Languages, PHP, Programming, Technology, Web Programming

Competing with Pimsleur

<![CDATA[As I mentioned earlier, I’ve written the framework for a language learning system similar to Pimsleur. Well the approach is similar but the mechanics are different. Basically each phrase (in English, the target language, what the instructor says) is a seperate audio file. The system then chooses what you listen to automatically handling things like the right amount of repetition or you.

How often something is repeated is time based meaning if people do things slowly they will find themselves repeating more often (which makes more sense since slower equates to using the system less often). I almost have a demo ready. The big thing I need however is voice talent. I’ve just about accepted that I will have to suffer by hearing myself but it’s not very clear what’s going on if the instructor, the English voice and the foreign voice are all the same person.

It is also extremely modular. Each module (a module could be a conversation, a sentence, a whole topic – whatever makes sense in the circumstances) has a list of requirements that has to be completed first. This means no explicit ordering of modules is neccesary, the system picks whichever one the learner can do.

This also allows some cross-language capabilities. If someone learns more than one language and something is similar or the same in the two, it could tell and possibly speed things up depending on how similar they are.

So if there is anyone who might possibly be interested, let me know. If you’re learning a language this could be ideal (during my Maths degree I discovered if I could explain something to someone else, it was a good sign I understood it myself)

I’m not quite sure if, and how (or should) this make money but anyone who helps significantly would have a say in what happens with it.

Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, Linguaphone]]>

Google, Web Programming

iMode and cHTML

<![CDATA[I've seen adverts around for iMode recently, with no idea what it was. Well I found out last night by coincidence after looking around Google Sitemaps. Well sort of. Although I didn't look at the details it seems like some sort of alternative to WAP. What interested me more was cHTML, iMode's equivalent of WML.

cHTML, or Compact HTML, is basically what WML should have been. Instead of completely new tags and new way of looking at things it's just a subset of HTML that makes sense for mobile devices. There are a few extensions to normal HTML but these aren't required and are very simple anyway (like using tel: in a link the same way you’d use mailto:).

Of course I don’t really have any sites that would make sense ina mobile world…

Just search for imode chtml for loads of bits of info.


MPOGs, PHP, Web Programming

Galactic Horde

<![CDATA[You may have seen the link for Galactic Horde, an online game, in the links bar but never thought to visit. Well the link is not there randomly, it’s something I helped in. Specifically I wrote the PHP back-end for it.

Well I never really had time to play it myself and never knew exactly how the client interacted with what I wrote. The result is that I can read the forums for the game and have no idea what people are talking about. It’s really scary.

Have a look in their forums for an idea.

PHP, Galactic Horde, online games, programming]]>


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

<![CDATA[How dare they!

In 2004 they released original cast (near enough) dramatisations of the third, fourth and fifth Hitchhikers book without telling me! I always thought the book version had the better (and more developed) story and hoped (in vain I thought) they'd make an film/TV/radio/anything version of it. Well they did!

They've also given them interesting titles.

Tertiary Phase – Makes sense since "tertiary" comes after "secondary"
Quandary Phase – Annoyed me at first since "quaternary" comes after "tertiary". All is forgiven since they weren't being serious, see below for the
Quintessential Phase

Hitchhikers, Hitchhikers Guide, H2G2, BBC]]>


End of Pimsleur

<![CDATA[I'm now very close to the end of Pimsleur's German III. I'm up to lesson 20 which overall is lesson 80 out of 90. I have just realised however that there is a 10 lesson set called German Plus designed to go after German III but my library doesn't have it.

I still recommend it to anyone wishing to learn a language, at least if you can get access to it for free.

Pimsleur, German]]>


Google has updated Pagerank

<![CDATA[Well it seems Google just updated it's pagerank database. And to my eternal joy I've gained accross the board. Every site/page is either higher than before or at least the same (in fact it's only the few PR5 pages I have that haven't gone up).

The most notable is Luliriisi’s (Julia’s site) increase from no PR to PR4. 🙂

Whether I’ll notice an increase in traffic is yet to be seen however. We can but hope 🙂

PR, Google, Pagerank, traffic]]>


Comment spam..

<![CDATA[I guess every blog owner posts an entry like this sooner or later.

I just had my first serious bout of comment spam. About 50 or so pointless messages about mortgages and refinancing. But since the spammer used the same IP it was really easy to delete them all using WordPress. Of course other blog software problably has the same features…

spam, comment spam, WordPress]]>


Scouse Dutch

<![CDATA[I picked up the "World Citizen" edition of Pimsleur's Dutch. Two lessons in and I sound like I'm from bloody Liverpool. Quite how that happened I don't know…

Pimsleur, Dutch]]>