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Comment: Re:Not much info (Score 5, Informative) 202

by Novus (#45198205) Attached to: Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough

That's almost certainly a translation error. The University of Tampere press release states that "these studies clearly show that members of the group B coxsackieviruses are associated with the risk of type 1 diabetes", and the offending sentence in the Yle article would be the same in Finnish irrespective of whether the virus found is the only one or not (e.g. "löytänyt viruksen" would be "discovered a/the virus"). Finnish grammar doesn't have the concept of definiteness, meaning that a translator working from a Finnish source text would in many cases have to guess the intended meaning or look it up elsewhere. For similar reasons, many Finns have problems figuring out whether to use a definite or indefinite article when writing in English.

Comment: Re:Bah. Doesn't go far enough. (Score 1) 258

by Novus (#44198373) Attached to: Man Campaigns For Addition of 'Th' Key To Keyboard

I like your idea, but I find your vowel mapping very confusing. I think diphthongs should be spelt as their component vowels. Using the IPA for English summary on Wikipedia to enumerate the necessary combinations and noting that many vowels in English only come in short or long versions (and blatantly recycling the apostrophe), I'd suggest:

"a" as in "trap", "aa" as in "palm" or "start", "ai" as in "price", "au" as in "mouth"
"e" as in "dress" or "error", "ei" as in "face"
"i" as in "kit", "ii" as in "fleece"
"o" as in "lot", "oi" as in choice, "oo" as in "thought", "ou" as in "goat"
"u" as in "foot", "uu" as in "goose"
"'" as in "a" or "comma", "''" as in "strut", "nurse" or "hurry"

Consonants are mostly straightforward. "b", "d", "f", "h", "k", "l", "m", "n", "p", "r", "s", "t", "v", "w" and "z" all have obvious values. "g" is needed for "guy", so we use "j" as in "pleasure" (hence "dj" for "jam"). "y" is as in "yes". This allows us to reuse "c" for "th" as in "father", "q" for "th" as in "thigh", "x" for "sh" (and hence "tx" for "ch"). I'm not quite happy about having to use a digraph for "ng", but that should not be much of a problem for English.

Nau, yuu mei fiil cis luks sili, and aim x''r meni wud 'grii. Cat sed, geting juusd tu taiping laik cis is not ool cat haard. Sam mait aargjuu cat cis iz not inglix eni mo'r, b't ai qingk piipl xud 'dj''st priti kwikli.

Comment: Switching keyboard layouts (Score 2) 258

by Novus (#44197517) Attached to: Man Campaigns For Addition of 'Th' Key To Keyboard

Being able to type symbols like []/\;= with single key presses is a distinct advantage of the US layout over many European layouts when programming. I actually spent a few years programming with a US layout (switching back to Finnish when typing something in e.g. Finnish), but the difference is small enough that I felt that switching back and forth is not worth the trouble. Besides, the Finnish multilingual layout works for pretty much any European language with a Latin-based alphabet.

Many people don't seem to realise that the labels on PC keyboards' key tops are purely cosmetic; in most operating systems you can switch between layouts quite easily. As long as you don't need to look at the keyboard to know which key is which, you can easily use a different layout. In other words, switching a keyboard to a more familiar layout than the one it is labelled in works quite well.

If you work with several different languages with different alphabets, you are more or less forced to switch layouts as required by the current task. For example, a Greek programmer will almost certainly spend much of their time typing program code, commands or suchlike with a US layout (or similar) and switch to their local layout to type in their own language.

Comment: Re:Drop the confusing pictures (Score 1) 713

by Novus (#39985555) Attached to: Icons That Don't Make Sense Anymore

"320x240 displays were the norm for Windows 3.1"

VGA was the minimum for Windows 3.1 and it was 640x480 with 16 colors.

The previous standard was EGA and it was 640x350.

