Category: bots

Episode 295: Yawuru (featuring Dalisa Pigram) [live at the Disrupted Festival]

The Talk the Talk team takes the stage in a special live episode at the Disrupted Festival.

The Yawuru language of Western Australia has been going dormant, but many courageous teachers are bringing it back for a new generation. Is it working? What is it to learn and teach one’s traditional language? And what is the Yawuru language like?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie are joined by our special guest Dalisa Pigram on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

i before e except after…w?
http://www.nathancunn.com/2017-06-26-i-before-e-except-after-w/

A Student Just Debunked the Most Famous Grammar Rule of All Time
http://www.rd.com/culture/i-before-e-rule/

AI Is Inventing Languages Humans Can’t Understand. Should We Stop It?
https://www.fastcodesign.com/90132632/ai-is-inventing-its-own-perfect-languages-should-we-let-it

Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language
http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/a-step-closer-to-skynet-ai-invents-a-language-humans-can-t-read/article/498142

“The Most Worthy Rectangle”: Wikipedia Deletes Amazing List Of Fake Aussie Slang For $100 Note
http://junkee.com/wikipedia-list-slang-100-note/114214

Oxford Dictionary has a new last word
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/oxford-dictionary-has-a-new-last-word-1.3136466

Just what does the gun emoji most commonly shoot at?
http://www.guns.com/2017/06/20/just-what-does-the-gun-emoji-most-commonly-shoot-at/

Wikipedia: Yawuru language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawuru_language

Check This Out!–Yawuru Ngan-Ga Language App For iPhone & Android – Yawuru
https://indigenous.sl.nsw.gov.au/recent-updates/check-out-yawuru-ngan-ga-language-app-iphone-android-yawuru

Yawuru ngan-ga language app
https://vimeo.com/123160863

Yawuru Ngan-ga: A phrasebook of the Yawuru Language
https://www.magabala.com/yawurungan-ga.html

Komei Hokosawa: “My face am burning!”: quasi-passive, body parts, and related issues in Yawuru grammar and cultural concepts
Google Books link

Ethnologue: Yawuru
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/ywr

Slides for the language lesson


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Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/7392082-3×2-700×467.jpg

Episode 284: Feral Children

What can we learn about language from children who grew up without it?

People are fascinated by stories of “feral children”, raised apart from human contact. Can these children ever learn language, once they’re found? And what does this tell us about the human language faculty?

Daniel and Ben take a critical look at the stories on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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You are tremendous human beings! But not colossal anything, because apparently colossal is only for bad things.

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Show notes

AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/13/ai-programs-exhibit-racist-and-sexist-biases-research-reveals

Scientists Taught A Robot Language. It Immediately Turned Racist.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhisubbaraman/robot-racism-through-language

An AI stereotype catcher
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6334/133

Google searches expose racial bias, says study of names
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-21322183

The ‘three black teenagers’ search shows it is society, not Google, that is racist
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/10/three-black-teenagers-google-racist-tweet

Meet the 8-year-old girl raised by monkeys
http://nypost.com/2017/04/06/meet-the-8-year-old-girl-raised-by-monkeys/

Girl found living with monkeys in Indian forest
https://apnews.com/9bb6522fe5c642a38a62bd7f99b23708

Indian girl found in jungle was not living with monkeys, officials say
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/08/indian-girl-found-in-jungle-was-not-living-with-monkeys-officials-say

Elissa Newport: Contrasting Conceptions of the Critical Period for Language
Google Books link

The History of Herodotus
http://classics.mit.edu/Herodotus/history.2.ii.html

Erik The Flutemaker: Egyptian Flute (used with permission)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnyW3R-v19Y

Erik’s YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/theflutemaker

The King of Scotland’s Peculiar Language Experiment
http://mentalfloss.com/article/75378/king-scotlands-peculiar-language-experiment

A creepy 15th century language experiment took place on this island
http://io9.gizmodo.com/a-creepy-15th-century-language-experiment-took-place-on-1484724484?IR=T

