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The one and only Doctor SpinDear Dr Spinola, I have recently got hold of a copy of Lernout and Hauspie's excellent translation software and wonder if you could demonstrate to your readers just how good it is, compared to the famous AltaVista Babblefish? Perhaps you could reproduce this question, for example, in French, and then translate it back into English?

No sooner said than done.

Est-ce que j'ai a obtenu de l'influence d'une copie de Lernout et l'excellent logiciel de la traduction de Hauspie et émerveillement récemment si vous puissiez démontrer à vos lecteurs seulement comment bon c'est, a comparé à l'AltaVista Babblefish célèbre? Peut-être vous pourriez reproduire cette question, par exemple, en français, et alors le traduit dans anglais en arrière?

Do I have got the influence of a copy of Lernout and the excellent software of the translation of Hauspie and wonder lately if you can only demonstrate to your readers how good it is, did compare to the AltaVista famous Babblefish? Could you reproduce this question maybe, for example, in French, and translates it then behind in English?

Ask Doctor Spinola

Q I have read much in the media recently about the human genome project but cannot find the answer to the question 'whose DNA are they mapping?'. I am concerned that the key to life, the universe and everything may be based on an axe-murderer, Middle East tyrant or former Conservative Prime Minister. Can you cast any light on this?

A No.

Q I was recently on a Eurostar train heading for Lille, and I noticed a shy retiring chap sitting just a few seats away from me puffing away at a pipe. I would like to know if this person, who had some technology with him, is the famous Jack Schofield, who works for the Manchester Guardian?

A Yes.

Q I have noticed that when I read various technology newspapers that a question can occupy several column inches while the answer just seems to occupy one line, and is often just a few words long. Could you give me any idea why this is so? I feel that long questions deserve a long answer. Don't you agree?

A No.

Q I passed the BT shop close to Bond Street this morning and noticed that the shutters were down and there was a notice on the door saying that due to technical issues the shop will be closed indefinitely. Can you please tell me why such a busy outlet has such a big problem?

A No.

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