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Submitted by: Isaacog Wynn

Possessing an on the net business usually requires at minimum a connection to the World-wide-web and a pc or other equipment that can get on the web. In numerous conditions, a landline phone, fax machine, printer, and smartphone are also demanded. Business people are often strapped for money when they start out their firms and they seem for funding. A distinctive way to get funding for an on line business enterprise is to use winnings from contests and sweepstakes to get the required gear. Creative thinking like this is what gets the organization started off on the correct foot. Ongoing thoughts along these lines are what will make the small business depart the competitiveness behind in the dust.

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Numerous internet sites committed to this pastime have a function that it will log your sweepstake pursuits. On the web sweepstakes are incredibly uncomplicated to track down. All you will need to do is type into any lookup engine “free on the internet competitions” and you will arrive across a myriad of possibilities. And the far more you enter, the larger your likelihood of winning a prize.

Lots of folks have designed entering free of charge on line sweepstakes their living. They enter as numerous as they can and win cost-free prizes. They do not continuously win mainly because they know magic, but simply because they designed a system that allows them to win. The process is just identifying internet websites that regularly have sweepstakes to win cost-free provides, and then getting into them as much as they can. Businesses owe a lot to the world wide web. It supplies them with a swiftly way to promote their products via cost-free on the internet sweepstakes.

About the Author: I am a really bored particular person who will get enthusiastic about creating articles or blog posts about stuff people today ought to go through.


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Second Arab-Israeli bulldozer attack in July 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 

Sixteen were wounded, one seriously when a Palestinian rammed a backhoe loader into a bus followed by attacks on several other vehicles Tuesday afternoon in Jerusalem before he was shot dead by the security forces. This is the second such incident in Jerusalem in three weeks. A spokesman for the Israeli police said that a civilian shot the vehicle’s driver but the bulldozer was still running. A police patrol continued shooting until the driver died.

The bulldozer driver who was, according to witnesses, wearing a large white skullcap common to religious Muslims, first hit the No. 13 bus on its side and then chased it while raising the shovel of his front-end loader, the driver managed to make a right turn and get away from the bulldozer which then went on to zig zag across the street and hit further cars until it came to a stop following the driver being gunned down.

Speaking in Amman, United States presidential candidate Barack Obama said: “Today’s bulldozer attack is a reminder of what Israelis have courageously lived with on a daily basis for far too long. I strongly condemn this attack and will always support Israel in confronting terrorism and pursuing lasting peace and security.”

After the attack, which follows a similar attack on July 2, and the indictment of six Israeli-Arabs from Jerusalem accused of belonging to a terrorist cell, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, said: “We should reconsider the employment of these people.”

Top-down and bottom-up design

Top-down and bottom-up are both strategies of information processing and knowledge ordering, used in a variety of fields including software, humanistic and scientific theories (see systemics), and management and organization. In practice, they can be seen as a style of thinking and teaching.

A top-down approach (also known as stepwise design and in some cases used as a synonym of decomposition) is essentially the breaking down of a system to gain insight into its compositional sub-systems. In a top-down approach an overview of the system is formulated, specifying but not detailing any first-level subsystems. Each subsystem is then refined in yet greater detail, sometimes in many additional subsystem levels, until the entire specification is reduced to base elements. A top-down model is often specified with the assistance of “black boxes”, these make it easier to manipulate. However, black boxes may fail to elucidate elementary mechanisms or be detailed enough to realistically validate the model. Top down approach starts with the big picture. It breaks down from there into smaller segments.[1]

A bottom-up approach is the piecing together of systems to give rise to more complex systems, thus making the original systems sub-systems of the emergent system. Bottom-up processing is a type of information processing based on incoming data from the environment to form a perception. From a Cognitive Psychology perspective, information enters the eyes in one direction (sensory input, or the “bottom”), and is then turned into an image by the brain that can be interpreted and recognized as a perception (output that is “built up” from processing to final cognition). In a bottom-up approach the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail. These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed. This strategy often resembles a “seed” model, whereby the beginnings are small but eventually grow in complexity and completeness. However, “organic strategies” may result in a tangle of elements and subsystems, developed in isolation and subject to local optimization as opposed to meeting a global purpose.

