On the campaign trail, January 2012
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On the campaign trail, January 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

The following is the third in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, the challengers to President Barack Obama react to the results of the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary, two new political parties choose their first presidential nominees, and an economist who announced his intentions to seek the nomination of Americans Elect answers a few questions for Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 New Hampshire Democratic Party primary results
  • 3 New parties select presidential nominees
  • 4 Economist running for president
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Science curriculum director resigns from Texas Education Agency
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Science curriculum director resigns from Texas Education Agency

Friday, November 30, 2007

Christine Comer resigned this month as the director of the science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency‘s (TEA) director after more than nine years. Comer said her resignation was due to pressure from officials who claimed she had given the appearance of criticizing the teaching of intelligent design.

According to documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, “Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation by Barbara Forrest, a critic of the intelligent design/creationist movement. Forrest served as an expert witness at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. At Dover, intelligent design was ruled “a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.” There is widespread scientific support for evolution, while creationism has been described as pseudoscience by the scientific community.

Comer’s resignation comes shortly ahead of the TEA’s State Board of Education (SBOE) reviews of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which determine what should be taught in the classrooms and what textbooks are bought.

The advocacy group Texas Citizens for Science have released a statement saying, in part, “The real reason [Comer] was forced to resign is because the top TEA administrators and some SBOE members wanted her out of the picture before the state science standards—the science TEKS—were reviewed, revised, and rewritten next year. Plans are underway by some SBOE members and TEA administrators to diminish the requirement to teach about evolutionary biology in the Biology TEKS and to require instead that biology instructors ‘Teach the Controversy’ about the ‘weaknesses’ of evolution, that is, teach the Creationist-inspired and -created bogus controversy about evolution that doesn’t exist within legitimate science.”

Professor PZ Myers, biology professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, wrote that Forrest is “exactly the kind of person boards of education ought to consult before going down the road of attempting to legislate religion into the public schools.”

In reaction to the news Forrest told National Center for Science Education, “In my talk, I simply told the truth — about the history of the ‘intelligent design’ movement, about the complete rejection of its claims by the scientific community, and about the Kitzmiller trial and my involvement in it. Maybe the TEA can’t afford to take a position on what constitutes good science education — maybe it must remain neutral on whether or not to lie to students about evolution — but if so, that’s just sad.”

Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.

Are You Ready For The Cloud Based School Management Software?}

Submitted by: SBS

The use of software systems in educational institutes like, middle or high schools, colleges, universities, and even in kindergarten is essential, if one wants to streamline the operations. A school has the choice of using a stand-alone, web based or a cloud based school management software system. It is a decision one has to linger on, before deciding on the type of the software. The decision has the potential to affect the productivity of the schools staff and can have the profitability of the school.

The cloud computing has improved the situation where end-users use to grapple with the software tools. For a layman, not very fluent in the ways of computers, software installation, configuration, bugs and the software patches that the developers come up with, from time-to-time can prove to be stumbling blocks. However, the cloud based software systems have overcome these issues and have made them, the things of the past.

The cloud based school management software represents a new breed of software systems that keeps their users updated with the real-time data. The school administrators especially, those who are responsible for the monitoring and controlling of more than one educational setup, find this feature useful. School and Tuition Management System Software, developed by Summit Tech, is a cloud based school management software that puts these professionals in the driving seats.

Cloud Based School Management Software and the School Administrators

The primary responsibility of the school administrators is to streamline the activities of the schools. The School and Tuition Management System Software assist them in automation of important school activities like, student registration, class and exam scheduling.

Pricing Policy

The software proves of immense help as it assists in coming up with flexible pricing policy for the school. The software uses its powerful search engine to find the demand for the various courses. The period, when the demand for a particular course is at its peak, naturally attracts high price. The software also makes options of the Flat pricing, Group pricing and the Graded pricing, available to the school administrators.

Online Registration

The software allows online registrations of students and simplifies the process, which if it is done manually, is quite a hassle. The student data is stored on the cloud servers on which the software is hosted and is accessible to the authorized school staff from anywhere at any time.

Central Data Storage and Protection

The cloud servers, located in the different parts of the globe, are used as the central place to store data. The data is protected with the latest techniques and tools to prevent virus attacks and the data theft. This ensures that the data remains available, even if, there some problem at the school. The school staff can connect to the software using their smart phones and tablets.

