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Google introduces the ‘+1’ button

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Monday, Google added the “+1” button to its search results. It works similarly to the Facebook “Like” button. Today, Google began planning to add it to text ads, globally known as “AdSense”.

Google Product Manager Nick Radicevic commented at Google’s AdSense blog: “Today, +1’s will start appearing on Google search pages globally. …. We’ll be starting off with sites like google.co.uk, google.de, google.jp and google.fr, then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.”

Individual websites also can use this feature. People with a Google account can add a “+1” button to their personal websites. If a large number of readers click the button, the site will move closer to the top in Google search results.

Google also plans to eventually add the “+1” button to its text advertisements, globally known as “AdWords”. A user would be able to add rank to an ad and optionally make it available at their Google profile.

Google expects the experiment to be useful to improve search results and to combat poor websites and content farms.


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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer makes 2005 Budget speech

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown PC MP, in a speech to the British House of Commons today presented his ninth Budget, what is very likely to be his last Budget before the next UK General Election. This opened the parliamentary debate on the 2005 Finance Bill, and was followed by responses from the opposition parties.

In a 48 minute long speech, the Chancellor presented a Budget of “tax cuts that are reasonable, spending that is affordable, and [economic] stability that is paramount”, that was “the prudent course for Britain”. There were few surprises that had not already been indicated in his 2004 pre-Budget report. The increase in the threshold on stamp duty was greater than that forecast by commentators, as was the amount of the Council Tax rebate to households with pensioners.

Contents

  • 1 The Budget in detail
    • 1.1 Duty
    • 1.2 Taxes
    • 1.3 Benefits
    • 1.4 Business
    • 1.5 Employment
    • 1.6 Savings
    • 1.7 Spending
    • 1.8 Memorials
  • 2 Responses from opposition parties
    • 2.1 Conservative
    • 2.2 Liberal Democrat
  • 3 Sources

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Dixie Chicks show documentary at TIFF

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Dixie Chicks screened their new documentary, “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing“, at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Directed by Cecilia Peck and Barbara Kopple, the documentary follows the group from the London gig in 2003 in which lead singer Natalie Maines said she was “ashamed” George W. Bush came from Texas, up to the release of their latest album. Even though their latest album has gone platinum, the Country Music Association has not nominated them for the CMA Awards, and many radio stations still do not play their music. But despite the controversy, the Dixie Chicks are in the media, getting good reviews.

“When Natalie made her comments particularly from the country music box, there was no community, they were out there all on their own,” said Kopple. “Our hope with this film, is that people will see it and no longer will the Chicks stand alone.”

“They never asked me to apologize. We never debated that,” said Maines. “What I said can come off as silly or whatever and just everything that has happened since then, it’s more of a disgrace, just watching the footage from Hurricane Katrina, it’s unbelievable.” “At this stage, I don’t think that I am pissing off any new people,” she commented. “Yes, thank God for Canada,” said Maines, noting the band found political support from countries around the world. “It’s a little surprising that the U.S. hasn’t necessarily caught on yet.”

The band says the experience gave them the ability to stand up for what they believe in, and strengthened their bond.


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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer makes 2005 Budget speech

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown PC MP, in a speech to the British House of Commons today presented his ninth Budget, what is very likely to be his last Budget before the next UK General Election. This opened the parliamentary debate on the 2005 Finance Bill, and was followed by responses from the opposition parties.

In a 48 minute long speech, the Chancellor presented a Budget of “tax cuts that are reasonable, spending that is affordable, and [economic] stability that is paramount”, that was “the prudent course for Britain”. There were few surprises that had not already been indicated in his 2004 pre-Budget report. The increase in the threshold on stamp duty was greater than that forecast by commentators, as was the amount of the Council Tax rebate to households with pensioners.

Contents

  • 1 The Budget in detail
    • 1.1 Duty
    • 1.2 Taxes
    • 1.3 Benefits
    • 1.4 Business
    • 1.5 Employment
    • 1.6 Savings
    • 1.7 Spending
    • 1.8 Memorials
  • 2 Responses from opposition parties
    • 2.1 Conservative
    • 2.2 Liberal Democrat
  • 3 Sources

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Circus elephant escapes in Zurich, Switzerland

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A circus elephant managed to escape from her handler on Sunday night in the city of Zurich, Switzerland before being recaptured by local police and circus animal keepers. The 26-year-old female elephant, named Sabu, is from Switzerland’s Zirkus Knie. She was able to make her escape just before being put into a trailer, while the keeper was not paying attention.

Around 1930 local time (1730 UTC), Sabu was seen wading in Lake Zurich for a short time before walking back onto city streets. Zurich police said that Sabu wandered along the Bahnhofstrasse avenue of Zurich, which is known as the city’s most exclusive shopping street. She also passed by Zürich Hauptbahnhof (the city’s main rail station) and Paradeplatz, a square of Bahnhofstrasse, where both Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG have headquarters.

For nearly an hour, police chased the elephant around the city before she was finally peacefully recaptured in the Talstrasse section of Zurich. Circus officials and police followed Sabu, but a circus spokesperson said that she did not respond to their calls. Sabu was also said to have been moving so fast that police had difficulty keeping up with her. At about 2000 local time (1900 UTC), a keeper was able to control the animal and load her onto a truck to take her to Winterthur, where the other circus animals were. There were no reports of any damage or injuries during the incident, and although police held back onlookers, at least one bystander managed to capture video of the event.

The circus said that Sabu may have escaped after being frightened by storms near Zurich. After returning to the circus, she was said to be tired, but “pleased to be back.”


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Scenario for impeachment of Lula raised in Brazil

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

São Paulo, Brazil — The government of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his party, the Workers’ Party are the target of several serious accusations of corruption.

This is the most severe political crisis since Brazilians first attained their right to vote for a President in 1989, the former President Fernando Collor de Mello was elected.

The ruling Workers’ Party has not succeeded in its defense against the accusations. The Brazilian deputy Roberto Jefferson said that the ruling party bought the support of some Brazilian deputies, paying 30 thousand Brazilian Reals (US$ 12 thousand) each, every month. Although Jefferson said that he had no proof of this, he gave a very detailed description of the alleged corruption scheme.

The testimonies of other witnesses and the investigation that is being made by police gave support for some of the Jefferson’s claims. Independent investigation being made by newspapers and magazines, and the publication of documents and other evidences, expose the government and Workers’ Party more and more.

Popular support for the President is deteriorating. Except for the Workers’ Party and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) which are part of the government, there is not another political party in Brazil denying the accusations. All newspapers and magazines publish stories every day related to the scandal. The Workers’ Party itself is divided: some members believe that the accusations are true and that something went wrong, others prefer to deny the evidences and they argue that the party is innocent.

A great part of the work of the Brazilian parliamentarians is related to the investigation of the scandals. Besides the Votes-for-cash scandal dennounced by Jefferson, there are the Bingo’s scandal, the Post Office scandal and the Brazilian Reinsurance Institute (IRB) scandal. All of these scandals are being submited to investigation by Brazilian parliamentarians.

One important question is whether President Lula knew about the alleged scandals in his government or not. If he knew and he did nothing he was conniving or he participated, it is the worst. If he didn’t know, someone can say that he was very incompetent because he didn’t see something so big under his nose.

Today, the authority and the efficiency of the President is being questioned. Some people say that it was the former Minister José Dirceu who actually took great part of the decisions in Lula’s government. The politicians say that President Lula must take control of his government, that he should do a major reform of his government and that he should get away from the people who are involved in the scandals.

Besides the corruption dennounciations, the government of President Lula is being criticized by his weak social agenda. The programme called “Zero Hunger” has showed little results and many people accuse it of being just a marketing strategy.

The management of the economy has being praised by some analysts. However, critics, even inside the government like the Vice-President José Alencar have already criticized it, because of the high interest rates. There is not severe inflation, but unemployment is high, and salaries are low.

The next days or the next month may be decisive to the future of Lula. He must show that he is not involved in the corruption scandals, he must reform the government and he must prove that he is competent. The positive factor are that the Brazilian economy is not seriously contaminated by the political crisis until now, the population is perplexed but calm and the politicians are not envolving the President in the denunciations, although they demand the investigation of all corruption allegations. However, nobody knows how much this situation will remain or if it will remain until the end of the government of President Lula in 2006.

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.


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Google blocks home device from responding to Burger King commercial

Category : Uncategorized

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

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.


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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).


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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.


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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

,

weathervanes

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

weathervane cupola

.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=238307&ca=Home+Management