Officials admit that China faked part of Olympics opening ceremony

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Officials representing the Beijing Olympic Games in China have confirmed that the organizations in charge of the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics may have faked at least two parts of the production. The ceremony lasted a total of four and a half hours.

It has been revealed that nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who performed “Ode to the Motherland” during the ceremony, was only a visual effect. A recording of another girl’s voice played throughout the stadium and on the television and radio broadcasts. It is also now known that that some of the fireworks shown on television were computer-generated imagery.

The New York Times reports Lin’s voice was not perfect, and a member of the Chinese Politburo demanded that a more suitable voice was used. Organizers found that voice in seven-year-old Yang Peiyi. Another girl was used in rehearsals, but she was deemed to be too old.

“The reason was for the national interest,” Chen Qigang, the opening ceremonies general music designer, said Sunday during a radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

Filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the production’s director, praised Lin at a press conference with Chinese media.

“She’s very cute and sings quite well, too,” he said according to a transcript of the news conference. “I was moved every time we did a rehearsal on this, from the bottom of my heart.”

The initial performer was a ten-year-old girl who was not named in the report and “whose voice was really good,” but Zhang decided that she was too old. About ten girls were auditioned for the role at Central People’s Radio Station in Beijing.

“After the recording, we thought that Lin Miaoke’s voice was not very suitable,” Chen Qigang said during his radio interview with Beijing Music Radio. “Finally, we made the decision that the voice we would use was Yang Peiyi’s.”

During the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, tenor Luciano Pavarotti mimed to a recorded version of the song he was singing. The recording was of him, but the singer, then 70 years old, had problems with a cold and opted to lip sync.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Google News seeks patent for search system that returns ‘quality’ links

Google News seeks patent for search system that returns ‘quality’ links

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Google News submitted patent applications both in the United States and world-wide in September 2003 for a system of ranking search returns. The patent protection filings seek to control Google’s approach that filters headlines through a complicated algorithm, including the quality of the news organization. How much of this system is currently in use by the search engine giant is unknown.

Primitive search engines are expected to organically evaluate links based on how closely the keywords typed in the search field match an object link, and how many other links are attached to the object. Then a measure of relevance is calculated before returning a reply.

It seems some measure of the work being done at Google is a reaction to search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns which can, if done effectively, skew results to certain domains. A challenge for Google is to develop its technology to nullify efforts on the dark side of SEO and link-spamming.

What also seems to be coming out from this, according to research from the Internet Search Engine Database, is that Google does indeed have a ‘sandbox’ where domains are evaluated first by a human factor before being released into its algorithms.

In its first ever Securities and Exchange Commission filing since the company went public last year, Google indicated that it intends to spend US$500 million on technology development, more than double the $177 million it spent two years ago.

The language used in the lengthy patent application itself is difficult to understand. An excellent article titled “Google United – Google Patent Examined” found below, describes some of the nuts and bolts of Google’s techniques.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget">
British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the budget today, an annually-held audit of the country’s finances deciding how taxpayers’ money should be spent. He set out plans to boost the housing market in his fourth budget, as well as stating the economy will grow by 0.6% — half his prediction four months ago.

George Osborne revealed plans to improve the housing market, including a “Help to Buy” shared equity scheme which would offer buyers who can place a 5% deposit on a new house, a 20% loan to buy it. He said: “This is a budget for those who aspire to own their own home”. He also offered a new Mortgage Guarantee, created in conjunction with mortgage lenders — the scheme would allow them to offer loans to homeowners without the need for a large deposit and offer guarantees to support up to £130bn of lending for three years beginning in 2014.

As a measure to attract investment to the British economy, he announced to reduce corporation tax from 21% to 20% taking effect from April 2015. The rate of corporation tax has fallen from 28% in 2010 to the current level of 21%. The United Kingdom is to have lower rates of corporation tax than the USA at 40%, France at 33%, and Germany at 29%.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) stated the government debt reduction programme to reduce the budget deficit will miss its targets. The government has forecast the total public sector debt will begin to fall by the financial year 2015/2016, while OBR says national debt will reach a high of 85.6% of GDP, £1.58 trillion, in 2016/17. Osborne defended the government efforts to reduce the deficit and said: “Our judgement has since been supported by the IMF, the OECD and the Governor of the Bank of England.”

In response to the Budget speech, the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband said: “At the worst possible time for the country. It’s a downgraded budget from a downgraded Chancellor […] Debt is higher in every year of this Parliament than he forecast at the last Budget. He is going to borrow £200 billion more than he planned.”

