Facebook hired PR firm to discredit Google, reveals leaked correspondence

Thursday, May 12, 2011 

Facebook hired a public relations firm to systematically discredit Google by paying two journalists to plant negative pieces in U.S. newspapers, leaked correspondence discloses. The new revelations are likely to increase tension between the two companies, which are already fierce rivals.

The social network has confirmed the validity of the leaked emails, seen by Wikinews, which suggest executives at the social networking giant hired Burson-Marsteller, a high profile PR and communications firm, to discredit Social Circle, a rival website run by Google. Burson-Marsteller then recruited two journalists—Jim Goldman and John Mercurio—to push editors at The Washington Post and USA Today to publish editorials criticising Social Circle over its privacy settings. The story was exposed after Burson-Marsteller approached a blogger to publish the propaganda, but the blogger posted the correspondence online.

Burson-Marsteller has been forced to apologize for taking on Facebook as a client, admitting the orders to discredit Google violated company policy. “The assignment on those terms should have been declined,” a spokesperson said. The revelations are likely to be incredibly damaging for the firm, who have represented a number of controversial clients in the past. Facebook, however, said the allegations against Google were valid, insisting there were genuine privacy concerns with Social Circle. Google has declined to comment on the issue.

FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

Monday, September 12, 2005 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being criticized for misallocation of personnel in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. FEMA representatives said they requested volunteers from fire departments around the U.S., to handle its community relations campaign. However, a document FEMA sent to local fire departments asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in “austere conditions”. Fire departments around the nation responded by sending crews to the FEMA staging ground in Atlanta. Some of these crews were unaware that they were only going to be used for public relations work. Others, however, merely hoped that FEMA would allocate them to rescue and damage control operations once it saw their qualifications.

The firefighter’s objections are particularly poignant as one of FEMA public relations training seminars coincided with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin plea for firefighters on national television, to relieve his own exhausted crews. It is unclear if FEMA’s request for firefighters prevented any municipalities from responding to Mayor Nagin’s request.

Some firefighters have objected to their use as FEMA public relations officers because their municipalities must bear the cost of their salaries, as well as endure reduced firefighting capacity. FEMA has stated that it sought to use firefighters to avoid background checks required of federal employees.

Firefighters began receiving their assignments Monday, September 5th. Among these was a crew of 50 assigned to tour the devastated areas with President Bush and the press.

FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

Monday, September 12, 2005 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being criticized for misallocation of personnel in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. FEMA representatives said they requested volunteers from fire departments around the U.S., to handle its community relations campaign. However, a document FEMA sent to local fire departments asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in “austere conditions”. Fire departments around the nation responded by sending crews to the FEMA staging ground in Atlanta. Some of these crews were unaware that they were only going to be used for public relations work. Others, however, merely hoped that FEMA would allocate them to rescue and damage control operations once it saw their qualifications.

The firefighter’s objections are particularly poignant as one of FEMA public relations training seminars coincided with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin plea for firefighters on national television, to relieve his own exhausted crews. It is unclear if FEMA’s request for firefighters prevented any municipalities from responding to Mayor Nagin’s request.

Some firefighters have objected to their use as FEMA public relations officers because their municipalities must bear the cost of their salaries, as well as endure reduced firefighting capacity. FEMA has stated that it sought to use firefighters to avoid background checks required of federal employees.

Firefighters began receiving their assignments Monday, September 5th. Among these was a crew of 50 assigned to tour the devastated areas with President Bush and the press.

Chinese Led Display Market Has Huge Potential

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Submitted by: Lanbo Jiang

In recent years, China LED Display (light emitting diode) displays the application of increasing current LED displays have been widely applied to banks, railway station, gymnasium, LED display market potential becomes increasingly obvious. Dakota United States is the world’s largest electronic display manufacturer, in 2008 fiscal year, its worldwide sales of 50 billion U.S. dollars.

Recently, Dakota Kurtenbach, vice president of worldwide acceptance, “China Electronics News” interview, said, LED display in China has huge market potential, localization strategy to make Dakota’s China business has a solid foundation. Reporter: dakota’s in October 2005 for entering the Chinese market has achieved satisfactory? The next few years, Dakota in the Chinese market What is the goal? Kurtenbach: Our achievements and China satisfied with the whole operation. China’s extremely rapid pace of development to better promote the company’s AsiaPacific region markets.

In the next few months, we will continue to play the company’s technical superiority and comprehensive project management services as its core customer base. From the longterm plan, our new factory will enable us to LED electronic display market in China, the further development of even more powerful, but also more convenient for our quick response to regional operations for the company in all aspects of marketing opportunities.

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China LED Display Industry Author: Currently in China, more than 100 LED display manufacturers to compete, as one has a relatively small number of local resources in China for foreign LED electronic display manufacturers, Dakota is how to develop the Chinese market in the strategic plan? Kurtenbach: LED display in China has great market potential. Over the past few years, China’s domestic manufacturers of LED display the rapid rise of this industry is full of fierce competition. We are aware of the customer base into distinct boundaries, Dakota company is the need for the best utility for the product customers. On the Dakota at the current stage of China’s development, I do not think we have fewer local resources. We have invested a great amount of funds in the AsiaPacific regional headquarters in Shanghai to build a new plant. Our rapid development in China for our current and future business has laid a solid foundation.

