New site to use crowdsourcing as means to translate the internet

first_img Citation: New site to use crowd-sourcing as means to translate the internet (2011, April 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Google adds automatic translation to Gmail © 2010 After figuring out a way to make good use of those annoying CAPTCHA’s, by using scanned text from old books to create digitized versions (reCAPTCHA) while still just a grad student, and then selling the results to Google, and then following that up by figuring out a way to get people to label pictures for free to improve image searches (Google Image Labeler), Ahn is now set to apply his impressive crowd-sourcing skills to the areas of both language learning and translation. He believes Duolingo will attract some portion of the estimated billion people who are interested in learning a new language, because unlike other good language-learning sites, Duolingo will be free.Working with PhD student Severin Hacker, for the past year and a half, the pair struggled with ideas on ways to convince millions of people to translate language text, for free, until hitting on the idea that it would have to be associated with something they’d want to do without prodding; in this case, learn a new language. And then, like Wikipedia, the results of the amateur’s translation process as they learned, would be honed as others worked on the same piece until the text reached some point of maturity, whereby it would be released to the web.Ahn claims the results of his crowd-sourced translation process creates text that is just as good as a professional service, which means that if history is any kind of gauge, sometime in the near future, when you use Google’s translation feature on a foreign language site, the results will likely be far superior to what you get currently when a machine does it for you. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — If you’re Google and you’re looking for the next crowd-sourcing piece to add to your already massive portfolio, it would seem Professor Luis von Ahn, of Carnegie Mellon, would be your man. After several previous successful ventures, Professor Ahn now believes he has a workable way to get millions of web users the world over to translate the Internet into every conceivable language, for free. The site, now sitting on the cusp of release, is to be called Duolingo, an appropriate name if ever there was one, for a site that will make creative use of people learning foreign languages by having them translate actual web content. Explore furtherlast_img read more

UCLA engineers create fully stretchable OLED

first_imgImage: Wiley ( — Engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have created the first fully stretchable organic light-emitting diode (OLED). The researchers devised a way of creating a carbon nanotube and polymer electrode and layering it onto a stretchable light-emitting plastic. Their device is a two-centimeter square with a one-centimeter square area that gives off a blue light. Details of their work were published in July in Advanced Materials. The paper is titled, “Intrinsically Stretchable Polymer Light-Emitting Devices Using Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite Electrodes.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: UCLA engineers create fully stretchable OLED (2011, August 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Researchers at UCLA demonstrate their fully stretchable OLED. They achieved the feat by sandwiching a carbon nanotube-polymer blend on either side of a light-emitting plastic. Another drawback encountered has been that the carbon nanotube film is rough and can cause shorting, says Zhenan Bao, a Stanford professor of chemical engineering who works on stretchable solar cells. “Using this method, they ended up with a relatively flat surface that can be used for an electrode.” Nonetheless, the need for further work in this area is far from over. She said that stretchable electronics demonstrated thus far lose conductivity after being stretched too far or too many times, so more research is needed. “We are still some ways off from having high-performance, really robust, intrinsically stretchable devices,” says Bao, but “with this work and those from others, we are getting closer and closer to realizing this kind of sophisticated and multifunctional electronic skin.”According to Technology Review, stretchable electronics could enter our worlds in the form of video displays that could be rolled up and tucked into a shirt pocket, or cell phones that could swell or shrink. In medical science, one might see electronic sheets draped like cloth. Explore furthercenter_img © 2011 More information: Intrinsically Stretchable Polymer Light-Emitting Devices Using Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite Electrodes, Advanced Materials, DOI:10.1002/adma.201101986 Engineers create polymer light-emitting devices that can be stretched like rubber The method they used for their proof-of-concept device has attracted interest because stretchable electronics is peppered with lots of design challenges, starting with carbon nanotubes themselves. These nanotubes are stretchable and are conductive, but to keep their shape, they need to be attached to some surface. Researchers have found that coating carbon nanotubes onto a plastic backing has not worked well, because the nanotubes slide off or past each other instead of stretching with the elastic. Until the UCLA team’s work, researchers were unable to come up with an entirely stretchable OLED.last_img read more

Berlin commuters will use folding EV Hiriko

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Hiriko consists of a Basque consortium of auto suppliers and engineers from MIT. The city car concept behind Hiriko was seeded at the MIT Media Lab and commercial development began years later in Basque country, by a Spanish consortium. Berlin has agreed on a pilot project with an initial phase this year, consisting of testing and adaptations for public use in Berlin. The official program is scheduled in 2014. The four wheels are able to rotate at a 60-degree angle. Factors playing into Deutsche Bahn’s decision to go with Hiriko as a car-sharing choice include the vehicle’s ability to fold and occupy little space, along with what is described as “vanguard” electronics that allow it to connect to intermobility platforms, according to Hiriko’s release. The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that allows a range of 75 miles between charges. The Hiriko can be recharged in 15 minutes. In addition to the folding EV, dubbed The Fold, Hiriko plans an “ialai” roadster, which has been shown in Brussels. This is targeted for parks and tourist resorts. Another concept is a truck version called Laga. (—Deutsche Bahn, the company that operates the German railway network, will enlist the Hiriko electric vehicle as part of its transport network in Berlin. The Hiriko folding car, targeted for the city’s car sharing network, will undergo testing as a “last mile” step in Deutsche Bahn’s railway network. This means commuters will use the foldable car to get from station to their final destinations. Spanish group demos “Hiriko” fold-up urban EV (w/ Video) Citation: Berlin commuters will use folding EV Hiriko (2013, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2013 Hiriko in Basque means “from the city” and its design and functions are expressly suitable for busy city streets with all their street space and parking constraints. Hiriko is about eight feet long. For parking purposes, one can fold it down to five feet.The team behind Hiriko set out to pitch their vehicles to municipalities, to in turn rent them out to commuters as shared vehicles. Last year, there were reports that the Hiriko makers were proposing the use of their cars to urban centers such as San Francisco, Berlin and Barcelona, with prices at about $16,000 each. More information: … n-transport-network/last_img read more

