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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.

Comment Re:Ugh... no thanks. (Score 1) 216

I use it often when baking, cooking, or doing something that needs a timer. It's much easier than pulling out the smart phone and finding a timer app, I don't have the mistake of accidentally having it set to silent and ruining anything I'm doing, and it is distinct that it is the oven timer going off. It is also the only clock, other than the one on the microwave right above it, in my entire house. I use my cell for everything else.

Comment Re:great for my wife checking up on her aged paren (Score 1) 216

I'll wait for the RFID enabled food products with pressure sensor shelving so I can cook a meal and have it calculate the precise calories that have left the refrigerator. You'll need to add a similar system to the pantry, and spectral analysis to the garbage disposal, then it should be a done deal.

Really the camera only has to snap a picture when you close the door. If you care to actually see the current state of items then perhaps have a Time Lapse setting, but there isn't really any need to do this.

Comment Re:Excessive bail - based on the offense - also... (Score 4, Insightful) 210

I would add that the bond system is used to justify higher bails as not being excessive. For example, 200,000 bail may be excessive, but oh, guess what, you can just pay 20,000 to the bail bondsman instead, so if you think 200,000 is excessive it isn't because you can just pay 20,000. What most people don't know until they go through something which requires excessive bails is that the bond payment is forfeited even if you show up to court. That person now has the option, if they cannot put up 200,000 and float it until the end of trial, to spend 20,000 as a non-refundable expense to have restricted freedoms restored while awaiting trial, or stay in jail.

When I read the 8th amendment I do not see bonds mentioned as part of consideration for excessive bail, and the bond is essentially an excessive fee paid. Would it be the case that if bonds were done away with that the amount that makes a bail excessive would be much, much lower?

Comment Re: Dump them as fast as you can (Score 1) 177

But this can be easily negated by just keeping a spreadsheet of what medical expenses you have had and keeping the receipts. You can withdraw the money for medical expenses at any time after they have occurred, even 10 or 20 years later. By spending with post tax money and saving the receipts you allow yourself a way to stash a large amount of cash that can be used in early retirement without any penalties.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 413

We first switched to all CFLs, then as LEDs have come down, and with local incentives from utility companies, we have been transitioning to LEDs. The first to be replaced were high use, and practical use ones, such as the lamp we use often in the bedroom, and the ones in the bathrooms where it can be a little annoying to have the light start dim and gradually get bright. For the most part during the summer we hardly even need lights inside due to our south facing windows.

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