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Comment This is where Indic languages shine (Score 1) 508

Indian languages derived from Sanskrit are built phonetically. Once one learns to read and write the language, there is no concept of mispronunciation while reading or misspellings while writing. A writer using an Indic script is converting the sound syllables into a phonetic description on paper. This is reversibly true, in that, a reader encountering a new word will be able to instantly and completely construct the sounds just by parsing.

Consider the following about English: each consonant has a different number of vowel sounds. The problem arises that there is no suitable method of representing these variations in the script.

A writer of Hindi (for example) has 30 consonants and 12 vowel sounds which can be applied to every consonant. Of course this is not unique to Indian languages. In conversations with native speakers of East-African languages, i've gathered that most of their languages are similar in these respects though with only 9 vowel sounds. But the universal theme is that in all (or perhaps almost all) cases of phonetic languages, one is able to derive a uniform matrix of sounds where each sound is well-represented by the script of the language.

So powerful are phonetic languages that Gmail's initial support for transliteration had support for five Indian languages--and no others. The service has since been expanded to support even more phonetic languages.

It is my opinion that many of the NLP problems which remain problematic for western languages will be first solved for phonetic languages due to the relatively low complexity and the richness of the scripts.


Disclaimer: I am not a linguist. Though i have worked on some language translation problems and have, over the years, gained accidental exposure to many languages, though to unequal extents.

Comment Re:Give Me A Break! (Score 1) 483

Parent is referring to items:

Note: AppleTalk Phase I and II, and Service Selection Gateway (SSG) feature are not supported in Release 15M&T. Refer to the following bulletins for more information:
AppleTalk Support Discontinuation:
SSG Support Discontinuation:

Comment It's the SUN. (Score 1) 423

You've been trolled. The SUN writes all kinds of gossip to stir up shit and sell a few rags. Specific to Doctor Who, they ran the exact story in 2006 and 2007 iirc.

Tennant set to quit as Dr Who | The Sun
Dec 28, 2006 ... DR Who star David Tennant is to quit the show ? leaving BBC bosses looking for their 11th Timelord, The Sun can reveal. ...

Someone might be able to find the other articles.


Comment Not quite (Score 1) 84

'The trouble is it's [debris] in orbit and travelling at orbital speeds, which means that it is travelling at about 30,000 kilometres an hour," said the CEO of the Australian company. 'If even a tiny little piece runs into a satellite it'll destroy it or punch a hole through a person if they're out there space walking.'

Umm, maybe I'm not recalling middleschool science classes correctly - but when you're "space walking" you're ALSO moving at "orbital speeds"

So - how would the space debris punch a hole through a person if they were space walking? Sure, if it's traveling in a different direction it *might* - but still: the astronaut is moving at the same speed as the shuttle as the satellite they're deploying/fixing

Debris can be moving in any random orbit. Consider the failed deployments, broken-off or detached bits and the initial force which set the debris into motion.

Comment Bad moderation (Score 2, Informative) 646

Both pieces of information in the parent are irrelevant to the problems highlighted by grand parent poster.

Compression is great for high-latency networks but that isn't even close to the problem expressed above.

Further, Opera's "cleaned up" default UI is in a version which is yet to be released. It's 2010 and Opera is just getting around to sorting out the default UI. I relent that the previous versions have all been greatly customisable, but then what excuse does Opera have for not starting simple and allowing the users to expose features to meet their needs?

Comment To your eyes perhaps... (Score 1) 286

Perhaps you're too used to seeing words from romance languages only.

To me, Dijk seems like a vocalisation of the word 'dyke'. Af- appears to contain the sound of 'Of' or perhaps 'Ouf'. Sluit- is pronounced closer to 'slew-et'.

In total i'd guess it sounds like... Ouf-slew't-dyke.

Comment Yes, that's the initial ordering (Score 1) 436

One thing I couldn't help but notice though, is that Microsoft always pops IE in the number one spot for a moment *before* shuffling the browsers and showing them in randomized order... Very visible if you visit the ballot manually in IE and hit F5 a few times:

Yes, that's the initial ordering and very visible if one turns off Javascript (NoScript).

Internet Explorer 8
Mozilla Firefox
Opera Browser
Google Chrome
Avant Browser
FlashPeak SlimBrowser

Comment A similar "legend" from Siberia. (Score 2, Interesting) 233

" In remote central Siberia, there was a time when the Tungus people told strange tales of a giant fireball that split the sky and shook the Earth. They told of a blast of searing wind that knocked down people and whole forests. It happened, they said, on a summer's morning in the year 1908. "

About 20 years later the legend of the fireball led to the search and discovery of what has become known as the 'Tunguska Event'.

As seen in Carl Sagan's Cosmos, episode 4, Heaven and Hell.


Comment Unobtainium (Score 1) 782

The word unobtainium is still utterly ridiculous (seriously guys?), but it wasn't featured too prominently.

Engineers have long (since at least the 1950s[2]) used the term unobtainium when referring to unusual or costly materials, or when theoretically considering a material perfect for their needs in all respects save that it doesn't exist. By the 1990s the term was in wide use, even in formal engineering papers such as "Towards unobtainium [new composite materials for space applications]".[3] The word unobtainium may well have been coined within the aerospace industry to refer to materials capable of withstanding the extreme temperatures expected in reentry. Aerospace engineers are frequently tempted to design aircraft which require parts with strength or resilience beyond that of currently available materials.

Comment Works the same in WINE (Score 2, Interesting) 496

I actually like WoW's way of doing things: want to backup/restore WoW, or put it on antoher PC ? just copy WoW's dir. No dependencies. No DLL Hell. No registry hacks. Want to wipe it ? Delete the directory.

I wish all programs worked that way and were that easy to manage.

BTW, Data and program files are segregated in separate subdirs. User data, too.

By the same token, one only has to launch the WoW executable to run it in Linux using WINE.

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