A new coating material that could help reduce thermal noise on gravity

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: A new coating material that could help reduce thermal noise on gravity wave detector mirrors (2019, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde and Hobart and William Smith Colleges has developed a new coating for mirrors used on gravity detectors that is 25 times less noisy than mirror surfaces used on LIGO. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes how they made it and how well it performed during testing. Electron diffraction pattern of the 600°C heat-treated silica-doped hafnia coating showing the coating to still be amorphous. This pattern is representative of those measured at lower heat-treatment temperatures. Credit: Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.231102 The mirrors used in gravity wave detectors are positioned at the ends of its arms. Coherent light rays are reflected from both mirrors and interfere with each other. Gravitational waves are measured by noting how much the mirrors shift, resulting in slight changes in length of the arms to which they are attached, to an accuracy of 10–16 cm. As impressive as that is, researchers want to improve the sensitivity of the detectors used at LIGO/Virgo, even after the recent upgrade. To that end, members of the European Union have begun developing plans for the construction of what the Einstein Telescope, a gravitational wave detector with sensitivity 100 times higher than LIGO/Virgo. But for that to happen, improvements in the design of the current interferometer are required. One of those improvements is reducing the amount of thermal fluctuations in the mirror coatings. In this new effort, the researchers claim to have done just that.Fluctuations in the mirror coating are due to mechanical loss in which vibrations result in heat generation, causing thermal fluctuations. The noise from the fluctuations interferes with measuring the gravity waves. For the current systems, the level of noise is acceptable, but it must be reduced significantly for more sensitive detectors.To reduce the noise in the mirror coating, the researchers replaced the fused silica and tantalum oxide currently used with hafnium oxide and amorphous silicon, respectively. Testing showed the replacements to be 25 times less noisy than the present coatings—enough for use on the Einstein Telescope.Theorists have estimated that the Einstein Telescope should be capable of finding primary black holes and other exotic objects—and it should also provide the necessary findings to clarify the Hubble constant. LIGO and Virgo resume search for ripples in space and timecenter_img More information: Kieran Craig et al. Mirror Coating Solution for the Cryogenic Einstein Telescope, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.231102 © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Physical Review Letters Explore furtherlast_img read more

Just kidding

first_imgKeeping in mind the fast paced momentum of art intervention in today’s education scenario and the commitment towards giving theatre exposure to children, Assitej India announced its First International Theatre Festival for Young Audiences – Tifli.  This weeklong festival hosted at Bal Bhawan, is a celebration of childhood through theatre; that brings together artists, plays, educators, opinion leaders and influencers from India and abroad; working on Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). The festival will encapsulate theatre performances; symposiums and seminars for educators; workshops, platform shows and competitions for children, Natya Mela and Art Installations. The festival will also include a unique project called the Next Generation program that entails a residency program of young theatre practitioners from fifteen countries. These practitioners will exchange ideas on how theatre for children is developing in their respective countries and how they have been practicing it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Imran Khan, Festival Director – Tifli and a member of the Executive Committee – Assitej Global said, ‘It gives me immense pleasure to announce the first Theatre for Young Audience Festival in Delhi, which will regale audiences with some thought provoking yet tender performances. We at Assitej aspire to popularise the usage of theatre as a tool in children’s education and over all personality development and we have had significant achievements over the years in different corners of the world. I hope that this festival will usher a new era for performing arts to reach out to children and their families.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTifli will showcase fourteen plays which have been meticulously designed for children and depict varied theatre styles- musical theatre, story-telling theatre, puppet theatre, object theatre, mime theatre and many more. These plays will be performed by professionals from different cities in India and other countries – Germany, Denmark, Iran and Sri Lanka. Contemporary issues like Global Warming, Climate Change and emotions like Fantasy, Love will be demonstrated through various theatrical performances in six different languages. There will be three shows of each play daily – morning and afternoon for schools specifically; and evenings will be for public. The festival shall hold workshops for children to experience different theatre styles with some of the best practitioners from India and abroad on voice modulation, storytelling, body movement, mark making and much more. For educators, Tifli will be hosting Master Classes with renowned theatre practitioners who would be orienting participants to use different art forms for TYA through varied themes such as Mime theatre, puppet theatre etc.  Furthermore, symposiums will be organized in collaboration with the National Book Trust that aim at developing literature for the Indian TYA.last_img read more

Dancing divinity

first_imgDelhi’s cultural stage came alive as under the aegis of the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) ,2014, Kuchipudi exponent Meenu Thakur and group presented a Kuchipudi recital Nritya Samagam at Azad Bhavan, ICCR in the capital on 3 November.The renowned Kuchipudi artiste Meenu Thakur and her students performance was a  combination of classical and choreographed Kuchipudi pieces, which were appreciated by the audience and connoisseurs of classical dance. Meenu Thakur’s students Babita, Dwivedita, Neha, Swati, Suprabha and Jahnvi displayed excellent synchronisation in the items Kalia Mardanam and Aaj Sakhi. Their movements were graceful and aesthetic. The major attraction of programme was Durga Stotram performed by Meenu Thakur, who portrayed the fiery Goddess Durga who slayed the evil demon and the Gajendra Moksham performed by her students, eliciting generous applause from the audience. The artistes were later felicitated by DIAF.last_img read more

Narcotics worth Rs 60 lakh seized 2 held

first_imgTwo persons, including a woman, were arrested and heroin worth Rs 60 lakh was seized from them in two separate incidents here, Delhi Police said on Sunday.The accused, identified as Ali Sher Shefai (55) and Shaheen (28), were arrested by Crime Branch’s Narcotics Cell on May 7, they said.In the first incident, police got a tip-off that Shefai, a resident of Jaitpur area, would come on DDU Marg.“Acting on the tip-off, police laid a trap and managed to arrest him, recovering 300 gm of heroin from him,” said a senior Delhi Police official. According to the official, Shefai disclosed that one Jalis of Badayun district of UP used to visit Jaitpur market on weekends to deliver him consignment of heroin.In the second incident, police arrested one Shaheen from Rohtak road on May 7 who had come to supply huge quantity of heroin to someone there.“Police have recovered 300 gm of heroin from her possession. She would procure heroin from one Rashid of Faridpur area of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and sell the same in Karala and adjoining areas,” police informed the media.The cost of around 600 gm of fine quality heroin in the international market, recovered from both the accused, was about Rs 60 lakh, the official added.last_img read more