Peter Mundy’s account of Emperor Akbar
Google Books link

The Critical Period for Language Acquisition and Feral Children
https://sites.psu.edu/psych256sp16/2016/04/21/the-critical-period-for-language-acquisition-and-feral-children/

Wikipedia: Amala and Kamala
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amala_and_Kamala

Starved, tortured, forgotten: Genie, the feral child who left a mark on researchers
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/14/genie-feral-child-los-angeles-researchers

The Heartbreaking Story Of Genie, A Feral Child Who Will Never Learn To Communicate
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/critical-period-for-language-acquisition-2013-10#xFbIh50RV7uI6TRo.99

Feral Children in Fact and Fiction
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/feral_children_in_fact_and_fiction/

Urban Dictionary: re-accommodate
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=re-accommodate

Flight or fight? United’s ‘re-accommodation’ of passenger a colossal mistake
http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/flight-or-fight-uniteds-reaccommodation-of-passenger-a-colossal-mistake-20170410-gvi842.html

United C.E.O. offers the worst possible response to the airline’s P.R. disaster
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/united-airlines-oscar-munoz

New United logo
http://imgur.com/gallery/SQLY2

Wiktionary: voluntell
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/voluntell

The Rice University Neologisms Database: voluntold
http://neologisms.rice.edu/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=7413

Slate: Why Do We Hate Certain Words? The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2013/04/word_aversion_hate_moist_slacks_crevice_why_do_people_hate_words.html

Urban Dictionary: jawn
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jawn

The Enduring Mystery Of ‘Jawn’, Philadelphia’s All-Purpose Noun
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-enduring-mystery-of-jawn-philadelphias-allpurpose-noun

Read This: The history of “jawn,” Philadelphia’s favorite all-purpose word
http://www.avclub.com/article/read-history-jawn-philadelphias-favorite-all-purpo-234368

Funky 4+1 Thats The Joint (Vinyl High Quality)
https://youtu.be/FzuskHUux6U

Language Hat: JAWN.
http://languagehat.com/jawn/


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 246: Yiddish (featuring Ben Zimmer)

Do you know from Yiddish?

A controversial new hypothesis has surfaced about its origins, but does it stand up to the data? And are you using Yiddish words without even knowing it?

Daniel Midgley speaks with lexicographer Ben Zimmer on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Scott Quigg


Patreon supporters

This episode was made possible through the support of our patrons Whitney Fielding and Matt. Mazel tov, and thank you!

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Show notes

Google to Developers: Here’s How to Stop Making Dumb Chatbots
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601440/google-to-developers-heres-how-to-stop-making-dumb-chatbots/

Google is giving away the tool it uses to understand language, Parsey McParseface
http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11666414/google-parsey-mcparseface-tensorflow-open-source-language-tool

Announcing SyntaxNet: The World’s Most Accurate Parser Goes Open Source
http://googleresearch.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/announcing-syntaxnet-worlds-most.html

Professor reveals to students that his assistant was an AI all along
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/innovation/professor-reveals-to-students-that-his-assistant-was-an-ai-all-along-20160513-gou6us.html

History & Development of Yiddish
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/yiddish.html

Yiddish Language and Culture
http://www.jewfaq.org/yiddish.htm

The Secret Slang of the Diamond District
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/magazine/the-secret-slang-of-the-diamond-district.html?_r=0

Articles for Elhaik’s research — this is not well-accepted by linguists!

