Canada’s Don Valley East (Ward 33) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley East (Ward 33). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Zane Caplan, Shelley Carroll (incumbent), Jim Conlon, Sarah Tsang-Fahey, and Anderson Tung.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

India seeks web crackdown after failed talks with industry

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Indian authorities today declared an intent to force web companies to screen content for “offensive” and “blasphemous material”. The move follows failed talks yesterday with Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal says “My aim is that insulting material never gets uploaded”, and that web firms “will have to give us the data, where these images are being uploaded and who is doing it.” The government’s planned new policy is in response to web-based firms informing him they could not prevent such material being uploaded. “They have given it to me in writing that they will not do anything until we get an order from the court,” even though “At a meeting on 4 November, we showed them some of the photos and they too agreed that the photos were offensive,” said Sibal. The disputed material was first discussed three months ago.

Sibal calls the situation “unacceptable” and disputes the firms’ defence of being merely “platforms” for others to add material. He claims they showed their “intention was not to cooperate”. Facebook promised ongoing dialogue in a statement and “[recognise] the government’s interest in minimising the amount of abusive content”. They also promised to “remove any content that violates our terms, which are designed to keep material that is hateful, threatening, incites violence or contains nudity off the service.”

Google say they remove material breaching their policies and to comply with local legislation. “But when content is legal and doesn’t violate our policies, we won’t remove it just because it’s controversial, as we believe that people’s differing views, so long as they’re legal, should be respected and protected,” the company added.

“We have to take care of the sensibilities of our people, we have to protect their sensibilities. Our cultural ethos is very important to us,” Sibal said today. A response from web firms of “we throw up our hands, we can’t do anything about this” would not be tolerated.

Although some reports suggest the spat has been triggered by critiques of powerful politician Sonia Gandhi, Sibal claims the firms have previously hesitated to respond to requests for details of “terrorists”. All the material the government wishes to censor is “absolutely illegal, defamatory, pornographic or other similar kind of material” says Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Material in question includes cartoons of Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and material mocking religion including an image depicting pigs in Mecca.

Indian computer security expert Vijay Mukhi rubbished the suggestions. “The idea of prescreening is impossible. How will they do it?… There is no technology currently that determines whether content is ‘defamatory’ or ‘offensive’,” he told Reuters. This sentiment was broadly echoed by large numbers on Twitter; the tag #IdiotKapilSibal was among the nation’s Twitter users’ most-used today. Twitter and Facebook were the organising points earlier this year for an anti-graft campaign that saw thousands protesting and new laws passed.

Internet companies insist too much material flows through the web to make such screening plausible. Sibal says the firms are applying US standards which do not take Indian needs into account.

Research in Motion last year resisted Indian security demands for access to encrypted BlackBerry communications. The government gave up that request but did manage to gain limited access to some BlackBerry communications. Skype and Google were told then that local servers would be mandatory, allowing the government to inspect emails.

About 100 million of India’s 1.2 billion people are online. There are 28 million Indian Facebook profiles. Google says it has received 68 content removal requests from Indian officials this year, and there have also been concerns Google Earth could be used to plan militant attacks.

India’s new moves follow criticism of the United Kingdom earlier this year. The UK proposed social media restrictions following riots while the Foreign Secretary simultaneously criticised other nations using social media controls to limit protest.

Microsoft claims 235 patent breaches by open source software

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Software giant Microsoft’s chief lawyer Brad Smith claimed in an interview published in the magazine Fortune on Monday that open-source software products violate 235 of Microsoft’s patents. The main transgressors are claimed to be Linux (107 patents) and (45), with e-mail programs infringing 15 patents. Microsoft wants royalties to compensate for the patent breaches.

According to Microsoft’s Vice-President of intellectual property and licensing, Horacio Gutierrez, the company wants to negotiate with the open-source companies rather than sue them. “If we wanted to litigate we would have done that a long time ago. Litigation is not an effective way of going about solutions,” Gutierrez said. According to him, Microsoft has over the last years tried to work towards a “constructive” solution to the alleged problem of patent violation.

Microsoft in the past has used the strategy of cross-licensing to get royalties from companies who infringe their patents, for example in their deal with Novell. On a company blog, Novell reiterated that their deal “is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property.”

“We don’t think that customers will want to continue on without a solution to the problem,” Gutierrez said about Microsoft’s approach to guaranteeing companies that they won’t get sued because they use the allegedly patent-infringing Linux operating system.

