500 stranded melon-headed whales rescued in Philippine bay

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Philippine fishermen, volunteers and authorities with dozens of fishing boats have joined hands in guiding back to sea about 500 disorientated melon-headed whales that were stranded in the shallow waters near the mouth of Manila Bay delta in the Bataan Peninsula.

The gentle mammals were first spotted swimming back and forth and straying very dangerously close (about a mile or 1.6 kilometers) to the shores of the coastal towns of Pilar, Orion and Abucay 135 kilometers northwest of Manila at around at around 4:00 am on Tuesday, said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commodore Luis Tuazon and Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr.

The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said its has responded to the reported mass “stranding” of whales off Pilar coastal waters in the province of Bataan where the famous and historic Corregidor Island is located.

Using dozens of fishing boats with machines shut down and bare hands, more than 100 village fishermen and volunteers along with BFAR, local police and Philippine Coast Guard personnel have joined the massive rescue. With great difficulty, the emergency team has waded into the chest-deep water, clapping their hands and hitting the surface to guide and drive the whales farther away from the coastal shore to deeper waters.

“The mammals were at first thought to have been dolphins, but experts then identified them as melon-headed whales,” local veterinarian Mariel Flores said. “This type of whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. The mammals have ears that are sensitive to large changes in pressure underwater,” she added.

This type of [melon-headed] whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. If their eardrums are damaged they become disorientated and they float up to the surface.

“It looked like they never wanted to leave. They looked sad,” said Rodolfo Joson, a village councilor. Joson and his son, Joey, a fisherman like him, have rushed home at about 4 a.m. to report the pod sighting. “It was still dark when we waded into the water. The whales were about 200 meters from the shore. The water was up to my neck. We first checked their conditions by playing with them. They did not repel us or leave. They were making hooting sounds,” Joson explained the mass beaching. “It seemed they were running away from waters that they didn’t like. Dolphins are happy and strong creatures. They raced with ships,” he added.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that four dead whales found beached farther up north in Abucay, Bataan, include two adult females, one of which was pregnant, while the other gave birth to a calf that also died, said Dr. Lemnuel Aragones of Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport who did the necropsy at the Bataan fisheries office in Balanga City.

This is the first time that such large numbers of dolphins had been stranded in the Philippines. “We are trying to come up with a possible explanation to this unusual occurrence. It could be that the dolphins had lost their bearings and inadvertently ended up on the shallow portion of the coast unable to extricate themselves,” said Dr Lemuel Aragones, Associate Professor at the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology.

Dr Aragones, who holds a PhD on Tropical Environmental Studies (Marine Ecology) from Australia’s James Cook University, explained that “the melon-headed whales of the dolphin family have sophisticated navigation systems that operate on a principle similar to sonar instruments used in submarines. Like humans, dolphins also follow a ‘leader’ of their pod. It is possible that the leader of this dolphin [pod] had somehow lost its way. In turn, the leader’s acoustic system, which serves as its guidance system, might have been impaired,” the marine expert elaborated.

Dr Aragones said “BFAR, UPIESM, and the Ocean Adventure Marine Park in Subic started the Philippine Marine Mammals Stranding Network (PMMSN) in 2005 as a response to cetacean strandings or beachings.” She cited the PMMSN training received by BFAR officers in Bataan during Tuesday’s mass beaching. She has asked the government to release funds for marine mammal studies.

The two adults had damaged eardrums, Alberto Venturina, the provincial veterinarian, said. “Dolphins with injured eardrums become disoriented, cannot dive for food and are too weak to swim and just flow with the current. If it’s a sick leader, the animal needs to be identified and taken out of sight of the rest of the pod so the healthy dolphins could be prodded back to sea,” he added.”The two animals were identified as melon-headed dolphins, weighing about 250 to 300 kilograms (550 to 660 pounds),” explained Venturina, adding “the third dolphin was only a month old and measured barely a meter long. Its gender had not yet been determined.”

According to Nelson Bien, head of the Fisheries Resource and Management Division of BFAR Region III, a necropsy by BFAR, the provincial veterinarian, and veterinarians from the Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has traced the cause of their death to drowning.

The marine doctors have determined that the marine mammals might have drowned after failing to extricate themselves from the fishing nets or “baklad,” explained Dr. Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). “There were no injuries to their ears, like visible lesions, but the possibility of an acoustic problem or trauma is still there,” Dr Lim explained, saying, “more tests, like analysis of tissue samples and MRI tests will have to be done to see if there were other injuries to the animals not visible externally.”

They are sending tissue samples to the University of Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna for analysis. “If it was something like climate change, then it would be a bigger environmental problem,” Lim added.

A fourth and pregnant one was also found dead in the village of Tortugas in the town of Balanga, Bataan, said Bien, saying they were investigating the incident and would conduct a “water quality and water parameter test” to determine why the dolphins beached to shallow waters. The condition of melon-headed whale found at Talisay River and taken to Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has improved amid forced feeding and treatment of its 2 wounds, said Nilo Ramoso, Biologist III, Pawikan Conservation Project.

Dr. Westly Rosario, BFAR Center chief in Dagupan City, has reported that BFAR personnel were also investigating a “problem in the water, probably chemical pollution,” to explain why the dolphins beached and sought shelter in the shallow waters. The dolphins have faced the same direction and their blowholes above water, they seemed to be avoiding something. “The dolphins were behaving in the same way, they have the same action. People were trying to drive them back into the sea but they refused. There could be chemical pollution somewhere which they were avoiding,” Rosario explained.

Dolphins’ disorientation is sometimes caused by the changes in earth’s magnetic field “that cause the dolphins’ navigational mechanisms to go haywire,” Dr. Edgardo Gomez, professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, said, adding that “it could also be chemicals in the water that affected the dolphins, although this should be proven by water tests.” Philippine marine biologist Rizza Salinas said a possible cause for the stranding of large pods of distressed whales is that there could have been illegal dynamite fishing in the area.

“This is very strange. What is also unusual is they appeared disoriented. I am on my way to Bataan on board BFAR’s patrol vessel. We will look into the situation. Our patrol boats are also on their way to the area. We are also getting experts on stranding,” said BFAR director Malcolm Sarmiento Jr. Sarmiento, explaining that the highest number of stranded dolphins recorded by the BFAR was only 20 to 30. “It’s something unusual. It’s the first time that such a large pod has entered Manila Bay, and is acting strangely,” Sarmiento added.

“Most strandings are caused by seaquakes, heat wave or disturbances at sea. Such disturbances affect the pressure underwater, which subsequently affects the dolphins’ eardrums and sense of balance, leading to their “disorientation.” The creatures then will avoid diving in deeper parts of the ocean and will swim to shallow areas. They came from the north and were headed towards the South China Sea,” Sarmiento explained, adding that the unusual occurrence may have also been caused when the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader.

Sarmiento has appealed to the public not to inflict harm on the dolphins, which are considered threatened species. “Please do not harm the dolphins because they are already endangered. The authorities should also prevent the people who want to inflict harm on the creatures. They should be arrested, if needed.” Melon-head dolphins are considered threatened species — meaning they are likely to become endangered in the future.

“At around 12 noon, the dolphins were finally guided to the open seas, but residents in Hermosa near Mariveles were surprised to see the dolphins near their shoreline, but around 4:30 pm, all the dolphins have left the shoreline and swam towards into deeper waters,” said Governor Garcia.

“The dolphins swam parallel back to Abucay, Hermosa, and Manila Bay before they were eventually herded farther offshore. There are theories that this phenomenon was a result of the Monday night lunar eclipse. The Fisheries Bureau will know after their tests,” Garcia added.

Having suspected the dolphins’ habitat must have been disrupted, forcing them to flee and seek refuge in shallow waters, Senate of the Philippines Majority Leader, Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday asked experts to probe the cause of the sudden appearance of more than 300 electra dolphins near the shores of Pilar town in Bataan province Tuesday morning.

Senator Zubiri wanted the experts to examine the possibility that an earthquake study, involving an undersea experiment using blasting in the South China Sea by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) – a collaborator of Columbia University – caused the abnormal behavior of the small whales.

Citing an International Union for Conservation of Nature research concluding that the melon-headed whales may have been distracted by the South China Sea study, forcing the dolphins to wander in the shallow waters, Senator Zubiri said that “the earthquake study is a sea floor investigation project in the exclusive economic zone that includes Taiwan, China, Japan and the Philippines for its earthquake research. On top of saving stranded dolphins, we should find the cause for the tragedy in order to avoid them in the future and to be prepared when it occurs again,” he explained.

