Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Solution? (Score 1) 93

The real problem is they are looking at written data. Sarcasm is based on auditory and visual cues of the person. Detecting sarcasm online is like looking for a needle in a haystack when you don't know what a needle or hay is.

To some degree yes, but there are still satirical works of literature throughout history such as Swift's A Modest Proposal that would pose a similar problem. The problem in understanding sarcasm or satire without the visual or vocal cues relates to understanding meaning (a difficult problem in its own right) as well as why a particular response is absurd given the context, which means you also have to know what the expected or typical answer should look like.

Both of you are right... and wrong. The problem is that most people don't know how to write - and thus what they mean as (what they misunderstand to be) sarcasm doesn't come across as such. That's the real problem the researchers are facing, lack of ability to convey meaning, not lack of context.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 2) 272

I have never figured out how any adult could possibly not know how to read a map. It just seems so blindingly obvious. You simply look at the damn thing. Isn't visual pattern recognition humanity's greatest advantage?

No, you don't simply "look at the damn thing". You also have to be able to relate the information on the map to landmarks in the real world - a much more difficult proposition not only because the real world is a spatial relationship problem (as compared to the pattern relationship problem of the map), but also because those spatial relationships are subject to perception as well.
I wish I could find a link to the studies I saw back in the 90's where they asked random people to draw a map of their hometown - and very few bore much relationship to each other or to the real world. Long routes were often drawn as short ones - especially if it was a route the person drawing the map drove frequently. Familiar areas took up large areas on the map, often in great detail, while the unfamiliar interstitials were compressed or absent. (Etc... etc...)
For example; back in my hometown new folks often had problems navigating via map because the city's 'cultural' map is rotated counter-clockwise nearly forty five degrees from the real world. Basically the road that ran out of the original settlement ran NW-SE, but folks called it the "North road" and the "South road". Two hundred and fifty years later, street names and business names still represent this convention in contravention to what you'd think based on their map directions and position. In the town my mom lives in now she lives in "Southside" (so named a century ago when the town was much smaller), but on the map it's actually nearer the north central part of the city. And there too, the residents think of the lion's share of the metro area as being the "south side of town".

Comment No, just refuse "directions only" GPS (Score 1) 272

Like ONSTAR was in my Camaro, just verbal directions and arrows. I never used that once. I did have a tablet that I could mount to my dash so that it could display Navigation with a MAP so I could use my common sense to double check, in the off chance that the computer had picked an invalid route (or one through a bad neighborhood). Waze in particular saved me from a few hours-long traffic snarls that without its input I could not have gotten around, due to complete unfamiliarity with side streets in that area. Having a MAP along with advise that I could follow or ignore, along with software that was capable of working to continue to guide me despite me making a different choice, was invaluable.

There is NO WAY I would attempt to navigate in a new city or country without at least SOME positional information to go with a map. The technology is useful. I see no need to behave like a luddite simply because "machines"

The people that stubbornly obey directions without reference to even a map are at fault, not the software.

I also blame "safety experts" who think that having in-car GPS display a map in transit is "distracting and unsafe" and insist on "no screen, directions only" GPS. Useless.

Comment Re:Troll them! (Score 1) 141

I wish Lenny had more to say before he starts repeating himself. I bet he could keep most of them on the line a lot longer ;)

The ducks are priceless, I love the diversion strategy. A lot of Lenny's stuff works because it can be interpreted as appropriate answers to a wide variety of questions. Like his "Good, yes yes..." can be seen as responding to a question about how he's doing, agreeing to a yes/no question, or simply being polite.

It seems that usually Lenny fails when people start trying to get numbers out of him ("how much are you willing to spend?", "how much can you donate", "what's your credit card number", "what's your address?", etc) It'd be nice if Lenny had a way to inject some numbers into the conversation (fairly late in the conversation, after he's done his "world finances" speech), without his response only being applicable to questions about numbers. For example, maybe he could have a barely audible conversation with someone family member in the house, wherein Lenny sounds like he's referring to the phone call and trying to gather information, then starts repeating some numbers ("thirty-two.... oh.... oh?... but the... (mumble mumble...)", then goes inaudible again, and ultimately the person leaves the house thus making them conveniently unavailable for followup. Lenny then returns to the conversation on the phone with some meaningless mumbling or platitutdes, leaving the caller to interpret the numbers that he heard as either the start of the numbers he was asking for (or the whole thing), or contrarily (if he wasn't seeking numbers) a side conversation that has nothing to do with him. Lenny's next response should start off with "yes, yes...."

The caller would surely follow up trying to get more information / the rest of the information that they were seeking, so Lenny's next line could operate on that assumption. Maybe have one of his rambling stories at that point, and then after that he forgets what it was he was saying the person on the line... maybe eventually calls up the family member on a cell phone to get the needed information, getting another mumbly conversation, ending with the family member brushing him off and telling him that they don't have time, that he should talk with (other family member). Giving Lenny an opportunity for more delays and brushoff tactics, plus plenty of apologetic "I hope you're not upset with this old man for taking so much time..." type responses... maybe him having trouble with his cell phone (perhaps even trying to get the operator to offer tech support advice? ;) ), ending with him giving up and having to go dig through files (that could take AGES).... I bet they could go from record conversations in the half-hour range to average conversations in the same range. ;)

Comment Re:You can't be fucking serious. (Score 1) 653

Yep, reasonable method, unreasonable amount.

If they could charge e.g. $0.05 per article - pre-purchase 20 article tokens, you can read the preview for free and access the rest by spending a token. That way if I spend every day reading new articles, I'll even get over that $1. If I read less than 20 articles per year, $1 covers a year.

Comment Re:I want to go first party. What should I read? (Score 1) 653

Also: Charge as much as you need to cover the costs of your site. Don't try to make a fortune on it, and the slippery slope won't happen.

When you begin considering options for automatic ad placement on your site without you personally reviewing each ad, it means you lost the purpose somewhere along the way.

Comment Re: Ok. (Score 1) 653


Something that is curable with a lot of effort and possibly expense, doesn't kill anytime soon but is very inconvenient, can infect others who interact with you, and will kill you eventually if not treated for long enough, with your condition continuously deteriorating.

Slashdot Top Deals

We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra