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Comment: Re:A worldwide contest ... but only in English (Score 2) 78

by petes_PoV (#47446499) Attached to: Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets
But it's not about majorities (or minorities, come to that). it's about inclusivity.

If you're going to hold a "world wide" contest, then to not care enough to provide even a few of the most popular non-english languages, seems parochial, if not downright ignorant. You'd think that among all the IAU members, some individuals would have sufficient command of some other languages to be able to offer some alternative translations.

Or did it simply bot occur to the IAU that there may be a few billion non-english speakers who might like an chance to name a planet (not exacly science, is it) with an equal voice to their western counterparts.

Comment: A worldwide contest ... but only in English (Score 3, Insightful) 78

by petes_PoV (#47446279) Attached to: Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets
You go to the IAU website and it's written in english. No language selections for non-english speakers. (Even IKEA.com does better than this). What does the "I" in IAU stand for, again?

You go to the nameexoworlds.org website - same deal.

You read the rules and all submissions (max 250 words) must be in english, too.

Given that this is about astronomical objects that are so far away, to them The Earth doesn't even register as a blip. Therefore to limit the naming process to one single earthly language seems like an extraordinary limitation. Especially when you consider that so many stars have Arabic names - couldn't we be a bit more inclusive?

Comment: To answer the question (Score 1) 182

by petes_PoV (#47422859) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Look at the Olimex range of boards.
I've been using these for a year or two and found them to fit the bill nicely.

There are single and dual core boards, with / without embedded flash memory (or micro-SD card slots) and they'll run Debian (or other) Linux They have a lot on on board peripherals and pinouts for their own range of LCD screens - though I use an HDMI monitor for simplicity. The power supply will accept anything from 6 - 16 Volts from a phone-charger type PSU and you can even plug in a LiPo for backup.

I'll stop there before someone accuses me of advertising (I'm not, and I have no connection to the company). But as a last point, they are also pretty cheap.

Comment: Re:Example (Score 2) 75

by petes_PoV (#47382159) Attached to: Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

someone who is not familiar with words having different modes

The problem is, that if you don't know these basic constructs in your native language then you're not really fluent in it. You might think you can speak it fluently - but you're not well enough educated if you lack the basic rules.

Sadly this is very common: just look at all the internet content that confuses they're, their and there. Or mistakes "have" for "of" in written form.

Perhaps Duolingo should have a qualification test to screen out people who weren't paying attention at school (as all these topics are taught, in every english-speaking school) and it could sign them up for a remedial english class, instead.

Comment: Cat and mouse (Score 1) 238

by petes_PoV (#47372159) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

So the guy had an old article removed.
The journalist then writes a *new* article, commenting on the removal of the old article
The guy then requires the *new* article gets delisted, too. So the journalist ....

And so it continues until one party or the other gets bored, dies, or realises that all these article, this MOUNTAIN of articles are all still available (and increasing in number) on other search engines and that since new articles can be submitted faster than old ones taken down (and presumably the guy is paying a service to issue take-downs on his behalf) he's paying money and achieving the opposite of what was intended.

Comment: Re:Ethical Responsibility (Score 1) 130

by petes_PoV (#47345017) Attached to: In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions

Facebook deliberately did it, to see the effects. Manipulating people is never ethically right.

And yet there are individuals who do exactly the same thing every day. I would suggest that there are also organisations that make a positive decision to post content to change the emotions of their readers: whether to make them happy (and possibly tie that happy feeling to the website's message - religious, political, cultural), or angry or apathetic.

Just like every advertisement we see is designed to manipulate our emotions, websites do it all the time for gain, so to have FB do the same is neither new nor unacceptable. It could even be argued that since they had nothing to gain (materially or financially) that their motivations were more benign that those sites or advertisements that manipulate our emotions for their own gain.

Comment: For every action .... (Score 1) 130

by petes_PoV (#47344319) Attached to: In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions
So basically all they've done is tell us that people respond to their surroundings. Okay, nothing new there. What would be interesting is if FB could somehow start quantifying the level of the reaction. Then, after a few hundred years of study we might start to get the glimmerings of a science.

Comment: Tells you more about the speakers than the texts (Score 1) 86

From the article:

the team paid native speakers to rate how they felt about each word on a scale ranging from the most negative or sad to the most positive or happy

So all the research was based on the native language speakers interpretation of how happy or sad the words were - and then their relative frequency in the texts. If the speakers of each language had a natural disposition to happiness or sadness, that would skew the whole result. And since there's no objective measure of a word's "happiness", the whole thing comes down to interpretation, rather than science.

Comment: Two necessary requirements (Score 3, Insightful) 427

by petes_PoV (#47319655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Firstly, like in an ordinary watch the battery life should be measured in years and it should require no other maintenance.
Second, people should be openly admiring of it - both as a technological marvel and as a timepiece.
If it could do anything else than keep good time, that would be nice but not necessary.

Personally, I consider the first of these needs to be the most achievable.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 2) 76

by petes_PoV (#47274641) Attached to: Research Project Pays People To Download, Run Executables
But the demographics of the downloaders varied with the amount offered. So, at the lowest level there were very few westerners who took the bait. As the reward increased, the proportion grew. If you were planning to use a similar process to grab some confidential or profitable data off the participant's machine, you should take into account the likelihood of poor vs. rich participants' computers having anything you would be looking for.

If you do something right once, someone will ask you to do it again.

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