Archive for October, 2018

">
Anthrocon 2007 draws thousands to Pittsburgh for furry weekend
October 31, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Local caterers get ready for big business, as almost three thousand fans converge on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center over the Independence Day weekend for the world’s largest ever furry convention, Anthrocon 2007.

Many hope to renew acquaintances, or meet new friends. Others look to buy from dealers and artists, or show off new artwork or costumes. Some attend to make money, or even learn a thing or two. But one thing unites them: They’re all there to have fun.

Contents

  • 1 Costly expansion
  • 2 Programming and entertainment
  • 3 Audience
  • 4 Art show and dealers
  • 5 Charity and volunteers
  • 6 Local impact
  • 7 Related news
  • 8 Sources
">
Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam
October 30, 2018

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.

">
News briefs:April 24, 2005
October 29, 2018

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Contents

  • 1 NYSE to merge with Archipelago; NASDAQ to buy Instinet
  • 2 Bush nomination to UN post faces bi-partisan problems
  • 3 Romanian reporters call for release of hostages in Iraq
  • 4 5-year-old girl arrested and handcuffed by Florida police
  • 5 British government considering new nuclear power stations

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

">
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
October 29, 2018

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Iran to conduct missile defense exercise

">
Iran to conduct missile defense exercise
October 28, 2018

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Iranian government has announced that the nation will be participating in a missile defense test which could take place as early as tomorrow.

According to the IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, the test is an annual exercise aimed to “maintain and develop” defense capabilities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The exercise is named ‘Great Prophet 4’ and will involve shooting a variety of live missiles at targets. Reports say the drill will be conducted in several unknown locations and will last for several days. The exercise also falls on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The announcement comes just hours after the Iranian government stated that the nation was building a second nuclear power facility. The announcement was made in a September 21 letter from the Iranian government to the United Nations Security Council that a second nuclear plant was being constructed in the city of Qom.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Renowned Indian guru ?r? Satya Sai Baba dies aged 84

">
Renowned Indian guru ?r? Satya Sai Baba dies aged 84
October 27, 2018

Monday, April 25, 2011

File:???????? ??? ????? ??? ????.jpg

?r? Satya Sai Baba, one of India’s most prominent spiritual leaders and revered by millions of followers worldwide, died Sunday in a Puttaparthi hospital, following a cardiac arrest. He was 84 and had been in hospital since last month, suffering from kidney failure and respiratory problems.

Followers and devotees of ?r? Baba considered him to be the manifestation of a “living God” on Earth and believed he had powers of magic, such as being able to pull things from out of thin air.

Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of ?r? Baba’s followers, as was international test cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

Worshippers carried Baba’s image through the streets of Bangalore and extra police were deployed in his hometown of Puttaparthi. In Delhi, masses gathered in temples and some refused to accept Baba’s death.

With an estimated six million followers, Baba saw donations allow for the expansion of his home village to include many temples, a hospital offering free medical care, a university, and an airport. His first permanent facility opened 60 years ago.

Born Sathyanarayana Raju, Baba decided at the age of fourteen that he was the reincarnation of 19th-century guru Sai Baba of Shirdi. The legend runs that Baba was stung by a scorpion and then sang religious chants in a language previously unknown to him. He predicted his death in 2019, as well as a third and final reincarnation in Karnataka state in 2023.

He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice

Nobody has been appointed to take over running the trust that promotes the faith, which has over 1,200 centres worldwide. There are fears the family and trust could argue, leading to a government takeover. “If the government has to take over the affairs of Sai Baba’s mission that could spell its end,” warned one devotee.

“Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba,” said Baba in 2000, after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him by young men, claims the BBC highlighted in 2004. “I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day,” Baba added.

Claims that ?r? Baba was a charlatan and allegations of sexual abuse dogged him constantly. In 1993, six people “died violently in the spiritual leader’s private rooms,” The Guardian reported. No full explanation has ever been given for the deaths, though speculation of a money dispute has been raised.

In a statement, current Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the death of the guru was an “”irreparable loss” to India, adding, “He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice.”

The guru’s body is being kept at the hospital amid appeals for his devotees not to flood them to see his body. The public viewing of ?r? Baba’s body will take place Monday and Tuesday, and a funeral will follow. There are to be four days of mourning in his home state, Andhra Pradesh, by decree of the state government.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Details emerge in Haiti earthquake; thousands feared dead

">
Details emerge in Haiti earthquake; thousands feared dead
October 26, 2018

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A massive earthquake, registering 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale, struck Haiti yesterday, destroying many buildings, disrupting communications, and burying an unknown number of people underneath rubble. Thousands of people are feared to have been killed by the tremors, which were felt as far away as Venezuela.

Witnesses say bodies were lining the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, after the quake struck on Tuesday afternoon, sending a cloud of dust from falling buildings into the sky. The quake was centered about sixteen kilometers from the capital, and struck at a depth of just ten kilometers, exacerbating the damage. At least 27 aftershocks were also recorded, the strongest of which came in at 5.5 and 5.9 magnitude. A tsunami alert was initially issued following the tremor, but it was retracted shortly afterwards.