Four TMC leaders among 6 killed in road accident

first_imgKolkata: Four Trinamool Congress leaders among six people were killed when a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into their SUV.The incident took place near Marishda area in East Midnapore on early Wednesday morning. The victims have been identified as Abdul Haji Kalam Sheikh (52), Haidar Ali (45), Deb Sagar Dey (42), Samar Ghosh (41), Pradip Das (36) and Asit Das (53). The deceased were all the residents of Murshidabad. They were going to Digha along the National Highway 116B. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsA senior police officer of the district, Sheikh was in-charge of PWD affairs at Kandi Panchayat Samiti in Murshidabad, whereas Ali used to look after agricultural affairs. Dey and Ghosh were also Trinamool Congress leaders at Purandarpur gram panchayat. They started off from Kandi on Tuesday evening. Police said a bus was coming from the opposite direction when it collided head on with the car. It occurred when the bus tried to overtake a loaded truck. Five of them including the driver died on spot, while the sixth victim Asit Das succumbed after being taken to a hospital in the city. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAsit Das was a doctor by profession. According to police, some of the passengers travelling in the bus also received injuries in the accident. They were released after primary treatment in a nearby medical centre.Police said the car was at a high speed when it was hit by a Howrah-bound private bus that was returningfrom Digha.Locals told the police that they heard a loud thud and rushed to the spot only to find all the six passengers trapped inside the car. The frontal portion of the car was completely damaged in the accident. Police and locals faced difficulties in removing the bodies of the victims from inside the mangled car. Police cut a portion of the vehicle with a gas cutter and removed the bodies. Five of them died on spot, while one died after being taken to Kanthi Sub-divisional hospital. The frontal portion of the bus was also damagedin the accident.The incident triggered traffic congestion in the area on Wednesday morning. The vehicle was later removed from the place with the help of a crane. The driver of the bus fled the spot immediately after the accident. Police have seized the bus and ill-fated car. Police suspect that as the bus was also at a high speed while overtaking a truck. Dibyendu Adhikari, Trinamool Congress MP visited the hospital.last_img read more

Pongal delights

first_imgPongal is celebrated with great ardour down South but this is no reason to try out delicious dishes. Pongal is also the name of a dish which is made out of Jaggery and rice. Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine The Spice Route, The Imperial, shares the recipie of Sakkarai pongal.Ingredients• Ghee- 30ml• Cashewnut- 15 gms• Raisin- 15 gms• Brown coconut- 60 gms• Rice- 50 gms• Moong Dhuli Dal- 50gms• Jaggery- 100gms• Cardamom powder – 01-2 gmsMethod1. Wash and soak rice and dal for half an hour.2. Cook it in water ( similar to making rice). Then mash it.3.  Now make jaggery syrup and add it to rice and dal.4. Pour desi ghee in the pan adding sliced brown coconut and raisins and Cashewnut.5. Stir till brown6. Garnish with Cardamom powderlast_img read more

Fire breaks out at Park Streets Apeejay House

first_imgKolkata: A fire broke out at Apeejay House in Park Street around 11 am on Monday. Ten fire tenders were at the spot trying the douse the flames, which spread from the building’s server room in the fourth floor of the eight-storeyed building, reports said.Immediately security persons went towards the server room to check. By the time the fire was identified it had gone beyond control. Without wasting any time, the whole floor was vacated. Fire brigade and police personnel were called in. Six fire tenders were sent to douse the fire within few minutes. As the intensity of the fire grew, four more tenders were pressed into action. Sources informed that though sprinklers were activated at the right time, the fire could not be doused as its intensity was very high. Firefighters faced difficulties primarily as the flames occurred on the fourth floor. To deal with the situation a hydraulic ladder was used to reach the fire-affected area from outside. The fire-fighting management system of Apeejay House also helped the firefighters to douse the flames. Though the police informed that extent of damage is yet to be ascertained, sources informed that the damage will cost worth lakhs of rupees. The office premises have almost been turned into ashes. Around 1 pm, state Fire minister and Mayor Sovan Chatterjee visited the spot. Also Director General (DG) Fire, Jag Mohan, supervised the fire-fighting teams. The cause is yet to be ascertained. However, no one was hurt. After almost three hours, normal traffic movement resumed in Park Street.last_img read more

Festive fervour continues from New Years eve as Kolkatans celebrate first day

first_imgKolkata: As Kolkata welcomed the New Year, lakhs of people came out of their homes to enjoy bright sunshine and celebrate the first day of 2019. The city has witnessed huge festive fervour on the night of December 31, the enthusiasm of which continued among people on Tuesday.Elaborate police arrangements were made to allow the revellers to enjoy the day uninterrupted. Additional state-run buses and vessels were deployed to take city-dwellers to their favourite spots. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeLong queues of devotees were seen outside Cossipore Garden House where Sri Ramakrishna had blessed his disciples on January 1, 1886. The day is celebrated as Kalpataru Divas. On the occasion, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Today is Kalpataru Divas. It is said that on this day Ramakrishna Paramhansa Deb transformed into ‘Kalpataru’ – the mystical tree that fulfills everyone’s wishes. My greetings to all.” Thousands of people visited Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math as well. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedEco Park in New Town was converted into a sea of people on Tuesday. The park that stands on over 400 acres of land surrounded by 105 acres of waterbody is the biggest urban park in Eastern India. Special arrangements were made, including additional ticket counters, so that the visitors could enjoy the day. Eco Park saw a footfall of 1.27 lakh on Tuesday. Replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the seven wonders of the world, along with the air-conditioned toy train, were star attractions. Additional buses were deployed to carry the visitors back home. Senior officials of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) were present to assist the visitors. Forty children who got lost were later united with their parents. People also gathered at Nicco Park and large crowds gathered at the joyrides. People gathered at Victoria Memorial Hall and Alipore Zoo in large numbers as well. People from the districts came to Victoria Memorial to celebrate the first day of the year. Large crowds were seen outside the cages of tiger and lion and in front of the enclosure of the chimpanzee at the zoo. Many people enjoyed boat rides on river Hooghly. Many also held picnics at spots like Phuleshwar, Kolaghat and others along the river. People visited Bandel Church and the newly restored tavern at Srirampur.last_img read more

Unspent MPLADS for Bengal stands at Rs 12427 crore

first_imgKolkata: Out of total Rs 928.09 crore available under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) with the district authorities in West Bengal, Rs 803.76 crore has so far been spent while unspent balance till date is to the tune of Rs 124.27 crore during the current 16th Lok Sabha tenure, according to official data. According to latest data of Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the total entitlement for 42 constituencies during the 16th Lok Sabha was about Rs 1,055 crore while the funds released by the central government was Rs 860 crore. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The data suggested that “the amount available with interest is Rs 928.09 crore” for West Bengal while the unspent balance available under the MPLADS in the state is Rs 124.27 crore”. The percentage of utilisation over the released funds was at about 93.46 per cent for the state. The ministry is, however, said the role of MPs is limited only upto recommendation of works and thereafter, it is the responsibility of the district authority to sanction, execute and complete the works. The cumulative amount recommended by Members of Parliament for various MPLADs works was Rs 1,055.24 crore while the amount sanctioned is Rs 905.82 crore.last_img read more

