Cycling The Uber Way}

In CategoryVehicle Tracking
ByE4q8Xk

Submitted by: Melvin Boughton

Cycling is fast becoming one of the best means of travelling. Cheap and cheerful, it has been a mode of transportation for the financially handicapped. However, it is no longer seen as a poor mans commuting tool. Nowadays you will not only see cycles in developing countries but major world powers and modern countries like America, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, to name a few.

WHY IS CYCLING THE MODERN WAY OF COMMUTING?

– It is environmentally friendly. There is no air pollution from any type of fuel. Research has shown that by cycling for two days a week will reduce carbon pollution by approximately two tonnes a year.

– Easy on the pocket The initial investment is just on the cycle itself. Minimal maintenance and repair costs are incurred. Therefore, easily affordable by all.

– Fast It is a much faster way of commuting compared to other road vehicles. Your flexible cycle can easily manoeuvre between other vehicles on the road and hence are faster. Some countries like Great Britain also have dedicated cycling lanes so you do not have to go on the road with the other traffic. The time taken for a cyclist to reach his destination is less; compared to the time he would have taken had he travelled by car or bus.

YouTube Preview Image

– Good for your cardiac and overall health When you use a cycle as a mode of commuting, you need not diet or go to the gym. Cycling is a very food form of exercise that will keep your heart pumping healthily, burn up the excess calories and a healthy sweaty cycle ride will leave you feeling vital.

– Legislation Many cities across the globe have created laws that facilitate cyclists. Dedicated parking spaces, bicycle-friendly traffic signals and provision of cycle racks are just some of the initiatives taken by a few cities.

UBER CLONE TO LAUNCH CYCLE SHARING

Like any share economy initiative, the concept of cycle sharing is becoming the new trend. In cities where cyclists are in abundance, this is a very good concept. This concept works on the principle that if the owner is not using his cycle, or has a spare one he can rent it out. Anyone looking for a cycle can look for such bicycles via the Uber Android App Script. This script allows cycle owners to register as available so that anyone looking for a cycle can find them.

HOW THE APP WORKS

There is always a need for cycles, whether it is for commuting to work, going on a cycling holiday or any other reason. Many people have spare or cycles that are not used frequently. All they have to do is register their cycle details on the app. A picture of the cycle always helps. Once the owner and the cyclist find each other, they can seal the deal online, the cyclist gets his cycle for his purposes, and the owner gets to make a bob or two.

MODERNISING YOUR UBER ANDROID APP SCRIPT FOR SECURE AND TRENDY BICYCLE SHARING

If you an entrepreneur looking to get into this business, you can make your product smarter, which in turn makes cycle sharing secure.

All cycle owners can invest in a secure rear wheel lock, which can only be unlocked via the mobile phone app, such that owners can park their cycles securely in a place of their choice. When riders a looking for a cycle, they will be able to see the available cycles in the area by logging onto the app. The app is able to locate the available cycles via the lock. Users will choose the cycle of their choice, pay for it and unlock it for use via the app. Once the user parks the cycle back, he takes a picture of the cycle and sends it to the owner to show the condition of the returned cycle.

Users do not need the cycle owner to be there to use the cycle thanks to the fully automated system.

For the owner of the Uber Clone, there is a set commission for every cycle booked through our app. A quick, easy and ideal way to make money on the go.

About the Author: Melvin Boughton is a reliable user of Uber Clone. He shares how uber android mobile app clone is useful to us.More Info:

uberappclone.com/blog/why-a-good-and-interactive-mobile-taxi-booking-system-is-important/

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1959210&ca=Computers+and+Technology }

TGV makes 574.8 km/h on rails

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A French Train à Grande Vitesse (High-Speed Train or TGV) has smashed the world record for a train on conventional rails by a big margin, reaching 574.8km/h (356mph) The TGV travelled over 59.8 km/h (36 mph) faster than its previous record of 515 km/h (320 mph)

The record attempt by a modified TGV took place on a track between Paris and the eastern city of Strasbourg. However, this is not the fastest train speed. A Japanese Maglev (Magnetive Levitation Train) reached a top speed of 581km/h (361mph) in 2003. The TGV made history at 13:14 CEST (11:14 UTC). The TGV had been modfied and was called V150 – a TGV with larger wheels than usual and two engines driving three double-decker cars. The vehicle’s horsepower was 25,000.

