Mysterious power failure takes down Wikipedia, Wikinews

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Monday, at 10.14 pm UTC, the Wikimedia server cluster experienced a total power failure, taking down Wikipedia, Wikinews, and all other Wikimedia websites.

The servers are housed in a colocation facility (colo) in Tampa, Florida, USA. They occupy two racks, with each rack receiving electricity from two independent supplies. However, both supplies have circuit-breakers in them, and both opened at the same time, leading to a total power failure. All computers immediately went down. It’s normal for fire safety regulations to prohibit uninterruptible power supplies in colos, with the colo providing its own UPS and generator instead. The circuit breakers were on the computer side of this emergency power system, so none of the computers continued to receive power to survive the breaker trip or shut down safely.

The actual reason why the circuit breakers tripped is currently unknown.

When power was restored, it was discovered that most of the MySQL databases that store the data which makes up Wikipedia et al had been corrupted. The main database and the four slaves had all damaged the data on their hard disk drives beyond the ability of the auto-correction to repair. Only one copy survived safely, on a machine that is used for report generation and maintenance tasks, which remained 31 hours backlogged while catching up after an unusually heavy update load during the previous week.

Volunteer Wikimedia engineers worked through the night rebuilding the databases from the sole good copy onto the other servers. The Wikipedia database is over 180Gb in size, making the copying process last 1.5 – 2 hours for every server it was performed upon.

Regular back-ups of the database of Wikipedia projects are maintained – the encyclopedia in its entirety was not at risk. The last database download was made on February 9; all edits since then could only have been laboriously rebuilt from logs and recovered from the damaged database requiring much more time and effort.

Limited read-only service was established late Tuesday afternoon, with editing becoming possible 24 hours after the power failure. Final repairs continue now, as well as upgrades to prevent similar issues in the future. Server-intensive features, such as categories and ‘watchlists’ that display recent changes to selected articles to registered users, remain disabled to ease the load on the recovering systems.

The process which led to the damage originated with the operating system, disk controllers, or hard drives failing to flush the data correctly.

If the power to a database server is cut mid-write, the database may be corrupted and unreadable, however the operating system, hardware, and software are designed to make this very unlikely. In a previous incident in 2004 power was also lost to a server but the database was undamaged.

To avoid such damage, each database server saves a copy of an edit to be applied to the database on a separate storage system before making the actual update to the database itself. This so-called ‘write-ahead logging’ should ensure that in the event of a system crash, the database can be rebuilt from a ‘last-good’ state by replaying the edits saved in the log.

Earlier this year popular blogging site LiveJournal suffered a similar power failure when another customer at their colocation facility pressed an Emergency Power Off button, intended for use only by firefighters. The company suffered database corruption similar to that seen at Wikimedia.

LiveJournal are now fitting UPS to their servers to ensure that they have time to shut down safely in the event of a power failure. Wikimedia was said to be investigating the possibility of fitting similar equipment at the time of this failure.

Several pundits have suggested that the use of another database, such as the proprietary database Oracle or the free PostgreSQL, would have avoided the database corruption seen at the server cluster. A post-mortem of the incident show the failure was in the operating system, or the hardware, or some combination of the two. LiveJournal, which also uses MySQL, reported similar database corruption after their power cut.

The Wikimedia foundation only allows the use of free software on its systems, and future versions of the Mediawiki software will support the PostgreSQL database.

Users are reminded that during times of system failure or excessive demand, they can still search Wikipedia using Google. The articles may be viewed using Google’s cache.

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Fire breaks out in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fire broke out in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, at approximately 5pm on Sunday 21st January 2007. The site of the fire is inaccessible terrain in the Bobbin Head/Apple Tree Bay area.

For a time properties were threatened in Mount Ku-ring-gai, but this danger has now passed. The F3 freeway and northern train line were closed, causing freeway traffic to be banked up. The morning saw delayed traffic on the F3, which was briefly opened, but for the most part traffic was diverted onto the Pacific Highway at the Berowra Exit.

Around midday the F3 Freeway and Pacific Highway were closed until further notice, severing Sydney’s northern vehicular links. During Monday afternoon the railway line was closed. Traffic for the north was being routed inland via Wisemans Ferry Road, though Windsor. The Pacific Highway, F3 and railway line reopened at 6pm. Welfare centres have been opened for commuters who cannot get home. They are located at Berowra Community Centre (north of the fire) and Thornleigh Baptist Community Centre (south of the fire).

