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"DNA-based prediction of Nietzsche's voice"

An interesting paper was recently brought to my attention: Flavia Montaggio, Patricia Montaggio, & Imp Kerr, "DNA-based prediction of Nitzsche's voice", Investigative Genetics, Spring 2015. The abstract is pretty good: This paper presents a protocol for the accurate prediction of an individual’s voice based on genotype data, specifically from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We collected […]

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Plebgate judgment

I spent Monday, November 24, in courtroom 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice in London. For a small part of that time, I testified as an expert witness; for the rest of the day, I was an interested spectator. What was the occasion? Peter Walker explains ("Andrew Mitchell and the Plebgate affair explained for non-Brits", The […]

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"Voiceprints" again

"Millions of voiceprints quietly being harvested as latest identification tool", The Guardian (AP), 10/13/2014: Over the telephone, in jail and online, a new digital bounty is being harvested: the human voice.   Businesses and governments around the world increasingly are turning to voice biometrics, or voiceprints, to pay pensions, collect taxes, track criminals and replace […]

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Bonfire beneficiaries

Subeditor Humphrey Evans points out to me that the grammar of phishing spam emails is getting worse and worse, rather than better. He recently saw one that contained this text: The sum of (6.5M Euros only will be transfer into your account after the processing of all relevant legal documents with your name as the […]

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More deceptive statements about Voice Stress Analysis

Leonard Klie, "Momentum Builds for Voice Stress Analysis in Law Enforcement", Speech Technology Magazine, Summer 2014: Nearly 1,800 U.S. law enforcement agencies have dropped the polygraph in favor of newer computer voice stress analyzer (CVSA) technology to detect when suspects being questioned are not being honest, according to a report from the National Association of […]

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Separated by a common problem

The first issue of a new journal has just appeared: Linguistic Evidence in Security, Law and Intelligence (LESLI), founded and edited by Dr. Carole Chaski. As a member of the editorial board, I'm pleased with the quality of the first issue, and I feel that Carole deserves a round of applause. But there's something in the […]

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CD tilde home

Thomas Pynchon's recent novel Bleeding Edge is set in New York City, after the dot.com bust of 3/10/2000 and shortly before the World Trade Center attack of 9/11/2001. The central figure is Maxine Tarnow, who runs a small fraud-investigation outfit called Tail 'Em and Nail 'Em, and many of her clients and her friends are […]

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Rowling and "Galbraith": an authorial analysis

The Sunday (UK) Times recently revealed that J.K. Rowling wrote the detective novel The Cuckoo's Calling under the pen name Robert Galbraith. The newspaper explained that, as part of their investigation, they sought the assistance of two scholars who have developed software to help with authorship attribution: Peter Millican of Oxford University and Patrick Juola […]

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Semantic gymnastics

Steve Butcher and Maris Beck, "Journalists appeal in bid to protect sources", The Age 2/5/2013: The grounds of appeal announced on Monday state Justice Sifris erred in not finding Mr Goldberg was wrong in failing to set aside the summonses. Five negatives. Degree of difficulty: E. Judges' score: 9.6.

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Ignorance about ignorance

People — especially Americans — are ignorant. This is something that Everyone Knows, because we read or hear about it from time to time in the mass media. Thus we can listen to Robin Young tell us on NPR's Here and Now that A new survey conducted by Chicago's McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, which has […]

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Zero-day lexicography

It was reported yesterday that Microsoft has released a patch for a recently uncovered flaw in Internet Explorer. Thus Fahmida Rashid, "Microsoft Releases Emergency IE Patch", Security Watch 9/21/2012: Microsoft has released an out-of-band update fixing at least five vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, including the recently disclosed zero-day vulnerability already being exploited in the wild. […]

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Those Esperanto ghazals

Skin Horse for 7/27/2012:

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Linguistics: The magazine

A few years ago, as a half-serious ending for a talk that I gave at the LSA annual meeting ("The Future of Linguistics", 1/7/2007), I suggested that there might be some opportunities in the supermarket checkout line: This was, of course, the scond in a series, preceded by Erotic Grammar and followed by Erotic Rhetoric…

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