Online after death

Copyright David Wright, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons

This tweet arrived on my feed the other day from the brilliant  ÜberFacts:

What happens to your Facebook profile when you die? Continue reading “Online after death”

Microsoft and a left hook to the language barrier

C-3PO was “fluent in over six million forms in communication”. Is Microsoft getting nearer?Image copyright Mark Menzies, reproduced under Creative Commons

Yesterday I read this article in the Telegraph that reported Microsoft’s development of translation software. If you watch the embedded video (also available here), you can see the new software in action. Last month Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s Chief Research Officer, spoke in English and the program computed his voice and presented it as English subtitles on the screen behind him. The subtitles weren’t perfect – some words are wrong and the grammar is shaky – but the meaning is by and large conveyed. Continue reading “Microsoft and a left hook to the language barrier”

Data journalism strikes gold in US election

Obama’s victory: cut and dried?
Copyright .Larry Page, reproduced under Creative Commons

Barack Obama has four more years as president. Florida is still to come in but he already has 303 electoral college votes, comfortably over the 270 mark needed to keep the keys to the White House.

Let’s rewind 24 hours. The American media largely agreed that the race would be very close. Many different pundits called the election for Mitt Romney. As it turned out, Romney lost and in terms of Electoral College votes it wasn’t very close at all. The final score is likely to be 332 to 206. Continue reading “Data journalism strikes gold in US election”

US Election: the newspapers take sides

Copyright Donkey Hotey, reproduced and adapted under Creative Commons

Famously, no one cares which candidates newspapers endorse for US president any more. The Web has broken the print media’s monopoly on opinion just as completely as it’s broken its hold on the news. Searching on Google, it seems as if you can find almost as many posts questioning whether newspapers’ endorsements matter any more as there are American newspapers.

Except people do care. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney care who they have in their corner. They matter to people who care about the US presidential election. We feel good whenever a choice we make is supported by someone else, whether it’s new clothes, a new haircut or a new girlfriend (or boyfriend, naturally). Continue reading “US Election: the newspapers take sides”