4 February 2006

Today's reading list

Mark Liberman at Language Log discusses the absurd Cingular patent on hot keys for emoticons. In it, he links to Geoff Nunberg's piece from 1997 called "A Wink is as Good as a Nod," in which he trashes those silly things. I hate emoticons and only use them rarely (if you're too dim-witted to realise when I'm joking or being sarcastic, no collection of punctuation will help), but it was only recently that I realised exactly why I hate them. Whenever someone types a :-) or a <:-o I imagine them actually making that face. And it just looks ridiculous. Even Bazooka Joe doesn't over-emphasize what he's saying that much. Please, enough with the emoticons.

Semantic Compositions had a couple of recent classics. First, a discussion on the WSJ article about the death metal singing style called Cookie Monster singing or Cookie Monster vocals. Fascinating and funny. And now I may have to start listening to Fear Factory's 1999 opus Obsolete. It tells a story about machines taking over the world in the future and the rebels trying to fight back! Wacky!! I've got a passing familiarity with punk but haven't really listened to hardcore metal (although the movie Some Kind of Monster is very good, Metallica really ain't that hardcore).

The other SC article was on the frequency and variation in the 800-pound gorilla metaphor. 800 is the most common gorilla weight with 500 a distant second.

A /. discussion links to a review of search engines and privacy (which in turn links to, among other things, a more detailed article from Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch). One poster hypothesized that although Google emphasizes the importance of complying with China's censorship, they would probably attempt to skirt the legal issues of data privacy addressed in most EU countries. The lesson: only obey local rules when it benefits you.

[ posted by sstrader on 4 February 2006 at 4:32:35 PM in Today's reading list ]