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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-03-2019

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

Five Star Hotels In Agra Part 2


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Boutique Hotels | Posted on 19-03-2019

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Five Star Hotels in Agra Part 2



Hotel Booking in Agra is a great as it is one of the largest tourist destinations in the country. In my previous article Five Star Hotels in Agra I have highlighted few top most five star hotels that are the best in the town. Here I will continue with few more symbol of excellence being known for their services and for their world class hospitality.


is a very big tourist hub in India and millions of domestic and international tourists visit this city every year so there is no end of good quality hotels in the city.

Hotel Mughal Sheraton:

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A tourist to Agra is delighted by the antique attraction maintained by the Taj Mahal. Forts, Museums and monuments mixed together melodiously with their natural environment. Extended over 27 acres of verdant greenery, the Mughal Sheraton is a compliment to the immense Mughal emperors of Past. Receiver of the impressive Aga Khan Award for Architectural brilliance, the Mughal Sheraton presents enjoyable legendary around all corner. There are 285 rooms in the hotel which comprise 5 suites out of which of 3 Deluxe Suites and 2 Presidential Suites. You can view the majestic Taj Mahal from 11 rooms of the hotel.

Online Hotel Booking

facility is available from hotels own website.

Hotel Holiday Inn:

Hotel Holiday Inn is location in the heart the charming city of Agra; it permits you to discover the splendor of Taj Mahal. Also airport and railway station are barely 20 minutes far from the hotel. The Hotel invites you to get familiar with the legend of the Taj Mahal and the grace of monarch Akbar s Fatehpur Sikri. The hotel is located 10 kilometers from the airport and eight kilometers from the railway station. It is a 148-room hotel, which is entirely operational with all the contemporary amenities. The rooms at the hotel have been separated into deluxe rooms and suites. The rooms and suites at the hotel are gracefully selected and wonderfully planned.

Hotel Howard Park Plaza:

Hotel Howard Park Plaza is extremely near to the beautiful Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is only 1.5 kilometers far from the Howard Park Plaza. The hotel is exceptionally centrally situated, only 5 kilometers from the Agra Cantt Railway Station and a simple entry from the Kheria Airport. It not only provides immense lodging full up with all modern services but also outstanding service along with an attractive ambience. It has Conference conveniences for the commerce tourist and many leisure amenities for people who are on family holidays. The hotel presents attractively furnished rooms and suites for the sensible leisure. Enjoy a vision of the Taj Mahal from the rooftop-viewing gallery. You can pick from beautifully ornamented Rooms and Suites, comfortable with all present amenities.

Hotel Amar:

Hotel Amar is so completely situated at the center of visitor hub very near to Taj Mahal. It has naturally turned out to be the primary option for tourists from all over the world. Here you can experience the great welcome extended to its visitors in the true ‘convention. Hotels stylish 66 beautiful rooms with all present facilities are intended for pure calm. The swimming pool of the hotel is there so the visitors can take pleasure in their peaceful time after an entire day of hectic running in widespread tourism in Agra.

Here I have given you enough choice to select the best luxury hotel for you in Agra. These hotels are some of the finest hotels in the city. In my next article I will come up with some of best budget hotels in the city for a pocket friendly accommodation.

I am a traveler from India, I like to explore every part of my great country. I am also writing on

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European Union offers to train Somali troops as fighting breaks out


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-03-2019

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heavy fighting has broken out in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. As troops clash with Islamic fighters the European Union has said it will train 2,000 more soldiers for the country.

One major battle erupted at a base used by Burundian troops. African peacekeepers as well as local soldiers working for the transitional government fought back, according to eyewitnesses. Heavy artillery was used this morning. Soldiers in Somaliland found explosives which later went off, killing at least three people.

Somaliland’s deputy governor, Mohamed Abdi Dimbil, said locals had discovered the bombs and handed them over to soldiers. They detonated while the soldiers still had them, causing the deaths as well as injuries.

EU foreign ministers in Brussels responded to the clashes. A joint statement read: “The EU should … continue to help stabilise Somalia by providing support to vital and priority areas such as the security sector, development, assistance to the population and capacity-building support. In this context, the Council agreed to set up a military mission to contribute to training of Somali security forces.”

Spain will lead the mission and France has pledged troops as well. Britain, Slovenia, Greece, and Hungary are expected to participate, according to Reuters.


Philippine Foreign Secretary Del Rosario to visit China amid South China Sea territorial dispute


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2019

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario is scheduled to visit China from July 7 to 9, raising hopes that a territorial dispute between the two countries may be resolved.

A six-nation dispute has escalated in the sea concerning territorial claims to several islands including the Spratly Islands. The area is thought to be rich in natural gas and oil. Both the Philippines and China wish to have a peaceful resolution to this conflict. “I’ve been invited to Beijing and we’re looking for peaceful means to settle the challenges facing us,” said Del Rosario.