Green corridor set up by cops helps 47yrold get the heart of

first_imgKolkata: The city witnessed another green corridor on Tuesday night when the heart retrieved from a 16-year-old boy, who was declared brain dead at a hospital in Mumbai, was taken to the Fortis Hospital in the city to be transplanted on a 47-year old woman.The heart was harvested from the youth at 6:40 pm at Global Hospital, Mumbai, after he met with an accident and was declared brain dead by the doctors at the hospital. A team of doctors headed by cardiovascular surgeons — KM Mandana and Tapas Roychowdhury —performed the surgery and gave a fresh lease of life to Anusha Adhikary (47) at the Fortis Hospital. At present, Adhikary has been kept under ventilation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to the hospital doctors, the heart transplant was successful but they were yet to see how the patient responds in the post-operative scenario. This is the fourth heart transplant carried out by the Fortis Hospital so far. The heart of the 16-year-old boy was brought from Mumbai. Hospital sources said the heart started beating again in the body of the recipient. She is stable and has regained consciousness. The city police facilitated a green corridor between the Calcutta Airport and the private hospital in Mukundapur covering a distance of 18 km. It took about 16 minutes and 23 seconds to take the organ to the hospital from the airport. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThere had been a spur in organ transplantations in Bengal in the past two years due to awareness campaigns carried out by the state government. The state health department has been conducting camps at both the government-run and private hospitals and the efforts have started yielding results. According to a senior official of the state Health department, 14 organ transplant surgeries have been conducted in the state. Calcutta Medical College and Hospital conducted two heart transplants at free of cost a few months back. The whole process is done through a register maintained by the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) having names of potential receivers who urgently require organs. A number of important organ transplantations have already been conducted at various government-run medical colleges, including the SSKM Hospital and Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.last_img read more

New Yorks 1977 blackout shone a light for the hip hop movement

first_imgThis month marks 41 years since New York experienced a legendary blackout. In 1977 a thunderstorm took out the city’s power grid, leaving citizens of the Big Apple without electricity for 24 hours. It’s not often a major urban center is plunged into darkness. The act of god was more than an inconvenience. New York’s population were angry enough before the outage. When the lights went out, their frustration boiled over.Crime ran rampant as people, both criminals and the disaffected, saw their chance to stick it to the authorities. In 2006 the New York Times quoted rapper Curtis Fisher, aka Grandmaster Caz, who described it as being “like Christmas for black people.”Grandmaster Caz in 2007. Photo by Michael Raasch CC BY 3.0TIME Magazine looked back on their own coverage of the event in 2015: “The ’77 blackout presented a rare opportunity for the powerless minority to suddenly seize power, TIME concluded, quoting the head of the National Urban League as saying, “[The underclass] in a crisis feels no compulsion to abide by the rules of the game because they find that the normal rules do not apply to them.”In addition to looting, there were alarming breakdowns in security. The stifling heat was ramped up by arson attacks. Half a dozen prisoners managed to break out of Rikers Island prison, which caused concern. However, when it came to criminality there was worse still.Subway Station. New York 1973.The shadow of David Berkowitz still hung over the city. Berkowitz, or “Son of Sam” as history remembers him, was still a month away from being caught. The serial killer held New York in a grip of terror, one filmed by Spike Lee for the movie Summer Of Sam (1999).Lee perfectly captured that turbulent time in the city that never sleeps. TIME shockingly referred to the period as “New York’s Dark Ages,” worse than the previous blackout of 1965, which seemed strangely mild by comparison. There was unrest before, but things had festered since then.Police officers escort American accused (and ultimately convicted) serial killer David Berkowitz (left), known as the Son of Sam, into the 84th precinct station, New York, New York, August 10, 1977. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)The situation was one of the bleakest the metropolis had known, but there was something that brought joy to peoples’ lives. One of America’s great musical genres, which back then was in its infancy… hip hop.The rap movement began in the early 1970s in New York, via rhyme battles at locations such as Harlem World Entertainment Complex on 116th Street. It then broke through into mainstream culture toward the end of the decade through hits such as Rapper’s Delight.Kid breaks out epic dance moves to hip hop trackGrandmaster Caz reminisced as part of the Hush Tours tourist experience in 2006, covered in the New York Times: “He waxed rhapsodic over hip-hop’s humble beginnings when the biggest rap shows in New York were announced on hand-lettered Xeroxed fliers… and D.J.’s powered their sound systems for outdoor block parties by tapping into the wiring of street lamps.”They wouldn’t have been able to do that during the blackout of course. Nevertheless, the event was big news for hip-hop. In fact, the storm from above created a cultural storm down below. The equipment those musical pioneers needed was only obtained because of the opportunity to loot. As Fisher put it, “The next day there were a thousand new D.J.’s.”Grandmaster Caz, Big Daddy Kane & Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Photo by Ruben Diaz Jr. CC By 2.0Rap history has only begun to be chronicled in recent years, thanks to the efforts of Fisher and Debra Harris. She started Hush Tours in the late 1990s after stumbling on a gap in the tourist market when it came to hip hop’s origins.Read another story from us: With over 250 felonies in a week, NYC subway in the 1970s was the most dangerous place on earthHarris found a surprising level of ignorance on the subject in the country where it made its name. Her aim, and those of artists such as Fisher, is to keep visitors informed about the music’s origins, away from its current associations with wealth and excess.A cornerstone of that story is the 1977 blackout. Without this period of chaos, the U.S. may not have heard the voice of Grandmaster Caz at all.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

