By Terry Z. Voster

For the legendary Lamborghini sports car stable of fantastic ultra high performance and styled vehicles it all started with ordinary Fiat automobiles and tractors.

Mr. Lamborghini fully named Mr. Ferruccio Lamborghini got his start with Fiats and then went on to a large successful manufacturing concern that grew from a small manufacturing shop into a major producer of tractors. However at a certain point in every person s life they search out to complete what their real passion is. In the case of Lamborghini was finely styled and crafted motor cars. At 60 years of age, an established manufacturer of agricultural tractors Mr. Lamborghini decided that he could a better job of building a high end, beautifully styled, performance racing automobiles than either of the two dominant Italian auto firms of that auto industry sector – Ferrari and Maserati.

The first product out of the door had a chassis that was multi-tubular; the engine was front mounted sporting a 3.5 liter 12 cylinder V-12 engine. The V-12 engine itself was fitted with six Weber carburetors and ran four overhead camshafts. It all clocked at 360 ultra smooth horsepower with the transmission drive being through five speed stick shift. Suspension involved a coil and wishbone independent suspension set up. In one word it was wow both in terms of performance of the hop as well as the automotive styling.

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Although the styling of those early Lamborghini models may be considered standard Italian sports car design – designs which have worked their way into the so called standard sport scar designs and sport scar flair , at the time it was new and innovative and for the most part if was twenty five years ahead of anything produced in the good old U.S.A.. The one American sports car which might be considered an exception to that point was the Chevrolet Corvette. For years to come nothing else really matched or was similar to the clean aerodynamic lines and styling of the early Lamborghini classic autos.

Even then Lamborghini had such innovative products the establishment and reputation of the Lamborghini product line was no easy road to hoe. Although the first cars were produced in 1963 it was not for two years later at the Turin Motor Show that the car began to attract solid interest and for the reputation of the car and its studio to grow and begin to become accepted for what it should be.

The first real product of record for Lamborghini was what was marketed as Miura T 400 model automobile. Its first year of manufacture was the 1966 model year. The basic layout and design of the Miura T 400 was a mid-engined coupe with a slightly larger version of the overhead cam engine the classic V-12 laid out transversely behind the two seats of the car. The rear wheels were then driven by this engine through spurs gears . Interestingly the gear boxes and rear axles were Lamborghini products all by themselves so they shared a lineage that was unique and not the same as any other of the competitor s models.

What was performance of this little cat? The V-12 engine could pour out a total of 385 barrel horsepower. Top speed of this little coupe was over 180 miles per hour. It could more than carry its weight with the local Italian contenders even the famed Ferraris.

If the was one complaint from drivers or riders it was of noise levels in the car s cockpit. It can be said that this was the price to be paid for success or in this case speed and performance. If you cannot stand the heat don t stay in the kitchen. Certainly the buyers of Lamborghini fine motor cars who bought the product and established the revered name for its performance and advanced styling and forgo this small shortcoming or foible as the car as an assumed fact even a luxury.

The next model in the Lamborghini stable was introduced approximately two years later. The entire life of the production run of the popular Miura model was nine years with two cars being produced a week ( a production figure of only 100 or so cars a year). The name of this vehicle was the Espada. For the new Lamborghini model, the Espada, Lamborghini went back to a more standard front engine layout. Perhaps this was in response to concerns over noise levels in the cockpit of the Miura and the need to produce a more standard or civilized vehicle product. No one really knows what went on in the mind of the genius Ferruccio Lamborghini. However what was retained for sure were the Lamborghini basics – the four liter V-12 massive highly tuned engine with whizzy overhead cams and multiple choke carburetors all putting out massive automotive performance and handling.

In the end it can be said that the Lamborghini automotive and automotive styling and performance legends are more than unique and reek of power, thrust and acceleration.

About the Author: Terry Z. Voster

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Posted in Finance

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

David Parker resigned today from Cabinet, a day after he resigned his position as Attorney-General and after publicity around his filing of an incorrect declaration with the Companies Office on behalf of Queens Park Mews Limited.

The declaration said that the three shareholders had unanimously agreed not to appoint an auditor for the company; but according to Investigate Magazine, another shareholder, Russell Hyslop, had never been consulted about the matter.

Parker confesses to making a “mistake” over the returns. He says when Hyslop was declared bankrupt in 1997, he cleared it with the Official Assignee for the first two years. He then forgot to clear on other years.

Parker was saying early this morning that he would persist in holding his other portfolios.

