Do you trust grammarly?

grammarly - better writing made easy

Been looking at Grammarly for a while and to be fair they have been massively advertising too. Obviously Google & Facebook know I’m dyslexic and I imagine Grammarly are targeting people like me.

But I’m not keen on the process of sending the text to their centralised server. I understand but I think there is another way to do this, however that way conflicts with their business model. Maybe its a another case for something which should be a public service not left to the private sector?

I’m not the only one asking questions; I have been browsing the terms and conditions too and not keen on what I’ve read so far, the privacy policy alone speaks volumes.

I’ve been using Language tool as their privacy policy seems more reasonable to me and it can work offline and in a more decentralised manner.

Be interested to hear how others get on with it, maybe the benefits greatly outweigh the data ethical concerns?

 

The technological revolution spoken

I’m now on my way back from Japan (mainly Tokyo) about to land in Dubai  and its amazing to think about all the experiences I had with Japanese people.

There certainly is a  massive language barrier, there is no way of avoiding it. Now you can spend time learning Japanese which will take some serious amount of time (especially for somebody like me). Or you can rely on the services which come about using connected devices.

Google translate came to help me many times while in a sticky spot and I’m not the only one. While sitting in the maid cafe (as mentioned before) I got talking to TAHK0. He was telling me how he climbed a crazy mountain and when I asked him about his Japanese, he admitted he knows a couple of words and thats it. He then went on to talk about Google Translate.

We shared stories of use and of course I had a few of my own.

I had a serious problem with the Airbnb apartment I had for the 2nd week, which meant moving all my stuff to somewhere else. To do this, I needed to be a couple of taxi rides. Unfortunately the taxi driver didn’t speak any english whats-so ever.  I was trying to explain to him that I needed to go to a place, get him to wait for 5mins and then go somewhere else. To make things worst the place where the Airbnb shared room is, wasn’t near any landmark I knew of or could find on a map. I showed him on Google maps, but that didn’t really help. In the end I had to direct him from the back seat by typing and reading aloud from my tablet. Google translate worked just well enough for me to get the main point across.

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The point is, it worked!

When talking to the lady/girl during my unsuccessful attempt to get to Nagashima Spa-land the first time. We used Google translate to talk quite a bit. It wasn’t exactly free flowing but at points it wasn’t so bad and we laughed quite a bit at the slight errors Google would make. The crib sheets I printed never got used and wouldn’t have be anywhere as useful.

Even when I sat in a restaurant trying to understand a Japanese menu items with Google translate. The chef used Google translate to attempt to understand what I was actually asking for. It was one of those moments which was unbelievable. Likewise when going clubbing on Saturday night, the taxi driver pulled out his two sided Android phone got my translation and put the results into his Google maps navigation system. It was a thing of beauty, honestly…

Taxi drivers phone

I’m not saying Google translate means you shouldn’t learn the language and to be fair without 4G/LTE wireless the whole process would have been terrible. What I am saying however is, the world is so much more accessible due to the internet and services like Google and I understand this is the trade off I have to make.

Language, the original singularity

I had the massive pleasure of hanging out with Kevin Kelly, Tim Oreilly and many others.

Cooltools is something I’m aware of but after the discussion I’ll have to subscribe and maybe invest in a book for my bookshelf.

There was so many things said in the hangout which had me thinking but the one which really got me was the Tim and Kevin talking about Language being the last singularity we have been through.

The notion that at the time the people going through it had no  conception about how life afterwards would be, really got me. Plus it shines a whole new understanding of what it will be like to be across the singularity.

Thanks to Imran for putting this on my radar, I didn’t think I would get picked to be on the panel but I’m happy I did. Just wish I didn’t have to quickly run and put a shirt on at the start of the hangout…

RSS 3.0 and language support

Quoting from the RSS 3.0 standard

The < language > Element
The < language > elements may be present under the < channel > element and also under the < item > element.

Good Stuff, its about time the language element was transferable down the RSS true. I'm a little upset

This feature is cascading. This means that when present beneath the < channel > element, all the channel's items are to consider having that language specification unless in those under which another < language > element is present, if any, in which case it overrides it.

Indeed, cool and very happy

When missing, this element's content is assumed to be “en”.

What the f*ck? This has to be a bad idea? Honestly why should the default be english?

For this purpose this elements may have one attribute, “rel”, whose content may be “meta”, “link” or “both”. This attribute is presumed to be “link” when missing. The content “meta” conveys the notion that the element is specifying the language of the metadata in the RSS document itself. The content “link” conveys the notion that the element is specifying the language in which the relevant content of the given link is written. The content “both” makes the two above mentioned interpretations equally relevant.

Now this is a good idea which I've seen used in the microformats and XHTML 2.0 areas.

This item's content must be compliant with the RFC 1766, “Tags For The Identification of Languages”. This means that the content of this tag is two letters representing a language (as defined in the ISO 639) which may be followed, after a dash, by two more letters signifying a particular country (as defined in the ISO 3166).

Implementors should only acknowledge the first letters until the dash, if any (presumably two), though if the specific country is relevant it may regard the country specification. Thus if the element's content is “en-US” it is to be considered as “English”, and may choose to regard or disregard the country specification.

Hummm… I really dont like the way, english labeled content is being singled out above other languages. Indeed its worrying and that just the language element…

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