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parislemon:

Peter Kafka’s “Occam’s Razor” thought as to why the Siri voice is female and not male: because it would remind people too much of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cute. But wrong.

Actually, the voice varies from country to country. The UK version, for example, uses a man’s voice. I know this because I’m in England and got a demo of the feature here.

Also awesome: Siri didn’t work for me when UK English was turned on. When I switched to US English, it worked perfectly. It understands accents. 

fastcompany:

Proposed 9/11 Memorial Would Simulate Walking On Air, Above Ground Zero

fastcompany:

Proposed 9/11 Memorial Would Simulate Walking On Air, Above Ground Zero

gowalla:

imageWe have been working behind the scenes to bring Gowalla to Windows Phone 7, and as of today, it’s officially here! With Gowalla for Windows Phone 7, you get all the best Gowalla features like check-ins, photos and highlights, but with a cool new interface that emphasizes the quick and clean…

pulsenews:

To wrap up an incredible 2011, we’re bringing you one last release. Just in time for the holidays, these new features will make your Pulse experience more enjoyable with improved browsing and discoverability. There is a lot packed in this release, so let’s get started:

Completely Redesigned…

kateoplis:

From The Atlantic:

To verify their findings and check if English is inherently positive or negative, the scientists analyzed billions of words from Twitter, a half-century of music lyrics, 20 years of The New York Times, and millions of books going back to 1520.

After finding the 10,222 most frequently used English words from these four sources, they asked a group of volunteers to rate the emotional temperature of these words. […]

RESULTS: There was an overwhelming preponderance of happier words among the top 5,000 words in each of the sources.

CONCLUSION: English is strongly biased toward being positive.

Read on.

historicalmeetups:

Samuel Beckett
Playwright, novelist, and Nobel laureate
meets
André the GiantGargantuan professional wrestling legend
In 1953, fresh off the success of Waiting for Godot, Beckett bought a plot of land near the hamlet of Molien, in the commune of Ussy-sur-Marne, about forty miles northeast of Paris. There he built a cottage for himself with some help from a group of locals, including a Bulgarian-born farmer named Boris Rousimoff. Over the years, Beckett and Rousimoff became friends and would occasionally get together for card games. Rousimoff had a son, André, known as Dédé, who was something of a physical marvel. By the age of 12, André was over six feet tall and weighed 240 pounds. No school bus could hold him, and his family lacked the means to buy a car big enough to schlep him back and forth to school in Ussy-sur-Marne. Enter Boris’ old card-playing buddy Beckett, who owned a truck and was more than willing to pay his friend back for his help with the cottage by giving a lift to his enormous pituitary case of a son on his drives into town. Years later, when recounting his conversations with Beckett (which he did often), André the Giant revealed that they rarely talked about anything besides cricket.

historicalmeetups:

Samuel Beckett

Playwright, novelist, and Nobel laureate

meets

André the Giant
Gargantuan professional wrestling legend

In 1953, fresh off the success of Waiting for Godot, Beckett bought a plot of land near the hamlet of Molien, in the commune of Ussy-sur-Marne, about forty miles northeast of Paris. There he built a cottage for himself with some help from a group of locals, including a Bulgarian-born farmer named Boris Rousimoff. Over the years, Beckett and Rousimoff became friends and would occasionally get together for card games. Rousimoff had a son, André, known as Dédé, who was something of a physical marvel. By the age of 12, André was over six feet tall and weighed 240 pounds. No school bus could hold him, and his family lacked the means to buy a car big enough to schlep him back and forth to school in Ussy-sur-Marne. Enter Boris’ old card-playing buddy Beckett, who owned a truck and was more than willing to pay his friend back for his help with the cottage by giving a lift to his enormous pituitary case of a son on his drives into town. Years later, when recounting his conversations with Beckett (which he did often), André the Giant revealed that they rarely talked about anything besides cricket.