Dear tan kah ing

Dear tan kah ing,

Your email address probably isn't the same as mine, so please don't create an Apple ID with my email address. You can reset your password all you want, but you won't be able to verify that you own my email address, because you really don't own it.


PS: I've reset my password and changed my security questions, as well as updated your address in Singapore to "None of your business". Oh, and I wasn't born in 1962.

PS again: Dear Apple, my middle name is not kah, that's someone else. Please let me change it, thanks!

by khc on Fri Nov 25 11:51:50 2011 Permlink
Tags: weirdstuff

Fun with Google Translate

A conversation at work reminded me to try out the Google Translate Android app's new Conversation Mode, which I did tonight. I spoke this conversation to the phone, first as custom clerk in English and Jim in Chinese (Mandarin):

Me: Hello can I see your passport please
Android: 你好可以,我看你的護照,請
Should be: 您好,請出示您的護照

Me: 給你
Android: You
Should be: Here you are

Me: What is the purpose of your visit
Android: 您訪問的目的是什麽
Should be: 您旅行的目的是什麽

Me: 觀光
Android: Tourism
Should be: Sightseeing

Me: Where are you staying
Android: 你是在哪裡停留
Should be: 您將在哪兒住宿

Me: 中國大飯店
Android: China world hotel
Should be: China world hotel

Me: How long will you be staying in china
Android: 多久你會留在中國
Should be: 預計在中國停留幾天

Me: 六天
Android: Six days
Should be: Six days

Me: Okay have a nice trip
Android: 好有一個不錯的行程
Should be: 好,祝您玩得愉快

"Should be" is the reference translation on the website, which I have to say, is sometimes a bit odd. The entire "conversation" took about six minutes, with most of the time spent on 「給你 (gĕi nín)」. I noticed that when I tried hard to pronounce the tonal change in gĕi, most of the time it will be recognized as two words (either as 「電影 (dìan yĭng)」or 「捷運 (jié yùn)」). So I tried to drop the tonal change, and Google would translate it as "gay". That's another thing I noticed, Google tries too hard to recognize English phrases within Chinese, and there's no way to tell it "Yes I really am speaking Chinese, only!". Lets not forget that it translated「給你」incorrectly. At least things are (sometimes) better when it has more context to work with, so longer sentences are (sometimes) both recognized and translated better (ex: 「我有一樣東西給你」is translated to "I have a thing for you"). Context is both a blessing and a curse though, if what you are trying to say sounds similar to a common noun (which probably means it's searched on Google often), then good luck trying to make Google return what you really mean.

There are other relatively minor problems as well. Most sentences took multiple tries to be recognized correctly. I am not sure if it recognizes English better or my Mandarin is worse (probably both), it has a much easier time "understanding" English sentences. If Google thinks it recognized a word correctly, there's no way you can tell it otherwise (that is, using the built-in correct option, you can edit it out and start over). And if it recognized a Chinese word incorrectly, even if it's not sure (those are shown as blue), you can't correct it either.

Just for fun I tried to speak the conversation the other way. I am not going to post the conversation here, other than that Google insists 「預計 (yù jì)」is "wiki" and I couldn't find a way to get past that. Did I say Google is trying too hard?

by khc on Mon Oct 17 23:29:24 2011 Permlink


XXX has indicated you are a Colleague at Riverbed Technology:

Hello - I realized we may not know each other intimately; however I use LinkedIn on a daily basis as a tool to reach qualified candidates like you regarding Riverbed's open positions.

by khc on Tue May 17 19:18:07 2011 Permlink
Tags: weirdstuff

Two ideas

A coworker and I came up with two sure hit business ideas:

1) start a toilet paper printing company. We will print custom order toilet paper (want your company's logo on it?), novelty topics (word of the day except word of the square? foreign language, horoscope, etc), and advertisements (have an event that you want to advertise in the local malls?). If technology permits, we can even have a subscription service which will install the printer right at your restroom and download the latest news everyday and print that to your toilet paper!

2) smart pot for people who can't keep a plant alive. The pot will have sensors that detect the dryness of the soil and base on the size of the pot, automatically disperse the right amount of water. There will be a knob that controls this for different types of plants. A large bucket is attached to the pot so you only need to remember to water once a month, and an indicator will flash if water will run out soon. Solar powered, with a rechargeable battery that will take care of the nights. Also a higher end model that will include a webcam and software so you can monitor the plant on the go. Optional subscription service so you can have experts look at your plant and tweak watering schedule remotely or send you other advices.

by khc on Wed Aug 18 20:45:15 2010 Permlink
Tags: weirdstuff


我一般通常都行路番屋企,但最近SF嘅傍晚都想和我吹吹風,係巴士同30分鐘嘅uphill battle兩者之間,作出決擇並唔難。巴士上除咗會發生巴士阿叔巴士阿嬸等等大件事之外,其實仲有唔少小事件值得去留意。八掛Observant嘅我自然就會留意到呢D小事。

某日係巴士坐底無幾耐,旁邊嘅少女突然係到自言自語,基於禮貌同我鐘意坐近門口(巴士會坐滿,近門口方便落車)嘅原因我無換位。途中佢問一個人巴士會唔會經過Pacific Heights,我無聽到對方回答,但我林佢有點頭,因為少女之後話"Oh Okay"。再過咗一陣,佢又突然問一個女人佢個手袋係邊度買嘅,個女人聽唔明英文,少女就用廣東話重複。女人話係佢個女買俾佢嘅,少女唔甘心,就問佢個女係邊度買嘅。女人話:「係埠仔」少女依然唔死心:「邊個埠仔」「二埠」。



by khc on Sun Aug 15 12:43:55 2010 Permlink
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