More Singapore tech blog writing

From a recent e27 article, Google launches products to encourage entrepreneurship in the emerging markets:

> Relying on citizen cartographers, Google Map Maker started in India as a way to make better maps of the subcontinent. It is a form of crowdsourcing that has emerged that demonstrates an effective way of getting local content online. Today, the product has doubled the worlds digital maps corpus, mapping 1.5 billion people in 187 countries. The UN and aid agencies have used these user generated maps to assist and rescue millions.

I found the last two sentences of this paragraph notable because (a) they were much less clumsily written than the rest of the article, and (b) “corpus”?! Who the hell actually uses that word? So, as a former teacher who’s marked his fair share of suspicious-looking student reports, I googled.

From Global Innovation Roundtable’s bio of Lalitesh Katragadda:

> His most recent creation, Google Map Maker, doubled the worlds digital maps corpus, mapping 1.5 billion people in 187 countries. The UN and aid agencies have used these user generated maps to assist and rescue millions.

Even the missing apostrophe made it over. Lesson: Don’t plagiarise in a world with Google. Especially not in an article about Google.

(The first sentence in the quote is also copied, but a little better—at least there, the author makes an effort to paraphrase parts of para 3 in Google’s blog entry.)

See also the last time I wrote about Singapore tech blogs.

Vim search Dash

I use MacVim as my editor and Dash as my documentation browser. They’re great. Also, Dash has the best nag-screen mechanism I’ve ever seen.

If you use them, too, I wrote a bit of Vim script to make looking things up about 0.5 seconds faster each time. Imagine, all that productivity! Just position your cursor on the word you want to look up, leader-d, and the script will try to search the right docset in Dash based on the filetype you’re editing. E.g. for JavaScript files, I have it configured to launch js:term in Dash, which searches both the jQuery and JavaScript docs for that term. (Source: a great tip from Kapeli himself. Herself? Itself?)

I’d love to hear suggestions on how to generalise this, without manually adding docsets each time. I tried passing in the filetype to Dash as the search term, but got tripped up by some asset files in Rails that Vim thought were ERB…

Ants invented TCP/IP

Stanford Engineering:

A forager won’t return to the nest until it finds food. If seeds are plentiful, foragers return faster, and more ants leave the nest to forage. If, however, ants begin returning empty handed, the search is slowed, and perhaps called off.

They’re stronger than us, more plentiful, and now we find out they invented the Internet. I’d start making offerings to our future ant overlords, but they already eat half the cat food in my kitchen now so what’s the point.