Reporters said the three train drivers were seen grinning on French TV after they realised they had broken the record. The TGV travelled almost as fast as a World War II Spitfire fighter at top speed. Even the electrical tension in the overhead cable was increased 6000 volts from 25,000 volts to 31,000 for the record attempt.

“We saw the countryside go by a little faster than we did during the tests,” engineer Eric Pieczac said.

“Everything went very well. There are about 10,000 engineers who would want to be in my place,” Mr Pieczac said. “It makes me very happy, a mixed feeling of pride and honour to be able to reach this speed.” Since their introduction in 1981, TGVs generally travel at about 300km/h (187.5 mph) however, on the recently opened Paris-Strasbourg LGV (Ligne à Grande Vitesse or High-Speed line) trains will travel at 320 km/h (200 mph)

SNCF and Alstom – the TGV’s manufacturer – have said that the record test was performed to see how a TGV would react in extreme conditions – conditions that cannot be performed in a laboratory.

After the record was broken, French President Jacques Chirac conveyed his congratulations on “this new proof of the excellence of the French rail industry.” The President also said that “Economically efficient and respectful of the environment, the TGV is a major asset in efforts to ensure sustainable development in transport

“What is important for us today is to prove that the TGV technology which was invented in France 30 years ago is a technology for the future,” said Guillaume Pepy

Alstom plans to increase TGV sales abroad, where it is competing with high-speed trains such as the Japanese Shinkansen and the German ICE. Currently, nations of the Far East such as China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are the “top” customers for high-speed trains. Agence France-Presse said that a high-speed rail link in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California was being looked into.

Bank of America leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about mortgages

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about mortgages in the United States shows Bank of America leads all lending institutions in complaints.

Since mortgages complaints were recorded in December 2011, 77,622 total have been added to CFPB’s database. 29.2% of these complaints involved Bank of America, with the second most received by Wells Fargo, accounting for 15.5% of all complaints. JPMorgan Chase ranked third by volume of complaints with 9.8%. Ocwen was fourth with 8.7% and Citibank was fifth with 4.8%. Nationstar Mortgage; Green Tree Servicing, LLC; HSBC; PNC Bank; U.S. Bancorp; OneWest Bank; SunTrust Bank; Flagstar Bank; and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. each had between 1.0 and 3.8% of total complaints. The remaining 14.4% of all complaints about consumer mortgages were divided between about 530 other lending institutions.

The Motley Fool reported last month that for the past fiscal quarter, the biggest US based mortgage lenders were from first to fifth Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bancorp.

According to the US Federal Reserve, debt for family residences stands at US$10.706 trillion for the second quarter of 2013. As of the end of June of this year, Bank of America is the United States’s second largest commercial bank with US$1.343 trillion in domestic assets. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest commercial bank with US$1.251 trillion in domestic assets. JPMorgan Chase is the largest US commercial bank with US$1.329 trillion in domestic assets and US$1.947 trillion in total assets.

The mortgage complaints in the CFPB report include several subproducts. Conventional fixed mortgages account for 27.1% of all complaints. Conventional adjustable mortgages account for 10.0%. FHA mortgages account for 7.7% of all complaints. Home equity loans or lines of credit account for 3.8% of all complaints. VA mortgages are 1.4% of all complaints. Second mortgages and reverse mortgages each account for 0.6% of complaints. The remaining 48.7% of complaints are about other mortgages or other mortgage issues. A few years ago, FHA loans accounted for about 10% of all US mortgages while VA loans accounted for about 3%. Prime loans accounted for over 75% of the market and the rest were subprime mortgages.