But according to Erlinton Olavare, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) science research specialist, “no significant event was recorded by their stations in Bolinao, Sta. Cruz and Lubag, near Pilar at the time the dolphins were stranded Tuesday.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. said Bataan Gov. Enrique “Tet” Garcia on Wednesday confirmed there was dynamite fishing in his province. “I asked him [Garcia] and he confirmed it. He also said he was battling this illegal activity,” said Atienza. “The causes of the acoustic trauma could have been sound waves caused by dynamite fishing or sounds emitted by passing ships or seaquakes,” Gov. Garcia said.

“Dolphins are a ‘cohesive’ group and that they follow where their leader takes them. If the leader of the dolphins was sick, then the animal could have committed a “navigational error” and led the rest of the group to shore,” said the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).

“The pod of melon-headed whales (dolphins) on Manila Bay were injured by a rather nasty group of more than 120 undersea earthquakes. The swarm started with a small magnitude-4.5 event on December 21, 2008. Things got red-hot on January 3, 2009 when a magnitude-7.6 event erupted near the water’s edge on Papua Island in Indonesia, 700 miles southeast of Davao City in Mindanao. The 7.6 magnitude quake was followed by more than 120 major aftershocks each one capable by itself of inflicting injury on a pod of dolphins,” said Capt. David Williams, a retired marine mammal researcher, a commercial sea captain for 40 years and active whale conservationist.

Capt. Williams explained that whales and dolphins have small air sacs (pterygoid sinuses) that surround each inner ear and help then sense sound direction underwater. A damaged pterygoid air sac results in the loosing of echonavigation and echolocation. “In summary, my Seaquake Theory indicates that barotrauma, as a result of exposure to potent earthquake-induced changes in ambient pressure, solves the centuries-old mystery of why whales and dolphins mass-strand on beaches around the world,” Capt. Williams concluded.

An explosive blast and explosive decompression create a pressure wave that can induce barotrauma. The difference in pressure between internal organs and the outer surface of the body causes injuries to internal organs that contain gas, such as the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and ear.

According to the Natural History Museum experts, whale and dolphins can become confused, mis-read the Earth’s magnetic fields, fear certain sounds and get lost. Since 1913, it has investigated all strandings, more than 11,000 so far, and it runs the UK Whale and Dolphin Stranding Scheme.

New Zealand‘s Project Jonah has claimed that the largest recorded beach stranding was in 1918 when 1,000 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.

The last mass beaching in the Philippines was in 1956 when around 12 sperm whales were stranded in a coastal area in Capiz, amid at least 10 yearly strandings that happened in the country involving only one or two animals that were either sick or dying.

Last January this year, Filipino fishermen have also rescued an endangered sea cow. The fishermen aided the beached sea cow to the deep sea, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

The Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra; many-toothed blackfish and electra dolphin) is a cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). As small members of the dolphingroup, it is closely related to the Pygmy Killer Whale and Pilot Whale, and collectively these dolphin species are known by the common name blackfish.

The tender mammal can grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) and weigh as much as 210 kilograms (460pounds). With black triangular “mask” on its face, it appears dark gray to black in color, has no discernible beak and its head is shaped like a rounded melon, thus the name. Its primary diet is squid and fish. The Melon-headed whale lives well off-shore in all the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans.

At the northern fringes of its range it may also be found in the warm currents of temperate waters. Ordinarily, however, it is found beyond the continental shelf between 20° S and 20° N. The Melon-headed whale is widespread throughout the world’s tropical waters, although not often seen by humans on account of its preference for deep water. It has been found in Ireland, Hawaii and Cebu, in the Philippines.

As social species, they are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 in the United States. In July 2004, between 150 and 200 melon-headed whales occupied the shallow waters of Kauai island in Hawaii for over 28 hours, after which, they were rescued and guided to deeper water. This incident may have been related to nearby United States Navy sonar exercise.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which includes the melon-headed whales in its Red List of threatened species said that the number of whales involved in mass stranding had increased in the last 30 years.

“The melon-headed whales are likely to be “vulnerable” to loud sounds, such as those generated by navy sonar and seismic exploration. Evidence from stranded whales also has indicated that they may have died after swallowing plastic items. It has been predicted that the whales will be affected by global climate change, but the impact is still unclear,” the IUCN explained.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=500_stranded_melon-headed_whales_rescued_in_Philippine_bay&oldid=4583425”

New book links Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield to BALCO

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The new book Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams of The San Francisco Chronicle, is being released today. The authors not only implicate professional baseball celebrity Barry Bonds in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but also say Gary Sheffield received human growth hormone and testosterone from Greg Anderson, Bonds’s personal trainer.

