January 7, 2015

Maxim Lighting Enhances Ambience

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Maxim Lighting Enhances Ambience

by

bachelor

Maxim lighting provides elegant and stylish alternatives which will accent the home while bathing it in a warm glow. Maxim chandeliers are available in many stylish designs and feature a variety of finishes and coverings. Choosing Maxim lighting chandeliers in one of many styles which include up lighting, down lighting and multi-tiered, will brighten your home with elegance.

Lighting in our homes is a necessity which requires fixtures to provide overall atmosphere as well as task lighting. Overhead fixtures such as chandeliers are both decorative as well as functional and may be the sole light in a room or complemented by other sources. Choosing a Maxim chandelier which fits into the overall room design and function is an inexpensive way to upgrade a home.

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Both single-tier and multi-tiered Maxim chandeliers are gracefully designed with a combination of metals and lamps. Options include very ornate or modern contemporary styles which feature either straight lines or elaborately designed wrought iron in black, silver, painted and brass. The shades used to create a Maxim chandelier are perfectly coordinated with the style of the piece as well as type of the metal. They may be made of opaque glass with a matching center light at the base of the Maxim chandelier or they may be paper shades. Both down light and up light designs have been created as well as spectacular candlestick designs which provide a spectacular display of brilliantly twinkling lights intertwined with metal.

Maxim lighting chandeliers which feature down lighting are ideal for use in a work area or dining area as they cast light while creating a warm ambiance. Three to five lights are generally featured on the Maxim chandeliers used for these purposes, which bath the area with light while not glaring. A contemporary styled Maxim chandelier is often used to coordinate with a variety of furniture styles while adding elegance to the room. Sleek lines with opaque shades, some of which are trimmed in metal, will accent all room decors.

Up light Maxim chandeliers features a stunning collection of single tiered lighting fixtures with designs varying from traditional to modern. A prime example is of a breathtaking contemporary piece is created using black wrought iron which wraps one slender twine of metal around the individual opaque two tone sconces. Delicately intertwined strips form the center piece to create a spectacular lighting fixture. An elaborate but airy traditional Maxim lighting fixture has been created with curled wrought iron, candlestick lights and crystal pendants which is reminiscent of a simpler but beautiful time period. These are but two examples of the spectacular styles of Maxim lighting chandeliers that are available. Hundreds of options are available to accent and upgrade any room in the home.

Choosing Maxim lighting to complement home decor or as the first step when planning and designing a room is an investment which will be returned time and again both in beauty and function.

Maxim lighting

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

December 30, 2014

Coal mine floods in northern China: 12,000 mines ordered to close

Sunday, November 20, 2005 

Update November 21, 2005: All of the 14 miners missing were confirmed dead on Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Seven miners have been killed and seven more are missing after a coal mine flooded in north China’s Hebei province. The Xinhua news agency reports the latest coal mine disaster occurred around 5:00 a.m. on Saturday in Xingtai City.

A reason for the accident has not yet been given. Owners of the coal mine have been detained by local police and the investigation into the cause of the flooding is underway. State media reports say the disaster occurred at a pit in Xingtai City, but gave few other details.

China’s mines, many of them illegal, are considered the world’s most dangerous. More than 6,000 miners died in accidents in China last year, according to previously released government figures. Other independent estimates put the real figure at around 20,000.

Saturday’s accident follows a gas explosion at a coal mine in south-western China’s Guizhou province on Friday killing at least ten people.

Xinhua reports that rescue work is underway, according to the local work safety supervision bureau. A spokesman said Yuanda Coal Mine, a collectively-owned mine in Neiqiu county of Xingtai, was flooded and all the 14 miners working down the pit were trapped.

This is the second fatal mine accident in the area in two weeks. Cave-ins at three plaster mines on November 6 caused 33 deaths and left at least four missing.

A committee for safe production, under the State Council, on Sunday urged relevant local governments to streamline the operation of mines and close unqualified ones.

