Dump WordPress}

Submitted by: Chaz Lamm

WordPress promised to make affiliate internet marketing easier. To a certain degree, it has. Instead of the initial sleek, powerful tools it is morphing into bloat ware with many plugins, themes, and options. To promote affiliate product review articles and build my affiliate internet marketing venture, I was compelled to convert to Affiliate Genie.

And I’m glad I did.

For some time, Chris Rempel has devoted his efforts to turning affiliate marketing away from a crap shoot into a science. His process in a nutshell is this:

* identify key phrases in niche markets that appeal to desperate customers who are prepared to buy* post reviews for the affiliate products that satisfy those buyers’ wants

use natural search engine optimization(SEO) to list high in the search engine results pages(SERPs)

* get those desperate eyeballs on your review when those buyers have their plastic cards in hand* help the customer fix the problem

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CR’s primary concept is that you don’t want your website to show up early in the purchasing cycle when people are gathering knowledge, but instead, at the last part of the cycle when they are determining which widget is suitable for them.

A Dozen Good Reasons to Slap WordPress and Shift All your Affiliate Marketing to Affiliate Genie.

1. Keeps your eye on the prize. Affiliate Genie has everything you’ll want to structure an excellent product review or basic article- and nothing extra. All of the elements you require such as title, affiliate link, product description, product research, star rating system, keywords, and page description are within the fill in template. You are not able to save a review if any of the elements are missing.

2. Disclaimers built into the template. The Federal Trade Commission has new rules regarding what an affiliate marketer or blogger must perform to avoid fines and other civil penalties. Lite versions are incorporated along with pages where you can post your personal, extensive privacy policy and legal disclaimers.

3. Build your pages right on the site. No FTP necessary, except to upload the files to your domain or subdomain.

4. TinyMCE. Easy to create pages using popular TinyMCE(Tiny Moxiecode Content Editor- platform- independent web- based JavaScript/HTML WYSIWYG editor) .

5. Active ability of PHP without the risks of MySQL. No database to corrupt.

6. A single click backup. Affiliate Genie permits you to back up your entire website with one click. AG creates a zip file that you can download to any computer.

7. Mobility. If you need to move a web site, take your backup, unzip it, then upload to your new domain. You are able to move a large site in under 5 minutes, including backups. This is especially convenient if someone purchases your domain.

8. Promo Link. At the top part of each web page, you’ve got the option of including a special promo. Should you find a new affiliate program, you change one file, and you are now promoting a sizzling product across ALL of your web pages without having to edit the template.

9. Social Media. Built into the system are 20 plus social bookmarking and social networking links to make promotion a snap.

10. Stable. WordPress is frequently being updated. New functions are added that may render your favorite plugins useless. AG is based on solid HTML that functions everywhere.

11. Function over beauty. Even though you can alter the native CSS files to change colors and fonts, you don’t have to. No one uses the default WP theme anymore, unless they’re totally lazy. Don’t waste your time developing or hunting down a fresh theme. Web pages load faster without all of the add- ons.

12. No distractions. The whole purpose of an online business website is making money. Find a niche community of buyers. Offer them the answer to their problems at the right time. Let someone else give them the bells and whistles.

If you have experience never making money with your WordPress blogs, you owe it to yourself to test Affiliate Genie for yourself. You can kick yourself later.

About the Author: Charles Lamm – retired attorney, junkyard philosopher, amateur anarchist – now chooses to make his living on the Internet from wherever he happens to be. For more on Affiliate Genie and other Internet marketing tools, visit his website at:


– http: //www.




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Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, a fire rushed through seven businesses at the Whitestone Shopping Center in Whitestone, Queens, New York, near the Cross Island Parkway in New York City.

The fire started at around 1:00 AM EST (UTC-5) on November 2, 2008 in a diner known as Lollipops. According to local sources, Lollipops was a popular restaurant in the area. The fire spread through the stores, up an awning and continued all the way to a corner of the shopping center. In the end, seven businesses were destroyed, including two banks, two restaurants and a GNC Nutrition Center. It took dozens of firefighters to put out the large blaze.

According to WCBS-TV, with his diner Lollipops destroyed, the owner was too upset to comment.

