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Brazilian Kids Learning English By Video Chatting With Elderly Americans

GuitarNeophyte Re:Yet more English learning (147 comments)

I think that the question isn't "which" language you know, but "how many" you know. The more languages you know, the more perspectives of the world you can see. Each language, like you mentioned, has encapsulated their cultures and belief systems. This language does shape the users of the languages, and the users also shape their ever-evolving language.

That being said, it doesn't make one language objectively "better" than another -- it just means that one language has a different focus than another. Sure, from the evolutionary standpoint of languages, whichever language lasts longer may facilitate a more lasting culture, but for many languages, it's just that each has a different way of looking at life. I would love to learn several languages, just to have several different perspectives on the world and life.

The US culture, for example, is all about active voice. We hate passive voice, because nobody takes the blame or responsibility for them. If someone says, "The vase was broken", we immediately react with "By whom?" (well, we'll probably say, "Who did it?", but still..) In Spanish, we use, "Se me rompió el jarrón." The direct translation is, "The vase broke itself to me." In the grammatical construction, we let people know that it wasn't intentional. The Spanish language isn't as blame-focused as English. Does it make it better? Worse? That's up to the users. Does it make it last longer? Time will tell.

There isn't a way to objectively rank language by "betterness", unless you have a set goal that you want to accomplish. Only cultures get to decide what their own goals are, and they will shape their own language by their own goals.

TL;DR Languages are only limited by what their culture's priorities are. If the culture's priorities change, the languages will too, effectively removing said limitations. Language is only seen as limiting if you're on the outside, wanting the culture to change to be more like you.

about 6 months ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

GuitarNeophyte Re:...news for nerds.. (405 comments)

I think there are probably two main things keeping more people from trying golf.

1) The Image. Like you said, many people consider it to be boring and pointless. Other people consider it a game only for the elite (or those who consider themselves the elite) of society.

2) The Cost. Unlike mini-golf, you generally have to supply your own equipment that can get prohibitively expensive. A friend of mine wanted to try golf because his work was having a golf outing together. He had to shell out $80 for somebody else's used clubs. $80 to TRY a game? Another of my friends went to the same golf outing and brought one club and everybody laughed at him. He had a blast, but he wasn't doing the game like everybody else.

If my friends enjoyed golfing and the golf course lent you clubs for cheap, I'd definitely try it with them. As it stands, I'll keep to frisbee golf (a very fun game, by the way), where the only cost to entry is a $12 heavy frisbee that you can lend to whoever else you want to play with. Like golf, there's plenty of room to grow, with specialty discs for different kinds of throws. Once I realized I like the game, I bought like five discs. I generally only use two of them, but I have five, so I can bring a bunch of people with me and we can all have fun for cheap.

about 7 months ago
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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted

GuitarNeophyte Re:Probably typical (121 comments)

this is completely me. I have three people I follow. 1) My wife. She logged in and followed herself on my account. 2) a band I like 3) DDO (D&D MMO) because it tells me when there are special deals, because I think that their normal prices are too high, but I enjoy the game. I never post. I just check every once in a while to see if they have posted anything interesting recently.

about 7 months ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

GuitarNeophyte Re:Philistines (641 comments)

Just seeing mention of OS/2 jarred my brain of an old memory. When I was in college, an old couple from my church asked me over to their house to see if I could help them with their computer. It was running OS/2 and it was the first time I had ever seen it. I had everything figured out in about 5 or 10 minutes and was able to show them how to use it. Fast Forward to a year or so ago, the first time I met up with Windows 8 was completely different. A friend of mine handed me thier laptop and asked for help getting it to play movies on a TV connected to it. I tinkered around on it for 20 minutes before I gave up and Googled the answer (turns out the default movie player can't play movies on a second monitor. You need to dig around and use Windows Media Player, which for some reason isn't the default player). It seems like the "It Just Works" thing only works with older stuff.

about 8 months ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

GuitarNeophyte Re:Moving from Ebooks to Paper (224 comments)

sorry to reply to my own post, but I just thought of another anecdotal piece of information. I had heard of kids with terrible vocabulary and spelling skills who spent a Summer Vacation reading lots of books coming back to school with fantastic writing skills. Just seeing and hearing correct usage can build the patterns in our brains for correct usage and grammar. Many foreign-language-learning experts (not the Rosetta Stone people -- the people actually learning all kinds of language) recommend high quantities of almost-comprehensible input in order to stretch your language abilities.

about 8 months ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

GuitarNeophyte Re:Moving from Ebooks to Paper (224 comments)

