OpenSync Interview – syncing on the free desktop

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 24th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Friday, May 19, 2006

This interview intends to provide some insight into OpenSync, an upcoming free unified data synchronization solution for free software desktops such as KDE, commonly used as part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Hi Cornelius, Armin and Tobias. As you are now getting close to version 1.0 of OpenSync, which is expected to become the new synchronisation framework for KDE and other free desktops, we are quite interested in the merits it can provide for KDE users and for developers, as well as for the Open Source Community as a whole. So there’s one key-question before I move deeper into the details of OpenSync:

What does OpenSync accomplish, that no one did before?

Cornelius:

First of all it does its job of synchronizing data like addressbooks and calendars between desktop applications and mobile devices like PDAs and cell phones.
But the new thing about OpenSync is that it isn’t tied to a particular device or a specific platform. It provides an extensible and modular framework that is easy to adopt for application developers and people implementing support for syncing with mobile devices.
OpenSync is also independent of the desktop platform. It will be the common syncing backend for at least KDE and GNOME and other projects are likely to join. That means that the free desktop will have one common syncing solution. This is something really new.

How do the end-users profit from using synching solutions that interface with OpenSync as framework?

Cornelius:

First, the users will be able to actually synchronize all their data. By using one common framework there won’t be any “missing links”, where one application can sync one set of devices and another application a different one. With OpenSync all applications can sync all devices.
Second, the users will get a consistent and common user interface for syncing across all applications and devices. This will be much simpler to use than the current incoherent collection of syncing programs you need if you have more than the very basic needs.

How does OpenSync help developers with coding?

Cornelius:

It’s a very flexible and well-designed framework that makes it quite easy for developers to add support for new devices and new types of data. It’s also very easy to add support for OpenSync to applications.
The big achievement of OpenSync is that it hides all the gory details of syncing from the developers who work on applications and device support. That makes it possible for the developers to concentrate on their area of expertise without having to care what’s going on behind the scenes.
I have written quite a lot of synchronization code in the past. Trust me, it’s much better, if someone just takes care of it for you, and that’s what OpenSync does.

Tobias:

Another point to mention is the python wrapper for opensync, so you are not bound to C or C++, but can develop plugins in a high level scripting language.

Why should producers of portable devices get involved with your team?

Cornelius:

OpenSync will be the one common syncing solution for the free desktop. That means there is a single point of contact for device manufacturers who want to add support for their devices. That’s much more feasible than addressing all the different applications and solutions we had before. With OpenSync it hopefully will become interesting for manufacturers to officially support Linux for their devices.

Do you also plan to support applications of OpenSync in proprietary systems like OSX and Windows?

Cornelius:

OpenSync is designed to be cross-platform, so it is able to run on other systems like Windows. How well this works is always a question of people actually using and developing for this system. As far as I know there isn’t a real Windows community around OpenSync yet. But the technical foundation is there, so if there is somebody interested in working on a unified syncing solution on Windows, everybody is welcome to join the project.

What does your synchronisation framework do for KDE and for KitchenSync in particular?

Cornelius:

OpenSync replaces the KDE-specific synchronization frameworks we had before. Even in KDE we had several separate syncing implementations and with OpenSync we can get replace them with a common framework. We had a more generic syncing solution in KDE under development. This was quite similar from a design point of view to OpenSync, but it never got to the level of maturity we would have needed, because of lack of resources. As OpenSync fills this gap we are happy to be able to remove our old code and now concentrate on our core business.

What was your personal reason for getting involved with OpenSync?

Cornelius:

I wrote a lot of synchronization code in the past, which mainly came from the time where I was maintaining KOrganizer and working on KAddressBook. But this always was driven by necessity and not passion. I wanted to have all my calendar and contact data in one place, but my main objective was to work on the applications and user interfaces handling the data and not on the underlying code synchronizing the data.
So when the OpenSync project was created I was very interested. At GUADEC in Stuttgart I met with Armin, the maintainer of OpenSync, and we talked about integrating OpenSync with KDE. Everything seemed to fit together quite well, so at Linuxtag the same year we had another meeting with some more KDE people. In the end we agreed to go with OpenSync and a couple of weeks later we met again in Nuernberg for three days of hacking and created the KDE frontend for OpenSync. In retrospect it was a very pleasant and straightforward process to get where we are now.