The upcoming third version of the GPL licence, the licence under which Linux is released, will prohibit Linux distributors to agree to patent royalty deals. Microsoft called these “attempts to tear down the bridge between proprietary and open-source software that Microsoft has worked to build with the industry and customers.”

A related U.S. Supreme Court ruling from April 30th showed how software patents can be subject to court challenges; basically, if the innovations patented are “obvious”, the patent is weakened. Joe Lindsay, information officer for a mortgage company, pointed out that the Unix code that Linux is based upon preceded Microsoft Windows, which might also be a reason for some patents to be invalid.

Red Hat, the biggest Linux distributor, said in a statement on Monday:

The reality is that the community development approach of free and open source code represents a healthy development paradigm, which, when viewed from the perspective of pending lawsuits related to intellectual property, is at least as safe as proprietary software.

Larry Augustin, former CEO of a company called VA Linux (now VA Software), responsible among other things for launching, an open-source software development community, posted a message on his blog under the title “It’s Time for Microsoft to Put Up or Shut Up”:

If Microsoft believes that Free and Open Source Software violates any of their patents, let them put those patents forward now, in the light of day, where we can all evaluate them on their merits. If not, then stop trying to bully customers into paying royalties to use Open Source.

According to the Fortune report, more than half of the Fortune 500 companies are estimated to use Linux in their data centers.

Bankruptcy And Foreclosure Not Always In Your Hands}



Elena Kitsch

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Bankruptcy and foreclosure are cases of an individual or business when it is under financial difficulties. Both have different formalities, legal proceedings as well as results. According to the U.S Bankruptcy Code, bankruptcy allows businesses or individuals to avoid payment of their debts. On the other hand, foreclosure allows the debtor to claim ownership of the debtor’s properties if he or she cannot raise the amount to cover the debt. This is a need of many businesses and there are lots of people who are not sure about what the procedure is. People come in this problem of debt as things could never be predicted in life and it may be up and down. Sometimes thing may not go in the right way on personal front or the business and then you can be in a mess and you do not want be in this situation, but it is not always in your hand and hence you need to take care. You do not want to lose your home in this mess and then fend for yourself, which could be a dangerous thing for you and your family and you would never even not think of it in dreams.

Losing a house is a tragedy for most people and one needs a competent foreclosure defense lawyer to be aware of their legal rights. Foreclosure defense lawyers in the long island may not come cheap, but you can always find one good lawyer with who carries means test at an affordable price. Although the set fees depends mostly on the facts of your case, this does not necessarily mean that the lawyer need to exploit you considering there are court filing fees which are about 330 dollars. These people charge money and then you should have the right lawyer and for having that you need to pay the fees and you should have money for that and it is not easy to have it. You should have enough money to take care of these problems and for everything you need money and that is something very tough to manage all this. It is never easy and you can really have lots of problems. You can look at some of the most important issues and avoid getting into to such a situation by planning things well and if you do that it will be easier.

Foreclosure law firms should provide legal strategies that suit their clients in securing their mortgages. A good law firm should always advise you on making the right decision to the family. There are many law firms in long island as there is in other parts of the country. Foreclosure laws are very detailed and set precedence for banks to follow while paying off your loan. A good defense law firm should guide and explain your options to avoid losing your property. A good law company finds the best course of action and sees to it that one gets the best services.

Elena Kitsch is an author of,one of the best foreclosure defense attorney in New York City, USA. She has been writting articles on

bankruptcy and foreclosure


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The Co-operative Group purchases Somerfield supermarket chain for over £1.5 billion

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Co-operative Group (Co-op) and Bristol-based Somerfield today agreed on a deal worth £1.565 billion which results in Somerfield being acquired by Co-op. Co-op has said that the acquisition took place on a “cash-free debt-free basis.”

Peter Marks, chief executive of The Co-operative Group, claimed that “this is good news for consumers and for competition in the grocery market, where we will create a stronger fifth player in food and a convenience store chain with unrivalled geographic reach.” He then said that “for The Co-operative Group this is a transformational deal – cementing our position as the UK’s premier community retailer and helping us significantly as we lead a renaissance of The Co-operative brand. “

Paul Mason, chair of privately-held Somerfield, also commented on the takeover. “The Co-operative Group and Somerfield have a similar focus in terms of customers, store types, product ranges and business vision. Our shared vision of providing a high-quality and affordable convenience offer to local communities means that together we will be twice as strong, and therefore twice as able to deliver the local grocery shops British customers demand,” he said.

