Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Face Of Russia

A recent article written on Humintell’s blog, “Russians: A Natural Poker Face?”, caught my attention. Living in Russia gave me an invaluable hindsight on Russians, their culture and life style, and I am taking this opportunity to comment on the article.

Monday, December 13, 2010

FACS in Action

There is an amazing group on LinkedIn named Facial Action Coding System (FACS) + Emotional Awareness. This group is devoted to FACS and has coding practices where it's possible to discuss coding among other experts. There are FACS certified experts actively participating to this group.

VisualEmotion LLC is a New Jersey based company specializing, among other things, in FACS coding and training. The company has a facebook page and an interesting blog, being one of the rare, if not the only one, providing FACS codes along with their articles!

Monday, October 04, 2010

The blocking system has been removed. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome to Deception Detection Professionals

I have recently joined Deception Detection Professionals on LinkedIn, see my profile. This group is composed of professionals, experts, law enforcement officers, researchers and other individuals in the field of detection of deception. Members of Deception Detection Professionals, the following links are susceptible to catch your interest:
Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Truckload of Books

Shortcuts most often mean to cut corners but I have always considered books to be a reliable shortcut: we rely on others' extensive experience to expand our knowledge. Books make it possible for a reader to gain instant knowledge without having to run into a lengthy trials and errors learning process. Reading is an essential activity to cultivate and expand our knowledge, to become a better person and a better professional.

I have read a truckload of books about technologies, business, graphic design, psychology, languages, and so forth. Reading these books became the foundation of my knowledge and a useful tool to develop a unique expertise. Google books provides the ability to create a bookshelf listing books. The data entry is time consuming but so far I have entered 350 books that I have read.

You can take a look at my bookshelf.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Department of Revenue

JE is an investigative journalism TV series focusing on public affairs, disreputable businesses, frauds and consumer advocacy. This series has been running since 1993 with a great success in the province of Québec, Canada.

Gaétan Girouard and Jocelyne Cazin set an outstanding pace in truth-seeking until 1999 and 2001 respectively. Together, they fearlessly ran into the dark world of fraudsters around the province for the sake of justice and with great determination — foot in the doorstep when necessary.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Humintell is to launch its new products on November, 2010.
Read more about Humintell Upcoming Products.

Friday, September 03, 2010


The insurance company GEICO is running a series of advertisements, which is dubbed as a Rhetorical Question Campaign. The playful campaign has its take on a supposedly rhetorical question — Could switching to GEICO really save you 15 percent or more on car insurance? The campaign gives the impression that it is obvious switching to GEICO will save 15 percent or more on car insurance, hence it uses a rhetorical question.

In statement analysis, anything implied is questionable. A question is different from a statement because a question does not state, declare nor assert. Saying “Could switching to GEICO really save you 15 percent or more on car insurance?” is different from saying “Switching to GEICO saves you 15 percent or more on car insurance!” The former may or may not imply the latter. A truthful statement is always explicit.

The rhetorical question is followed by an analogy to reinforce the impression of obviousness, such as seen in this advertisement:
“Could switching to GEICO really save you 15 percent or more on car insurance?”
“Is Ed Too Tall Jones too tall?”
The second question becomes more rhetorical when Ed Jones, who measures 206 cm (6 ft 9 in), is shown on the screen. The advertisement has cleverly shown that the measuring device was too short to measure Ed Jones and his nickname “Too Tall” becomes highly suggestive. The viewer wrongly concludes Ed Jones is indeed too tall. This faulty analogy let the viewer think that answering yes to the second question means the answer for the first question is also yes. A truthful statement is always straightforward.

The advertisement closes on the words GEICO — 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more. This is more straightforward than the rest of the advertisement but saving 15 percent or more has a degree of probability that is uncertain considering the use of could rather than will (see gramdex).

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Emporium of Visual Delights

Michael Please has created an appealing one-minute overview video of his entire work. His work is a bit reminiscent of, or at least reminds me of, Soviet step-motion animation such as Ёжик в тумане and Чебурушка. The attention to detail is absolutely amazing.

