Friday, 27-Mar-09 11:17
Creepy Computers

The new Battlestar Galactica discusses the relationship of man and machine at length, and towards the end, it gets rather pointy with it as well. But this exchange from the recent Loebner Price Competition, where computers and people are pitted against a panel of judges trying to determine which contestants are which, is quite jarring:

Round 7

Judge: What do u think of Kevin Warwick's enthusiasm for having machines take over the world?

Elbot: Fix it up a bit first. Then I'll take it over.

Don't know about you, but even with knowing that this was a programmed response from an AI researcher, it still sends chills down my spine.

(From Slashdot.)

Thursday, 26-Mar-09 10:30
Questionnaires 101

Dear unnamed researchers: I'm fine with filling your questionnaire. I like to give my opinion (who doesn't?). But you should pay a bit attention to scalability: Putting in 33 questions on 11 different products means 363 boxes to tick. If you actually need me to think and put in a number from 0-6, the time that I need to use to respond to the questions just explodes: at five seconds of thinking time for each question, I need to spend over half an hour to go through the entire list. Even if I know and use only half of the products, it's still about 15 minutes.

And that is fine too, but don't come telling me that "it's only going to take a couple of minutes."

US Government official forms have this "filling this form should take no more than XX minutes" in the bottom. If you make a form, try to figure out how long it actually takes for someone to respond to.

Saturday, 21-Mar-09 00:06
Sporgies for Dummies

Here's fun hobby for a Friday night at home.

Sporgies are short for "Spotify Orgies". Yeah, I know they have some different meanings but the name is cool enough still. The idea is that on Facebook or IRC or wherever you like to meet virtually, someone calls up a subject (say "swedish music") and everybody starts contributing to a playlist. You drink beer, dig up songs from Spotify, and send links to each other. Whoever called together the game, collects the playlist and shares it with everybody else.

The end result is usually rather hilarious, and you get to keep the playlist.

(Kudos to Kari Haakana for coining the term and probably the game too!)

Wednesday, 11-Mar-09 18:55
WTF is going on in Italy?

First, we read from the newspapers that despite crime rates actually going down, the parliament saw it to be necessary to allow citizen militia to patrol the streets (Finnish, $) - with no training or oversight.

Then, they propose a legislation which can get your blog or web site (including sites like Youtube and Facebook) censored if you disagree with any current legislation (of course, without any oversight again).

Then they sue Google executives for content on YouTube.

And now someone in the parliament is demanding to ban anonymity completely on the internet?

I don't claim to understand any of Italian politics, but this all sounds rather scary to me. May be that all this is just an effort to ride on cheap media tricks, but on the other hand... Major Italian TV channels are mostly endless game and variety shows. It's as if someone wanted to keep the people as stupid as possible.

Monday, 09-Mar-09 23:17
Great experiences

Can't remember who, but someone told me that "after six weeks, get a babysitter and go out". Excellent advice and we ended up splurging at Kappeli, where the menu and service turned a wonderful evening to a perfect one.

It's easy to badmouth a bad restaurant or service or product, but it's more rare to remember to say good things about positive experiences. So thank you for the nice waitress who gave us a nice, romantic table by the window; the cook who prepared a perfect meal; and especially Outi's parents who practically threw us out of the apartment.

Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.

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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.
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