Prime Minister Helen Clark released the news shortly before 11 a.m. (NZST) as she walked into a caucus meeting. She said, “I have this morning accepted Mr Parker’s resignation from all his portfolios.”

Knowingly authorising a false statement is an offence under the Companies Act. The maximum penalty under section 373(4) for filing a false return is a fine of $200,000 or five years of imprisonment.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Monday, February 15, 2010

Belgian authorities have confirmed that at least eighteen people died in a head-on collision between two passenger trains in the suburbs of Brussels. Other reports suggest that the death toll could be as high as 25. More than 125 passengers are reported injured, 11 of them “very seriously”. Rescuers were still trying to free bodies from the wreckage of the trains more than eight hours after the crash, which occurred in snowy conditions at 08:28 local time (0728 UTC) near the station of Buizingen in the municipality of Halle, about 15 kilometres southwest of the Belgian capital.

One of the trains involved was travelling from Quiévrain to Liège, while the other was travelling from Leuven to Braine-le-Comte. The collision saw the first two carriages of one train being forced upwards into the air over the first carriage of the second train. Eyewitnesses described the collision as “brutal”, with passengers being thrown “violently” around the carriages.

Television footage showed the two smashed locomotives forced up in the air, with passenger cars strewn over a wide area and dazed survivors wandering at the crash site. Train speed at the time of the crash was not immediately known. There are reports that one of the trains ran a stop signal.

Initial reports suggest that the Leuven–Braine-le-Comte train was on the wrong line. It is not known if the train went through a red signal or if there was a problem with the signalling. A “well informed source” quoted by French-language daily Le Soir suggested that there might have been an electrical failure in the signalling system.

The collision occurred on one of the main access lines to Brussels-South station, about 14 kilometres (9 miles) from the Belgian capital. It caused “major damage” to overhead power cables, especially on the Brussels–Mons and Brussels–Tournai lines, and high speed rail services between Brussels and France and the UK have been suspended. Thalys services were temporarily halted due to the accident, with four of its trains in the region being diverted to alternative stations. Thalys services between Brussels and Cologne have now resumed, but services to Amsterdam and Paris are still suspended.

One passenger on board, Christian Wampach, described conditions on board the train, “It was a nightmare. We were thrown about for about 15 seconds. There were a number of people injured in my car but I think all the dead were in the first car.” Wampach was in the third car.

Another passenger, Patricia Lallemand, said, “When we came out we saw dead bodies lying next to the tracks, some mutilated.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The United States Senate has approved a hard-fought measure to overhaul the health care system. The vote will be followed by the difficult process of reconciling the Senate-passed bill with one approved by the House of Representatives, in order to get a final measure to President Barack Obama.

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“The yeas are 60, the nays are 39. H.R. 3590 as amended, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is passed,” Vice President Joe Biden announced. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky did not show up for the vote leading to the 39 nays. Mike Reynard, a spokesman for Bunning, said in an e-mail that “The senator had family commitments.”

The vice president presided over the Senate at the time of the vote in his role as President of the United States Senate.

As expected, Republicans voted against the bill while all Democrats and two Independents, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, voted for it.

At an estimated $87 billion, the measure would expand health insurance coverage to about 30 million more Americans currently without it, and create new private insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, to expand choice.

And, like the slightly more expensive measure passed by the House of Representatives, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, it would end a practice by private insurance companies of denying coverage to individuals with existing health problems.

Both the Senate and House measures would require nearly all Americans to purchase some form of insurance, while lower-income Americans would receive help from federal government subsidies.

This is a victory because we have affirmed that the ability to live a healthy life in our great country is a right and not merely a privilege for the select few.

In remarks before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, said opponents had done everything they could to prevent the vote from taking place.

Speaking to reporters, Reid and others hailed the vote as a victory and a major step toward providing millions more Americans with access to health care. “This is a victory because we have affirmed that the ability to live a healthy life in our great country is a right and not merely a privilege for the select few,” Reid said.

Reid and others including Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old Democrat from West Virginia, paid tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy, who died this past August after spending decades of his career in the Senate pursuing health care reform.

When casting his vote Byrd said, “Mr. President, this is for my friend Ted Kennedy. Aye.”

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Senator Kennedy, watched the proceedings from the Senate visitor’s gallery, as did Representative John Dingell, Democrat from Michigan, who has been a long time advocate of health care reform and who sponsored and introduced the House version of the health care reform bill.

In the final hours of debate on the Senate bill, Republicans asserted it would be ineffective and add sharply to the U.S. budget deficit.

Mr. President, this is for my friend Ted Kennedy. Aye.

Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican from Alabama said of the bill, “This legislation may have a great vision, it may have a great idea about trying to make the system work better. But it does not. These are huge costs [and] it’s not financially sound.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to defeat the bill when the Senate reconvenes in January saying, “This fight is not over. This fight is long from over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law.”

Senator Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican from Maine who helped approved the Senate Finance Committee’s version of health care reform, the America’s Healthy Future Act, earlier in the year and who remarked she may not vote on the final bill, said, “I was extremely disappointed,” noting that when the Democrats reached their needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, “there was zero opportunity to amend the bill or modify it, and Democrats had no incentive to reach across the aisle.”

Ahead are difficult negotiations with the House of Representatives to craft a final bill President Obama would sign into law. These talks, which will formally get under way early in the new year, will take place amid anger among many liberal House Democrats the Senate bill failed to contain a government-run public health insurance option.

This fight is not over. This fight is long from over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law.

Members of the House Progressive Caucus have vowed to fight to keep this public option in any final legislation that emerges, along with other provisions they say are needed to protect lower and middle-income Americans and hold insurance companies accountable.

In a statement, the Democratic chairmen of three key House committees said while there are clear differences between House and Senate bills, both will bring fundamental health care coverage to millions who are currently uninsured.

Obama administration officials have been quoted as saying they anticipate negotiations on a final bill would not be complete until after the President’s State of the Union Address in January, and could slip even later into the new year.

If passed, this will be the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important reform of our health care system since Medicare passed in the 1960s.

President Obama issued a statement to the press in the State Dining Room in the White House saying that the vote is “legislation that brings us toward the end of a nearly century-long struggle to reform America’s health care system.”

He also pointed out the bill’s strengths, noting, “The reform bill that passed the Senate this morning, like the House bill, includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They will no longer be able to drop your coverage when you get sick. No longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts out of your own pocket for the treatments you need. And you’ll be able to appeal unfair decisions by insurance companies to an independent party.”

He also noted how historic the bill is, saying, “If passed, this will be the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important reform of our health care system since Medicare passed in the 1960s.”

Obama noted the potential social impact, saying, “It’s the impact reform will have on Americans who no longer have to go without a checkup or prescriptions that they need because they can’t afford them; on families who no longer have to worry that a single illness will send them into financial ruin; and on businesses that will no longer face exorbitant insurance rates that hamper their competitiveness.”

Obama afterwards made phone calls to various Senators and other people, including Victoria Kennedy and David Turner of Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Turner had his health insurance rescinded in January of last year, after his insurance company went back into his record and alleged that he failed to disclose his full medical record at the time he applied for coverage. Turner was First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest during her husband’s speech to a joint session of Congress on health care reform back in September.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Submitted by: Simon Oates

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably someone responsible for delivering an effective and value-enhancing leadership training programme within your organisation.

Given that employee turnover can be quite high in the modern age, there is the very real risk that you star employees may undergo expensive leadership training and actually leave the company within the next year, with a padded CV ready for their next big opportunity. This has led for leadership training courses in the 21st century to really deliver on value-for-money, as the company will want to ensure that leadership training is a profit-enhancing actvity even if turnover of senior mangers approaches for instance, 25%.

In my opinion, the problem of employee turnover in the 21st century also presents an opportunity to really change the nature of leadership training, and structure in specific and principled approaches designed to retain the best talent, even years after the 5 day course has been completed.

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What measures could be taken to increase retention you ask? Well, for starters – a key part of the training must be for the participant to see for themselves their future within the company. Teaching somebody simple leadership skills such as oratory, PR, time management, leadership theory and strategy will only arm them with knowledge and skills, and will not inherently attract that employee to your organisation, above and beyond the loyalty that delivering such a scheme would produce.

Therefore, stop arming your employees with just skills and start arming them with a dream, arm them with a goal, a specific future that they wsh to create for themselves, and that the course can help clarify and help deliver.

An example of this at its most simplest would be a course with a built in module about career advancement within a company. With largest multinationals, this topic can be very complicated, and many employees would benefit from knowing in detail what their opportunities are. If there are opportunities for working abroad, do you employees know about this? If a senior manager could possibily second over to a different department such as marketing for a few weeks, did they know that all it took was a phonecall to the right person and this ball could start rolling?

To take this a stage further, for very senior employees, e.g. senior manager below the board, and board members themselves. It may be worth discussing with their superior on an indvidual basis before the course begins such that you know the specific goals that they may be able to achieve. For instance, their boss or counsellor may be able to tell you that they wish to achieve the CEO role within 5 years, and therefore you will be able to help them structure their activities and annual planning to facilitate being able to do that.

