FOX News fares poorly in investigation of media edits to Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

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

Virgil Griffith recently made headlines when his new tool, the WikiScanner, was revealed. The tool allows users to search for some edits to several editions of the online free-content encyclopedia Wikipedia made from Internet addresses assigned to particular companies.

The media buzz made Virgil’s tool near-inaccessible as it was swamped with queries. Initially broken by Wired, the articles highlighted edits from network addresses assigned to Diebold and the CIA, and encouraged readers to reveal and share their findings. Mainstream media such as the BBC revealed that edits made from CIA addresses had made changes to the article on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that edits were made from Vatican addresses to Gerry Adams’s article.

Readers of the BBC news website were quick to point out that edits to Wikipedia also originated from the BBC network addresses. Peter Clifton, head of BBC Interactive, confessed to writing about himself and revealed that a prankster within the BBC had edited George W. Bush’s entry to state that his middle name was “Wanker”. The BBC’s Internet address range had a total of nearly 8,000 edits to other various English Wikipedia articles such as Janet Jackson, Super Furry Animals and Freeview.

Without confirmation such as Peter Clifton gave, it is usually impossible to determine from the IP address alone if the edits made from it were even performed by an employee of the organization. While it is likely that the majority of edits are from an organisation’s employees there is the possibility that visitors could be using a company address, or a public-wifi could be on offer. All of this would appear to be edits from the company according to Wikiscanner, and even when the edits do come from employees or representatives, there is no way to tell from the data alone whether the company endorses the edits, or even knows about them.

While Wikipedia advertises itself as the encyclopaedia “anyone can edit”, there are guidelines on the site directing how users may edit the articles—and even, in some cases, who shouldn’t be editing them. None of Wikipedia’s “conflict of interest” policies attempt to limit what people can edit based on the Internet address that they are using.

Wikinews had already started an investigation into just what edits the tool revealed. Hampered by the difficulty getting results due to the traffic load on the web server, we began checking company names and names of media groups. In addition to verifying that the vast majority of edits from network addresses assigned to the BBC were beneficial to the Wikipedia project, the others, CNN, MSNBC, Reuters and AP received a fairly clean bill of health. People using Reuters’ Internet connectivity appeared the first to discover Wikipedia, editing as early as February 2002. Users from AP had made a few edits to articles about the AP, none of which could be considered negative contributions, other contributions included additions to several The Simpsons episodes. However, edits originating at address space assigned to FOX News, and its parent company, News Corporation were more frequently unproductive, many which under Wikipedia and most other Wikimedia project policy, would be considered vandalism and would usually result in a block or ban of editing Wikimedia projects.

The edits from FOX’s address space, now totalling almost 700, start with an edit to the article on FOX which deleted links to websites critical of FOX. Some of the edits could be characterized as an attempt conceal criticism voiced in the documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism which alleges bias by FOX News. This was replaced with a link to the company’s official response and another to a story put out by FOX News questioning the validity of the film’s sources. The same Internet address at FOX News then removed criticism from the article on Alan Colmes.

Other addresses within FOX also edited articles on FOX News employees such as Brit Hume, Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace inserting positive information, highlighting their ratings successes and slogan, “fair and balanced” before going on to describe the New York Times as “left wing” and blanking the quotes section on the article about their columnist Mike Straka. The current version of this article is disputed on neutrality grounds as the entire biography and criticism sections have been removed. Including comments about anti-war protesters – “whom he has denounced as “smelly”, “stupid”, “stinking”, “jobless”, “anti-American” and “traitors”.

More recent edits include downplaying Sean Hannity‘s importance to the show Hannity and Colmes by removing the fact that he is the shows executive producer and referring to him as simply “host” or “co-host”. Details of Wendy Murdoch‘s previous marriage to the husband from the couple who sponsored her trip to study in the United States were excised by another Fox News address.

Investigation of a wider field of media organisations revealed that the News Corporation subsidiary British Sky Broadcasting has the same history of juvenile and prank edits with insults posted against staff on their payroll as well as UK celebrities. The main proxy server that allows their staff on the Internet currently has a large warning of who the IP address belongs to and a list of block messages and block/edit warnings. Some of the vandalism committed through their proxy has been described as “racist” and “potentially libelous”.

WikiScanner cannot identify the origin of any edit made by a registered user. Users are not required to register an account to edit Wikipedia, and those who do not register have their edits associated with an IP address. Edits from unregistered users are, inaccurately, called “anonymous” edits.

