Monthly Archives: October 2009

Best Radio Commercial Ever: Radio Klara & NASA

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So far, no negative reaction has been recorded from outer space.

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Posted by on October 30, 2009 in Music


DOM: Document Object Model or 'dumb' in Dutch

I’ve recently read an article title ‘Real Men Do JavaScript! Programming the World in a Browser‘ written by Dave Thomas in which he referred to a Dutch word:

JS has been plagued by the DOM2 and the associated browser dependence and defect levels.

2 Dumb in Dutch, the Damn DOM to many.

As natural languages and programming languages were intertwined, I found this to be a strange coincidence :) And I think one needs to be careful when one comes up with an acronym, though I think in this particular case “DOM is dom”; ;-)

PS: I met the name of Mr. Thomas at’s main page:

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Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Programlama


Mükemmel iyinin düşmanı mıdır yahut küçük bir merhabanın büyük bir etkisi üstüne…

İnsan iletişiminde sanırım şöyle bir şey var: Biri bir dostuna bir şey diyecegi zaman, hele de o dost uzakta ve uzun zaman görüşmediği birisi ise, çok derin, anlamlı uzun şeyler söylemek istiyor. Bu da gözünde büyüyor insanın, hep “ona detaylı, derin, anlamlı bir şeyler yazabilmem için vakit lazım,” diyor ve böylece hiçbir iletişim kurulmuyor, haftalarca, bazen aylarca. Kısacık, sıradan, naif, dümdüz bir “merhaba yahu, n’aber, nasılsın, neler yapıyorsun?” çok sıradan kabul ediliyor, küçümseniyor ve “mükemmel iyinin düşmanıdır” prensibi acımasızca işliyor. Asla gerçekleşemeyen mükemmel, iyi olabilecek olanı doğmadan öldürüyor.


Posted by on October 19, 2009 in General


Is it Freakonomics or is it cuteonomics?

UPDATE: A few more links added for further and detailed reading, see list below.

I’ve recently started to read Freakonomics and obeying the rules of synchronicity (is this Fringe science or what, anyway!), as the authors published their new book ‘Superfreakonomics’, I started to realize how problematic their case and style is. So I simply note down some criticisms I have just discovered via reliable sources:

- Language Log: Freakonomics: the intellectual’s Glenn Beck?

- Andrew Gelman’s blog on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science: My review of Freakonomics 2

- The New Republic: Does “Superfreakonomics” Need A Do-Over?

- The Daily Dish: Not So Superfreak

- The New Republic: Freaks and Geeks; How Freakonomics is ruining the dismal science.

- The New Republic: Revenge of the Nerd

- Conscience of a Liberal (Paul Krugman): A counterintuitive train wreck

- Six Questions for Levitt and Dubner (More Superfreakonomics Blogging)

I started to think what we need is to start a kind of meta-criticism, or maybe observe and understand the recent trends that lead to books like Freakonomics, Tipping Point, etc. Just another idea to think about as time goes by…


Posted by on October 18, 2009 in General


Can computers understand language: It will not fined words that have bean miss used but that are spelled write.

I’m currently reading ‘Artificial Intelligence in Second Language Learning: Raising Error Awareness‘ written by Marina Dodigovic and published in November 20, 2005.

Below is an excerpt from page 107:

“Commercially available grammar checkers indeed have another weakness. They cannot evaluate the semantics or the full syntax of the given text and as a result allow text like the following:

Their are know miss steaks in my pepper be cause my word processor includes soft wear witch checks my spelling. The problem is that it doesn?t correct errors in punctuate and it will not fined words that have bean miss used but that are spelled write. An if I write badly constructed sentences it won?t correct them four me. (Sanders, 2000)

The reason why the latest version of MS Word grammar check program has not noticed that ‘punctuate’ in the second sentence should be a noun, ‘punctuation’, rather than a verb, as evident from the text, is because it most likely looks at two or three adjacent words at a time and calculates the statistical probability for their simultaneous co-occurence in a text. It does not look at the sentence as a whole. This kind of parser is called a probabilistic parser.”

Dr. Dodigovic is probably talking about MS Word 2003 and not being able to resist my curiosity I have tried the example used by her on the latest version of MS Word 2007.

Can computers really understand language?

Can computers really understand language?

It seems like the situation got a little bit better but not that much. MS Word 2007 still can’t detect the ‘punctuate’ error and even though it provides some good feedback about some errors it is still far from perfect, at least in terms of being able to help non-native speakers of English. So the complaints of Dodigovic are still very relevant.

I haven’t tried the example using Write thus I don’t know if it can perform any better. Nevertheless, the current situation is yet another argument that statistical language processing, even though very useful for lots of practical purposes is not a silver bullet for processing natural language at the level of an ordinary human competence.

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Posted by on October 18, 2009 in Linguistics, Programlama


My current mission: undo the mess that started at The Tower of Babel

Trying to undo the mess of Tower of Babel

Trying to undo the mess of Tower of Babel

Well, now that I’m working at Linguapolis I believe this is a fine mission statement. Right?

How can I help undo the mess caused at the project named Tower of Babel which is basically people speaking different languages and losing the chance of communication? We’ll see…

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Posted by on October 11, 2009 in Linguistics


Mehmet Okonşar röportajı ve De Singel

Daha önce İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi’nde de bir sunum gerçekleştiren piyanist besteci Mehmet Okonşar‘ın Artilya’daki röportajını okudum büyük bir zevkle ve merakla. Röportajın bir yerinde Okonşar “… bir de ilk yarışmam olan Anvers Uluslararası Genç Virtüözler yarışmasının bana seviye attalttığı için özel bir yeri vardır,” diyor. Bu bilgi üzerine de Singel‘de bir konsere gitmek farz oldu iyice.

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Posted by on October 3, 2009 in Music


What to install as soon as I set up a new MS Windows box

I keep a list of 3rd party software that I find very useful, so useful that I try to install them as soon as possible whenever I have a new MS Windows computer. Now I add to that list a very nice treemap file viewer that helps me discover what takes up how much space on my hard disks: WinDirStat

“WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows (all current variants).”

The programmer also has a blog for the lates news about WinDirStat:

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Posted by on October 1, 2009 in sysadmin


Collecting info to hack an old GameBoy Advance SP

Gameboy Advance SP

Gameboy Advance SP

I’ve just found a little treasure sitting silently in one of the drawers of my mother-in-law’s house. I just couldn’t resist that and after a fair amount of begging I have that Gameboy Advance SP machine. Back in the days, during the beginning of 2000s I’ve heard a lot of this legendary game console but I didn’t have the chance to play with it and hack it. And I guess now is the time.

I’m trying to collect information about programming and hacking GBA SP, here’s what I have found:


Posted by on October 1, 2009 in General, Programlama


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