Wikinews interviews on contributions to open-source: Opera

Wikinews interviews on contributions to open-source: Opera

Monday, January 6, 2014


Bruce Lawson. Image: Bruce Lawson.(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Wikinews interviewed Opera, a Norwegian software company, about its contributions to open-source, such as software. Questions discussed current workflow, dynamics of contributions, and background.

((Wikinews)) What caused your initial interest in open-source software?

Bruce Lawson: Opera has long been involved in open source software — we’ve often used open-source software, enhanced it and committed it back before including it in products. Opera began the specification that’s now called HTML5, bringing rich internet capabilities that were previously only available in proprietary plugins such as Flash and Silverlight into the open standard that is HTML.
Most recently, we’ve moved to using the open-source Blink rendering engine and have established a team dedicated to enhancing Blink and Chromium so that it’s better for everyone.

((WN)) What is your current workflow regarding open-source contributions?

Bruce Lawson: Branch, commit, rinse and repeat.

((WN)) What would you say had changed during your contributions to open-source projects throughout the years?

Bruce Lawson: The power and popularity of Github.

((WN)) How would you describe the role of open-source software today?

Bruce Lawson: Open source or closed source are equally valid; the vital glue is open standards for data interchange so that a user isn’t locked into one vendor.

((WN)) What effort do you put into localisation of your products? both open and not?

Bruce Lawson: Opera is available in 54 different languages. So, a lot of effort!

((WN)) Do you hire people for work remotely? How would you describe the dynamics of such trend over the years?

Bruce Lawson: No; we have offices in Norway, Poland, and Sweden but find it works best with everyone being physically close.
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Big Brown victorious in Kentucky Derby, runner-up Eight Belles breaks down

Big Brown victorious in Kentucky Derby, runner-up Eight Belles breaks down

Saturday, May 3, 2008

In a dominating performance, Big Brown triumphed in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Jockey Kent Desormeaux gave Big Brown a stalking ride, even as he was 4-wide along the backstretch. Once they reached the top of the stretch, Big Brown grabbed the lead and won going away, 4 3/4 lengths away from filly Eight Belles. Desormeaux wins his third Kentucky Derby, while trainer Richard Dutrow savored his victory after having bragged about how well his horse is for the Derby.

There was no possible way Eight Belles could be saved… that’s an injury that’s very painful.

Shortly after the race finished, Eight Belles collapsed on the backstretch, shattering her two front ankles. She was euthanized minutes later. Veterinarian Larry Bramlage conceded that “there was no possible way Eight Belles could be saved… that’s an injury that’s very painful.” The moment was bittersweet for trainer Larry Jones, who sent Eight Belle’s stablemate Proud Spell to victory in the Kentucky Oaks.

Sent off 2-1 as the post-time favorite, Big Brown paid $6.80 to win. The $2 exacta (20-5) paid $141.60. The $1 trifecta (20-5-16) paid a healthy $1,722.80 with 13-1 shot Denis of Cork, and the $1 superfecta (20-5-16-2) paid a very respectable $29,368.90 with 37-1 shot Tale of Ekati.

Big Brown is being pointed to run in the Preakness Stakes on May 17. However, few horses from this year’s Kentucky Derby are looking to follow, opting instead to run in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

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This is the category for cannabis, a drug with recreational and medicinal uses.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 12 September 2021: Australia: Wikinews interviews Rebecca Jennings, independent candidate for Daly by-election
  • 16 February 2018: United States: Berkeley, California declares itself a sanctuary city for recreational cannabis
  • 16 April 2017: Canada to legalise marijuana to ‘make it more difficult for kids to access’
  • 20 January 2017: Germany legalises medical use of cannabis
  • 12 January 2017: Artist who changed Hollywood sign to ‘Hollyweed’ surrenders to authorities
  • 3 January 2017: Hollywood sign modified to read ‘Hollyweed’
  • 31 December 2016: Helsinki court jails anti-drug chief Jari Aarnio for drug smuggling
  • 4 May 2014: First arrests made in Singapore for possession of New Psychoactive Substances
  • 22 April 2014: Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green
  • 2 December 2013: Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

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Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group

Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Irish budget airline Ryanair have added newspaper publishers Associated Newspapers and Mirror Group to their legal targets in a High Court defamation action filed yesterday in Dublin that also targets Channel 4.

A Ryanair Boeing 737 pictured in 2006. Image: WikiABG.

The move confirms the carrier’s expression of intent to sue Channel 4 after the UK broadcaster screened Secrets of the Cockpit, a documentary about safety at the airline, on Monday night. Part of the Dispatches series, the show reported on an incident in Spain last year where three Ryanair jets declared fuel emergencies after being diverted to Valencia. Fuel policy was a strong focus for the documentary.

