Google blocks home device from responding to Burger King commercial

Category : Uncategorized

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Friday, April 14, 2017

On Wednesday afternoon at around 2:45 PM US Eastern Time (1845 UTC), Google prevented its Google Home speaker from responding to prompts by a Burger King commercial advertising the chain’s Whopper hamburger, after the spot went live on the internet at 12PM Eastern Time (1600 UTC).

The fifteen second commercial, with an actor playing a Burger King employee, is designed to activate Google Home speakers owned by viewers, the function being triggered by the actor asking “Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?”. Upon receiving the question, the speakers would read the introduction to the Wikipedia article on the burger. According to a report by USA Today, responding to the commercial’s launch, Wikipedia users vandalized the article, with statements like “The ‘Whopper’ is the worst hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King,” or that it contains “rat and toenail clippings”, all of which would be recited by the speaker.

Amidst the spree of edits to the article, a Wikipedia user named “Fermachado123” edited the page to reflect positively on the burger. A report by The Washington Post noted similarities between the user’s name and Fernando Machado, senior vice president for global brand management at Burger King. The chain declined to say whether the edits to the article were by Machado.

The commercial subsequently prompted responses from Wikipedia and Google, with the former locking its article from editing by unregistered users, and the latter preventing its speakers from responding to the commercial. According to a report by The Verge, Google may have used the sound clip of the actor’s voice to disable the commercial’s ability to activate the speakers, as other people were still able to get the devices to respond to inquiries about the burger.

Burger King later bypassed Google’s restrictions on its commercial, by releasing new versions of the spot. The chain revealed the new versions on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night. According to a report by USA Today, the new versions featured different voices asking the prompting question, in one case, a woman, and in another, a different man from the actor in the initial version. Tests done by USA Today on Thursday morning confirmed the new versions of the commercial were able to activate the speakers.

Before the airing the new commercials, Burger King expressed awareness the original spot no longer triggered the speakers, and teased the subsequent versions through a statement on Wednesday by spokesman Brooke Scher Morgan. “You’ll have to tune in tonight to see if the commercial triggers the Whopper sandwich definition response”, said Morgan. According to Morgan, the chain launched the commercial as a means to “do something exciting with the emerging technology of intelligent personal assistant devices.”

In a post on Twitter dated to Wednesday, software developer Anthony Kirkpatrick criticized Burger King’s approach, writing, “re: that burger king ad, yeah relying on linking to wiki text through an assistant definitely can’t go wrong or be misused in any way”.

Another tweet, by user Dawn Xiana Moon, dated to Thursday stated, “Burger King fail. Hijacking devices isn’t cool. It’s clever, but it’s not going to win friends.”

Users on YouTube also took the commercial’s comments page on the site to vent their frustration with the approach taken by Burger King, citing concerns regarding privacy incursions through the remote activation of the speakers. “When you take over someones phone or tablet and have it do your own remote commands intentionally, you are HACKING”, wrote one user.

According to marketing professor Jonah Berger, a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who authored the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Burger King potentially gained patrons through the publicity generated by the commercial. “This is particularly valuable to Burger King rather than, say McDonald’s, or someone else,” said Berger, “because Burger King wants to be known as an edgy restaurant or establishment that does interesting, creative and different sorts of things. It’s part of their brand equity”. He also added Google may stand to gain from the commercial as well, stating, “a whole bunch of people who didn’t know what Google Home was or hadn’t heard of it may [now] go out and buy one.”

Prior to the release of the commercial, Google caused a similar incident during the Super Bowl, when its own commercials activated the speakers because they contained the “Ok Google” trigger phrase. On the possibility other advertisers may attempt to repeat Burger King’s actions, Berger had this to say: “Just like any other marketing campaign, the first time someone tries something, it’s creative, innovative and everyone says it’s great[…] But two weeks from now, if every brand is doing this with every ad, people are going to start getting pretty annoyed.”

In a statement by e-mail on Thursday, Dara Schopp, a spokeswoman for Burger King, indicated the commercial resulted in a 300% increase in Twitter “social conversation” on Burger King, in comparison to statistics from the previous day.