I: According to some data feedback, Dakota’s worldwide sales exceeding 3.1 billion dollars, of which 2 / 3 of products from the scoreboard. This of course is good, but it is also a product by adding a large number of chips there is a considerable risk, how you look at this issue? Kurtenbach: In the 2008 fiscal year, our worldwide sales reached 50 billion U.S. dollars. Of which only a small fraction of products derived from the standardized score. By providing a broad range of integrated LED display system for all kinds of marketing services, Dakota has maintained a stable momentum of development. As mentioned earlier, LED video display is our main products and occupy a major share of sales.

I: You are Keyframe department and head of technical services, can you tell us about the two departments of their respective characteristics and LED display manufacturers in the role? Kurtenbach: Keyframe design creative and exciting figures show content, including highdefinition video, 3D animation and motion graphics. In particular, they proficient in multimedia networks, large LED display features, deliver dynamic information to the audience. This sector includes animation designers, highdefinition video photographer / editor, producer, client manager and artistic director.

This is LED manufacturers provide a special product, but also from another point of view the performance of industry, Datacraft focus on the display. Video Products Engineering / Technical Services sector is one that contains from the production, electrical engineering to the market research, technical support, including a great span of a team. LED electronic display manufacturers, as R & D and design of the core, technical services department is always standing Dakota company to a leading position in the industry, an important factor.

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MT duo & Robot Taiwan 2008: Vast opportunities for machinery industry

Friday, May 2, 2008 

The 2008 Taipei CNC Machine Tools & Manufacturing Technology Show (MT duo) and Taiwan International Robot Exhibition (Robot Taiwan 2008) both began yesterday. These events are both taking place in the build up to Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS 2009) at TWTC Nangang, which is due to take place next year.

The 2008 MT duo and Robot Taiwan mainly focused on software designed for industry, rather than consumers. This is in contrast to the choice of software displayed in many Japanese Trade Shows, which often displays products designed for consumers.

Robotics is a major industry in Taiwan. As a result the organizer of the event decided to refine “Manufacturing Taipei” and split it into the “Robot & Industrial Automation” of Manufacturing Taipei and “Robot Taiwan”.

There was also a “Taiwan International Robotics Forum” and “Seminars on MT duo” at the event. Both were designed to attract executives from IT, manufacturing, and machinery industries to promote the worldwide use of robotics in industry.

Fire burns at Barangaroo construction site, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 

A large fire has started at the Barangaroo construction site overlooking Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. The construction company said fire broke out at about 2:10pm local time (0310 UTC) and appeared to have been caused by a welding accident in the basement of a building.

All site workers were evacuated without injury, according to Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer. Large clouds of smoke were continuing to pour out of the building, casting a thick pall of smoke over the city skyline. Some nearby buildings have also been evacuated, including the KPMG building and offices of the Macquarie Bank.

Firefighters reported concern about a tower crane overhanging the building basement site. There were fears that the crane could buckle due to the heat and collapse. Firefighters were working to keep the base of the crane cool, and the stability of the structure was being monitored with lasers.

The Western Distributor motorway was closed to traffic, and Sydney Harbour Bridge partly closed. There had been major disruptions in traffic and multiple roads in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) were gridlocked. People catching buses were advised to expect long delays.

Fire burns at Barangaroo construction site, Sydney, Australia

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 

A large fire has started at the Barangaroo construction site overlooking Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. The construction company said fire broke out at about 2:10pm local time (0310 UTC) and appeared to have been caused by a welding accident in the basement of a building.

All site workers were evacuated without injury, according to Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer. Large clouds of smoke were continuing to pour out of the building, casting a thick pall of smoke over the city skyline. Some nearby buildings have also been evacuated, including the KPMG building and offices of the Macquarie Bank.

Firefighters reported concern about a tower crane overhanging the building basement site. There were fears that the crane could buckle due to the heat and collapse. Firefighters were working to keep the base of the crane cool, and the stability of the structure was being monitored with lasers.

The Western Distributor motorway was closed to traffic, and Sydney Harbour Bridge partly closed. There had been major disruptions in traffic and multiple roads in the Sydney CBD (Central Business District) were gridlocked. People catching buses were advised to expect long delays.

Are Elliptical Trainers Better Than Treadmills?

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By Ron Taggy

The treadmill has been a staple for home fitness equipment for many years. However, elliptical trainers may soon eclipse them and become the dominant force for fitness equipment. They promise a workout that exercises the full body, while maintaining low impact. However, are they really better than a treadmill for a workout? in this article, we will take a look at two important scientifical studies to answer this question.