During the design and development of new products, designers and engineers rely on both a bottom-up and top-down approach. The bottom-up approach is being utilized when off-the-shelf or existing components are selected and integrated into the product. An example would include selecting a particular fastener, such as a bolt, and designing the receiving components such that the fastener will fit properly. In a top-down approach, a custom fastener would be designed such that it would fit properly in the receiving components.[2] For perspective, for a product with more restrictive requirements (such as weight, geometry, safety, environment, etc.), such as a space-suit, a more top-down approach is taken and almost everything is custom designed. However, when it’s more important to minimize cost and increase component availability, such as with manufacturing equipment, a more bottom-up approach would be taken, and as many off-the-shelf components (bolts, gears, bearings, etc.) would be selected as possible. In the latter case, the receiving housings would be designed around the selected components.

In the software development process, the top-down and bottom-up approaches play a key role.

Top-down approaches emphasize planning and a complete understanding of the system. It is inherent that no coding can begin until a sufficient level of detail has been reached in the design of at least some part of the system. Top-down approaches are implemented by attaching the stubs in place of the module. This, however, delays testing of the ultimate functional units of a system until significant design is complete. Bottom-up emphasizes coding and early testing, which can begin as soon as the first module has been specified. This approach, however, runs the risk that modules may be coded without having a clear idea of how they link to other parts of the system, and that such linking may not be as easy as first thought. Re-usability of code is one of the main benefits of the bottom-up approach.[3]

Top-down design was promoted in the 1970s by IBM researchers Harlan Mills and Niklaus Wirth. Mills developed structured programming concepts for practical use and tested them in a 1969 project to automate the New York Times morgue index. The engineering and management success of this project led to the spread of the top-down approach through IBM and the rest of the computer industry. Among other achievements, Niklaus Wirth, the developer of Pascal programming language, wrote the influential paper Program Development by Stepwise Refinement. Since Niklaus Wirth went on to develop languages such as Modula and Oberon (where one could define a module before knowing about the entire program specification), one can infer that top down programming was not strictly what he promoted. Top-down methods were favored in software engineering until the late 1980s,[3] and object-oriented programming assisted in demonstrating the idea that both aspects of top-down and bottom-up programming could be utilized.

Modern software design approaches usually combine both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Although an understanding of the complete system is usually considered necessary for good design, leading theoretically to a top-down approach, most software projects attempt to make use of existing code to some degree. Pre-existing modules give designs a bottom-up flavor. Some design approaches also use an approach where a partially functional system is designed and coded to completion, and this system is then expanded to fulfill all the requirements for the project

Top-down is a programming style, the mainstay of traditional procedural languages, in which design begins by specifying complex pieces and then dividing them into successively smaller pieces. The technique for writing a program using top–down methods is to write a main procedure that names all the major functions it will need. Later, the programming team looks at the requirements of each of those functions and the process is repeated. These compartmentalized sub-routines eventually will perform actions so simple they can be easily and concisely coded. When all the various sub-routines have been coded the program is ready for testing. By defining how the application comes together at a high level, lower level work can be self-contained. By defining how the lower level abstractions are expected to integrate into higher level ones, interfaces become clearly defined.

In a bottom-up approach, the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail. These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed. This strategy often resembles a “seed” model, whereby the beginnings are small, but eventually grow in complexity and completeness. Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a paradigm that uses “objects” to design applications and computer programs. In mechanical engineering with software programs such as Pro/ENGINEER, Solidworks, and Autodesk Inventor users can design products as pieces not part of the whole and later add those pieces together to form assemblies like building with LEGO. Engineers call this piece part design.

This bottom-up approach has one weakness. Good intuition is necessary to decide the functionality that is to be provided by the module. If a system is to be built from existing system, this approach is more suitable as it starts from some existing modules.

Parsing is the process of analyzing an input sequence (such as that read from a file or a keyboard) in order to determine its grammatical structure. This method is used in the analysis of both natural languages and computer languages, as in a compiler.

Bottom-up parsing is a strategy for analyzing unknown data relationships that attempts to identify the most fundamental units first, and then to infer higher-order structures from them. Top-down parsers, on the other hand, hypothesize general parse tree structures and then consider whether the known fundamental structures are compatible with the hypothesis. See Top-down parsing and Bottom-up parsing.

