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Comment Re: Maps technology is lost... (Score 1) 158

But in the case of a passenger giving you directions they don't have to give you directions for the entire route. As you learn the route you can rely on the passenger less. It's not quite as easy to have the GPS give only the directions that you don't know yet, it's either on or off.

Comment Re:children can't use pencils (Score 2) 158

I learned Chinese by immersion, and also taught myself to write, due to a lack of the use of a computer during the first couple years. Once I got a computer and began typing in Chinese I've found myself now unable to write out most characters from memory. I can still read, and if I see a character I can copy it using correct stroke patterns. My wife, who is a native, also finds herself struggling a little with writing out characters. Though this has nothing to do with dexterity, but moving too quickly, or for too long, away from more manual methods can cause us to forget how to do them with primitive tools.

Comment Re:And the print option? (Score 2) 266

Quite often I want to "print" a page to PDF. But I suppose, to me it's a moot point as long as we still have the keyboard shortcuts that I rely on instead. I didn't even know where in the context menu Find and Print are located. For find, I'm going to be typing what I want to find anyway, so I might as well use the keyboard shortcut to start the search.

Comment Re:Bias from personal preference (Score 5, Informative) 183

It's funny how scared Americans are of restrooms and genders. I spent a decade in Taiwan where it isn't uncommon for the female janitors to walk in and clean the men's restroom. You know what happens? Everybody just goes about their business. If I'm taking a shit I keep the door closed, if I'm using a urinal I point my dick at the urinal, shake it off, and put it back in my pants without flashing them, offering them the same level of respect that I do the other male occupants. It's really not a big deal and it's funny how much Americans get their briefs tied up in a knot over it.

Comment Added new features while breaking others (Score 2) 29

Not only did they add the "Undo Send" feature, they broke their links that now open in Safari rather than Chrome. They made settings even harder to get to, especially if you have a lot of labels, but added a "open in app" setting, which oddly is missing Chrome, though most other Google apps appear, and if you don't have one installed instead of a toggle it shows "Install" which takes you to the App store to let you install the app.

Upon first use I kept getting "Background send process failed" popups. They also changed the organization of tabs so that the Primary tab is the main tab always available, all other tabs must be backed out to the Primary tab before you can look at other tabs. So instead of going to "Updates" to see important updates, then switching to "Promotions" I have to now go to "Updates", then back out to "Primary", then switch to "Promotions". Thanks Google for making learned tasks more complicated and having to reteach my muscles how to switch tabs.

Comment Re: Suspicious... (Score 1) 55

Chinese input using New Phonetic Method actually does this too. Basically after I type the sounds then tone and move on to the next character it will change the first character based on the sounds and tones of the following characters and continue to do so onto I press enter. Often I will type out an entire sentence before pressing enter, though sometimes it starts to spit out bad results if you go for too long. It also does some recognition based off previous character choice such as when using gendered pronouns, which I would assume the speech recognition they are claiming would have a lot of trouble with as the pronoun in speech is the same for all genders, such as the word you, or s/he/it.

On the iPhone they go one step further with a slightly different form of input where even the tone is not required unless you are having trouble finding the correct character. I can start typing just the sounds of multiple characters strung together and the suggestions bar will show possibilities. Going a step even further, my Taiwanese friend showed me that you don't even have to type out all the sounds, just the beginning sound is enough, so I can type out an idiom by merely pressing the first phonetic symbol of each of the typically four characters. The problem with these latter methods is training to know which words can easily be found by omitting the ending phonetics and which cannot.

I'm assuming Baidu is probably doing this for Simplified Chinese rather that Traditional, though it would be great if it could do it for both.

The largest problem still remains, most likely, with bilingual input. Typing I can easily switch between typing Chinese and typing English, but speech recognition has so far not offered this option. At my inlaws house conversation can easily go from Mandarin to Taiwanese, with random English words thrown in within the same sentence and not missing a beat. Humans have no problem being able to recognize the meaning of these kinds of sentences if they speak, or at least understand, all three languages. Even a basic understanding isn't necessarily required, as is the case with English in this situation there tends to be certain words that everyone understands without having any ability to speak any more of the language.

Comment Re:Captain Kirk says... (Score 1) 314

There's a great IQ^2 debate on this topic and what people really want is extended healthspan, not just extended old age. If you could be 60 with the body of a 30 year old, and 120 with a body of a 60 year old, then we've made real progress, but extending the life of the elderly once they're in the high care state with low quality of life, as others who read the article indicated (I only read the summary, but I'm on /. so that's sort of redundant), doesn't add value other than setting records.

The myths and stories are always about a fountain of youth, not a fountain of eternal old age.

Comment Re:In Germany, lights work that way (Score 1) 203

In Taiwan standard practice is to queue in the intersection, but how they queue is one person queues, then the next person drives past them and queues parallel to them, and maybe even a third or fourth if room and time permits. What I mean by time permits is that usually the first or second queued car has already started edging into the lanes of oncoming traffic blocking them and forcing themselves through, and as soon as one left turner gets in there another five might shoot past before oncoming traffic can continue to proceed.

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 412

It's actually quite easy to do.
1) Ditch the commute
2) stop buying shit
3) invest your excess money

At a savings rate of 50% you can retire in 10 years. Many people have already done so, there are blogs about how they did it, from living in an RV, to cycling to work, and not giving up their standard of living. It means you can still have great coffee, just make it at home instead of paying $3/day at Starbucks. It means you can still have great cuisine, but you buy better quality foods and make it yourself. It means you can still get that really cool flashy item you wanted, but after you've thought about it, shopped around, and still decided that you actually do need it and it won't end up in the piles of boxes the next time you move.

Similar story as the parent above, I was spending at least $300 a month on gas just to get to work. After a year of trying everything from daily public transportation, to gym workouts to wait out congestion, we moved to within 5 miles of work. Stress goes way down, free time goes way up, I'm more fit since I bike to work, no longer need a gym membership, saving more money, and fill up the car about once every two months instead of once a week. 4 years from having spent everything I had to move to the US and I now own a house and have a savings rate of around 60%. We eat great, have all the gadgets we could want, eat out still, and look forward to enjoying early retirement after a few more years of working. All this while my wife hasn't had to work while living here. If she did work we could probably retire a couple years earlier.

Comment Re:Penny (Score 1) 702

The $50 coin in Taiwan (worth about $1.50) has latent images of both Chinese and Arabic numerals for 50, by holding it at different angles you see one or the other. I received a counterfeit once and had it rejected at a 7-11 when I tried to spend it.

An interesting side note, while I lived there they had upgraded some of their currency and gave everyone about a year to take their old notes to exchange for the new note currency before banks would stop accepting them and it would become much harder to exchange them for new notes, which would then only be allowed to be exchanged at a few locations, essentially setting an expiration date on old notes.

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