With this sort of focus, leadership training can be as much as career planning as it is about public speaking. This type of leadership training will not only inspire and arm the employees but will also give a great vision of how they can apply those skills to help your companies bottom line in the future.

About the Author: For more information on

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Posted in Communication Skills Training

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.

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By Dr. Jay B Stockman O.D.

Congratulations, you have just purchased the car of your dreams; you worked a great deal, now it is time to insure it. Car insurance is mandatory in all states, and must be maintained throughout ownership. Insurance quotes can vary from company to company, and there are a few factors that you can control, and other factors you cannot. A full understanding of how insurance quotes are arrived at, will give you the best rate, and maximum coverage.

Factors that cannot be controlled include the age of the driver. Common sense tells us that a new driver would be more of a risk to an insurance company, than an established driver. Therefore a driver in their early 20’s would pay a higher premium than a driver in their 40’s. Further, elderly drivers have poor reaction time, and similarly would pay more of a premium. The ideal driving age would be between 35 to 55 years; anyone younger, or older would pay more.

Gender is another uncontrolled factor that insurance quotes are based on. Statistically, insurance companies see females as safer drivers than males. As a result, female drivers pay less than their male counterparts.

There are factors, which we can control, namely the amount of traffic tickets and accidents. A ticket is a violation of law that could potentially result in an accident. Insurance companies frown on this, and will penalize the driver with higher rates. Similarly, accidents could indicate a pattern of behavior; as such the driver is penalized with higher rates.

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Where you live is another controlling factor that effects insurance quotes. Living in a rural area, puts the driver at much less risk of accident or theft as compared to living in a city. As a result, city drivers will pay a larger premium than rural drivers with very few exceptions.

Want to drive a Porsche 911 Carrera? It will cost you. The more your car is worth, the higher your insurance quote will be. The logic should be obvious.

Car insurance companies are now looking at your credit worthiness. Do you have excessive, outstanding credit, or no credit at all? If so, you are a risk in the eyes of the insurance companies, and will get socked with higher insurance quotes. Keeping your credit in check will show the insurance companies you are responsible, both financially, and on the road. As a result, you will pay lower premiums.

Your occupation can put you at a higher risk. Jobs that require many hours of driving, or driving in hazardous conditions, or places will put your quote at a higher rate. Less driving, and exposure to high-risk opportunities, will result in lower premiums. Additionally you want to keep your annual mileage down to a minimum. The more miles you drive, the greater the risk of accident.

Vehicle theft is a risk factor that can easily be minimized. Most companies will give you a discount for having better security for your vehicle. An alarm, or another approved anti-theft device will usually result in some discount. Some companies may insist on having such devices installed on more expensive and desirable cars before they even consider offering you a price.

Some companies look favorably on drivers who have taken a defensive driver’s course. They see this as a commitment to safer driving, thereby lowering the risk of accident, resulting in lower premiums.

Keep in mind these are just general guidelines, and the difference in price between various companies can be significant. What one company may consider a high-risk factor another company may not view as so important. The bottom line, keep your credit in check, be careful on the road and choose a car that fits your budgets.

About the Author: Jay B Stockman is a contributing editor for Car Insurance Quotes Resource Visit

car-insurance-usa.com/

for more information.

Source:

isnare.com

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Posted in Financial Planning

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The owner of a New Jersey real estate investment firm has been charged with using $2 million of his company’s money for construction at his home and other projects not related to work.

Gary Klein, owner of the Asbury Park-based REI Group Inc., surrendered himself to police after a Monmouth County grand jury indicted him on one count of theft by deception charges.

The charges were the result of a three-year investigation into his practices. Klein, 45, of Colts Neck Township, faces up to 10 years in state prison if convicted. Klein was released Friday after posting $75,000 bail.

Klein attracted clients by telling them he would invest their money in projects that would result in returns of 12 and 85 percent. Prosecutors said the actions mirrored those of a Ponzi scheme.

Robert Weir, Klein’s attorney, said the operation was not a Ponzi scheme, but legitimate business investments that went bad as the economy declined. Weir also said Klein hired a receiver to try and return the investors’ money once the investments started to go sour.

“It’s a shame that a business that experienced a turn in the real estate market is now being treated as a criminal problem. That was not Mr. Klein’s intent,” Weir said to The Star-Ledger.

Weir said the investments were used for building rehabilitation projects in Asbury Park and the construction of Florida condominium complexes, but authorities said Klein used the money to repay earlier investors who were cashing out, as well to help build his own home.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

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