Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Intellectual Morons by Daniel Flynn

Here's a potentially interesting book I may want to check: Intellectual Morons by Daniel Flynn

Anyone with intellectual pretensions will have to ask now and then why the vast majority of "intellectuals" at American universities are politically liberal and nearly universally Democrats. If soooo many smart people are Democrats, how could anybody with brains be a Republican?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Wired News: Free Content Still Sells

Wired News talks about the 9/11 Commission report and other works that sell well as books even though they're available free on line.

The idea is that you get people to start reading it online to start sales, since they'll want to pay for a printed copy once they get hooked.

Documentary footage available for remixing

The guy who made that Anti-Bush movie about Fox News is putting footage he collected for the film online for remixing. He uses the Creative Commons license to enable normal people to download 48 minutes of his source interviews, and he encourages you to edit them yourselves.

Welcome to the next wave of news collecting.

Finding trapped people with rats

Article: Rats' brain waves could find trapped people�| New Scientist: "In a project funded by DARPA, the Pentagon�s research arm, Linda and Ray Hermer-Vazquez of the University of Florida in Gainesville " insert probes into a rat's brain so that it will signal the location of explosives or humans buried underground in places only rats can crawl.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Leaving town

I'm taking the red-eye tonight: Seattle to Detroit, leaving 10:25pm for a weekend visit to Illinois and my cousin Katie's wedding.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Code Flaws Open Linux Apps to Attack

People who switch to other operating systems because they're afraid of the security problems on Windows are making a naive mistake. All software contains vulnerabilities, but the differences is that Microsoft and Windows's security issues are well-known. Linux has problems too, as this eWeek article shows: Code Flaws Open Linux Apps to Attack

1.57% discount on Amazon to users of A9 search engine

Amazon wants to share the "pi", so they're giving half of 3.14, i.e. 1.57% discount to search users.

The A9 engine uses Google in the back end, so it's not a big deal to use it instead of Google.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Speech recognition sites

Here's a long list of sites about Speech, mostly from a research point of view.


I've been looking into text-to-speech lately, and saw this:FreeTTS 1.2beta2 - A speech synthesizer written entirely in the Java(TM) programming language

If you have the JVM installed, just click on the .WAV icons on the left to hear some samples. Very good quality.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Blogging tools

Here is a list of recommendations I've compiled for the best blogging tools compatible with MSDN blogs:

Adobe Premiere for hobbyists

Finally, Adobe is making video editing software for people like me. Offhand I can see several neat new features:
  • 16:9 support
  • Great audio control over individual waveforms
  • Real-time rendering that takes advantage of your GPU
I'll look at this more carefully and maybe I'll switch instead of upgrading from the Pinnacle Studio 8 that I use now.

Lawyers, welcome to Japan!

So much for a non-ligitious society. WSJ.com [subscription required] - Japan Lawyers See Seismic Shift is a report on the changes expected now that it's legal for foreign lawyers to practice in Japan.

Monday, September 13, 2004

MIT Classes on speech recognition

Someday it would be nice to audit this class from MIT:

MIT OpenCourseWare | Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | 6.345 Automatic Speech Recognition

Open source speech recognition

There are at least three open-source speech recognition projects out there:
CMUSphinx: The Carnegie Mellon Sphinx Project, and HTK, and Julius (Japan).

Books suggestions from Slashdot

This suggestion from a Slashdot article I read in the context of IBM's announcement today:

Slashdot | IBM to Open Voice Recognition Software: "For those of you who haven't read it, check out The Unfinished Revolution [harpercollins.com] by Michael Dertouzos. I don't agree with all of his analysis (he was a little lacking in pragmatism on some points), but overall this book was very insightful. This book, along with Weaving the Web [w3.org] by Tim Berners-Lee, caused a big paradigm shift in my thinking about computer technology."

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Airline Seats

Check out this site the next time you fly: SeatGuru.com - Your Enlightened Guide to Airplane Seating

They tell all the details about seats on just about every plane: leg room, windows, power ports, etc.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

How to read my notes

I write in a number of places:

sprague: my work-related log
Ensembio: specific notes related to biology