I very rarely used a dictionary as a kid, and when I took my college entrance placement exam, they gave me this huge obscure vocabulary test and I got 100% on it. I think just having good context-clue-finding skills can really be a huge benefit to vocabulary acquisition. I remember my elementary school teachers harping about context clues every time someone asked what a word meant, and now I'm super glad that they did, because it's caused me to learn a lot of words just from reading a lot. I've been living in a Spanish speaking country for the past 6 months, and those skills have been a huge help in learning a foreign language as well.

about 8 months ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

GuitarNeophyte Re:Ltetres odrer (224 comments)

Faaitnstc Psot! Thkans for bnieg one of the poelpe who add vluae to Ssdlaoht!

about 8 months ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

GuitarNeophyte Re:Meh (224 comments)

I think it's more of a personal evolution thing. My wife, and the parent poster, still read lots of long books, so they can still do it just fine. Those of us who only read five or six novels (or less!) a year may tend to agree with the original summary. I still have times when I like to get back and re-read my favorite books, but I've found that I can keep the attention better by listening to it in audiobook form than by paper-book reading. Maybe I just need a good reading chair again and I'd be able to re-brain-plasticity my way back to being a long-book reader, but for now, I'm fine with audiobooks.

about 8 months ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

GuitarNeophyte Re:Its called evolution.. (224 comments)

I used to always love reading long books. Now, I do have to admit that I have a harder time keeping with reading for extended periods of time. It'll take me two or three weeks to read the Hobbit, when it took me about as many days to read it the first time. However, with the always-connected Internet and all, I find myself "reading" the classics, like the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, by listening to audiobooks while doing something that doesn't require verbal focus, like playing video games with the sound turned off. I can perfectly pay attention to the story I'm hearing, while playing video games, and in a couple days, I'll listen to the entire audiobook.

about 8 months ago
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Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?

GuitarNeophyte Re:Is it not obvious? They have dirt on him! (312 comments)

Without going into whether I agree with what you say, it seems to me that whenever people say "Most people...", it is typically to say that most people have opinnions that are close to the speaker's opinnions, even when most people are not really like that at all.

However, most people spend most of their time with people who think relatively similar to themselves, adding to their own thoughts that "most people" are like them. I'd say that "most people" (and I admit, I fall into the exact same bias that I mentioned before) just want to be left alone to do whatever they want to do. Sure, people like government to do this or that (police, roads, teach kids and stuff), but by in large, I think people just want left alone. I've been doing some travelling to some various cultures, and noticing how, as much as people are different, we're all pretty much the same. People just want to do their thing and not have to be bothered.

about 8 months ago
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Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

GuitarNeophyte At least it's on our side! (123 comments)

Have you noticed that not too many years ago, Americans would hear about some neat new technical military thing and think, "Wow, I'm glad that's on OUR side!" And now, they just expect it to be used for domestic purposes.

about 8 months ago
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U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

GuitarNeophyte Re:The Founding Fathers are crying.. (284 comments)

I know this is completely off-topic, but I had to share it. Pizza Hut pizza in Costa Rica is twice as good at Pizza Hut pizza in the United States. (It also costs almost twice as much).

about 8 months ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

GuitarNeophyte Re:tldr (490 comments)

Read the first 5 "paragraphs" and the last 2. All the rest is repitition of the same thing in different orders.

about 8 months ago
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Sony Announces Virtual Reality Headset For PS4

GuitarNeophyte Re:Watch It Succeed (112 comments)

Wow, thank you very much. I stand completely corrected. I remember seeing something early about it last year, but I hadn't realized how far it had come. Thanks a lot!

about 8 months ago
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Sony Announces Virtual Reality Headset For PS4

GuitarNeophyte Re:Watch It Succeed (112 comments)

My first thought seems to be opposite of most of the people I've seen post on this. Everyone keeps pointing out that it would be hard for the PS4 to be able to produce the desired effect due to the technical specifications of the console. I haven't been following the PS* close enough to comment on this, but I have been checking in on the VR headset scene on and off for quite some time. The technologies have been coming for years and years, and many gaming rigs have multiple-monitor capability (for stereoscopic potential), so it seems to me that if there was a potential market for this type of game, we would have seen a more public attempt at it in PC games by now. As it is, the widest-spreading VR item I've seen was that weird, red-lines VR mobile platform that Nintendo put out a while back. And that was a very niche item.