Uncovering ancient Ashkenaz – the birthplace of Yiddish speakers
https://theconversation.com/uncovering-ancient-ashkenaz-the-birthplace-of-yiddish-speakers-58355

Was Yiddish A Secret Language Invented On The Silk Road?
http://www.vocativ.com/310611/yiddish-silk-road/

Yiddish may have originated in Turkey, not Germany
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2016-04/20/yiddish-origin-turkey-dna-analysis

Articles against Elhaik’s research — closer to correct

Asya Pereltsvaig: Is Yiddish to Be Traced to Turkey?
http://www.languagesoftheworld.info/bad-linguistics/yiddish-traced-turkey.html

Jordan Kutzik: Don’t Buy the Junk Science That Says Yiddish Originated in Turkey
http://forward.com/opinion/339676/dont-buy-the-junk-science-that-says-yiddish-originated-in-turkey/

The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-yiddish-handbook-40-words-you-should-know/

Old Jews explaining Yiddish words will make your day
http://www.jewishjournal.com/cache/old_jews_explaining_yiddish_words_will_make_your_day.html?/videojew/item/old_jews_explaining_yiddish_words_will_make_your_day

Ben Zimmer: The Hidden History of “Glitch”
https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/the-hidden-history-of-glitch/

Ben Zimmer: A History of Meh, from Leo Rosten to Auden to The Simpsons
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/09/06/meh_etymology_tracing_the_yiddish_word_from_leo_rosten_to_auden_to_the_simpsons.html

Metalinguistic shmetalinguistic: The phonology of shm-reduplication
http://www.academia.edu/209796/Metalinguistic_shmetalinguistic_The_phonology_of_shm-reduplication

Rules Shmules: 5 Phonetic Pitfalls of Shm- Reduplication
http://mentalfloss.com/article/51600/rules-shmules-5-phonetic-pitfalls-shm-reduplication

Oy Vey: Yiddish Has a Problem
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/yiddish-has-a-problem/379658/

[Ads-l] HuffPost interview query: “Dumpster fire” (Reply from Barry Popik)
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2016-May/142337.html

New words added to OxfordDictionaries.com: dumpster fire
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/05/dumpster-fire/

Google Trends: dumpster fire
https://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=dumpster%20fire

Our National Dumpster Fire
http://www.weeklystandard.com/our-national-dumpster-fire/article/2002272

Who What Why: Sheldon Adelson’s Newspaper Is a Dumpster Fire
http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/05/07/sheldon-adelsons-newspaper-dumpster-fire/


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 239: Animal Syntax

Other animals don’t have language like we do, but some of them might be getting awfully close.

A recent experiment claims that some birds use a form of syntax — that they combine their signals in a way that’s always been thought to be unique to humans. Are these bird brains on to something?

Linguist Daniel Midgley sets things in order on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

Microsoft’s New Twitter Bot Becomes Nazi Sympathizing Maniac Within 24 Hours
http://theantimedia.org/microsofts-new-twitter-bot-becomes-nazi-sympathizing-maniac-within-24-hours/

Microsoft: Tay
https://www.tay.ai

Microsoft killed its first sentient AI
https://imgur.com/gallery/VhlAW

Artificially Intelligent Robot Tells Creator It Will Keep Humans “In a People Zoo”
http://theantimedia.org/artificially-intelligent-robot-tells-creator-it-will-keep-humans-in-a-people-zoo/

A new study will figure out if cats pick up the dialects of their owners
http://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-study-will-figure-out-if-cats-pick-up-the-dialects-of-their-owners

WATCH: Do you understand what your cat is saying?
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/watch-do-you-understand-what-your-cat-is-saying

Syntax is not unique to human language
http://phys.org/news/2016-03-syntax-unique-human-language.html

Bird Uses Linguistics Thought to Be Exclusively Human
http://www.i4u.com/2016/03/106816/bird-uses-linguistics-thought-be-exclusively-human

Ape ‘language ace’ gets tripped up by simple grammar
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/ape-language-ace-gets-tripped-simple-grammar

Dendrophobia in Bonobo Comprehension of Spoken English (PDF)
http://evolang.org/neworleans/pdf/EVOLANG_11_paper_87.pdf

$380 million ship may be named Boaty McBoatface thanks to an online poll
http://www.smh.com.au/world/380-million-ship-may-be-named-boaty-mcboatface-thanks-to-an-online-poll-20160320-gnmtvx.html

Commuters salute guard after ‘Trainy McTrainface’ pulls into Waterloo
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/commuters-salute-guard-after-trainy-mctrainface-pulls-into-waterloo-a3209291.html