Overnight backburning along with a direct attack has seen the main threat dissipate with the southern fire front under control. On Monday morning spot fires continue to move north towards Cowan Creek. The wind has been picking up in the local area during Monday afternoon. The fire is proving difficult to contain due to spot fires and flying embers.

There has continuous helicopter activity over the area during Monday.

The NSW Rural Fire Service will be holding Community briefings at the Berowra Oval and Samuel King Park Bobbin Head Road Turramurra at 5.30pm today (Monday).

Tuesday saw continuing helicopter activity. Steady rain has been falling throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The Rural fire service has stated that it is now confident that the fire will be contained.

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Actor Robert Blake acquitted

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Visibly relieved and sobbing as the verdict was read, Robert Blake was acquitted on all counts and walked out of the courtroom yesterday a free man.

Charged with murdering his wife, the jury acquitted Blake due to lack of evidence. He was also charged with two counts of soliciting to have his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley killed. The jury acquitted him on one count, and the judge dismissed the second after the jury became deadlocked in an 11-1 vote.

He was greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters outside the courthouse. The star of the television series Baretta crushed out one of his trademark cigarettes and spoke to the gathering, thanking his lawyers and private investigators who he described as, “This small band of dedicated warriors that saved my life.”

In a speech that lasted 30 minutes, he talked of having to spend $10 million for his defense and said that he was now a poor man who needed a job. The 71 year-old actor also said he was ready to “cowboy it…Get in a motor home or van, feel the wind in my hair and find a little bar in Arizona or someplace.”

The prosecution, which did not seek the death penalty, painted Blake as caught in a loveless marriage with Bakley. Tricked into marrying her by his love of their daughter Rosie, now 4, they claimed that he had felt trapped by a woman who had a history of being a low-life grifter. They alleged that Blake, frustrated after trying to find someone to kill his wife for him, killed her himself. They also claimed that he was the trigger man who, after dining with his wife in their favorite restaurant, put two bullets in her head as the two of them sat in their car outside.

The jury foreman in the trial, Thomas Nicholson, described the prosecution case against Blake as “flimsy.” He said “they could never connect all the links in the chain. We couldn’t put the gun in his hand.” Blake’s defense team was also able to successfully discredit witnesses who testified on the solicitation charges.

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Report finds teen substance abuse is top public health problem in US

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A report issued Wednesday by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University finds the top public health problem in the United States is teen drug abuse, including the use of alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, marijuana and other controlled substances.

According to the study’s authors, “The study looks at how American culture increases the risk that teens will use addictive substances and how the messages sent by adults, and glamorized by the tobacco and alcohol industries and the media, normalize substance use and undermine the health and futures of our teens.”

Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence … We rightfully worry about other teen health problems like obesity, depression or bullying, but we turn a blind eye to a more common and deadly epidemic that we can in fact prevent.

CASA found that 90% of adults who have addictive disorders started using substances before the age of 18. In comparison, only 4% of Americans who abuse as adults started using these drugs when 21 or older.

Further, the consumption of these substances by American teens is rising. Currently almost half of American high school students smoke, drink alcohol or use other drugs, according to the study, and 1 in 5 meet the medical criteria for addiction. Seventy-five percent of all high school students have used addictive substances including tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine at some point. Over 65% have used more than one.

The researchers found social factors related to the risk of American teens use of addictive substances included parental, community and school acceptance of these substances and the positive media portrayals of drug use as harmless, fun and attractive. Advertising of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes also contributes to the positive image of drug use.

The researchers used online surveys filled out by 1,000 high school students, 1,000 parents of high school students, 500 educators, as well as information from five focus groups and reviews of 2,000 scientific articles and reports, according to US News.

“Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence, so preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety,” said Susan Foster, CASA’s vice president in a news release. “We rightfully worry about other teen health problems like obesity, depression or bullying, but we turn a blind eye to a more common and deadly epidemic that we can in fact prevent.”

