Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team
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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.
Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster
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Sulpicio Lines pay PHP6.2 million for death of man in 1998 ferry disaster

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sulpicio Lines, a ferry company in the Philippines, have been ordered to pay PH?6.24 million over the death of a man on board MV Princess of the Orient, which sank in stormy weather off Batangas in 1998. Ernesto Unabia was one of seventy confirmed fatalities in the disaster, which left eighty more missing.

Unabia was a 37-year-old seaman who worked on international vessels, and earned a ?120,000 salary. According to widow Verna Unabia, who filed the case with her three children, he was going to work on for thirteen more years and then retire. Unabia’s case is the first to be concluded, although most victims settled with Sulpicio without claims being filed.

Although Sulpicio lost their appeal several weeks ago, reporters have only today received access to documentation concerning the case.

Under Philippines law, employers are responsible for their employees actions. However, in Pestaño vs. Sumayang the Supreme court ruled that if it could be proved an employer had taken appropriate diligence when selecting employers then they could not be held responsible.

It was viewed that Sulpicio was responsible as they failed to remove captain Esrum Mahilum from the vessel despite a number of incidents involving the ferry while he was in command of it. Princess of the Orient had struck the bottom of Manila‘s North Harbour, sideswiped a container ship and suffered a crippling engine fire while berthed at North Harbour, being towed first to Cebu and ultimately Singapore for repairs.

Despite these serious incidents while the ship was under Mahilum’s care, however, he was not removed from captaincy or even disciplined. A Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) investigation into the ultimate sinking of the Princess of the Orient would later say that Sulpicio did not have enough initiative to take action against him. The court ruled this made them responsible for his actions.

On September 18, 1998, the day of the sinking, Captain Mahilum was warned before starting out that severe weather was approaching. He wrongly calculated that the storm was safely distanced and left port regardless, running into the storm two hours later. Princess of the Orient began listing to the left and a distress call was sent, but she sank before help arrived. The BMI’s report blamed the disaster on the captain making “erroneous maneuvers of the vessel before it sank.” He remains missing to this day.

After the court ruled that this made Sulpicio liable to pay civil damages an appeal was filed, in which Sulpicio said that the captain “valiantly tried to save his ship up to the bitter end. He heroically went down with his ship.” Although he failed to properly supervise the abandon ship order he gave, he was last seen helping passengers to board life rafts. Sulpicio further alleged that careful analysis of the BMI report showed he did not directly cause the disaster.

The court rejected the appeal, with judge Estella Alma Singco saying that while the failure to remove the captain wasn’t the direct cause, “such failure doubtless contributed materially to the loss of life.” Sulpicio were ordered to pay P6.240 million in lost earnings, P100,000 moral damages, P50,000 indemnity – which Sulpicio had already offered to all the families of the deceased – and P50,000 in pursuer’s litigation costs.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Penny Lucas is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kenora-Rainy River riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed regarding her values, her experience, and her 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.

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President
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Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

Saturday, March 1, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

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Thousands of jobs to go at Corus
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Thousands of jobs to go at Corus

Sunday, January 25, 2009

International steel conglomerate Corus Group is to axe 3,500 jobs worldwide.

Up to 2,000 jobs are to be lost in the former British Steel plants in the United Kingdom. Owner Tata Steel employs 42,000 people worldwide, with 24,000 being in the UK. Corus did not comment on the report so far, but a union official told BBC News that the company would be making an announcement at 0930 UTC on Monday. The cuts would be part of long term restructuring plans made by soon to depart CEO Philippe Varin, which have been accelerated by the worldwide downturn.

Tata Steel’s sister company Tata Motors is said by The Sunday Times to be considering 1,500 job losses at the UK’s Jaguar Land Rover car manufacturer. It is not thought that any Corus plants in the UK will close outright.

Corus was formed from the merger of British Steel and the Dutch steelmaker Hoogovens, creating the ninth largest steel company in the world and the second largest in the European Union. The merger was uncomfortable and the company suffered severe financial problems in 2003. It later recovered and was bought by India’s Tata two years ago.

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Category:August 3, 2010
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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean
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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

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Two people die in bus crash in North Yorkshire
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Two people die in bus crash in North Yorkshire

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A British couple have died after their car collided with a bus carrying a group of children. The crash took part on the A64 at Staxton near Scarborough, North Yorkshire on Sunday morning. The bus continued on through a hedge line and hit an unoccupied camper van. Six passengers on the bus were treated for minor injuries.

Detective Inspector Geoff Carey of the North Yorkshire Police said that “The coach was carrying a group of young people as well as adults and they are very shocked. They have slight injuries but a great deal of shock.” He also commented on the after crash saying that “Had the Winnebago not been there the bus could have gone into the house.”

The bus was traveling from Pelsall to Primrose Valley holiday park in North Yorkshire to attend marching band competition when the accident happened.

The North Yorkshire police were unable to give any more details. The A64 was closed in both directions at Staxton at the junction with the B1249. Motorists were advised to avoid the area, which has become congested, according to police.

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Mobile operator Orange bills French doctor €160,000 for one month of Internet use
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Mobile operator Orange bills French doctor €160,000 for one month of Internet use

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In a third case of staggering sums billed for “unlimited” Internet access reported this week, a French emergency-room doctor from Fontainebleau beats all records with a €159,212 (US$237,417) bill. The telephone-number-sized bill covers one month’s use of an unlimited 3G dongle on Orange‘s network; the beleaguered Dr Jean Spadaro has been battling this for six months.

