Not Useful

I'm still trying to use Google Voice as my main voicemail handler, and I actually love it- even compared to the iPhone's visual voicemail. Among other things, the ability to just tap read phone numbers and dial them is an amazing feature that just makes my life easier.

That being said, the voice recognition sucks. Every time a friend says "um", or "uh", or swears, it tries to recognize it as a word, and it creates some pretty bizarre sentences.


Not on the Internet

I have a song stuck in my head from a commercial I saw as a child. It was for some kind of promotion for the Muppet movies maybe being released on VHS. I only remember the very end of the commercial.

(To the tune of "The Muppet Show Theme")
We've got "The Muppet Movie"
"The Great Muppet Caper", too.
And you can get a free watch

Statler & Waldorf:
Did you say get a free watch?

Yes, you can get a free watch
when you see the sign "It's Muppet Time"
especially for you!

Try as I might, I can't seem to find the full lyrics online. So I'm putting it there.


Google Reading too much into this

"3 people were interested in this" was too hard? What's with this internet obsession with reducing our emotions to "like" and "star"? Why do facebook and google reader only allow you to pick emotions with necessarily positive connotations?

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis on Linguistic Relativity claims that the amount of diversity of concepts in a language actual shapes the way that speakers of that language think. For example, Eskimos don't just have a billion words for snow, they are actually able to perceive snow differences in ways that someone who did not grow up with those linguistic terms would never be able to distinguish.

I understand why facebook does it actually. Most things on facebook tends to be positive. Being allowed to dislike "Michael got married to Rachel" or "John is in a Relationship" would set a dangerous tone for the overly social community and discourage the oversharing that makes the network what it is today. However, if the internet is being forced to communicate in terms of "like", "follow", "star" and not given any options to express dislike with things, then our discourse is going to be stilted, and our cognitive processes that stem from our internet-based relationships will be incomplete.

TL;DR version: DO NOT LIKE.

and what's so hard about just reducing all reactions to cool and schmool. it's worked for me for years.


My Googleganger: the future modal tense of a singlish verb

Buzzfeed has a post about "googlegangers", or people with the same name as you that prevent your name from coming to the surface in a google search.

Searching for "William Chiong" is fairly expected- there are two professional William Chiongs, a dentist and a musician that come up before me, and then you start seeing my name in the context of a publication I was on in college for the graphics lab, and some limericks andy left in comments on an old blog post of mine.

But my more commonly used nickname provides a bit of a problem. In "Singlish", english words such as the modal verb "will" are commonly paired with hokkien and slang words such as "chiong" (to be gung ho). So, when you search for "will chiong" you get some of my stuff, peppered with crazy Singaporean blog posts ranging from topics like the stock market to Counter-Strike. I actually don't really understand the meaning of "chiong" but I have tried to piece it together from the context. Here are some of the stranger headlines (links removed because it would run counter to my goal of being googlable):
  • "Don't feel bad. Market will chiong up tomorrow. Remember, buy on dips!"
  • "CopperTone will chiong weeks worth of homework now."
  • "When I let go my accelerator and cross the 2nd last arrow and the light is still green, I will chiong."
  • "If they turtle, I will chiong. If they mash SRK, I will bait. If they play normal, I will play cautious."
  • "Too bad my laptop broke down or I will chiong this game lol."
  • "You never know how the market will chiong in short - mid term due to volatility."

ARGH people actually talk like this. If they ever offer a way to kill a phrase Will Chiong will chiong for that opportunity.


How to Conjugate Final Fantasy Spells

an excerpt from my unpublished book: 101 Final Fantasy Spells.

Final Fantasy spells are a synthetic language with a moderate-to-high degree of inflection which shows up mostly in the spell conjugation.

The Final Fantasy spell system is separated into 3 distinct inflections indicating the degree of the spell. Final Fantasy spells represent a pro-drop language, as the object of the spell is generally limited by the intention.

A large number of spells are irregular. The rest fall into one of three regular conjugations, which have -rx endings (where x represents any vowel or affricative consonant sound.

The basic -rx ending typically indicates a single target, while the advanced ending -ra typically indicates a more powerful single target (formal). The multiple target ending is -raga, and the most powerful (although uncommonly used) suffix is -raja. If a spell name is longer than 8 characters then the -raga and -raja endings are frequently shortened to -ga and -ja.
FireFiraFiragaFiraja (uncommonly used)
Irregular Spells
EsunaN/AEsunagaN/AAs Esuna has no qualitative measure,only the single target and multiple target versions have any distinct inflection.
BreakN/ABreakgaN/AAs Break has only a binary reaction, there are no qualitative modifiers for it. It should also be noted that "Breakga" is a stupid name.
QuakeN/AQuakegaN/AThe augmented power inflections for quake were never established, probably to avoid offending quakers. It should also be noted that "Quakega" is a stupid name.

If I ever create a pop song that will have a corresponding dance craze, it will be called "Do the meteo now".