More than 12,000 Chinese mines have been ordered to suspend production, and they will be closed if they fail to pass government assessments at the end of this year, the committee said.

A gas explosion on November 11 at a mine in Wuhai, a city in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, killed 16 miners and wounded three others. The mine lacked a required safety license.

The committee said in a statement that other mines should draw serious lessons from the deadly accident and “steadfastly prevent illegal production and curb the occurrence of big mining accidents.” (Source: Xinhua)

December 28, 2014

Alabama postal workers and customers become ill, suspicious substance found

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

Six workers in the post office in Hueytown, Alabama developed breathing problems and 23 were sent to the hospital after a chemical used in the manufacture of fishing lures leaked from a package.

The post office, located five miles west of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, was evacuated, and Hueytown firefighters in hazardous materials attire inspected the chemical. The chemical was found to have leaked from an inadequately designed package, evaporated quickly leaving a garlicky scent, and discolored the flooring tile in the post office. Workers complained of symptoms ranging from breathing difficulties to vomiting to burning in the throat.

The chemical was later identified as “J.J.’s Magic,” a yellow dye for soft plastic fishing lures which contains garlic oil as a fish attractant. The manufacturer confirmed that a two-ounce bottle of the product was sent to a customer in suburban Birmingham and speculated that the container may have cracked in transit.

December 27, 2014

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.

December 23, 2014

Plan For Your Wedding With A Brilliant Planner By Your Side

Plan for Your Wedding with a Brilliant Planner by Your Side

by

Tina Hope

If you are engaged and you are going to enter the loveliest phase of your life soon, then you must be concerned about the ways to make your wedding the perfect wedding ever! As a matter of fact, for each and every person in this world, his/her wedding holds a very important episode of life!

All those who are planning to tie the nuptial knot soon, would want a picture-perfect & impeccable wedding function. There must be several desires and fancies that would be running on their mind so as to plan a great wedding function.

In fact, wedding planning & organizing is one of the most momentous things in making your wedding a majestic and unforgettable event. With proper planning, all the tasks can be carried out positively and in an efficient manner, too! It might seem difficult to you to plan all the things on your own. However, with a great wedding planner by your side, all these challenging tasks would seem easy and effortless!

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There are several wedding planners in the market today that proffer incredible and awe inspiring services, in order to facilitate a great wedding affair, in the truest sense possible. The services are available for brides, grooms, bridesmaids, dresses, cakes, transport, flowers and canap s, decoration, styling, so on and so forth.

With a plethora of services available from these planners, no person can get tired or exhausted with the preparations. There is no denying the fact that if you seek an ultimate wedding ceremony; then look no further than a great wedding planner!

These planners will make every dream, that you may have had regarding your wedding, come true! For the beautiful and gorgeous bride to be, they offer a team of make-up artists along with striking & stunning dresses to make her look as gorgeous as an angel from heaven above! For the handsome groom, these planners offer everything, from top hats to suits and cravats the list is as exhaustive and wide as the marriage preparations!

This is not all! If you are uncertain and not sure enough to decide about an exquisite venue, then also these planners can offer great assistance! Venues with breathtaking landscapers and sceneries, to venues with all the modern amenities like swimming pools; you can get all that you covet that too at incredible packages!

So, what are you waiting for? Turn your wedding function into a fantastic and priceless recollection to treasure evermore, with good and efficacious wedding planning!

Maintaining a

Wedding Planning

, ensures you can never go wrong with anything during your wedding.

Wedding Planner

helps to maintain a record of everything and ensure you get them done on time.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

December 21, 2014

Category:Food

Welcome to the Wikinews Foods, a category for food, eating, eating venues, and dietry advice … section. For more information about writing and editing see the Newsroom. Refresh for latest articles.

This category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total.

The following 134 pages are in this category, out of 134 total.

Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium

Thursday, March 22, 2007 

When Wouter Van Bellingen became the first black registrar in Belgium, he knew there would be negative reactions, but he admitted that he didn’t expect them to be “so direct, so soon.” In February, three couples refused to pledge their wedding vows in front of the first black alderman of the city of Sint-Niklaas, because of the colour of his skin. After the racist incident, Van Bellingen told himself: “If people don’t want to marry, then that’s not my problem, it’s the problem of those people.”

But then someone gave him the idea to react with a positive signal against racial discrimination. Together with local NGOs and the Center for Equal Opportunities and against Racial Discrimination, he decided to organise a multicultural group marriage happening to, as mayor of Sint-Niklaas Freddy Willockx describes it, “forge this stupid racist behaviour into an unparallelled positive signal against racism and for tolerance.”

Mayor Willockx told the press about when he first heard about the 3 couples: “I was angry and ashamed that there were such people.” He elaborated: “We are not a racist city. 400 meters from here is a center for immigrants, which was installed without contestation from the city council, in spite of fruitless attempts from an intolerant party to set people up against installation of the center.”

When asked about the role of the far-right political party Vlaams Belang, Van Bellingen told Wikinews: “It’s true that a climate of fear has been created, but to blame it on a single party would be too easy. It’s the responsibility of all parties.” Van Bellingen wants to be the councilor of civilian affairs for all citizens, “not just for those who voted for me.”

Although Van Bellingen too denies Sint-Niklaas is a racist city, he is often reminded of the colour of his skin. Mayor Willockx gave the example of an incident last Friday, when someone refused to serve him a plate of mussels, because the person mistook the deputy for a waiter.

A spokeswoman for the organising committee told the press that it all started with a “nice little idea” to have a mass wedding event on March 21, the U.N.-declared International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, they were “really surprised that the event became something huge.”

Couples who wanted to renew their vows or pledge them for the first time could register on the event website. Stijn De Maeyer, a volunteer working on the registrations, told Wikinews that they had to close the online registration when some 692 couples had registered, because of logistic limitations. On the evening itself, he estimated that 1 out of 3 couples who showed up hadn’t registered beforehand. There were couples from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and even a couple from Norway. Some of the Belgian couples were immigrants from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Kosovo, according to De Maeyer.

While singer Axl Peleman, who demonstrated his concern about racial discrimination in Flanders on the 0110 concerts last October, opened the podium, the couples began to register on the city’s Market Square.

The symbolic wedding pledge was open to anyone, from any culture, age, or sexual preference. For Van Bellingen, “Every person who lives in Flanders is Flemish, it doesn’t matter if you live here for a month or for generations.”

The couples were from all ages and all layers of society. Some came in their original wedding costume or dress, to relive the moment of their marriage. Even a group of children from a local primary school came to vow eternal fidelity to a classmate.

One duo queuing for the registration were two undercover reporters from the Dutch television, who wanted to become “the two first heterosexual men to be wed by a black registrar in Belgium”. At the end of the evening, they threw their wedding bouquet off the main stage, shouting: “Whoever catches this, is not a racist.”

Several organisations promoting diversity provided free soup and Arab mint tea to warm the attendees in the rain and cold. Ahmed Hanouch from the sociocultural youth organisation Hidâya told Wikinews: “As new Belgians, we all are looked at differently from time to time. Then we get the feeling we are second-class citizens. The solution is to be open-minded about cultures, like during this event.”

For Ahmed, an event like this one would be welcome each year. Van Bellingen however told the press: “At the end of the evening, I will drink a pint, and get on with my life.”

On the main stage, several performers from the collective “The African Stage” entertained the growing crowd. Speeches, songs and dancing strengthened the message of diversity that the organisation wanted to send.

Several comedy acts followed, such as “Joeri”, a Flemish television character. To warm up the crowd to say “I do”, he set the example for registrar Van Bellingen by wedding a special couple; who lived in Sint-Niklaas with their children and who are both deaf. Joeri was assisted by an interpreter for the deaf, who was present all day at the request of Van Bellingen, whose father became deaf some years before he died.

