Category Archives: acronyms

Microsoft’s unique chemical

While perpetually scorned by people, for no real reason, Microsoft’s search engine “Bing” has a few tricks up its sleeve.

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More about the Weather Service

If you look online at the (United States) National Weather Service’s page http://www.weather.gov/okx/ you will see the New York City region’s webpage. Any one know why the abbreviation that would logically be NYC is OKX? I’ve checked and it is not ROT-13 or any similar transformation.

Fun in the MLA + ACW

MLA is the Modern Language Association, and they are responsible for the MLA style of citations used in some research papers, in opposition to the APA, IEEE and others. I shouldn’t really say opposition to, since they all have the same goal in the end.

Anyway, some amusements I have found are:

  • The now changed Purdue OWL example of an anonymous publication citation: “Wordsworth is a Loser 100”.
  • The ACW style sheet, that I swear was partially adapted into MLA. Examples can be seen here. For some reason I remembered “pine_guest” for maybe 15 years since I first had to work on MLA papers in English 101 and had a handbook for citing MLA style.
  • I cannot find it now with some cursory searches, but there was an example text about motion picture censorship that I think was lifted from someone’s research paper, about how licensing fees by governments (towns and villages) were used to control films.

Anyone have anything else like this?

 

A lost and forgotten standardized test

Probably everyone in the United States who went to school knows what a standardized test is. One of those fill-in-the-circles affairs that returns a percentile rank. Currently they are controversial on account of their potential use in teacher evaluations.

I found this certificate for an apparently long discontinued test, the National Educational Development Test:

NEDT

The Science Research Associates that Lyle Spencer signed for had just been bought by IBM at the time, according to Wikipedia. Per a paper in ERIC, it was administered at least as late as 1993, but probably not much after since there is next to nothing on the Internet about it. Also per that paper, it took until 1982 to delete “gender, racial or ethnic bias”. Shades of the oarsman-regatta question once on the SAT?

Anyway, I notice this particular paper didn’t bother to tell the awardee what their performance was, just that it was “outstanding”.

Register shift in Civ III installer

In linguistics there is a term, register, for the formality level of speech or writing.

Installers or “Setup” programs – at least on the PC/Windows platform – are traditionally upper register, using formal terms. I suspect this is because the common installer making programs (InstallShield, WISE, etc.) supply most of the boilerplate text, such as the introduction page, the scary copyright warning and similar text.

One place that is left up to the person making the installer is the system components and requirements specification. For Civilization III (a good strategy game, by the way) the person responsible got a little loose:

Civ3install-megs

Spot it?

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Kentucky ©opyright violation

While examining the website of the official auditor of Kentucky, I noticed some dubious repurposing of icons from Apple. Case in point, the “SAFE-house” link on the righthand column:

KY-copyright

Some of you may notice it looks suspiciously like the “FileVault” icon from the feature of that name.

To be honest, the name of the program, which is officially for “Secure, Anonymous, and File-Encrypted” (a forced acronym if there every was one), makes me think they decided to name the program after the icon.

To make sure no one gets the wrong idea, I have nothing against the Kentucky Auditor, as I will detail later, only this particular choice of icon.

SAP is the worst non-custom ATS/HR software I’ve found yet

SAP is one of those “enterprise software” suites that claim to be able to essentially do everything except Email for every kind of organization or firm. You can see this on their website, which doesn’t seem to definitively describe what it does in a single sentence.

My experience with SAP is limited to Iberdrola (A Spanish energy firm) and their use of it as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or in other words HR software. It is terrible for this though, at least as they configured it.

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