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls said to The Independent, “They are borrowing £245bn more in this Parliament, we said all along …said this two years ago, if they had moved more quickly with a sensible, targeted package of measures to kick-start the economy, which would have meant at that time more borrowing for a VAT [Value Added Tax] cut to bring forward housing investment, then we would have got the economy growing and the deficit coming down.”

The Business Secretary Vince Cable told the BBC in an interview, the “age of austerity” would probably end within the current decade, but made no more definite forecast.

The head of the British Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker, said: “The Budget opens the door for small businesses to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide ranging package of measures to support small business. […] [W]e are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September”.

Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite the Union, criticized the budget for not helping working families. He said: “This is a Budget for the few by the few that attacks the many. Millionaires are days away from getting a £40,000 tax cut from the Tories, but George Osborne is using the budget to attack hard-working public sector workers. The worst chancellor in British history has gone further by giving big business another tax cut while staff caring for the sick get pay cuts. […] [H]e should have raised the national minimum wage by £1 and drop the senseless plan to give millionaires a tax break in a few days’ time”.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Shop Online For Discount Curtains}

Click Here To Find Out More About:

Shop Online for Discount Curtains


Brian MillerWould you like to renew the curtains in your house but you are on a budget? If this is the case you should not worry because you can always shop online for discount curtains. There are various providers that have competitive prices and put at your disposal a variety of curtains, including red curtains. You just need time and patience so that you can find curtains that meet your requirements and are within your price range. Drapes and curtains are an essential part of any room and it comes as no surprise that people pay so much attention to them. Numerous home owners take their time when it comes to selecting the perfect curtains for their home. This is because it is not every day that they change the curtains and drapes in their home. Most people make this investment once at every few years and they want to buy products that are designed to withstand the test of time. Do you know that the color and style of your window treatments dictate the rest of the dcor in a room?Many homeowners cannot spend a fortune on window treatments and this is why they prefer to buy discount curtains. Individuals who take their time to look for deals will eventually find a product that suits their preferences and is within their price range. The wonderful thing about discount window treatments is that they are durable and of high quality. When you buy a discount product you do not make any sacrifices as far as quality is concerned. It is common knowledge that covering your windows requires a significant investment. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that more and more home owners turn their attention towards discount curtains.The good news is that on the Internet you can find anything you can possibly want. There is a wide selection of window treatments out there and chances are you will find various products that suit your preferences. If you are in the market for red curtains you should just go online and see what you find. Red window treatments will definitely make a great impression to your guests provided they blend in the existing dcor.Nowadays red curtains are quite popular as more and more home owners seem to prefer vibrant, daring colors that stand out in the crowd. If you are among them you will be pleased to discover that there is no shortage of options on the Internet. The wonderful thing about discount window treatments is that they are durable and of high quality. When you buy a discount product you do not make any sacrifices as far as quality is concerned. It is common knowledge that covering your windows requires a significant investment. With a bit of research you will come across a variety of products that will catch your attention. The most difficult part will be to decide on only one.

It is our pleasure to put at your disposal

YouTube Preview Image

discount curtains

that are the perfect options for those who are on a budget. On our website you will also find beautiful

red curtains

that stand out in the crowd.

Article Source:}

Posted in Real Estate | No Comments »


Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book">
Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


News briefs:January 12, 2005">
News briefs:January 12, 2005

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The following stories made international headlines Wednesday:


After 14 months, three missed deadlines, and a change of CEOs, Canada’s Nortel (ticker NT) finally reported their audited restatement of earnings for 2001, 2002, and 2003. Five board members are stepping down.

Source: BusinessWeek Online: Nortel: Beyond Closing the Books


Police reported to the Sandiganbayan, the anti-graft court investigating the former Philippine president, and leaked to the press, that Estrada had hosted members of his former cabinet for dinner and stayed overnight away from the hospital in which he is supposed to be confined. He is in hospital to undergo knee replacement surgery.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer: Estrada wanders out in HK


As new attacks kill at least 25 people, interim Prime Minister Allawi admitted not all Iraqis would be able to vote:

“There are some pockets that will not participate in the election but they are not large.”

Source: Hindustan Times: Nationwide Iraq polls impossible: Allawi

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Thousands gather in Jantar Mantar and other cities to protest against mob violence">
Thousands gather in Jantar Mantar and other cities to protest against mob violence

Friday, June 30, 2017

On Wednesday, thousands of citizens gathered in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar and other cities across India to protest against mob violence against minority communities of Muslims and Dalits, which has increased in recent years. Documentary film-maker Saba Dewan asked for “protest against the lynchings” via a Facebook post on June 24, after a teenage Muslim boy, Junaid Khan, and his brothers were reportedly racially abused, and Junaid allegedly stabbed and killed by a mob, after a dispute last week in Haryana.

