Aug 4
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Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.

BACKGROUND

Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

Jul 27
Elvish, Klingon and Na’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film
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Elvish, Klingon and Na’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film

Monday, December 28, 2009

The release of the movie Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, has generated increased interest in the field of constructed language, also known as conlang. Cameron asked American linguistics professor Paul Frommer to develop a language spoken by the extraterrestrial people in the film known as the Na’vi.

Author J. R. R. Tolkien developed Elvish languages for his literary series The Lord of the Rings. The Elvish language was featured in scenes of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson.

The Klingon language (tlhIngan Hol) was developed by linguist Marc Okrand, initially for use in the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Okrand drew inspiration from Klingon lines spoken by actor James Doohan in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Doohan portrayed character Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek series. A dictionary for Klingon developed by Okrand, The Klingon Dictionary sold over 300,000 copies.

You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it.

Klingon became quite popular and has developed a usage among Star Trek fans. The Klingon Terran Research Ensemble in the Netherlands created an opera in Klingon. The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare was translated into Klingon. A German Trekkie who goes by the moniker Klenginem posted videos to YouTube where he raps songs he translated into Klingon by musician Eminem. Klenginem has been cited recently in pieces on constructed language in The New York Times, ABC News Nightline, and National Public Radio. “You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it,” said National Public Radio of Klenginem.

Linguistics professor Frommer received his PhD degree from the University of Southern California (USC), and subsequently shifted his focus into the business arena. He returned to USC to teach at the Marshall School of Business. Cameron tasked Frommer with creating an entire language for the Na’vi people.

In an interview with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, Frommer voiced hope that the language would continue to be used separate from the movie, as Klingon has. “I’m still working and I hope that the language will have a life of its own,” said Frommer. The Na’vi language created by Frommer contains over 1,000 words, as well as a structural system and rules format for usage. Frommer told Vanity Fair that the language was fairly developed, commenting, “It’s got a perfectly consistent sound system, and grammar, orthography, syntax”.

I hope that the language will have a life of its own.

Frommer explained the direction given to him before creating the language, “Cameron wanted something melodious and musical, something that would sound strange and alien but smooth and appealing.” The Avatar writer-director provided Frommer with approximately three dozen words of the Na’vi language he used in his scriptment for the film. “That was the starting point. Probably the most exotic thing I added were ejectives, which are these sorts of popping sounds that are found in different languages from around the world. It’s found in Native American languages and in parts of Africa and in Central Asia, the Caucasus,” explained Frommer. Cameron and Frommer worked together for four years developing the language.

The linguistics professor relied on inspiration provided by Cameron, and avoided drawing upon influences from Elvish, Klingon, and the international auxiliary language Esperanto. Sample words in the Na’vi language include “Uniltìrantokx” (oo-neel-tih-RAHN-tokx), meaning “Avatar”, and “tireaioang” (tee-REH-ah-ee-o-ahng), which means “spirit animal”. Maclean’s reported that fans of Avatar were anxious for more instructive material from professor Frommer about the language in order to learn how to speak it with others that appreciated the film. “The response has been quite remarkable and totally unexpected. I never thought there’d be this level of interest. But I really don’t think of Na’vi as a competitor to Klingon. If it does develop a following, that would be quite wonderful,” said Frommer of the response to the language from Avatar fans.

We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon.

The Na’vi language is itself a minor plot point in the film Avatar. The character Jake Sully portrayed by Sam Worthington endeavors to learn the language while living on Pandora. A botanist portrayed by actress Sigourney Weaver instructs a scientist played by actor Joel David Moore on how to become conversational in the language.

Zoe Saldaña, the actress behind warrior princess Neytiri in Avatar, picked up the Na’vi language faster than her fellow cast members. “Zoe owned the language and everyone had to match her, even her accent,” said Cameron. Saldaña remarked that the most difficult part about acting in the film was speaking in English with the accent of the Na’vi people. Cameron touted the rich nature of the Na’vi language in publicity for his film. “We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon. The best sci-fi movies immerse the audience in that world until it doesn’t seem alien to them,” said Cameron to USA Today.

Jul 27
US military developing non-lethal pain weapon
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US military developing non-lethal pain weapon

Saturday, March 5, 2005The US military is funding the research and development of a weapon that could be used to inflict excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away, but is meant to otherwise leave victims unharmed. Pain researchers have been left furious after work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop technology aimed at maximising it.

Intended for use against protesters and rioters, the research focuses on the effect electromagnetic pulses can have on pain reception. Due to be ready by 2007, the Pulsed Energy Projectile (PEP) weapon will fire a burst of electrically charged gas, or plasma, which will generate an electromagnetic pulse on impact. It is this pulse which will trigger impulses in nerve cells causing extreme pain.

A review of the non-lethal weapon by the US Naval Studies Board in 2003 concluded that PEPs produced “pain and temporary paralysis” in animal test subjects. Studies ongoing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando aim at optimising this effect. The ultimate aim is to generate a pulse which will trigger optimum pain in the subject without damaging tissues. Studies due to be carried out on lab grown cells aim at identifying the threshold of pain that can be inflicted on someone without causing death. There is some concern that the studies will fall short of demonstrating a safe level for a plasma burst.

The work came to light after documents were released under the US’s Freedom of Information Act to the Sunshine Project, an organisation who aims to expose biological weapons research. One document entitled “Sensory consequences of electromagnetic pulses emitted by laser induced plasmas” concerned the generation and firing of PEPs. Pain researchers have condemned the research, claiming that it could be put to use as a means of torture and that it is unethical.

“I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research,” said Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. “Even if the use of temporary pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown.”

Clinical psychologist at University College London, Amanda Williams expressed concern that victims risk long term harm. “Persistent pain can result in a range supposedly non-destructive stimuli which nevertheless change the functioning of the nervous system,” she says. Studies “cannot tell us about the pain and psychological consequences of such painful experience,” she said.

Jul 27
Hiring A Dog Bite Attorney In Bremerton

byAlma Abell

With Dog Bite Attorney in Bremerton, you have assistance in filing a claim against the dog’s owners. In these cases, it is necessary to provide evidence that proves that this specific dog attacked you as some pet owners are reluctant to believe that their pet is capable of such action. Unless you have a witness who saw the attack, it could become compulsory for you to acquire biological evidence for your case. When you are treated for the dog bite the doctor can secure this evidence from your wound. To discuss probable outcomes in an animal attack case, contact the Otto Law Offices.

When Dogs Attack

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Despite the every day temperament of a neighborhood dog, this does not guarantee that the dog will never attack someone. Typically, in dog bite cases, this is the first key piece of evidence used by the defense to discredit your claim. However, with biological evidence from your wound, the pet owner cannot include the judge into believing that their dog would not do this. This evidence will require that the pet owners to allow a vet to compare this evidence to their dog’s DNA. In some cases, it requires a court-order from the judge, however, this evidence is quite effective in winning.

Local Animal Attack Lawyer

The Otto Law Offices comes to your assistance when you are brutally attacked by a neighborhood dog. These attorneys assist you in securing vital medical evidence that prevents the probability of the pet owner’s denial of this occurrence. With sufficient evidence you can directly link the dog to your injuries without doubt and provide the judge with clarity on why you deserve compensation. To hire an attorney within this law firm after a dog attack, call them locally or visit their website at www.anthonyotto.com.

Summary

With the skills of Dog Bite Attorney in Bremerton, you understand how to proceed throughout an animal attack claim. With these cases, you must present evidence that prevents the pet owners from including the judge with a presentation of the dog’s temperament in which they could attempt to discredit your claim. Direct biological evidence that proves that this dog attacked you will present the judge with all of the evidence needed to shift the odds in your favor. To learn more about animal attack claims and your options, contact the Otto Law Offices today.

Jul 27
Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate
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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Jul 27
NHL: Penguins blank Bruins to catch Devils
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NHL: Penguins blank Bruins to catch Devils

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Boston Bruins 0 5 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Boston Bruins 5-0 on Sunday at Mellon Arena. Sidney Crosby led the Penguins with 2 goals and an assist, pushing his point total to 111 on the season. Evgeni Malkin, Gary Roberts, and Ryan Malone also scored for the Penguins. The Penguins were strong on special teams, scoring 3 power play goals and 1 shorthanded goal, while also killing five Bruins penalties. Marc-Andre Fleury saved all 29 shots he faced. It was his 5th shutout this season and 7th of his career.

The Penguins moved into a tie with the New Jersey Devils with the win. The Penguins had tied them yesterday afternoon, but New Jersey’s win that night put them ahead by 2 points once more. New Jersey holds the tiebreaker, with 44 wins against the Penguins’ 43. They also sit 2 points behind the Ottawa Senators for 4th place in the East.

Meanwhile, Boston has lost the last 4 games and 7 of the past 9. They are virtually eliminated from the playoffs, sitting 13th in the Eastern Conference with 74 points. With 8 games remaining, they sit 10 points out of the playoffs.

The Penguins return to the ice Tuesday when they will travel to Washington to face the Capitals. The Bruins also play Tuesday, when they visit Ottawa.

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Jul 25
Toronto Comicon celebrates characters from screen and page
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Toronto Comicon celebrates characters from screen and page

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Held from March 16 to 18, Toronto Comicon 2018, in Ontario, Canada, featured dozens of retailers, a large artist’s alley, celebrity guests, cosplayers, and community groups. Wikinews was present and later spoke to some of the cosplayers.

Celebrity guests included Joonas Suotamo, the new Chewbacca actor for Star Wars; Mitch Pileggi of The X-Files; Mara Wilson of Matilda); Eugene Brave Rock of Wonder Woman; Megan Follows of Anne of Green Gables, Reign); and Marina Sirtis of Star Trek: The Next Generation; among others.

Many of the actors and artists were featured in Q&A sessions, including Follows, Brave Rock, and Hodor from Game of Thrones, Kristian Nairn.

Contents

  • 1 Cosplayers on their process, inspiration
  • 2 More cosplay
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 External links
    • 5.1 Cosplayers, in order of appearance
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Jul 5
ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush
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ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

Tuesday, October 30, 2007File:Nadine Strossen 5 by David Shankbone.jpg

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.

Contents

  • 1 Strossen’s background
  • 2 Religion in schools
  • 3 Religious symbols
  • 4 How the ACLU is misrepresented by politicians and televangelists
  • 5 The abortion debate
  • 6 Judicial activism
  • 7 Capital punishment and criminal justice
  • 8 Decriminalization of drugs and suicide
  • 9 War and threats to humanity
  • 10 Should George Bush be impeached?
  • 11 Gun rights
  • 12 Strossen’s philosophy
  • 13 Sources
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Jul 3
Canadian city announces first Studios of Brampton tour
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Canadian city announces first Studios of Brampton tour

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Created by the Brampton Arts Council and the City of Brampton, the Studios of Brampton studio tour will allow residents a chance to view works by dozens of local artists at twelve locations.

The tour will run October 1 & 2 from 10 pm until 4 pm ET.

On the tour are the personal studios of watercolourist Jack Reid, sculpture Marion Bartlett, woodworker Rick Bino, ceramicist Eric Wong, calligrapher and fashion illustrator Rosemarie Gidvani, abstract painter Karen Darling, oil painter John Cutruzzola, stain-glass artist Darlene Robichaud, and watercolourist Gordon Stuart.

Also on the tour is the Art Gallery of Peel, which will be exhibiting Sydney Drum, a Canadian artist based in New York, and Kelly McNeil.

Visual Arts Brampton and Beaux-Arts Brampton will both have line-ups of local artist members. VAB has confirmed displays by William Band, Bridget Doughty, Betty Jean Evans, Marguerite Finlayson, Conrad Mieschke, Keith Moreau, Mary Noble, Olga Rudge, and Elizabeth Patrick.

Sample works representing each location on the tour will be shown at the Brampton City Hall’s Atrium Gallery.

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Jul 3
News briefs:July 14, 2010
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News briefs:July 14, 2010
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
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Written By
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Listen To This Brief

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