Information 4.0… we’re all doomed!

All doomed?  What exactly does that mean and why am I writing about it?  Over the last year I’ve been back at school studying for the TCLoc Masters degree at the University of Strasbourg (an excellent program if you’re wondering!). A module we’re currently working through is Information 4.0 and this… I think I can safely say this… has provoked more discussion and emotion than any of us expected.  This is partially because Ray Gallon asked us at the start of the course how we felt about artificial intelligence and looked at it in the broader sense and not just within the localization arena.  Now, as interesting as it is I don’t propose to make this a really wide discussion, although you should feel free to continue the discussion in the comments if you have strong feelings about it, but I would like to explore a few things I’ve been thinking about that are related and perhaps closer to the topics I usually write about.

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The translation blockchain?

There are people who believe that the original intention of the internet during its inception in the 1980’s was to put the power of information in the hands of its users.  In fact the last three or four decades has seen the return of the wild wild west with the internet, e-mail, mobile technology, social media, online shopping, big data, cloud computing and now the internet of things.  All of this has been accessible to anyone, and anyone with the ability to create a website can give the impression they are far more trustworthy and capable than they actually are.  The way the growth of the internet has taken place has meant that only large organisations are able, in theory, to provide “security” and “trust” and we rely on them to validate our financial transactions, willingly handing over our personal data so that we no longer have any control over what happens with it.  Since the global social media phenomenon we even hand this data over to less secure environments sharing our lives with the world and in the process becoming less and less oblivious to the implications of what we share.  Certainly a far cry from the original idea of a secure and private network for the users, and today individuals have next to zero control over their personal data at all.

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Cloud murmurings… part 1.

It’s true… I’m a die hard desktop user.  I love the benefits I get from my mobile phone, using dropbox, the benefits of machine translation, Netflix and all the cool things that come with being able to use online features in the cloud.  But I’ve still been reticent to wholeheartedly embrace online technology and talk about it in this blog.  When I ask myself why that is, the first thing that crosses my mind is the unreliability of online connectivity.  Some people have a view of me as being a calm and patient person, and I do try hard to be that person, but when it comes to a lack of connectivity I turn into Mister Angry and Frustrated very quickly!  So the very idea of working with solutions that only offer an online capability for everything leaves me cold.  It’s one thing being unable to watch a film, share files, pick up my email or use my phone, but not being able to work at all is another thing altogether.  If I was working as an independant translator with all the benefits that can bring of being able to work anywhere, then having a good offline capability would be essential.  Studio of course offers me the offline capability, but today (and in a few more articles as there’s a lot to cover) I want to talk about the cloud and in particular SDL GroupShare.  Many of you may wonder if this has any relevance for you, but hopefully you’ll see it does because the solutions SDL offer in this space give you the flexibility you need when working with the cloud and even as a freelance translator you may get asked to work in that environment.  I’m going to tackle a few scenarios to explain, starting with creating projects. Continue reading

12 million Haitians can’t be wrong!

According to wikipedia there are some 9.6 to 12 million people speaking Haitian Creole worldwide.  I had no idea it was such a widely spoken language until I was asked a question this week about why the Google Translate machine translation provider in Studio returned French translations when the project was en(US) – fr(HT) (French-Haiti).

In fact I had no idea that French-Haiti was most likely intended to be the language that should be used in Studio for Haitian Creole as this isn’t a language I come across very often.

But before I can ask a developer to fix this problem I have to be able to understand it myself, so the first thing I wanted to know was whether French-Haiti was the same as Haitian Creole or not.  And for anyone interested, as I was, to read more on this I found these three interesting links below explaining how the language came around and it does have a very interesting history: Continue reading

Tinkering with tradition… APIs in Studio 2015 SR2

001If you regularly read the articles I write you may have noticed that I like to talk about the SDL OpenExchange a lot.  I write articles about some of the cool applications that are available to users of the SDL Language Platform (Studio, MultiTerm, GroupShare, Passolo etc.)  I see this platform in a similar way (albeit a smaller scale) to an I-Phone or an Android phone… the core features are already there in the products and the APIs support the ability for any developer to create more features and capabilities to do anything they like!  Things that might only be useful for a small group of users, or they might be interesting for many… or they might support the breaking of long standing traditions!

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The Innovation Developer Experience…

001On two previous occasions I’ve been lucky enough to attend the SDL Innovate conference held at the San Francisco venue, and this year I get to go again.  But this year is particularly special!

Actually every year is great because someone like me, entrenched in the world of our Language Solutions, rarely gets a really good glimpse into what SDL is capable of providing as a leader in global customer experience.  I have a pretty good idea as I try to attend all the internal briefings we have, and I also get to work across many of our teams as I’m lucky enough to dabble a bit in the things we do for our communities and across social media.  But there really is no substitute for the value we create for our customers at an event like this. Continue reading