Brian Suda joins the geeks to talk about information visualization. And the big question “Satan and Miles’s birthday: is there a connection?”
For the study, each person was shown pairs of words. The first word flashed on the computer screen so quickly that the person didn’t realize they’d seen it. The second word appeared for longer; the person was supposed to hit a key indicating whether it was a real word as quickly as possible. This was just a test to see how quickly they were processing the word.
The trick was this: Although everything in the test was in English, in some cases, the two words actually had a connection – but only if you know how they’re written in Chinese. So, for example, the first word might be “thing,” which is written 东西in Chinese, and the second might be “west,” which is written 西in Chinese. The character for “west” appears in the word “thing,” but these two words are totally unrelated in English.
Zhang found that, when two words shared characters in Chinese, participants processed the second word faster – even though they had no conscious knowledge of having seen the first word in the pair. Even though these students are fluent in English, their brains still automatically translate what they see into Chinese. This suggests that knowledge of a first language automatically influences the processing of a second language, even when they are very different, unrelated languages.
Yet another web authentication authority has been attacked by hackers intent on minting counterfeit certificates that would allow them to spoof the authenticated pages of high-profile sites. Israel-based StartCom, which operates StartSSL suffered a security breach that occurred last Wednesday, the company said in a tersely worded advisory. The certificate authority, which is trusted by the Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox browsers to vouch for the authenticity of sensitive websites, has suspended issuance of digital certificates and related services until further notice.
US Electronics retailer Best Buy has been slow but steady in the fight to protect its Geek Squad trademark, but some are wondering whether the 800-lbs gorilla of tech retailing sector is not going too far in its war to right some wrongs. The word “Geek” is a century-old word that used to mean a fool or crazy person but has, since the beginning of the 1980’s, been associated with fans of technology in general and computers in particular.
The State of Nevada just passed Assembly Bill No. 511 which, among other things, authorizes the Department of Transportation to develop rules and regulations governing the use of driverless cars, such as Google’s concept car, on its roads.
! Our Guest
Brian Suda is an informatician currently residing in Reykjavík, Iceland. He has spent a good portion of each day connected to Internet after discovering it back in the mid-01990s. Most recently, he has been focusing more on the mobile space and future predictions. How smaller devices will augment our every day life and what that means to the way we live, work and are entertained. People will have access to more information, so how do we present this in a way that they can begin to understand and make informed decisions about things they encounter in their daily life. This could include better visualizations of data, interactions, work-flows and ethnographic studies of how we relate to these digital objects.
His own little patch of Internet can be found at [suda.co.uk|http://suda.co.uk] where many of his past projects and crazy ideas can be found.