TL;DR -- I don't know if the tech is powerful enough, but I just don't think there's enough market for the thing.

about 8 months ago
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Goodbye, Google Voice

GuitarNeophyte Re:its only usefulness (166 comments)

I am currently living outside of the U.S.. I still have a Google Voice number, because my permenant address is still in the United States. With Google Voice, we can make calls to people living in the United States still for free. That's a pretty epic usage.

about 8 months ago
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NVIDIA Unveils Lineup of GeForce 800M Series Mobile GPUs, Many With Maxwell

GuitarNeophyte Re:I don't need more powerful. I just need cooler! (83 comments)

My appologies for not being very clear. I don't have my tools here, nor do I have random spare parts to change out and test which components have problems with my system at the moment. The two laptops could have had different problems, but the net result was that the screens on both were no longer functional. It was my presumption (as I said, I don't have my tools to verify) that excess heat was the cause of my computer issues. For that reason, I would prefer to have a cooler-running laptop, so I don't feel compelled to use additional cooling. My presumptions could be completely wrong, and I fully admit the deficiencies in my explanation.

about 8 months ago
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NVIDIA Unveils Lineup of GeForce 800M Series Mobile GPUs, Many With Maxwell

GuitarNeophyte I don't need more powerful. I just need cooler! (83 comments)

I've toasted two laptop monitors because of trying to play too many high-needs video games on them. Both of the monitors theoretically were good enough for the games by specs, but both of them burnt out within two years of when I bought them (admitedly, they were both a couple years old when I purchased them). With the first laptop, I just thought it was an age thing and didn't think enough of it, but with the second one, I realized the sad pattern. Now, I play my games with an external fan running, blowing cool air under the laptop, with the laptop on a stand to increase airflow. (I'd stick to playing games on desktops, but I'm living abroad at the moment, and a desktop takes up too much room in the suitcases)

All this being said, it seems like each new generation of laptop video card is more powerful, but I would just like to know of a mid-range card that ran really cool. That would help me much more than power.

about 8 months ago
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Daylight Saving Time ...

GuitarNeophyte Re:so much hate (310 comments)

Just Arizona now. Indiana was the other one, and they changed it about six or seven years ago. I used to live on the west side of Indiana, and it was sorta strange to have half the year being the same time as my grandpa, who lived just over the border into Illinois, and the other half of the year, we were an hour different.

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

GuitarNeophyte Win 7 (860 comments)

Anyone who I have known who wanted to buy a new computer, I have told them to make sure they get windows 7. Those people have been pretty ok. If Microsoft wasn't trying to kill their good product (Win 7) by pushing everyone to Win 8, they'd be fine.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Mars Curiosity Snaps Photos of Earth and the Moon from Mars

GuitarNeophyte GuitarNeophyte writes  |  about 10 months ago

GuitarNeophyte (636993) writes ""A human observer with normal vision, if standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright “evening stars.”
The distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo was about 99 million miles (160 million kilometers)." Though the article with a couple cool space pictures is cool, the interesting part for many nerds here is the more than a full page of detailed information about the camera system of the rover."

Link to Original Source
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Big Investors want Microsoft to Ditch Surface, Xbox, and Bing

GuitarNeophyte GuitarNeophyte writes  |  about 10 months ago

GuitarNeophyte (636993) writes "It's the morning after Satya Nadella's first day as Microsoft's CEO. Now that the confetti has cleared, Nadella faces tough choices about the path forward for the company. Two influential Microsoft shareholders have been pushing the Redmond software giant to abandon what they view as non-essential product lines so that Microsoft can focus on its core strength: selling enterprise software to businesses. Ballmer envisioned Microsoft as a "device and services" company and reorganized the company last year to better execute that vision. But now Ballmer is out â" though still on the board â" and with a new CEO come fresh questions about the fate of consumer tech at Microsoft. Some investors have suggested that Microsoft spin off its money-losing consumer products and focus solely on the enterprise. Even the Xbox deserves to go, Paul Ghaffari, the wealth manager for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, said last year."
Link to Original Source
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SCO Files for Bankruptcy

GuitarNeophyte GuitarNeophyte writes  |  more than 7 years ago

GuitarNeophyte (636993) writes ""SCO announced today that it has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code." After years of fighting and losing legal battles with Linux, Novell, Redhat and other users, SCO is finally losing their monetary backers. Now that they've realized that their gambles didn't pay off, many investors are cutting their losses. From this article, "The company's stock lost 43% of its value today, last trading at 37 cents, down from around $20 a share in 2003, shortly after the company filed its first lawsuit.""
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Submission Accepted... or Not?

GuitarNeophyte GuitarNeophyte writes  |  more than 9 years ago Hrm... I just had a weird thing happen to one of my article submissions. It was accepted. Well, that's not the weird part - a tad less than half of mine are - but the thing is, it never showed up on the homepage. It's just sitting there, happily having been accepted, but no pointing to a link or anything...

Maybe I'm just not patient enough, but it's been like that for at least a day...

hrm...

Anybody know why?

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