Re: Speech to Birdsong Conversion

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Replied to There's a "Turkish bird-language&quot… on Speech to Birdsong Conversion via Hacker News:

The Silbo Gomero [1] in the Canary Islands falls in this category as well. It was designed to allow far distance communication through the valleys and ravines of the islands. Here [2] is an example.

There are now efforts to preserve the language, but there is a whole generation unable to speak it because cellphones and lack of farmers made the language almost obsolete.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbo_Gomero
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silbo.ogg

Re: Mobile data shows which European countries took lockdown seriously

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Commented on Mobile data shows which European countries took lockdown seriously via Hacker News:

In countries such as Spain, it is very easy to understand why the country took the lockdown so seriously. For most people, it was easy to choose to stay home when the alternative was to get fined by police, who thoughtfully were patrolling the streets looking for dodgers.

More than a million people were fined by police during the spring [1]. So many fines, that we are still seeing news about judges taking decissions on these fines, so it clearly overloaded our justice system. Surprisingly, many of them are being rejected by judges because of not being fair.

Police officers can fine you if they believe you are infringing the law, and civils have to take their word as granted until a judge makes the final decission. People were fined in the spring for things such as driving to pick up groceries in a store different than the one closest to their homes [2], or because of walking the dog (one of the very few exceptions to leave the house) "too far from home", despite the law having never settled an official maximum distance [3].

[1]: https://en.as.com/en/2020/05/20/other_sports/1590007192_2854…
[2]: https://www.niusdiario.es/nacional/tribunales/justicia-claro…
[3]: https://diariolaley.laleynext.es/dll/2020/10/29/se-anula-la-…

Re: Pinebook Pro longer term usage report

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Commented on Pinebook Pro longer term usage report via Hacker News:

I remember being a little too hyped over the Pinebook Pro a few months ago and almost getting one, as it looked like a cheap and promising device I could use to test the state of GNU/Linux desktops again, after switching to macOS 6 years ago. But they went out of stock, and then corona happened, which complicated logistics and made these laptops impossible to get for a few months.

I’ve recently come across a few long term reviews like this that conclude that the computer maybe wasn’t that good, due to either specs or quality of the hardware itself (keyboard, screen…). So now, I don’t know what to think. Feels like I’ve dodged a bullet.

Re: PGP Signed Tweets

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Commented on PGP Signed Tweets via Hacker News:

I just tested this with VoiceOver and when it reaches the image, it tries to read aloud the alt text of the image, so it starts reading each character and number, almost as if it went bonkers.

Therefore yeah, while it is a cool experiment to show how to hide additional data on tweets (it doesn't seem that Twitter search includes alt texts, unlike other stuff like display names or handles), it is also disrespectful and unpolite to users who depend on accessibility features like screen readers.

(There are already other subtle ways to be unpolite to screen reader users on Twitter, such as sharing critical but well-designed announcements inside images with no alternate text available and no link to a text-only version – something that governments seems to do often once they get aboard the Twitter train)

Re: Why newsletters beat social media

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Commented on Why newsletters beat social media via Hacker News:

You know what else respects users privacy, it's cheaper than newsletters for the content owner, and it's so anonymous you don't even need an e-mail address to start using it? RSS feeds.

And please, don't just tell me that RSS feeds are anachronistic and that most users are not interested in RSS feeds anymore. They are not interested because a lot of alternatives have been gone. There was native support for RSS in Internet Explorer, older versions of Firefox and MacOS X, no downloads required.

Why can't just Apple News or the Google App have a prominent button that says "hey, do you want to add your favourite sites here to see recent updates about stuff you actually like, instead of this algorithmically curated list of news we _think_ you _might_ like?", apart of "we drive money by controlling the feeds"?

Re: EU to recommend that member states abolish daylight saving time

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Replied to It will increase it, as now any local time calc… on EU to recommend that member states abolish daylight saving time via Hacker News:

> Any local time calculations will need to take into account which country the user is currently in, whether the country has passed a law terminating daylight savings time, and whether the law has now taken effect.

I mean, isn't this why stuff such as tzdata exist? Countries already do this. Not every country in the world is already following DST, so you must know which country the time calculation being performed on, because the result may vary. In fact, it's interesting to navigate through the public tz mailing list [1] because it turns out that countries or regions along the world still like to change whether DST is being enforced or not, and if they enforce it, at which point of the year the clock shifts forward or backward.

Any local time calculation that doesn't already take into account the region and the current year could be wrong, that's why getting timezones right in software is difficult.

[1]: https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/