Actually, Windows 3.1 runs fine on EGA; the installation disks come with EGA drivers (640x350, 16 colours). In fact, CGA works at 640x200 with 2 colours (with the Windows 3.0 driver, which is not included in Windows 3.1). Windows 3.11 seems to have dropped EGA support and requires VGA.

Comment: Re:Gamemaker (Score 1) 53

OpenJDK is pretty much GPL 2 (with exceptions to allow applications to have other licenses), so Java should be OK as long as you don't use any Oracle-specific stuff. The blog clarifies that open source OpenGL implementations exist and may be used. Lots of game programming libraries can be found in most Linux distributions (e.g. SDL, ClanLib, PyGame); as far as I can tell they should all be OK.

Comment: Re:Will Googorola sue them? (Score 1) 249

by Novus (#39421011) Attached to: Mozilla To Support H.264

VLC is mostly run from France, where computer programs explicitly cannot be patented. Since the VLC developers apparently have no presence in the United States, US software patents are irrelevant for them. Hence, they can distribute H.264 decoders. Mozilla Foundation is based in California, making it hard for them to ignore US patents.

Comment: Re:Same for everyone with recordings of their voic (Score 1) 146

by Novus (#38671770) Attached to: Glimpse of Stephen Hawking's Computer

I'd say you lose nerd points not just for not bothering to look it up, but for failing to recognise that the "English" term you mention is, essentially, Latin, and therefore very likely to occur in languages related to Latin.

Getting slightly more on-topic, I've found that being multi-lingual means you end up thinking about things in the language you normally use to communicate about them in. So, for example, I end up thinking about university administration in Finnish, the upcoming presidential election in Swedish and computer science in English. In part, this is simply to avoid making the effort to translate (for example, the admin staff at our university is predominantly Finnish-speaking), but also because some of the terminology may be unfamiliar in some languages (the more esoteric a subject is, the more likely it is that everything I read about it is in English) or simply not standardised.

Comment: Re:Same for everyone with recordings of their voic (Score 1) 146

by Novus (#38655722) Attached to: Glimpse of Stephen Hawking's Computer

Like if they were primarily Spanish speaking, but also fluent in English, and they were thinking of the phrase "To be thrown out of a window" in Spanish (I am not even going to bother figuring out what it really is in Spanish, I could Google Translate, but then again, so could you), it would just be easier to use the English word "Defenestrate".

The Spanish word is "defenestrar". I suspect a better example would be something specific to a certain culture, e.g. "vihta" in Finnish.

Comment: Re:A Finn checking in.. (Score 1) 168

by Novus (#38648352) Attached to: Finnish ISP Forced To Block the Pirate Bay

Aalto University Internet access is through Funet, the Finnish University and Research Network. The block does not apply to Funet at all. However, my Saunalahti residential ADSL is provided by Elisa and has both DNS and IP traffic blocks active; traceroute shows packets failing to make the jump from the last elisa.net node to eunetip.net. In other words, Elisa seems to be filtering inbound and/or outbound traffic by IP.

Comment: Re:Extra work required (Score 3, Insightful) 244

by Novus (#36957656) Attached to: How To Ruin Your Game's PC Port

2 out of 5, I'd say. Adding lots of configuration menus and control options is extra work, but I'd say DRM and useless network services are things that would be less work if they were never introduced in the first place. Also, wouldn't it be easier to develop the game on PC first, then port to console?

Also, many of the settings mentioned, such as aspect ratio and sound/music volume, should be in the console version already.

Comment: Re:Console creators don't have the motivation (Score 1) 231

by Novus (#36215724) Attached to: Has the Console Arms Race Stalled?

Have you tried moving the monitor closer? I use a 24" at 1920x1080, placed about 50-60 cm from my eyes. This is at the lower end of what OSHA suggests, but looks much the same as a 32" display at 70-80 cm. The only difference is whether your eyes can comfortably focus at that distance. I'm myopic enough to need glasses to see anything beyond 30 cm properly, so the decreased viewing distance is not a problem, but if you have even mild hyperopia, I'd advise against this.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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