Armin:

My reason to get involved (or better to start) OpenSync was my involvement with its predecessor Multisync. I am working as a system administrator for a small consulting company and so I saw some problems when trying to find a synchronization solution for Linux.
At that point I joined the Multisync project to implement some plugins that I thought would be nice to have. After some time I became the maintainer of the project. But I was unhappy with some technical aspects of the project, especially the tight coupling between the syncing logic and the GUI, its dependencies on GNOME libraries and its lack of flexibility.

Tobias:

Well, I have been a KDE PIM developer for several years now, so there was no way around getting in touch with synchronization and KitchenSync. Although I liked the idea of KitchenSync, I hated the code and the user interface […]. So when we discussed to switch to OpenSync and reimplementing the user interface, I volunteered immediately.

Can you tell us a bit about your further plans and ideas?

Cornelius:

The next thing will be the 1.0 release of OpenSync. We will release KitchenSync as frontend in parallel.

Armin:

There are of course a lot of things on my todo and my wishlist for opensync. For the near future the most important step is the 1.0 release, of course, where we still have some missing features in OpenSync as well as in the plugins.
One thing I would really like to see is a thunderbird plugin for OpenSync. I use thunderbird personally and would really like to keep my contacts up to date with my cellular, but I was not yet able to find the time to implement it.

Tobias:

One thing that would really rock in future versions of OpenSync is an automatic hardware detection mechanism, so when you plugin your Palm or switch on your bluetooth device, OpenSync will create a synchronization group automatically and ask the user to start syncing. To bring OpenSync to the level of _The Syncing Solution [tm]_ we must reduce the necessary configuration to a minimum.

What was the most dire problem you had to face when creating OpenSync and how did you face it?

Cornelius:

Fortunately the problems which I personally would consider to be dire are solved by the implementation of OpenSync which is well hidden from the outside world and [they are] an area I didn’t work on 😉

Armin:

I guess that I am the right person to answer this question then 🙂
The most complicated part of OpenSync is definitely the format conversion, which is responsible for converting the format of one device to the format that another device understands.
There are a lot of subsystems in this format conversion that make it so complex, like conversion path searching, comparing items, detection of mime types and last but not least the conversion itself. So this was a hard piece of work.

What was the greatest moment for you?

Cornelius:

I think the greatest moment was when, after three days of concentrated hacking, we had a first working version of the KDE frontend for OpenSync. This was at meeting at the SUSE offices in Nuernberg and we were able to successfully do a small presentation and demo to a group of interested SUSE people.

Armin:

I don’t remember a distinct “greatest moment”. But what is a really great feeling is to see that a project catches on, that other people get involved, use the code you have written and improve it in ways that you haven’t thought of initially.

Tobias:

Hmm, also hacking on OpenSync/KitcheSync is much fun in general, the greatest moment was when the new KitchenSync frontend synced two directories via OpenSync the first time. But it was also cool when we managed to get the IrMC plugin working again after porting it to OpenSync.

As we now know the worst problem you faced and your greatest moment, the only one missing is: What was your weirdest experience while working on OpenSync?

Cornelius:

Not directly related to OpenSync, but pretty weird was meeting a co-worker at the Amsterdam airport when returning from the last OpenSync meeting. I don’t know how high the chance is to meet somebody you know on a big random airport not related at all to the places where you or the other person live, but it was quite surprising.

Tobias:

Since my favorite language is C++, I was always confused how people can use plain C for such a project, half the time your are busy with writing code for allocating/freeing memory areas. Nevertheless Armin did a great job and he is always a help for solving strange C problems 🙂

Now I’d like to move on to some more specific questions about current and planned abilities of OpenSync. As first, I’ve got a personal one:

I have an old iPod sitting around here. Can I or will I be able to use a program utilizing OpenSync to synchronize my calendars, contacts and music to it?

