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Comment Multiple Mics Can Separate Conversations (Score 1) 81

I've not noticed anyone else mention using multiple microphones, but with two microphones spaced a few metres apart a computer can separate out two people talking over each other due to speed-of-sound differences (i.e. conversation A reaches mic 1 then mic 2, conversation B reaches mic 2 then mic 1).

I've seen two people talking separated using two microphones, I don't think you need more microphones for more people. This is a common machine learning demo (how I've seen it), but it is just signal processing really (i.e. no machine learning required).

I'm not aware of any products integrating this however, but I've never had the need to look. Is there such a thing as a bluetooth microphone for iPhone/Android? Like a headset but without the speaker. If you're a programmer maybe you could write an app that separates out different audio "streams" and then send each to existing voice recognition APIs.

Comment Re:Very impressive (Score 1) 210

Another downside/unintended consequence may be that people might drive at dry road speeds despite heavy rain or snow. Not being able to see far ahead definitely makes me slow down instinctively, risks such as increased stopping distance, black ice or hydroplaning/aquaplaning all need to considered consciously.

Comment Not Magical (Score 3, Insightful) 210

to make possible a whole host of 'magical' (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications

He didn't predict that at some arbitrary point in the future technology would have the appearance of being magical, he didn't make a prediction at all in this regard. His statement "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (presumably) means "Any sufficiently advanced technology relative to the observer's baseline is indistinguishable from magic.", but that isn't as catchy.

If you could show someone from the 1700's an iPhone it would be "indistinguishable from magic" to them. If an alien race were to zip into orbit tomorrow at faster than light speed it would be "indistinguishable from magic" to us as we don't have any idea how that can be achieved, or even if it is possible. The technology described in the article is impressive but clearly distinguishable from magic, the article describes how it works.

Comment Re:Nothing here (Score 1) 182

Further anecdotal evidence: The only time my Kindle has ever crashed was sometime before/during/after a 9 hour flight. I didn't try to use it during the flight but used it earlier in the day, so it could of been either the x-ray or the flight (or coincidence) that crashed it. It was a hard crash that required plugging it into a computer to reset it; just holding the power-switch did nothing.

For the record: it was Kindle3 (non-3G) in an official leather book-style case (the one without the light) and the wireless was off (I always leave it off for battery reasons).

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department