The Royal Dwarf Wedding Which Ended in a Drunken Brawl

first_imgThe Russian Tsar Peter the Great was well known for his particular love of small people. This was somewhat ironic given his own size: at a height of six feet and seven inches, he towered above most visitors to his court, yet he was obsessed with dwarfs. Peter kept a permanent retinue of dwarfs in his court and frequently used them to put on lavish entertainments. During extravagant feasts in the royal palace, it was not uncommon to see a naked dwarf leaping from a giant pie, or plays and entertainments using dwarf actors.Peter the Great.However, in one of the court’s stranger episodes, Peter the Great decided to hold a lavish mock wedding involving the dwarf Iakim Volkov. Volkov was the official court dwarf, and a permanent fixture at royal events. He was favored by the Tsar and often took part in Peter’s strange entertainments.According to royal biographer Lindsay Hughes, in late October 1710, the royal court was set ablaze by the marriage of Peter’s niece Anna to Frederick William, the Duke of Courland. The wedding was a huge event, consisting of several days of feasting, fireworks and other entertainments.Peter I Monument in Taganrog, by Mark Antokolski.As the celebrations for the nuptials of Anna and Frederick drew to a close, Peter decided to hold a parallel ‘mock’ wedding as yet another form of entertainment for the guests. Iakim Volkov would be the groom, and he would be attended by dozens of fellow dwarfs. Peter ordered that all the dwarfs in Moscow were to be rounded up and sent to St Petersburg, where they were kept caged in pens like cattle.According to historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, on the day of the fake wedding, Peter ordered the dwarfs to be dressed as courtiers, and released into the court to celebrate the ‘marriage’ of Volkov. The day began with a huge procession, including 72 dwarfs, the Tsar and his royal court.Peter the Great as a child.The company processed down to St Peter and Paul’s cathedral where the ceremony took place. Peter held the wedding crown over the head of the dwarf bride as the onlookers (including the priest) sniggered and giggled.The wedding banquet took place in Menshikov’s Palace, where the dwarfs were installed in long tables and plied with food and vodka, as the royal courtiers and the royal family looked on in amusement from the sides of the room.After some time, the dwarfs became increasingly drunk and began to dance, fight and fall over. Many of them came from rural communities and were uncultured and ill mannered. They quickly becoming intoxicated and the feast descended into a brawl, which was observed with amusement by the courtiers and royal family.Portrait of Peter I by Godfrey Kneller, 1698. This portrait was Peter’s gift to the King of England.This rather sad image may seem particularly cruel according to modern sensibilities. Indeed, many of the dwarfs in the wedding party had little choice in their involvement, and were forced to comply with the Tsar’s demands under pain of imprisonment or even death.Although some dwarfs could rise to high status in the court (such as Iakim Volkov), their position was always precarious, and depended on keeping the Tsar happy and entertained.Peter’s taste for using dwarfs in his court entertainments may, however, have been more than simply a reflection of his eccentric tastes. According to the historian Lindsay Hughes, he used dwarfs to create spectacles that mirrored Russian society, and particularly aspects of his own royal court that he found ridiculous or risible.Russian courtiers were well known around Europe for their drunkenness and rude manners, and in some ways, Peter may have been poking fun at his own court. The Russian courtiers may have adopted Western European dress and styles, but they were still a long way from being considered ‘civilized’ by their French and British peers.Read another story from us: The Court Dwarf Served in a Pie to a KingBy juxtaposing his niece’s nuptial celebrations with those of the fake ‘dwarf wedding,’ Peter was showing his courtiers what they were: ill-mannered, uncouth children on the European stage. It’s not clear, however, if any of his courtiers got the joke.last_img read more

