Wikimania 2008: MediaWiki use in the U.S. Department of State

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Wikimania 2008: MediaWiki use in the U.S. Department of State
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The last day of the Wikimania 2008 conference saw Saturday morning sessions on a variety of topics. Wikinews attended a presentation by Eric M. Johnson from the United States Department of State. Eric, a former NCO in the U.S. Marines, is the lead for the Knowledge Management Action team in the department’s Office of eDiplomacy, and involved in department’s use of Web 2.0 technologies for knowledge management. This includes blogs, and the key focus of his talk, Wiki culture in the U.S. Department of State.

Eric opened his presentation with an introduction to the U.S. State Department, one of the oldest agencies of the American government, which today has around 57,000 employees worldwide. When formed in the 18th century their offices and diplomatic staff operated largely autonomously due to lack of ability to communicate rapidly. By the mid-20th century this had changed with the advent of telegraph lines, and changed again with the Cold War and security concerns bringing to the fore the well-known term, “need to know”.

Now, in the 21st century, the volume of internal communication generated by the department is a staggering 1,800,000 cables a year, 1.5 billion emails, production of around 500,000 print volumes, and maintenance of approximately one thousand websites. Both internal and externally facing.

A pilot project was set up, Diplopedia, a MediaWiki wiki running on the department’s internal network, which outside of the department of defence is one of the largest private networks operated by the U.S. government.

A grassroots effort, this project to promote knowledge sharing differs from the well-known Wikipedia in that it does not allow anonymous edits. There are around 1,000 registered users who have contributed over 4,400 pages. Integration with the Department of State’s internal search engine prioritises results from the wiki, increasing the popularity of the site such that it has received over 650,000 page views. Like Wikipedia, users are required to provide sources for entered information at the foot of the article, and users are warned that it is a starting point and not an authoritative source of information. Data on visa requirements and information from other static department sites has been incorporated into the wiki.

Eric described the project as just reaching critical mass and attracting increasing interest from other departments. Among the ingredients leading to the success of the project were the cultural change with increasing awareness of the technology from Wikipedia, the formation by the community of a welcoming committee, and the taking on of roles to carry out tasks such as drafting. A number of staff act as “gardeners” tending to the wiki content, keeping it fresh, and well cross-referenced. The continual updating is a novel concept to many of their employees.

Unlike Wikipedia, and many other projects using MediaWiki, none of the Diplopedia pages are locked or protected. This even includes their main page. To date there have been none of the content disputes that have been an issue on Wikipedia, and the use of the wiki to replace traditional websites which are far more time consuming to maintain is seen as a logical extension of the project.

Carried out with no outside help, and by learning from others’ mistakes, the department has adopted mechanisms for assuming that contributions are well-intentioned, and has a body for oversight in the event of a dispute.

With the success of the project, eDiplomacy plans to introduce a separate, classified wiki. They will also expand the effort to compile biographies of foreign leaders, which was pioneered by the U.S. missions in Italy and Germany. This effort has proven valuable when combined with a version of the site available on portable devices such as the Blackberry.

The future holds moves to seek more support from management and integration with their primary authentication system. Among the features on the main page to keep the project interesting to staff is a “Diploquiz” which poses a weekly trivia question which can be answered from somewhere within the wiki.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

June 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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Taco Bell mascot Gidget dies from stroke at 15

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Taco Bell mascot Gidget dies from stroke at 15

June 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gidget, the chihuahua featured in the Taco Bell adverts in the United States has died from a stroke. The dog died at the age of 15 on Tuesday night. Sue Chipperton, the owner and trainer of Gidget commented saying, “She made so many people happy.” She passed at Chipperton’s home in Santa Clarita, California.

The dog was featured in the 1990s adverts that ran from 1997 to 2000. Gidget was portrayed as a male dog and is remembered for the dubbed saying “Yo quiero Taco Bell” which is Spanish for “I want Taco Bell.” The advert was meant to be shown only once but was turned into a campaign.

Gidget was also featured in Legally Blonde 2 and adverts for the board game Trivial Pursuit.

