Links for 2015-03-18

  • President’s message gets lost in (automated) translation

    In a series of bizarre translations, YouTube’s automated translation service took artistic licence with the [President’s] words of warmth. When the head of state sent St Patrick’s Day greetings to viewers, the video sharing site said US comedian Tina Fey was being “particular with me head”. As President Higgins spoke of his admiration for Irish emigrants starting new communities abroad, YouTube said the President referenced blackjack and how he “just couldn’t put the new iPhone” down. And, in perhaps the most unusual moment, as he talked of people whose hearts have sympathy, the President “explained” he was once on a show “that will bar a gift card”.
    (via Daragh O’Brien)

    (tags: lol president ireland michael-d-higgins automation translation machine-learning via:daraghobrien funny blackjack iphone tina-fey st-patrick fail)

  • Irish government under fire for turning its back on basic research : Nature News & Comment

    Pretty much ALL of Ireland’s research scientists have put their names to an open letter to the Irish government, decrying the state of science funding, published this week in “Nature”. ‘Although total spending on research and development grew through the recession, helped by foreign investments, Ireland’s government has cut state spending on research (see ‘Celtic tiger tamed’). It also prioritized grants in 14 narrow areas — ones in which either large global markets exist, or in which Irish companies are competitive. These include marine renewable energy, smart grids, medical devices and computing. The effect has been to asphyxiate the many areas of fundamental science — including astrophysics, particle physics and areas of the life sciences — that have been deprived of funding, several researchers in Ireland told Nature. “The current policies are having a very significant detrimental effect on the health and viability of the Irish scientific ecosystem,” says Kevin Mitchell, a geneticist who studies the basis of neurological disorders at Trinity College Dublin. “Research that cannot be shoehorned into one of the 14 prioritized areas has been ineligible for most funding,” he says.’ That’s another fine mess Sean Sherlock has gotten us into :(

    (tags: sean-sherlock fail ireland research government funding grants science tcd kevin-mitchell life-sciences nature)

  • Mars One finalist Dr. Joseph Roche rips into the project

    So, here are the facts as we understand them: Mars One has almost no money. Mars One has no contracts with private aerospace suppliers who are building technology for future deep-space missions. Mars One has no TV production partner. Mars One has no publicly known investment partnerships with major brands. Mars One has no plans for a training facility where its candidates would prepare themselves. Mars One’s candidates have been vetted by a single person, in a 10-minute Skype interview. “My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face,” said Roche. If, as a result, “people lose faith in NASA and possibly even in scientists, then that’s the polar opposite of what I’m about. If I was somehow linked to something that could do damage to the public perception of science, that is my nightmare scenario.”

    (tags: science space mars-one tcd joseph-roche nasa mars exploration scams)

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2 Comments

  1. Myles Corcoran
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 12:44 | Permalink

    Jesus, but Sean Sherlock (and by extension the rest of them in Dail Eireann) is a complete disaster.

  2. Posted March 22, 2015 at 10:50 | Permalink

    tell me about it :(