The culmination of the event came when Van Bellingen held a final speech on the stage, and then started with the symbolic wedding ceremony. He built up the excitement during his speech, explaining that “excitement is important in a relationship.”

The ceremony was planned for about 8 p.m., but was postponed to allow as many as possible of the couples that turned up to register. Van Bellingen then joined in holy matrimony well over 700 couples. He then demonstrated to the couples how to kiss the bride, by kissing his own wife, with whom he has 2 children. The next challenge, a big group hug on the Market Square, wasn’t a problem after the kisses.

At that moment, the Flemish radio station Radio 2 took over and started a live DJ set, playing the songs the couples had voted for. The number one wedding dance wasn’t Bryan Adams or Clouseau, but Ik hou van u (I love you) by Noordkaap, a song that already proved popular in 2005 when it was reworked for the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the state of Belgium.

For the final challenge, those who like international food could select from the wedding buffet, with desserts provided by local communities such as the Turkish, Syrian, Moroccon and Roma societies, by organisations such as the Red Cross immigration center. There were also desserts from Mexico, Chile and from the Hare Krishna. Together with a wedding cake for 750 people, the organisation hoped to provide for enough desserts for all present, and to end the wedding party in beauty.

As Axl Peleman kicks off on the main stage…

…the first couple registers for the wedding ceremony.

Some couples have brought their original wedding outfit.

All couples are photographed by professional photographers from the organisation, with the City Hall of Sint-Niklaas in the background.

The couples make the best of it, in spite of the occasional rainshower and the cold.

This stand on the Market Square serves hot Arab mint tea.

As the evening falls, the queue for the registration continually becomes longer instead of shorter.

On stage, these percussionists from Togo bring some multicultural atmosphere to the event.

Comedian Mungu explains how he spent his youth in Flanders as a black child; he liked to imitate Michael Jackson.

A reporters duo from the Dutch television comes to throw their wedding bouquet off stage.

The crowd eagerly awaits Van Bellingen.

A black gospel choir is the last act before…

…Wouter Van Bellingen finally comes on stage, accompanied by mayor Willockx and an African band.

Mayor Willockx addresses the crowd while Van Bellingen confers with host Dimitri Leue.

Security guard Joeri demonstrates his hand cuffs and pepper spray.

Van Bellingen demonstrates with the others on stage to the crowd how they should do the group hug -the gathered international press joins them.

The DJ set begins, and the couples start the wedding dance.

The five songs with the most votes are mixed by Radio 2.

Then the people can taste the international desserts, provided by volunteers…

…or end the evening like real Belgians… with French fries!

December 15, 2014

Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium

Thursday, March 22, 2007 

When Wouter Van Bellingen became the first black registrar in Belgium, he knew there would be negative reactions, but he admitted that he didn’t expect them to be “so direct, so soon.” In February, three couples refused to pledge their wedding vows in front of the first black alderman of the city of Sint-Niklaas, because of the colour of his skin. After the racist incident, Van Bellingen told himself: “If people don’t want to marry, then that’s not my problem, it’s the problem of those people.”

But then someone gave him the idea to react with a positive signal against racial discrimination. Together with local NGOs and the Center for Equal Opportunities and against Racial Discrimination, he decided to organise a multicultural group marriage happening to, as mayor of Sint-Niklaas Freddy Willockx describes it, “forge this stupid racist behaviour into an unparallelled positive signal against racism and for tolerance.”

Mayor Willockx told the press about when he first heard about the 3 couples: “I was angry and ashamed that there were such people.” He elaborated: “We are not a racist city. 400 meters from here is a center for immigrants, which was installed without contestation from the city council, in spite of fruitless attempts from an intolerant party to set people up against installation of the center.”