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News briefs:May 06, 2010

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News briefs:May 06, 2010

June 20, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Blood Red Sandman, Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

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June 18, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

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Noosa Holiday Accommodation

June 18, 2018 · Filed under Cabling

Submitted by: Carina Anderson

There are many reasons to settle on Noosa as a good holiday destination. Fantastic beaches, quality accommodation, world class cafe’s and restaurants, tropical climate and location being a few. Once you have chosen to come and visit the next thing to decide on accommodation?

A search on Google is likely to bring up a plethora of accommodation services and websites therefore it will pay to have a consider what kind of accommodation you need before you start searching. It will help to focus your research by taking the following into mind:

How many people must you accommodate?

Are the children coming with you?

Just how much are you able to afford?

Do you have a car?

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Do you really like crowds?

Do you want ocean or river views?

Lets consider how answering these questions might help choose the best sort of accommodation as well as the best location in Noosa.

Just how many people must you accommodate?

The larger your group, the more important it is to find the smost uitable accommodation. If you’ve found yourself a place which is too small it may spoil the holiday for everybody. Some people would just like their very own space, so groups bigger than four should be thinking about considering options such as a holiday home. Holiday homes are usually fully furnished and self contained with lots of space for everybody. The nicest houses are going to have a pool and ocean or river views.

Do you have children?

Young people will love a vacation where there are a number of activities in the area and room to move around. This provides you with you a handful of choices – stay near to the beach so that they can visit daily, or stay near to a place with children’s parks and bicycle trails to burn up energy. Another definite suggestion is a pool area so that at the end of the day they can go and frolic in the water to their hearts content. One good way to spoil your vacation is to stay in a small place where the children are bouncing off the walls.

Just how much can you afford?

Establish your finances prior to starting looking for holiday accommodation. Virtually all internet sites allow you to search by daily rate and this will eliminate wasting time on taking a look at properties that do not fit your budget. If you are on holiday with loved ones, look at pooling your funds and booking one apartment or holiday house as an alternative to several small apartments. When you budget with this pool of money you will be able to find luxury accommodation with sea views.

Do you have a car?

Taking your vehicle or hiring one upon getting to Noosa will broaden your options. Not only in regards to where you can stay, but also you will have the option to tour to the local interesting attractions including the Eumundi Markets, Underwater World, Australia Zoo and Aussie World. For those who have a car you’ll be able to stay in the surrounding areas like Sunshine Beach or Castaways Beach and still be merely a 10 minute drive to Hastings Street as well as the main beach. Accommodation within these areas could be more reasonably priced and quite often right on the beach. Running to the shops for groceries can also be a lot easier with a car and help you save money in the long run.

Do you like crowds of people?

Having so much holiday accommodation based in the centre of Noosa you can find that you are swept up in a swarm of holidaymakers all eager for the same part of beach or waiting at the very same ice-cream store. You should take into consideration how much noise will come from a large condominium complex – would you like to be next door to someone who is drinking and listening to music until 3am every single night? There are numerous accommodation options around Noosa Heads that will be in a more peaceful area. You need your holiday as a chance to relax and recharge your batteries.

Would you like to have ocean views?

Your vacation is really a a chance to create memories with your family and good friends. If you can locate a spot that provides great views without leaving the property then you will have wonderful recollections of sitting back and enjoying the environment together with your travel companions as you share good drink and food. If your lodging is just four walls looking straight into yet another unit then you may as well have remained at home.

Trying to find the right holiday accommodation is important and you ought to view finding the money for the vacation as an investment. Take a moment and consider what might help make your holiday location the best for everybody. Noosa Holiday Homes are able to offer an alternative that ticks all of the boxes in regards to a reasonably priced, deluxe property along with beach front ocean views. It is a great place to spend time together with friends and family that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

About the Author: Thanks for reading my article and if you are interested in more information about Noosa please visit

noosaholidayhomes.net.au

. I would love to have you leave me a comment and say hello, Regards, Carina

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1120950&ca=Travel

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Senator David Vitter to earmark $100,000 for creationist group

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Senator David Vitter to earmark $100,000 for creationist group

June 18, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

David Vitter, a Republican United States Senator from Louisiana, has earmarked US$100,000 for Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), a conservative creationist organization. Vitter put the earmark into the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal year 2008. The bill specifies the Louisiana Family Forum received the money “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”

Vitter has close ties to the LFF through Dan Richey, a former politician and the group’s grass-roots coordinator, who received $17,250 as a consultant in Vitter’s 2004 Senate race. Also Vitter’s campaign paid Beryl Amedee who is the education resource council chairwoman for the Louisiana Family Forum.