The study’s authors pointed out that the teenage brain is not fully developed and the use of drugs during the teenage years hampers further development of the brain, impairs judgment and increases the risk of addiction as an adult. Heavy substance abuse harms the developing brain far more than the already developed adult brain. They concluded their data shows that adolescence is the critical age period for the onset of substance abuse and its repercussions.

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First Norfolk Island murderer in a century found guilty

Friday, March 9, 2007

The first murderer in 150 years on Australia’s Norfolk Island, Glenn McNeill, has been found guilty of killing restaurant owner Janelle Patton in 2002 on Easter Sunday.

A 29-year-old New Zealand chef, Glenn McNeill was found guilty of murdering Australian Janelle Patton after the jury of 11 deliberated for two days, then delivered their guilty verdict, which either had to be unanimous, or no charges as manslaughter was not an option.

In the five week Supreme Court trial, evidence was given that said that 29-year-old Ms Patton had been abducted, then bashed, then stabbed, and then hacked to death. She sustained 64 different injuries in the prolonged attack. It was also said that the attack had sexual motives.

Outside the court room, around 11 residents of Norfolk Island cheered as it was announced that Mr McNeill had been found guilty. The forewoman of five-woman, seven-man jury, said, “We find the accused guilty of murder,” which didn’t result in any change by Mr McNeill.

When first being interviewed by New Zealand police in Nelson for two hours, Mr McNeill admitted to the murder by running Ms.Patton over and stabbing her under the influence of cannabis. He then later retracted that in an unsigned court statement, stating mental health problems. “I did not murder Janelle Patton.”

Her body was found wrapped partially in plastic wrap at a picnic/nature reserve, with her underpants pulled down.

Her underpants being pulled down was used in Mr McNeill’s defence saying that the attack was done by a woman, and the underwear was to try and throw the police off the correct path.

Mr McNeill will be sentenced at a later date.

An appeal is being considered, with Mr McNeill’s lawyer stating significant grounds.

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New Bie In Internet Marketing Let’s Get Started,A Call To Action

By Alphonso Smith

Let’s go….

Remember we’ve already decided that we will be successful in offering premium content.(video, digital, etc.) via e-commerce in a almost 100% electronic environment. Our business will be conducted in a beneficial manner for all parties involved.

At this point, we’ve decided on a name for our company and our website. we need to figure out who are the customers we are looking to serve and buy our product? Who are we going to sell our products to?

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We can attempt to serve everybody or we can focus on those who are interested in what we are offering and will buy. Studies show that more sales are the key, and sales that generate repeat sales are best gotten by targeting a portion of the market. It becomes easier to know and talk directly to a targeted portion of the market. Your message heard by those who are not open to hear it, will just ignore it. Target your message to those who are open to hear your message. They will hear. They will listen. When they listen, they can be called to action.

As we are learning our customer base, we are learning what makes our customers tick. We’ve learned our customers’ ‘core complexes’ are composes of beliefs, feelings and desires that drives the customer’s buying behavior

Now that we think we know our customer (likes, dislikes, what makes them go further then they have gone before, what will make them take action?) let’s put all of this into a Sales page. One that does what we need it to do. I only say build a sales page to those who are able to or have confidence that they can. If you can’t, then that should only be a temporary thing, experiences will give you guidance. But for now there are copywriters galore that will give you the result of their skills for a fee. I don’t mean it in a demeaning matter, but they are everywhere. In my estimation, it’s a buyers market. Don’t act like a newbie. Be a new-bie. There are sample sales letters everywhere, there are boiler plate sales letter packages everywhere, don’t fret.

The great thing about this business is that you can build it from the ground up. If you want you can buy a turn key situation. It’s called a Business in a Box. The next option is that instead of buying your business in totality, it can be bought in components. Another option is that you can build it as you go.

Then you can also experience affiliate marketing. If money is limited and cost are an obstacle. Affilate marketing will allow you to learn what going on at the least expense and you can still make money. We’ll get back to affiliate marketing later.

At no time do we want to stray too far. We are at the sales page stage. I should really refer to it as the sales page package. I say sales package because that is what we’re putting together. No.1, there is the sales letter which goes into detail of what the product does, how it will benefit the buyer, how you the seller of the product can be trusted to give the buyer a fair deal and how the buyer should take immediate action in buying this product because of all types of legit reasons.(In my opinion, the most lengthy). Then there should be what I refer to as a lead capture page. This is called by many names and is narrowly tweaked for various purposes. Since one of the purpose I use it is to get names.(capture leads for future sales) I’m so driven to building my list, that I will give premium gifts in exchange for names. I repeat, these are leads for future sales to interested clients.