Cornelius:

I’m not aware of any iPod support for OpenSync up to now, but if it doesn’t exist yet, why not write it? OpenSync makes this easy. This is a chance for everybody with the personal desire to sync one device or another to get involved.

Armin:

I dont think that there is iPod support yet for OpenSync. But it would definitely be possible to use OpenSync for this task. So if someone would like to implement an iPod plugin, I would be glad to help 🙂

Which other devices do you already support?

Cornelius:

At this time, OpenSync supports Palms, SyncML and IrMC capable devices.

Which programs already implement OpenSync and where can we check back to find new additions?

Cornelius:

On the application side there is support for Evolution [GNOME] and Kontact with KitchenSync [KDE] on the frontend side and the backend side and some more. I expect that further applications will adopt OpenSync once the 1.0 version is released.

Armin:

Besides kitchensync there already are a command line tool and a port of the multisync GUI. Aside from the GUIs, I would really like to see OpenSync being used in other applications as well. One possibility for example would to be integrate OpenSync into Evolution to give users the possibility to synchronize their devices directly from this application. News can generally be found on the OpenSync web site www.opensync.org.

It is time to give the developers something to devour, too. I’ll keep this as a short twice-fold technical dive before coming to the takeoff question, even though I’m sure there’s information for a double-volume book on technical subleties.

As first dive: How did you integrate OpenSync in KitchenSync, viewed from the coding side?

Cornelius:

OpenSync provides a C interface. We wrapped this with a small C++ library and put KitchenSync on top. Due to the object oriented nature of the OpenSync interfaces this was quite easy.
Recently I also started to write a D-Bus frontend for OpenSync. This also is a nice way to integrate OpenSync which provides a wide variety of options regarding programming languages and system configurations.

And for the second, deeper dive:

Can you give us a quick outline of those inner workings of OpenSync, from the developers view, which make OpenSync especially viable for application in several different desktop environments?

Cornelius:

That’s really a question for Armin. For those who are interested I would recommend to have a look at the OpenSync website. There is a nice white paper about the internal structure and functionality of OpenSync.

Armin:

OpenSync consists of several parts:
First there is the plugin API which defines what functions a plugin has to implement so that OpenSync can dlopen() it. There are 2 types of plugins:
A sync plugin which can synchronize a certain device or application and which provides functions for the initialization, handling the connection to a device and reading and writing items. Then there is a format plugin which defines a format and how to convert, compare and detect it.
The next part is a set of helper functions which are provided to ease to programming of synchronization plugins. These helper functions include things like handling plugin config files, HashTables which can be used to detect changes in sets of items, functions to detect when a resync of devices is necessary etc.
The syncing logic itself resides in the sync engine, which is a separate part. The sync engine is responsible for deciding when to call the connect function of a plugin, when to read or write from it. The engine also takes care of invoking the format conversion functions so that each plugin gets the items in its required format.
If you want more information and details about the inner workings of OpenSync, you should really visit the opensync.org website or ask its developers.

To add some more spice for those of our readers, whose interest you just managed to spawn (or to skyrocket), please tell us where they can get more information on the OpenSync Framework, how they can best meet and help you and how they can help improving sync-support for KDE by helping OpenSync.

Cornelius:

Again, the OpenSync web site is the right source for information. Regarding the KDE side, the kde-pim@kde.org mailing list is probably the right address. At the moment the most important help would be everything which gets the OpenSync 1.0 release done.
[And even though] I already said it, it can’t be repeated too often: OpenSync will be the one unified syncing solution for the free desktop. Cross-device, cross-platform, cross-desktop.
It’s the first time I feel well when thinking about syncing 😉.

Armin:

Regarding OpenSync, the best places to ask would be the opensync mailing lists at sourceforge or the #opensync irc channel on the freenode.net servers.
There are always a lot of things where we could need a helping hand and where we would be really glad to get some help. So everyone who is interested in OpenSync is welcome to join.

Many thanks for your time!

Cornelius:

Thanks for doing the interview. It’s always fun to talk about OpenSync, because it’s really the right thing.

Armin:

Thank you for taking your time and doing this interview. I really appreciate your help!

Tobias:

Thanks for your work. Publication and marketing is something that is really missing in the open source community. We have nice software but nobody knows 😉

Further Information on OpenSync can be found on the OpenSync Website: www.opensync.org


This Interview was done by Arne Babenhauserheide in April 2006 via e-mail and KOffice on behalf of himself, the OpenSource Community, SpreadKDE.org and the Dot (dot.kde.org).It was first published on the Dot and is licensed under the cc-attribution-sharealike-license.A pdf-version with pictures can be found at opensync-interview.pdf (OpenDocument version: opensync-interview.odt)

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

SAHTECH, SEMI, and Semiconductor Industry to promote “SEMI Safety Guideline” in Taiwan

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 22nd, 2018  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

“Localization of ‘SEMI Safety Guideline'”, executed by Safety and Health Technology Center of Taiwan (SAHTECH) and supervised by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), was announced today in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

This localization included several fields on health and safety of semiconductor manufacturing, certification testing on electrical devices, evaluations on fire or natural diseases, and environmental issues on semiconductor manufacturing devices, etc.. Companies and manufacturers from the semiconductor industry also paid more attentions on this guideline because issues on carbon-savings, earthquakes, fire diseases, and environment-efficiencies were included into this guideline.

This [safety] guideline was originally promoted by SEMI since 1975 and was set up according to industry infrastructures in Europe, America, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Currently, its standards from the S1 to S25 was completely ruled by several world-class executives in semiconductor industry, and the S26 standard for FPD industry, proposed in Taiwan, was also in several arrangements with the other countries.
The semiconductor industry is a high-value industry in every country. If a fabrication plant (fab) was vandalized with fire or earthquake, how will a company decrease its lossless after a disease? As of some examples from the other countries, several companies didn’t pay more attentions on devices’ safety and finally got a damn trouble on counting lossless after a disease. By the way, voltages on electric using will take effect on energy especially the wasting of CO2. We [the semiconductor industry in Taiwan] hope this announcement will drive on global safety standards.
Generally, the designs of a fab will take effect on possibilities when a disease take place in, and its scale will chain much wasting on manufacturing devices and materials. For example, when using fluorine in a fab, a company would consider using a gas tank car rather than a steel bottle. But due to environment and carbon-saving issues, some evaluations should be tested in a fab.

On the other side of the incoming trade show of 2008 SecuTech Expo, scheduled after 2 weeks at Taipei World Trade Center, not only main fields on security devices, information security, and fire & disease preventions, the digital monitoring will be a hot topic in security industry. For applications on fire & disease preventions, because its issues contained industrial applications and ESH (Environmental, Safety & Health) managements, if a company want to decrease the ratio of fire disease or earthquake, companies from safety and related industries should pay more attentions on disease preventions.

UK Party leaders questioned on BBC ‘Question Time’

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 22nd, 2018  |  No Comments »

Friday, April 29, 2005

With the UK general election on May 5, three party leaders from the largest parties in the election answered questions live on the BBC at 19:30 UTC Thursday. Charles Kennedy (Liberal Democrats), Michael Howard (Conservative Party, currently Opposition) and Tony Blair (Labour Party, incumbent) were asked questions by an audience representative of the British public. The politicians were given no advance notice of the questions. David Dimbleby hosted the discussion, as he has other Question Time debates.

Topics that were raised included taxation and the new 50% top rate of tax proposed by the Lib Dems, immigration and controls proposed by the Conservatives, the largely negative campaigning launched by the Tories, and the legality of the Iraq war. Also, bullying and discipline in schools, further education and public health were issues raised.

Charles Kennedy’s period in the “hot chair” was notable for the largely benevolent questions posed to him, and considerable support evident from applause and cheering at the end of several points made. He attacked the British First Past the Post electoral system as “perverse” and said that he would support a proportional voting system if he got into power. When questioned as to whether, upon pressure from the US, he would go to war again in the Middle East without sufficient evidence, he replied strongly “No.” Further, he said he could not see the Liberal Democrats in another coalition with any other party that may come into power.