Pilots interviewed for the programme said they felt pressured to save fuel, the cost of which has hit Ryanair’s profits. The Spanish Air Authority described Ryanair flights usually landing with a bare minimum of fuel, in a report the airline dismissed as “manifestly inaccurate and factually untrue”.

Ryanair have also sacked veteran pilot John Goss for appearing on the show, the only pilot interviewed who did not seek anonymity. Ryanair have stated intent to sue Goss and claim he confirmed in the weeks before the show that he had no issues with his employer’s safety. Goss is a member of Ryanair Pilots Group (RPG), which the airline call a union front.

Channel 4 previously promised when threatened with legal action to see Ryanair in court. “We stand by our journalism, and will robustly defend proceedings if they are initiated,” a spokesperson said. The Belfast Telegraph was also sued but the action has been dropped after the Northern Irish publication issued an apology. The paper had published a story titled “Are budget airlines like Ryanair putting passengers at risk?”.

Associated Newspapers are behind The Daily Mail and its online and Sunday variants. Mirror Group publish The Daily Mirror, its Sunday sister, and The People.

Secrets of the Cockpit also examined an RPG poll of 1,000 Ryanair flight crew, dismissed by the airline as part of unionisation efforts. According to the RPG survey almost 90% of respondents said the safety culture was nontransparent. Two-thirds said they felt uncomfortable raising safety issues, with a pilot interviewed by Channel 4 accusing Ryanair of “threats and bullying”. Ryanair had told pilots anybody signing a “so-called safety petition” might be dismissed.

Over 90% of those surveyed wanted a regulatory inquiry, with RPG saying the survey results were passed to the airline and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). The IAA has already called the programme a “misguided attack” on Ryanair, saying “Ryanair Plc fully complies with all European and international regulations in all areas of its operations”.

We have been instructed to vigorously prosecute these libel proceedings

The IAA itself was accused of failing to respond to concerns from Ryanair pilots and one interviewee said his “personal belief is that the majority of Ryanair pilots do not have confidence in the safety agencies and that is a pretty critical issue”. The authority responded “The IAA has responded to personal letters and reports from Ryanair pilots, this included several meetings and face-to-face interviews with pilots and their legal and professional representatives.”

Ryanair makes heavy use of zero-hour contracts, which do not guarantee work and which the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association describe as offering some of aviation’s worst employment conditions. RPG chairman Evert van Zwol, also a recent Dutch Airline Pilots Association president, said zero-hour contracts tended to make pilots choose to fly when unwell and keep quiet if they had safety concerns. In 2005 a Polish Ryanair pilot became lost near Rome a few days after attending his son’s funeral, while his Dutch co-pilot was seeing his first experience of navigating severe weather.

In the 2005 incident air traffic control intervened to keep the flight safe from midair collisions. The Polish pilot told Italian investigators he feared losing his job if he took extra time off work. The investigation concluded in 2009 he had been unfit to fly. Ryanair denied he would have been fired for taking time off to recover.

Secrets of the Cockpit also reported that in twelve separate serious incidents data from cockpit voice recorders had been wiped before investigators could access it, which the carrier says is a common occcurrence in aviation and attributed to pilot error.

In Sweden a report into a Ryanair emergency landing concluded this week an airline employee wiped the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder to prevent the investigation accessing them. The aircraft had returned to an airport near Stockholm shortly after takeoff suffering electrical malfunctions. Ryanair reject the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority’s take on the missing data, telling newspaper Södermanlands Nyheter recordings were reset by a technician trying to repair the aircraft after consultation with Ryanair’s technical department, who did not think the recordings needed saving.

Ryanair, which has never suffered a fatal accident, says the documentary is “false and defamatory”, and the IAA says it is “based upon false and misleading information”. “We have been instructed to vigorously prosecute these libel proceedings,” said a statement from Ryanair’s lawyers, who promised “other litigation is pending”.

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Libya frees foreign HIV medics

Libya frees foreign HIV medics

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

“Freedom for the Bulgarian Nurses” symbol.Image:

Libya has freed six foreign medical personnel who were convicted of infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV and sentenced to death. In jail since 1999, the five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria, today. The president of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, promptly pardoned them.

All six have maintained their innocence throughout. They have also claimed that they suffered torture to extract confessions. International HIV experts testified at the trials that the infections began before the six arrived at the Benghazi hospital. They said the infections were more likely the result of poor hygiene.

Last week, Libya lifted the death sentences following a US$460 million financial settlement, which works out to US$1 million to each HIV victim’s family. However, Libya insisted on further concessions on relations with the European Union and aid.

A deal between the E.U. and Libya, mediated by Qatar, ended the diplomatic standoff. The foreign minister of Libya, Abdel Rahman Shalgham, said the E.U. promised to provide “life-long treatment” to the infected children, as well as aid to “improve the Benghazi hospital” where the children were infected. Further, he claimed that deal will allow for “full cooperation and partnership between Libya and the European Union.”

