Monday, October 17, 2011

braille-writing tablet computer for the blind

Dharmaraja and Duran mulled their options before arriving at a clever and simple solution. They did not create virtual keys that the fingertips must find; they made keys that find the fingertips. The user simply touches eight fingertips to the glass, and the keys orient themselves to the fingers. If the user becomes disoriented, a reset is as easy as lifting all eight fingers off the glass and putting them down again.

"Elegant, no?" said Lew. "The solution is so simple, so beautiful. It was fun to see."

Beyond the price difference, touchscreens offer at least one other significant advantage over standard Braille writers: "They're customizable," Dharmaraja noted. "They can accommodate users whose fingers are small or large, those who type with fingers close together or far apart, even to allow a user to type on a tablet hanging around the neck with hands opposed as if playing a clarinet."

"No standard Braille writer can do this," said Professor Charbel Farhat, the chair of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department and executive director of the summer program. "This is a real step forward for the blind."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

psychopaths and choice of words - detection

D - roomie and I just watched the very first Dexter TV show episode finally.

The words of psychopathic murderers match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness,

Hancock and his colleagues analyzed stories told by 14 psychopathic male murderers held in Canadian prisons and compared them with 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail.

Psychopaths used more conjunctions like "because," "since" or "so that," implying that the crime "had to be done" to obtain a particular goal. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality. Unveiling their predatory nature in their own description, the psychopaths often included details of what they had to eat on the day of their crime.

Past as prologue: Psychopaths were more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes, say the researchers. They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more "ums" and "uhs." The exact reason for this is not clear, but the researchers speculate that the psychopath is trying harder to make a positive impression, needing to use more mental effort to frame the story.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

China eclipses USA in 2016

The news casts a deepening cloud over the future of the dollar as the world’s dominant currency as well as Washington’s attempts to close the budget gap and rein in the nation’s ballooning debt.
But politicians argue Beijing’s technology is lagging behind and much of China lives in poverty. The Asian country also trails way behind the U.S. in output per person.
In 2009 the IMF calculated gross domestic product per head in the U.S. at £28,000, compared to £2,500 in China.

Read more:


D - they forgot CO2 emissions. China is now in the lead.

When Chindia - China and India - are considered together, we may well see the East eclipse the West more generally. China and India will surpass the English-speaking nations when considered together.

With power comes clout.

Slowly, the language of commerce will shift to that of the most successful commercial nation- China.

Unless, of course, their Mao-leaning next leadership candidate engages in another Cultural Revolution in a coupla years.
Mr. Bo and Mr. Wang are not only provincial Party bosses, but rivals for coveted spots on the nine-man Standing Committee of the Politburo – the top of China's power pyramid – during the once-in-a-decade leadership shuffle set to take place over the next year. And the regions they now govern offer starkly differing models for the direction China should head next.

D. Aside. I'm reading a book on the philosophy of Confucius right now. I can see why the Chinese leaders are hyping it. It does emphasize adhering to one's social role and respect for family elders.
Conversely, it decries a wealth-oriented materialist as a xiaoren - a 'small man'.
The book contains a chapter on the importance of correct naming and terms in language. Or else we get social disorder. This may make the idea of CVN - a Mandarin-friendly precise language- appealing.

I am also reading an introductory Chinese language book. I need to understand their grammar more.