Perfection is unattainable: Learning English as a lingua franca (ELF) involves approaching the language as a tongue shared by non-native speakers around the world rather than as a lingo that must be mastered to native-speaker level. Letting go of the idea of speaking 'perfect English' could do wonders for Japanese students' confidence.

Over the past month at Lyft we’ve been working on porting our infrastructure code away from Puppet. We had some difficulty coming to agreement on whether we wanted to use SaltStack (Salt) or Ansible. We were already using Salt for AWS orchestration, but we were divided on whether Salt or Ansible would be better for configuration management. We decided to settle it the thorough way by implementing the port in both Salt and Ansible, comparing them over multiple criteria.

While a lot of work has been done on tone and intonation, there has been no large-scale test of whether lexical tone and intonation are, in fact, in competition diachronically. If a functional dependency between lexical tone and intonation exists, tone languages should be more likely than intonational languages to develop grammatical devices to encode utterance-level meaning such as particles, word affixes, and changes in word order. On the other hand, if an optimal division of the phonetic space between lexical tone and intonation is often reached cross-linguistically, tonal and intonational languages should exhibit grammatical devices for encoding utterance-level meanings at a similar frequency.

Enligt min mening är direktpension sedan länge är bättre än pensionsförsäkring. Och mina beräkningar ger resultatet att en direktpension ger bättre chans till avkastning om pengarna sätts direkt i exempelvis fonder och aktier än i en vanlig kapitalförsäkring på marknaden.

Här är svaren på de tre viktigaste frågorna när du ska pensionsspara i ett aktiebolag.

When Edward Snowden exposed the scale and depth of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, his findings led to another disheartening revelation: that our Internet has become too centralized. Webmail services like Yahoo and Google and social networks like Facebook and Twitter are convenient and efficient platforms, as well as easy to use, but they collect massive amounts of user data that can facilitate intelligence spying and other types of snooping. Meanwhile, securer methods of communication are often cumbersome and overly technical for the average user who would like to send an email without having to download and set up various software. Yet after Snowden’s leaks, an increasing demand for securer alternatives has led to the development of anti-surveillance products with an eye towards being user friendly.

That is certainly true for Miguel Freitas, a research engineer based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who decided to create a decentralized alternative to Twitter to counter NSA spying and protect against shutdowns of social media sites; but it would also be “something that my grandmother could use,” Freitas tells techPresident.

Did you ever wish to have all relevant information about a visitor right when he hits your site? Think of (full) name, gender and maybe hobbies and interests? Thanks to social networks we could at least get some of that data. All you need is the URL to that visitors (public) Facebook or Google+ profile – but if he doesn’t actively give it to you, you’re probably out of luck.

What if we could get that profile URL without the user even noticing it?

The USB Weather Data Receiver USB-WDE1 wirelessly receives data from various weather sensors of ELV at 868 MHz. The receiver is connected to a USB port on the computer, so no additional power supply is required. The data is transmitted via a simple serial ASCII protocol, which is well documented by ELV. The RasberryPi running Raspbian is used for the data acquisition allowing very little power consumption while being completely flexible.

Think for a second how much energy is literally washed down the drain when you take a shower. Not the water itself — just the energy that’s lost when you heat up said water, pump it through a series of pipes to your showerhead, and then let all that warm goodness run straight down your body and into a hole in the floor. By some estimates, 80 to 90 percent of the energy it takes to heat that water ends up going straight to the sewer. Considering the fact that the energy required to heat water is one of the biggest energy expenditures at home (right behind heating/cooling/ventilation), that’s a monumental waste of juice. But not to worry; there’s a new device on the market that could help to recapture some of that wasted energy.

It’s called EcoDrain, and while it’s definitely not a new concept, it’s a fresh new take on an old idea, and finally makes waste heat recovery a viable possibility for regular homeowners.

Set on a desolate desert planet which produces a mind-altering drug that enables intergalactic travel, “Dune” cried out for an adventurous director to adapt it. David Lynch tried in 1984, and it was a disaster, but could Jodorowsky have done better? Director Frank Pavich tantalizes us with just that possibility in his wonderful documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” which tells the full story of “The greatest movie never made” (as the tagline puts it).

“Once you are familiar with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movies and then you hear that that guy’s next project was going to be ‘Dune,’ and you learn about the amazing actors he had lined up — Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Orson Welles — and you hear Pink Floyd was going to do the soundtrack … You wanna see that movie!” says Pavich, speaking at a post-screening Q&A at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival.

They’re not just used by behavioural scientists: a Skinner box can be a useful device for training pets, especially pets with a reasonable amount of smarts, like parrots or rats. It can automate the process you may have already used with your pet, where “correct” behaviour is rewarded – walk to heel, get a doggy snack.

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Skinner boxes are also pretty expensive. So Katherine Scott, computer vision and robotics expert, electronics ninja and rat owner/trainer, has built her own, which she intends to release as an open source device when she’s finished refining it.

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