California leads all states by volume of complaints with 14768. It is followed by Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. When complaints are divided by a state’s total population, New Hampshire leads. The state is followed by Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Complaints do not correlate with national rankings for August’s foreclosure rate by state where Nevada topped the list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

Two zip codes account for over 1,000 total complaints between them. 565 complaints originated in the 48382 zip code, which is in Commerce Township, Michigan, located in suburban Detroit. 553 complaints originated in the 33071 zip code, in Coral Springs, Florida. According to real estate website Zillow, there are currently 1,033 properties in foreclosure in Coral Springs while Commerce Township only has 131 properties currently in foreclosure. Four other zip codes have 100 plus complaints originating from them. 91730, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had 158 complaints. 33409, in West Palm Beach, Florida, had 132. 92626, in Costa Mesa, California, had 125 complaints. 92660, in Newport Beach, California, had 122 complaints. Respectively, the towns had 534, 1,068, 153, and 134 properties currently in foreclosure. These numbers are higher than for the cities of a few sampled zip codes where there was only one complaint, such as Gold Hill, Oregon which has 4 properties in foreclosure, and Decatur, Illinois which has 6 properties in foreclosure.

The CFPB categorizes complaints into six categories: “Loan modification, collection,foreclosure” or problems when a person is unable to pay; “Loan servicing, payments, escrow account” or problems with making a payment; “Application, originator, mortgage broker”; “Credit decision / Underwriting”; “Settlement process and costs”, and “Other”. The CFPB says the complaint types indicate consumers “appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives. The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” Currently, 59.6% of all complaints against lenders deal with being unable to pay. 25.1% deal with problems in making a payment. 7.0% have to do with the application process.

Of the complaint-heavy zip codes, for 48382 in Commerce Township, Michigan, 98.9% of all complaints have to deal with being unable to pay. Accounting for 23.4% of all mortgage complaints in Commerce Township, 132 of the complaints for being unable to pay were made regarding Bank of America, accounting for 97.8% or all but 3 complaints against them from the zip. 121 of the Bank of America responses in Commerce Township were closed with explanation and 12 were closed with non-monetary relief. 33071 in Coral Springs is different, with 537 of the 553 complaints being categorized under other. Only 11 complaints relate to foreclosure and issues with being able to pay. 92626 in Costa Mesa, where 32% of the mortgage complaints were about Bank of America and 26.4% were about Wells Fargo, had 93.6% of its complaints dealing with being unable to pay. 5 total complaints dealt with payment issues and 3 dealt with applications.

Beyond regional variance in complaint types lodged, the top five mortgage lenders by volume of complaints all had being unable to pay as their top complaint category, ranging between 55.8% for Citibank and 69.4% for Bank of America. Problems with payment accounted for the second largest area of complaints, with Ocwen having the largest percentage of complaints at 31.9% and Bank of America having the smallest at 18.8%. Foreclosure was the top area of complaints for a number of other lending institutions including 1st Alliance Lending, OneWest Bank, Ally Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, BOK Financial Corp, Caliber Home Loans, Inc, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and EverBank.

Nationally, complaints reached a high of 5,840 for January 2013, 1,107 more than the next highest month of April 2013. The total emerging for September is the second lowest since records were first kept in December 2011. On a state by state level, this pattern largely repeats with a major exception for Florida which saw a peak of 849 complaints in June 2012. Then, as now, Florida was one of the top five states in the nation in its foreclosure rate. The national January spike came as the Qualified Mortgage standard required by the The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 came into play. It required mortgage lenders to take steps to insure borrowers could repay their mortgages.

Bank of America’s complaint volume follows the national trend, with a spike in January 2013 with 1,925 total complaints. Unlike nationally, the next month by volume of complaints was February of this year with 1,598 complaints. Prior to that, the highest month was May 2012 with 1,418 complaints. The lowest volume of complaints is September this year with 334.

Wells Fargo matched national trends for volume of complaints by month, with the exception of the current month being the lowest on record for number of complaints with 197 compared to the next lowest month, December 2011, when they had 221. JPMorgan’s complaint volume by month spiked in January and March of this year with 504 complaints. April of this year was the next highest month with 493 complaints, edging out May of last year with 488 complaints. September this year is on track to be the lowest month by complaint volume.

