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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:39 am 
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They're BACK!
Damaged, but back:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:55 am 
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Google opens up 200 years of news

Web giant Google is further expanding its online empire with the launch of the Google News Archive Search.

The web-based tool allows users to explore existing digitised newspaper articles and more recent online content, spanning the last 200 years.

People using the search are shown results from both free and subscription-based news outlets.

Partners in the project include the websites of US newspaper the New York Times and the Guardian from the UK.

Other sources include news aggregators, websites which collect and display news stories from multiple sources.

"The goal here is to be able to explore history as it unfolded," said Anurag Acharya, an engineer at Google and one of the team behind the project.

"It's fascinating to see how people's attitudes and emotions have changed through time."

History lesson

The new service searches hundreds of different news sources to answer a user's query. The exact number of sources is confidential.

Results are presented in similar fashion to a Google News search, with "related" articles about the same event grouped together. Free and charged-for articles are displayed side by side.

With pages from commercial websites, the cost of viewing them is also shown. Google says search results are based on relevance, not partnerships with companies.

Users can also view articles using a timeline that displays key dates associated with a story.

So the first Moon landing would highlight 1969 as a key date, but also identify other years when lunar landings took place or when the topic was in the news.

"The ability to browse this historical overview allows users to identify key time periods and get some sense of the flow of events," said Mr Acharya.

The earliest known searchable story is, he said, from "somewhere in the mid-1700s" - considerably older than the current 30-day archive offered through Google News.

The service is accessed through the news archive website or the Google news page. It is also activated when it can provide relevant results to a user's search on google.com.

In this case, links to the most relevant historical news articles are displayed separately above the normal search results.

Historical challenge

The launch of the news archive search extends Google's influence over how the world's information is indexed, searched and accessed.

According to online research firm Nielsen/NetRatings, more than 380 million people used the search engine every month in 2005.

The company is also expanding into areas other than search. In August it announced plans to offer consumers the chance to download and print classic novels free of charge.

"I'm strongly in favour of the democratisation of access to historical documents, but also cautious about how much information Google now controls," said Professor Roy Rosenzeig, a historian from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in the US.

He says that increasingly the model of how we access information and what information we have access to is changing, as public archives such as libraries are replaced by private companies. But, he says, he is "extremely excited" about Google's latest offering.

"As a scholar and historian I want as much information as possible, accessible to as many people as possible at the least cost, and the extent to which Google is doing that is compelling."

Google says it plans to launch the news archive search service on other international Google sites soon.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5317942.stm

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:21 am 
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I have a new addition to the ever increasing critters in my household. I now have a Fish called Eddie. How cool, he's settling in great and says "Hi" to everyone.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:50 am 
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Nice Aspy, say hi to Eddie and remember to keep him safe from the new kiten as well...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:44 am 
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Neat! What type of fish?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:11 am 
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Israel ends blockade of Lebanon

Israel has confirmed it has ended its blockade of Lebanon.

A spokeswoman said Israel had turned over control of monitoring the coastline to the UN. The air blockade on the country was lifted on Thursday.

Israel imposed the embargo in July at the start of its conflict with Hezbollah fighters following the capture of two Israeli soldiers.

The blockade hampered Lebanon's recovery from Israel's bombardment during the 34-day conflict.

Relatives of the two Israeli soldiers still being held by Hezbollah had said the blockade should remain until they were released.

Control question

Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said: "The Italian-led taskforce will continue to enforce the international embargo against the supply of armaments to Hezbollah."

An Israeli official said the delay in lifting the naval element was because it was not clear who was taking control of the UN force.

A German naval force is expected to take over at a later stage.

About 3,250 international troops are now in Lebanon under the UN banner, and UN officials say that figure could reach 5,000 troops next week.

Fighting between Israel and Hezbollah ended on 14 August after the UN passed Resolution 1701 which called for a ceasefire and security arrangements for Israel's northern border.

But Israel kept up the blockade of Lebanese sea and air ports.

Lebanon estimates the country has been losing $30m-50m a day in trade because of the blockade - money desperately needed to help the rebuilding.

Relatives of the two Israeli soldiers have expressed concerns over lifting the blockade.

Shlomo Goldwasser, father of one of the soldiers, said: "The blockade was a way to pressure Hezbollah, but there's no blockade any more. I'm not even angry. It just makes me even more sad."