The book goes on to claim that Jason Giambi also took performance-enhancing drugs from Anderson. Bonds continues to insist that he did not realize his trainer was giving him steriods. He claimed in his grand jury testimony that he thought he was receiving flaxseed oil and an arthritis salve. Sheffield’s response to the claims was quite simple: when asked if the allegations made against him were true, his response was “Nope.”

Despite the book’s accusations of Sheffield and Giambi, it centers around Bonds and the founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative or BALCO, Victor Conte Jr. Conte is currently serving four months in prison for distribution of steriods and money laundering. It appears that the steroid controversy concerning Bonds will only intensify as he continues to march on towards the career home runs record, one of baseball’s most sacred records.

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How To Let Go Of The Past And Move On

Category : Medical

How to Let Go of the Past and Move On


Ruth Bridgewood

When you are at a point where you feel ready to improve some (or all) aspects of your life – whether it is your career or finances, relationships, health, emotions and so on – you will find a plethora of courses, seminars, books or websites available to help you achieve your goal. You will find programmes for motivation, goal setting, Law of Attraction, wealth building, relationship building confidence building…. the list goes on.

However, an essential step before embarking on any goal setting or personal development programme, is to clear any blocks, negativity or limiting beliefs (conscious or sub-conscious) that may hinder your efforts .

Quite often people who seem fine on the outside are filled with feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt, which limit their ability to achieve success and reach their full potential. There are very few people who do not have any “baggage” as a result of their upbringing or negative life experiences. Even as adults, well-meaning partners, parents, colleagues or bosses can cause us to have limiting beliefs about ourselves, through miscommunication and misperceptions. For example, if someone else is not sure about your capability to do a certain task, then you may start to doubt your own abilities.

Although I am a qualified counsellor, I do not believe it is necessary to spend months or years (or hundreds or thousands of dollars) rehashing and dwelling on the past in order to let go of emotional issues, fears, traumas, addictions and so on. In some cases this may even be counter-productive, causing people to become a victim of their past rather than helping to move on and release or let it go.

There are quicker and more efficient methods of releasing your “baggage” so you can move on to realise your full potential and ability to succeed in whatever area you desire. I have summarised some of these below. Some may seem a bit “out there”, but they have been proven to work for most people. I suggest you do some research to determine which of these you are comfortable with before settling on a particular technique or method:

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Hypnotherapy and Visualisation

It is ideal if you can find a hypnotherapist who specialises in releasing blocks, but most hypnotherapists should be able to assess you, then assist you to let go of the past so you can move on. Alternatively there are guided visualisation CD’s and mp3 downloads such as Aine Belton’s “Belief Buster” kit (available through the website below) which can assist to identify and clear blocks and resistance.

Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT combines Chinese acupressure and modern psychology to provide relief from fears and emotional problems. It utilises the body’s energy meridian points which can be stimulated by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power. Just type EFT into YouTube to see some videos on how this method works.

Sedona Method

This technique will teach you a step-by-step process of self-enquiry to overcome self-limiting beliefs. It is a very simple process which can be carried out in less than 60 seconds, whenever you face a block or unwanted emotion. Hale Dwoskin’s book “The Sedona Method” provides a highly practical guide to this technique.


This is a holistic process that addresses any negative influences or traumatic events from birth, childhood or adulthood, clearing away the effects of these experiences and early events. According to its proponents, rebirthing breathwork resolves any negative or limiting issues based on the past by using a breathing practice which freely increases the physical and spiritual energy in the body, dissolving tension while eliminating its causes and effects.


Psych-K stands for Psychological Kinesiology and focuses on changing subconscious beliefs, with the goal of changing conscious behaviour, feelings and interpretations of life. It uses kinesiology (muscle-testing) to communicate with the subconscious mind. Its creators claim that this method make it possible to recognise debilitating beliefs, then eliminate or replace with them with more desirable ones. Certainly the practitioners I have met have had outstanding results with this method.

Energetic Healing

This can include a number of different modalities such Theta Healing, Thought Field Therapy, Reiki, Pranic or Reconnective Healing. All these methods have been proven to work with most people, but not all. Of course you have to have an open mind and be receptive to alternative and spiritual healing to get the best results.

You can check with your local holistic or alternative health practitioners for most of the above. There are also online courses in EFT, Sedona Method and the Release Technique available from my website (see below).

