Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

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More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.

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Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots. Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

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More Popular Holiday Destinations For Thought}

Submitted by: Jessica Nielson

Popular holiday destinations for thought are Florence, Rome and Venice. Venice is a place for love and romance. Try to visit during the summer and not the fall when it seems to be the flood season. You cannot do much with the heavy downpours and flooding. The accommodations around Riatto Bridge are great for accessing many different attractions you will want to see. You will find cafes and fine dining restaurants in this area as well. If romance is what you are looking for, you will want to take the gondola ride at night. The city lights are beautiful and set the pace for romance.

Add Rome to your list of popular holiday destinations. Visit during the spring or fall and the weather will be just right. The summers are hot, but are still enjoyable. Christmas time is a time of year that is very popular for visitors and the city can be very crowded during christmas. You can join in the mass on Christmas Eve at the Vatican Square. You will need to book this reservation as soon as you have your flight reservations since it does fill up quickly. The restaurants are amazing. The chef will come out to see if your meal is everything you wanted. It is a special place to go.

In Rome, you can enjoy the Vatican City is one place you must see. Try to make during the early afternoon to enjoy the full beauty of the city. Shopping is another thing you will want to do while visiting. It is just amazing all the shops and things you will find to buy. Have enough money planned for your shopping adventures. You will enjoy a stay in Rome and see so many things that you have only read about in books. Popular cheap holiday destinations are full of excitement, even in Rome.

Florence is the other popular cheap holiday destination. It is a beautiful city with many attractions to keep you busy. Visit Florence in the spring when all the gardens are starting to flourish. You can sit outside on a warm day and enjoy the scenery where as in the summer it is hot. There are many things to so and see that you could be inside all day long if you want. The museums and galleries are just extraordinary. If you are looking for a special place to take the family for some history and culture, Florence is the place to go and have fun.

The restaurants are something to talk about in Florence. You can fine different types of cuisine and the cafes are great for a day meal while sitting outside enjoying the weather. Shopping and sightseeing is the top of the list for this popular holiday destination. The parks are beautiful and the scenery is amazing. You can spend an entire day sitting in a park and feel as if you have seen something new every minute you are there. You will find that these locations are great for planning a family vacation to and everyone will find something to intrigue them.

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Cocaine found in frozen mango puree shipped to Montréal, Canada

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced Tuesday that they had seized approximately 160 kilograms of cocaine discovered in buckets of frozen mango puree imported from Mexico.

Investigations led the police to a shipping container destined for the Port of Montréal, in the Canadian province of Québec. A CBSA officer at the Container Examination Centre in Montréal identified the suspect container. The drug was found in brick-shaped plastic wrapping of about 4 kilograms in weight each. There were 1,200 buckets of frozen mango puree in the shipment, not all with cocaine inside.

RCMP Sgt. André Potvin told reporters that the value of the shipment was significant and was the largest maritime port drug haul in the force’s history. At CA$20 per half-gram, “that’s in the vicinity of $38 million,” said Potvin.

The investigation by the RCMP Drug Section, CBSA Intelligence officers, the Marine Security Enforcement Team and the Port of Montréal Security Group, determined that an import company, named Quality Mexport, was allegedly a front for the drug-smuggling operation.

Five Mexicans, holding visitor status in Canada, were arrested in the matter. They are:

  • Juan Manuel Huerta Canela, 31;
  • Jose Gerardo Bernal Vasquez, 52;
  • Jose Luis Navarro Ochoa, 33;
  • Jesus Manuel Villa Quiroz, 32; and
  • Alfonso Strag Estrada, age 50.

The suspects have been charged with importing and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The charges are allegations at this point in time.

CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate John M. Wierenga running in Yellowhead

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Christian Heritage Party candidate John M. Wierenga is standing for election in the riding of Yellowhead. A journeyman welder with a company in Neerlandia, Alberta, John is an active member of the Neerlandia Canadian Reformed Church. Serving on his church council, he actively volunteers in the community, serving a partial term on the Pembina Pro-Life Board.

Wikinews contacted John, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

Since 2000, the riding has been represented by Conservative Rob Merrifield, originally a Canadian Alliance member. Besides Wierenga, other challengers for the riding include Melissa Brade (Canadian Action), Mohamed El-Rafih (Liberal), Ken Kuzminski (NDP), and Monika Schaefer (Green).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

2008 Taiwan Designers’ Week shows potential of innovations

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vastly different from the YODEX, mainly focused on students’ designs, the 2008 2nd Taiwan Designers’ Week, a collective show organized by Taiwan Designers’ Web for industrial designs and individual design studios, took place at the Xinyi Public Assembly Hall, formally known as “Si-Si Nan Cun (in Chinese: ????)” and entitled the theme of “Design & Beyond”.

This professional exhibition featured topical designs including “Play with the Eating Culture”, “Wall”, “The Story of Paper-Cutting”, “Basket”, “Between On and Off”, “50 Pleasures in the Study – Dian Shin Refreshment 2008”, “Reincarnation”, and “NoName Design”, at Xinyi Public Assembly Hall; “City Yeast 2008?Balcony Project” at Xue Xue Institute from June 26th to July 8th; “Having A Perfect Life Is Easy” at Taipei Artist Village from June 27th to July 7th. In addition, The XRANGE Studio also created a giant floating cloud at Central Square of Xinyi Public Assembly Hall.

Innovative designs in this exhibition showcased different topical elements on environment, modern lifestyle, current incident, and subculture. Those reflect the achievements by professional designers in Taiwan as Taiwan’s designs were affirmed in several international design competitions including G-mark, Red Dot, and iF.

After this exhibition, Taiwan Design Center, the show co-organizer, scheduled several upcoming competitions and shows from this August to October including “Taiwan Design Expo”, “Taiwan Design Award”, “Taiwan International Design Competition”, and “Creative Taiwan”.