The federal government shutdown is unlikely to impact the current mortgage situation in the United States directly for most consumers, though mortgage processing by the Federal Housing Administration could be slower, resulting in fewer mortgages processed.

Category:Science and technology

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

This is the category for science and technology.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 8 June 2017: Astronomers reveal discovery of the hottest gas giant exoplanet known yet
  • 4 June 2017: Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater
  • 19 May 2017: 17 million accounts’ hashed passwords, emails stolen, Zomato says
  • 18 May 2017: Simulations show planet orbiting Proxima Centauri could have liquid water
  • 10 May 2017: Cyberattack, not HBO comedian, caused website wipeout, says FCC
  • 28 April 2017: Shrink-wrapped sheep survive: Researchers say ‘Biobag’ artificial uterus, successful on lambs, may one day be suitable for use on premature human babies
  • 28 April 2017: Debian to shutdown public File Transfer Protocol services
  • 14 April 2017: Google blocks home device from responding to Burger King commercial
  • 8 April 2017: GNOME to be Ubuntu’s default desktop environment, Canonical to stop investing in Ubuntu Phone
  • 27 March 2017: President Trump tells NASA to aim for Mars
see older articles?Category:Science and technology

You can also browse through all articles in this category alphabetically.

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.



Sister projects
  • Wikibooks
  • Commons
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wikiversity

Subcategories

Pages in category “Science and technology”

(previous page) ()(previous page) ()

Media in category “Science and technology”

Kidney Cancer Everything You Need To Know}

In CategoryMassage Therapy
ByE4q8Xk

Kidney Cancer Everything you need to Know

by

Pete Jameson

One amongst the 10 common cancers found in the United States is Kidney Cancer. Cancer of the Kidney refers to the formation of cancer cells in the tubules of the kidney. The most common kind of kidney cancer found in adults is called renal cell carcinoma. Heres everything you need to know about Kidney cancer.

Kidney:

Kidney is the organ responsible for filtering blood from extra water, salt and other waste products in the human body. These bean-shaped organs are also responsible in ensuring that the blood pressure levels, acid-base balance and electrolyte levels are in control.

Kidney Cancer:

Cancer in the kidney develops when the cells in the kidney grow without control. Such cells might spread to the liver, bones and lungs and form new tumors. Kidney cancer is usually found in people over the age of 45.

Risk Factors:

The following are the risk factors associated with kidney cancer:

1. Older Age: The risk of kidney cancer increases for those aged above 45 years.

YouTube Preview Image

2. Smoking: People who smoke quite often are at greater risk to develop kidney cancer. Such risk also decreases as you quit smoking.

3. High Blood Pressure: People having high blood pressure or hypertension is likely at risk to develop kidney cancer.

4. Obesity: People who are obese or are overweight have a greater chance of developing kidney cancer when compared to those who have average weight.

5. Workplace Environment: Exposure to hazardous elements in the workplace such as herbicides, cadmium, asbestos and certain organic solvents also increases the risk of kidney cancer.

6. Race: African Americans, American Indians or natives of Alaska are at a higher risk in comparison to Caucasians.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of kidney cancer include:

a. Loss of appetite

b. Unintended Weight loss

c. Blood in the urine

d. Anemia

e. Lump in the abdomen

f. Constant pain on one side

Prevention Tips:

Incorporating a healthy lifestyle can reduce the chances of developing kidney cancer. Regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight combined with a healthy diet is the key.

Healthy Diet:

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as a low-fat, high-fiber diet keeps you healthy. Keeps tabs on the amount of salt you intake, as increase in salt consumption can raise blood pressure levels. Also avoid foods rich in saturated fat as they can increase cholesterol levels. Such foods include sausages, butter, ghee, biscuits & cakes, hard cheese, cream and more.

According to research, eating plenty of oily fish can reduce the risk of kidney cancer. Some of them include salmon, herring, trout, sardines and mackerel. Fish rich in Vitamin D also helps reduce risks of certain cancers.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking is one of the most effective ways of preventing cancer of the kidney and other kinds of cancers as well. Giving up on smoking can also prevent strokes and heart attack.