Nearby Chinese restaurant, King’s Chef, was also damaged. “I cannot open because of whatever rules – tomorrow’s Monday, Tuesday is a holiday,” the owner, Patrick Chan, told WCBS-TV. “If I cannot get them to come tomorrow, I am going to lose big time.”

This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy.

Nearby residents reacted to the situation. Several residents have reported that it is a major loss to the community as they considered Lollipops to be a landmark. Several residents have reported knowing members of either the victim stores or others in the strip mall.

State Senator Frank Padavan commented on the loss of the shopping center.

“This is a calamity for many of these small businesses to be out of business, particularly in this economy,” he said.

The next day, investigators were boarding up the windows of the damaged stores. No one was hurt because all the stores were closed at the time of the blaze.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Several_businesses_catch_fire_in_Queens,_New_York&oldid=3290706”

Heavy hailstorms leave Sydney appearing snowed in

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Recent heavy hailstorms occurring at approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon today left parts of Sydney with the appearance of being snowed in, with thick blankets of hail covering streets and sidewalks with layers of hail.

The hail was observed in the Central Business District of Sydney, where cars were observed — possibly sheltering from the worst of the downfall — under awnings on Paramatta Road, and areas in the Inner West.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Sydney Harbour weather station recorded a drop in temperature with the storm: at 4pm the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius, while the temperature reached a low at 11 degrees half an hour later.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Heavy_hailstorms_leave_Sydney_appearing_snowed_in&oldid=2465236”

Luis Fortuño is elected new governor of Puerto Rico

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The candidate of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, was elected the new governor of Puerto Rico in the general elections held on November 4, 2008. Fortuño obtained more than 52% of the votes.

The other candidates were the current governor of Puerto Rico, Anibal Acevedo Vilá of the Popular Democratic Party, Edwin Irizarry Mora — the Puerto Rican Independence Party, and Rogelio Figueroa — the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party.

In addition to obtaining the governor position, the New Progressive Party retained the position of resident commissioner of Puerto Rico and won a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly. The Puerto Rican Independence Party lost its franchise as a political party because it received less than 3% of the votes, the level required by the electoral law. The results also indicate that the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party may have lost its franchise too.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Luis_Fortuño_is_elected_new_governor_of_Puerto_Rico&oldid=4534067”

How To Take Care Of The Lawn

How to Take Care of the Lawn



The key to have a beautiful exterior lies in the lawn outside your house. No matter how small or big your garden or front yard is you can turn it out to be the most beautiful garden in the entire block. Having green luscious plants, velvety soft grass creatively molded fencing Royersford and the most gorgeous garden is something we all desire to have while imagining about our front lawn. Well it is not like a dream which cannot be realized or is beyond realities. Yes it can be made possible but you will have to invest some time, some labor and some money to have the most beautiful garden in your neighborhood. If you really want to work hard for that dreamy garden where you can spend your lazy weekend\’s afternoons then here are some tips to have that:

While choosing the plants for the garden makes sure that you go for the ones which are evergreen or at least last for a long time. Hence you do not have to keep on spending on buying new plants every season.

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Contact landscape Pottstown artist to have your garden landscape designed as per the exterior of your house and your surroundings. You can choose any theme to perk up the look of your garden. The designer will plan the layout of the plants, trees, fencing, lighting, water works and other features that will constitute to be your amazing garden.

Choose such grass which is as per the environment of your locality. If you live in a dry area then go for the grass mats which won\’t need much water to sustain. Such type of grasses has deeper roots and they keep a strong hold on the moisture of the soil thus providing it to the other plants as well.

The fencing Collegeville of the garden serves two different purposes at the same time. It will provide safety, security and privacy to your garden along with adding to its beauty. Thus choose such fencing which is beautifully molded using a strong durable material. There are various materials used in making the fencing like wood, iron, aluminum and steel. You can have any of them as per your budget.

Do not use inorganic manure and fertilizer in your garden. They are not environmental friendly and they can pose harm to the health of your family. Thus try to have the organic biodegradable manure in the lawn care Montgomery.

Resource: http://goarticles.com/article/How-to-Take-Care-of-the-Lawn/7347348/

The website deals with residential as well as commercial fencing and lanscaping like landscape pottstown, lawn care Limerick, fencing Collegeville,

landscaping services in Collegeville


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Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The interview below was conducted by Pingswept over the phone with Emily Levan on April 21, 2005. Levan lives in Wiscasset, Maine, with her husband and daughter, and she ran in the Boston Marathon women’s race on April 18, 2005.