Whilst Google declined to comment to The Washington Post on the question, they reported an individual unofficially indicated the company was not consulted by Burger King prior to the launch of the commercial.

British painter Lucian Freud dies aged 88

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lucian Freud, the painter and grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, died Wednesday at his London home following a short illness. He was 88 years old.

Freud, the elder brother of the late comedic writer and broadcaster Clement Freud, was born in Berlin in 1922 and moved with his family to Britain in 1933 to escape the Nazis. He became a British citizen in 1939. He studied at the Central School of Art, then at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing with Cedric Morris. He also attended Goldsmiths, University of London. After finishing art school, he spent some time in the merchant navy. In 1944, he started exhibiting with a solo showcase at the Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery.

I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.

In the 1950s, his style changed to exclusively paint portraits and nudes. The process of painting for models was intense: one nude painting took 16 months to complete and Freud demanded her turn up almost every day to pose. His work was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1989, and he was a member of the Order of Merit. Most controversially, he painted a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II which was described by The Sun newspaper as a “travesty”, and prompted Robin Simon, the editor of the British Art Journal to say that “It makes her look like one of the royal corgis who has suffered a stroke”. He also famously painted the glamour model Kate Moss nude, and was once named one of Britain’s best dressed men in the magazine GQ.

His work has sold for large amounts: Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold in 2008 at Christie’s in New York for $33.6 million dollars. In addition, he has had solo shows at some of the most prominent art galleries and museums in the world including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate in London, said of Freud: “The vitality of his nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late twentieth century art. His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.”

Freud has at least thirteen children from a series of marriages and affairs: after an affair wth the Bloomsbury Group member Lorna Garman, Freud married her niece Kitty in 1948 and had two children (Annie and Annabel) before ending the marriage four years later. He had an affair with Lady Caroline Blackwood which turned into a marriage in 1953, although that was dissolved in 1957. He also had two children with Bernadine Coverly (Bella Freud, the fashion designer, and the writer Esther Freud), five children with Suzy Boyt, and four children with Katherine Margaret McAdam (Paul Freud, an artist, Lucy Freud, David Freud and Jane McAdam Freud, also an artist).

Menorca airport’s new terminal collapses

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The roof of the new Menorca Airport terminal in Spain collapsed at 12:32 p.m. local time, trapping 20 people and injuring three. The terminal was scheduled to be inaugurated in a few months time.

Rooster Weathervanes A History

Category : Cleaning Services

By Jesse Akre

Roosters have heralded the morning on the farm for years with their wake up call. They were the alarm clocks, and sometimes the bane of farmers. Now they can point you in the right direction.

Rooster weathervanes are growing in popularity. Not only are rooster weathervanes the seeming traditional dcor pieces for an old Americana feel, but the use of a rooster in decorating goes back much further.

Decorating with a rooster initially was very popular on dinnerware, as an honor and homage to a specific rooster.

For this story we are taking a trip back in time, to the time of renaissance Italy. In the town of Forin, lived the Medici’s, a very influential and powerful family. They were not against sharing their wealth and as a matter of fact they were preparing to put on a large dinner for all the local peasants when this story takes place. They had invited all the locals onto their land for the event, but not all were there to take part in the good will gesture. As the family slept that night, a group of assassins planned to kill them. They snuck towards the house and prepared to take part in their deadly plan when something stopped them. It was a loud noise that warned the family of the coming threat.

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In this time and day there were none of the alarm monitoring systems we have today, there wasn’t even electricity. The loud alarm that seemed to have gone off was the family’s roosters. While the family was sleeping it seems the roosters in the yard were keeping an eye on things, just in case the sun came up early. As they spotted the motion of the assassins approaching, they started crowing incessantly. The noise woke the family who spotted the assassins, and they were caught.

Its not known if the roosters saw a light the assassins may have been holding to carry out their plan, and thought it was the sun, or if they were just watching out for the family and knew something was amiss, but the family appreciated it. As their way to show gratitude to the birds that saved their lives, they commissioned a set of pitchers that had the roosters face prominently displayed as their way to honor them.