When asked about the role of the far-right political party Vlaams Belang, Van Bellingen told Wikinews: “It’s true that a climate of fear has been created, but to blame it on a single party would be too easy. It’s the responsibility of all parties.” Van Bellingen wants to be the councilor of civilian affairs for all citizens, “not just for those who voted for me.”

Although Van Bellingen too denies Sint-Niklaas is a racist city, he is often reminded of the colour of his skin. Mayor Willockx gave the example of an incident last Friday, when someone refused to serve him a plate of mussels, because the person mistook the deputy for a waiter.

A spokeswoman for the organising committee told the press that it all started with a “nice little idea” to have a mass wedding event on March 21, the U.N.-declared International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, they were “really surprised that the event became something huge.”

Couples who wanted to renew their vows or pledge them for the first time could register on the event website. Stijn De Maeyer, a volunteer working on the registrations, told Wikinews that they had to close the online registration when some 692 couples had registered, because of logistic limitations. On the evening itself, he estimated that 1 out of 3 couples who showed up hadn’t registered beforehand. There were couples from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and even a couple from Norway. Some of the Belgian couples were immigrants from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Kosovo, according to De Maeyer.

While singer Axl Peleman, who demonstrated his concern about racial discrimination in Flanders on the 0110 concerts last October, opened the podium, the couples began to register on the city’s Market Square.

The symbolic wedding pledge was open to anyone, from any culture, age, or sexual preference. For Van Bellingen, “Every person who lives in Flanders is Flemish, it doesn’t matter if you live here for a month or for generations.”

The couples were from all ages and all layers of society. Some came in their original wedding costume or dress, to relive the moment of their marriage. Even a group of children from a local primary school came to vow eternal fidelity to a classmate.

One duo queuing for the registration were two undercover reporters from the Dutch television, who wanted to become “the two first heterosexual men to be wed by a black registrar in Belgium”. At the end of the evening, they threw their wedding bouquet off the main stage, shouting: “Whoever catches this, is not a racist.”

Several organisations promoting diversity provided free soup and Arab mint tea to warm the attendees in the rain and cold. Ahmed Hanouch from the sociocultural youth organisation Hidâya told Wikinews: “As new Belgians, we all are looked at differently from time to time. Then we get the feeling we are second-class citizens. The solution is to be open-minded about cultures, like during this event.”

For Ahmed, an event like this one would be welcome each year. Van Bellingen however told the press: “At the end of the evening, I will drink a pint, and get on with my life.”

On the main stage, several performers from the collective “The African Stage” entertained the growing crowd. Speeches, songs and dancing strengthened the message of diversity that the organisation wanted to send.

Several comedy acts followed, such as “Joeri”, a Flemish television character. To warm up the crowd to say “I do”, he set the example for registrar Van Bellingen by wedding a special couple; who lived in Sint-Niklaas with their children and who are both deaf. Joeri was assisted by an interpreter for the deaf, who was present all day at the request of Van Bellingen, whose father became deaf some years before he died.

The culmination of the event came when Van Bellingen held a final speech on the stage, and then started with the symbolic wedding ceremony. He built up the excitement during his speech, explaining that “excitement is important in a relationship.”

The ceremony was planned for about 8 p.m., but was postponed to allow as many as possible of the couples that turned up to register. Van Bellingen then joined in holy matrimony well over 700 couples. He then demonstrated to the couples how to kiss the bride, by kissing his own wife, with whom he has 2 children. The next challenge, a big group hug on the Market Square, wasn’t a problem after the kisses.

At that moment, the Flemish radio station Radio 2 took over and started a live DJ set, playing the songs the couples had voted for. The number one wedding dance wasn’t Bryan Adams or Clouseau, but Ik hou van u (I love you) by Noordkaap, a song that already proved popular in 2005 when it was reworked for the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the state of Belgium.

For the final challenge, those who like international food could select from the wedding buffet, with desserts provided by local communities such as the Turkish, Syrian, Moroccon and Roma societies, by organisations such as the Red Cross immigration center. There were also desserts from Mexico, Chile and from the Hare Krishna. Together with a wedding cake for 750 people, the organisation hoped to provide for enough desserts for all present, and to end the wedding party in beauty.