Top-down and bottom-up are two approaches for the manufacture of products. These terms were first applied to the field of nanotechnology by the Foresight Institute in 1989 in order to distinguish between molecular manufacturing (to mass-produce large atomically precise objects) and conventional manufacturing (which can mass-produce large objects that are not atomically precise). Bottom-up approaches seek to have smaller (usually molecular) components built up into more complex assemblies, while top-down approaches seek to create nanoscale devices by using larger, externally controlled ones to direct their assembly.

The top-down approach often uses the traditional workshop or microfabrication methods where externally controlled tools are used to cut, mill, and shape materials into the desired shape and order. Micropatterning techniques, such as photolithography and inkjet printing belong to this category.

Bottom-up approaches, in contrast, use the chemical properties of single molecules to cause single-molecule components to (a) self-organize or self-assemble into some useful conformation, or (b) rely on positional assembly. These approaches utilize the concepts of molecular self-assembly and/or molecular recognition. See also Supramolecular chemistry. Such bottom-up approaches should, broadly speaking, be able to produce devices in parallel and much cheaper than top-down methods, but could potentially be overwhelmed as the size and complexity of the desired assembly increases.

These terms are also employed in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology to discuss the flow of information in processing.[4] Typically sensory input is considered “down”, and higher cognitive processes, which have more information from other sources, are considered “up”. A bottom-up process is characterized by an absence of higher level direction in sensory processing, whereas a top-down process is characterized by a high level of direction of sensory processing by more cognition, such as goals or targets (Beiderman, 19).[3]

According to Psychology notes written by Dr. Charles Ramskov, a Psychology professor at De Anza College, Rock, Neiser, and Gregory claim that top-down approach involves perception that is an active and constructive process.[5] Additionally, it is an approach not directly given by stimulus input, but is the result of stimulus, internal hypotheses, and expectation interactions. According to Theoretical Synthesis, “when a stimulus is presented short and clarity is uncertain that gives a vague stimulus, perception becomes a top-down approach.”[6]

Conversely, Psychology defines bottom-up processing as an approach wherein there is a progression from the individual elements to the whole. According to Ramskov, one proponent of bottom-up approach, Gibson, claims that it is a process that includes visual perception that needs information available from proximal stimulus produced by the distal stimulus.[7] Theoretical Synthesis also claims that bottom-up processing occurs “when a stimulus is presented long and clearly enough.”[6]

Cognitively speaking, certain cognitive processes, such as fast reactions or quick visual identification, are considered bottom-up processes because they rely primarily on sensory information, whereas processes such as motor control and directed attention are considered top-down because they are goal directed. Neurologically speaking, some areas of the brain, such as area V1 mostly have bottom-up connections.[6] Other areas, such as the fusiform gyrus have inputs from higher brain areas and are considered to have top-down influence.[8]

The study of visual attention provides an example. If your attention is drawn to a flower in a field, it may be because the color or shape of the flower are visually salient. The information that caused you to attend to the flower came to you in a bottom-up fashion—your attention was not contingent upon knowledge of the flower; the outside stimulus was sufficient on its own. Contrast this situation with one in which you are looking for a flower. You have a representation of what you are looking for. When you see the object you are looking for, it is salient. This is an example of the use of top-down information.

In cognitive terms, two thinking approaches are distinguished. “Top-down” (or “big chunk”) is stereotypically the visionary, or the person who sees the larger picture and overview. Such people focus on the big picture and from that derive the details to support it. “Bottom-up” (or “small chunk”) cognition is akin to focusing on the detail primarily, rather than the landscape. The expression “seeing the wood for the trees” references the two styles of cognition.[9]

In management and organizational arenas, the terms “top-down” and “bottom-up” are used to indicate how decisions are made.

A “top-down” approach is one where an executive, decision maker, or other person or body makes a decision. This approach is disseminated under their authority to lower levels in the hierarchy, who are, to a greater or lesser extent, bound by them. For example, a structure in which decisions either are approved by a manager, or approved by his or her authorized representatives based on the manager’s prior guidelines, is top-down management.