The word of the luck of having roosters spread through Italy and soon everyone wanted items with roosters on them. For many generations, giving someone a pitcher or other piece of dinnerware with a rooster on it was a way to ward off bad luck.

In addition to having roosters on your dinnerware, you could also sport this lucky bird on your roof, with rooster weathervanes, and let him look down over your family, watching for anyone up to no good.

While they cant herald the morning with a cock a doodle do, rooster weathervanes can herald the change of weather by pointing the way and giving you something to crow about as a storm moves in, or nicer weather blows your direction.

About the Author: Jesse Akre,author and owner of numerous home decor sites, offers online consumers his thoughts on purchasing outdoor accessories such as whimsical

garden finials



in the shape of creatures great and small and the eyecatching beauty of a

weathervane cupola



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Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, October 3, 2016

Authorities in Indonesia initiated an investigation after a pornographic film was illicitly screened on a 24-square-meter (roughly 260-square-foot) LED billboard in the capital city of Jakarta on Friday, in full view of rush hour commuters.

The film, depicting a couple engaged in explicit sexual activity, appeared on the screen for several minutes — five, according to BBC News — during which time passerby took the opportunity to film the display and upload it onto the Internet. Following complaints to the South Jakarta Communications and Information Agency, authorities cut power to the billboard at about 2:45 p.m. to stop the screening.

According to a report on Saturday by Agence France-Presse, the film, identified as Japanese erotica titled Watch Tokyo Hot, was believed to have been transmitted to the billboard by a personal computer. Awi Setiyono, head of public relations for the police, said the investigative team for the incident includes a cyber crime unit, with the intention of determining whether the billboard was hacked.

Lestari Ady Wiryono, head of public information for South Jakarta, stated “The South Jakarta administration takes this matter seriously”. She said on Friday she had no information on the culprits or the source of the film. “We received the report and we immediately severed the electricity to there”, she said according to the Daily Mirror.

The billboard, located in close proximity to the office of the South Jakarta mayor, is owned by PT. Matapena Komunika Advertama, a private company, while content screened on it is the responsibility of PT. Transito Adiman Jati Transito Adverstising, according to The Jakarta Post. According to Lestari, following the incident, staff from her office along with the investigating cyber crime unit visited PT. Transito’s offices to gather information relating to the affected billboard.

The Indonesian government blocks access to pornographic websites in the country, whilst also subjecting scenes of romance in public broadcasts to heavy censorship. Under a 2015 decree, the government subjects content shown on billboards to standards of “public ethics, aesthetics, public order, decency, security and the environment”.

Uproar over light sentence of Hong Kong judge’s niece

Category : Uncategorized

 note — June 28, 2013 Part of a direct quote in this article was inadvertently omitted. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Amina Mariam Bokhary was sentenced to one year of probation and a fine of 8000 Hong Kong dollars with her driving licence suspended for assaulting a police officer and drink-driving. According to the judge, Anthony Yuen, the light sentence is due to the defendant’s mental illness. Both the police and the public have criticized the light sentence. Bokhary is the niece of Hong Kong judge Kemal Bokhary.

The police urged the Secretary for Justice to review the sentence. Kevin Zervos said that Yuen should reconsider the sentence. Politician Ronny Tong ‘called for clarification over sentencing standards’, according to The Standard.

Police Inspectors’ Association chairman Liu Kit-ming said that the police were worried about this case as well as future treatment of such cases. He also said that the case may give the impression that the rich are punished less severely in court. ‘We are not pointing at Bokhary nor do we hope she can be imprisoned. What we are concerned about most is guidelines for similar cases,’ said Liu.

Around 300 citizens took to the streets to protest against the light sentence. They wore black shirts, symbolising ‘the law of Hong Kong is dead’. The organizer of the protest, an IVE student named Lo, said that the sentence was unjust and that it was ‘hard to believe that there was no [translation missing]’. The protest was criticised by Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, who was a barrister himself. He believes it would lead to the fall of Hong Kong’s orderly justice system and the rise of mob rule.

Lee went on to say that her mental illness was not discovered until the most recent sentence. He believes that going to prison will only worsen the situation and that Bokhary should be treated, not imprisoned. Bokhary’s lawyer, Peter Duncan, denied that the light sentence was related to Bokhary’s wealth. Yuen said that a jail term would ‘destroy the rest of the defendant’s life’.