Mar 14th ’11: “I agree though. He’s definitely Sexy McSexFace. <3”
http://www.babygaga.com/t-1619410/you-watch-army-wives.html

Insulting nicknames involving “face”
http://ask.metafilter.com/166971/Gimme-some-nicknames-Dorks

Simpsons: Rome-old and Juli-eh — the origin of Esteban De La Sexface
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918867/

From Cool McCool to Boaty McBoatface: An Investigationy McInvestigation
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2016/03/25/boaty_mcboatface_mcdreamy_tits_mcgee_and_the_internet_s_favorite_naming.html


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/birds-use-syntax-humbling-humanity

Episode 234: Disruptive Language Tech

What happens when computers can use language like humans can? Language workers may be out of a job.

Translators, teachers, and others are watching with concern. But is there reason to think that we’re on the verge of solving all the computational language problems? Or are some things just too hard for computers?

Linguist Daniel Midgley gazes into the crystal ball on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

xkcd 1140: Calendar of Meaningful Dates
http://www.xkcd.com/1140/

Missing 11th of the Month
http://drhagen.com/blog/the-missing-11th-of-the-month/

Port Angeles street signs honor Klallam history
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20160214/news/302149975/port-angeles-street-signs-honor-klallam-history

Canada’s new national font was designed to include aboriginal languages
http://qz.com/574312/canadas-official-new-united-font-was-designed-to-include-aboriginal-languages/

Canada’s New Typeface Unifies the Country’s Many Languages
http://www.wired.com/2015/12/canadas-new-typeface-unifies-the-countrys-many-languages/

City Debuts Local Punjabi Street Signs
http://www.ckpg.com/2015/12/10/local-punjabi-street-signs/

Dual Naming Project takes off in Denmark (PDF)
http://www.noongar.org.au/images/pdf/forms/SWALSC_Newsletter_August_edition2_2013.pdf

Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years, experts warn
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/12155808/Robots-will-take-over-most-jobs-within-30-years-experts-warn.html?WT.mc_id=tmgoff_pq_fb_20150423

The Language Barrier Is About to Fall
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-language-barrier-is-about-to-fall-1454077968

Tech is removing language barriers – but will jobs be lost in translation?
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/19/tech-removing-language-barriers-jobs-lost-translation

Push technology: why online translation may be Googling interpreters out of a job
http://www.dw.com/en/push-technology-why-online-translation-may-be-googling-interpreters-out-of-a-job/a-17979947

The Translator’s Blues
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/webhead/2006/01/the_translators_blues.html

Does rise of machine translations threaten interpreters?
http://www.ecns.cn/2016/01-28/197408.shtml

Cats and Dogs Trigger Machine Translation Row in Canada
https://slator.com/technology/cats-and-dogs-trigger-machine-translation-row-in-canada/

Scientists develop ‘psychic robot’ that can predict our actions
http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-develop-psychic-robot-that-can-predict-our-actions

Dr. Bellos or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Machine Translation
http://www.worldaccent.com/blog/2012/08/machine-human-translation.html

First Dog on the Moon
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2016/feb/12/gravitational-waves-science-should-go-out-and-buy-a-lottery-ticket-right-now

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have something in common
http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/what-do-trump-and-sanders-have-in-common-508860995748

Urban Dictionary: fangirling
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fangirling

From Mike:

image1


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Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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Episode 168: In Praise of Ambiguity

Some words and sentences are ambiguous — they could be taken more than one way.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Or is it? Does ambiguity make language difficult to understand? Or could it actually make communicating easier?