A “bottom-up” approach is one that works from the grassroots—from a large number of people working together, causing a decision to arise from their joint involvement. A decision by a number of activists, students, or victims of some incident to take action is a “bottom-up” decision. Positive aspects of top-down approaches include their efficiency and superb overview of higher levels. Also, external effects can be internalized. On the negative side, if reforms are perceived to be imposed ‘from above’, it can be difficult for lower levels to accept them (e.g. Bresser Pereira, Maravall, and Przeworski 1993). Evidence suggests this to be true regardless of the content of reforms (e.g. Dubois 2002). A bottom-up approach allows for more experimentation and a better feeling for what is needed at the bottom.

Both approaches can be found in the organization of states, this involving political decisions.

In bottom-up organized organizations, e.g. ministries and their subordinate entities, decisions are prepared by experts in their fields, which define, out of their expertise, the policy they deem necessary. If they cannot agree, even on a compromise, they escalate the problem to the next higher hierarchy level, where a decision would be sought. Finally, the highest common principal might have to take the decision. Information is in the debt of the inferior to the superior, which means that the inferior owes information to the superior. In the effect, as soon as inferiors agree, the head of the organization only provides his or her “face? for the decision which their inferiors have agreed upon.

Among several countries, the German political system provides one of the purest forms of a bottom-up approach. The German Federal Act on the Public Service provides that any inferior has to consult and support any superiors, that he or she – only – has to follow “general guidelines” of the superiors, and that he or she would have to be fully responsible for any own act in office, and would have to follow a specific, formal complaint procedure if in doubt of the legality of an order.[10] Frequently, German politicians had to leave office on the allegation that they took wrong decisions because of their resistance to inferior experts’ opinions (this commonly being called to be “beratungsresistent”, or resistant to consultation, in German). The historical foundation of this approach lies with the fact that, in the 19th century, many politicians used to be noblemen without appropriate education, who more and more became forced to rely on consultation of educated experts, which (in particular after the Prussian reforms of Stein and Hardenberg) enjoyed the status of financially and personally independent, indismissable, and neutral experts as Beamte (public servants under public law).[11]

The experience of two dictatorships in the country and, after the end of such regimes, emerging calls for the legal responsibility of the “aidees of the aidees” (Helfershelfer) of such regimes also furnished calls for the principle of personal responsibility of any expert for any decision made, this leading to a strengthening of the bottom-up approach, which requires maximum responsibility of the superiors. A similar approach can be found in British police laws, where entitlements of police constables are vested in the constable in person and not in the police as an administrative agency, this leading to the single constable being fully responsible for his or her own acts in office, in particular their legality.

In the opposite, the French administration is based on a top-down approach, where regular public servants enjoy no other task than simply to execute decisions made by their superiors. As those superiors also require consultation, this consultation is provided by members of a cabinet, which is distinctive from the regular ministry staff in terms of staff and organization. Those members who are not members of the cabinet are not entitled to make any suggestions or to take any decisions of political dimension.

The advantage of the bottom-up approach is the level of expertise provided, combined with the motivating experience of any member of the administration to be responsible and finally the independent “engine” of progress in that field of personal responsibility. A disadvantage is the lack of democratic control and transparency, this leading, from a democratic viewpoint, to the deferment of actual power of policy-making to faceless, if even known, public servants. Even the fact that certain politicians might “provide their face” to the actual decisions of their inferiors might not mitigate this effect, but rather strong parliamentary rights of control and influence in legislative procedures (as they do exist in the example of Germany).

The advantage of the top-down principle is that political and administrative responsibilities are clearly distinguished from each other, and that responsibility for political failures can be clearly identified with the relevant office holder. Disadvantages are that the system triggers demotivation of inferiors, who know that their ideas to innovative approaches might not be welcome just because of their position, and that the decision-makers cannot make use of the full range of expertise which their inferiors will have collected.

Administrations in dictatorships traditionally work according to a strict top-down approach. As civil servants below the level of the political leadership are discouraged from making suggestions, they use to suffer from the lack of expertise which could be provided by the inferiors, which regularly leads to a breakdown of the system after an few decades. Modern communist states, which the People’s Republic of China forms an example of, therefore prefer to define a framework of permissible, or even encouraged, criticism and self-determination by inferiors, which would not affect the major state doctrine, but allows the use of professional and expertise-driven knowledge and the use of it for the decision-making persons in office.