About 2000 people gathered for the protest — Not in my Name — in the Indian capital, while several others protested in Bombay, Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh, Kochi, and Jaipur. There were protests held in London as well. The protests came after several instances where people were killed due to mob violence, the victims mostly from the minority communities of Muslims and Dalits. Protesters held placards with messages such as “No Place for Islamophobia”, “Break the Silence”, and “Shed Hate not Blood”. Saba Dewan said, “the protest is against this systematic violence against Muslims and Dalits that is going on in our country at the moment”. The protesters presented poems, songs and danced on stage on the Jantar Manter to express their views. Manish Sisodia, New Delhi’s deputy chief minister, also took part in the protest. In Bombay, protesters were permitted till 7 PM.

“Shouldn’t there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder yesterday in Delhi NCR by a mob of a 16 year old Muslim boy? If not now then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration ? Why can’t all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner – Not in my Name”, Dewan posted on Facebook.

Junaid’s brother Hasseem said the people “were pointing at a packet which had food and saying we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef” even though he told they were not carrying beef. The mob, reportedly threw Junaid’s skull cap, and called them “beef eaters” and “anti-nationalists”. About twenty people were involved in the violence. One man, who was held for the violence told NDTV he was “told by his friends to attack the Muslim boys because they ate beef”. Police arrested four people on Wednesday accused for the violence, police superintendent Kamaldeep Goel told the Press Trust of India.

There have been several instances where people were harassed or killed due to mob violence. At least ten Muslims have been reported victims of the mob violence in the past two years, for beef consumption or transporting cows. Cow is considered sacred in Hinduism and many Hindus in the country view cow as a god or mother. Beef is banned in several states of India and a person found guilty for killing a cow can face a prison term up to ten years. But often, the “gau rakshaks” (cow protectors) have taken the law in their hands and lynched the accused. Some of the claims turned out to be false.

Though India is a secular state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which shares Hindu nationalist views, vowed to ban beef across India. In 2015, ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, “Do I assault everyone who eats pork or alcohol?” after Rashid Ahmed was beaten by BJP members for serving beef in a private party. Pork and alcohol are considered haram and hence, their consumption is prohibited in Islam.

“Killing people in the name of ‘gau bhakti’ [cow devotion] is not acceptable”, Modi said yesterday.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


How To Choose The Right Patio Heater

Click Here To Find Out More About:

How to Choose The Right Patio Heater


Annette JonesIn this article, I will only cover a small amount of the vast information available for a patio heater. One of the first things to consider is the area you are desiring to keep warm on those fall evenings. If you are in a condo or an apartment with just a small patio area to provide heat, maybe a table top patio heater is the right ticket. If your patio covers several hundred square feet, then you might even have to have more than one larger patio heater. Or just maybe, it’s just you and you like to read a book before bedtime and only need heat right where you sit in that all-weather wicker rocker, then think about a directional patio heater. So the first choice you need to make, is how big an area do you need to heat.The second decision, in my opinion, is whether you want to have the patio heater just in one place and then not worry about it for years and years or have the versatility to move it where the heat is needed for any particular occasion. There are basically 3 types of patio heaters to consider. One uses propane which means from time to time you will need to fill the tank. The one thing to consider with a propane powered patio heater is the time when the party is just starting to liven up and you run out of propane in the tank. Bummer, now you have to either bring the party indoors (which there might not be enough room), don jackets (maybe some didn’t bring any) or the party breaks up because some are getting chilly and start toward home. I am not trying to talk you out of a propane patio heater, just want you to be aware of all of the possibilities if making this choice.Another type of patio heater uses natural gas. This is ideal because it probably will be the cheapest to operate and you don’t have to worry about it running out of fuel, that is unless there is a major earthquake near you and gas lines erupt. Of course, if that’s the case, running your patio heater is not the main concern then, or at least I hope it’s not. But then, if you make the choice to go with a natural gas operated patio heater, you lose the flexibility of placing the heater at different places depending on a particular function.Then we come to an electric powered patio heater. And within this type, you have a number of different choices to also make. There are electric patio heaters that can plug directly into an outlet (but not many, unless that outlet is dedicated just for this). When it is evident that the style and power needed is more than what can be plugged in, you have to consider the cost to have an electrician run wiring just for the patio heater. And with this type, you can also be strapped to where it can be placed to provide the heat you are looking for. Some are ceiling (or rafter) mounted and their base allows for some movement to direct heat to a specific spot.Finally, comes the best (or worse) part of this decision. Style and quality. You only get what you pay for, I don’t care what that sales person says. Styles are abundant and can be even a central point for your patio, but you will pay a little more for that. Quality to me is king. Why purchase something I am going to need to replace soon and then have to pay even more for. I would rather put off getting one for a time to have the money needed to get the right one, then pay now and later and possibly even not have enough power to provide the heat I am looking for anyway.In closing, do your research thoroughly then enjoy that book long into the evening while staying warm and comfy on your patio.