Exercise:

Doing a minimum of 150 minutes moderate-aerobic activity such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming and running reduces the risk and keep you fit.

Put an end to unhealthy habits and embrace measures that keep you healthy and secured from illnesses.

The author specializes in offering treatments for

cancer of the kidney

. He has spread awareness about the same through various blogs and articles published in several websites. Visit

kcurology.com

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com }

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bob Innes, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Monday, October 1, 2007

Robert (Bob) Innes is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Hamilton East—Stoney Creek riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Australian Big Brother contestants removed for alleged sexual assault

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Two contestants from Big Brother in Australia have been escorted from the show. Ashley, a pseudonym for Michael Cox of Perth, and John, a pseudonym for Michael Bric of Melbourne, sexually assaulted a contestant known as Camilla. Camilla climbed into John’s bed after stating that she wished one of the boys “would put your arrow near me” at around 4.30am. John was then seen to have held her firm as a half-naked Ashley rubbed his penis on her face in an act know as “turkey slapping”. Immediately after the incident Camilla grabbed John’s penis and laughed as he jumped.

Its unlikely that charges will be laid over the incident. The Age newspaper reported that “Camilla” last night talked about the incident, saying she believed the men were joking. The only people alleging that this was sexual harassment are politicians and journalists.

“We had a great time in the house and it is unfortunate it had to end this way, but BB has rules and regulations and we broke them,” they said in a joint statement. “We are all very close in the house and we would never do anything to offend our fellow housemates.”

This is the first time contestants have been removed from the show for breaching rules.

They will not receive further endorsement or prizes from the show.

“I can’t comment [on the sexual allegations],” said David Brown, from Southern Star Endemol, “But their removal from the house should indicate how serious the matter is.”

The discussion forum of official Big Brother site has been shut down due to the incident. There is no notice on when the forum will be reopened.

There are now eight contestants competing for the remaining $275 thousand. It has been reduced after fines for not wearing microphones when talking, discussing nominations and singing commercial music.

Several weeks ago the show’s adults-only series, Big Brother: Adults Only, was axed.

Last year the show was under scrutiny when a male contestant rubbed himself on a female contestant during a massage.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard called for the show to be pulled saying “Here is a great opportunity for a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid programme off the air” adding “It is just a question of good taste”.

Jimmy Wales accused of editing Wikipedia for donations

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has been accused of editing pages in the encyclopedia in return for a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation. In an article published Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that former Novell computer scientist Jeff Merkey alleged Wales had made edits to his article on his behalf, in exchange for a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation. The news hit the website Slashdot later Tuesday, where the incident was dubbed “DonorGate”.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Merkey claims that he was told by Wales in 2006 that the Wikipedia article about him could be made more favorable in exchange for a donation. Merkey made a donation of US$5,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation, and Wales made edits to the Wikipedia article about Merkey around the same time. Merkey published his claims on a public Wikimedia mailing list and sent a statement to The Associated Press.

Of course I would never offer, nor accept any offer, whereby a donation would buy someone special editorial treatment in the encyclopedia.

In a response Wales called Merkey’s statements “nonsense”, saying “Of course I would never offer, nor accept any offer, whereby a donation would buy someone special editorial treatment in the encyclopedia. I do routinely assist people with WP:BLP issues, and I do courtesies for many people. Donations have no bearing on that at all.” WP:BLP refers to Wikipedia’s policy regarding biographies of living persons on the encyclopedia.

After deleting the Wikipedia article about Merkey in 2006, Wales wrote to Wikipedia editors he had done so “because of the unpleasantness of it” and requested that they “be extra careful here to be courteous and assume good faith”. After erasing the article, Wales placed the article under protection with editing access limited to established users. Merkey ceased his $5,000.00 per year payments to the Wikimedia Foundation after reviewing what he called “evidence of diversion and mismanagement of the charities funds by Wales and the Wikimedia Board of Trustees”.

The Wikimedia Foundation, its staff and board members, and the users of Wikipedia itself hold the core principles of ‘no conflict of interest’ in the highest regard.

