March 2018 in retrospect
I'm trying something new on this blog: a monthly post looking back at the month before. I'll be sharing what I've been up to and what I found interesting. Let me know how you like it!
- I spent the first days of March with a bunch of my best interpreter friends in Regensburg, Germany. For the third edition of our Conference Interpreter Barcamp (more info in German), we managed to bring together a great crowd of junior and senior interpreters to discuss topics close to our hearts. Here are some tweets and photos.
- I wrote a longish thread (in German) about Alternative für Deutschland's initiative to make German the official (constitutional) language of Germany.
The Facebook mess
You've surely noticed. Here are some articles I enjoyed reading about the whole shenanigans, and some of my own thoughts:
- Dylan Curran: "I'm gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it"
- My thread of comments on Wired's great article on "The Best Alternative For Every Facebook Feature"
- François Chollet on weaponised algorithms
- Solid advice from iMore's Serenity Caldwell on How to lie to Facebook (and anyone else who might want your data) - "Social engineering hacks are the way of the future. Don't let your data give a hacker an opening"
- Somewhat older, but a must-read if you like all those "History in pictures" (or similar) pages on social media: Sarah Werner's "It’s history, not a viral feed" (via Austin Kleon's newsletter).
- The New York Times has advice on how to break up with your phone
Of voices, real and artificial
- 55 years after he was killed, JFK gives his final speech (I don't like this at all.)
- Baidu’s voice cloning AI can swap genders and remove accents (Ugh.)
- A neural net that generates weirdly evocative sentences
More good reads
- Handelsblatt on how the German word "Digitalisierung" represents German attitudes to modern times (spoiler alert: Germans are having a hard time)
- Lots of people seemed to like these literal world maps
- A fun post by Jon Worth on gender, language and Brexit
- "Be a Pal, My Dudes", says Erika Hall, and provides a few specific ideas for being a good ally: "If you witness another guy being sexist, rude, dismissive, or behaving in a way that makes the workplace harder for others, call him out. Again, you’ll need to put your antennae up for this. And it doesn’t have to be a big thing. Simply saying 'Not cool' could be enough."
From the interpreting tech niche:
The Interpretation Technologies Alliance made a bit of a splash this last month: a bunch of remote interpreting platforms have joined forces to educate the market and carve out their niche. Here's the announcement on the Common Sense Advisory, and here is a strong reaction by my friend and podcast co-host Jonathan Downie. Make up your mind. Oh, and while you're on Jonathan's site, also read The day I made some founders sad.
On a related note, I reviewed the interpreter notepads from BlockG. I like them, but I'll stick to my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
See you next month!