Invisible Idiot

TGIF!!! It’s been a long tiring week.

So Rob came up to Seattle to visit CDMCC and we went out and chilled tonight. We didn’t exactly go bar hopping, but we did go to 2 different bars where CDMCC, Rob, and Elizabeth order drinks. Since I was designated driver, I had the perfect excuse not to, but it’s not like I couldn’t think of another excuse, it just makes it easier for me. We first went to Brouwer’s Cafe. It’s a pretty comfy joint and the atmosphere is really nice. We went there last time with Vandel and Liam. They have really good fries with this chipotle sauce which is excellent. Also according to CDMCC, they have like 80 different beers (mostly imported) on tap. It’s actually quite a sight. Afterwards, we headed over to Red Door Ale House. I really needed to pee, but it took me literally 5 minutes to get through the crowd to the restroom. The place was jammed pack and the music was so loud I couldn’t even hear my voice. The atmosphere was okay, but not really my type of chilling place. I’d much rather chill back at Brouwer’s. Actually, it was quite fun on how I found the names of this place. I was googling some variation of Brausser, Brauwser, Brauser, etc but didn’t really get anywhere. Then I googled Bars Fremont Seattle and one of the links listed several bars including Red Door and Triangle something. Red Door sounded familiar and it turns out to be the 2nd bar we went to. Using FlashEarth with VirtualEarth, I found the street (Phinney and 35th) where the first bar we went to was on and then googled that street name with bars and found Brouwer’s after a couple links. One thing I like more about VirtualEarth is that you can zoom in more than Google Maps. The night was fun. Rob came up earlier today and I think he’s going to be leaving sometime Sunday or Monday. CDMCC and Rob are actually going to be working tomorrow on some truck/imagery project which I won’t be elaborating on.

On our way home, the topic of AI came up and then it lead to computer doing language translations. Elizabeth then brought up the story of how before, some guy online did a translation of “out of sight, out of mind” from English to Chinese. Then he took the Chinese symbols and piped it back to be translated from Chinese to English. The ending result was invisible idiot. At first it made a lot of sense on how out of sight = invisible and how out of mind = idiot, but then the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense. Computer translations don’t work like that. It never simplifies things and usually translates word by word. I actually did this test on babelfish and came out with the following:

out of sight, out of mind
出於視域, 在頭腦外面
Stemming from sight, outside brains

This translation makes much more sense in how translators today work. Since ‘of’ makes the object after it possessive of the object before it, think about it as the sight’s out and the mind’s out and you can see why the final English translation is that way.

I googled it and it turns out it’s quite an urban legend. The actual quote is: Some scientists were testing a program that could translate from English to Chinese and back again. They fed into their computer the English phrase “Out of sight, out of mind,” and out came some Chinese ideograms. Since none of the scientists in the room at that moment knew Chinese well enough to determine whether the computer’s Chinese translation had captured the spirit of the English phrase, they fed the ideograms back into the computer. The translation back into English read “Invisible idiot.” There’s no verification if this is true or not, but my gut instinct tells me if someone wants to test a translation machine, funky english phrases wouldn’t be something you want to test, unless you wanted to see the hilarious output.


Random Crap:

Got this map off bittorrent:
lord of the rings middle earth map

Seems to be a very detailed map of Middle Earth (from Lord of the Rings). It’s a 8meg image, so it may take some time to load and I can finally utilize my bandwidth! The image is really detailed, but you’ll have to click on the Full size: 8740×8208 link in the upper right hand corner.

Calif. Man Caught in ‘HOV’ Lane With Dummy – this man thought he was clever by driving in the carpool lane with some doll, until he got caught.

Blue Ball Machine (from deadlock) – I’ve always loved contraptions! The music got a bit annoying after awhile though:
blue ball machine

Stamp collectors hail blockbuster tradeThe trade was remarkable in that it was a cashless exchange involving one $3 million item for another, and because it completed Gross’ collection of every U.S. stamp from the 19th century — a feat no museum has accomplished.

Dentist severs finger and fakes car crash – article wasn’t that interesting but I wanted you to read this line and tell me what you think: A Dutch dentist who chopped off his finger and then faked a car crash before claiming 1.8 million euros ($2.2 million) from insurers was given a suspended sentence and fined by a court Thursday. Does that mean he got the 1.8million euros? Cause in my insurance terminology, filing a claim is what you do before you get the money and when you actually claimed it, that means you already got the money. With only a 25K euro fine and 240hrs of community service, that’s still over 1,775,000 euros!?!?! That’s 7395.83 euros / community service hour! I wish I could make bank like that by doing community services.

Amazon trying to steal Google Print’s thunder with new service – story basically talks about Amazon providing it’s own publiciation search utility to compete with Google Print. However, I just noticed this new really neat feature Amazon will be providing: The second program, Amazon Upgrade, will allow customers to “upgrade” their purchase of a physical book on Amazon.com to include complete online access. For example, a software developer who buys a Java programming book will not only get the physical book delivered to his or her home, but will also get 24×7 Web access to the complete interior text of the book. Buy a cookbook and you will not only have it on your shelf, but also be able to access it anywhere via the Web. By ordering a real book, I can have a digital copy online which I can access from anywhere where I have online connection! That’s totally sweet!

Amazon Mechanical Turk (from MSDL) – Complete simple tasks that people do better than computers. And, get paid for it. Amazon’s new beta service where they’re hiring people to do monkey work. Not exactly sure how it works but I hope people aren’t getting paid $0.03 for 60mins. Sounds interesting though…

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