March 31st, 2012

Porsupah smile by Djinni

The Circle of Life

An interesting approach to translation for speakers of lesser-used languages, inspired by Blade Runner's "Cityspeak" mélange of English, Japanese, Spanish, and German. It effectively fakes the task by freely permitting substitutions from related languages - it's unlikely to be perfect, but it's very likely to be intelligible. "For example, imagine that Spanish is a minority language, and a native speaker wants to read the English sentence 'Another label with the same name already exists'. Machine translations between English and Italian, French and Portuguese are fairly accurate and Spanish shares many characteristics with those languages. By choosing the appropriate words from each language, it is possible to automatically construct the sentence "Un'altra étiquette con mesmo nome existe déjà", which is not Spanish but should be reasonably comprehensible to a Spanish speaker."

Rather a nifty new male contraceptive, which promises to be easy to "install" via injection, cheap, and lasts for up to ten years, though easily reversed with another injection.

Though, on the medical front, rather more dramatic news from MIT (again, some time off actual availability - a decade or so) in the form of DRACO, Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer, which detects any long double-stranded RNA at one end, while the other end triggers cell apoptosis. Result? It kills viruses. All viruses. More info from the MIT News Office.

Even horses can now enjoy lycra. I can't help but feel the blue one needs a cutie mark, though. =:)

Someday, I'd like to have a particular pair of boots in SL brought into RL. ^_^ Might anyone have any recommendations for where to look for someone with such skills? They'd have to be tweaked a little to be feasible in RL, but the shapes and curves ought to be entirely attainable.

Yays! I hit Flickr Explore twice recently - first, and amazingly popularly, with I Can Fly, as in a recent entry, and again with this sunset shot of a tree reluctant to enter Spring.

A fun bit from Cracked: five computer hackings from films, seemingly implausible, yet accomplished more impressively in RL. eg Leverage's car theft via phone - seems a bit far-fetched, one might think, except.. "Researchers at iSEC Partners demonstrated how, with a few quick text messages sent to a Subaru Outback, they could unlock the car, start it up and add it as a friend on Facebook." Their five ways to game a courtroom are subtly intriguing, too - nothing revelatory, just playing to human psychology and stereotypes, such as wearing glasses reduces your chance of conviction for violent crime, and raises it for white-collar crime.

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