gurps_npc writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)
In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator.
Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/Ipad).
There is however a direct trade off between discrete and carrying capacity. Anyone found an ideal balance?
I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster wearing it? Any feature I should look for?
I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me, (double sided makes it really stand out)."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray machine. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel.
But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting.
They caught and arrested the terrorists before the machine was in working order."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "In the Aero 2011 expo in Germany, they unveiled the FlyNano. Basically it looks like a jet ski with wings and a propeller. Hard wings (not para-foil), selling for about $36,000. The creator said that if you can fly a microlight, you can fly the FlyNano."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "A great article from wired about lottery tickets. It's main focus is the fact that many of them can be beaten. That is, you can look at numbers printed on a scratch lottery ticket before removing the scratch off and figure out which ticket will win and which will lose. Yes, this article tells you how to do this. It also touches on organized crime and the psychology of the system."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "The New York Times recently published a story (warning, login needed) accusing an internet retailer of intentionally providing bad service. The theory was that every bad review generated increased their google score, placing them higher in the rankings. While a Google search for the company name resulted in the bad reviews, if you searched for a brand name, that company came up very high because of all the bad reviews. So people would search for brand name products and end up using the company with the worst reputation.
Google apparently took this to heart because as per PCworld article, they recently announced a new algorithm that will punish a store if they get too many bad reviews.
Right now, the algorithm just punishes "an extremely poor user experience", but they say they will continue to work on the issue.
In the (paraphrased) words of Coots and Gillespie:
They are making a list, And checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice"Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "The Kartel has an interesting article about a recent patent Sony filed. Basically they want to hack a 3d tv set up with 2 paris of 3d glasses. They want each seperate glass to display a seperate view (so instead of each pair of glasses having a left eye different from the right eye, one is set to see the "right eye" view to both eyes, while the other is set to show the "left eye view".
This way, two people can watch the same TV and see a different picture — peerfect for head to head racing games. Right now they just split the screen, but that has two problems. First, you can see your opponent's screen, and second, your own view is half the possible width.
It is an interesting idea.."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "While the court did affirm the lower courts decision that this particular business patent was not valid, it also ruled 5 v 4 that the lower court was wrong and that it IS possible to patent a business process, not just a machine.
Justice Kennedy said that while the "Machine or Transformation" question was important, it could not be th3e exclusive test. Specifically it said that processes and methods not tied to a machine may be patentable."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "The Republican Party has set up a web site to hear your ideas. But whoops, they got bombarded by a bunch of Liberals, instead of the loyal conservatives they are so desperately hunting for. Worse, a simple review of the comments shows that a majority of the "lunatic" comments are from the few conservatives that signed up (I love the conservative guy that insists that his school teach children that dolphins are fish). So what do they do? They modify the registration process so that New Yorkers can't register. Try it. Log in, and give a NY zip code such as 10128. You will wait forever to get the confirmation email that completes the registration process. But if you give a Texan zip code (77001), you will get the confirmation email right away."Link to Original Source
gurps_npc writes "59 Seconds, by Richard Wiseman, is a different kind of self-help book. Most are full of hype and 'positive' thinking and short on science. His is the other way around, long on science with tons of footnotes, and short on hype. It is written by a psychologist/professor, not a marketer. As such, every single bit of his advice is backed by scientific studies.
Much (but not all) of his advice runs contrary to the typical self help book. Imagine yourself overcoming problems, not as an instant success. To get creative solutions, do it individually and get together after you write them down, no group brainstorming. He is not a total skeptical, as he does sometimes suggest rather strange advice (naming your children with the letter A or B to get them better school grades).
He goes through most of the standard self book types, including dating, career, interviews, relationships, and child raising. The title, "59 Seconds", refers to a comment by a friend of his that asked for advice in less than a minute. Most chapters start out de-bunking the standard self-help fare, and then quickly move on to his advice, backed up by studies. Then, at the end of each chapter he puts a short '59 second' summary, along with some exercises to help you follow up on the book.
While I don't think everything he says is true, he definitely offers a different perspective than most self help books. If you are interested in a skeptical perspective on how to do deal with life's little challenges, then this book is something you might enjoy.
I found it to be a very good skeptic's self-help book."Link to Original Source