Paranoia can lead a person only so far...
...but I do know the difference between reality and fiction!

There is another animation created by Tiny Inventions that is particularly amusing. Something left, something taken is a story about a couple visiting a friend in San Fransisco. The man has a casual interest in forensic science and he finds himself in a situation where he believes his girlfriend and himself are in danger. Or not. The segment about microexpressions is absolutely hilarious!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Adding Slovak and Czech Characters

Learning a new keyboard layout is relatively easy. Easier than what most people may feel about it. The important question is in why learning a new keyboard layout on a language that extends the Latin alphabet? Instead, I have added support for Slovak and Czech alphabets on my existing keyboard layout — which already supports several other languages.

Microsoft offers a small .NET utility named Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MKLC) allowing us to create new keyboard layouts on the fly using a visual editor. An installer is created from a successful keyboard layout of your own. The only shortcoming comes when one has to update an existing keyboard layout because it requires to uninstall, reboot and install the new version.

Read my previous article on Keyboard Layout Awareness.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Humintell Upcoming Products

Humintell are working hard on what is to become new products: MiX Professional, MiX Elite, New Instructional Videos and Cross-Cultural Adaptation Course. Read more information on these upcoming products.

The most interesting point on these products is that they have listened to customer feedback. Many features I have suggested in my product reviews have been integrated. The following is a list of features that I have suggested and they have confirmed these are implemented in their upcoming products:
  • New and updated videos:
    • FACS scores
    • Associated nonverbal behaviours
    • Evolutionary vestige of the emotion.
    • All in frontal, profile and 3/4th views.
  • An entire new selection of images to train with.
Humintell are competitive in term of pricing in their market but they are becoming the leader by offering valuable additional features. They keep the pulse on what the market needs and the demands of their customers. This is exactly what we need, as consumers and customers. More information on availability will come soon.

Read Product Reviews: MiX 2, MiX 2 Additional Training
Read more on Statistics Features and its follow-up.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Projects of Mysterious Creature

The projects page is a convenient static page containing a non-exhaustive list of past and ongoing projects that I have publicly wrote about or are related to this blog. This static page is a great addition to the tags, where it lists projects and their related articles in a friendly manner. It has a permanent link located at top-right of this blog. The projects page will be updated regularly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Indians Are Back

The culture, level of education and native language of a person are considered when using statement analysis. Everything is important but how important these factors are? For example, a non-native English person may have difficulties to speak or write effectively and accurately in English. Is this person can trigger numerous false-positives? Unlikely!

The techniques used in statement analysis point out what a person is saying (or writing) because people mean exactly what they are saying. Therefore, statement analysis is not an interpretation of what a person is saying (see misconception).

There is no single clue or word to deceit, whether it is in statement analysis or in non-verbal behaviour. Deception is detected through its patterns. Furthermore, a non-native English person who has learned English brings his or her deceptive patterns with himself or herself and they will be reflected upon what he or she says or writes. The deceptive patterns may sometimes emerge in different manner than the ones in the person's native language but statement analysis does not require a baseline contrary to the analysis of non-verbal behaviour.

Statement analysis is effective even when a person has a perfect knowledge of a language and its grammar. In a similar fashion, a psychopath can have a perfect demeanour but this person will eventually betray himself or herself: in the case of non-verbal behaviour, emotions happening with a perfect timing is suspicious — such a person is better than world's best actors but is still an actor.

Excellent speaking or writing skills do not turn a person into an excellent liar. Lying is a craft in itself and requires extensive practice. However, the general population has very poor detecting deception skills — they detect deception and lies at 53%, which is no better than chance. The best liars are not trained to effectively lie to detecting deception experts.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Plausible Stories

Deceptive people tend to use plausible stories to convince others that they are truthful, explain situations, impress others, etc. A plausible story is a story of events that appears to be true but is partially or entirely false. Such a story is based on plausibility rather than facts. Most people conclude to their downfall that if it appears to be true, it is true.

For example, you have a pleasant conversation with a new acquaintance. You tell him or her more about you and he or she tells you more about himself or herself. A very pleasant conversation. You tell him or her that you fear heights. A little later or on a second rendez-vous, this new acquaintance tells you the he or she jumped in parachute 3 years ago. This is a great way to impress someone who fears heights or to tell that he or she is better than you (bragging).

Honest people tend to assume others are honest too. Most of us will never challenge allegations made by others. Showing great interest in a story and asking questions will help to determine whether a story is truthful or deceptive. Unfortunately, some among deceptive people are excellent at thinking-on-their-feet. Politicians are a great example. They are rarely caught off guards.
“Do you have pictures? I'd love to see pictures of you in parachute!”
“I'm so sorry! I was so excited that I forgot to ask for pictures.”
A plausible story is a powerful deceptive technique because most people will not verify the story and its facts. Moreover, many plausible stories are difficult to verify and this makes them more effective in deceiving others. Most honest people believe in “innocent until proven guilty” and expect to have hard evidence before calling someone a liar. Deceptive people know this and use it to their advantage.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Schedule

My articles are delivered on a schedule using Blogger Scheduler since May, 2010. Blogger Scheduler works absolutely fine! I have written and scheduled articles until September, 17th 2010.

I will be busy working on other projects than my blog but I will be returning in few months. Enjoy my articles in the meantime!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Digg Me Baby

I have added a button to digg articles from my blog.

Digg articles you like!

Digg happily!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Accepting Donations

My family of products for RPG Maker XP and VX is an ambitious and challenging commercial venture. L10nTool + Deployment Utility were both available for sales but the price coming along was out of reach for most indie developers. Unfortunately, it was and is still not possible to offer lower prices considering the costs of development and subsequent maintenance.

This is why your donations will make a difference because it will allow continuous development of my family of products for RPG Maker XP and VX and eventually lowering its prices. Donations will also bring more RPG Maker related articles, programming tips and tutorials, and other goodies.

RPG Maker Compatible Products:
  • L10nTool, a Game Localization Utility (see brochure, video)
  • Deployment User-Modifiable Script
  • RGSS Player for MacOS X (see brochure)
  • Software Development Kit for RPG Maker
  • Script Manager
See tags below for more information on these products.

Will any of these software be open source?
The softwares with lower development and maintenance costs could eventually be available with an open source license provided there are sufficient donations. This includes Script Manager and Deployment User-Modifiable Script. They would be released under Apache 2.0 license.

How about Non-Commercial Indie Developers?
They will be able to benefit from some, if not all, softwares at absolutely no cost. An infrastructure will be put in place to support the community and give the love back. :)

How to Donate?
See the donation box on the right of this page. Enter a donation amount, click on Donate! and follow the instructions.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Keywords Management in Statement Analyzer

Mark McClish's Statement Analyzer is missing an important feature to manage keywords and descriptions. There are many reasons to need more keywords, whether some are missing or simply because one's field of expertise is different from law enforcement or does not need to perform statement analysis on incident reports. This article will demonstrate how it is possible to manage keywords and descriptions.

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Emblem of Hostility

An emblem is defined by any gesture that has a specific meaning in a given culture. For example, an A-OK or Thumb Up have a positive meaning in North America, whereas a middle finger is considered to be rude and hostile. Such emblems are most often made willingly and purposely. It becomes an emblematic slip when it is made unwillingly, and usually for a short period of time, in a similar fashion to a slip of the tongue.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Product Review: Mark McClish's Statement Analyzer

This in-depth product review covers Statement Analyzer software created by Mark McClish. Mark McClish is a former U.S. Marshal with more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement. He is one of the most influential name in statement analysis. I've had the pleasure to review his software and I have tested it on over 200 texts, including the articles and comments on my blog, apologies, emails, incident reports and various other open statements. The main components of this software are reviewed with an outline of their high and low points.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Two Scoops® of raisins is a deceptive sales argument since it is based on a measurement that is unclear. The system of measuring or measures is vague at best. There are many size of scoops and each with a different capacity.

In statement analysis, anything implied is questionable. Attributing five (5) stars is different from attributing five (5) stars out of five (5). The former implies a system that may or may not be out of five (5). Measurements in a truthful statement always come with its unit of measurement.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Using Squeak with Blogger Export Files

My recent efforts in the Squeak community is different from what I always thought. I imagined that I would be contributing code rather than an installer, survey and so forth. There are conversations about integrating a documentation system, known as HelpSystem, within Squeak Smalltalk and I will write documentation whenever it is up and running.

Meanwhile, I have decided to write another article on how to retrieve data from Blogger export files using Squeak. My previous article has shown how it's done in Ruby (see here). It's a great opportunity to destigmatize Smalltalk programming for the lay programmer.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Retrieving Data from Blogger Export Files

Ruby is a powerful dynamic object-oriented programming language. I have been using it professionally and to accomplish automated tasks. Collecting comments to generate the pie charts in my previous article was trivial using Ruby, Nokogiri and FasterCSV.

Blogger offers export and import features available in its Dashboard (Settings > Basic). It generates an enormous XML file that can be used to move your blog onto another one or save your data for later. There is a Developer's Guide: Protocol available online.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The History of Squeak in Pictures

Squeak 4.1 is the latest version available

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Essay on Self-Confidence

Living as a human being poses many challenges because we are self-conscious creatures. Confidence and self-confidence become an important part of everyone's lives as individuals but also as a society. However, many successful people who project confidence rather well surprisingly lack of self-confidence. This article is an incursion in my understanding of self-confidence and the reasons why I have an ironclad self-confidence.

Table Of Contents

The Three of Us

Everybody Hates Us

Self-Confidence is Indestructible

Self-Confidence is Hard Earned

Building Self-Confidence


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rich Internet Application

The current vogue is developing Rich Internet Applications to bring an enhanced web experience, that is, web applications comparable to desktop applications. These Rich Internet Applications can be ran in-browser or as a standalone application. It's an entire new generation of interactive applications focusing on an enriched user experience.

The increasing demand for such applications brought me to work with this compelling technology and its frameworks. I have used AJAX for years but it does not have the same abilities than the newest frameworks. Adobe Flex/AIR is absolutely amazing and the user experience can be spectacular at times. For now, however, JavaFX has caught my interest...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Statement Analysis on Books

Books are absolutely fantastic and I read plenty of them. Books as if they were falling off the sky. Not every book has the same values in terms of knowledge, usefulness, etc. Truthfulness in books may also be questioned contrary to the popular belief — if it is written, it is true. I do not take anything in a book for granted. The type of books is often a good predictor of level of truthfulness to expect but it is not an absolute.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Squeak Installer

Around two weeks ago, Torsten Bergmann wrote on Squeak mailing list about a stand-alone executable installer for Windows he had prepared. He did a great job to write a basic installer using Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS homepage). Time constraints obliged and Torsten called for help.

I am a huge fan of Squeak Smalltalk and I have been reading its Squeak-dev mailing list (subscribe here) for more than a decade but my contributions are always so little. I have decided to take the opportunity to further contribute since I have frequently used NSIS in the past. Deployment User-Modifiable Utility (see brochure, watch video) is one of many examples where the build system my team and I developed generates custom installer scripts on-the-fly and builds installers to package end-user games, entirely unattended.

Nowadays, I increasingly rely on Unicode NSIS since localization plays a huge part in world-wide software distribution. One of the reasons I hardly can use Squeak professionally is for its inability to meet my distributors requirements — most specifically in terms of localization and deployment.

Feature requests were made and I have complied to most of them so far. Another installer is on its way and under testing. The official repository is located here: Squeak installer. I have also decided to spruce up Squeak related visual components and make sure they were at least coherent and consistent with a slight touch of branding. It comes with a new installer splash screen with a modernized professional X11/Motif retro style to top it off.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Slowly but Surely

I am currently reading “Huset på Bjørnehjørnet” in Norwegian (bokmål), which is the famous “The House at Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne. Do not be mislead by this children book because the level of language is higher than what most children are accustomed to. The challenge is in the verb tenses since I do not have a conjugation book. Any online reference?

Learning Norwegian is one step closer to Norway and a new passport certainly gives my wings back. Visit Norway has a nice website with amazing pictures. An orderly preparation before travelling is a necessity in pursuance of my plan to go to Norway. I'd be delighted to secure a business deal with a Norwegian company, whether it is a business or work contract.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Humintell Additional Training Product Review

This second in-depth review covers two additional training available for MiX 2 and SubX. The main differences are discussed and the high and low points of the products. A must read for those who have bought either MiX 2 or SubX but are undecided whether or not they should buy the additional training.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Visitors from Outer Space

This blog has a latent popularity, if one could write so. The topic related to RPG Maker and alike is the most attractive to my visitors. The largest part of visitors use MacOS X. My documents available online have been read over a thousand times! The number one blog post is undoubtedly and incontestably “To See Is To Believe.” It seems people do enjoy drama — how else would reality shows be so successful?

I have always been responsive to the RPG Maker community and it's difficult to understand the reasons why some people hang out on my blog on a regular basis without writing a single thing. Your feedback would be appreciated.

Other topics are growing in popularity at a fast pace. I will continue to work on blog posts according to my initial plan as written in Peeling a New Skin. This is no empty promises: it is on track so far.

I am not interested to increase my readership on the basis of shallow topics and sensationalism. Drama has no place on this blog. Unfortunately, I cannot retrieve the messages in “To See Is To Believe” at this time. Moderation will remain on as long as necessary.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Do We Have A Deal?

The best deals are not always the easiest to close, even when you have an incredible product to sell. I've put out amazing high quality softwares in my career and I can tell you that any product doesn't sell on its own. One cannot sit on a hot seller and wait things to happen because the nature of business is very clear that an unattended product will simply die. We've all got to work at it. But, you ask, how do you know when you can close a deal?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

RGSS Player for MacOS X

I've been working hard lately and there is progress at last. Now I have dusted off and updated some ol' brochure. Most likely another direct-to-shelf software. Oh well...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paul Ekman On The Run

Dr. Paul Ekman is an impressive and renown psychologist in the field of emotions. He has a very long list of accomplishments but besides that it is enjoyable to watch him on video. He always seems to me as a peaceful, calm and warm person. He would certainly fit to the urban definition of being Zen and it's not surprising that he befriended the Dalai Lama.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Statistics for Humintell Products

Humintell has an appealing product line to train in recognition of emotions, microexpressions, subtle expressions and so forth. Their products are great training tools in general but some features are missing in my opinion. Statistics is a phenomenal tool to improve oneself to become a true master and it would be an invaluable addition to the existing features in Humintell's product line.

I am a passionate person and always go the extra mile. I have thousands of pages written with ideas and concepts but being a software designer also means to bring them to life. I enjoy taking up challenges, roll up my sleeves and get down to the deed.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Hand Shake of Donald Trump

There is a variety of handshakes with equally various meanings. Some express good feelings while others express ill feelings. From the firm business handshake to sweaty hands barely touching, you'd be surprised how your handshake can influence how others perceive you and how it can influence the manner you perceive others.

A friend of mine suggested me to watch The Apprentice in spite of my aversion for television. I was thrilled because Donald Trump is an interesting character to watch, that is, as far as non-verbal communication goes. His body movements are mostly purposeful or theatrical where the only clues of what and how he really feels are subtle. I would not be surprised to learn that he would have a non-verbal behaviour specialist of some kind to advice him.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Product Review: Humintell's MiX 2

This in-depth review is the first of a series that aims to evaluate Humintell products. The product covered is named MiX 2, an advanced microexpression recognition training software. The review covers the main components of the product with an outline of its high and low points. This review differs from most reviews because I wish to share my appreciation, opinions and suggestions that can be useful to potential buyers, actual customers and Humintell itself.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another good day...

I have been overwhelmed by administrative tasks and paperwork, more than my initial expectations. This brings a considerable delay in publishing new articles but I should be back to a more normal schedule toward the end of March.

The great news is that I have purchased the entire set of products from Humintell. I will spend quality time with these products and then write some in-depth reviews on this blog. Let me tell you that I have already a lot to write about Humintell...

...stay tuned!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Humintell Facebook Group

Humintell, a company specialized in understanding emotions and offering training to read microexpressions and subtle expressions, featuring Dr. David Matsumoto, has decided to give away few licenses of their products to facebook users registering to their facebook group.

I cannot vouch for their current products at the moment since I haven't tried any of them but it seems to circumvent the main points I criticized from the former microexpressions training application (METT 1). Memory can easily kick in rather than reading expressions when training with METT 1. Note that SETT 1 has no such problem since they use the same model (Eva Ekman, daughter of Dr. Paul Ekman).

Update Read Humintell MiX 2 Product Review, Humintell Additional Training Product Review and many other articles about Humintell are available on this blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grandpa Laid it Out

State-of-the-art home theater, a fancy car, and trendy shoes: you’ve got it all. Your beef’d up computer has all the cutting edge technologies that you show all your friends, colleagues, and even strangers around. Little you know, your keyboard layout is a bit less than 150 years old. Not exactly cutting edge, if you ask me.

QWERTY keyboard layout has been designed to slow typists down on typewriters. Yes, exactly. We’re talking about the old good mechanical typewriters. The main problem occurred when two or more keys were struck too quickly and the hammers would normally jam. The keyboard layout managed to circumvent this problem by forcing the typist to type slowly with an awkward disposition of keys.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

On The Road All Day Long

I have acquired a new laptop few days ago to fulfil my ever growing needs on the road. This comes at a nice moment since I plan to visit Norway during 2010, and possibly work over there. Most computers I have ever acquired were business minded or server alike. Not the coolest computers around but the stronger, powerful, lasting and quality computers. This time, it is slightly different.

My mind was set on a HP Pavilion dv7, an ergonomic and entertainment oriented laptop. The specifications is what brought me to acquire it. This comes with a quad core (supporting 8 threads), 2x500 GB (7200 RPM) harddrives, 6 GB RAM, 17.3" HD Widescreen, and it goes on and on.

This is a very unusual choice to me since I usually avoid entertainment oriented computer gears. I am however pleased by the performances. It makes me feel that I will be able to run all in-house intensive softwares without a hitch. Some of them do require intensive parallel processing. The gloomy, lights and ergonomics are just a bit weird to me, but I am sure that I'll get used to it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Around the World with the Papuans

An unspoken reality about television is that not every documentary film is worthy to be watched. Many reasons can bring a documentary to fail to its primary purpose, as in being truly informative, such as uncanny facts and foundations, inappropriate storytelling, or just plain old greed.

Once in a while, however, an out-of-ordinary documentary film catches my attention. This is the case of the French documentary “L'Exploration Inversée” (trans. “Reversed Exploration”), part of the project “Le Tour Du Monde Des Papous” (trans. “Around The World With The Papuans”), originally aired on Canal+ in 2008.

The fascinating story of two Papuans exploring a foreign civilization unravels genuine emotions on film. The very same fundamental universal emotions as studied by Dr. Paul Ekman, though with a different tribe in Papua New Guinea, are brought to you in this documentary.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Peeling a New Skin

A new year has begun and a new look has come. This article unveils on-going and future plans for 2010 on my blog. Read a short word about the new look, a summary of my plans and upcoming topics, and my view and rules for criticism on my blog.