Both top-down and bottom-up approaches exist in public health. There are many examples of top-down programs, often run by governments or large inter-governmental organizations (IGOs); many of these are disease-specific or issue-specific, such as HIV control or Smallpox Eradication. Examples of bottom-up programs include many small NGOs set up to improve local access to healthcare. However, a lot of programs seek to combine both approaches; for instance, guinea worm eradication, a single-disease international program currently run by the Carter Center has involved the training of many local volunteers, boosting bottom-up capacity, as have international programs for hygiene, sanitation, and access to primary health-care.

Often, the École des Beaux-Arts school of design is said to have primarily promoted top-down design because it taught that an architectural design should begin with a parti, a basic plan drawing of the overall project.[citation needed]

By contrast, the Bauhaus focused on bottom-up design. This method manifested itself in the study of translating small-scale organizational systems to a larger, more architectural scale (as with the woodpanel carving and furniture design).

In ecology, top-down control refers to when a top predator controls the structure or population dynamics of the ecosystem. The classic example is of kelp forest ecosystems. In such ecosystems, sea otters are a keystone predator. They prey on urchins which in turn eat kelp. When otters are removed, urchin populations grow and reduce the kelp forest creating urchin barrens. In other words, such ecosystems are not controlled by productivity of the kelp but rather a top predator.

Bottom up control in ecosystems refers to ecosystems in which the nutrient supply and productivity and type of primary producers (plants and phytoplankton) control the ecosystem structure. An example would be how plankton populations are controlled by the availability of nutrients. Plankton populations tend to be higher and more complex in areas where upwelling brings nutrients to the surface.

There are many different examples of these concepts. It is common for populations to be influenced by both types of control.

Fire burns at Barangaroo construction site, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 

A large fire has started at the Barangaroo construction site overlooking Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. The construction company said fire broke out at about 2:10pm local time (0310 UTC) and appeared to have been caused by a welding accident in the basement of a building.

All site workers were evacuated without injury, according to Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer. Large clouds of smoke were continuing to pour out of the building, casting a thick pall of smoke over the city skyline. Some nearby buildings have also been evacuated, including the KPMG building and offices of the Macquarie Bank.

Firefighters reported concern about a tower crane overhanging the building basement site. There were fears that the crane could buckle due to the heat and collapse. Firefighters were working to keep the base of the crane cool, and the stability of the structure was being monitored with lasers.

The Western Distributor motorway was closed to traffic, and Sydney Harbour Bridge partly closed. There had been major disruptions in traffic and multiple roads in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) were gridlocked. People catching buses were advised to expect long delays.

How To Find An Online Marketing Strategy

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Submitted by: Richard Vennes

The Internet offers many great business opportunities. It offers many ways for you to make money while working from home. Whether you are looking for a second, part-time job, a full-time career, or just want to earn extra money, the internet is a very good place to begin you job search. With so many options, you are sure to find something that will be of interest to you.

When you find that perfect internet opportunity, be sure to educate yourself well in the procedures of online marketing. Education is one of the best ways to ensure your success when working on the internet. Internet marketing is highly competitive and growing at an alarming rate. You will need to keep up on the latest technological advances in order to stay competitive.

In order to succeed, you will need a good teaching strategy. But , with all of the online marketing systems you find on the internet, it’s hard to tell which ones are real. Many of these online marketing strategies are nothing more than get rich quick schemes for the people who designed them. Many people have failed on the internet because they have followed a poorly designed online marketing teaching system.

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How do you choose a legitimate online marketing strategy? Begin by selecting an online marketing strategy that offers step-by-step tutoring, along with mentoring and coaching. A system of this magnitude will teach you and guide you through every detail of your marketing strategy. They will begin by teaching you how to select a product to market, along with how to promote your product and show you how to attract buyers. A good online marketing system will teach you everything you need to know at to succeed making money online.

Everyone should have an online mentor. Someone who will guide you and and encourage you, who can answer any questions you may have. If this is your first venture into internet marketing, a mentor and coach is definitely a must. Before you give them your money, you need to look them over very well.

But how do you go about picking a good coaching strategy over a bad one? With all of the glamorous and enticing websites that promote online marketing, how do you tell which ones are legitimate from the ones that are just trying to get your money?

