‘General SF’ Category

The Universal Translator Is Coming!

Foreign Languages Just Got Easier Have you ever found yourself baffled on vacation, being completely unsure of how to order a meal or ask for directions in a foreign language? As Douglas Adams said, Don’t Panic. If you’ve ever wished for something like the Babel Fish in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may not have to wait much longer. A new in-ear translation device whose developers claim that it can translate speech will be released soon. Called Pilot, the device includes two earpieces which can be worn be two people who otherwise could not converse – a mobile app handles the translation and transmits it to the users’ respective earpieces. The makers of Pilot, Waverly Labs, say that this is the world’s first “smart earpiece” translation device. A Waverly Labs spokesperson stated, ‘This little wearable uses translation technology to allow two people to speak different languages but still clearly understand each other.’ At this time, information on exactly how the device works is still sparse. Waverly Labs says only that the device uses app-based “translation technology.” Translator Video Available A video demonstrating the device shows the Pilot translating between English and French with a small lag, but only a small one, still allowing the users to converse with relative ease. It appears that this first generation of in-ear translators only work when talking to another Pilot earpiece wearer. Advancing this technology could allow users to receive translations of any speech within range, eliminating the need for pairs of earpieces. The device works offline, so if you’re worried that you’ll rack up a fortune in data roaming charges, don’t be. The New York-based Waverly Labs says that the two earpieces can also be used by a single user for listening to music or other audio content from a paired mobile device. Andrew Ochoa, the founder of Waverly Labs says that he was inspired to create the Pilot after meeting a French girl and wishing he could converse with her. Initially, the device will support English, Spanish, Italian and French, with plans in the works for Hindi, Arabic and other languages. Some languages may only be available to users who purchase add-on language packs. Don’t expect perfect translation of every conversation, however; as the video warns, “Every language has various dialects and the earpiece is designed to translate common dialects, although thick accents could disrupt this.” Waverly Labs plans to crowdfund the device via Indiegogo, where the device can be preordered for $199. The expected retail price for the Pilot will be in the $250 – $300 range. Pre-orders are currently available. The devices will ship as soon as this fall or possibly as late spring of 2017. The Pilot will be available in three different colors and includes two earpieces, a portable charger and the Pilot app, which allows users to download languages for the earpieces. Unsurprisingly, other companies are also poised to get into the wearable translation market. Microsoft UK’s chief envisioning officer Dave Coplin has said that the… 0

The Day The Earth Stood Still

monsterman:“The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)”Source: madonaperra.tumblr.comstill the best  . . .

“The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Source: madonaperra.tumblr.com

still the best  . . .

Nerd, Geek & Dork Are Done

No longer are the terms “nerd” and “geek” used as insults. We have taken them back from those who would mock us, and now wear them with pride. But those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it, and thus it is helpful to know what these terms originally meant, and where they came from. If only so we know that when someone calls something “adorkable,” he/she is in some sense calling it “a cute penis.” Nerd The word nerd was first used in the 1950 Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo, in which a nerd was one one of the many oddly named creatures in the titular zoo. According to Ben Zimmer of Vocabulary.com, a 1951 Newsweek article mentioned it as one of the new terms being used by teenagers. It seems unlikely for teens to have latched on to a single proper noun in a Dr. Seuss book so quickly, but there is no recorded source of the word being used previously. It’s possible that it was based on the 1940s slang word “nert,” which referred to a stupid or crazy person. It’s certainly easy to see how teens of the ’50s might co-opt the adults’ term for morons and use it to mean “squares” and people who didn’t understand their culture. [Read the full post here]

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