I would love to hear back from any readers on my content.

Article Source:

YouTube Preview Image

Posted in Sport | No Comments »


Gay couple elected prom king and queen in Maine’s Sanford High School">
Gay couple elected prom king and queen in Maine’s Sanford High School

Friday, June 3, 2011

Although prom may have taken place over two weeks ago at Maine’s Sanford High School, the fact that students elected a gay couple as prom king and queen remains the talk of the local community.

During the May 14 event, 17-year-old Christian Nelsen was named prom queen, running as a write-in candidate. One of Nelsen’s friends, Holly Smith, spoke of the help they provided in getting him elected: “The day of prom, we went downstairs, and he was yelling ‘Vote for Christian Nelsen!’ And I was helping people spell his name, or telling them how to write it on the ballot”.

Anyone can win, and on that same notion any type of person can win.

Nelsen’s boyfriend, Caleb Jett, was elected prom king. “I kinda got voted in because he got queen, and it was like ‘Who do we vote for king?’ and it was like ‘Oh, well, his boyfriend, obviously, because that makes sense,'” he said. The two young men wore suits, shirts, and ties to the prom. When the results of the election were announced, they danced the king-queen dance together, Jett wearing his crown and Nelsen his tiara.

Maine is one of only two states in New England that have not recognized same-sex marriages. Though they are aware that not everyone supports them, the couple ran to combat high school stereotypes and to encourage more tolerance. Nelsen commented, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl who wins prom king or prom queen from now on. Anyone can win, and on that same notion any type of person can win. And I’m talking about the tolerance level of all people when I talk about that, so anyone who is bullied or even just under the radar can win this type of thing.”

Minister of a parish of the United Church of Christ Reverend Diane Wendorf supported the couple, citing her church’s values of tolerance and diversity. “I’m glad, too, that they were crowned king and queen, because there are all different kinds of people in this world.” Some Sanford residents a local news agency interviewed did not approve of the gay couple’s crowning, though none agreed to go on camera — out of concerns that their comments might offend someone.

The matter is expected to be brought up by interested citizens at an upcoming school committee meeting. Committee Chair Mark Lucier stated that the school is gathering information on the election, and that the committee may decide if it needs to address the future selection of prom kings and queens.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Al Gore-owned cable news channel to relaunch August 1 with viewer-created content">
Al Gore-owned cable news channel to relaunch August 1 with viewer-created content

Monday, April 4, 2005

San Francisco, California — A year after buying the struggling Newsworld International 24-hour U.S. and Canada cable news channel, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and his partner, millionaire Ohio attorney and politician Joel Hyatt, plan to re-launch the channel with a new name, a new concept and a new target audience.

Starting August 1, the channel will be known as Current and will aim its news programming at the 18-34 year old demographic that traditionally does not tune into cable news. “The Internet opened a floodgate for young people whose passions are finally being heard, but TV hasn’t followed suit. Young adults have a powerful voice, but you can’t hear that voice on television … yet,” Gore said in a press release issued from the network’s San Francisco studios.

Gore said the new channel will be partly created by citizen journalists, where viewer-created reports will find their way on air. “We want to transform the television medium itself, giving a national platform to those who are hungry to help create the TV they want to watch. We’re creating a powerful new brand of television that doesn’t treat audiences as merely viewers, but as collaborators,” Gore said in the release. The network posted submission guidelines on its new website which launched Monday.

Gore bought Newsworld International (NWI) from Vivendi Universal last year for $70 million. It was the only TV asset of Vivendi’s not snapped up by NBC in the creation of the NBC Universal media conglomerate. NBC already had two struggling cable news channels of its own. NWI’s current news content is mostly rebroadcasts of news produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Originally, the network was going to be remodled as a liberal counterpart to the popular Fox News Channel, which some critics claim is a conservative-slanted newscast despite the network’s denial that it is “fair and balanced” in its reporting. But after market research, the new owners of NWI decided that a liberal news network was not financially feasible.

Instead, they focused on a youth-skewed news channel under the code name “INdTV” (pronounced “Indy Tee Vee”). The new name, Current, and re-launch date announcement was timed to coincide with the annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention, which is being held this week in San Francisco, the same city as Channel’s new headquarters.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »