Sunday, December 23, 2007

Maybe next year they'll learn to hold their booze

Happy Festivus everyone!

Its a Festivus miracle!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin

We have this bizarre dichotomy in the US of wanting everything to be infinitely convenient, yet infinitely inexpensive. When cell phone companies…sorry-wireless providers…started charging outrageous prices for directory assistance calls (I think Sprint is up to $2.50/number, but I could be wrong), it was only a matter of time before companies like 1-800-FREE-411 and Google started to offer free, advertising-based directory assistance.

Except Google, once again, has ulterior motives. From InfoWorld:

You may have heard about our [directory assistance] 1-800-GOOG-411 service. Whether or not free-411 is a profitable business unto itself is yet to be seen. I myself am somewhat skeptical. The reason we really did it is because we need to build a great speech-to-text model ... that we can use for all kinds of different things, including video search.

The speech recognition experts that we have say: If you want us to build a really robust speech model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken by a particular voice with a particular intonation. So we need a lot of people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off of that. ... So 1-800-GOOG-411 is about that: Getting a bunch of different speech samples so that when you call up or we're trying to get the voice out of video, we can do it with high accuracy.

So they are recording your voice requests and processing them to teach their ginormous computer system how to understand human speech. Just one more step toward the robots taking over the world.

Previous Stories:
Google = Skynet, Part 4
Jake's JK: This is not a good sign
Uh oh, Google is at it again
Google's Plan for Worldwide Domination

Friday, December 14, 2007

Between the two of you, I'd take the seasick crocodile

This is seriously how I have felt all week. Just so you all know.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Usually a case of malignant narcissism brought on during childhood

Grammy nominations are out today. I was looking through the list of nominees and guess what I found:

Category 19 Best Rock Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal. Singles or Tracks only.)

* The Ecstasy Of Gold
Track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone
[Sony Classical]

* Malignant Narcissism
Track from: Snakes & Arrows

* Always With Me, Always With You
Joe Satriani
Track from: Satriani Live!
[Epic/Red Ink]

* Once Upon A Time In The West
Bruce Springsteen
Track from: We All Love Ennio Morricone
[Sony Classical]

* The Attitude Song
Steve Vai
Track from: Sound Theories Vol. I & II
[Epic/Red Ink]

Congrats boys! Hope you win, but looking at your fellow nominees, I'm sure its an honor to be nominated.

Hey, I just noticed that the Metallica and Springsteen songs are from the same compilation album, they should cancel each other's votes out. And aren't Vai and Satriani the same guy? At the very least, their styles are so similar, they will most likely not stand out to the voters. Looks like you might have a good chance this year!