To summarize for our readers, you recently came in 12th in the Boston Marathon, right?

That is correct.

You were the first American finisher.


There was also a Russian woman who lives in the US who finished ahead of you.

You know, I believe it is, I’m not actually positive, but I think you’re right. There’s often a lot of foreign runners that live and train in different parts of the US for a variety of reasons. Some live in Colorado and might train at high altitude, or they might have coaches in the US.

OK, but as far as you know, for straight up Americans, people who were born here, who have lived here for long periods of time and are not going anywhere special to train, you were the first finisher.

That is correct.

So congratulations, that’s very impressive. In the rest of your life, my understanding is that you are going to nursing school.

I am. I’m at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. and I have been going to nursing school for a couple years now. I’m just going part time right now because of the baby and other things going on in my world.

Your baby is currently one and a half?

She’s fifteen months.

Fifteen months, so one and one quarter. 1.25, sure.

Hopefully I’ll finish up nursing school in December. That is the tentative plan.

So you’re almost done.

I just have a couple classes left.I’ll take one class this summer and two classes in the fall.

You ran the Boston Marathon originally two years ago?

Actually, I ran it for the first time in 99. I’ve run it four times.I did run it two years ago as well.

You ran it two years ago, and you also came in twelfth then, if not the top American finisher then. You were the fourth?

I think third or fourth. I can’t remember exactly.

How long were you actually training for this marathon in particular?

I’d say about 4 months. I typically try to train about four months for each race. It depends a little bit on what kind of shape I’m in leading up to the training. Four months is usually the time frame I shoot for.

And how many miles a week were you doing–I assume you peaked somewhere right before the marathon.

At the peak, I have a month or six week period where I’ve built up to my peak training, and I was probably doing between 90 to 100 miles a week.

Was there a lot of variation in your day to day mileage, or was it pretty much you’re doing 1/7th of that mileage every day?

There’s definitely variation, probably more so in the type of workout that i did each day. For example two days a week I would do a speed workout, so I might be doing mile repeats, which just means that I do a mile in a specific time, and then I might jog for a couple minutes and then another one and another one. I’d do a series of eight mile repeats on that specific workout day. My other speed workout would be a marathon pace run, so I might run 8 or 10 miles at my marathon pace. If my marathon pace is 6 minute miles, I’d do a two mile jog warm up, and then I might do 8 or 10 miles at a six minute pace, and then a two mile cool down.

So you maybe end up running 14?

Sometimes what I would do on those speed workout days– on those days I might end up with about 14 miles. On some other days, I might run twice during the course of the day. Say in the morning, I might run eight miles, and then in the afternoon I might do six or eight more miles.


Those days tend to be a little bit more mellow. More of kind of a maintenance run, a little bit of a recovery day. I try to have a recovery day after every hard workout.

Do you think that all of your training could fit into four hours a day? Do you think that’s true?

You mean the workouts for a specific day? Probably even less than that. Depending on the day a little bit, probably between 2 or 3 hours. Usually on Sunday I would go out and do a long run, and that would be a 20 or 22 mile run, all in one fell swoop and that usually takes two and a half hours.

So that explains how you’re able to do this, as well as go to nursing school, as well as have an extremely young child. I assume you talk to your friends occasionally.

I try to at least– have some sort of social life. This is not a job, so it’s not something that I do 8 hours a day. It’s something that I fit in with all the other obligations, things that I like to do too. I like to be able to pursue other interests as well.

You live on a road with no one else near by. Do you pretty much just run from your house every day?

The winter is harder because with the baby, I often end up running with a treadmill down in the basement. Brad, my husband, has pretty long hours at the farm, and especially in the winter months, it’s hard to find daylight when he’s able to watch Maddy, so I ended up running a lot on the treadmill this winter, as opposed to last summer, I would take her with me. I have one of those baby joggers, and that was great. I could just leave right from the house, and I could take her. She would be pretty happy to go eight or ten miles with me. Typically what I do when I go outside, I just go right from the house. The roads are so pretty around here. We’re pretty secluded, so I don’t have to worry too much about crazy drivers.

Do you ever try to go find big hills to run up and down?