As Axl Peleman kicks off on the main stage…

…the first couple registers for the wedding ceremony.

Some couples have brought their original wedding outfit.

All couples are photographed by professional photographers from the organisation, with the City Hall of Sint-Niklaas in the background.

The couples make the best of it, in spite of the occasional rainshower and the cold.

This stand on the Market Square serves hot Arab mint tea.

As the evening falls, the queue for the registration continually becomes longer instead of shorter.

On stage, these percussionists from Togo bring some multicultural atmosphere to the event.

Comedian Mungu explains how he spent his youth in Flanders as a black child; he liked to imitate Michael Jackson.

A reporters duo from the Dutch television comes to throw their wedding bouquet off stage.

The crowd eagerly awaits Van Bellingen.

A black gospel choir is the last act before…

…Wouter Van Bellingen finally comes on stage, accompanied by mayor Willockx and an African band.

Mayor Willockx addresses the crowd while Van Bellingen confers with host Dimitri Leue.

Security guard Joeri demonstrates his hand cuffs and pepper spray.

Van Bellingen demonstrates with the others on stage to the crowd how they should do the group hug -the gathered international press joins them.

The DJ set begins, and the couples start the wedding dance.

The five songs with the most votes are mixed by Radio 2.

Then the people can taste the international desserts, provided by volunteers…

…or end the evening like real Belgians… with French fries!

November 29, 2014

The 40 Years Of Omega Speedmaster

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Submitted by: Amarisy Booth

In the past half a century and more, the Omega Speedmaster had been the wrist watch of choice for a lot of people. That can be attributed to a lot of reasons, most of which may be the high water-resistant rating, or the stainless casing, or the Hesalite, which is the shatterproof crystal, or even because it is an Omega watch? But most of all, it would be since it was the very first ever accepted watch by National Aeronautics and Space Administration also known as NASA.

Now on which missions have the omega speedmaster gone to? The list is long nevertheless it includes the October 3, 1962 flight of Mercury-Atlas 8 also called Sigma 7, where the speedmaster was worn by Wally Schirra. The 1st Omega Speedmaster watch was even worn outside the pressure suit of Young and Grissom, both were the crew of Gemini 3. Plus it was solely supported to the wrist by long black Velcro band. Gemini 4 followed Gemini 3, and one thing they’ve got in common was the speedmaster professional that Edward White, the very first American to be able to walk in space, worn. And who could forget the Apollo 11 mission towards the moon, the event which provided the Omega Speedmaster the label of “Moon Watch”.

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July 21, 2009 marked the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo mission. In addition, it was also the anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster. On July 21, 1969 at around 02.56 GMT, the swiss chronograph evolved into the first watch to ever reach the moon. However in truth, it’s Buzz Aldrin’s Omega watch that should receive the credit of becoming the 1st watch on the moon since Neil Armstrong had left his Omega watch on the deck of the Lunar Module.

Perhaps now you comprehend why the Speedmaster is a choice for many people. Having a lunar heritage, the Speedmaster consists of a stainless steel casing, with white numeric symbols on the black face. It’s the type of watch which can be trendy with a tailored black tie suit, or perhaps a casual gear, but don’t forget the space suit. Incidentally, as a special treat for its 40th Anniversary, “7,969” pieces of limited edition commemorative version of the Omega watch have been released. One particular feature was the seconds counter sub dial showcasing a variation of Apollo 11’s “Eagle” mission patch, together with this design are the words “The first watch worn on the Moon.”, which was stamped on the caseback. It is such a fantastic sight for collectors.