In a statement responding to a post about the incident on the site Techtree.com, Wikimedia Foundation’s Head of Communications Jay Walsh addressed the Foundation’s principles regarding conflict of interest: “The Wikimedia Foundation (the Foundation which operates and maintains Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects) has never solicited or accepted donations for the purposes of making edits or offering protection to Wikipedia articles. Nor has Jimmy Wales ever solicited or accepted donations for the Foundation in this capacity. These allegations are completely false. … Jimmy has been unfailingly ethical and frugal in the use of all Foundation funds. The Wikimedia Foundation, its staff and board members, and the users of Wikipedia itself hold the core principles of ‘no conflict of interest’ in the highest regard.”

After leaving Novell amidst allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, Merkey was sued by his former employer. He filed a harassment lawsuit against organizations including the website Slashdot in 2005. Merkey filed a suit against Delta Air Lines and Natural Selection Foods in 2006, claiming his son had become sick from E. coli contaminated spinach.

Merkey is banned from editing Wikipedia due to a ruling by Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee. The Wikipedia Signpost, Wikipedia’s community-written and community-edited newspaper, reported that a Wikipedia user account used by Merkey was blocked in October 2005 for “Personal attacks, legal threats, harassment, disruption”. Merkey was later allowed to come back to edit Wikipedia in May 2007 under a different account. As the result of a ruling by Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committe in a July 2007 arbitration case, Merkey and two users who had harassed him on Wikipedia were banned from editing the encyclopedia for one year.

Last week Jimmy Wales faced accusations by former Wikimedia Foundation executive Danny Wool that he misused the non-profit organization’s funds, and attempted to expense a visit to a Moscow massage parlor and high-priced bottles of wine. In an interview with CNET TV, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner described Wool as “a disgruntled former employee” and called his claims “a whole bunch of unsubstantiated rumors and gossip”. Wales’s former girlfriend, journalist Rachel Marsden, recently leaked purported instant message transcripts with Wales, which implied Wales had used his influence to change the article about Marsden on Wikipedia. Wales ended his relationship with Marsden and made a public statement to that effect on Wikipedia, and in response Marsden opened an auction for some of Wales’s clothing on eBay.

Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

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

The implosion of a relationship between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and journalist Rachel Marsden has resulted in controversy and international headlines. Associated Press and ABC News have also reported on questionable activity by Wales involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia.

Marsden had contacted Wales two years ago about concerns she had over the article about her on Wikipedia, and Wales determined the article was not compliant with Wikipedia’s standards. The tech blog Valleywag revealed Wales had a personal relationship with Marsden, and posted supposed transcripts of their instant message conversations on its site, www.valleywag.com. Wales and Marsden met in February, and The Times reported that “An apparent transcript of their conversations before that meeting suggests that, although Mr Wales had withdrawn from the editing process, he was still influencing the editors.” The Times quoted Wales from the chat logs as having stated to Marsden “The truth is of course a much worse conflict of interest than that; but that will do.” — in reference to his conflict of interest regarding Marsden’s article on Wikipedia.

Wales posted a public statement on Saturday on Wikipedia addressing the matter, and stated that his relationship with Marsden was over: “First, while I find it hard to imagine that anyone really cares about my sex life, the facts are: I am separated from my wife. I considered myself single at the time of my one meeting with Rachel Marsden on Feb. 9, 2008 … I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden. Gossipy stories suggesting that I have been in a relationship with her ‘since last fall’ are completely false … I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.” With regard to the conflict of interest in Marsden’s article, Wales had acknowledged to a team of Wikipedia editors in February 2008 that he and Marsden “became friends … and that we would be meeting about that,” and stated “I recused myself from any further official action with respect to her biography.”

On Sunday, The Canadian Press reported that Marsden had posted photos of herself on Ebay, and was selling items that Wales had left at her New York City apartment. In her Ebay posting, Marsden stated: “Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex-) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia … It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now.” Marsden told The Canadian Press “It didn’t really help matters that Jimmy chose to announce the breakup to the entire world via Wikipedia (which apparently now is an online encyclopedia that doubles as a personal soapbox?) rather than to me directly (which he did much later, in an instant message discussion).”