I do. In the past, I have done a hill workout as a part of my training, usually early on in the training during the first six weeks or 2 months of the training I do a hill workout and I would find some place close by that I could find a warm up jog and run to and then do a hill workout. If I couldn’t find one within a couple miles, I would drive to it. It’s a little bit harder now with Maddy because I don’t have as much leeway and freedom with when I go running and where I go running. I’m a little more limited.

You’d have to load up the cart, er, the carriage into the car.

I’ve done that sometimes. Sometimes it’s easier to go straight from home.Running with the jogger up hills is not an easy thing to do.

When you’re in the race, you feel like, “Hey, I’m not even pushing a kid anymore.” Heartbreak Hill without the kid is substantially easier, I suppose.


Do you know most of the elite runners in the race? You know who they are, but are you friends with them, or not really?

It’s funny–I know who people are, but I don’t run that many races to really get to know that many of the runners. If you’re a professional runner, and that’s your job, a lot of those people travel in the same circles. They run the same races and they have the same schedules in terms of when they compete. I pick out a couple of races each year to focus on and because of that, I don’t get to know as many of the runners. As time goes on, you do get a little bit you do get a little more familiar with people.

During the race, do you talk to the other runners, or do you just run along and think things like, “I wish I were at the end right now”?

I think that really depends I find that if I’m feeling good and the run is going well, then it’s easier for me to talk to people, just because you’re feeling strong, and you’re not focusing so much on “I’m not doing so great.” I might talk to some folks along the way. Sometimes if someone passes me, I’ll encourage them and say “Good job, go get them,” and just stuff like that. I certainly find I’m not carrying on lengthy conversations with people because you’re expending energy that should be focused on the race itself. I enjoy getting to know folks along the way and knowing what pace they’re hoping to run.

In races other than the Boston Marathon do you find that you have good competition? I don’t really know what the running scene in Wiscasset, Maine, is like at all, but I imagine that being the fastest female marathon runner in the United States, you might not find a whole lot of competition. You say that you encourage people when they pass you, but having read some of the other interviews with you on the web, it doesn’t seem like people pass you very often.

It definitely depends on the race. Like I said before, I don’t run that many races. At this point, what I’m trying to do is to find races that are competitive so I can be pushed by competition. For example, when I ran the Maine Marathon last fall, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. That just gets hard. I ran alone for most of the race. Running 26 miles at a fast pace all by yourself without anyone around you to help push you and motivate you, can be pretty hard. Because of that, as I’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about which races I want to do, I’ve been targeting races that will have a little more competition. That’s why Boston was one that I wanted to shoot for and I’m thinking about in the fall going to Chicago because they’ve got a pretty competitive marathon. It’s also a pretty flat course, so people tend to run pretty fast times there.

Most people run a couple of minutes faster in Chicago, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve heard good things about the race too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Have you thought about running internationally?

Not at this point, no. It’s hard to find the time to travel to races, and It gets expensive too. A lot of my family members say, “Wouldn’t it be great to do the London Marathon or the Paris Marathon,” because they like coming to watch. At this point, I think I’m going to stick closer to home. I’ve got a few races, like I was mentioning Chicago, here in the States that I’d really like to do. Maybe once I’ve done those, I might think about something else, it really just depends. A lot of it’s a time issue, because I have other things that I’m pursuing and it gets hard to spend too much time traveling off doing different races.

Do you know Alan Culpepper?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You at least know of him, right?

Yes, exactly.

Have you ever been in any races against him?

This was the first race that I had run in that he ran in. He was the fourth overall male finisher. That’s a really good showing for an American male. I’ve read a lot about him in different running magazines and just heard a lot about him through running circles.But this was the first time that I’ve actually seen him run. It was neat because in this particular race, they start the women’s elite group about 25 minutes ahead of the rest of the start.

29 minutes actually, I believe.

That’s right, 29 minutes. So, I didn’t see a male runner until pretty close to the end, so it was really neat to see–I think I saw the top five male finishers because they passed me in the last couple miles. It was really interesting–there’s all these cars and press and motorcycles, policemen, so I could tell when the first male was coming up behind me because there was a lot more going on on the course. Alan Culpepper was one of the ones that passed me in the last mile or two. It was pretty neat to see him finishing strong.