Google Apps for Your Business The Good the Bad and the Ugly

first_imgAugust 2, 2010 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s not Bill Gates’ world any more. Sure, Microsoft remains the dominant office software provider, with 450 million deployed users, according to data from the company. But its downcoast rival, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, has broken Microsoft’s lock on office software products. More than 2 million firms and 25 million users now handle their e-mail, documents and other office tasks using Google’s web-based professional office suite, Google Apps.And for good reason.Google’s office tools offer a mind-boggling array of cloud-based productivity options to even the smallest firms: Essentially everything you do at work is now available anywhere, anytime, from any online connection. Better yet, it’s all free for the standard version–or $50 per year per user for the Premier version, which includes additional storage and high-quality, unlimited support.And Google is just getting started. In April the company quietly overhauled Apps, dramatically changing the user interface and upgrading the core code of the software. The new Apps supports development by third parties though the Google Apps Marketplace.If you don’t have good web access, you are better off working with traditional word processors like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. But if you use the internet and your firm is not Google Apps-savvy right at this very second, you are making a mistake.Here are our choices for the great, the not-so-great and the downright awful Google small-business tools:Great ToolsGoogle Apps Gmail What’s to love: The cornerstone of any small-business venture, Google Apps Gmail supports your company’s URL and looks the same from any web browser or mobile device. For example, it instantly turns even an iPod Touch into a work portal. Plus, Gmail has plenty of room for every employee’s work e-mail, with 25 GB of storage per user (with a paid Apps account). Employees have complete remote access, and the system requires them to log in to do their work, for total accountability. Gmail conversations are “threaded,” unlike most desktop e-mail clients, which means e-mails are grouped by similar subject lines, making it simpler to track intricate, multi-party exchanges.What’s to hate: Google’s approach to logging in and managing various e-mail identities is needlessly complicated. Worse, employees often have trouble telling whether they’re logged in to the company’s virtual e-mail system or their own personal Gmail account. Also, be prepared to be bombarded by ad-supported content. Text ads are Google’s main business, so you’re pretty much always looking at them. Some may be relevant, but many businesses will be wary about opening their private company e-mails to marketers, even if anonymously.Productivity factor: Tremendous. If you’re not using a Google Apps Gmail account in tandem with Microsoft Outlook, you’re either a newbie or a fool. But be forewarned: It’s not a complete substitute for Outlook.Google Apps Calendar What’s to love: Apps Calendar creates a common platform on which to schedule appointments and events throughout your entire business in real time. It lets assistants schedule executives’ appointments from a remote location, and it lets your clients update meetings as they need to–again, as it happens. Quite simply, when it comes to group events, it’s the scheduling tool of the gods–it even generates e-mail invitations that include a button to respond. When employees indicate they will attend, Apps Calendar automatically adds the shared meeting to your schedule and theirs. It also lets you merge employees’ calendars with yours in order to manage your whole team’s time with a bird’s-eye view.What’s to hate: Like Apps Gmail, Calendar can be confusing and complex; managing Calendar Settings is the devil’s work. And you can expect to deploy another project management app like Smartsheet or LiquidPlanner to really make scheduling work. Also, managing permissions and privacy has been difficult in our testing. And, of course, different people manage their schedules in different ways. Be warned: Integration with Outlook is futile.Productivity factor: There’s no other tool out there like it. The scheduling features alone are a must-have for small businesses. Just don’t ask it to do too much.Google Docs What’s to love: Google Docs gained the most in the recent Google Apps rebuild, which solved most previous problems regarding connectivity and collaboration. Offline content creation can actually work. Its collaborative word-processing features, which let multiple parties make revisions simultaneously, are a revelation for any fast-moving creative team. Suddenly, creating a proposal or a presentation is an almost-weightless task. Forget writer’s block: Real-time chat and comments put the group’s feedback right on the page, and changes are saved automatically and often. You’ll never look at writing or editing the same way again.What’s to hate: As cool as it is, Google Docs will not replace Microsoft Word or OpenOffice when it comes to producing slick, professional-looking documents. More troubling, connectivity can still be an issue, a scary prospect when Docs freezes up in the middle of saving a document. And forget about using the wildly unreliable e-mail attachments and publish-to-web features; both can be unstable.Productivity factor: Docs rocks. It’s simply the best collaborative work tool on the market–and you can’t beat the price.Google AdWords What’s to love: Though technically not part of Google Apps, AdWords still is an integral part of any growing business’s basic marketing strategy. It forces a firm to boil its value proposition down to a sentence and makes you responsible for how you follow up on leads from your website.What’s to hate: Don’t spend more than $100 a month without the help of an online-search-term pro, or you’re going to burn money fast. AdWords is much trickier than it appears. Also, competitors such as Facebook and Twitter are breathing down the online ad market leader’s neck. So this market is changing fast.Productivity factor: AdWords can really work, but be careful not to overspend.Google Pack What’s to love: This is our sleeper pick for Google products that also work for the small business–and the first thing you should download when you get a new computer. Google Pack is a free starter office suite that contains the Google Chrome browser, Google Apps, and Spyware Doctor and Anti-Virus, among other Google software, along with third-party applications such as Adobe Reader and Skype.What’s to hate: Not much, really. Yes, this is a clear promotional vehicle for Google. But it is handy and gets you up and productive in just a few clicks. Surprisingly cool.Productivity factor: Easy to install and efficient, it’s a great way to get Google-ized fast.Not-so-great ToolsGoogle Presentations What’s to love: Because they’re stored online, presentations can be updated on the road, and it’s great for finding data in real time. Presentations also makes it relatively easy to insert basic images and videos. A template library gets you up to speed quickly, and the sharing feature lets you collect and share team feedback quickly, keeping everyone on the same page, literally. Publishing your finished product on the web or embedding it in a website is instantaneous, making it easy to reach a worldwide audience in a flash.What’s to hate: Google Presentations simply does not have the same level of features as PowerPoint. And for PPoint heads, this will drive you nuts. Design features are limited. And while you can open PowerPoint files of up to 10MB, the transliteration can be way clunky. Text boxes have feeble updating features, and sometimes the layouts get skewed. And be prepared to bone up on your web coding skills to get Presentations working smoothly, especially when working with multiple browsers.Productivity factor: PowerPoint 2010 has nothing to worry about.Google Sites What’s to love: This drag-and-drop website development tool is useful to anybody who struggles with building team-based websites that work inside your business. If you are a Wiki shop building an internal site, or are struggling with Microsoft SharePoint, Sites will save you a ton of time and money. These websites all exist within your branded Google Apps domain and are easily edited by employees, with permissions set from the main account. It also integrates information from other Google Apps programs well, making it a breeze to organize Google Docs, Spreadsheets and deadlines from Calendar, along with Gmail messages relevant to the matter at hand.What’s to hate: Despite its flexibility, there are many other ways to develop a more effective public web space, namely Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Small businesses might find Sites overly complex and just not worth the bother.Productivity factor: Don’t throw away your web development tools quite yet. Google Sites can be clumsy for the tech-inexperienced small shop.Google Voice What’s to love: This is an attempt to reinvent telephony with the one-phone-number concept, complemented by plenty of bells and whistles. When a customer calls your Google Voice number, they get a recording while it pings your registered numbers to find you or sends it immediately to voicemail. Voice also offers transcription, message sharing, multiple personalized greetings and some spiffy international calling.What’s to hate: Clearly, this is a whole lot of technology looking for a problem to solve. The ritual of business phone usage remains one of the inviolate aspects of business life. So tinkering with inbound business calls to loop in a Google-branded automated operator can be a ticklish business proposition. And there have been quality issues for international calling and transcription. The novelty can get old fast.Productivity factor: Not much. Your customers mastered the phone 120 years ago. They’re not about to change their habits now.Google Wave/Google Buzz What’s to love: Wave is Google’s attempt to create a medium-agnostic sharing tool that lets users create real-time content in the cloud as if there was no web browser. And Buzz brings social media to Google’s arsenal of products by letting users collect ideas, clips, photos and videos online and share them among a group where everyone can comment on them. Both are simply fabulous technology.What’s to hate: Such cutting-edge tools require teams that understand exactly how they work; most small businesses simply don’t have the time or resources to train their people effectively.Productivity factor: For Google Apps experts only.Awful ToolsGoogle Spreadsheets What’s to love: Not much. This is Google Apps’ major disappointment. Sure, you get basic spreadsheet functions and some pretty cool tricks (such as real-time updates of web data and automatic compatibility with Excel and any .xls or .cls file), but little else here impresses. Nice features include an autofill function that lets you avoid having to retype the same terms over and over, the ability to drag columns to new locations, and a streamlined copy feature that makes duplicates in one click. What’s to hate: Turns out collaborating on spreadsheets isn’t the holy grail some thought it was. After all, most small companies want only one or two employees managing their accounting or its sales. Also, Google Spreadsheets is downright lumbering compared to Excel, perhaps Microsoft Office’s best program, particularly when running in 64-bit environments. Data entry in Google Spreadsheets can be annoyingly buggy; lines will sometimes disappear without warning. And freezing and unfreezing panes is needlessly complicated. Fans of Microsoft Excel, prepare to be disappointed.Productivity factor: None. Excel has nothing to worry about.last_img read more