Select five or six different online marketing websites that appeal to you. Look them over thoroughly. After all, you are investing in your future. As you look through each website, pay attention to how they are promoting themselves. If they only tell you about how you will make more money than you ever thought possible, but say nothing about how they are going to help you earn that money, then they might not be so good.

If, however, they tell you about how they will teach you to make money on the internet, and give a couple of demonstrations that shows how their system works, they might be worth considering.

A legitimate online marketing website will give you every opportunity to thoroughly look them over. They will provide you with a phone number, so you can talk to them and ask questions to a live person. This will allow you to receive unrehearsed answers. They will also make it possible for you to communicate with people who have already use their marketing strategy.

Select only one internet training program that you feel comfortable working with, rather than going from one to anther. Using several will only lead to confusion and frustration.

The internet market never closes. It is always open for business. If you are willing to learn and are determined, before long you will begin to earn a substantial income.

About the Author: Richard Vennes likes seeing people enjoy success in their lives. Go to and make your business grow.


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Telecom New Zealand bounces gay e-mail

Sunday, April 29, 2007 

Telecom New Zealand has apologised to Gay Hamilton after her e-mail was bounced because it contained the word gay eight times. The automatic reply Ms Hamilton received stated that the e-mail was not suited for “business-like communication”.

Website designer and lesbian, Gay Hamilton had sent the largest public company in New Zealand a message to their help desk via e-mail, asking if she was able to receive their broadband services in her Nelson suburb.

Lenska Papich, spokesperson for Telecom, has said that e-mails are usually only monitored internally, and the words are blocked to help reduce harassment cases by threatening disciplinary action. “Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words gay and heterosexual, that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work.” Telecom refused to list the other words that are blocked.

Ms Hamilton has said that she is worried about the amount of time and effort Telecom must have put into deciding that gay was an inappropriate word in e-mail communication. “If they do have to put content filters on, then maybe they should ensure that it only gets genuinely abusive words.”

Ms Hamilton has been apologised to by Lenska Papich, who said that she was very good about it all.

USPTO partially confirms validity of Amazon “1-click patent”

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an office action, which confirmed the patentability of claims 6 to 10 of the Amazon 1-Click patent, US 5,960,411. The patent examiner, however, rejected claims 1 to 5 and 11 to 15. Amazon now has up to six months to amend the rejected claims to overcome the examiner’s rejection, provide arguments to demonstrate that the examiner is in error and/or provide evidence to demonstrate the patentability of their claims. During this period, the entire patent is still considered valid under US patent law.

The USPTO is reconsidering the patentability of the claims due to a request for reexamination filed by New Zealander Peter Calveley. Mr. Calveley used internet archives to show that defunct company Digi Cash used a similar technique prior to Amazon. Despite costing a substantial sum of cash and requiring donations to prepare and file the request for reexamination, Calveley said he did it as a game and hopes that his success inspires others to play the same game.

“One Click” shopping is an ecommerce technique, which allows a customer to purchase products via the Internet without repeatedly entering personal information such as name and address. At the time it was introduced it eased the frustration of on-line shopping.

Amazon filed the patent application for 1-click shopping in early 1997 and was granted the patent in September 1999. 23 days later Amazon sued rival Barnes & Noble for alleged infringement by its “Express Lane” ordering which was introduced in 1998. In December 1999 Amazon won an interim injunction against Barnes & Noble but the USA Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lifted this injunction in February 2001. The parties then settled their dispute for undisclosed terms. Amazon has since successfully licensed the technique to other e-sellers such as Apple.

Thursday, December 27, 2007 

Heavy rains in Indonesia yesterday triggered widespread flooding and landslides across the nation. It has emerged that last night a bridge was swept away by the swollen river it stretched across, leaving around 40 to 50 people missing in Madiun, East Java. Meanwhile, the total toll of those known or feared to be dead has reached 130.

According to local police chief Supardi in a telephone conversation with Xinhua the flood waters weakened a foundation, resulting in the collapse. At least twenty motorcyclists, car drivers and passengers are thought to be dead, but as of midnight, no bodies had been recovered. However, three bikes have been retrieved. 100 rescuers have been dispatched to the scene. Continuing heavy rain forced the search to be abandoned temporarily.