A powerful encryption scheme is implemented to facilitate the safe transfer of school data. The data is backed up regularly and the schools can ordered it to be sent to their onsite computer, if it is needed.

Parents

The parents can also connect to this software and update themselves with the latest details of their child. They can access information about their childs classes, schedules, exams, grades, assignments, extra-curricular activities and etc. They can also access teachers professional qualifications and pose questions regarding their childs progress at the school.

Teachers

School and Tuition Management System Software also allow teachers to upload assignments, tests, schedules and projects to the cloud servers. Students then access it and download it. They can also upload their completed assignments and projects to these servers for the approval of their teachers.

Payment Management

The software makes available the facility of secure Payment Gateway. It is useful for the parents to pay the tuition fees. They can use debit or credit cards as well as net banking facility to save time and physical exertion. The software sends Emails and SMSs reminders to the parents to update them of the payments due.

This cloud based school management software uses a powerful scheduling engine for the purpose of scheduling classes and exams. It also offers a great help in managing donations, finance management, Reports and dashboards.

Attendance

The software automates the task of recording attendance of students, teachers and other school staff. The use of biometric finger scanners ensures true recording of attendance and gives no chance of buddy-punching.

The dashboard reports are used to present the real-time data about the attendance, classes, inventory management, accounts and finance department, in graphical form. The school administrators find these reports very useful as the data is easy to digest and to act on.

About the Author: Since its inception in 1994, Summit Planners Technology, is delivering customized business solutions to most of its Singaporean clients. Due to the superior quality of products, great 24/7 support, unmatched solutions and versatility in software modules they are climbing high with great pace. The

Cloud Based School Management Software

developed by Summit Tech is a result of extreme research, dedicated efforts and with a motive to beat the competition. Therefore, all the points we have discussed above can be easily found in the Summit Techs

School and Tuition Management Software

. Go ahead and try the free quote and free demo.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1930953&ca=Computers+and+Technology}

Fire burns home of late singer Johnny Cash
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Fire burns home of late singer Johnny Cash

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A fast-moving fire engulfed the home of late singer Johnny Cash on Tuesday. The lake-side home, located in Hendersonville, Tennessee, was the home of the late singer and his wife, June Carter, from the late 1960s until their deaths in 2003.

The home was purchased by former Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb in 2006, and was undergoing renovations at the time. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it is believed that a flammable wood preservative that construction workers had applied contributed to the speed in which the flames spread. Firefighters responded within 5 minutes of the fire breaking out. No workers were killed in the fire, but one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

“Maybe it’s the good Lord’s way to make sure that it was only Johnny’s house,” said Richard Sterban of The Oak Ridge Boys, who lived down the road from Cash. Neighbor Marty Stewart said “So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house—everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house.” The home was where Cash wrote many of his hit songs, and appeared in the Cash music video for “Hurt“.

Wikinews Shorts: December 7, 2008
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Wikinews Shorts: December 7, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, December 7, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Progress’ seen in US auto bailout deal
  • 2 Ghana to hold elections
  • 3 Archbishop of York says Mugabe must be overthrown
  • 4 Scandal-ridden Congressman loses delayed election

Officials say that progress is being made in a deal to bail out three United States carmakers. The U.S. government will be holding weekend talks on the plan after two days of Congressional hearings.

Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, stated that discussions with both parties had been “constructive”.

Executives from the three companies – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – have pleaded before two Congressional committees, asking for $34 billion in order to stop collapse.

“I’m convinced that by Sunday we will have an agreement that people can understand on this bill,” said Barney Frank, a representative from the state of Massachusetts.

Sources


 This story has updates See Ghanian presidential elections go to run-off 

The people of Ghana, a country often shown of as an example of a good democracy in Africa, will vote for a new president and parliament.

The current president, John Kufuor, will resign after serving the maximum of two terms in office. The elections are expected to be close.

The three main contenders for the presidency are: the Nana Akufo Addo from New Patriotic Party, who was the foreign minister under the current president, John Atta Mills running for the National Democratic Congress, and the Convention People’s Party’s candidate, one Paa Kwesi Nduom.