With 4.4% share of the market, the Co-op is the fifth largest grocery chain in the UK. Somerfield is the seventh largest with a 3.7% share. The owners of Somerfield made their wish to sell the company clear in January of this year. Co-op first expressed an interest in the purchase in April.

BBC News Online reported that the Competition Commission may force Co-op to sell some stores due to its increased presence.

British MP calls for ban on Aspartame

Monday, January 2, 2006

Roger Williams, a UK Member of Parliament, has called for emergency action to ban the artificial sweetener Aspartame (aspartamine), questioning its safety. The MP said that there was “compelling and reliable evidence for this carcinogenic substance to be banned from the UK food and drinks market altogether.”

Reservations of some U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists about the safety of Aspartame were overridden when the agency initially approved the food additive in 1981, but many other countries followed the U.S. lead in endorsing the chemical sweetener for general public use. Aspartame has been linked in various studies cited by Mr. Williams to brain tumors, anxiety attacks, neurological impairment and other side effects, particularly in experimental animals; however, several reviews by government agencies have found no credible proof of such risk to humans and no country has banned or limited the substance for human consumption and such non-governmental groups as the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association assert that extensive investigation has not shown any serious adverse effects attributable to Aspartame. Nonetheless, organized groups continue to debate the issue vigorously and there are calls for class action law suits. The initiative by MP Roger Williams may now bring the debate into the open political arena of the House of Commons.

New research on combining Aspartame with other common food additives suggests that while each substance alone may be safe enough, some combinations frequently found in commercial products interfere with the development and function of the nervous system in rats. (Lau, et al.) Few, if any, other experiments with combinations have been conducted. On the other hand, surveys of human populations, which consume Aspartame in various combinations with artificial colorings and flavorings, have failed to convincingly show significant harm.

Aspartame is sold under the brand names of Equal, Nutrasweet and Canderel and is an ingredient of thousands of “diet” or “lite” products.

Google Android smartphone sales triple in the UK this year

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sales of smartphones running the Android operating system have tripled since the beginning of 2010, according to figures released yesterday. Market analysts GfK said that “around one in every eight handsets sold in the UK between April and June 2010 on a contract is Android-powered, compared to one in 33 on average between January and March.”

Last week, Samsung stepped up the marketing for its latest Android-powered device, the Galaxy S. Other Android-powered devices include the Sony Ericsson X10 and the HTC Desire.

Smartphones currently represent 73.5% of the market. GfK analyst Megan Baldock said to The Guardian: “The figures suggest an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name.”

A Beginner’s Help Guide For Marketing Automation}

A Beginner’s Help guide for Marketing Automation


kendricks jason

A Beginner’s Help guide for Marketing Automation

CRM provides a lot like a standalone software. It might oversee and track customer interactions, regulate customer service experiences, and rearrange the sharing of web data over-all departments. However, each other software, CRM has some limitations. It isn’t intended or developed to do anything. While automation software works extremely well without CRM, and vice-versa, they work very well together your whole is oftentimes more notable as opposed to the amount its parts.

What is actually Marketing Automation?

There are thousands of long, complicated definitions of automation software. However, a short, yet simpler definition is it must be used to automate the marketing process according to interests and interactions on the prospects. It gives a superior customer knowledge in more efficiency far better conversions.

The essential objective of marketing is to produce more revenue for your organization. To get this done, we should drive traffic site, convert that traffic into leads and shut those leads into ultimate customers. Marketing Automation actually offers an effect on the conversion and closure phases on this process.

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Visualization works:

Hundreds and thousands of marketers at the moment are using marketing with email to earn more traffic and better results. They send email after email at their entire variety of customers and prospects, hoping the fact that message appeal by some of these and therefore the client becomes purchasing something. But could it possibly be really helping businesses?

There’s no doubt that that sending the identical message time and again for all prospects and customers may annoy them, making them ‘unsubscribe,’ causing you to be with no opportunity have business dealings with them in the future. This is where a marketing automation system has to be a sound investment. Marketing Automation permits you to nurture your leads through the entire process and deliver highly targeted, personalized messages definitely address this needs of this customer.

Hot Highlights of Marketing Automation Tools:

Lead nurturing and drip marketing are often the hottest highlights of an excellent marketing automation software. However not almost offering all of the features on one platform. Prior to choosing your vendor for automation, it is advisable to confirm credit rating offering all of the essential features.