Ruth Bridgewood is a qualified Life Coach, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist specialising in on-line personal growth courses, tools and resources. For more articles and free gifts, visit www.inspirit-persgrowth.com or for a large selection of low cost

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Bolivia’s new president-elect brands Bush ‘the only terrorist’

Category : Uncategorized

Friday, December 30, 2005

Bolivia’s new president-elect Evo Morales has branded George W. Bush a “terrorist”, and has referred to Condoleezza Rice as “Mrs Condolences” in an exclusive interview for Qatar’s News Channel Al-Jazeera.

Before departing for an official visit to Cuba, Morales denounced what he calls a “dirty war” undertaken by Bush against him and said that “Bush was the only terrorist because he is the only one who militarily interferes in the domestic affairs of other countries. That’s state terrorism, but those who claim their rights are not terrorists“, he reiterated in what has been regarded as an escalation of his anti-Washington rhetoric.

At the same time, he said in Chapare during the celebration of his victory, that the plan “zero coca” carried out by the US to eradicate coca in Bolivia is terminated. “We are winning the green battle, coca is defeating the American dollar” he said.

Venezuela‘s Hugo Chavez is another head of state who has previously labeled George W. Bush a “terrorist”.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Bolivia%27s_new_president-elect_brands_Bush_%27the_only_terrorist%27&oldid=1986957”

US salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, brand recalls product

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, January 11, 2009

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an outbreak of salmonella that has affected at least 399 people in 42 different U.S. states has been linked to King Nut, an American brand of peanut butter. In Minnesota, the state’s Health Department announced that bacteria tests for the disease on a tub of creamy King Nut peanut butter had tested positive for the disease, initiating a recall by its distributor in Solon, King Nut Companies.

Workers found evidence from these tests that the brand caused the outbreak. This has not been completely proven, however, as the Food and Drug Administration and King Nut itself are still conducting tests to discover if the case is isolated or related to the nationwide incident.

According to a statement made by the Health Department, the brand is used in many places including schools, hospitals, some restaurants and retirement homes, 20 alone being in Minnesota. A tub of peanut butter used inside of a retirement home where many of its citizens had become sick was tested positive by Minnesota’s health department.

We are very sorry this happened. We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.

Yesterday, King Nut Companies recalled all peanut butter distributed by their company. The president of King Nut Companies, Martin Kanan, said in a statement yesterday, “We are very sorry this happened. We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.”

In a web statement, King Nut told all of its customers to “put on hold all of their peanut butter in question. A recall of this product will be announced Monday morning. At this point it is unclear what Peanut Corporation of America will do with regard to this case or the national case of the salmonella outbreak.” The Peanut Corporation of America, located in Lynchburg but also operating in the states of Texas and Georgia, is the manufacturer for King Nut.

Salmonellosis is an infection of salmonella bacteria that usually results in diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. These symptoms are normally developed 12 to 72 hours after a person is infected, and can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Most of the time, the infected person will recover from the disease, but younger and older people have higher risks of it developing and becoming serious. Rarely, salmonella can cause hospitalization, and very rarely, it can lead to death.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_salmonella_outbreak_linked_to_peanut_butter,_brand_recalls_product&oldid=2262028”

Ziff Davis sells 1UP to UGO Networks/Hearst, closes Electronic Gaming Monthly

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Electronic Gaming Monthly is now dead. EGM was one issue away from its 20th anniversary in February 2009. An internal email leaked to industry website Gamasutra on Tuesday revealed that EGM was to be closed following the acquisition of the online element of the 1UP network by competitor Hearst Corporation‘s UGO Entertainment and that the January 2009 issue (with Wolverine on the cover) would be the final printed issue of the iconic magazine. Ziff Davis‘s sale, brokered by GCA Savvian Advisors also includes Mycheats.com, Gametab.com, and GameVideos.com. Hearst Interactive is the owner and operator of UGO Entertainment.

According to CEO Jason Young, the court proceedings help Ziff Davis “pay down debt and shift our full focus to our core PCMag Digital Network Business.” Davis had been focusing on PCMag Digital Network. As a result, around 30 employees of Ziff Davis’ Game Group, including EGM Magazine’s staff, 1UP Network’s web staff, podcast and video producers lost their jobs. A UGO spokesman explained that “the reality is that UGO Entertainment is saving over 25 jobs, the company is retaining a core group of editorial all-star performers.” Ziff Davis Holdings Inc (ZFDH.PK), which publishes EGM and about 15 Web sites, obtained Manhattan, New York Court Judge Burton Lifland’s approval of a reorganization plan under Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code. It was able, therefore, to emerge from its duly filed March bankruptcy protection petition.

