Archive for December 29, 2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Evidence for Weak Sapir-Whorf

BBC News (via Lambda):

Report co-author Aubrey Gilbert said: “Previous studies addressing the possible influence of language on perception have tended to look for a simple yes or no answer to the question. Our findings suggest a more complex picture, based on the functional organisation of the brain.”

Bill Gates’ Speech Recognition Predictions

Matthew Thomas has a great list. In fairness, Gates isn’t the only one to get this wrong. I remember the late Michael Dertouzos giving a talk, in 1997 I think, about what his lab was doing with speech recognition and how the technology was ready for the public. Around 2000 he gave almost the exact same talk. Gates also predicted about two years ago that we wouldn’t have spam today. (And his book originally suggested that there would be a way to factor large prime numbers, but I won’t hold him to that.)

I was horribly wrong about the iPod, and I wasn’t too impressed by the original iMac. Neither was Donald Norman, who ridiculed it as being the same machine as before under the colored shell. He’d mime the extension loading process and say that it still did that when it booted, so you knew it would still crash. Norman’s new book is something of an about face, making the case that the iMac’s fun styling actually makes it easier to use, because of the emotional state it puts the user in.

The Macs We Use

Giles Turnbull did some interviews with people about their Macs. Did you know that Jonathan Rentzsch still uses Emailer and Andy Ihnakto numbers his PowerBooks?

Sorry Giles, I would have said more if I hadn’t thought there were 20+ other people participating. And, for the record, I’m not the creator of ATPM.