You might not be able to beat him in a race but do you think you could maybe, I don’t know, beat him in a fist fight? He’s pretty skinny, right? He only weighs 130 pounds.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on it at this point.



OK. Have you thought about doing things longer than a marathon? Like a 50 K or a 100 K?

At this point, I haven’t because I’ve gotten into the marathon, and I’ve really been enjoying that so far. I feel like I still have some room to improve and grow in the marathon, but I think at some point I’d really like to do one of those ultra-type races. For the next several years, I’ll stick towards the marathon distances. Once that competitive part of my life is over, I might move on to something different.

Based on your age, are you likely to peak around now, or you maybe have a few years to go before your legs start to fall off?

Before I can’t walk anymore? I don’t know. It’s really interesting because for marathoning you’ve got a longer life span than in a lot of competitive sports. The fifth place female finisher in Boston this year was over forty. You can still be competitive into your forties. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it that long– at least another 3 years or so. One thing in the back of my mind looking at is the Olympic Trials for 2008. I’m looking at that time frame right now. If I want to keep running competitively after that, then I’ll assess things from there.

That sounds good. When you came in as the first American finisher, did you get any certificates or cash or a medal or anything like that?

Yeah, actually, I won $2100.

Oh, great– two thousand bucks!

Which is pretty nice.

That’s a lot of baby clothes.

I know– or a lot of shoes. The shoe expense is pretty expensive, and I’ve been trying to find a shoe company that might give me some shoes.

I would think–couldn’t you just call up New Balance and say, “Hey, look, I’m pretty good, why don’t you give me some shoes?”

Well, this past November, after I ran New York– I usually wear Asics or New Balance– I wrote to both of those companies. I sent them a little running resume. I said I’d be interested in pursuing some sort of sponsorship opportunity, and they both wrote back and said, “Sorry, we don’t have any space or funds available at this time.” I was a little disappointed by that, because I was hoping to at least get someone to help me out with my shoes.

Yeah, at least some sneakers.

But in addition at Boston, they do have these crystal vases that they give out for the top 15 finishers, so I got a little piece of hardware there too.

So you get to put flowers in that.

I had some flowers in it; they’ve wilted so I decided to compost them.

Oh, that’s good.

Yeah, send them back to the earth, you know.

Has anyone else tried to interview you? Local paparazzi following you?

I hide in my car for most of the day. I did some local interviews–with the local NBC affiliate, and I’m going to do an interview tomorrow with the ABC affiliate in Portland, and some affiliated newspaper interviews as well.

You’re officially famous, then.

I don’t know. I guess. It’s been pretty busy.

Has anyone asked you for an autograph yet?

No. No autograph seekers yet, no.

Maybe in the Yellowfront Grocery in Wiscasset? “Hey, I know you!”

“I saw you on TV!” No, not yet.

That’s surely coming. The Chewonki Foundation, which is where you live, recently had Eaton Farm donated to it.


And they’re planning on making a 12 mile long trail that runs from approximately your house to Wiscasset.

Oh, you know more about this than I do, that’s great.

I don’t know if it’s going to start right at your front door; you might have to cut through the woods a little bit.

That’s OK, I can do that.

Have you run on trails at all, or is it just, “I want to run on the pavement because I don’t want to twist an ankle”?

I’m not a big trail runner. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running on trails. Now it would be much more difficult, because I have the baby with me. The baby jogger has some nice wheels on it, but I don’t know if it could handle trail running.


It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while. I don’t worry too much about twisting an ankle–you just have to be careful. I figure I can walk out my door and step in a pothole and twist my ankle, so I don’t worry too much about that. That goes along with being alive in our world. We’ll see. I’m going to have to look into that 12 mile trail.

Because 12 miles, you do that there and back, you’ve got a marathon on your hands.

There you go.

What’s your next target? Can you walk right now?

If I train well, I’m usually not sore. Especially on the long runs, my body gets used to running for that length of time and sure, I’m running faster during the marathon than I do on my long runs, but I think my body tends to adjust to the rigors. It’s usually a good sign if a few days afterwards I don’t have any major soreness. I certainly feel like I’ve done something significant.

Yeah, I can imagine feeling too.

No major aches or pains.

That’s great. What’s your next race? Do you have one targeted? Is it Chicago?

Yeah, I think the next marathon will be Chicago in the fall. there’s a 10 K race, the Beach to Beacon, you may have heard of it.