Sources


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said that Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe must be forced out of office and face trial for his crimes against humanity.

“The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction, with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state,” said Sentamu.

Sentamu that the power-sharing deal that was signed by Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition in September was “now dead”.

Dr Sentamu’s statement comes after a severe cholera outbreak spread in Zimbabwe, and saw 12,545 cases reported and 565 people dead.

Sources


Republicans experienced another victory late Saturday, as the Associated Press called the race in Louisiana’s 2nd district at 22:35 CST in favor of Anh “Joseph” Cao, heralding the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress and sending the incumbent scandal-ridden Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson home after nine terms.

Sources


US clinic plans first face transplant
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US clinic plans first face transplant

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

US doctors are to interview 12 patients with a view to performing the first ever transplant of a human face.

The Cleveland Clinic will choose between seven women and five men to find the person most suited for the experimental procedure, which is a radical and controversial solution to extreme facial scarring or disfigurement.

Having practiced the procedure on bodies donated for medical research, the Cleveland Clinic team believe they have a 50% chance of success. The procedure will not live up to science-fiction predictions and give the recipient the appearance of the donor; the underlying bone structure is the deciding factor in the final appearance. The new face will end up resembling neither the donor nor recipient.

Surgeons in several other countries have announced being ready to perform this procedure in the past. However, the risk and non life-threatening nature of disfigurement have meant that gaining approval for the groundbreaking surgery has been difficult. Like many other transplant operations, the recipient would be required to take drugs to prevent tissue rejection for the remainder of their life. These drugs can have side effects and carry their own risks involving the patient’s immune system.

Minnesota Governor opposes state funds to Iran-tied company
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Minnesota Governor opposes state funds to Iran-tied company

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said today that Essar Global has committed to fully comply with all U.S. and international law, including those prohibiting certain investments in Iran, and that he will support continued state assistance for Essar’s proposed steel project on the Iron Range.

A few days after Indian company Essar Steel Holdings Limited acquired Minnesota Steel LLC, the governor of Minnesota announced that he “will strongly oppose any effort to provide state financial assistance to companies or entities that engage in prohibited business practices with Iran.”

Governor Pawlenty recently returned from a trip to India. He learned that Indian company Essar Global Limited is pursuing a project to build a refinery in southern Iran.

There is no official word yet from Essar Group, but Iran’s Petroenergy Information Network says Essar Group is expected to take a 60% stake in the project and that Essar’s Ravi Ruia was negotiating for the project in Iran last week.

The northern Minnesota project will be the first facility which includes all steps in steel production from iron mining to a US$1.65 billion steel mill. The Iranian refinery will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day and cost $8-10 billion.

Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?
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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

The Advantages Of Duct Cleaning Systems

byAlma Abell

Perhaps the most important system at work in your home is the a/c because without it the Summer months would be nearly unbearable. In order for the a/c system in your home to function properly, all of the different elements that comprise the system will have to be at peak performance. Many elements of the a/c system, such as the ducts, are commonly neglected and over time can become riddled with problems. Many a/c professionals recommend that the ducts in your home be cleaned on an annual basis to reduce any problems. Here are a few of the Advantages of Duct Cleaning Systems.

Better Quality of Air

Among the best benefits of having your ducts cleaned is that it will help to substantially improve the quality of air in your home. The dust particles that build up in your duct system over time will begin to work their way in to the air that you breathe. This can cause many different respiratory ailments and can be hazardous to everyone that comes in to your home. By letting a professional clean your ducts on a regular basis, you can avoid these negative consequences and ailments that accompany them.

Save Money on Cooling Costs

Most homeowners fail to realize that the dirtier their ducts are, the harder it is for the cool air to pass through them. The harder that your unit has to work to push the air through, the more energy it will use. This will not only run the price of your energy bill up and it will bring about repairs in your unit faster. The money that is paid to have the ducts cleaned is far better than having to repair your unit prematurely due to negligence on your part.

When in need of quality Advantages of Duct Cleaning Systems, be sure to call on the team at Palm Harbor Heating & Air Conditioning. They can get your ducts cleaned in a timely and efficient manner. Call them or visit their website for more information on what they can do for you and the a/c system that you have.

News briefs:July 27, 2010
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News briefs:July 27, 2010

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