The Psychology Behind Choosing a Killer Domain Name

first_img Register Now » Choosing a domain name is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business. Your domain name characterizes your business, labels your business, and will stick with your business for a long time.In most cases, you should choose a domain name at the same time you choose your business name. When your domain name matches your business name, you have a far better chance of being remembered while at the same time keeping your branding cohesive and unified.Make it memorable.The brain has remarkable powers of memory, but the domain you choose should cater to these powers.Unique. The best domain names are not an ordinary combination of words or phrases. They stand out in the memory because they are unusual.Visual. The more areas of the brain affected, the more memorable something is. If your domain name suggests something that can be seen or touched, this enhances its memorability.Catchy. The easier it is to say, read, and repeat, the easier it is to remember.Ordered. The brain likes things to be organized. Memorization is basically the process of organization. The better a domain name is organized, the more memorable it will be. For example, “” has order. But “” doesn’t make any sense.Related: How I Finally Snagged My Dream Domain NameMake it short.Your domain name needs to be short if you want people to remember it or have the patience to type it in.There are a few ridiculous examples of insanely long domain names:http://www.iamtheproudownerofthelongestlongestlongestdomainnameinthisworld.comhttp://llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf.comNo business owner in his or her right mind would choose a domain name with that many characters. Unfortunately, some business owners do get greedy with keywords, and create domain names that are nothing more than a jumble of keywords — lots of keywords and an agonizingly long URL. Don’t go that route. Choose instead a short and sweet name, even if it doesn’t have any keywords.Make it relevant.A domain name should reflect some aspect of what the company is or does. Good company names are unique and attention-grabbing, without being blandly declarative. For example, one company I helped start is called Kissmetrics. The name and domain has the word metrics, which describes the nature of the SaaS. Blandly-named companies run the risk of being forgotten. Worse, they may not find an available domain name. For example, a business called “Window Washing” will probably have to pay a premium for the domain, “”Here are some examples — one positive, and one negative.LifeLock,  LifeLock provides identity-protection services. Their business name and domain is a portmanteau of the two words “life” and “lock,” which describe exactly what they do as a business. Obviously, they could have chosen, but as it is, their domain/business name is memorable and relevant.Screaming Frog, Screaming Frog is a digital marketing agency which also provides a leading SEO spider tool. Their name, while creative, does not indicate either their service or the nature of their organization. Both the URL and business name don’t do much to advance their business’s online objectives.If you are a little-known startup working in a crowded niche, relevancy is important. However, you don’t want to take relevancy too far. Keep in mind that some of the most valuable and dominant brands have names and domains that are totally undescriptive of their products or services — Apple, Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo and Amazon, among other big-name brands.You shouldn’t choose a business name simply on account of a keyword-dense domain name that happens to be available. Allow your business name to take precedence over keywords.Related: New Yorkers Can Now Park Their Websites at .nycMake it simple.The most simple domains are the best. Two or three words and a dot-com extension make the most powerful domains.Here are some things that you should always avoid in your domain name:Dashes. Few people will remember if or when to use a dash in your domain.Numbers. No one can remember whether they should spell “five” or use the number “5.”Any extension other than .com. If you are doing business primarily in another country (e.g.,, then a country-specific domain is appropriate. There are plenty of creative extensions you can use including .tv, .flowers, .biz, .info and .ink. These are useless. Some extensions that provide word completion domain extensions may be acceptable. For instance, Abbreviations will only clutter up your domain name, making it ugly and forgettable.Ambiguous words. Make sure your domain doesn’t have any ambiguity. For example, might look okay as two words, but does it reflect what the company does? This domain could also be spellings. Some businesses like to tweak the common spellings of words in order to make their business name creative. For example, “Doug’s Holesale Digging,” “Kleen Machine,” or “The Dzign People.” Those may work in an offline world of signage and print advertising, but they don’t make for effective domain names.Domain name affects every area of branding. It could be argued that today’s domain name is one of the most significant aspect of a brand’s identity. If you follow these simple rules of domain name selection, you will come up with an effective domain name for your brand.Related: The Most Expensive Domain Names in Internet History Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 19, 2014 5 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

A Foundation of Trust Is How the Sharing Economy Thrives

first_img Like many of you, I absolutely love the sharing economy. Just today I used an Uber lift-riding service, booked an Airbnb house in Cape Town and hired some temporary workers through Wonolo. I trust that my 20-something kids will take Uber or Lyft when they have been celebrating with drinks at night. I trust that the Airbnb house in Cape Town will be clean and safe. I trust that the workers we hired will meet our expectations. How did we get to this state of the sharing economy, and how did it become so successful so quickly? It is about convenience, cost and trust in the service. Of those three, I believe that trust is what truly makes the sharing economy — and any successful business — hum. Related: 3 Ways to Harness the ‘New Power’ That Let Airbnb, Kickstarter and Other Companies Climb to the TopAmong sharing economy companies, trust is the very core of their business model. It is not limited to a risk-mitigation line item expense. Trust is about being sure that the very best people are fulfilling the promise of your brand service. These trusted folks are the face of your sharing economy brand.Strategic vetting can bring motivated, qualified and competent workers who burnish your brand. Fail to vet accurately or get it wrong, and you’re likely to get bad publicity and dissatisfied customers who take their business elsewhere and trash your brand on social media.The following eight tips for an effective screening program come from our work with dozens of executives at sharing economy companies who detailed their requirements, their challenges and their processes. 1. Accuracy.This is the core of a vetting service. The results must be accurate or huge mistakes will cost you. Imagine missing a person’s sexual offender record or DUI conviction, and then having that person drive your 8-year-old son or daughter to school. Imagine allowing a known terrorist to be a visiting professor at your college. Unfortunately, these scenarios have occurred, resulting in victims who have suffered tremendously. Trust is built on transparency and confidence. If you don’t have it, your brand will be hurt.2. Applicant user experience.In order to grow, companies need supply-side and demand-side participants. Some companies only vet the supply side, while others vet both supply-side and demand-side participants. If you want supply-side people to provide your brand service, such as drivers, grocery delivery and gig workers, the ability to join quickly and seamlessly is critical. The user experience of onboarding must be as frictionless as possible, and this includes information required for screening. Solutions such as mobile onboarding and entering just a few pieces of personally identifiable information can become a core brand issue.3. Fast turnaround.In these times of low unemployment, the onboarding of service people must be as quick as possible. There are screening searches that are immediate, such as searching against sexual-offender or multi-state criminal databases, but there are also manual processes required for checking criminal records in various states or in various countries. Look for screening services that can respond with immediate initial results, then quick follow-ups after validation. Our customers increasingly demand immediate results of database searches, followed by a complete report in fewer than two days.Related: How Well Do You Know Your Job Applicants? A Four-Stage Approach To The Recruitment Process4. Customized packages.Each sharing economy company is a little different, with differing screening requirements. Hiring a driver for a ride-sharing service should include identity, sexual offender, multi-state criminal record, negative watch list, motor vehicle and insurance verifications. Matching a gig economy engineer with a company should include verification of degrees and prior work experience. The requirements are different, and each type of sharing economy company should follow or establish best practices for their requirements. Work with your screening provider to match your requirements to the appropriate screening solutions.5. Unobtrusive monitoring.Once you have vetted and hired a participant in the delivery of your brand services, there continues to be a need to protect your brand and mitigate customer risk. Will a driver get a DUI and have their license suspended and their insurance canceled? Will an Airbnb host get convicted for sexual assault? These are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed on a constant basis. Understand your brand. Understand why customers love you, and protect those customers constantly with a monitoring program based on an incident or a calendar schedule.6. Global trust.Even if companies aren’t global (yet), they likely are hiring people who have work histories in other countries. Your screening company needs to work globally, too. As sharing economy companies strategize for global growth country-by-country, they need a single platform for the trusted screening of candidates for every country. This platform needs to be automated and ensure that data privacy and best practices by country are built on the single platform.7. Ideal use of technology.Accurate results. Applicant user experiences. Speed. Customized packages. Continuous monitoring. Efficient global vetting. It is critical to determine whether your screening provider can deliver all of the above. This includes RESTful API integration with whatever systems are used internally by a sharing economy company. From these basics, scale up in terms of automated rules-based platforms, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in combination with your own internal data. The most-effective screening programs use multiple data inputs to ensure high-quality, accurate results.8. Compliance and experience.There are still no precedents for some areas of screening in this new trust economy, and regulatory battles rage on state-by-state and country-by-country with regards to data privacy rules. In this case, take a conservative approach to protect all parties in the vetting process. Be sure your screening company adheres to such established frameworks as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Make sure that rules are not bent or overlooked by engaging with reputable screening companies, regulatory attorneys and your own in-house counsel.Related: How Small Businesses Can Survive in the Age of GDPRAs a consumer of sharing economy services and an experienced global expert of vetting people and companies, I am a strong advocate of transparency and trust. I believe in a global trust economy because of its numerous advantages to create employment opportunities and provide greater convenience to consumers, often at a lower cost.The underlying foundation of this global sharing economy is trust. Screening companies play a small yet vital role in building this foundation of trust. 6 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. July 17, 2018 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Firebug Theme for Firefox Developer Tools