In the first study, a NordicTrack ellipse elliptical trainer was compared to a treadmill, a stairstepper, and a cycle ergometer by researchers at the University of Wisconsin (La Crosse). Things that were measured were oxygen consumption, heart rate, how many calories were burned and so on, to determine which machine produced the best workout. It was found that the treadmill and elliptical produced the best workout.

More importantly, the elliptical trainer was found to lessen the impact of ground reaction forces compared to the treadmill. In this case, the elliptical offers the same intensity workout with less of a chance of muscle soreness or orthopedic injury.

So at lease one study has shown that elliptical trainers are better than treadmills for working out. Another study, performed by Dr. Len Kravitz at the University of Mississippi, decided to test different elliptical trainers against each other to see which one provided the best workout. The four machines were the Ellipse, the HealthRider Elliptical Crosstrainer, the PowerTrain, and the Cyclone Crosstrainer.

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14 subjects were tested on each elliptical. In fact, almost all the ellipticals were found to have about the same range of changes in the subject’s heart rate, physical exertion, calories burned up and stride speed. In essence, each offered a workout that was challenging yet still comfortable.

Also, at the end of the study the researchers asked each person to rank which machine was their favorite to use. The winner? NordicTrack Ellipitcal was favored both by males and females in the study. Additionally, the researchers themselves made several comments related to the ellipticals that were less expensive. For example, the powertrain and the cyclone were said to look like they were intentionally made inexpensively to be priced competitively.

The researchers also concluded that the Ellipse seems to be the most solid built elliptical out of all of the four that they tested.

In this case, it looks like you do get what you pay for. The elliptical by NordicTrack is more expensive than the other three models tested, but it has seemed to be proven as the most comfortable and most durable option currently on the market for elliptical trainers.

Elliptical trainers are great pieces of home workout equipment because anyone can use them. This is true whether you’re just beginning to get in shape, or even if you are a professional athlete. It doesn’t take any sort of skill level or fitness level to get benefits from elliptical trainers.

Another benefit about ellipticals is that the rate of perceived exertion is lower. In other words, your burn more calories while feeling like you did less work.

About the Author: The author is part of an expert fitness team, that has launched a comprehensive guide on Bowflex fitness equipment. To read our independent reviews, user videos and low price alerts for the Bowflex models and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals, visit

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Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

Monday, August 27, 2012 

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

Historic gym the site of Benet Academy, Illinois victory over Oswego

Monday, January 18, 2010 

The Benet Academy Redwings boys basketball team defeated the Oswego High School Panthers 40–34 Saturday night at Benet’s historic Alumni Gym. 

Located at Lisle, Illinois, United States, the gymnasium is home to Benet’s winning streak of 102 consecutive home games. The statewide record lasted from November 26, 1975 until January 24, 1987, when Naperville North High School defeated the Redwings 47–46. Benet also achieved 96 consecutive victories in the Western Suburban Catholic Conference at that time. 

The school continued to use the facility, colloquially referred to as the “Old Gym” or the “Small Gym”, until the end of the 1994 season, when a newer athletic center was built on campus. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s when then-coach Marty Gaughan decided to play one game per year in the Alumni Gym to remind the school of its history. “There is just an electricity, and you feel it when you are in there,” said Gaughan, who coached the team from the 1989–1990 season to the 2007–2008 season. 

This tradition continued until the 2006–2007 season, when the Redwings played against long-time rival St. Francis High School. Renovations prevented the gym from being used for athletic events over the past two seasons. This game was Benet coach Gene Heidkamp’s first opportunity to coach in the older gym. “So much history and winning has taken place there, which makes it so special. It is something the entire school community is excited about,” said Heidkamp. 

Saturday’s game was played at the Alumni Gym at the request of Oswego assistant coach Jim Bagley. He wanted his son, senior forward Chris Bagley, to experience the same atmosphere he had as he played for Benet in the 1978–1979 season. Greg Kwiatkowski was also Jim Bagley’s teammate in Benet, and his son, Joe Kwiatkowski, was in the Panthers’ starting lineup as well. “Two of us who played at Benet together and now our son’s play on [Oswego] together and for them to have a chance to play where we played is going to be a great night and great experience,” said the senior Bagley. 

Alumni Gym apparently still had its charm in the second half for the Redwings, whose 15–17 score at halftime worsened into an 11-point deficit in the third quarter. Benet fell behind with a score of 21–29 at the start of the fourth quarter. From that point, the Redwings’ defense began to kick in. Oswego could make only 2 of its 13 field goals in the third quarter. Benet’s offense also gained momentum as center Frank Kaminsky scored all of his 9 points in the fourth quarter. A shot by senior Mike Runger brought the score to 31–31, and two consecutive driving layups by David Sobolewski gave Benet the lead that would last for the rest of the game. 

“We hit a dry spell there, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Defense wins games and they are the best defensive team we’ve faced all year,” said Oswego coach Kevin Schnable.

Benet’s Matt Parisi led his team with 15 points, and Sobolewski scored 12. Oswego’s Andrew Ziemnik also scored 12.