More than 1,100 Lebanese and about 160 Israelis died in the conflict, sparked by the capture of the two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5327244.stm

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:26 pm 
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My mother in law is rapidly improving. They took her off of the ventilator today.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:31 pm 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
My mother in law is rapidly improving. They took her off of the ventilator today.


Fantastic news Cal, Im glad to hear it. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:26 pm 
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I thought some people might be interested in reading this e-mail I got today from Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.....

"I am thrilled to report that we just won a major courtroom victory for the Western Arctic Reserve -- an NRDC BioGem and one of America's greatest natural treasures.
A federal judge has blocked the Bush administration from proceeding with oil and gas development in the famed Teshekpuk Lake region and its world-class wildlife nurseries.
The Western Arctic Reserve may be less well-known than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but its wildlife populations are every bit as unique, spectacular and endangered.

It is home to the 45,000-member Teshekpuk Lake caribou herd. Tens of thousands of migratory birds come here from as far away as Antarctica to nest without disturbance.
Even Ronald Reagan's Interior Secretary James Watt -- no friend of the environment -- recognized Teshekpuk's great importance and granted it federal protection in the 1980s.
But the Bush administration was preparing to strip this wildlife treasure of its protections, sell it to the highest bidder, and create a sprawling industrial zone of pipelines, rigs and waste sites.

NRDC and our partner groups went to court to stop this unconscionable giveaway to Big Oil. And now that court has ruled that the Interior Department failed to consider the cumulative environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling on this sensitive ecosystem.
This is huge victory in a multi-year campaign that NRDC has waged both in and out of court.
And you made it possible! I want to thank our army of supporters who championed this cause by sending 150,000 messages of protest to the Interior Department and by donating the financial support that enabled us to prevail.

All that hard work has paid off in a victory for nature that is well worth celebrating.
Thank you so much for your tireless activism on behalf of the Western Arctic Reserve and all our other endangered BioGems."

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:18 am 
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I took up knitting many years ago and never got any further than the first needle (being clumsy). Until last week I started making progress, and now I have finally made my first knitted object! A bright yellow scarf, approx 30 cm broad and 150 cm long.Not perfect, but at least it's warm!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:11 pm 
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I found the Stinkfoot and Ship Ahoy guitar tones on my Zoom processor!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:49 pm 
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I'm unemployed! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:12 pm 
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aspy_2nd_bunch wrote:
I'm unemployed! 8)


Funny you should mention it, so am I... (this is no good news thought). Best of luck for us...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
aspy_2nd_bunch wrote:
I'm unemployed! 8)


Funny you should mention it, so am I... (this is no good news thought). Best of luck for us...


Well, when you've been employed in a shithole of an office for 15 years and treated like crap by most of the people you're trying to help, believe me, it's a godsend! The lump sum payout is also sweetening the deal. 8)
Best of luck to us though, I agree. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:32 pm 
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I just read this thread for the first time !!!
and so I congratulate everyone on sticking to the topic!!!
hooray that aspy and mr gg are unemployed!!!!
I've loved those times of my life!!!!
you get to catch up on the real world, hahhahahahaa!!!
I mean, I've fallen in love when I was unemployed!
it was great! I lost her after I got a job, But she's still my friend and lives just down the street, maybe 100 yards away. It's nice when she stops by :))))

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:36 pm 
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mmmmmm i hated being unemployed... no direction (home).

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:48 pm 
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timm0 wrote:
mmmmmm i hated being unemployed... no direction (home).


I have some direction though, some idea of what my options are anyway, the cash makes it possible, of course. If I didn't have that, i'd still be working there. :lol:

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punknaynowned wrote:
I just read this thread for the first time !!!
and so I congratulate everyone on sticking to the topic!!!
hooray that aspy and mr gg are unemployed!!!!
I've loved those times of my life!!!!
you get to catch up on the real world, hahhahahahaa!!!
I mean, I've fallen in love when I was unemployed!
it was great! I lost her after I got a job, But she's still my friend and lives just down the street, maybe 100 yards away. It's nice when she stops by :))))