“We hope to go on further [in] normalising our relations with Libya. Our relations with Libya were to a large extent blocked by the non-settlement of this medics issue,” said José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, said that neither the E.U. nor France paid money to Libya. He also said he would visit Libya on Wednesday to help Tripoli’s reintegration. “I can quite simply confirm to you that neither Europe nor France have made the slightest financial contribution to Libya,” said Sarkozy to reporters in Paris. “I have had the opportunity to thank the Qatari authorities very warmly for their mediation and their humanitarian intervention.”

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations, said: “I share the joy of their families and friends and of the government and people of Bulgaria. For over eight years, we have never forgotten the suffering of the medical staff who have shown such dignity and fortitude during their long ordeal.”

“Now I still can’t believe that I am standing on Bulgarian soil. We were told the news at four o’clock in the morning and we left the jail at quarter to six to board the plane. Now I will try to get my previous life back,” said Kristiyana Vulcheva, 48, upon her release at the airport.

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British political candidate Nigel Farage injured in plane crash on polling day

British political candidate Nigel Farage injured in plane crash on polling day

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Farage is the former leader of UKIP

A political candidate for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been injured in a plane crash. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the party, was in a two-seater plane when it crashed at an airfield in Northamptonshire. The plane crashed just one hour after voting had opened on polling day.

Farage, 46, was taken to a Banbury hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The pilot of the plane is believed to have suffered more severe injuries and was transferred to a different hospital.

The plane had landed at the airfield in Hinton-in-the-Hedges and was beginning to take off again when the accident happened. The plane was being flown with a UKIP banner and was due to fly over Buckinghamshire, the constituency where Farage is standing.

A UKIP spokesman said about that incident that “We’ve had unconfirmed reports that either the banner got snagged up, or there were cross-winds and it was unfamiliar airfield to the pilot.” He added that after a discussion with an aviation expert that the banner could not be a factor in the accident.

Chris Adams, a fellow UKIP candidate for the constituency of Aylesbury, released a statement on the condition of Farage. He said “Nigel was unconscious but he can talk. He’s been coming in and out of consciousness and is now being X-rayed.”

The fire and ambulance services have remained at the scene of the crash and an investigation has been opened.

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Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition

Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buffalo, New York —Wikinews has learned that, in a surprising turn of events, the city of Buffalo located in New York, has ordered and begun an emergency demolition on a three story 19th century stable which partially collapsed on Wednesday June 11 causing at least five homes to be evacuated. Residents are not happy, and despite the short notice of the demolition, nearly 30 people showed up to protest it. Demolition was not supposed to begin until Monday June 16.

At about 2:30 p.m. (eastern time) on June 13, demolition crew arrived at the stable located at 428 Jersey Avenue and began to unload heavy equipment which will be used to demolish the building. This came as a surprise to residents, as demolition was not supposed to start until Monday June 16.

During the early afternoon hours on June 11, the Buffalo Fire Department was called to scene after residents called 9-1-1 stating that part of the building had collapsed. Material from the building fell into the yards of at least three neighboring houses. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a ‘V’ shape.

At about 3:30 p.m. crews began to demolish a small portion of the stable located behind Joe Murray’s home, a resident who lives behind a portion of the building on Jersey and Richmond avenues. While demolition was taking place, the section collapsed into Murray’s backyard, prompting a call to police. Some residents who own home surrounding the building were inside Murray’s house holding a neighborhood meeting when demolition began. No one was injured when the section collapsed.

“[The building] can come down any minute,” stated Donna Berry of the Buffalo Police Department who also added that when police arrived on scene, they immediately put a stop to demolition, fearing the safety of surrounding residents and pedestrians.

“So many [of the] people [living around the building] are at risk, it makes me want to cry,” added Berry.

Police, local politicians and area residents are concerned that demolition crews and the city are not taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety of residents during demolition.

“[There is] no protection for neighbors. [This is] appalling and beyond negligence,” stated Tim Tielman, Executive Director of the Campaign for Buffalo who was referring to the negligence of the demolition crew.

“[In order to stop demolition] citizens must demonstrate direct harm to themselves,” added Tielman.

The city’s preservation board held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue. Wikinews has learned that the owner of the building, Bob Freudenheim, gave the city permission to demolish the building because he would not be “rehabilitating the building anytime soon.” Freudenheim was part-owner of the Hotel Lenox at 140 North Street in Buffalo and was also an advocate to stop the Elmwood Village Hotel from being built on the corners of Forest and Elmwood Avenues in 2006 and 2007, which Wikinews extensively covered. He also financially supported a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the hotel from being built. Though it is not known exactly how long Freudenheim has owned the stable, Wikinews has learned that he was the owner while fighting to stop the hotel from being built.

Tielman states that he was in contact with Freudenheim this morning. Tielman states that Freudenheim “is not spending a dime” to have the building renovated. Tielman states that Freudenheim has offered to sell the building to any interested party for only one US dollar, but that he “flip flops [his decision] constantly,” sometimes wanting hundreds of thousands of dollars for the building. Wikinews has attempted to contact Freudenheim, but so far has been unsuccessful.

City building inspectors were also on scene evaluating the building and ensuring the safety of residents. Donald Grezebielucina states that “some people are on notice to vacate their properties”, but also stated that no other precautions were being taken other than placing “tires and scaffolding” onto the side of 430 Jersey, which sits less than eight feet from the buildings East side.

“The gas has been shut off in case we lost the building, so there would be no explosions or anything like that. It’s so unstable, the structural integrity is gone. The chemical composite of the trusses has changed dramatically and dry rotted. There are three vehicles in the basement which totally disappeared,” stated Grezebielucina to the press while protesters yelled “save our building, save our neighborhood.”

Wikinews has also learned that local residents have consulted a lawyer regarding the issue, and hope to petition the New York State Supreme court to issue an injunction to stop demolition. They states that Freudenheim should be “100% responsible” for his actions, and many are afraid that once the building is demolished, Freudenheim’s charges of neglect will be abolished. Freudenheim is facing housing violations for neglecting the building. Though residents are fighting, Tielman states that “an injunction is unlikely.”

“We had a letter of violation against him. He was supposed to have started work to stabilize the brick this Monday. We all hope this building could be saved. But we’ve got five houses evacuated and we cannot tolerate any further delay. We’ve got to get people back into their homes in a safe condition,” said Richard Tobe, Commissioner of the city’s Permit and Inspection Services.

Demolition is set to resume at 8:00 the morning of Saturday June 14.

Mike Lombardo, the Commissioner for the Buffalo Fire Department, believes that the building was built in 1812 or 1814, making it nearly 200 years old. It is one of only three stables still standing in the city.

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Four children among six Canadians killed in Israeli attack on Lebanon

Four children among six Canadians killed in Israeli attack on Lebanon

Thursday, July 20, 2006

In the continued conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, six Canadians, including four children who were killed on Sunday by an Israeli missile hitting a house in south Lebanon have been identified.

Saja Al-Akhrass (8), Zeinab Al-Akhrass (6), Ahmad Al-Akhrass (4), and Salam Al-Akhrass (11 months) were in Lebanon for a summer holiday, visiting their extended family. They were killed when their house collapsed after being struck by an Israeli bombardment. Their parents, 36-year-old Ali Al-Akhrass and his wife Amira (23) were also killed in the attack. The family were residents of Montreal.

Six others were reported wounded in the attack.

“I lost my brother, I lost my sister, my nephew, the family of my nephew, my aunt, my uncle. Oh God,” said Hussain El-Akras, brother of one of the victims. He told a Montreal news conference Monday that his family were begging the government of Canada to “put pressure on Israel to stop this barbaric behaviour.”

The Israeli military statement on the incident said “The responsibility for any civilian casualties rests entirely with the Hezbollah terrorist organization” and “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) requested and warned residents of the area not to stay within range of the launch sites”. Israel says that Hezbollah disperses its weaponry among supporters in residential neighborhoods to avoid being targeted by the much larger, better-equipped Israeli Defense Forces.

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Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

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Large study provides new insights in autism’s genetic code

Large study provides new insights in autism’s genetic code

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In the largest study of its kind, a genetic analysis of 1,168 families with multiple cases of autism has identified genetic links to autism. A previously overlooked stretch of DNA on chromosome 11 implicates a gene called neurexin 1 and increases the evidence for the involvement of neurexins and genes related to glutamate transmission in the brain.

Genetic studies of autism have previously been undertaken; however the new study involves the collaboration of more than 120 scientists from more than 50 institutions representing 19 countries who pooled their data as part of the Autism Genome Project. The findings were published in the Feb. 18 issue of Nature Genetics.

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism, said: “The identification of susceptibility genes will provide profound new insight into the basis of autism offering a route to breakthroughs in new treatments in support of families.” Autism Speaks funded this project in conjunction with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Joachim Hallmayer, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford and chair of the collaboration’s executive committee, explains what is next: “While promising, these results need to be followed up with more refined genetic maps to home in on other specific candidate genes. We also need to look more closely at chromosomal anomalies in large samples of children with autism.” In the paper, researchers caution that the genetic foundation of autism probably involves multiple genes and chromosomal abnormalities.

Autism affects about one in every 150 children, and the CDC has called it an “urgent health concern”. Autism is a developmental disorder which impairs social interaction, communication and features restricted and repetitive interests and activities. Twin studies and other research clearly suggest a genetic basis for the condition. Currently there is no cure for autism, but both behavioral or sensory interventions and drugs can influence the symptoms.

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