quinta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2008

Burj Dubai becomes world's tallest tower

Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is now the world’s tallest man-made structure, after reaching a record height of 688 metres, The tower is now over 160 stories - the largest number of floors in any building across the world, its developer real estate giant Emaar Properties said in a statement.

The tower unofficially became the world’s tallest man-made structure in April, 2008 after surpassing the KVLY-TV mast (628.8 metres) in North Dakota in the United States. Though the final height of the tower has not been disclosed yet, although it is expected to reach 800m. It will be officially recognised as the world’s tallest structure only when the construction is fully completed.

The tower was designed by Chicago, Illinois-based Skidmore and is being constructed by high-rise building experts from South Korea’s Samsung Engineering & Construction, Belgium's Besix and United States Turner Construction.

US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

United States Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) delivered an impassioned speech yesterday to Republicans at the 2008 Republican National Convention. His choice to do so angered numerous congressional Democrats, and may lead to sanctions by the party.

Lieberman spent 18 years as a Democrat, winning his first Senate race in 1988. After three terms, Lieberman narrowly lost the Democratic primary in the lead-up to the 2006 election. Running instead under the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party banner, Lieberman beat his former democratic opponent Ned Lamont, Republican Alan Schlesinger and third-party candidates thereby retaining his seat. He promptly changed his official party affiliation to "Independent Democrat", which he continues to use.

Lieberman, who had previously endorsed John McCain for the presidency and was long considered as a possible running mate, spoke to the Republican party about choosing a maverick:

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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention
But when they look to Washington, all too often they do not see their leaders coming together to tackle these problems. Instead they see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for the American people...It shouldn't take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don't care much if you have an "R" or a "D" after your name.
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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

Lieberman also took shots at his own party, and its candidate, Senator Barack Obama:

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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention
Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record—not in these tough times. In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party. Contrast that to John McCain's record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.
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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

He also elicited booing when mentioning Obama's stance on ground-troop funding:

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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention
When others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, when Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor.
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US Senator Joseph Lieberman speaks at Republican National Convention

Lieberman's decision to speak at the Convention sparked anger from many of his Democratic colleagues. A "Lieberman Must Go" petition, boasting over 50,000 signatures, was launched by filmmaker Robert Greenwald. Greenwald seeks to have Lieberman stripped of his chairmanship on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Pundits consider this likely if Democrats gain Senate seats in the upcoming election, guaranteeing a safe majority. (The current makeup of the Senate is 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and two independents, Lieberman and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.)

Lieberman's speech came on the first day of the convention, and followed that of Senator Fred Thompson and the televised appearance of U.S. President George W. Bush. The convention will conclude on Thursday, 4 September.

Sony recalls 440,000 laptops due to wiring faults

Technology company Sony have recalled 440,000 Vaio laptops due to a fault in the wiring which could result in overheating.

The recall involves some laptops in the VAIO VGN-TZ100 series, VGN-TZ200 series, VGN-TZ300 series and VGN-TZ2000. The affected laptops were sold through the SonyStyle store for between CAN$1,700 and CAN$4,000.

The recall affects 48 countries, with 373,000 of the recalled laptops being sold in countries other than Japan. 67,000 of the laptops were sold in Japan. Sony has received 209 reports of overheating worldwide, and one customer has reported receiving minor burns.

One of the countries not effected by the recall is the United Kingdom. A spokesperson for Sony UK said that there has "been no reported incidents of this potential issue in products sold in the UK to date, and a product recall is not required."

Tropical Storm Ike upgraded to Hurricane status

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has upgraded Tropical Storm Ike to Hurricane status. The storm is the fifth hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season. The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. Ike is located 610 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands, and is currently tracking west-northwest at seventeen miles per hour.

It is currently too early too make precise predictions on the areas of land that will be hit by the hurricane, but the NHC reports that the hurricane may strike in the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands may be affected.

All individuals who may be impacted by this storm are urged to track its progress as it develops over the next few days.

The NHC has said that "Ike is an extremely dangerous category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale." The organization also said that "some weakening is forecast during the next day or so but Ike is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for the next several days."

Google removes ownership claim from Chrome EULA

Following complaints by users, Google has removed the section of Google Chrome's end-user license agreement which claims that Google has the right to use any content submitted through its browser in virtually any way it wants. The agreement said that "by submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

After being removed, a new notice was added that says that "you retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services."

A spokesperson for Google has said that the claim was originally there due to a mistake. The spokesperson said that, in order to keep the license agreements simple for users, they regularly copy license agreements between different pieces of software. "Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product," said the spokesperson, when describing the effect of copying EULAs.

A similar controversy occurred last year with Google Docs, which originally gave Google similar rights.

quinta-feira, 28 de agosto de 2008

Phil Hill, first American to win the Formula One championship, dies at age 81

hil Hill, the American Formula One racecar driver, has died today at age 81 in Salinas, California. Phil died from complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was set to travel to a historic meeting at Monterey but was rushed to hospital. His son Derek, also a racecar driver had to retire to look after his father.

Phil is to date the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship when he won the 1961 season. Italian-born American Mario Andretti, who won the Drivers' Championship in 1978, is the only other American to have won.

Phil Hill finished one point above the German Wolfgang von Trips, who died in a crash during the Italian Grand Prix.

As well as winning the 1961 F1 Season, Phil also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in 1958, 1961 and 1962.

He continued to race up untill 1966 when he retired. He failed to win another race after the 1961 season. After retiring from racing he spent his time collecting vintage cars. He judged at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a record 38 times.

"It's a sad day," said close friend Carroll Shelby. "Phil was an excellent race car driver with a unique feel for the car, and his real expertise was in long-distance racing."

by Wikinews

quarta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2008

Margaret Thatcher suffering from dementia, says daughter

Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher, has revealed that her mother is suffering from dementia.

The revelation to be published in Carol's memoirs titled A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl: A Memoir, which is to go on sale in September. In them, Carol states that her mother's illness is "a case of classic dementia, coupled with a series of mini-strokes." Mrs Thatcher suffered several strokes in 2002, but suffered no short term memory loss as a result. Carol states that the signs of her illness began to take effect in 2000.

"As she became increasingly frail, many of her friends and colleagues became extraordinarily considerate when dealing with the new Lady T. The woman who had dominated discussions for so long could no longer lead debates or keep up with the thread of a drinks-party conversation," wrote Carol who also said that at times Mrs Thatcher forgets that her late husband Denis is dead. He died in June of 2003 from complications of pancreatic cancer.

"I had to keep giving her the bad news again and again. Every time it finally sank in that she had lost her husband of more than 50 years, she’d look at me sadly and say ‘Oh’," states Carol in her memoirs.

Margaret Thatcher is currently 82. She was born on October 13, 1925, and served as the Prime Minister of the U.K. for 11 years, from 1979 to 1990.