The news comes after the United States and the Philippines began a series of naval exercises last week in the South China Sea, scheduled to last for 11 days. A Philippine military commander stated that the drills are part of an annual series of activities taking place under a defense agreement between the two countries and have nothing to do with the territorial dispute.

The Philippines maintains a close relation with the U.S. as a former territory of the nation.

The drills come at a time when several competing disputes in the South China Sea have begun to intensify. “Since February 25th, we actually have noted as many as nine intrusions of different varieties, but clearly becoming more aggressive and more frequent,” said Del Rosario. Several countries in Asia, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan, have territorial claims in the area spanning the Spratly and Paracel Islands. The region may be rich in oil and gas reserves. The US and Philippines have urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address the conflict.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has argued that the United States would remain neutral regarding the disputes. She has also said that the United States has a “national interest” in freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and unimpeded, lawful commerce in the South China Sea.” Both countries are bound by a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

On June 27, the US Senate unanimously passed a motion condemning “the use of force by naval and maritime security vessels from China in the South China Sea.” China, on the other hand, has stated that it will not use force to resolve disputes in the South China Sea.

APEC leaders wear Driza-Bones for group photo


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2019

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Leaders attending the APEC summit in Sydney, Australia have worn Driza-Bone coats for their traditional group photo in front of the Sydney Opera House. In APEC tradition, leaders wear attire which draws inspiration from the host nation’s national costume.

Australia’s choice was made by Prime Minister John Howard and his wife Janette. Australia does not have a national costume. In an APEC statement it was revealed that Driza-Bone had been consulted to produce an outfit that “captures the essence of Australia’s culture and environment.”

“Driza-Bone coats were born over 100 years ago when a sailor fashioned waterproof coats out of windjammer sails for protection against the harsh Australian trade winds,” the statement said.

“These coats were also perfect for people working on the vast Australian continent and have since been adapted into the perfect riding and outback attire.”

The custom-made knee-length coats worn by the leaders were the traditional dark brown of all Driza-Bones and had differing colours for the lapels and linings – slate blue for Australia’s vast coastline, mustard yellow for the sun and sand; red ochre for the outback and eucalyptus green for the bush. Leaders were given the choice over which highlight colour they wanted.

The choice of costume was a closely guarded secret by Australia officials, with speculation rife throughout the media. It has been suggested that the costume could include “budgie smugglers” (male swimwear)- and thongs (flip flops) to represent the beach;blue singlets and shorts favoured by labourers or khaki gear in memory of Steve Irwin.

The group photo is said to be one of the most anticipated parts of the APEC summit, with people wanting to see which leader looks the “silliest”. In the past leaders have been dressed in silk tunics, leather bomber jackets and Batik-print shirts.

Helpline: Do you know this pianist?


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2019

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

On April 8, 2005, police picked up an unidentified man wandering the streets of Sheerness, United Kingdom. The man was wearing a formal black suit and white shirt with all labels removed, and was soaking wet, as if having been in the sea.

He has not spoken a word since he was found, but when given pencil and paper he drew a piano. Seeing the picture of the piano, the medical staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital where he was admitted showed him the piano in the hospital chapel. To their amazement he sat at the instrument and played classical and pop music for several hours.

Many press reports have emphasized the piano playing, and the man has been labelled “The Piano Man” by many news services, although the hospital staff has been calling him “Mr. X.”

However, the chaplain of the hospital, the Reverend Steve Spencer, said the man “is not the virtuoso that he has been portrayed in the press. He knows a small number of tunes and plays them over and over. I recognized some John Lennon and a snippet from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.”

The man also pointed to a flag of Sweden when shown an atlas, initially leading the hospital staff to believe he was from Sweden. To date this lead has not panned out. A different account from the National Missing Persons Helpline (NMPH) indicated that the man actually drew the flag.

The NMPH is appealing to anyone who recognizes the man to contact Teri on +44 20 8392 4509. All calls will be treated as confidential. The NMPH can also be reached at +44 500 700700. Emails can also be sent to id@missingpersons.org.


  • 1 Identification
  • 2 Related Stories
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

Poll of 100 million votes names new Seven Wonders of the World


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-03-2019

Sunday, July 8, 2007

In 1999, Bernard Weber started the New7Wonders foundation, and eight years, 200 candidates and 100 million votes later, seven man-made structures now have something in common – they all hold the title of ‘Wonder’. Weber claims he started the foundation to ensure that “everybody can decide what the new seven wonders should be and not some government, not some individuals, not some institutions.”

Nominated structures had to be built or discovered before the year 2000, and out of the 200 nominations, only twenty-one were left by the early part of last year. Voting had been taking place for six months, but only recently did voting result in server crashes, causing the foundation to encourage text message voting.

