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The Slow Death of non-English Languages by Navigation Software

Ok, that title is a little off. What I really want to do with this post is help to make it a priority for companies that make navigation and or text to speech software a little less English specific (or whatever language it’s built for). What am I talking about?

Lots of people use GPS navigation services either built into their car or on their phone. Those navigation services almost always read out the directions. “In 300 feet, turn left at main street” for example.

The problem is that text to speech software doesn’t understand pronunciation and so arguably it’s slowly killing off the correct pronunciation by teaching everyone, especially children, the wrong way to pronounce things.
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Match.com Needs to Update!!!

I know no one will read this, especially from Match.com but… Match.com is probably the oldest and claim to be the biggest internet dating service. Whether or not that’s true I don’t know. I’ve been on it since they started. So long I have a free account from when they first offered accounts. (*)
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Finding Motivation

I didn’t know what to title this post. “Starting over”? “Looking for inspiration”?

I gave my resignation letter a couple of weeks ago and last Friday was my last day at Google. I left on good terms and they were sad to see me go. Google is a great place to work and I’ve recommended it to all of my friends. But, at this point in my life I was not happy with my life including Google. That’s not Google’s fault it’s mine.
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A World with very little Privacy

There’s a lot of interest in the surveillance society. People don’t like it. Or I should probably say some vocal people don’t like it. There might be plenty of people on the “I’ve got nothing to hide so I think it’s good” side of the aisle though I’m not sure I know many. This usually comes up in discussion of video cameras placed outdoors. It also comes up in discussion of police having drones. Lately it’s come up in discussion of Google Glass.

I’d like the try to consider what the possible positives are rather than the negatives.
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emoji (絵文字) Picture Characters

Emoji (pronounced eh-moh-jee) are iconic characters first introduced in Japanese cell phones in the early 2000s. At first different carriers each made up their own set of icons. NTT started off with a few. Then if I remember correctly J-Phone added many more than NTT to try to entice users to their system. Japanese, especially young Japanese women love using emoji and love to send messages to their friends full of them.
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A World with no Privacy - The Movie

The sci-fi series, Black Mirror covered some of the ideas of this future in their 3rd episode “The Entire History of You”

Check it out if you can.

Void Metabolism

I don’t quite even get what that title means but it was all over an exhibit I saw at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.

I’m not 100% sure what the exhibit’s point was but there were several parts. The first was a very large screen with video projected showing some part of Tokyo as seen from above very similar to Google Maps satellite view. The difference where was it as supposed to be a time lapsed video showing the city changing over time, buildings demolished and new ones built etc. I can’t imagine it was real but I suppose it could have been.
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A World With No Privacy

It annoys the crap out of me when someone tells me I can’t take a picture. Examples: I go into a department store. I want to take a picture of some cool merchandise that I want to show some friends. The clerk comes up and says “no pictures”. I’m at a festival. Someone is selling some cool art/t-shirts whatever. I want to take a picture but am told “no pictures”. In Customs there are signs everywhere, “No photography”.

Well, if you’ve seen Google’s Project Glass or things like Looxcie you can see a glimpse of the future. Those devices are always recording and while that might be the next generation of gadget, the one after that is something actually embedded in your eye or head or maybe even just contact lens that have a camera in them.
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Robot Restaurant

When I visited Japan in November 2012 the first things one of my friends asked me was “Hey Gman, are you going to visit the Robot Restaurant?” I was like “Wat? What’s that?” They just said go check it out so … I did
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What's up with the small backpacks?

Remember in the mid to late 90s when small backpacks were all the rage for women? Well, now they are all the rage for men in Japan apparently.

Honestly I don’t know how popular they are but shopping around Tokyo in 2012 every men’s store seemed to have tons of them. The crazy thing to me is they seemed too small to be all that useful. I suppose you could put a Nexus 7, Kindle or iPad Mini inside but you can’t carry much else. What do they put in them? Point and Shoot camera? A single novel? I’m sure some Japanese men’s magazine would spell this all out for me but I didn’t have time to check.
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