Linguist Daniel Midgley enjoys ambiguity more than most people on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with James Hall


Show notes

Some people think that ‘Eugene Goostman’ is the first computer to pass the Turing Test.
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20140906-25642.html

Not really, except by exploiting the judges’ expectations.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10886389/Computer-passes-the-Turing-Test-Im-not-convinced.html

Other bots have ‘passed’ the test, including Cleverbot.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140609/07284327524/no-computer-did-not-pass-turing-test-first-time-everyone-should-know-better.shtml

Here’s a transcript of Eugene’s output. Would you be fooled?
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1858

Ray Kurzweil conversation with chatbot Eugene Goostman. Notice how bad the bot is at real-world questions, as well as understanding the same information stated in different ways.
http://www.kurzweilai.net/response-by-ray-kurzweil-to-the-announcement-of-chatbot-eugene-goostman-passing-the-turing-test

Want to see the ten senses of ‘bank’ in WordNet?
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=bank&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o8=1&o1=1&o7=&o5=&o9=&o6=&o3=&o4=&h=

Ambiguous words probably make communicating easier
http://phys.org/news/2014-06-ambiguous-words-easier.html

Earlier: the advantage of ambiguity in language
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/miot-mta011912.php

Run is an incredibly polysemous word.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/opinion/29winchester.html?ref=languageandlanguages

‘Duck’ less so, but still.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=duck

How do computers do word sense disambiguation?
http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Word_sense_disambiguation

Crash blossoms
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/is-this-headline-clear-learning-about-ambiguity-and-clarity-from-headlines/

The buffalo sentence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo

Canadia
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/canadia-trends-on-twitter-after-tony-abbott-gaffe-20140609-zs1sr.html


Show tunes

‘Venus Traps Fly’ by Machine Translations
from the album Venus Traps Fly
No video, sorry!

‘Ostrich of War’ by Soop
from the EP Buffalo Buffalo

Episode 153: Acting Human

Humanity, we may have a problem.

Computers are getting good at imitating us. How good? Good enough to fool us into accepting their scientific papers and their robocalls. Might they have already passed the Turing Test? And what are bots good for, anyway?

Linguist Daniel Midgley is only human on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with James Hall


Show notes

February 21 is International Mother Language Day
http://www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/

Hazel Sampson, last native speaker of Klallam, dies
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/07/us-usa-klallam-death-idUSBREA1605W20140207

But young people are learning it. Here’s the Klallam Word of the Day on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/KlallamWOTD

Weirdly realistic bots are denying they’re bots
http://io9.com/freakishly-realistic-telemarketing-robots-are-denying-t-1481050295

but they’re really just pre-recorded voices, activated by humans.
http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/17/robot-telemarketer-samantha-west/

So bots haven’t passed the Turing test
http://www.mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/turing_machines/turing_test_and_machine_intelligence.php?modGUI=240&compGUI=1145&itemGUI=1956

The stakes are high: in The Mind’s I, Dennett and Hofstadter argue that if it passes the Turing test, it’s conscious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness#cite_note-MindsI-55

Publishers are withdrawing 120 papers that are complete gibberish
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-fake-computer-generated-papers/73479
http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

Here’s the site for SCIgen, the program behind the mischief.
http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

Here are the Perl files for the SCIgen program
https://github.com/technoskald/scigen

but what you really want to look at is the scirules.in file
https://github.com/technoskald/scigen/blob/master/scirules.in
That’s where you’ll see all the rules.

Try your own Google Scholar searches to find real published gibberish papers! Here’s the one for “have been far-reaching and pervasive”. If the “implications” have been f-r & p, you’ve likely found a fake paper. And that’s just one rule.
http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=%22have+been+far-reaching+and+pervasive%22&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

Tesla Motors is building a ‘gigafactory’
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-27/musk-s-5-billion-tesla-gigafactory-may-start-bidding-war.html

Origin of giga-
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=giga-

No tera-factories yet, but it’s only a matter of time. And check out the recent interest in the term ‘giga-factory’.
http://www.google.com.au/trends/explore#q=megafactory%2C%20gigafactory%2C%20terafactory&cmpt=q

And here are some other great prefixes.
http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/Kilo-mega-giga-tera-peta-and-all-that


Show tunes

‘Something to Write Home About’ by I Am Robot and Proud
from the album Uphill City

‘Megatron Supernova’ by the Daysleepers
from the album Drowned in a Sea of Sound

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