Posts about Communication

Humour: Tricky translation engines

Sense of humour required: Beware of translation engines!

21.02.2016

When looking for the easy way out, people come up with the most ludicrous of excuses to warrant their hornswoggle doing: house on fire, dog dead, car stolen, wrong place/time/mood, worst bad-hair day ever, princess all of a sudden. Once the procrastination pole has inevitably run out of length, the dreaded task just has to be tackled, no matter what. Translations, for instance, can develop into a painfully tedious exercise. Isn’t it perfectly legitimate then to employ one of those servile robots available online in order to alleviate detested assignments? It is – if you can live with the results. We have put some of these practical computerised interpreters to the test, feeding them with stretches of German articles published during the early stages of goodmeetings.com’s young history. The English-speaking majority of our readership will have to think in meanders to unravel and realign the contorted texts back to meaning. Even though some of the pidgin might remain a secret forever: as long as no-one has been harmed, reading complete nonsense once in a while can be a great pastime.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Halfpipe and bikers: Sounds of the city captured virtually everywhere.

City tourism: Sound-hearing soon enhancing Sight-seeing?

15.12.2015

What are the sounds usually associated with a city? The irritating ones issued from cars hooting, tyres screeching, trams rumbling, from air-conditioning units humming relentlessly? From ambulances swishing by with sirens amplified by the Doppler effect that hurts our eardrums and sets our minds on alert? When embarking on a trip to a busy metropolis, an undistinguishable concoction of man-made noise will have to be tolerated as an inevitable part of the package. Positive connotations are asking for more pleasant experiences, though.

Conquering an urban jungle by mapping it out via the typical sounds it exudes, is an idea temporarily put into practice in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam during an “ambient marketing” campaign: from interactive audio billboards, the “Sounds of the City” could be tapped by means of a personal headphone plugged into jacks directly embedded in the “neighbourhoods” of choice.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Algorithm? The image shows balls resembling those used for the Bingo. The TED talk reveals that algorithms reigning the internet can be influenced by human users.

TED Talk. Andreas Ekström: The moral bias behind your search results

18.11.2015

This talk may be well equal to a harsh awakening for uncritical users of the internet! According to Swedish author and journalist Andreas Ekström, it is a philosophical impossibility to ever get unbiased search results. “Behind every algorithm is a person with a set of personal beliefs no code is ever able to eradicate completely.” He explains the power structures of the digital revolution by stating the example (a.o.) of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who blew up government buildings in the city of Oslo and killed a large group of kids on the island of Utøya. Around 80 people died that day in 2011. Specialists knew that the next thing Breivik would do was to google his own name, a predictable act of vanity. Nikke Lindqvist, a Swedish web developer and search engine optimization expert in Stockholm, understood that immediately and lanced a highly effective campaign. This video talk tells us that we are not helpless after all!

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Why work doesn't happen at work.

TED Talk. Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work

4.10.2015

Where do people go when they really need to get something done? Answers are: the porch, the coffee shop, the library, the kitchen, or while commuting. For some, it doesn’t really matter where they are, as long as it’s early in the morning or late at night or on the weekends. „The office“ is hardly ever the response given. That fully complies with Jason Fried’s theory: that the office isn’t a very good place for productivity. In his opinion, the main disruptions at work are caused by M&M’s: managers and meetings. This video – watched by nearly four million viewers – was filmed five years ago. Yet, its content today is true more than ever!

 

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Reading time: about 1 minute
The Corones is the sixth Messner Mountain Museum in South Tyrol. Architect is Zaha Hadid.

Messner meets Hadid: The Corones Museum in South Tyrol

28.08.2015

Admittedly, it takes a bit of an effort to get there, especially from far-away countries. But then again: who says that the good things in life are to be had in passing? Ask Reinhold Messner: If there were more „eight-thousanders“ to be conquered, he would most likely have done so and still always have chosen the most challenging variety of ventures. Similarly extraordinary and not seldom daring, are Zaha Hadid’s architectural structures which reliably become prized icons one by one – wherever and for whichever purpose they may have been established. The intriguing element uniting the random duo seems to be that reaching for the skies is an inborn ambition, and that achieving the utmost a natural consequence. Both personalities’ visions and disciplines merged, result in remarkable projects such as the Corones Museum, submerged into the South Tyrolean peak of Mount Kronplatz 2,275m above sea level. Read article

Reading time: about 4 minutes