Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Psychic Cell Phone

Matt's post made me wonder.

Maybe this is no big deal, maybe it happens all over the world, I don't know. But my cell phone reads my mind.

Okay, it goes something like this: When I'm text messaging, say I type the character "Ah" (that curly looking thing in the white space, upper left hand corner), well, immediately below that (in the shaded blue box) the phone will guess as to what I am going to say; it will give me several choices. Here it throws out, arimasu (to have), arigato (thank you), and asobi (to play). Instead of typing in all the characters "ah ri ga to u" (which equals five) I only have to click on the word I want to say...

So I clicked on arigatou. Shazam!

Glancing at the mysterious blue box again you'll see it has already decided that I might want to be polite and add a gozaimasu for good measure. So, yea, I DO want to add a gozaimasu. Again, I click the word instead of "go za i ma su", thus saving four key strokes.

Voila! OMG! I check that blue space once more and it suggests that maybe I want to end that sentence with a period. See the little circle, that's a period. By God! I DO want to end that sentence with a period. Bring it on! Click.

This goes on for the entire message. Sometimes it even suggests sweet little emoticons for me to use.

Now what I'm curious about is does this happen on English language cell phones? I mean if you typed in an "H" would it give you choices like "hi", "hey", "hello" "how"? And if you chose "how" would it then suggest "are", "is", "many"?

I am thinking this has something to do with the differences between the languages. How in Japanese there are a good many set phrases and words that just inherently go well together and these have all been keyed into the phone. Which would make it necessary for English language users to use words like "R" for "are" and so on.

Other news:

Today's the first day of Spring vacation which means yesterday was J's last day of fifth grade! The school year ends in March. We had a great morning. After he made us pancakes (while I took out the garbage and washed and hung out clothes) we spent the morning shredding a year's worth of papers (two garbage bags full!) and sorting through notebooks and textbooks. I introduced him to the Pixies and we laughed and laughed and laughed. I had never thought the Pixies were funny until I saw his face when they started singing "Caribouuuuu". Today the cherry blossoms are supposed to start blooming which means I need to start planning my pic nics. The only really sucky news of recent is that the Red Hot Chili Peppers cancelled there Japan tour (there supposed to come in fall, which means I can still wear my new RHCP hoodie). We were going this Thursday. Were stoked. Now just kinda blah. Hope Anthony heals up well and all that.


Bk30 said...

Nope your not nuts, and your phone is really that smart.

My husband has his phone set to that mode(it bugs me), I use the ABC method. Which means if I want "c" I have to hit 2, three times. So the answer is yes, English phones also have that ability. Matt would a said it funnier.

Kappa no He said...

Okay, so there are modes you can set it too. Fascinating. The things I think are different usually end up being the same and the things I think are the same usually end up being differnt.

Pat said...

You kids are just something! I inherited Kelly's old cameraphone and haven't yet taken a photo with it. For me, there are two modes - on, and off. The two main functions - I call out, and I receive a call. In ten years (or less), I'm going to be the stupidest person on the planet - tech-wise, that is!

jean said...

I think I've figured out how to make a call on mine. And sometimes how to answer one. Text messaging is WAY out there in another universe...

Mom said...

My cell phone is not text enabled, and I like it that way. I don't type well enough to text messages to anyone, that's why I USE THE PHONE!

Kappa no He said...

Pat: Back in the good old days if I saw something on TV I wanted to record, I could just pop a VHS tape in the machine and record it. Now we have some 260 IQ hard disk recording contraption that flashes blue when I look at it wrong.

Jean: I cheat. I usually mail people from my computer to their mobile phones. Now, as long as I remember they can't handle six paragraphs of chat...I'm alright.

Mom: Lol, yep! Text messaging is just enormous here. Using your land line to make a phone call costs so much yen per minute, no fixed rate. So it can get expensive, fast. It is actually cheaper to get some kind of all-you-can-text-message deal on your cell phone and use it that way. At least for the younger generation, the ones with skinny and lightening fast fingers.

Brian said...

O.K. Now, I want to have a kid just so I can play him/her "Caribou"... and maybe "Where Is My Mind?". :)

Kappa no He said...

Gawd, having is kid is so great that way. You can introduce them *coughbrainwashcough* with everything you think is cool. Soon I'm sure he is going to rebel but until then!

Anonymous said...

Does your phone learn? For example, if I had a Japanese phone, would it soon learn that one of the "a" words should be "aho", given how often I would use it?
I read that hanami was three weeks early in Tokyo. I haven't started my late night sakuracam viewing yet, but it's here
We just got some trees slightly green here. The Tidal Basin cherry trees won't be out for several more weeks. Spring comes and then goes away and then comes again. It was 24 degrees a couple of nights ago and 70 today. There were a couple of crabapples out at the National Arboretum, and a few plum on my college campus, but not much else. momo has some pictures up on her blog
They have these huge ornamental pear trees here that are gorgeous, but it's still too early.
J's going to be in 6th grade, huh. Have you started cramming for the good junior high yet? One of momo's nieces got into a good Tokyo university, a nephew into the good local high school and another niece into the choice junior high around Fujieda. They all got what they wanted, so I'm sure there were several congratulation parties. We're supposed to send the college girl a gift, but I couldn't figure out if that meant a real gift or cash. I thought she'd like a nice box of salmon jerkey, but momo told me that I wasn't being culturally sensitive enough, in so many words.

Kappa no He said...

It does learn! I type in "Ba" and "baka" come top to the list. But yea, it knows which words you frequent and remembers them.

Mmm ornamental pears...and salmon jerkey!

I'm going now to look at Momo's pics!

benbradley said...

I have to admit, I don't have a cell phone. I'm not anti-technology, not at all, but I'm not that much of a "people person," don't need to spend a lot of time talking to people on the phone, and a land line is plenty for me. And it has DSL Internet access, which is The Important Thing for me anyways.

But this thing about the phone wanting to 'complete' things for you, more and more software-related things do that, and it's not a new idea at all. I recall the late 1970's there was some program for the Apple ][ (pronounced "Apple Two") computer that would complete BASIC programming keywords. If you typed PR it would add INT[space] for the PRINT keyword. I also recall one where you could type a special character such as escape-P or control-P and it would insert PRINT into the line. But I had been typing on computer and terminal keyboards for a couple years by then, having spent some Quality Time with ASR-33's and even spent a night with a DECwriter (oh, was that TMI? Sorry...), so my typing was up to speed enough that these complete-the-word things were more annoying than helpful.

I'm runnning Mozilla 2.0 for a browser, and anytime I type something in the search window it has a drop-down of suggestions that I never asked for. Fortunately it doesn't slow me down. I recall that the Find (on the webpage - control-F) function in an earlier version searched the document with every new keystroke, and if you typed something that wasn't on the page it could taka second or longer for each keystroke to register. It works better now, but it could also be that my current computer is ten times faster than my previous one. Woops, maybe TMI for another reason, I think I'm just rambling now...

So much for these self-completing things, now how do I turn them off? "Well, first you hit the START button..."

Anonymous said...

its called either T9word or word. i use it to txt. i think its so much easier then txting with ABC.Which is typing the word letter by letter. but ya as you type letters in it gives you choises. but sometimes it doesnt give you the right word so sometimes you will have to use ABC