“To begin with I thought it was a joke”, said Spadaro, confirming a story from l’Observateur du Valenciennois; The same newspaper that revealed last week a similar case — Eric Gernez, a café owner in Petite-Forêt near to Valenciennes — who received a bill for €45,000. Christophe Aupy-Fargues, head of an insurance brokerage firm in Saint-Herblain, west of Nantes, and another unlimited 3G dongle user, confirmed to Ouest-France on Monday the blocking of payment on a bill for €39,500 demanded by Orange.

“I subscribed in November 2008 to a basic internet access by 3G dongle at €30 per month […] seeing my bills reach sums going up to €860 in April, I decided in May to subscribe to unlimited access by 3G dongle with Orange business at €50 per month. When I saw my bill for May, I couldn’t believe my eyes: €159,212, for one month’s connection, it’s impossible, especially as we don’t use it all of the time” added Spadaro, the father of two children, aged sixteen and nineteen.

On opening the envelope in June, he expected to read an amount neighbouring the cost of his subscription; but, to his horror, it was €159,212; a demand large enough to make an emergency-room doctor’s head spin.

When I saw my bill for May, I couldn’t believe my eyes: €159,212, for one month’s connection, it’s impossible

Spadaro claims France Télécom (Orange’s parent company) never explained to him that the “unlimited” package only related to the time spent surfing on the Internet — not the volume of traffic — limited to one Gigabyte per month. The package’s quota corresponds to moderate usage (reception of simple emails for example). As normal Internet users, the members of the Spadaro family surfed Facebook, YouTube, sent emails with attachments, received same, &c. That volume of traffic proved to be costly. €0.17 per Megabyte, or €170 per Gigabyte. Until the bills arrived, the Spadaro family were using the Internet, ignorant of the cost being incurred.

The doctor’s bills, not listed in detail, are €53 for February, €346 for March, €860 for April before soaring to more than €159,000 in May. Spadaro also claims, with evidence of his letters in hand, he had increased the number of protest actions and received, in response, “warnings with threats of seizure”.

Battle-weary after six months of contacting his operator, Spadaro has lost all patience. “Since June, I’ve spent hours writing emails, letters or calling Orange to ask for an explanation. I’ve been passed from call centre to call centre, from customer services to debt collection. No one at Orange was able to give me the slightest clarification. A real wall”, he said. He has never contacted a consumer association, “due to lack of time and also because I trusted the people with whom I was speaking”.

At the end of last week he stumbled upon the article on the Observateur du Valenciennois internet site concerning the case of Eric Gernez. He then also threatened Orange with the press. “The result did not tardy”, he continues. “A customer services representative and a debt collector immediately contacted me by email November 16. And immediately afterwards I received a credit for €136,529”. A first credit having already been sent to him in June, Orange now considers the dossier as “definitively resolved”.

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This resolution does not satisfy Jean Spadaro at all, who simply wishes that the bill be cancelled. “I have been a client with Orange for 17 years. I don’t want to attack their image, but here, enough is enough. It’s a question of principles”, he says, highlighting that “on forums, dozens of subscribers tell similar stories”. Furthermore, the two credits do not reimburse him for all of the additional fees he has incurred. “The following months, Orange tried to debit the sum from my account, causing rejection fees from my bank and unpaid fees from the operator. Around €35 each time”.

Exasperated by the whole affair, Spadaro awaits the end of his current contract with Orange in February next year. “I will cancel all of my subscriptions to Orange: 3G+ dongle, but also mobile telephone and internet”, he promises. He has been a client with the operator since 1997.

We will work with each client

Orange has promised to work with each case of overbilling. Interviewed on France 2 on Wednesday, Jean-Paul Cottet, director of the business market for France, said that the number of problems were marginal. According to him, 4,000 professionals have opted for a package with a 3G key. It is “a 24/24 but not unlimited offer. Out of these 4,000 cases, there are 1% which are a problem” he explained, listing about thirty such “absurd bills”. “We will correct that”, he promised. “We will work with each client”.

Jean-Paul Cottet pointed out that the general public offers better protection to the client. Once the authorised download limit is reached, the service quality diminishes but there is no overbilling.

Asked about the information given to clients about the conditions of billing elements not included in the package, Elizabeth Alvez, communications representative for the regional department for the North of France, said that “all the tarification information is available at points-of-sale and on orange.fr. This information is given as part of the dialogue between the client and the vendor. We are obliged to communicate the prices.” Nevertheless, one must first of all take the time to read the entire contract with the salesperson before signing.

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Hurricane Katrina causes upwards of $12bn of damage; oil prices surge
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Hurricane Katrina causes upwards of $12bn of damage; oil prices surge

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina is now over the U.S. mainland and has caused more than US$12 billion of damage. Some estimates are as high as $30 billion.

New Orleans was spared the most intense winds as the hurricane weakened as it made landfall, and its track turned slightly east, away from the city. However, the area was still subjected to sustained winds of more than 100mph, and rainfall as heavy as six inches per hour.

Future prices of crude oil rose above $70/barrel in the U.S. on Monday in the wake of Katrina’s surge through oil and refinery processing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm forced operators to shut down an estimated 1 million barrels of daily refining capacity in the region that accounts for nearly a quarter of total domestic production.

A U.S. spokesman for the Bush administration said the government will consider releasing crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if requested by refiners. OPEC has pledged to blunt the impact by increasing production to compensate.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that Michael Brown, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), briefed Mr. Bush before he left his Texas ranch for Arizona where he will deliver a speech on Medicare. Brown said it would take time before an assessment is possible for when refineries could resume activity.

President Bush authorized loans from the strategic reserve to help make up for missing supplies when Hurricane Ivan struck in 2004.

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