Java as a whole is the worst affected island; in addition to the bridge collapse most of the landslides occurred in two Central Java districts. Health ministry official Rustam Pakaya told reporters that at least 28,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in central Java, although exact figures are not yet available. The Red Cross commented that 45,000 East Javanese people have been similarly displaced. Thousands are seeking shelter in mosques and other public buildings.

Landslides buried houses and made roads impassable, while hundreds police officers, military personnel, local officials and volunteers have been digging with farm tools and even their hands to search for survivors. Heavy machinery is available but the road conditions have prevented it arriving at the areas where it is required. Jakarta has dispatched aid in the form of five tonnes of biscuits and instant meals, ten tonnes of baby food and multiple boats.

Heru Aji Pratomo, head of the disaster management centre in the worst-hit district of Karanganyar has confirmed the recovery of twelve more bodies. This brings the total confirmed death toll in the area to 48. He said that most bodies were recovered from three metre deep mud and required heavy digging machinery to retrieve. 28 remain missing.

Local resident Siswo told AFP “Suddenly I felt my house shaking, and I thought it was an earthquake. When I got outside, I saw that the houses next to mine were already covered by earth,” and that it struck twelve neighbouring houses.

In the next district, Wonogiri, disaster management centre head Sri Mubadi told reporters they had retrieved two more bodies, reaching a total of six, with eleven more missing. He also confirmed that they currently have no access to heavy equipment.

In Tawangmangu about 1,000 rescuers were also searching for bodies and survivors without the aid of heavy machinery. Three more bodies were retrieved today.

Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir toured a Karanganyar village, at which time he commented that he felt the disaster had been caused as a form of divine revenge, saying “This was likely caused by immoral acts going on here,” and “This could be a lesson to be learned.” The 69-year-old served two years after being linked to the 2002 Bali bombings, before having his conviction overturned last year.

Chalid Muhammad, director of Walhi, an Indonesian environmental group, had a different opinion. “For five consecutive years landslides and floods have occurred in Java, claiming many lives. The main trigger is ecological destruction caused by deforestation, forest conversions and chaotic spatial planning,” Chalid told Reuters.

“There have been no adequate efforts by the government to protect the people from disasters. When the landslides happened officials were on holiday and there was no access of heavy equipment to the affected areas.”

Submitted by: Mehboob Talukdar

Many people worry that when it comes to choosing a building contractor they will choose one who is not reliable and may even move onto another job half way through the project. Some might also overcharge. There are a few ways you can avoid ending up in this situation.

It is easier than you think to tell the good building contractors from the bad. You can normally tell if you are dealing with a cowboy builder from the minute they come to call. Rest assured there are fewer bad builders than you think and you are very unlucky if you happen to hire one. Take your building project seriously and make sure you get quotes from several building contractors. It is also a very good idea to ask friends, family and neighbours for recommendations. Check you the building contractor s claims and references before you sign any contracts.

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A good building contractor is generally always in demand and always busy. They should never just turn up on your doorstep asking if there is any work you want done. If a building contractor turns up at your door and offers to do any work for cash TURN THEM AWAY. Also beware of builders who say they can start work tomorrow. A sign of a good building contractor is that they are busy, so anyone who can start straight away should be viewed with suspicion.

A building project can quite often cost a fair amount of money and to make the most of the budget you have available take time to do some research into your local builders. It would help to make a list of your local builders who can handle the job you have in mind. Once you have this list you should get a minimum of three comparative quotes. Never only speak with one building contractor and go with a single quote. Always ask for a detailed written quote that lays everything out clearly for both parties.

A good building contractor should have a good reputation and be proud of any work they have done. Ask for references as they should have a long list of happy clients. If you can, you should also try and view some of the work they have done that is similar to your project. This will also give you an invaluable opportunity to speak to the client and view for yourself the quality of the work.

No reputable building contractor will ask for money up front. You should ideally agree a payment schedule that will run throughout the project which will enable the builder to buy the material he needs and pay other contractors. If a builder approaches you asking for money up front do not choose them as you will have no way of getting your money back if the job is not completed.

Hazel Brown is a well established building contractor that are more than capable of proving well organised, expertly managed dispute free projects. Visit their website to see a full list of services they have to offer.