The results were announced at a ceremony hosted by Hilary Swank, Ben Kingsley and Bollywood star Bipasha Basu in Lisbon, Portugal. Out of the twenty-one, the following seven were announced as the new ‘Wonders of the World’:

  • Great Wall of China, in northern China. It was created in the 5th century BC to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire. The Wall is the world’s longest human-made structure, stretching over 6,400 km (4,000 mi).
  • Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The giant statue of Jesus Christ is 38 m (105 ft) tall and weighs 700 tonnes. The statue is located at the peak of the 700 m (2296 ft) Corcovado mountain, overlooking the city of Rio.
  • Machu Picchu, above the Urubamba Valley, Peru. It is a city created by the Inca Empire, located on a mountain ridge. Machu Picchu was forgotten for centuries by the outside world, however not by the locals. It was brought to international attention by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911.
  • Petra, in Jordan. It is famous for having many giant stone structures carved into the rock. The site was revealed to the Western world by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, but remained accessible only to Europeans until after World War I.
  • Chichen Itza, on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. It is a large archaeological site originally built by the Maya civilization. Chichen Itza was a major regional center in the northern Maya lowlands. Archaeological data suggest that Chichen Itza’s collapse was violent.
  • Taj Mahal, in Agra, India. It is a white marble mausoleum generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned it for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and it was constructed between 1632 and 1648.
  • Colosseum, in Rome, Italy. It is a giant amphitheatre located in the centre of the city, and was capable of seating around 50,000 spectators. It was constructed between 70 AD and 80 AD, and used for nearly 500 years for a variety of events.

Although the foundation had large amounts of public support, UNESCO, the United Nations cultural program, distanced themselves from the project, saying it had “no link whatsoever” to the project. UNESCO currently keeps tabs on 851 places in its ‘World Heritage Sites‘ program.

Left out of the Seven are the Pyramids of Giza, to which a respected Egyptian antiquities expert replied that the pyramids are a “symbol of the genius of the ancient people.” The foundation announced that the pyramids would have “honorary status” with the seven. The pyramids were the only remaining of the original Seven Wonders.

Weber claims that now that the man-made wonders have been chosen he has a new task: choosing the seven natural wonders of the world. He says he will start his new project immediately.



Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-03-2019

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Garden at Elmwood and Forest in Buffalo, N.Y. dedicated


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-03-2019

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Buffalo, New York –Yesterday, a recently-planted garden and “Welcome to the Elmwood Village” sign at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York was dedicated to the community at 6 PM. The garden was planted by a group of local citizens known as the Elmwood Village Gatekeepers, who formed to maintain the green space on the corner which is unmaintained by Hans Mobius, the owner of the land and properties at 1109-1121 Elmwood.

“This is our neighborhood, and we don’t want to see it go down-hill. The lawns are part of the look of this corner that we love, and we can do something about,” said Joe Runfola an area resident.

The Gatekeepers are hopeful that the “annuals and the perennials planted in the garden can be enjoyed by all for years to come,” said owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris, Nancy Pollina.

Local artist Steven Myers and owner of Gateway Studios on Elmwood and Forest painted the new welcome sign.

“In the design, I wish to show the transition from green parks, to lively urban neighborhoods, to downtown, in the background. The four colors, red, white, yellow and black will also be incorporated in their pure form to represent the Native American medicine wheel, which teaches us that the four symbolic races are all part of the same human family,” said Myers.

The newly formed group hopes to plant an elm tree at the proposed site in July.

So far, 2 of the 5 businesses on the proposed site have relocated or closed their doors. The group is hopeful that a lawsuit filed against the developer Savarino Construction Services Corporation and the City of Buffalo will stop the proposal from moving forward and hope that the garden can become a “community garden.”

The preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for 9:30am today was initially postponed until July 20, 2006; however, attorney Arthur J. Giacalone, who is representing the petitioners of the lawsuit Nancy Pollina and Patricia Morris, Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel’s sole entrance and exit driveway, has said that the preliminary hearing has been postponed indefinitely and at the moment no new date has been set. According to Giacalone, Savarino Construstion has not yet presented their case and has not yet filed their papers.

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.

Vitamin C can help prevent cancer say the National Institutes of Health


Posted by z5w5VCvC | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-03-2019

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vitamin C can help cut the spread of cancer and tumours by half, according to United States researchers who tested on mice.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health injected doses of vitamin C into four grams per kilo of body weight into mice with pancreatic, brain and ovarian cancers, which started a destructive chain reaction with the cancer cells. The vitamin, also known as ascorbate, caused high amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the body, which killed cancer cells.

The vitamin was given in doses as the body does not absorb more than a set amount of vitamin C normally. Following successful tests on mice, scientists believe that treating cancer with vitamin C could soon be tested on humans.

Treating cancer with vitamin C was considered in the 1970s by American scientist Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. However, it involved taking the vitamin orally instead of injection, and so did not have the desired effect.