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Professors Paula and Ralph Ruby launch Ruby Translator atent, copyright


Two professors in ASU-Jonesboro’s College of Business, Dr. Paula Ruby and Dr. Ralph Ruby, Jr., have seen their software program, the Ruby Translator© (developed with Justin Smith, Trumann School District Information and Technology Services) launched as a texting app by Apple, receiving a patent, and being hailed as an asset to education, business, and parent-child relationships, especially in regard to risky behaviors such as drug use and sexting, all in a little more than a year. Drs. Ralph and Paula Ruby developed an app—the Ruby Translator, a texting communications application, along with several dictionaries. This application was approved by Apple on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, for purchase in Apple’s iTunes Store. As of Oct. 19, 2011, the Rubys had been awarded a copyright by the United States Copyright office, and were also issued a Patent Pending number for the Ruby Translator© by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office also issued their official registration certificate, Trademark, for the Ruby Translator icon.

The Ruby Translator© made its debut in July 2010, just as texting, as a teaching tool, started to make inroads in the nation’s classrooms. The Rubys understood that children as young as 10 texted, that students’ rate of texting continually increased, and that text dictionaries for the uninitiated texters (like parents or other adults) had arisen. So the Rubys created the Ruby Translator©, affectionately referred to as Ruby, as a simple, fun, user-friendly texting communications tool for everyone.

Ruby is designed for both the expert texter and non-texter. Ruby provides quick translations of text-to-standard language or the inverse, translations of standard language-to-text to aid non-texters. Ruby also conveniently displays a character count to monitor translation size, and Ruby’s Create Dictionary option can allow a user or group to develop a unique set of texting terms specific to that group. 

That Create Dictionary option can be used for educational purposes, too. Teachers can develop subject terminology using lists of text terms and their meanings, and they can share those lists with students using e-mail, SMS, Facebook, or Twitter. Students can then communicate with other classmates using text terms. And Ruby also provides an excellent means of deciphering class notes taken in text format. (One of the Rubys’ earliest presentations, in 2010, was a research paper on texting for note-taking at the February meeting of the Southeast Decision Sciences Institute (SEDSI), the southern member of the Decision Sciences Institute, a multidisciplinary international association dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving instruction in all business and related disciplines. The title of the Rubys’ early research was "Using SMS Text Messaging as a Note-Taking System.")

The Ruby Translator© has similar note-taking applications for business, Wi-Fi or the Internet not required, whether the note-taker is on an airplane, in a space lab, or in a cave two thousand feet below the earth’s surface. Notes can be saved to word processing programs for later editing, they can be loaded to the Ruby Translator©, or they can be e-mailed, posted on Facebook, or tweeted, providing the date, the time, and a calendar for convenience. Ruby also offers translations of emoticons to standard language, and vice versa. The Ruby Translator© is available in nine of the world’s top ten spoken languages (Arabic, Chinese-simplified and Chinese-traditional, English, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) plus French and Italian, and a given keyboard can be converted to any of those twelve languages by simply clicking a button on the keyboard. The Ruby Translator© can translate in any native language by using a Ruby language dictionary.

However, it’s in the realm of communications about risky behaviors that the Ruby Translator© shines and proves its worth. Concerned adults, including parents, teachers, and counselors can use Ruby’s Drug Use dictionary and its Sexting dictionary to type in terms and learn their meanings. Dr. Ralph Ruby, Jr., notes, “In texting parlance, the term ‘LSD’ has 125 meanings. Ruby will display all 125 of them on your iPhone or other device. Load the Sexting dictionary, type in a term, and let Ruby give you its meaning. It’s that simple.” The Ruby Drug Use dictionary was developed in conjunction with John 3:16 Ministries in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to translate addiction texting terms. The Drug Use dictionary contains more than 6,200 translation terms. All profit from the sales of the Drug Use dictionary go directly to John 3:16 Ministries. Also available is a Sexting dictionary, containing more than 2,400 translation terms. The Ruby Translator can use both dictionaries as part of its vast database to translate both text and standard language. With all of the dictionaries loaded, a Ruby database will contain more than 26,000 texts and words for translation. Each dictionary is rated using the Apple rating system.

Because research indicates that communication between parents and children is vital to the prevention of sexting and addiction issues, Drs. Ralph and Paula Ruby learned from interviews with drug counselors that communicating in the language of the texting youngsters was critical. Counselors indicated that if parents were able to understand the sexting and drug texting their children were sending and receiving, then they could help to prevent the crises resulting from such behaviors.

Recent research involving sexting and teenagers indicates the percent of teenagers sending or posting sexually suggestive messages can be as high as 39% of all teenagers, with 37% being teen girls and 40% teen boys. 44% of teens say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to be shared with people other than the intended recipient(s). Some 66% of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they sent sexy content to be fun or flirtatious.

Teenage drug and alcohol abuse statistics (See website Teen Drug Abuse, http://www.teendrugabuse.us/teen_drug_use.html --accessed Dec. 12, 2011, sponsored by Teen Help LLC) report that more than 60% of teens say that drugs were sold, used, or kept at their school. 20% of 8th graders report that they have tried marijuana. Approximately 36.8 million Americans ages 12 and older had tried cocaine at least once in their lifetimes.

Further, teen arrestees often test positive for recent drug use. The National Institute of Justices Arrestee and Drug Monitoring System (ADAM) drug testing program found that 66% of underage male arrestees tested positive for marijuana. 19.5% of eighth graders, 28.2% of tenth graders, and 38.9% of twelfth graders reported that powder cocaine was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain (Whitehouse Drug Policy, 2008). (See the Rubys’ Works Cited below.)  

Visit the Ruby Translator© online at http://rubytranslator.com/. To view all of the Ruby Translator© features, visit the Ruby Translator online. Ruby is the only texting communications app available, and is priced at $1.99 at the iTunes Store. Each Ruby dictionary is $0.99.

For more information, contact Dr. Ralph Ruby, Jr., at (870) 819-1770, or visit the Ruby Translator online.

Works Cited
“ADASK” Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Statistics, Trends, and Costs. 2004. 30     May 2005                 

“Teen Substance Abuse” GDCADA. 9 March 2005. 28 May 2005

“The Teen Drug Scene” Diabetes Forecast: The Teen Drug Scene. 2003. 30 May     2005                       http://www.findarticles.com/plarticles/mi_m0817/is_3_52/ai_54129994