As part of the Louisiana Family Forum efforts to “combat” the teaching of evolution, the group included Kent Hovind‘s “Battle Plan” on its website. Hovind, whose education from the non-accredited Patriot Bible University is widely considered to be a diploma mill, is currently serving a ten year prison sentence for tax evasion and obstructing federal agents.

In a written statement Vitter explained, “This program helps supplement and support educators and school systems that would like to offer all of the explanations in the study of controversial science topics such as global warming and the life sciences.” However, reporter James Gill poked fun at Vitter’s admission of using the services of Pamela Martin and Associates, a prostitution service ran by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and his recent creationist earmark. “We were better off when Vitter, in between homilies on the sanctity of marriage, was blowing his own money on prostitutes. At least the kids were safe,” Gill wrote. He continued, “They will not be if the Louisiana Family Forum gets its way.”

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NTSB says pilot error caused crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407

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NTSB says pilot error caused crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407

June 18, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, February 5, 2010

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the captain of Colgan Air Flight 3407, which crashed nearly a year ago outside Buffalo, New York during its approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, “inappropriately responded to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the aeroplane did not recover,” according to a statement issued by the NTSB.

The flight, operating as a codeshare with Continental Airlines under their Continental Connection brand, crashed last year on February 12, 2009 in Clarence Center, New York. The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed into a residence killing everyone on board as well as one on the ground.

The NTSB has blamed pilot error and poor training for the crash, noting that the plane’s captain, Marvin Renslow, “had not established a good foundation of attitude instrument flying skills early in his career, and his continued weaknesses in basic aircraft control and instrument flying were not identified and adequately addressed.” Renslow’s career spanned two decades and had failed five performance checks during that time. Colgan Air was only aware of three. Colgan said had they known about the other two, they would not have hired Renslow in 2005.

Colgan Air responded to the NTSB report in a letter: “They [the pilots] knew what to do in the situation they faced that night a year ago, had repeatedly demonstrated they knew what to do, and yet did not do it. We cannot speculate on why they did not use their training in dealing with the situation they faced.”

The Board added that Renslow’s response to the “stick shaker activation should have been automatic, but his improper flight control inputs were inconsistent with his training and were instead consistent with startle and confusion. The 24-year-old first officer, Rebecca Lynne Shaw, was noted for her young age and lack of experience.

It was continuous and one-sided, with the captain doing most of the talking. It was as if the flight was just a means for the captain to conduct a conversation with this young first officer.

The Board also concluded that “the pilots’ performance was likely impaired because of fatigue.” Renslow and Shaw had spent the night at the crew lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport in violation of Colgan Air’s company policies. However, the board voted down making fatigue a contributing factor. Shaw, the first officer, had flown the previous night on two separate planes from the Pacific Northwest where she lived with her parents. Shaw also appeared to be suffering from a bad cold.

However, the report also criticized Colgan saying that the airline, “did not pro-actively address the pilot fatigue hazards associated with operations at a predominantly commuter base.” Adding that, “Operators have a responsibility to identify risks associated with commuting, implement strategies to mitigate these risks, and ensure that their commuting pilots are fit for duty.”

Another factor brought up the by the NTSB was the violation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) sterile cockpit rule. It was noted that first officer Shaw had sent two text messages before take-off at Newark. The second message was sent two minutes before take-off.

Recent NTSB investigations have identified personal wireless technology use on the job. This phenomenon is becoming more widespread, and these phone calls, texts and other distractions have deadly consequences and must be addressed with all due haste by the transportation industry.

Prior to landing, the cockpit voice recorder recorded that the pilots were holding a conservation that potentially distracted the captain from operating the plane. Robert Sumwalt, a member of the NTSB board said, “It was continuous and one-sided, with the captain doing most of the talking.” He added, “It was as if the flight was just a means for the captain to conduct a conversation with this young first officer.”

The chairwoman of the NTSB, Deborah Hersman, has noted that electronic devices are becoming a hazard to transportation. Hersman said, “Recent NTSB investigations have identified personal wireless technology use on the job. This phenomenon is becoming more widespread, and these phone calls, texts and other distractions have deadly consequences and must be addressed with all due haste by the transportation industry.”

The agency noted that distractions from electronics have played a part in many recent accidents and incidents, such as the August 2009 mid-air collision between a small private Piper aeroplane and a tour helicopter over the Hudson River in New York City killing all involved. The NTSB noted that one of the air traffic controllers was making a phone call and failed to warn the aircraft of the conflict that existed between each other in their airspace. However, this was disputed by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association which represents air traffic controllers nationwide. The NTSB later retracted some of its statements.

The other notable incident was that of Northwest Airlines Flight 188 in October, that overshot its destination of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport by 150 miles (241 km) before the pilots noticed. The pilots claimed they were checking schedules on their laptop computers in violation of basic piloting rules, the sterile cockpit rule and the policy of Delta Air Lines, who had recently acquired Northwest.

The NTSB’s last board meeting which was held two weeks ago, about the 2008 train collision between a Metrolink commuter rail train and a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth, California also pertained to distractions by electronic devices. In the statement released by the NTSB for that meeting, the board stated that “according to records from the wireless provider, on the day of the accident, while on duty, both the Metrolink engineer and the Union Pacific conductor used wireless devices to send and receive text messages.” The NTSB has recommended that audio and video recorders be installed in locomotive and control cabs because of the collision.

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Air Moldova completes airpark with a Brazilian Embraer aircraft

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Air Moldova completes airpark with a Brazilian Embraer aircraft

June 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, February 11, 2008

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer on Friday announced it has signed a firm order with Air Moldova for one Embraer 190 jet, to be delivered in March 2010. The contract includes an option on another plane of the same model, Embraer said in a statement. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

At present, renowned companies such as Air France, Lufthansa group and Spanish Iberia Airlines own Embraer 190 jets, specified the representative of Air Moldova. The same source specified that Embraer 190 jet is one of the most economic and optimal aircrafts for operation, and it will be configured in a single-class cabin with 114 seats.

Air Moldova, which links the Moldovan capital, Chi?in?u, to cities in Europe and the Middle East, intends to use the new plane to open new markets.

The Embraer 190 is one of the four members of the E-Jets family. On December 31, the Embraer 170/190 E-Jets had logged 764 firm orders and 786 options.

Embraer is the world’s fourth-largest commercial plane maker. It finished 2007 with a firm order backlog of US$18.8 billion.

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BHP halts operations after mine death in Western Australia

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BHP halts operations after mine death in Western Australia

June 17, 2018 · Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday, February 5, 2006

A BHP Billiton nickel mine at Leinster, 645Km northeast of Perth, Western Australia has halted operations after the death of a mine worker. WA Police say Mark Quinn, 32, an employee of mining contractor MacMahon’s, working about 900 metres underground, was killed in an explosion.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known. Department of Community and Employment Protection investigators have travelled to the site from Kalgoorlie to conduct an inquiry.

Global resources giant BHP Billiton Ltd./Plc, says employees are being briefed and counselled over the incident. The mine will remain closed until the investigation is complete. Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

According to media reports, no-one else was injured in the explosion – the cause of which is not yet known. The accident comes almost two years after a BHP Billiton worker died in a gas explosion at the Boodarie iron plant in Port Hedland, WA. The plant was then abandoned after the incident in May 2004.

In April 2004, a man was killed at BHP Billiton’s Nelson Point facility, also at Port Hedland in WA. In May 2000 a truck driver was killed at a BHP Pilbara iron ore operation in WA. BHP Billiton employ some 37,000 people at over 100 operations in 25 countries.

Coal mines in the United States’ West Virginia district were also suspended earlier this week, due to increased amounts of miners’ deaths.

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