I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.

Marsden placed a t-shirt and sweater which she said were left at her apartment by Wales up on Ebay, and started the bidding for each at ninety-nine cents, with the auctions set to end on March 12. By Monday, bidding on the t-shirt had reached US$300, and by Tuesday the highest bid had reached $12,200. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Marsden stated “My only focus right now, to be really honest, is on my career and finding a way to get back into print, TV, or radio here in NYC,” she wrote. “All of this other personal stuff is just an unfortunate distraction.”

Jay Walsh, the Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications, told the San Jose Mercury News that Wales’ actions in relaying Marsden’s concerns about her Wikipedia article to a team of trusted editors was within his “routine” role. When asked by the San Jose Mercury News if Wales’ actions regarding the Marsden article could compromise his role with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, Walsh responded “No, absolutely not.”

On Tuesday, ABC News carried a story by Wired News reporter Megan McCarthy regarding allegations of “excessive spending” by Wales, and Associated Press also reported on questions involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. McCarthy reported that former Wikimedia executive Danny Wool, who had left the foundation last year, criticized Wales’ use of Wikimedia Foundation expenses in a blog post. Wool stated that Wales had tried to expense $300 bottles of wine, a $1,300 dinner for four at a Florida steakhouse, and visits to Moscow massage parlors to the foundation, and that the foundation rescinded Wales’ corporate credit card in 2006. Wool also stated that Wales paid the foundation $7,000, after being short $30,000 on receipts for expenses.

Wool told EPICENTER that “There were occasions where he used [the Wikimedia Foundation] for personal advancement under the guide [sic] of the mission. And, as someone who was in there for the mission part of it, I found that rather distressful.” Wool commented in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originally, it was carelessness … But as things developed, it became more apparent and obvious that he was taking advantage of the foundation credit card. It was almost like his personal piggy bank.”

Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.

In an instant message exchange with Associated Press, Wales denied that the Wikimedia Foundation had taken away his corporate credit card, and asserted that he had made the decision to stop expensing business travel for the foundation. Wales highlighted a statement by the foundation’s executive director Sue Gardner: “Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.” In an email to Associated Press, Brad Patrick, a former attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, stated “Danny seems interested in blogging his way straight to a lawsuit”.

Florence Devouard, who chairs the Wikimedia Foundation, told Associated Press that Wales had been “slow in submitting receipts,” and that the foundation had rejected Wales’ expense at the Florida steakhouse. Devouard told fellow foundation board members in a private email that she had convinced Associated Press that “the money story was a no story,” and told Wales “I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!” Wales told Associated Press: “The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for.”

Media reports speculated on how the controversy would end up being represented in Wikipedia itself. On Wednesday, the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Wales’ Wikipedia page said only this about Marsden: ‘Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden.'” An article in The Australian surmised: “History will decide whether Mr Wales broke his own principles, but before that happens there may well be a Wikipedia page devoted to the controversy.”

US House of Representatives passes universal health care bill

In CategoryUncategorized
ByE4q8Xk

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The United States House of Representatives has passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act or HR 3962, a bill which would ensure that 95–96% of US citizens receive affordable health care.

HR 3962 was passed with 220 yeas and 215 nays. Democrats in the house needed at least 218 votes to pass the bill. 39 Democrats voted against the bill, which contained the Stupak amendment. This amendment curtailed women’s abortion rights. One Republican, Representative Joseph Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill.

The US Senate has drafted their own health care bill, S. 1679. It is not yet known when the Senate will vote on their version of the bill, but in the end both versions must be merged into one with both the House and Senate voting again.

The health care program associated with HR 3962 is estimated to cost over US$1 trillion over ten years, according to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who states that it will result in “[…] not one dime added to the deficit.”

US President Barack Obama says that he is “confident” that the Senate will be able to come to an agreement and pass a completed bill. Obama added that he hopes to sign a “comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.”

[edit]