About the Author: Hazel Brown are London’s one-stop building Contractors and Loft Conversion professionals. Click to see:


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Talk:UN aid convoys face increasing attacks in Darfur

This article is on Help make it popular. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews user Jcart1534 wrote to Jennifer Parmelee, Public Affairs Officer with WFP in Washington D.C. for clarification and/or further detail on the WFP [news release] of July 25, 2007.

Dear Jcart1534, I am afraid I can’t answer all your questions – like “why” there have been escalating attacks lately. I’ve asked my colleague in Sudan, Emilia Casella, to take a crack but my guess is she’d be speculating on an answer to that question too (prob better answered by a political analyst).

Here’s what we can say:

As to impact on our operations, increasing insecurity will almost certainly further constrain our ability to operate in Darfur – it already has.

I’ve taken the liberty of attaching Emilia’s talking points/clarifications on press release, which adds details on the impact and nature of the attacks to date (see figures on number of beneficiaries affected).

And yes, sure an expanded AU/UN peacekeeping force would help. As it is, AU is stretched very very thin, and as you can see from below, is unable to accompany most of our convoys.

I can’t answer about increased difficulty hiring trucks, but it’s more than likely. I know hiring (reliable) transport in other insecure environments – Afghanistan, Somalia – is extremely challenging.

From: Emilia Casella, WFP Spokesperson for Sudan TPs/Q&A on Darfur Press release: July 25, 2007 “Rising Attacks on Food Convoys Undermining WFP Work in Darfur”

Please note, regarding paragraph 5, which reads: So far this year, 18 WFP food convoys have been attacked by gunmen and four of WFP’s light vehicles carjacked. Six WFP vehicles, including trucks and light vehicles, have been stolen and 10 staff, including contractors, have been either detained or abducted.

Clarification: This means that 18 convoys have experienced various kinds of attack (being shot at, looted, drivers robbed and/or injured) and four light vehicles have been stopped and their drivers and passengers have been robbed of their belongings. A further six vehicles have been physically stolen and in these cases the bandits got in and drove off with our staff members still inside the vehicles. The staff members were later released. There were no major physical injuries, but naturally such experiences are very traumatic. These incidents have occurred in all three of the Darfurs, in areas controlled by various groups or the government.

Q: Thus, to the question: Who is responsible? A: The attacks and robberies have happened all over Darfur, in areas controlled by various parties. Frequently the bandits are wearing uniforms but often in one group of bandits there may be more than one uniform. Thus, we are not pointing fingers at any one group. We are calling on all parties to respect the neutrality of humanitarian convoys and their drivers, who are delivering food to civilians who are victims of the conflict.

Some examples of recent incidents:

Q: Why can’t the AU accompany the convoys? A: Food convoys leave WFP locations in Darfur every day. There are 123 WFP-owned trucks (51 DAF + 72 Mercedes) and a further 600 commercial trucks delivering about 40,000 MT of WFP food to Darfur and within Darfur every month. All our convoys are at risk of attack, but the AU does not have the mandate, nor the manpower and equipment to accompany all of them. On occasion, AU escorts are provided, at the request of WFP but it is not a regular occurrence.

Q: What is the impact of this increase in attacks and banditry? A: Our field staff reports that humanitarian access is likely to be increasingly difficult due to insecurity, unless all parties begin to respect the neutrality of WFP and other humanitarian organizations.

Q: How many people have been cut off by this insecurity? A: It is not possible to say how many may not be reached in July (as the month is still not over). Last month, we were unable to reach more than 170,000 people due to insecurity (up from a low this year of 60,000 in March), and the situation does not seem to be improving this month.

However, we have large quantities of food that were pre-positioned all over the area, ahead of the rainy season, meaning that in many areas our staff and NGO cooperating partners can go in by helicopter and conduct food distributions. Despite insecurity and access problems, WFP food assistance reached about 2.6 million people in Darfur last month.

Other data (source: OCHA)

There are approximately 12,000 humanitarian workers in Darfur (the number is going down, as the need goes up). Most need WFP’s Humanitarian Air Service to get to remote locations, as road travel has become too dangerous (also, at this time of year, roads are often washed out by rains). WFPHAS operates six helicopters and nine fixed-wing aircraft in Darfur.