In Portland?

It’s actually in Cape Elizabeth. It’s put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s in August, so I’ll probably do that one and then shoot for the fall marathon.

Well, I think that’s all my questions.

Nice, well, thanks for calling. I appreciate it.

Sure, well, thanks for running so fast.

No problem.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Elite_Boston_Marathon_runner_Emily_Levan_discusses_life_and_running&oldid=4521781”

Living with HIV during COVID-19: Wikinews talks to HIV-positive sex workers about how pandemic has effected their lives

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The spread of coronavirus in late 2019 and then in 2020 led to a global pandemic, affecting various daily activities. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus spread globally, and by March, drastic measures were taken by the Indian government. Some branches of the South Western Railway of India had started taking precautions by distributing masks to ticket collectors and guards from as early as March 8. Some colleges were suspended by March 13, their exams postponed as the government introduced lockdown and enforced social distancing.

Announced in the evening, the Indian Prime Minister asked his countrymen to get the essential products and avoid going out as much as possible. Long queues outside the grocery shops, people in masks, some in N-95 masks, and hand sanitisers at the gates of megamarts were a common sight. There were reduced items in the shops, and some stores had a limit of the number of customers allowed in the store at any given time. Food delivery services, and taxi services were on hiatus — workers who depended on the profession for their daily income, while people including software engineers were working from home. Physical classes in schools and colleges were replaced by online lectures to prevent social gatherings.

While many relied on technology for continuing their work and earn their livelihood, Wikinews reached out to sex workers in Mysore in June who, unlike others, can’t maintain social distancing for their work. Two sex workers, Akram Pasha, and Jaya (a pseudonym), who were part of a sex worker’s group called “Ashodaya Samithi” discussed how their lives had been affected by the coronavirus, the lockdown and the restrictions they had faced.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Living_with_HIV_during_COVID-19:_Wikinews_talks_to_HIV-positive_sex_workers_about_how_pandemic_has_effected_their_lives&oldid=4611744”

Texas college student found dead on campus

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Authorities have confirmed that a student at Texas State Technical College-Marshall was found dead in his on-campus room around 9am CDT yesterday.

Emergency personnel were notified and CPR was performed on the student, without success. Authorities state that foul play is not suspected. Campus police and local law enforcement are conducting a full investigation. A campus representative told media sources that the cause of death has not yet been determined.

Just last year, a student at the college died from gunshot wounds he’d sustained while attending an event at a community center located on the outskirts of the city. Shortly following that incident, the school initiated a short-term controlled access plan, restricting much of the traffic into and out of the campus.

The school is one of several campuses in the TSTC system. According to a press release on the campus’s web site, the student’s name had not been yet released. The school is reportedly offering counseling sessions to all students throughout the week. A phone call to a campus representative made shortly before 4:00pm CDT was not immediately returned.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Texas_college_student_found_dead_on_campus&oldid=2714868”

How Ai Could Change Your Contact Centre The Latest Blog From Puzzel}

How AI could change your contact centre – the latest blog from Puzzel



London, UK, November 24, 2017 – The roar has become louder over the last 12 months. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming and it will change everything. It’s been a gift to editors, bloggers, Ted talk speakers and conference organisers. Especially for the easy headlines it generates amongst an audience which wants to know if bots are really ready to take jobs or will technology just help make form filling slightly less boring.

Everyone is at it. Amazon and Google are racing to fill consumer homes with devices that offer voice access to getting stuff done. The billion+ user sized messaging platforms are touting the promise of solutions using real people blended with bot power when times are busy or needs are simple enough to fulfil using automation.

Meanwhile virtual assistants sit on web sites helping users find answers and avoid live voice queues, by offering a better user experience than the average on-site search box. Some have been at it for over a decade. Way before it became fashionable to get excited about bots.

How does AI work?

Underneath the bonnet of AI is a pretty impressive set of technologies. Machine learning looks for patterns. These can be in the questions asked by customers, or in the outcomes generated by individual advisors. The use of machine learning will play an increasingly important role in helping to spot knowledge gaps and act as a useful tool in self service knowledge collection.

Natural language processing is another relevant technology that helps identify a customer’s intent and steer the process of matching questions with answers. Of course natural language has been used for some time to transform the way customers engage with IVRs by removing the often complex menu based interface that can frustrate customers. That same technology is now being used to steer self service conversations within defined topic boundaries with the same level of success.

