Searching by voice on the iphone

iphone by AppleI know this is old news by now, but while browsing some of my older posts, I remembered this news I read a while back in the New-York Times: Google Adds Searching by Voice to iphone. In April 2007, I had posted about the fact that it looked like Google was stepping in the voice industry because they had come out with a new product called Goog411.

Now with the introduction of search by voice on the iphone, Google is literally, and figuratively, making people talk in the Speech industry. Don’t get too excited though, Google’s “new invention” isn’t new at all. In fact, Nuance has been doing exactly this for two or three years already with a product called Nuance Voice Control. It’s an incredibly useful application that lets you make phone calls, search the web, dictate emails and view web pages on your mobile by using your voice instead of typing.

So, basically, the only one thing innovative about the speech capabilities of the iphone is that you can initiate the speech detection by simply tilting the iphone in a certain way. The same way the iphone will use the movement detection sensor, Google calls it the accelerometer, to change the image of your album cover when you tilt the phone horizontally. Anyways, as I said earlier, I’m interested to see where Google will take their speech recognition endeavors next. After all, the mobile industry is only growing (Estimated to 3.6 billion subscribers in 2008), and speech is the most natural input to a mobile phone.

Apple introduces MacBook Air

During his Macworld Expo keynote address on Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, a computer that the company billed as the world’s thinnest notebook — small enough to fit inside an interoffice mailing envelope. It’s priced starting at $1,799 and will be available within two weeks. (Read more)

Bah, not sure I want one. not a first generation one at least. I mean it’s not an iPod people! look at the size of it. the keyboard is probably going to melt within the first month or two that you have it… how can you keep the thing cool when you don’t have enough space to fit a optical drive in the thing? i have a hard time to keep my powerbook G4 cool as it is!

Plus it looks like it would break if I wasn’t too careful… i am not sure that the laptop providers need to keep the smaller the better attitude anymore… i think they hit the perfect thickness with the macbook pro. let’s add some SWEAT features to the computers and stop trying to fit it into my wallet… although that would be kind of cool.

my 2cents.

LINK: Mounting a CD image in Windows

Mounting a CD image is a basic feature of almost every operating system package except for Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has never shipped this feature in any version of Windows including Windows Vista. Mounting a CD image is very useful when you have downloaded a .ISO cd image and you do not want to waste the time or the media to burn a copy.

Mount a CD imagine on Windows

Google, stepping in the voice industry?

After Microsoft’s massive entrance in the speech industry, it’s Google’s turn to step in. Will they be the next to make a big acquisition in the Speech industry? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

Just read about the newest thing in Google Labs: Goog411. A new free, ad-supported, 411 number you can call to get information on any business. Much like the one that Jingle has, and AT&T. I’d be curious to know who’s reco engine is under the hood of that baby. It really makes you wonder what Google has up their sleeves next. Are we witnessing a Google vs Microsoft fight over the 7 billion dollars industry that 411 number is? With Microsoft buying TellMe only a couple of weeks ago, and Google spending the big bucks on a dumb website like youtube… you just have to wonder. Are either of those on the move to buying the big guys in Speech?

Funny that this happens right now. I was just commenting on the fact that Google would have to make a move soon if they wanted to compete against Microsoft in the blooming speech recognition industry. Just think ho many people have cell phones in the world… The total number of mobile phone subscribers in the world was estimated at 2.14 billion in 2005.

This is an exciting time to be in the speech business. It should be interesting to see the next big move.

Wired: Rebuilding Microsoft

You should first read this article from wired magazine. Here is a snippet of the article:

MICROSOFT HAS BEEN in a funk since 2003. Its travails could be the subject of a Harvard Business School case study on the innovator’s dilemma. The company made – and still makes – billions selling desktop software, mainly Windows and Office. But the center of gravity has moved, and desktop software is about as cutting-edge as a nightly network newscast. Instead, Web-based apps are taking hold, and devices other than the PC – smartphones, iPods, digicams – represent the growth markets for software. At the same time, new business models, like search-based advertising and low-cost software subscriptions, are beginning to generate big money.

I agree with most of what the author is saying and with all of the inputs from important members of the Microsoft community. What I admire the most from the software giant is its ability to step down and say: “We’re in trouble and we need to do something about it”. This is impressive since, let’s face it, they are not in immediate financial trouble at the moment. It means that they are able to foresee the future and say: “Hey, at this pace, we’ll be obsolete in about 15 years”.

None of this is news in Redmond. In a 1995 company-wide memo titled “The Internet Tidal Wave,” Gates famously recognized the network as a disruptive tsunami. And starting in 2000, he tried to prepare his troops for yet another big shift, with a series of speeches on Web services. Even then, Gates was describing a world where desktop applications would eventually work in concert with high-speed apps delivered over the Internet. Among other benefits, he noted, “you should never have to enter the same information multiple times.”

However, Microsoft has the resources and they are not going to lose this battle without fighting back. The next 10 years will be some of the most interesting years in the software world… gearing software production towards the web and leaving the desktop more or less behind. I end this comment with a well worded quote from the article:

In 1995, Bill Gates foresaw the Internet tidal wave and pushed his company to adapt. At the time, that seemed prophetic. Today, Ray Ozzie is pushing the same thing, but this time it’s about survival.

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