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Category: Communication

How emoji are changing the way we communicate

How emoji are changing the way we communicate

Wired reports: Two years ago, Sanjaya Wijeratne—a computer science PhD student at Wright State University—noticed something odd in his research. He was studying the communication of gang members on Twitter. Among the grandstanding about drugs and money, he found gang members repeatedly dropping the ⛽ emoji in their tweets. Wijeratne had been working on separate research relating to word-sense disambiguation, a field of computational linguistics that looks at how words take on multiple meanings. The use of ⛽ jumped out…

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To communicate with apes, we must do it on their terms

To communicate with apes, we must do it on their terms

Rachel Nuwer writes: On August 24, 1661, Samuel Pepys, an administrator in England’s navy and famous diarist, took a break from work to go see a “strange creature” that had just arrived on a ship from West Africa. Most likely, it was a chimpanzee—the first Pepys had ever seen. As he wrote in his diary, the “great baboon” was so human-like that he wondered if it were not the offspring of a man and a “she-baboon.” “I do believe that…

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The way humans point isn’t as universal as you might think

The way humans point isn’t as universal as you might think

The universal sign for ‘Look over there!’ isn’t so common in some cultures. Helena Ohman/Shutterstock.com By Kensy Cooperrider, University of Chicago Octopuses have long arms and plenty of smarts, but they don’t point. Nor do chimps, gorillas or other apes, at least not in the wild. Humans, on the other hand, are prodigious pointers. Infants use the gesture before they can talk, often around 1 year of age. By 2, they’ll waddle around, their forefingers sweeping over the world like…

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Pistachio trees ‘talk’ to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics

Pistachio trees ‘talk’ to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics

Philip Ball writes: The number of nuts on pistachio trees in any given year could be explained with a model from statistical physics that is normally used to study magnetic materials. That is according to researchers led by Alan Hastings, a mathematical ecologist from the University of California, Davis, who have used the “Ising model” to analyse the yields of pistachio trees in one particular orchard in California. Their work explains why the orchard does not always have a uniformly…

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