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Why do we need AI?

Automation using AI plays well into the ever rising expectations of customers. Always on access has become a core experience of the mobile consumer who instinctively wants to self manage on their own terms. That said, it has to be easy, which means it needs to be fast, well designed and navigate the user to their desired outcome in the least possible number of steps. AI, via intelligent assistance, plugs the gap between this level of expectation and previous generations of self service in which discoverability and answer quality undermined to desire to self serve.

As a benchmark for this type of functionality, Google transformed access to the vast repository of services we call the internet with an incredibly simple yet satisfyingly smart interface. Simple because it is just a search box, smart because it learns your behaviour and applies behavioural insight from the billions of other times users have requested a service similar to the one you currently need. The net result is a fast, relevant outcome.

This level of service is how it should be in terms of functionality for any form of intelligent assistant. As consumer confidence and habit grows, your intelligent assistance will eventually need to appear on all platforms, devices and modalities to meet expectations.

Where to start?

However, all that is in the future. At least in terms of where most organisations currently find themselves. So where is the right place to start? What is an appropriate level of ambition?

AI is here to stay and it will change customer service. This is certain. Therefore it matters that you are successful and develop a firm foundation upon which to evolve your AI customer service strategy. It also matters that you win the agreement of colleagues and budget owners that the benefits for ongoing investment are clear and compelling.

Therefore start with an easy win. If you are in a high volume, voice based service business then maybe it is time to look at refreshing the IVR experience with a natural language interface. If you provide services that impact people’s lives like travel or utilities, then maybe extending your alert system to include a home assistant such as Google Assistant or Alexa makes increasing sense as they become part of smart home lifestyles for certain customer segments.

Alternatively start with a safer option and look at your online service portal and the current value offered by your FAQs. This is where many organisations are starting their AI journey and building out from there.

What’s Next?

We have written a whitepaper on AI and contact centres which can be downloaded here(https://www.puzzel.com/uk/white-papers/artificial-intelligence-contact-centre/). Meanwhile keep listening to the roar to discover how AI could change your contact centre these are exciting times.

Thomas R’dseth is VP of Marketing and Product at Puzzel

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Mary Phillips

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Lower Woodend Barns Fawley Henley-on-Thames OXON

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Out of space in outer space: Special report on NASA’s ‘space junk’ plans

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A 182-page report issued September 1 by the United States National Research Council warns that the amount of debris in space is reaching “a tipping point”, and could cause damage to satellites or spacecraft. The report calls for regulations to reduce the amount of debris, and suggests that scientists increase research into methods to remove some of the debris from orbit, though it makes no recommendations about how to do so.

NASA sponsored the study.

A statement released along with the report warns that, according to some computer models, the debris “has reached a tipping point, with enough currently in orbit to continually collide and create even more debris, raising the risk of spacecraft failures”. According to the Satellite Industry Association, there are now about 1,000 working satellites in Earth orbit, and industry revenues last year were US$168 billion (£104.33 billion,€119.01 billion).

The debris consists of various objects, such as decommissioned satellites and exhausted boosters, but the vast majority of the particles are less than one centimetre across. 16,094 pieces of debris were being tracked as of July, although estimates put the current number at over 22,000. The total number of fragments is thought to be as high as tens of millions. While most of the debris is very small, some of it is travelling at speeds as high as 17,500 mi h-1 (28,164 km h-1; 7,823.3 m s-1).

The International Space Station sometimes has to dodge larger fragments, and in June its crew was forced to prepare to evacuate due to a close encounter with debris.

The UK Space Agency told Wikinews that space flight “is likely to be made more difficult” by the debris. However, communications will “[n]ot directly” be affected, “but if the GEO ring became unusable, there is no other altitude at which objects appear [‘]geo-stationary[‘] and so all antennas on the ground would then have to move in order to track the motion of the satellites”.

Donald J. Kessler, the lead researcher and former head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, said that “[t]he current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts,” and suggested that “NASA needs to determine the best path forward for tackling the multifaceted problems caused by meteoroids and orbital debris that put human and robotic space operations at risk.”

