Friday Four

Friday, February 26, 2016

1. Over at Cafe Hayek is an article comparing today's standard of living to that of the very richest only a century ago. Here's a sample:

Even when in residence at your Manhattan home, if you had a hankering for some Thai red curry or Vindaloo chicken or Vietnamese Pho or a falafel, you were out of luck: even in the unlikely event that you even knew of such exquisite dishes, your chef likely had no idea how to prepare them, and New York's restaurant scene had yet to feature such exotic fare. And while you might have had the money in 1916 to afford to supply yourself with a daily bowlful of blueberries at your New York home in January, even for mighty-rich you the expense was likely not worthwhile.
And we haven't even gotten around to considering how much better life has become with the revolutions in, travel, telecommunications, medicine, and practically every other field since then.

2. Lately, Little Man has developed the cutest reaction to anything he isn't happy about: He stands, arms akimbo, and pouts, often after turning his back to you. It is very hard not to just burst out laughing when he does this.

3. I recently encountered a short post on why Chinese websites look "busy" to Westerners. Many of the differences are (or could be) attributable to constraints enforced by the very different writing system of Chinese. An abundance of links is one of these, although the author favors the idea that the preponderance of very slow Internet connections in China explains that common design decision.

4. A few weeks ago, I described a hypothetical writing tool I'd like to try:
What I suspect I need is some sort of dedicated speech-to-text software, or perhaps a better Android or Chrome voice-to-text app... [I'd] require the following: (1) Operating System: Android, Chrome, Linux, or Windows, (2) Data files must be in a non-proprietary format or easy to export to one, (3) The software is free (as in beer) or I can purchase a copy outright. (4) I do not have to buy or subscribe to other products (e.g., MS Word) just to make the software work. A nice-to-have would be -- and given that it's dictation software, it seems like something someone would have thought of -- that I can use voice to control the software.
Yesterday morning, just before I finished composing this post, I learned that Google has just rolled out what they call "voice typing" for Google Docs within Chrome. (I am not sure if this is the Chrome browser or the Chrome operating system.)

I'm not presently sure I can do this on a phone, but, if I can, it looks to be worth a try. That said, this may skew too far towards word processor than dictation software for my purpose. I don't need to be looking at this while I'm using it.

-- CAV

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