Two women in North Carolina arrested for allegedly using Family Dollar variety store as marijuana ring

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Police in La Grange, North Carolina have arrested two women after they received a tip that the Family Dollar store was being used as part of a marijuana ring. Pending an investigation, police shut the store down.

Belinda Pearson, 46, the store manager and her associate Melissa Collie, 40, were arrested when police found 23 pounds of the drug inside the store. Earlier in the week, police said the anonymous tipster stated that a delivery of two packages of the drug was made. After a week of investigating, police arrested both women on March 14 and charged them with drug trafficking. Both were freed after making bail and were scheduled to be in court on March 15.

“The marijuana has a street value of approximately US$35,000. It was about the only thing in the store you couldn’t buy for $1,” said Chris Hill, a major from the Lenoir County Sheriff. He said the whole operation lasted a week.

Owners of the store are said to be on the way to the location where they will take over the store’s management. Family Dollar is a United States chain that sells a variety of things from food items, clothes and housewares. Most items in the store cost less than $10.00. There are almost 6,600 stores across the U.S.

New Zealand woman survives being run over by train

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

A New Zealand woman who lay down between railway tracks and had a freight train run over her is “incredibly lucky”, sustaining only minor injuries, according to Sue Foley, spokeswoman for the railway company, Toll Holdings.

The driver saw the woman lying in between the tracks while the train was travelling at about 20 km/h. Despite the slow speed of the train, the driver was unable to stop the train before it ran over the woman. “By the time he stopped the train and walked back down the line, she popped out from under the third wagon,” said Mike Lawton, acting sergeant for Feilding police.

The woman was flown to Palmerston North Hospital after complaining about sore elbows and shoulders and receiving minor injuries.

The driver of the train has been offered counselling while he has been taken off driving duties.

Police and the train operator would not comment on why the woman was lying between the tracks.

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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

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

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

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

United States helped Kyrgyz pro-democracy programs

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Shortly before parliamentary elections were held in Kyrgyzstan, an opposition-run newspaper ran photographs of a palace under construction for since-deposed president Askar Akayev. This newspaper received grants from and was printed on a printing press financed by the US government.

The US government itself confirms this. In fact, nearly one year ago in May 2004, Lorne Craner, US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor revealed:

We did a project recently… in Kyrgyzstan where there had only ever been one printing press. We funded the operation of another printing press there so that newspapers that were once unable to print day by day — due to censorship and lacks of facilities — are now able to print much more often, basically every day now.

Kyrgyzstan became the nation with the highest per-capita foreign assistance level in central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most of the money came from the US, under the FREEDOM Support Act, passed in 1992 to help former Soviet republics in transition. Money ear-marked for Kyrgyz pro-democracy programs totaled about $13.3 million dollars last year.

According to a US State Department statement, the programs receiving the money “focus on improving political processes and accountability of government institutions, strengthening civil society and public advocacy, and supporting independent media.”

Akayev, in an interview with RIA Novosti, said that the opposition which had taken over the government in Kyrgyzstan was supported “with financial and technical support from the USA.”

As proof, he cited a report which was posted on the Internet and attributed to the US ambassador in Kyrgyzstan. “The scenario was carried out to a tee. In it he writes that president Akayev has to be toppled, removed. And because the country is key, a neighbor of China, with a Russian [military] base, it’s necessary to increase influence there.”

The New York Times described this report as “crudely forged” and Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders have pledged to keep both the US and Russian military bases in the country and maintain friendly diplomatic relations with Russia.

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How To Find The Best Welding Machine}

How to Find the Best Welding Machine

by

Michelle Macdroff

Aluminum welding has become a very popular hobby for many people because of its utility and benefits. It is not necessary for a person to be a professional welder in order to start welding; one can also start learning this unique activity for one’s own pleasure. However, many people face some fundamental problems in starting this cool hobby. One of the is to find a good welding machine.

Finding a good set of welding equipment is never that difficult but the current is overflowing with a variety of sellers and products. If a person is not careful then he could end up with a very bad set of welding equipment that he would surely regret later. After all, welding is a process completely dependent on the machines and tools that the welder uses. If the equipment does not function properly then the person would face many problems and could also face some serious damages.

Welding includes fire as the most important component so a person should not compromise with the quality of equipment that one is using. Other than that, the person who is interested in welding and is willing to buy a good welding machine should first fix a budget. Good welding machines have very significant costs. Most of the welders prefer using HTS 2000 or HTS 528 in their welding processes. That is so because they are one of the best machines present in the market.

The fundamental of finding good welding machines is to find a good and authentic seller. One can look for good sellers of welding machines by checking a variety of stores and shops present in the area of the respective person. Similarly, a person can opt to search for good welding machines on the internet. Many online websites or e-commerce sites sell welding machines and deliver them to the buyer’s home. It is highly recommended that a person buys the machine from online stores if he does not have enough time to go to the local stores. However, before selecting a particular website as the seller, the person should check a number of websites. This way, he would be able to compare the different rates of the machines present in the market and the person would not have to worry much. Another advantage of checking a number of websites is that a person would be able to recognize frauds from the authentic ones with ease. Whether one wants to buy an aluminum repair rod or aluminum welding sticks, one would not have to hassle much while buying the equipment from online websites.

The above discussion should help a person in finding the best welding machines present in the market. Moreover, if a person is too much interested in welding then he could opt to become a professional welder. The biggest point to remember while buying a welding machine is that good machines have high prices. The person who is going to start welding should buy all the important safety gear too.

Michelle Macdroff is an author of aluminumrepair site, one of the best aluminium repair company in Houston Texas. She has been writing articles on

hts 2000

for aluminumrepair.com

Article Source:

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