A Camera Worth the Words it Prints Out

The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene…

The technology at the core of the Descriptive Camera is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk API. It allows a developer to submit Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) for workers on the internet to complete. The developer sets the guidelines for each task and designs the interface for the worker to submit their results.

{via this tweet from clay shirky}.

Word of the Year

Occupy is linguist Geoff Nunberg’s 2011 word of the year {npr}. In part for its flexibility as a verb, and in part due to Nunberg’s selection criteria, including an “item that shaped the perception of [an] important event.”

An excerpt:

Now, it’s true the protesters weren’t really occupying Wall Street in the old sense, taking it over the way workers in the 1930s occupied a factory or students in the ’60s occupied the dean’s office. This is a new meaning of the verb, for a form of protest adapted to the age of smartphones and Twitter, not to mention REI. Once the new occupy grew capital letters, you could export it to places that had no direct connection to finance, as franchises of the original: Occupy Oakland, like Macy’s San Francisco. They could have just been called protests, but it wouldn’t have felt as much like a movement.

I hereby promise to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the very best of my ability.

Snollygoster. noun. A shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician. “Instead of giving a snollygoster like Pat Toomey a key to the state, it might be better to change the locks and throw the keys into the Schuylkill.”

Adopt your own antiquated word today on the Save The Words website.

{via npr}