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Picture of BobHale
posted
You know how you hear those half conversations so often when someone is walking along the road talking on a mobile phone?
Well here's half a conversation I heard at the station today.
You can make up your own ideas about the other half.

...
Well take it out of you mouth and hold it in your hand.
...
You can take it with you in the car.
...
OK then keep it in your mouth but don't eat it.
...
Yes, it would make me laugh too.
...

I have no ideas, but it is one of the weirder half conversations that I've ever heard.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Wow. That one has me confused.

Having just written a draft of sexual misconduct model law language, I have made up a Crucial Conversations story for it. Eek
 
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Just a guess...

The person on the other end of the phone is a child who has just lost a tooth. I don't think that explains the "laughing" last line, though.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I think the forum is being spammed by an AI class project. It is pattern-matching on the subject lines and pulling out text from somewhere that sounds relevant, e.g. "scratches head" yields a post about mites, "baby it's cold outside" yields a post about the song. It doesn't check follow-up posts, that's why there aren't any.
 
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Picture of Richard English
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quote:
think the forum is being spammed by an AI class project.

What's AI - apart from artificial insemination?


Richard English
 
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Artificial Intelligence.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
Artificial Intelligence.

Thank you, Arnie. So what's an "Artificial Intelligence Class Project" then?


Richard English
 
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Picture of zmježd
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So what's an "Artificial Intelligence Class Project" then?

A class project is usually something that several students work on over the course of a semester. So, there might have been a class in AI at some university, and some of the students might have worked on some spambot, but probably under the cover of something else.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Now I understand. Had I written it, I would probably cast the sentence as, "A school class project on Artificial Intelligence."


Richard English
 
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Back to the original subject ... sort of. Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876*. In 1880 Mark Twain wrote a sketch concerning these (literally) half-heard conversations. There's a transcipt here.

*Ok, Bell apparently stole the idea, but the fact remains that he was the first to patent it.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Interesting that the "Edison invented everything" legend pops up here with the statement "...In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison, the famous inventor who developed the first practical telephone transmitter..."

Had that been true, then Bell's telephone wouldn't have worked, would it? From memory, Edison invented the carbon microphone (transmitter) which was better than Bell's eletro-magnetic transmitter for the telephone systems of the day. But that doesn't mean that Edison's was the first practical transmitter; it was just a better one.


Richard English
 
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it was just a better one

Actually, it was worse, but cheaper.
 
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quote:
quote:
it was just a better one

Actually, it was worse, but cheaper.


A practice which continues to this day.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Actually, it was worse, but cheaper.

The carbon microphone would be cheaper than the electromagnetic one, and wouldn't have the same fidelity, but it had the advantage that it could be used at reasonably high voltages, which helped boost transmission in the days before electronic amplification.

The electromagnetic microphone generated its own current - at very low voltages - and prior to amplification was less effective due to the greater effects of voltage drop over distance.

These days, of course, carbon microphones, with their lack of fidelity and the noise from their carbon granules, are rarely used and, with modern electronics, rarely necessary.


Richard English
 
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These days, of course, carbon microphones, with their lack of fidelity and the noise from their carbon granules, are rarely used

They were still used in standard AT&T phones well into the 70's, though, long after amplification was cheap and plentiful, probably because they were cheap and plentiful as well.
 
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They were still used in standard AT&T phones well into the 70's, though, long after amplification was cheap and plentiful, probably because they were cheap and plentiful as well.

Oh yes. As they were on BT telephones. My guess is that, because the systems were designed to work with carbon microphones they continued in use for far longer than was maybe strictly necessary. After all, you have to make sure that people who choose to retain old equipment can, for a while at least continue to use it on updated systems, so dual compatibility has to be maintained.

Which is why it's still possible to connect to an automatic exchange using pulse dialling, many, many years after tone dialling had beocme the norm.

I would guess, though, that older telephones will eventually become unusable on modern exchanges, just as old 425-line televisons can't now receive modern TV broadcasts.


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by neveu:
I think the forum is being spammed by an AI class project. It is pattern-matching on the subject lines and pulling out text from somewhere that sounds relevant, e.g. "scratches head" yields a post about mites, "baby it's cold outside" yields a post about the song. It doesn't check follow-up posts, that's why there aren't any.


I'm confused. Do you think the forum is being spammed by BobHale, who started this thread?

Wordmatic
 
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That post by neveu was in reaction to a spam post that was deleted soon afterwards.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Do you think the forum is being spammed by BobHale, who started this thread?

Strange. I noticed they're never in the room at the same time. Very suspicious.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Spam spam spam spam
Spam spam spam spam
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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But that doesn't mean that Edison's was the first practical transmitter;
Interesting that this was posted on the day before Ground Hog's Day because the subject, and reactions, remind me of the movie "Groundog Day." How many times do you think this forum has used the word "Edison?" 78! That's a lot for a forum about words and language.
 
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Thanks for the explanation, Arnie.

Thanks for the Python link, Bob--one of my favorites.

Spammatic
 
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How many times do you think this forum has used the word "Edison?" 78! That's a lot for a forum about words and language.

Well, he was a very able and prolific inventor - and arguably an even better businessman. Anyone as well-known as Edison is surely going to get a modicum of coverage even on a words board. Of course, many of the discussions were about a device he didn't invent Wink


Richard English
 
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