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Comment A definite turning point, possible end of an era (Score 1) 361

Hardly any improvements, hugely increased prices. Remember all the big names who recently pulled out of a PC market of vanishing profits. Apple is right now probing the brand loyalty of MacBook customers. Or perhaps, they've already made their decision, and this is just their signal to every Mac owner who still has some brains left: Today, the end of Apple the PC manufacturer has turned from a crazy idea into a definite possibility.

Comment Re:All your attention are belong to us (Score 1) 156

Their search is good.

Google search has basic flaws. It's not even able to strip the apostrophe-s off a term. That is, if in a web page a name occurs in the genitive only, Google search will not find it if you do a search for that name. And there's no way to report this to Google. E-mails will be ignored, and so will the "feedback" you give (which is processed by a subsidiary anyway).

Comment Make Pronunciation History (Score 1) 192

Make Poverty History -- Make Burger History. Apologies for posting the obvious. We Germans had a taste of this a few years ago when chocolate manufacturer Ritter Sport asked its customers to invent new flavors of its square shaped product. Try "Ritter Sport Gorgonzola" as a search term to get a peek at some not-so-tasty submissions.

Comment What is a "Schrodinger's-like dilemma"? (Score 1) 285

I've read about Heisenberg's interpretation of his uncertainty principle (or principle of indeterminacy, as he preferred to call it) as being due to the observer necessarily disturbing the experiment, but this has been refuted ( and has nothing to do with Schrödinger at all.

Comment Color Grab (Score 1) 71

There are several smartphone apps, Color Grab being one of them, that let you identify colors at any distance, no extra hardware required. Btw. I suspect the video to be faked. It would require very advanced AI to recognize any font instantly. Usually you have to guide the software by identifying some of the characters before a match is trying to be found.

Comment Frequency of grammar errors (Score 1) 87

Now that surprises me. A lot, actually. I see people make mistakes of grammar all the time, and when once I inspected recordings of my own voice, I was shocked to find how many I make, especially if in a situation I wasn't prepared for. It is, for example, a very common mistake to make the numerus of a noun congruent to that of the immediately preceding noun, not the one it is really dependent of, as in "the main cause of errors that go unnoticed remain mysterious".

Comment Why, while there are already too many around? (Score 1) 87

Another purpose of language is identification and differentiation. Language serves a purpose even to Robinson Crusoe. On a cultural level, matters are quite similar: Same language, same culture. Different language, different culture. Moreover, there are words in my own mother tongue whose meaning I don't know. Probably even words that I don't know. What makes the French the French? First and foremost, their language, doesn't it?

Comment "Robust" artificial Languages (Score 2) 87

It sometimes bothers me that in the movies, people hardly ever make any grammar mistakes. Not even children. And when they do, it usually sounds artificial. Apparently, speaking like an ordinary person does is even harder to imitate than drunkenness. Now our obsession with grammatical correctness is certainly a very recent development in the history of the human species. I doubt very much that ordinary Roman citizens, or ancient Greeks, let alone Egyptians or Babylonians, ever mocked or corrected each other's grammar. I'd rather think that when people understood what you meant, your grammar was considered correct, so to speak. (Actually it wasn't considered at all.) Do the artificial languages you create, when they are spoken in fictional communities more archaic than our own, allow for more realism with respect to how people actually speak in their daily lives?

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