Wikimedia’s privacy policy does not allow revealing the IP address of registered users except as dictated by Wikimedia’s privacy policy. Users of Wikiscanner cannot find out about editing by registered users, even if they are coming from the same IP address as the “anonymous” users who did not register.

Virgil’s conditions for speaking to the media include the format of a link to his website. His goal, to get a Google search for “Virgil” to return his page as the top listing. As of publication he’s succeeded.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Crate Training A Puppy Need Not Be Difficult

Submitted by: Dermot Condell

Crate training a puppy is a very useful method for housebreaking any puppy. Crate training plays an important part in your puppy’s development. Many dog owners have the mistaken believe that crate training a puppy is cruel and unkind, but done correctly, the opposite is in fact true. Properly crate trained puppies tend to be more secure and are easier to manage.

Crate training a puppy is not difficult, but it does require constant effort. Successful crate training can pay huge rewards for both puppy and owner.

Crates And Crate Training

YouTube Preview Image

Crates are very useful to keep your puppy in when travelling. Puppies generally prefer wire crates because they can easily see what’s going on around them. Large crates can be partitioned for young puppies and later removed as the dog grows. Wire frame crates are recommended for better ventilation, plus it’s easier to hang toys from them to help with puppy crate training.

Toys And Crate Training

Toys can help distract your puppy while they get used to their new crate. Try making your puppy’s first introduction to its new crate a fun activity by placing its favorite toys in the crate. When your puppy refuses to go in to its crate, play with your puppy for a while using one of its toys, then casually toss the toy into the crate where your puppy should unconsciously enter the crate to retrieve the toy. Toys can be use for rewarding good behavior when crate training a puppy.

Speed Up Potty Training With Crate Training

Potty training while crate training a puppy may be challenging at times, but can be highly rewarding and well worth the effort in the end. Always phrase your puppy when they potty outside and again when they return to their crate. Quietly clean up any mess from their crate, as fuss, may be misunderstood by your puppy as attention and fun. Make potty training fun and rewarding, never punish your dog when he/she has an accident in their crate.

Crate training a puppy is a must for the development of your dog’s social and behavioral skills. Crate Training is not about punishing your dog by banishing them to their crate for hours on end. Puppies may resist crate training and their crate at first, but it will be worth it in the end. Crate training a puppy in a fun environment makes life easier for everyone evolved.

About the Author: Dermot Condell publishes

TrainingAndHealthForDogs.com

a free weekly email newsletter covering tons of dog training and dog health information (including crate training a puppy and more).

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=163600&ca=Pets

Art Linkletter, creator of “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, dies peacefully at 97

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Linkletter, creator of the television show Kids Say the Darndest Things, died peacefully in his Los Angeles, California home Wednesday.

Linkletter was best known for his television broadcasting hits, Kids Say the Darndest Things, People Are Funny, The Art Linkletter Show, and House Party. Linkletter was also a famed author, compiling the quotes from Kids Say the Darndest Things into a best-selling book of the same name. Bill Cosby says that “because of Art Linkletter, adults found themselves enjoying children.” A few of Linksletter’s other books are I Didn’t Do It Alone, Old Age is Not for Sissies, How To Be a Supersalesman, Confessions of a Happy Man, and Hobo on the Way to Heaven.

The Grammy-winning song We Love You, Call Collect was recorded jointly by Linkletter and his daughter Diane, who had later died from a fall from a sixth floor Hollywood apartment.

As the owner of Linkletter Enterprises, Linkletter owned real estate in Australia and invested in oil wells.

Linkletter, originally known as Gordon Arthur Kelly, was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan before being adopted by the Linkletter family. Linkletter was predeceased by his daughter and two sons, and is survived by his wife, two other daughters, seven grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren.

World’s defense chiefs meet in Singapore

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The sixth Asia Security Conference, better known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, came to an end on Sunday in Singapore, highlighted by a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a senior Chinese defense official, Lt. Gen. Zhang Qisheng.

Named for its venue, the five-star Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, the annual meeting of top defense officials is organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank.

The big issue at the Shangri-La gathering focused on China and its military buildup. China has announced it will boost military spending by 17.8 percent in 2007 to 350.921 billion yuan (about US$44.94 billion), the biggest increase in more than ten years. But U.S. defense officials have said they believe actual spending is up to three times higher, and they have called on China to be more transparent.

“There’s no question that the Chinese are building significant capacity,” Gates said in Honolulu before he flew to Singapore. “Our concern is over their intent.”

China’s delegation was led by Zhang, the People’s Liberation Army deputy chief of the general staff. In his address on Saturday, Zhang defended China’s reported defense-spending figures.

“In China, defense budgeting must follow a set of highly strict legal procedures, and the published Chinese defense budget is true and authentic,” he said, attributing the increase to inflation and logistical and welfare support of its troops. “Given the multiple security threats, geo-political environment,the size of the territory, and the per-capita expense, the Chinese defense expenditure is small by all judgments,” Zhang added.

Zhang said there are plans in the works to open an emergency hotline with the U.S., and that a deal to do so would be finalized in September.

At the end of the conference, Gates termed U.S.-China relations thusly: “In terms of our bilateral relationship, I wouldn’t describe it as a breakthrough but as a next step in a process of military-to-military conversations which we will continue in the future.”

For other countries in Asia, it’s China’s powerful economy that causes more concern, said Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in an opening speech on Friday.

“Most Asian countries assess the challenge from China to be more economic than military,” Lee said. He added that China’s military build up is mainly a response to Taiwan, and he warned that if Taiwan seeks to further establish its independence, it could lead to “unintended and dangerous escalation of tensions between China and the U.S.”

India, too, is flexing its military muscle, with Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony giving a talk on Saturday, “China and India: Building International Stability.”

“India is ready to play its role in the shaping of this new approach to collective security,” Antony said. “Only a pluralistic security order working through a network of cooperative structures can have the legitimacy as well as the wherewithal to deal with the security challenges of the 21st century.”

Other delegations included Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Concern about Iran’s nuclear program came up in comments by Gates on Saturday, saying stronger penalties are needed against Iran “not next year or the year after, but right now.” Gates did not rule out military action to stop Iran’s nuclear research, even if it wasn’t the most attractive option. “Probably everybody in this room wants there to be a diplomatic solution to this problem,” he said. “Having to take care of this problem militarily is in no one’s interest.”

On a tour of the Asia-Pacific region, Gates also worked to assure his counterparts in other countries that the United States’ involvement in Iraq would not undermine its role in Asia. “While we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the global war on terror, we have no intention of neglecting Asia,” Gates said on Friday in Honolulu.

In particular, Gates said the U.S. is keen to develop better relations with Central Asian states, and he called on other countries in the region to reach out and help Afghanistan and its neighbors, such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

“Integrating these newly independent states into the fold of the greater Asian family is in the interest of every country represented in this room. Of course, the degree that Central Asian states and Afghanistan choose to integrate into greater Asia is a decision for each of those sovereign countries. We will not assume to make decisions for them, but it is important that the welcome mat be out for them. The failure to do so could ultimately have devastating results,” Gates said an address on Saturday at the Singapore meeting.

His remarks come as the U.S. is facing pressure in Kyrgyzstan over its Manas Air Base, which supports U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. The base has taken on strategic importance to the U.S. after it left Uzbekistan in 2005 after the U.S. criticized that country’s human rights record. Gates visited the air base on Sunday.

Closer to home for the Singaporeans, there was talk about piracy in the Malacca Strait, and the need to develop better communication and cooperation between the security forces of the concerned countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

With as much as 40 percent of the world’s trade passing through the Malacca Strait, the U.S. is concerned, said U.S. Navy Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. “We have discussed enhancing maritime security throughout the region. It is a matter of significance and importance to us,” Keating told the conference. “We are not satisfied with the current state but we are pleased with the progress we’ve made,” he said, noting that their security cooperation has improved and there have been no recent major incidences of piracy in the Strait.

The issue of Myanmar and its military government came up during Prime Minister Lee’s talk on Friday, with Lee saying the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, “ought not to be hostage with the problems with Myanmar.”

ASEAN has come under pressure for its admission of Myanmar, which is ruled by a junta that has refused to cede to a democratically elected government. But ASEAN has a policy of non-engagement in internal conflicts of its members. “We will leave Myanmar to work itself out,” Lee said.

You Can Count On A Windshield Repair Tucson

byalex

If you have a chip in your windshield, it is extremely important to get your car to a windshield repair specialist Tucson as soon as possible. Many people don’t realize that they could easily hit a bump in the road which would turn that tiny chip into a crack. Before you know it, you not only need a windshield repair, you now may need a new windshield. Over a period of time, the chips may make it a little difficult to see where you are going. If something like this were to happen, you would definitely want to consider a new windshield.

YouTube Preview Image

Thankfully, a new windshield is very affordable. You may even consider talking with your insurance agent to find out whether or not auto glass is covered on your auto insurance policy. If it is covered, you may not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket. This means that you can have a beautiful new windshield professionally installed by a Windshield Repair Tucson specialist in under one hour.

You may be a little frustrated because you may not have any extra time to wait for a new windshield to be installed. Thankfully, you can rely on your auto glass professionals to come to you. If you are working, they can install your new windshield in the parking lot of your employer. Suddenly, your life just got so much easier. We all have busy lives and we probably don’t have a lot of extra time that we can spend waiting for a windshield installation. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long and the job can be completed most anywhere.

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a windshield repair or a windshield replacement. You can trust in the professionals to install a new windshield that will be sealed airtight. Your car is going to look brand new once again. Set up an appointment with a team of professionals today. You may not realize what a big difference a new windshield will make and sell it has been installed. After the work has been done, you will most likely be asking yourself why it took you so long.

Curfew in Haryana as protesters demand reservation for Jat quota

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A growing number of cities in the Indian state Haryana have been under curfew since Friday. At least eight people are reported dead, with government offices, property, dozens of buses, and eight railway stations burned after protests over job quotas for the Jat caste turned violent in several cities including Rohtak, Bhiwani, and Jhajjar. Reportedly some protesters broke into an armory in Rohtak, stealing arms and ammunition.

I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.

Shoot-at-sight was ordered for Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Hisar. Shops, hotels, and restaurants were set afire by protesters. Thirteen national army columns were called, and helicopters were used to reach various places in the state. Internet was disabled in affected districts, and the state government ordered blocks of all social networking websites.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting to decide if Jats should also gain the reservation rights for government jobs and colleges by classifying them under Other Backwards Castes.

Burning of stations and uprooting of tracks affected 810 scheduled trains, according to The Indian Express. Police said protesters torched Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house. The state might face water crises. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was to hold the Haryana Central Teacher Eligibility Test today, but cited “administrative difficulties” for suspending it.

Back in 2014, the UPA government appealed for a Jat quota which was rejected by the Supreme Court. This morning, Manohar Khattar tweeted “I appeal to all my fellow Haryanvis to maintain law & order in the State, and ensure that harmony is maintained in society.”

Last year, similar protest took place in Gujarat as Patels protested for reservation led by Hardik Patel.

Stressed plants produce aspirin-like chemical

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have found that stressed plants produce an aspirin-like chemical, methyl salicylate. Methyl salicylate is also known as oil of wintergreen. This semi-volatile plant hormone was detected in the air above the plants in the experiments conducted in a walnut grove near Davis, California. According to the scientists the chemical may be a sort of immune response that help protect the plants.

Acetylsalicylic acid, commonly called aspirin, had originally come from the bark of Willow trees. It had never been observed to be emitted as a gas. The researchers observed spikes in methyl salicylate after nighttime temperatures dipped low, which suggested the plants were reacting to cold stress. The peaks were higher during a dry period, pointing to combined stress of cold nighttime temperatures and mild drought.

These findings show tangible proof that plant-to-plant communication occurs on the ecosystem level.

Laboratory observations have shown that numerous plants produce methyl salicylate, but this is the first time the phenomenon has been observed in nature. Previous studies have shown that plants being eaten by animals produce chemicals that can be sensed by other plants. A study conducted in 1997 found that methyl salicylate is produced by tobacco plants inoculated with tobacco mosaic virus. Emitting methyl salicylate may be a means for the plants to warn other plants about a threat.

The finding may help to more readily identify plants under stress by monitoring for the airborne distress signal.

Customized Promotional Gifts All In One Location

byadmin

Shopping where you can find customized promotional gifts all in one location affords you a great deal of advantages. As a business owner/manager you probably have a full plate of responsibilities, adding “shopping” for promotional items is probably not something you look forward too. Having to visit more than one site online or worse yet deal with more salespeople is not only time consuming it can be frustrating. You need:

* A wide range of options

* Fast, reliable service

* Dependable quality

When you are shopping for promotional items you want to be sure that you can find a large selection that you can choose from all in one place. You do not want to waste time searching for the items that you want and you do not want to have to settle for items that you really do not want.

Fast, Reliable

There are options both on and off line that are just not really viable options, not because the products are not great but because the service is not great. Typically, a business owner does not order items months in advance they are ordering the items that they need now. Fast turnaround times and reliable delivery schedule is a must.

Dependable Quality

Of course you want the inventory, fast turnarounds but you also have to be assured of the quality of the products because they will be associated with your business and you never want shoddy items to be associated with your business. It is just bad for your image to accept anything less than good quality products.

There is one place that makes it so easy to find the products that you want all under one roof and as an added bonus you can order everything right online including customizations. To buy more products then visit D K Specialties at http://www.dkspecialties.com/