Marketing Automation tools serve as a shrewd gatekeeper. Prospects are nurtured and engaged until these are generally transformed into be qualified leads, then they’re motivated further inside the funnel. This prevents the store assistants from being overcome with leads that never transform into real customers. By preserve non-starters from the labor-intensive phases belonging to the pipeline, the items enhance ROI for both the marketing and advertising departments.

As leads are engaged and nurtured, their interactions are usually measured and assessed. In case they stay inactive, the engagement and nurturing proceeds automatically. However, when charge turns active, it will automatically inform established track record faculty on the sales department. Lots of the interactions are entered the CRM system automatically, showing the information with regard to the lead’s interactions while using the sales department. An active lead and all the specifications on what built them into a hot lead is a huge advantage for almost any sales assistant.

Suggestions that you follow:

Countless small and medium sized publication rack showing interest in using marketing automation tools, there’s a handful of issues faced by them. To prevent issues within your marketing automation system, it is advisable to stick to the basic suggestions. The next are already designed with a peek at “What is working best” in the marketplace.

1. Integration with CRM together with the Sales Process

Aligning marketing and sales closely are essential to achieved success with marketing automation. The marketing team must fully accept the sales cycle and the way prospects move through the cycle. In an effort to measure the efficiency of selling campaigns, you need to track leads over the sales pipeline. Also, it’s important to be aware that by sharing data, marketing automation platforms and CRMs can integrate and discuss with 1 another.

2. Hyper-Personalization Trend

The hyper-personalization trend shall be an ideal strategy to market in 2015, providing people who what they’re searching for seeking to not have spamming. Thinking about the people with shown some involvement in your offers, who reacted positively, who but your links, and who bounced helps with the personalization of this message offering.

3. Avoid Autopilot Mode

Marketing Automation is a wonderful way to save some time and resources by automating functions, however, it is very important to avoid auto-pilot mode. Automation can easily become sales prevention when “contact us” forms aren’t properly routed.

4. Use a Multi-Tasking Platform

There are plenty of marketing automation platforms offered that are available; some are offering pure sales or e-mail marketing when are limited to marketing intelligence only. However, multitasking platforms have proven to be useful in managing profits, emails, and internet marketing campaigns too from a single dashboard. It saves time, increases efficiency, and raises ROI.

QL Tech gives an affordable and scalable marketing automation solution which helps businesses achieve their business and purchases goals. It is the incredible lead nurturing platform that promises all key features at one place. Enjoy email, sales, tight integration with CRM, Salesforce, website analytics, and SEO analysis. Read more:

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All About Plastic Surgery}

All About Plastic Surgery


Gen Wright

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Each year millions of men and women look into getting cosmetic or plastic surgery done to some part of their bodies. It has become a common choice for people who are unsatisfied with their bodies and need a way to feel better and more confident once and for all. If you are one of these people and feel like plastic surgery is something that could be a positive aspect in your life, then you will want to know as much about it as possible, along with what you want done. Before you step foot in a doctor’s office, you will want to have a specific idea of what you want done and have your mind made up. Often times plastic surgeons will try to change your mind or convince you to have certain work done that is more expensive than what you already had in mind. Stay strong and confident in what you want and don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise, even if it’s a doctor.

A good plastic surgeon will go over all the details of the procedure with you, so you are not confused about any detail whatsoever. It is very important to get a doctor who is certified and can legally perform these procedures. Even though it seems like an obvious thing to check for, it is still something critical when looking in to getting cosmetic surgery done. One of the most common things that men have done is removal or acne or scars. Scars that are caused by long term acne are very commonly removed through plastic surgery. Doctors are able to take skin tissue from other places on your body and cover over the scars, so they are no longer visible. If you have a scar somewhere on your body that you would rather not like to have anymore, then you may want to consider getting work done on it.

For women, breast augmentation or enlargement is also a very common procedure, and it can be great for boosting self-esteem. Before you get a procedure like this done however, you will want to look into how much it will cost. It will not be cheap, so you should be prepared to have the full amount before looking into it seriously. A plastic surgeon will be able to tell you specifically how much they charge, but you should also have a ball park figure so you know whether or not they are charging too much. Women also commonly get scars removed as well as acne that can be very destructive to your skin and self-esteem. If you want cosmetic surgery done, then you first need to gather all the facts and details before going ahead with it.

Getting a


injection could be just what you need to get the kind of look you want with your breasts. Getting

plastic surgery

is a good idea for anyone who wants to become more comfortable with their body overall.

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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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