In contrast, the opposition leader entered accompanied with less enthusiasm, including several cries of “Howard is evil!” by several unidentifiable members of the audience. Michael Howard revealed during the debate that, if that he knew all of the things he knew now, he would have supported the invasion of Iraq with Tony Blair. However, he still upholds the illegality of the war and the way it began, and the apparent lies on the part of the Prime Minister to the people as primary reasons to vote for his party.

Tony Blair’s interview period was highlighted by the decision to go to war on Iraq, and the Attorney General’s advice in a recently leaked dossier. Difficult questions relevant to the amount of consultation he made with his Cabinet members and the Intelligence groups, and the amount of division within his cabinet with regards to the Iraq War were raised. The Prime Minister was visibly under pressure, and was openly surprised at several statements made by the public present. Upon hearing that local surgeries did not allow appointments to be booked until less than 48 hours before an available time in order to meet government targets, he was unprepared and appeared surprised.

Toward the end of the discussion, hecklers in the front row interrupted the rounding up of the program.

Considering the content of Question Time, it would seem that the problem of Iraq, and whether the British public can trust the current Prime Minister, may overshadow political debate concerning domestic issues.

Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 21st, 2018  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

Crucifix in Northern Italy collapses, crushing man to death

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ahead of Sunday’s scheduled canonization of Pope John Paul II, in the Italian village of Cevo, a massive stone and wood crucifix dedicated to the late pontiff collapsed, instantly crushing a man to death and landing another in the hospital. Reports variously say the collapse took place on Wednesday or Thursday.

Marco Gusmini, 21, died after part of the wood of the crucifix splintered and broke, sending it, along with the attached statue of Jesus Christ, toppling to the ground. He was reportedly posing for a photograph under the monument.

The mayor of Cevo, Silvio Citroni, termed the incident “an unexplainable tragedy. A young life, so many hopes destroyed this way”. Describing the tragedy, he elaborated, “The young people were making a snack for lunch and when they heard the crunching noises coming from the cross they fled in all directions. Unfortunately Marco ran in the wrong direction.” Citroni also said the crucifix had undergone maintenance work last summer. “This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something like this could happen.” In light of the untimely tragedy, he said, plans for any further celebrations to commemorate the late pontiff’s impending canonization have been scrapped.

Sculptor Enrico Job designed the crucifix, which stood 100 ft (30 m) tall; curved unusually to symbolize, reportedly, the scars of World War II; mounted with a 20 ft (6 m) tall statue of Jesus Christ weighing 1,320 lbs (600 kg). Commissioned to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Brescia, and reportedly originally erected at a stadium there, the crucifix was moved to its present location in nearby Cevo in 2005.

Gusmini and his parents reportedly lived on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, a street in Lovere named after another late pontiff to be canonized alongside Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII. In celebration of this double canonization, Rome is expected to play host to 19 heads of state, 24 heads of government, and some 800,000 Catholic pilgrims, visiting from around the world, according to the Interior Ministry of Italy.

Organizing Your Entryway, From Hanging Shelves To Coat Racks

92WMwx | Home Improvement | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

By Megan Cherry

Maybe you have always wanted a place that had a touch of the country charm, or perhaps you are simply tired of the sterile and harsh decorating that has been so popular in recent years. If you are interested in adding a touch of rustic appeal to your home, you are definitely not alone. Many people are a little bit hesitant to start adding this element into their decorating, afraid of overdoing it, but you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to get a lovely rustic accent to your home without going overboard. Take a look at a few tips below to get you started, and soon you’ll be enjoying a whole new look.

1. Rugs

Rugs are a terrific addition to hardwood floors or to the kitchen and the bathroom, and you’ll find that adding the right one can make your space enormously welcoming. Head to the flea markets or to the boutiques and find some soft, touchable rugs in warm colors. Avoid rugs with geometric patterns or with straight edges, instead looking for circular rugs or oval ones that will reinforce a look of gentle edges and give your home a yielding quality.