UGO Entertainment CEO J Moses left a note on EGM’s gaming legacy, saying, “since we started UGO 11 years ago, we have served the gamer community and built a world-class online publishing platform.” Ziff Davis Media CEO Jason Young further noted: “We believe this is a smart transaction for Ziff Davis Media that places these market leading assets and teams in a great environment poised for further success. The transaction allows us to pay down debt and shift our full focus to our core PCMag Digital Network business. We thank our 1UP team members for their contributions and wish them the best of success into the future.” In July 2007, Hearst acquired the 11-year-old UGO Networks (Hearst Interactive) for an estimated price of $100 million. Established in 1998 by CEO J Moses, UGO is an online site targeting men aged 18 to 34.

J Moses stated categorically that his company just saved 1UP and UGO never tried to acquire EGM. “Closing EGM has absolutely nothing to do with UGO. We have just hired 24 people and have expanded UGO by 33 percent, because our business is robust and growing. We only wanted to buy 1UP and related sites. That was our interest as a dot-com company and that’s all we’ve ever been for 11 years.” Sam Kennedy, editorial director of 1UP, further explained that Ziff Davis was insolvent and 1UP was not financially healthy. “The reality of the market was that no company, including UGO, was willing to sustain 1UP as it was so the cuts were very painful but necessary to the survival of 1UP,” he added.

Electronic Gaming Monthly, which has been synonymous to video games for generations of gamers, was an American consumer video game magazine mainstay. It was published by Ziff Davis as part of the 1UP Network and released 12 issues a year (and an occasional extra “13th” issue for the Christmas season, also known as the “Smarch” issue, a reference to an episode of The Simpsons). As ZD’s sole print magazine, EGM, a stalwart of the videogame industry and dubbed the New York Times of games journalism, has been losing money. The 20-year-old publication had 236 issues total, since its debut in 1989.

In 2008, the company closed 27-year Games for Windows Magazine, or Computer Gaming World. In late 2006, Ziff-Davis also shuttered its Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, while its Xbox-focused XBN and Electronics Boutique in-store mag GMR were terminated in 2004. EGM’s February issue, which is completed, will only be available digitally. Print publications have been suffering for years now, due to the global economic meltdown.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Ziff_Davis_sells_1UP_to_UGO_Networks/Hearst,_closes_Electronic_Gaming_Monthly&oldid=1531561”

Xbox 360 Kinect Bundles Compared: 4 Gb Vs 250 Gb

Category : Shredding Service

By Joshua Ferris

The Xbox 360 Kinect comes as a standalone device and in bundles. The trouble is when you’re trying to choose a bundle it can be confusing as to which of the two bundles is right for you. To help you choose, here are a few differences between the two Kinect bundles:

Storage Space – The 250GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle comes with substantially more space. Whether extra storage space is important to you depends on how you plan to use your Xbox. To start, if you’re going to buy movies, tv shows or music videos from the different Xbox Live marketplaces, you’ll absolutely want (and most likely need) the space.

There is also a games on demand section where you can download entire games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Fuzion Frenzy to your hard drive. Full game downloads can often run around 2GB or more so if you think there is even a possibility that you’ll do this, go with the 250GB.

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Style – More of a subjective thing, styling is slightly different between the two Kinect bundles. The 4GB bundle comes in the same sleek design as the larger drive Xbox 360 but it’s in a matte black finish. Compare that to the 250GB version which comes in a glossy, piano black-like finish and you’ll notice a difference. As mentioned, styling is purely subjective so whether it changes your purchase decision is up to you.

Owners report that the glossy Xbox looks more upscale but it’s worth noting that it also picks up fingerprints very easily making it a housekeeper’s nemesis in short order.

Kinect Port – If you have an original Xbox 360 (large hard drive is based on the left or top of the console, depending on how it’s positioned) you’ll need to plug your Kinect sensor into a wall to power it in addition to plugging it into a USB drive on the system itself. The new Kinect bundles, both 4GB and 250GB versions, have a Kinect port which means rather than having to plug your sensor into a wall outlet and a USB port, you can simply connect it to the exclusive port on the back of your console and it’ll both power and connect your sensor to the system.

