions from “Best Choice of COMPUTEX”, “Taiwan Excellence Awards”, and newly-set “Design and Innovation (d & i) Award of COMPUTEX”, demonstrated the power of Taiwan’s designs in 2008 COMPUTEX Taipei.