The Omega watch also obtained acknowledgement from the late United states President John F. Kennedy. At the moment, a low priced quartz watch will always tell a better time than anything that has cogs and springs inside, however it’s not the point. The reason being mechanical watches are a symbol of Man’s ambition to create miniature machines that will perform incredible things. As cited from President Kennedy: “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve … to measure the best of our energies and skills.” And those words is truly fitted for the Omega watches.

Alongside the forward and unstoppable movement of time would be the consistently developing Omega watches. In field of sports new and better individual models of the chronograph collections are made and released and these are; Legend, Broad Arrow, Date, Day Date, Moon Phase, Professional, Racing Chrono and X-33. They’re only a few of the new factors why the Omega Speedmaster continues to be sought for after the fortieth year of space flight.

About the Author: The writer is an active member of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC) since 2000. He strives to accurately grade all pieces and to describe any detracting features that would concern him as a collector. For related reading:

omega-speedmaster.com/

Source:

isnare.com

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November 27, 2014

Chip and PIN ‘not fit for purpose’, says Cambridge researcher

Sunday, February 14, 2010 

University of Cambridge security expert Professor Ross Anderson has blasted the EMV system used worldwide for credit and debit card transactions, and known in the UK as Chip and PIN, after his research team discovered a serious vulnerability. The group were able to carry out purchases using a card, even without knowing the associated personal identification number (PIN), by using a “man-in-the-middle” attack.

Retail terminals at the point of sale require the cardholder to insert their card and enter their secret PIN before a transaction can be authorised. They then communicate with the microchip built in to the card itself, which holds the PIN. If the correct number has been given, this chip returns a standard verification code (0x9000) to the terminal.

In the researchers’ attack they inserted a genuine card into a second reader, connected to a laptop. The laptop is linked by thin wires to a fake card, which is inserted into the retailer’s terminal. The laptop relays the communications between the terminal and the stolen, but genuine, card, up until the stage where the PIN is to be checked. At this point it intercepts and responds with the verification code, no matter what number was entered. The retailer’s terminal then believes that the correct PIN has been entered, and the card can be told that a signature was used to verify the cardholder instead.

Their technique has been tested successfully on cards from six different issuers: Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Co-operative Bank, Halifax, HSBC and John Lewis.

The group say that not much technical skill is required for the attack, and suggested the equipment needed could be kept in a backpack, with the wires to the fake card running down a user’s sleeve. They believe the equipment could be miniaturised to the size of a remote control.

“In practice how this attack would work is that one reasonably technically skilled person would build a device that carries out the attack and then sell this equipment on the internet just like criminals already do,” said Dr Steven Murdoch who worked on the project.

Professor Anderson claimed that the attack could already be in use by criminals. “We have many examples of people who have had their cards stolen and then purchases made using the chip and pin,” he said. “They are adamant they didn’t use it but if the banks say chip and pin has been used you have to pay. I think many of these people would have been victim of the kind of technique we have developed.”

He was scathing about bank claims that the system was secure. “The banks are wrong. All the banks are lying. They are maliciously and wilfully deceiving the customer. If there was any justice then the police would be looking into this. The system is not fit for purpose.”

Consumer group Which? have also called for an investigation, stating that in a recent survey one in seven people said that money had been taken from their accounts without authorisation. Around half of these did not have the money refunded by the bank.

“We want the banks to look into these potential flaws,” said Cathy Neal from Which? Money, “because we have had many examples where the banks have said a pin was used and the customer said it hasn’t.”

Over 90 percent of UK card transactions at point-of-sale use chip and PIN, according to the UK Payments Administration. The attack does not affect ATM transactions, which use different standards. Mark Bowerman, a spokesman for the group which represents card companies, said that there was no evidence the attack was in use and emphasised that card fraud had fallen with the introduction of chip and PIN.

“We are taking this paper very seriously, as maintaining excellent levels of card security is paramount,” he said. “However, we strongly refute the allegation that chip and PIN is broken.”

The research paper has been made available as a working draft, and is due to be published at the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium in May 2010. Members of the banking industry were informed of the vulnerability in early December last year.