Built-in WiFi – Something also worth noting about both bundles is the built-in wifi that comes with each Xbox 360. In previous generations you needed to add a wifi device to the back of the system in order to pick up wireless internet networks around the house. In the Kinect bundles that device is built into the Xbox itself so connecting is really as simple as punching in your wireless network password and signing on.

Regardless of which bundle you feel fits your lifestyle better, you still get the Kinect sensor and Kinect Adventures. The sensor comes in the same piano black finish as the 250GB model even if you purchase the 4GB bundle. On launch day there will be accessories available for both arrangements so you can make sure it fits in well with your current home theater setup.

About the Author: Josh Ferris is an Xbox enthusiast having tested games for Microsoft developers and moderating forums prior to the Xbox launch. You can learn more about Xbox 360 Kinect bundles and compare Kinect prices by visiting BuytheKinect.com.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=638390&ca=Computers+and+Technology


Category : Uncategorized

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US Supreme Court rules Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In a ruling released yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5–4 that portions of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are unconstitutional and married same-sex partners should not be prevented from receiving federal benefits including tax and social security benefits, and recognition for the purpose of immigration.

In the majority decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” Kennedy said DOMA “writes inequality into the entire United States Code”.

The case was brought by 84-year-old Edith Windsor, who was married to Thea Speyer. The State of New York recognised their marriage, but following Speyer’s death, Windsor had to pay more than US$300,000 in inheritance tax.

In addition to a decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court also ruled on a case brought by supporters of Proposition 8 in California, a ballot measure which made same-sex marriage illegal in 2008. The resulting same-sex marriage ban was challenged in the court and a lower court held that the measure was incompatible with the US Constitution. The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by supporters of Proposition 8, arguing they do not have standing to defend in court a law the State of California is unwilling to defend. Therefore the lower court decision holds. California Governor Jerry Brown said: “I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted”.

President Barack Obama welcomed the decisions: “When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.” Obama instructed Eric Holder, the US attorney general, to ensure the ruling is implemented in federal law.

Anthony Romero from the American Civil Liberties Union said the fight for same-sex marriage rights would now return to the states. Chad Griffin from the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organization, pledged: “Within five years, we will bring marriage equality to all 50 states.”

A number of opponents of same-sex marriage have voiced their opinions on the Supreme Court decision. Michele Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, stated: “Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted. For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.”

Bachmann went on: “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people’s representatives through DOMA. What the court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States.”

Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp said the “courts have allowed the desires of adults to trump the needs of our children”.

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Ten-year-old computer glitch prevents delivery of 1,380 Canadian health results

Category : Uncategorized

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Saskatoon Health Region in Saskatchewan, Canada recently discovered a fax machine problem which had not relayed almost 1,500 X-rays, Computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, ultrasounds, and other medical imaging test results to doctors.

The fax machine is part of the automated Radiology Information System. An audit revealed that medical diagnostic tests involving results dating back a decade have been affected by the broken fax machine.

On May 6, a doctor called the health region officials seeking follow up on a patient’s report. Staff who delved into it, found that the report was not sent from the system.

Now, two weeks later, this same patient has still not been contacted by the health region.

“It has taken some time to work with the patient’s physician. That was important — to get more information and more detail because we want that patient’s physician to be involved in the discussion with the patient,” Dr. David Poulin, vice-president of medical affairs for The Saskatoon Health Region, said. “This is a system error and that’s just what it was — an error. This doesn’t reflect in any way on the quality of work regional staff have done and continue to do.”

An internal review revealed that, of 2.2 million diagnostic tests performed, at least 1,380 had not been sent out by the malfunctioning fax machine.

The health region will embark on contacting each of the 1,380 patients and their physicians to make sure that the results have been received and if any health care was compromised.

Patients can also contact the health region via a newly set up hotline to make enquiries.

“We think it would actually be good practice if physician offices could have a system to check whether they have received important reports,” said Poulin, “The common practice appears to be in many doctors’ offices, particularly family physician offices, that they don’t respond to the report until it arrives. So, they basically are waiting for the report to arrive in their office by fax and it’s at that point that they look at it and decide what action to take.”

City Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Royal University Hospital were the three city hospitals affected. Saskatoon has a population of roughly 233,923, and the hospitals also serve the surrounding rural areas.

Ironically the faulty fax machine was discovered the same week that provincial medical officials began to review approximately 70,000 radiology tests conducted in Yorkton. Officials there doubt the competence of the physician who first interpreted the radiology results.

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