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Showing posts from October, 2009

Machine Translation Humor

Studying computational linguistics isn't dull. There is always something to laugh about, including the subject itself. Courtesy: xkcd #114 Lets look at that classic illustration of Machine Translation(MT) of the English phrase The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak to Russian and back. Lets see what would we get if we try with Japanese today. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak Let's start精神が、肉体が弱い喜んで into Japanese Spirit, willing flesh weak back into English 精神は、喜んで、肉は弱い back into JapaneseSpirit is willing, flesh is weak back into English精神、肉体が弱い喜んで back into JapaneseSpirit, I'd have a weak body back into English精神を、私は弱い体がしたい back into JapaneseSpirit, I want a weak body back into English精神を、私は、弱い体を back into JapaneseSpirit, I have a weak body back into English精神を、私は弱い肉体を持って back into JapaneseSpirit, I have a weak body back into English View the complete results at Translatio…

OpenStreetMap Mapping Party at NIT Calicut

This weekend I travelled overnight for the first Open Street Map (OSM) mapping party in Calicut. The event was part of NIT Calicut's Tathva fest. When I reached Calicut I found Sajjad, Praveen and other geo hackers had been hacking late into night preparing for the party. Took a headdive by first fixing Sajjad's laptop and later helping out with few late minute tasks.Getting the devices to work was a major pain. The Ubuntu Karmic laptop I had with me managed to detect the Openmoko Neo Freerunner and Android based G1, we could do upload GPS clients to the devices. But only one of OpenMoko's ending up being used at the party while others started rebooting whenever we launch GPS client. Bummer ! After a quick Kerala style breakfast we headed to NIT Calicut campus some 20 kms from the city. Dressed up in white mapping party tshirts with 'Our Streets, Our Map' printed in bold letters in the back. We found the FLOSS Hall inside the campus already setup, the overhead …

Apport disable ignore future crash reports

When a software application crashes on Ubuntu Linux Apport automatically collects program data, creates a crash report and submits this information to Ubuntu bug reporting system Launchpad. Such detailed crash reports are invaluable in fixing the software bugs. For developers who run unstable and bleeding edge development systems, software crashes are more common than you think. Often its good to let apport ignore known bugs by checking 'Ignore future crashes of this program version'. When a newer version of application is released with bug fixes, its reasonable to let apport watch the application for new crashes. However the apport documentation doesn't mention anything about this. I posted a question on launchpad, but didn't get a satisfactory answer. Digging deeper into my system I realised the trick lies in the ~/.apport-ignore.xml file. As the name suggests apport ignores all applications listed in this file. Do you think editing this file is correct method…

Getting Started with Mallard Help Documentation

Gnome 3.0 help documentation is based on the new topic-based Mallard documentation format created by Shaun McCance. The Yelp help browser and Gnome documentation utilities already support Mallard format. Creating a Mallard Document In this post we will use Shaun's Ten Minute Tour to create a multi-page Mallard document.Mallard documents use a '.page' extension. The 'Beanstalk' application help needs a guide page ( and a topic page ( Make a new directory named 'beanstalk' and create the two files with following content using your favorite text editor. # <page xmlns="" type="guide" id="index"> <title>Beanstalk Help</title> </page> # <page xmlns="" type="topic" id="planting"> <info> <link type="guide" xref="in…

The Life and Death of a Mobile

Watching The Life and Death of a Mobile Phone on BBC Four reminds me of my first mobile. I didn't have enough money to buy a sleeker Nokia model so I brought this chunky Motorola. When I showed to my friend Kaushal he told me that its bulky but it will serve you well and it did. My first mobile hack was done on this, I would send a hundreds of SMS's (its used to be free! ) and it outlasted most of the other newer phones I would buy later on. In death too it proved useful, a friend practised mobile repairing on this handset. Amen!

PyCon India 2009

Most action happens on conference sidelines PyCon India 2009 is no expection. You can always watch the recordings of talks later on. Catching up with friends comes first. Sharing ideas about projects, events and just talking all things geek. Good to hear that Santhosh was interested about integrating dhvani with speech dispatcher for Orca screen reader. Sharing experiences of working with non-profits with Sayamindu and talking about accessibility issues on OLPC SUGAR. And exploring possibilities of doing Ubuntu Karmic release parties in Chennai and Bangalore with Parthan (technofreak), Renuka and Debayan. I did catch few of the lectures of Ramakrishna on Enterprise Linux, Parthan and the presentation by the FOSSEE team. Parthan Python newbie talk The Mallu Gang ! Praveen shows his Android G2Baij T-shirt with topsy turvy logo What's Reappy ? Jinesh checking out Samsung mobile (Q2?) Hiran hacking my T-shirt with a pen :) The Food was Good! Where are the crowds ? …

At National Workshop on Web Accessibility in Trivandrum

Delivered a lecture about Ubuntu accessibility features and Orca screen reader at the National Workshop on Web Accessibility here in Trivandrum. I had to wrap up the usually hour long talk quickly so that I can catch the train to Bangalore to be at the Pycon India 2009 the next day.
The two day Web Accessibility workshop hosted by SPACE and Centre for Internet and Society concluded at Christ Nagar International School today. 43 participants from various Government departments and private firms took part in the workshop. The aim of the workshop was to educate web developers of Government and non Government agencies on how to develop websites that are equally accessible to people with disabilities.
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