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Showing posts from November, 2011

Bad Aliens cutified with

Bare Singulars and Bare Plurals

Since my final paper for our Advanced Semantics Seminar on Plurality, generics and bare singulars (including incorporated nouns) and bare plurals have been near and dear to my heart. Naturally a post on generic comparisons on the Language Log quickly got my attention. Liberman argues using generic plurals toys with the gap between statistically significant generalizations and the grammatical genericity/generalizations  that the results are presented in a way that misleads the public — and in some cases, the use of generic plurals seems to mislead the scientists themselves. He sites a number of examples from by  Sarah-Jane Leslie     about " Generics and Generalization "   "Ticks carry Lyme Disease", although only a minority of ticks do so ( 14% in one study ).   "Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus", though the  highest infection rate found in the epicenter of a recent epidemic  was estimated at 3.55 per thousand (and the rate was essentially zer

Fighting the Unicode Fight

Almost anytime I have to build a new corpus the Unicode Fight returns. I lived many Unicode Fight free years when Linux became 100% Unicode, but now I'm using Mac OSX. The default file.encoding for Mac is MacRoman. I've tried a whole variety of Googling to find the keywords to find out the proper way (using the System Preferences) to set the default to UTF-8 to no avail. I really hate Google's new (~6mos ago) search algorithm that tries to guess what we mean to ask, and doesn't include all keywords we query. It makes it near impossible to find anything long-tail-ish. This is when it started working in Java/Groovy: created a file /etc/launchd.conf and put this into it:  setenv JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS=-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 For general purposes: added this to my ~/.vimrc set encoding=utf-8 set fileencoding=utf-8 added this to my /etc/bashrc export LC_CTYPE=en_CA.UTF-8 export JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS=-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 Changed my Terminal > Prefere

Bootstrapping Android Best Practices

Today I'll be giving a talk at Android Montreal: Bootstrapping Android Best Practices Like human language, programming languages are One part syntax,  One part vocabulary, and  One part culture/socio-linguistics.  Too often when learning a new language we focus on syntax and vocabulary, but not enough on culture/best practices. Sure in our courses we might learn that the French like wine and baguettes, and wear berets, but on the ground its not really that simple (n'est pas?). In this tutorial we "immerse" ourselves in the culture of two projects to simultaneously learn syntax, vocab and best practices for getting things done in Android Development. We have selected a few repositories, 2 which show best practices, and 2 pairs of pidgins vs best practices which show not fully formed Android development. Beginner-Friendly Best Practice Learning Grounds MyTracks Beginners: Using the GPS Beginners: Localization Beginners: Choosing the right t