Fiji loses rights to host World Netball Championships next year

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) has stripped the rights from Fiji to host the World Netball Championships in 2007 because of the military coup that took place on December 5.

The Netball Championships were to take place between 10 July and 21 July, 2007 at Fiji’s capital, Suva.

IFNA president, Molly Rhone, said: “It is deeply regretted that we have had to take this decision, recognising the hard work that has been done by the Organising Committee in preparing to host their first senior World Championships.”

“We know that many supporters around the world were looking forward to this great sporting event in Fiji,” Ms Rhone said.

Alisi Tabete, president of Fijian netball, said that today is a very sad day for sports and that they had wasted many years preparing to host the championships. “We had been working on this event from 1999 and right now I am trying to reason with myself as to why the championships has been lost and just thinking ‘what if’.”

“We have to think positive and am still thankful that we had been given a chance for the champs,” Ms Tabete said.

The IFNA is yet to announce a replacement venue for the games. Ms Rhone said: “IFNA will now be working assiduously to find a new venue to host the Championships.”

Bass Fishing Tips Things You Need To Know}

Category : Camping

Submitted by: Jimmy Roos

It doesnt matter if you are on a new lake or one where you feel at home, the main purpose of going fishing is to locate and catch as many fish as possible. In this case these bass fishing tips will help you locate and catch as many bass fish as you can.

In each body of water youll find an infinite number of different forms of structure and cover located in a variety of depths and water conditions. This means that you can use many types of fishing equipment and catch a lot of fish in a proper and legal way. Hence we need to take good care of the equipment we use to catch fish with.

The following are some of the most important bass fishing tips to remember:

Keep your feet dry.

You can accomplish this by using Seal skin sox or a waterproof pair of shoes that you can wear in any shoe. You will find this helpful especially when fishing in a shallow lake that requires you to step into the water in order to push your boat off.

Keep your rods as good as new.

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Well-kept equipment are always good to look at and increases your enthusiasm which is essential for success. You can use a simple prep pad to clean the cork handles on the rod. If the cork of your fishing rods is very untidy it makes them look a few years older than they really are. Use a very light grade sand paper to sand the cork handles and you will find that all the dirt will disappear, leaving you with a brand-new looking fishing rod. Plus it will help your rod perform better and last longer.

Hi- tech basin.

A handheld computer as well as organizers such as the palm pilot can be very useful to the bass angler. It allows you to create a checklist of things you need so you dont forget anything, log conditions and store the numbers of your new friends you might have met along the way.

It will also allow you to download a map of your destinations which you can transfer to your desktop when you get home, for easy access later.

Be organized and prepared.

Always keep all your equipment together where you can find them when needed. It is best to keep the equipment you regularly use, in the boat, together with replacement parts in case something goes wrong.


Take care of your batteries and always bring a spare for emergency purposes.

Boat bearings.

Many anglers including bass anglers neglect to check the wheel bearings on their boat trailers. Every spring when you take your boat out of storage, always have your bearings checked. This could save you from a serious accident with your boat.

Rod basic.

The most accurate casting is achieved with overhand casting. Bait casting gear is extremely well suited for “targeted” fishing such as when catching bass. Sometimes it may be necessary to place a lure under a boat dock, under over lying limbs or between pontoons. In this case it is recommended that you skip a lure and use a spinning outfit instead. Be adaptable and make use of both types of equipment.

Graphite rods.

The biggest killer of graphite rods is impacting against a hard object, so keep this in mind when stowing rods for travel to fish for bass. The impact may not cause a break on that day, but it will create a weak spot that can break later. If you are keeping them on the deck, strap them flush against the deck so that the parts of the deck arent rapping against it during travel.

If you are storing them in a locker, do the same or put them in a horizontal holding system, where they wont hit the side or floor of the locker. If you are the non boater and your partner doesnt have room in his locker, try to find the spot that prevents or minimizes repeated bouncing. If you have to, lay them over your leg when running the big engine. It’s never fun to set the hook on a good fish and end up with a three piece rod.