The current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts

Two events are thought to be the largest individual sources of space debris. Kessler said that “[t]hose two single events doubled the amount of fragments in Earth orbit and completely wiped out what we had done in the last 25 years”.

The first of these was a controversial 2007 Chinese anti-satellite weapon test, which smashed the decommissioned weather satellite Fengyun-1C into approximately 150,000 fragments over a centimetre in size—making up roughly twenty percent of all tracked objects—537 miles above the Earth’s surface.

The Chinese government has so far failed to respond to Wikinews’s queries regarding the incident.

The other is a 2009 collision between twelve-year-old active satellite Iridium 33 and the defunct Russian Strela-2M satellite Kosmos-2251—both weighing in excess of 1,000 lbs (454 kg)—that occurred 490 miles over Siberia, the first such collision. The Iridium satellite was replaced within 22 days, according to Iridium Communications, who operated it.

We believe this is a substantial first step in better information sharing between the government and industry and support even more robust interaction which can provide better and more efficient constellation operation.

In a statement released to Wikinews, Iridium Communications said that they “received no warning of the impending collision. Although commercial projections of close encounters (commonly called conjunctions) were available, the accuracy of those projections was not sufficient to allow collision avoidance action to be taken.” They also made the assurance that the Air Force Space Command and United States Strategic Command now provide them with information through the Joint Space Operations Center, and that “when necessary, [they] maneuver [their] satellites based on this information to avoid potential collisions. [They] believe this is a substantial first step in better information sharing between the government and industry and support even more robust interaction which can provide better and more efficient constellation operation.”

Iridium expressed their support for “[l]ong-term investment to improve Space Situational Awareness” and “[i]mproved information sharing between industry and the U.S. government”, as well as more “[g]overnment support for policy and processes which would permit sharing of high-accuracy data as required to allow reliable assessment and warning” and “[i]ncreased cooperation between the government and U.S. and foreign commercial operators.”

They maintained that “the Iridium constellation is uniquely designed to withstand such an event. Because of the resilient and distributed nature of the Iridium constellation, the effects of the loss of a single satellite were relatively minor”, and that “any other system, commercial or military, which experienced the loss of a satellite, would have suffered significant operational degradation for a period of months if not years.” Nonetheless, the company is “concerned over the increasing level of risk to operations resulting from the debris in space.”

Do you think the debris should be cleared? If so, how, and who should bear the responsibility?
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The report makes more than thirty findings, and more than twenty recommendations to NASA. None of the recommendations regard how to clean up the debris. However, it does cite a report by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which suggested various possible techniques for catching and removing space debris, such as magnetic nets.

The Cold War is over, but the acute sensitivity regarding satellite technology remains

However, international law does not allow one country to collect another’s debris. George J. Gleghorn, vice chair of the committee, observed that “[t]he Cold War is over, but the acute sensitivity regarding satellite technology remains”.

The debris will, in time, be pulled into the earth’s atmosphere—where it will burn up—by gravity, but more debris is being created faster than this can happen.

The problem of space debris is similar to a host of other environmental problems and public concerns

The report recommends collaborating with the United States Department of State on “economic, technological, political, and legal considerations.” As already mentioned, international law does not allow one country to collect another’s debris.

It is best to treat the root cause, the presence of debris in orbit, and remove the large objects before they can break up into many thousands of uncontrolled fragments capable of destroying a satellite on impact.

According to the report, “[t]he problem of space debris is similar to a host of other environmental problems and public concerns characterized by possibly significant differences between the short- and long-run damage accruing to society … Each has small short-run effects but, if left unaddressed, will have much larger impacts on society in the future.”

A spokesperson for the UK Space Agency told Wikinews that the organisation “does not have any plans to get directly involved with [the clean-up] initiative but through its involvement with NASA in the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, it is conducting studies to identify which objects present the biggest hazard and how many objects may need to be removed and from where.” It says that the viability of such an operation is “a question of treating the symptom or the cause of the problem. Building more physical protection is costly and if the environment deteriorates too far, becomes unviable. It is best to treat the root cause, the presence of debris in orbit, and remove the large objects before they can break up into many thousands of uncontrolled fragments capable of destroying a satellite on impact.”

The spokesperson also pointed out that “[u]nder current licensing regimes (such as in the UK), countries are now obliging operators to remove satellites from crowded regions of space at the end of operational life”.

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