About the Author: Alphonso Smith is a founding member of The New-bie Nation supporting, promoting and advocating issues pertaining to the success and well-being of New-bies in the Internet Marketing industy. Mr. Smith is also contributing writer at


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University of Utah study finds suicide may be linked to air pollution

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A University of Utah study published on Tuesday in The American Journal of Epidemiology suggests air pollution may increase suicide rates.

The team analysed suicide records for over 1,500 people from Salt Lake County, Utah from 2000 through 2010. Comparing to air pollution exposure in the three days prior to death the scientists noticed an increase of 20% for deaths amongst those exposed to high nitrogen dioxide.

High exposure to fine particulates in the three days prior to death led to a 5% increase. For men, the rates when exposed to nitrogen dioxide were 25% higher than average. Middle-aged men were particularly affected.

The scientists believe air pollution combines with other factors to increase suicides, rather than triggering them itself. Doctor Amanda Bakian, one of the researchers, said “As suicide risk was found to differ by age and gender, this suggests that vulnerability to suicide following air pollution exposure is not uniform across Salt Lake County residents and that some Salt Lake County residents are more vulnerable than others.”

Bakian said research to identify what made individuals susceptible to increased suicide risk after air pollution exposure is planned.

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Man killed in police shooting in Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A man was shot and killed by police officers in East New York, Brooklyn, New York who were responding to a 9-1-1 call reporting a home invasion late Thursday night. The deceased, 26-year-old Duane Browne, was carrying a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. Police believe he was responding to armed men who had entered his home.

According to police reconstruction of events, as Browne’s brother, 31-year-old Dale Ogarro, approached the home on 943 Schenck Ave., he was accosted by two armed men who demanded “where’s the money!” He was forced into the building’s basement. His girlfriend in a nearby car called 9-1-1 five times to report the invasion. The robbers escaped as police approached. When police arrived, Ogarro reported he was unharmed but did not say the robbers had left or his brother was carrying a gun. Browne exited the house through a back door holding the revolver and police ordered him to drop it. When he failed to do so, police shot him.

Police found 11 bags of cannabis and a scale in a basement closet. According to police, Ogarro has been arrested in the past on several drug charges, and the firearm he carried was unregistered.

On December 12, 2011, police officer Peter J. Figoski was killed while responding to a burglary at a nearby home.


First winter snowfall in New Zealand

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Overnight Friday a Southerly storm brought snow to both the Southern Alps and the central North Island mountains of New Zealand for the first time this year, closing major roads and stranding travellers at the start of the Queens Birthday holiday weekend. Police and the AA urged motorists to drive with extra care and to the conditions this weekend.

In the North Island, State Highway 1 between Waiouru and Rangipo, the Desert Road was closed by deep snow at 3 PM on Friday afternoon. Other roads in the area, including other parts of State Highway 1 between Bulls and Turangi, State Highway 4, via National Park, and 49, via Ohakune, were closed at 8 PM.

These road closures stopped all traffic through the centre of the North Island. About 200 travellers were reported to have spent the night at the Waiouru Army Camp, being accommodated in the Marae and the Barracks. Grit trucks and snow ploughs worked overnight to clear the snow and reopen roads, with the Desert Road finally being reopened about 12:30 PM Saturday.

Together with a slip threatening to close State Highway 3 in the Manawatu Gorge and damage to State Highway 2 after floods in the Bay of Plenty a couple of weeks ago, the only reliable alternative route for travellers around the North Island was via Wanganui and Taranaki.

In the South Island, Police and the AA advised that chains were essential when travelling over the mountain passes.

Yesterday, Mount Hutt skifield announced it would be opening Saturday morning. Early Saturday morning, skiers were reported to be queuing at the gates of Mount Hutt skifield, eager to get the first opportunity to hit the slopes in 2005. Other South Island ski fields were also indicating June opening dates.

The weather outlook is for cold southerly winds and rain over the Queens Birthday holiday weekend, with snow down to 400m in the South Island.


News briefs:July 27, 2010

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