Following these bass fishing tips will ensure that your next fishing trip is perfect and without any nasty surprises.

About the Author: Jimmy Roos is a bass fishing enthusiast. If you are new to bass fishing or you want to become a better fisherman visit his website

and sign up for his free email course filled with powerful tips.


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Icelandic government passes Icesave deal; €12,000 debt per citizen

Category : Uncategorized

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and her coalition government narrowly escaped a commitment to resign as a €3.8 billion bill to repay British and Dutch savers following the collapse of Icesave online banking passed. The vote margin was only three votes.

Only a matter of hours before the anticipated final vote, Wikileaks announced the disclosure of one of 23 documents suppressed by the Icelandic Minister of Finance: an apparent legal summary of meetings between Icelandic and EU representatives held in Brussels in November 2008. The leaked document discusses the then-assessed liabilities of Iceland at 60% of GDP, considerably higher than the reported 40% which repaying Icesave deposit holders entails.

Amongst the other details in the report is emphasis of the deep-seated anger of the Icelandic people at the situation around the financial collapse, particularly the UK’s use of anti-terrorism legislation in its approach to the country’s banks. Iceland’s interpretation of the situation, and its financial treaty obligations with the EU, considered foreign deposits lost through force majeure. All 27 EU members disagreed with Iceland’s interpretation and Peter Mandelson, although he resigned from the Barroso Commission in October, presented the legal position that Iceland could not pass legislation that did not ensure treaty-mandated minimum balance returns from failed Icelandic banks.

Leaked private communication from Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Iceland’s then-foreign minister, compared the potential liabilities the country faced with the reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in the wake of World War I.

Three banks failed in the financial crisis: Kaupthing, Glitnir, and Landsbanki. As the list of creditors emerged it was found that, among others, UK councils had around £900 million with the banks. Landsbanki agreed to repay the majority of funds held, giving council depositors priority status. Approximately £200 million on deposit with Glitnir is at-risk; the bank has stated the councils will be treated equally with all other creditors seeing them likely to only recover 30% of the amount Glitnir held.

Kaupthing faces other difficulties. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office began an investigation earlier this month into the bank’s UK activities. At issue are allegations savers were misled into selecting one particular account type, plus suspicious financial activity suggesting substantial amounts were moved out of the bank in the days prior to its collapse.

At present, UK councils have received little more than ten percent of their over £900 million deposits. They are among over 8,500 creditors claiming a staggering total of £20 billion. The largest single claimant is the British Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund seeking €5 billion, and, of some note, Formula One racing team Williams claiming around £10 million in unpaid sponsorship from Glitnir who took on the liability from the Icelandic buyers of Hamleys.

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Debt to 84% government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by Glitnir stands at around £500 million; much of the actual debt written off in 2008 as RBS posted £24 billion losses. Further write-offs by the bank are expected to total less than £50 million.

Icelanders resented the discovery that fifteen senior ex-employees of Landsbanki claim €14 million between them, including a single claim of €2.7 million. Suspicion exists that the banks arranged substantial interest-free loans for various of their shareholders and executives.

Today’s announcement of the Icelandic government’s agreement to pay out €3.8 billion keeps their application for EU membership on-track, although each one of the country’s 320,000 citizens effectively faces a €12,000 debt.

20 confirmed dead after Kintampo freak tree accident

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A freak accident caused twenty deaths and some injuries, according to officials, at the well-known Kintampo waterfall, in Ghana, on Sunday afternoon local time. Those affected were reportedly school students from Wenchi Senior High School on a supervised trip, and several tourists, who were swimming at the time of a rainstorm and strong winds, bringing down a tree and crushing victims.

Eighteen students, according to Ghana National Fire Service spokesman Prince Billy Anaglate, were killed at the falls, while another two were rushed to hospital and died in care. Varying reports indicated possibly up to 18 people remaining in a critical condition who were trapped under the tree, who were then rescued and rushed to hospital, including a Wenchi Senior High School administrator.

Anaglate said the wind uprooted trees, which fell on swimmers.

Students’ bodies have been sent to the Kintampo Municipal Hospital’s morgue.