Thanks punky! The plan is to enjoy and relax until after New Year, and then get stuck in finding something rewarding that pays a wage! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:02 pm 
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aspy_2nd_bunch wrote:
punknaynowned wrote:
I just read this thread for the first time !!!
and so I congratulate everyone on sticking to the topic!!!
hooray that aspy and mr gg are unemployed!!!!
I've loved those times of my life!!!!
you get to catch up on the real world, hahhahahahaa!!!
I mean, I've fallen in love when I was unemployed!
it was great! I lost her after I got a job, But she's still my friend and lives just down the street, maybe 100 yards away. It's nice when she stops by :))))


Thanks punky! The plan is to enjoy and relax until after New Year, and then get stuck in finding something rewarding that pays a wage! 8)


Hmm, I betcha somewhere there is a drummer lookin' for a drum tech. Think it over and think it over some more. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Just got a small temporary job as a private teacher :D

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:43 am 
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Now gg, that's a great gig if you can afford everything with that!
and if yer good, word-of-mouth gets you new students . . .
you live in a college town? here where I am, that's just enough to get you by, if yer say a math teacher. There's always plenty of tudents that always want help with math. But wait, yer a biologist, right?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:50 pm 
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Thanks Punky. Next to what I used to earn with my scholarship, any job is better paying. But yes, you can make a reasonable income with lots of students here (it is a major big city with important universities). The maths side of genetics is enough to keep the work place supplied with demand...

The thing is I still have academical work to finnish, w/o getting payed anymore (I guess I have to clone myself) :wink:.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:59 am 
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Hubble telescope will get upgrade

Nasa chief Mike Griffin says shuttle astronauts will be sent to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

The orbiting observatory has astounded astronomers and the public alike with its amazing pictures of the cosmos, but it will soon fail unless serviced. (...)

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Named after the great US astronomer Edwin Hubble
Launched in 1990 into a 600km-high circular orbit
Equipped with a 2.4m primary mirror and five instruments
Length: 15.9m; diameter: 4.2m; Mass: 11,110kg
Observations have probed about 24,000 celestial objects
Made more than 93,000 trips around our planet
Generates about 10 gigabytes of data each day

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:17 pm 
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http://macroblog.typepad.com/macroblog/ ... news_.html


In another milestone in Brazil's comeback from the brink of financial collapse, the government said it won't renew its standby-credit accord with the International Monetary Fund...

...Finance Minister Antonio Palocci announced yesterday that Brazil's strong recent economic performance made renewing the pact unnecessary. In 2004, Brazil posted its fastest economic growth in a decade, a record trade surplus, a strong budget surplus and the first drop in its level of debt-to-gross domestic product since 2000.

Not only that,

Brazilian Treasury Secretary Joaquim Levy said the nation owes the IMF $23.2 billion, and said all money owed is "currently available in government reserves." He added that Brazil is due to repay the money in full by 2007.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:17 pm 
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http://www.slate.com/id/2150544/

As Brazil approaches its October elections, political scandal dominates the headlines, crime still plagues the largest cities, the gap between rich and poor persists, and the business community grudgingly accepts that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will win an easy re-election. But there is one very important cause for optimism in Brazil: Its current problems are the sort that plague mature free-market democracies, not emerging-market basket cases.

Four years ago, when Lula became Brazil's first "leftist" president since democracy was restored in 1985, many feared he would prove a populist firebrand—and that at the first sign of social unrest, he would renege on campaign promises to pursue a disciplined economic policy. Some worried that he might even follow the lead of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and throw Brazil's economic liberalization into reverse. But in Latin America, leftist is not a particularly revealing label. Leftist Chávez is an ideologue, a would-be Castro, a true believer. Leftist Lula made his name as a tough-minded labor negotiator; he is a pragmatist, a man who cuts deals. This difference is clearly reflected in the choices they've made as heads of state.

Lula has kept his promises and balanced the need to raise rural living standards with the demands of responsible economic policy. During his presidency, the state has made debt repayments on schedule. The economy has generated more than 4.5 million new jobs. Trade surpluses top $40 billion per year. The lowest inflation rates in decades and an expansion of consumer credit have increased the purchasing power of millions.

The rural poor receive small but badly needed monthly payments from the state in exchange for keeping their children in school and ensuring that they are properly vaccinated. Lula's critics argue that the program does not encourage the entrepreneurialism the countryside desperately needs. That may be so, but it certainly helps large numbers of Brazilians educate their children and feed their families.


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