Buildings across the capital have collapsed, including the presidential palace and the headquarters of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. However, the president, René Préval, and his wife reportedly survived the collapse of the building. The country’s envoy to the United States believed damage costs could reach billions of dollars.

UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said many people were in the UN building when it went down and they remain unaccounted for. A Brazilian military official later said four Brazilian soldiers who were part of the UN mission were killed.

UN Peacekeeping Chief Alain LeRoy said the organisation is working to learn the fate of its personnel. “As we speak there are still over 100 people unaccounted for under the rubble. We do not know about their fate […] some people have been extracted out of the building – but only less than 10 for the time being. Some dead, some alive. So we do not know for the time being the fate of the others. But of course, we are extremely, extremely concerned.”

The Notre Dame of the Assumption Cathedral in Port-au-Prince was also destroyed, killing Joseph Serge Miot, the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince.

“[…] It would appear that all those who were in the building, including my friend [UN mission head] Hedi Annabi […] and all those who were with him and around him are dead,” said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. In a statement released yesterday, the UN remarked that “[f]or the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for.”

Hospitals in Port-au-Prince were reported to have collapsed, raising fears that the injured would not be able to receive treatment easily. “We have reports of some of the most important hospitals in Port-au-Prince have been severely impacted by the earthquake,” said Paul Conneally, the Head of Media for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

“I saw dead bodies, people are screaming, they are on the street panicking, people are hurt. There are a lot of wounded, broken heads, broken arms,” recounted Raphaelle Chenet, the administrator of the Mercy and Sharing charity, in a telephone interview with the Wall Street Journal from the Haitian capital.

UN officials reported that communications and power are out across the city, making it difficult to get accurate details regarding the full extent of casualties and damage.

The UN also noted that the main prison in Port-au-Prince collapsed, and there were reports of inmates escaping. Spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, however, said she had no further details about that.

Efstathios Daras, the Greek ambassador to Venezuela who also represents Greece in Haiti, described the situation. “We fear major loss of life, maybe in the thousands or tens of thousands. Survivors are using their hands to help get trapped people out. There are fears of big aftershocks which could make the situation even worse. There is huge damage to the infrastructure. We can’t get through anymore. All phone lines are down.”

The world is coming to an end.

Joseph Guyler Delva, a reporter for Reuters, was in the area when the tremors struck. “Everything started shaking, people were screaming, houses started collapsing. It’s total chaos.”

Rachmani Domersant, an employee for Food for the Poor charity described the conditions on Port-au-Prince’s streets. “The whole city is in darkness, you have thousands of people sitting in the streets, with nowhere to go. I’ve seen seven to eight buildings, from office buildings to hotels and shopping stores, collapsed […] I think hundreds of casualties would be a serious understatement.”

President Rene Preval told the Miami Herald today that the aftermath of the disaster was “unimaginable”. “Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed […] There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them,” he said, adding that he believes thousands of people died.

The Red Cross in Geneva says that up to 3 million people have been affected. The international aid agency added that there is an urgent need for search and rescue volunteers as well as field hospitals, emergency health, water purification and telecommunications.

The World Food Program (WFP), which has a large staff on the ground, says the level of destruction indicates many of these people have been affected and will require help. The Director of the WFP office in Geneva, Charles Vincent, remarked that the first priority is to save lives. “To rescue people that are buried, that are trapped, etc. […] followed very rapidly by a big problem of water, sanitation, epidemic-problems of diseases that might be bred in that kind of situation,” he noted.

The Haitian ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, told CNN the Caribbean nation is seeking US assistance, and called the quake a catastrophe of major proportions. “I’m quite sure we’re going to face a disaster of major proportion,” he said.

Separately, the Inter-American Development Bank said it will immediately approve a $200,000 grant for emergency assistance to Haiti. The funds will be used to provide food, water, medicine and temporary shelter for victims of the massive quake.

The US Agency for International Development is dispatching a disaster assistance response team to Haiti and commented that it will continue to provide additional support as needed.

I’m quite sure we’re going to face a disaster of major proportion

The UN, meanwhile, dispatched approximately 37 search and rescue teams to assist Haitians from a global network. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said that US$10 million worth of emergency funds would be used. “I have spoken with Mr. Clinton and we have agreed to mobilize our best assistance and rescue teams and try to reconstruct the Haitian economy. The UN will do whatever possible to help the Haitian people to overcome these difficulties,” Ban stated.

Ban noted that 3,000 UN peacekeepers were in Haiti, and that they secured the seaport and airport. They are trying to rescue people buried underneath rubble, he said, but were severely hampered by lack of heavy equipment. “Brazilian forces have been working through the night to rescue but because of the darkness and destruction of infrastructure not much progress has been made. We hope it will be better this morning,” Ban said.

The aid group Oxfam added that its emergency response team for Latin America is based in Haiti and is well prepared, with a public health, water and sanitation team in Port-au-Prince. Oxfam says it is preparing to send in emergency supplies as soon as possible from Panama.

The American Red Cross pledged US$500,000 to help the country, and would send out people to assess damage. “As with most earthquakes, we expect to see immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support,” it said yesterday evening in a statement.

A number of other nations, including the UK and Venezuela, are also planning to send aid.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Did you feel the earthquake? Were you affected by it in some way?
Add or view comments

A reporter for the Al Jazeera news agency, however, said there might be difficulties delivering aid. “We are about 300km from the epicentre of the earthquake, and we know that the UN agencies and the humanitarian groups here are trying to get together some kind of strategy to get aid over to Haiti. We know that there are trucks loaded with supplies ready to go but the difficulty is that no-one really knows how to get that aid to the people [effectively].”

This quake is said to have been the strongest in Haiti in over two hundred years; the last time an earthquake of comparable magnitude was recorded was in 1770.

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. Recent development efforts have suffered severe setbacks because of political violence, crime, corruption and natural disasters. Seventy percent of the population lives on the equivalent of less than US$2 per day.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Football legend Johan Cruyff dies at 68 due to cancer

">
Football legend Johan Cruyff dies at 68 due to cancer
October 26, 2018

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Netherlands and FC Barcelona football legend Johan Cruyff died in Barcelona on Thursday at the age of 68. He had lung cancer, announced last October. Per World of Johan Cruyff website statement, he died peacefully, his family present.

The Dutch maestro won three Ballon d’Ors in his nineteen-year career, in 1971, 1973, and 1974. Born in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, Cruyff began his career with Ajax AFC. He won three consecutive European titles, eight Eredivisie titles (“Dutch league”), five KNVB Cups (“Dutch Cup”), a UEFA Super Cup, and an Intercontinental Cup with the capital club. Later in his career, he signed for Feyenoord and won the Dutch league Dutch Cup with them as well.

He joined the Catalans in 1973. In his first season at Barça, the Blaugrana won the league after fourteen years without. That season, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 5–0 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. He managed Barcelona for eight years, from 1988 to 1996. When he signed for the managerial position, he said, “I know the club and I don’t want history to repeat itself[…] If we want things to change, we must change history.” In his managing career at Barcelona, he won four consecutive La Liga titles and the club won its very first European Cup in 1992 at the Wembly. Before the match, he told the team “”Go out and enjoy yourselves” ((es))Spanish: ?Salid y disfrutad. He won a total of eleven trophies before he was sacked. Before he became the manager, the Catalonians had only ten Spanish titles but after 1990, they won thirteen trophies in 26 years.

He took the Dutch national team to the 1974 FIFA World Cup final, but lost 2–1 to West Germany. He completed 34 dribbles, the most by any player in the tournament. Cruyff won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in that World Cup. The tournament also saw his famous ‘Cruyff turn’ for the first time in a match against Sweden. He also promoted the idea of ‘Total Football’, a style of playing the game.

He had a heart bypass surgery in 1991 and stopped smoking. He had been a heavy smoker. Last month, he said that he was he “2–0 up in the first half of a match” against lung cancer.

As a tribute, the Netherlands v France friendly football match on Friday was paused in the 14th minute, as his jersey featured the number 14. The French side won the match 3–2 with Antoine Griezmann scoring an early goal in the 6th minute.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

">
Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team
October 25, 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Former Japanese prime minister Hashimoto indicated his retirement

">
Former Japanese prime minister Hashimoto indicated his retirement
October 25, 2018

Friday, August 12, 2005

On the 11th August, the former Prime Minister of Japan Riyutaro Hashimoto, age 68, formally indicated he would not run for the Okayama 4th constituency of the House of Representatives, the Lower House of Japan, due to defectiveness of his physical condition, possibly nominally. Since the current prime minister Junichiro Koizumi had resolved that House, an election will be held on September 11.

The next day of that announcement, on the 12th, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) executive committee showed they had no intention to recognize him as a candidate to proportional representative constituency. There might be no possibility for him to run for the coming election as the LDP candidate and his political career would inevitably end.

On the July, 2004 it was reported that Hashimoto did not state the donation of 1 hundred million yen from a lobbist organisation in the annual political financial income and outgo report, which is legally mandatory to all minister and parliament speakers. Hashimoto had received that donation from the Japan Dental Political Federation, one of his main supporting organisations. His relation between medical and pharmacy lobbyists began at least in 1963 when he was appointed as a secretary of Minister of Health and Welfare. In the same year, he ran for a constituency for which his father had run since his death in that year. Later he was appointed to the Minister of Health and Welfare and played a roll as the representative of this ministry during his career.

Hashimoto had been a speaker of the House of Representatives since September 1963. He had not lost his seat until now. He was appointed to the Minister of Health and Welfare, and the Minister of Industrial Minister successively. He was the president of the LDP from 1995 until the party lost at the election of the House of Councillors in 1998. He was also the Prime Minister of Japan from 1996 till his resignation from LDP presidency. In 2001 he ran again for the presidency of the party, but was defeated by the present Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro.

Posted in: Uncategorized | No Comments »