State of Affairs, Part I

My life has become a whirlwind of activity lately. I'm still working for Nokia, in a QA role that is rather akin to evaluating the sanity of something that is closely along the lines of Google Map's Search Nearby function, only it's specifically for Nokia phones, and occasionally the gaps in its reasoning systems are filled in with Insane Troll Logic. It is my job to review the queries people submit in juxtaposition with the answers our map search app gave, and then to explain, with citations and links where appropriate, why someone who is standing in Singapore and searching for "coffee" is not going to be happy with an answer pinpointing the town of Coffee, GA, USA.

When it's thoroughly confused, it tends to default to picking a nearby answer off of what I am beginning to believe is a list of every pharmacy and post office on the face of the Earth. Other times, it just jumps off into East Hyperspace. This occasionally involves a foray into Wikipedia articles on things like Polish grammar, as the app accepts queries in any language you can enter into a phone and, like Google, will translate generic category nouns into the local equivalent if you happen to be asking in a foreign tongue. I spend a lot of time playing "Different Case Or Different Word?" in languages I technically don't speak. It has lately combined this with its sometimes-overzealous fuzzy-logic typo-detector in a tour de force of nonsense, where someone will ask for "Point (something)" in a francophone area, the app will decide they really meant to type "Pont (something)" in French, translate that back into English ("pont" = "bridge"), and then will proudly present the user with a nearby bridge, which is named a thing that is almost but not quite entirely unlike "(something)".

I also once pointed out that its return of an ice rink in New Delhi to a query which was genuinely for an ice rink, but from a user somewhere in Indiana, was the most useless possible answer we could have given them short of leaving the planet. My supervisors, thankfully, think I'm funny.

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