2. Blankets

YouTube Preview Image

Leaving woven blankets strewn around on your couches and chairs is a great way to create a more homey environment. Make sure you select your blankets well; look for ones that have a handwoven look and that are made out of natural materials. Blankets made of sheep wool, hemp fiber or mohair make your living spaces wonderfully inviting, and you’ll find that they are perfect when you are feeling a little chilly when you read or when you want to lie down for a nap.

3. Coat Racks

The coat rack is a utilitarian item, but you’ll also find that it can add a great deal of charm to your surroundings. Avoid coat racks that are simply metal and instead look for ones that have been loving crafted from maple or oak. The wood will add a great accent to your home, and you’ll find they also give you a terrific way to get your coats off the chairs and couches. For a more rough look, choose a wooden coat rack made out of unfinished wood.

4. Shopping for antiques

When you think about antiques, you might be thinking of fine art pieces that are far beyond your price range, but you’ll find that with just a little bit of effort that you’ll be able to find some excellent rustic elements to your home. Take a look at estate sales and garage sales for old farm or home equipment, and don’t worry too much if it’s not in such great shape. Objects like this are terrific for conversation pieces Alternately, you can choose pieces that function well, despite being more than thirty or forty years old, like tea kettles, mugs or other pieces of kitchenware.

You can do a lot to make your home welcoming and inviting, and simply by looking around, you’ll be able to see some excellent options open to you. Make sure you don’t miss out, and take some time to really see what you can do with your surroundings!

About the Author: Megan Cherry writes for http://www.pegandrail.com If you are looking for a high quality well made coat rack step in and check us out, we manufacture a complete line of wall mounted

coat rack

from a shaker peg style coat rack to a modern

wood coat racks

with brass hooks or satin nickel for the brushed stainless steel look we even have a very modern looking hand rub white lacquer coat racks.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=256860&ca=Home+Management

West Palm Beach, Florida plane crash kills four

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A plane crash at about 6:00 pm local time yesterday at the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida killed four people. The aircraft involved in the incident was a twin-engine Piper PA-44 registered to FIT Aviation LLC, a Melbourne, Florida flight school.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board when the plane took off it encountered trouble with the left engine. It crashed into the tarmac, causing a fiery explosion. The dead have been identified as 26-year-old flight instructor Dheni Frembling, 21-year-old and 22-year old flight students Jordyn Agostini and 22-year-old Kristopher Henegar, and his 26-year-old brother Kyle Henegar.

The plane was flying a training flight from the Bahamas to Melbourne via Palm Beach when it crashed.

Nuclear leaks after Japan quake are worse than first reported

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In the wake of yesterday’s earthquakes, Japan is today reporting that leaks at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant are worse than first reported.

In addition to a leak of 315 gallons (1200 liters) of radioactive water into the Sea of Japan, reports say that drums with nuclear waste lost their lids and radioactive gases cobalt-60, chromium-51 and iodine were released into the atmosphere. Several pipes are also reported to have broken.

Officials are also reporting 50 different problems at the plant of “malfunctioning and trouble,” but officials would not comment further on the damage other than calling the issues “minor.”

Clinical signs a ‘reliable measure’ of HIV treatment progress

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 17th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Monday, May 5, 2008

Researchers have found that, in terms of survival, assessing the status of a HIV/AIDS patient by clinical examination is almost as reliable as laboratory blood testing during their course of treatment.

Poor access to laboratory tests should therefore not be a barrier to rolling out antiretroviral (ARV) drug programmes for HIV in developing countries, they say.

The findings were published in The Lancet recently.

Patients on first-line ARVs in the developed world are monitored regularly for the amount of HIV circulating in their blood. When this falls below a certain level, treatment switches to second-line ARVs.

But because of limited access to laboratory tests, the WHO recommends that people in the developing world are monitored for clinical signs of HIV progression, such as bacterial infection in the mouth and certain types of cancer.

Monitoring of CD4 cell levels — an indicator of the health of a patient’s immune system — is also used when laboratory testing is available. Until now, little was known about the effectiveness of this strategy.

The researchers used a computer model to simulate the course of HIV infection and estimate the impact on survival of monitoring by viral load, CD4 count or clinical observation.