first_imgFirebug Theme for Firefox Developer Tools by Martin Brinkmann on April 21, 2016 in Firefox – 6 commentsFirebug is a popular development extension for Firefox that has been available for Firefox since the early 1.x days of the web browser.It launched at a time when development tools were not integrated into web browsers — the most you could do back then was to display the source code and maybe edit it directly if integration was available — and it revolutionized how web developers could utilize the browser to edit, debug and monitor code and the actual display of web pages in the web browser.Firebug is still popular with more than 2 million users, but the team made the decision some time ago that it would concentrate its efforts on integrating features of Firebug into the Firefox Developer Tools instead of working on Firebug 3.x as a standalone extension.Reasons given by the team were that it did not want to compete with Firefox’s Development Tools, that users did not want to use two separate tools, and that the integration would be beneficial in regards to performance, stability and security.Firebug theme in FirefoxThe initial plan was to create a Firebug theme for Firefox’s Development Tools, to bring Firebug user experience improvements to Firefox, and to integrate Firebug tools into Firefox that the browser’s own Developer Tools did not support.A first version of the Firebug theme has been integrated into the most recent Nightly version of Firefox.As is the case with these things, it will take some time before the theme will become available to web developers that run other editions of the web browser.The theme at this point in time modifies only colors, fonts and layout but does not introduce any features besides that to the Developer Tools of the browser.To enable the theme in Firefox, do the following:With a web page open, tap on F12 to display the Developer Tools interface.A click on the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the Developer Tools interface displays the preferences.Locate the themes section there, and select Firebug from the list of available themes.The change is immediate, and affects only the Developer Tools interface and not the full browser interface.You can check out the bug on Bugzilla that landed the theme, and another that lists potential improvements to the theme that Mozilla considers adding in the future.As far as the Firebug extension is concerned, it will continue to work for now but that is going to stop when Mozilla introduces e10s on the stable channel as Firebug won’t be compatible with Firefox’s multi-process architecture. (via Sören Hentzschel)SummaryArticle NameFirebug Theme for Firefox Developer ToolsDescriptionMozilla launched a first version of the official Firebug theme for the Firefox web browser in the most recent Nightly development version of the browser.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

In the Russian Investigation Clues Were Lost in Translation

first_imgAnother thing that people get hung up on going from Russian to English is past tense (“I wrote”) and past participle (“I have written.”) Here’s another ad:“Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”Idiomatically, you’d probably want to write that as “committed voter fraud,” most likely. The same category of error shows up in an email allegedly from another fake identity sent to Florida grassroots groups: “We got a lot of volunteers” instead of the more correct “we’ve got a lot.” Whoever wrote the message had gotten it right in a previous email.From that same email, the construction “who are okay to be in charge” seems likely to be a too-direct translation from idiomatic Russian, says my friend, as does the phrase “a huge lot of followers” in another email. That latter one is probably, she says, a direct translation from an expression that’s better as “a huge quantity.”If these messages indeed sound, well, kinda Russian, not set off alarm bells? Why did this campaign of persuasion actually work? I speculate: Language has become more and more informal on the internet. As the linguist David Crystal has argued, the internet allows for much more informal writing; social media perhaps even more so. And my colleague Clive Thompson has written about how deceptively complex the new syntax of the net can be. Of course, some of us think that is something up with which we should not put. (LOL JK.)Of course, it’s also possible that people who aren’t professionally verbal don’t think about such stuff too seriously, or maybe they don’t see it. And it’s true that some folks on Twitter, at least, will occasionally brush off a bot or cyborg account by pointing out a linguistic quirk. That’s what the comedian (and very good speaker of English) Paul F. Tompkins for a good punchline on Twitter earlier this week.Either way, some classic translation errors probably should have stood out. They didn’t. But will they get missed the next time? Maybe nyet. The allegations in the Justice Department’s indictment of the Internet Research Association—the Russian organization that allegedly took aim at the 2016 presidential campaign—build, page after page, in their boldness. Covert trips to the US, money spent to hire Hillary Clinton lookalikes to be paraded around in cages, digital spycraft, and identity theft…this stuff is nuts. It was all designed to look like Americans were behind it. But listen and read closely and you can find a quieter bit of signal, clues that something was wrong in the language that the Russians used. Allegedly.The examples in the indictment seem, to my ear, to be non-idiomatic in a very specific way. So I called an old friend, a native English speaker who spent several years in Russia and is fluent in the language, and asked her to take a look.Take, for example, these two sentences from advertisements that the indictment alleges the IRA bough on social media via fake US identities and Russian bank accounts and credit cards, or with PayPal:“Hillary is a Satan, and her crimes and lies had proved just how evil she is.”So, the article—the “a” or “the”—is out of place. “Satan” is a proper name, a singular entity, but the use of the indefinite article “a” has the connotation that that there could be other Satans, perhaps. “Hillary is satanic” might have been another approach. Russian doesn’t use articles, my friend says. And native Russian speakers, when they switch to English, classically screw them up. They also throw in “the” where it doesn’t belong, and “a” too. Or they leave them out.last_img read more