The model was initially developed for wealthy countries, but was adapted for lower-income countries by taking into account factors such as interruptions in drug supply.

It predicts that after five years, 83 per cent of patients monitored by viral load, 82 per cent of patients monitored by CD4 cell count, and 82 per cent of patients monitored by clinical examination alone, would have survived. This decreases to 67, 64 and 64 per cent, respectively, after 20 years.

Andrew Phillips, professor of epidemiology at the UK-based Royal Free & University College Medical School and lead author of the study, says the findings shouldn’t dissuade people from relying on viral-load monitoring.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to inhibit the roll-out of viral-load monitoring and the development of cheap and robust tests that don’t rely heavily on infrastructure or highly skilled laboratory staff,” he told SciDev.Net.

But, he says, that shouldn’t be done at the cost of getting ARVs to everyone who needs them.

“The issue of whether to use viral-load monitoring or not pales into insignificance when dealing with whether you’ve actually got everyone who needs ARVs on therapy. Having drugs without viral-load monitoring is a lot better than not having drugs.”

Ties found between Abu Ghraib prison abuse and Guantanamo Bay

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 09 11th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Thursday, July 28, 2005

In testimony at a military hearing yesterday on abuses at the U.S. prison camp in Iraq, the former warden of Abu Ghraib, Maj. David Dinenna, said he attended in September 2003 a meeting with Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who was then commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Maj. Dinenna said Gen. Miller recommended using dogs, because of their effectiveness.

Two dog handler soldiers at Abu Ghraib stand accused in the hearing. Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, 31, and Sgt. Michael J. Smith, 24, are alleged to have used the dogs to threaten and intimidate prisoners. During the defendants’ testimony on Tuesday, they said the interrogation techniques used by them on prisoners was learned from a team of interrogators that was dispatched to Iraq from the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba.

The Article 32 military court proceeding, which concluded Wednesday in Fort Meade, Maryland, is a preliminary hearing to hear prosecution and defense arguments in the case. The Prosecution is seeking a court-martial with claims that the defendants acted criminally. The Defense contends the soldiers were following orders, and that the charges should be dropped.

The investigating officer of the military court, Maj. Glenn Simpkins, has two weeks to weigh the evidence that was presented. Some or all charges could be dropped, but if some charges stand, he will make a recommendation on how Sgts. Cardona and Smith should be dealt with when it goes to trial.

The two accused said in yesterday’s testimony that Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the top military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib, approved the use of the dogs. Testimony was also heard from Pvt. Ivan L. “Chip” Frederick, now serving an 8-year sentence in Fort Leavenworth for his role as ringleader in the abuse, who testified by phone from prison that approval was given to use the dogs, and that a civilian interrogator was also sometimes involved in directing which prisoner cells were to be visited by dog handlers.

In addition to the use of dogs, aggressive interrogation techniques such as clothing removal and sleep deprivation were also part of the series of abuses. Staff Sgt. James Vincent Lucas previously had told Army investigators in Guantanamo that he left Cuba in 2003 to go to Iraq where he, as a member of a 6-man team, taught the “lessons learned” at Guantanamo, and served to “provide guidelines” to interrogators at Abu Ghraib.

Legislation sponsored by several Senate Republicans seeks to specifically regulate the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo and other military prisons. A co-sponsor of the bill, Lindsey Graham (RSC), recently released declassified internal memos dating from 2003 and written by top military lawyers. They warned the Pentagon about the aggressive tactics at Guantanamo. The memos noted it would heighten the dangers for U.S. troops caught by the enemy.

Army charge sheets accuse Cardona and Smith with maltreating detainees from November 15, 2003, to January 15, 2004 by “directing, encouraging, or permitting [their] unmuzzled military working dog[s] to bark and growl at detainees in order to unlawfully harass and threaten the detainees and in order to make the detainees urinate or defecate on themselves.”

Cardona, of Fullerton, with the 42nd Military Police Detachment in Ft. Bragg, N.C., was charged with nine counts. Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with the 523rd Military Police Detachment in Ft. Riley, Kan., was charged with 14 counts.