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Comment: Re:Hardware Security (Score 1) 80

You could take pretty much any speaker you wanted to, run a jumper to the switch and listen to any phone call you wanted.

Back in the day I had a friend who worked for a phone company. As a part of their QC they had a speaker in their office that was connected to various random landlines in order to keep a check on call quality. (In hindsight the choice of lines is a bit suspect)

He told me a story of one call they heard, about the mother of little johnny calling up a phone sex line (but not knowing it was one) and wanting to know what all these charges were for. The phone sex worker tried to sidestep the issue by saying that little johnny was just talking to "friends". The mother replied "but little johnny has lots of friends". At that point the phone sex worker drop all pretense as to what the calls were about, and the last thing the mother said was "wait until little johnny's father gets home"

Comment: Re:Dubious because facts (Score 3, Insightful) 180

by OzPeter (#48625149) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

One thing mentioned in Marc Rogers article that I am also surpassed at is how do you miss that much data flying out of your network?

A couple of years ago I was a customer site and had to download and install some updates onto an HMI system. Less than 5 minutes after starting this, my client's IT people had connected to the system in question and were poking around trying see why that device had suddenly started consuming network resources. Their attempts to shut it down were annoying to me, but at least they were on the ball when it came to knowing what was normal and what was not normal on their network.

Comment: Re:few details digging into the articles. (Score 1) 99

by OzPeter (#48611163) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

I know enough Spanish and French to get by. If I need to learn another language, I will. No need for Skype to do the translations for me.

You are comparing Apples to Oranges, by saying you are fluent in english, but just get by in other languages. This Skype system has the potential to enable you to communicate fluently in other languages.

And yes I know what it is like to get by in other languages vs fluency having previously gotten by in Russian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish and suffered various misadventures because of it.

Comment: Re:few details digging into the articles. (Score 1) 99

by OzPeter (#48609447) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

Besides, wouldn't it be easire to just learn Spanish - or English as the case may be - than have to put up with W8?

How many years did it take you to learn to speak english? Because that is at least what you will require to learn another language to the same fluency. And that's not accounting for not being embedded in the language or that children are wired to learn language more easily than an adult can.

So it's about $120 for and 8.1 license from Amazon vs a significant amount of time to learn that second language. Your choice.

Comment: Re:Was cool in 2010 when foss BigBlueButton did th (Score 3, Informative) 99

by OzPeter (#48608733) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

I, and my customer, thought it was cool as heck when the open source video conferencing system Big Blue Button added auto-translate back in 2010. It's good to see Microsoft catching on too.

Except that this is not translation of chat messages, but live translation of spoken word coupled with voice synthesis in the translated language.

You can't tell from the video how "real-time" it is, but it seems fast enough for a basic conversation. Also there is nothing I saw that indicates how much training the speech recognition needs.

Comment: Re:Yeah right. (Score 1) 99

by OzPeter (#48608671) Attached to: Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

Unless Microsoft can prove some sort of breakthrough in machine translation then the conversation must have been very basic, with very little use of idioms, technical terms, etc., for it to have worked very well.

An old joke about a talking pig (which I can't remember - may not have even been a pig) had a punch line along the lines of "ignore the fact that the pig speaks badly, what's amazing is that the pig speaks in the first place"

Comment: Re:Actual Link to the video mentioned: (Score 1) 52

by OzPeter (#48608081) Attached to: Telepresence Store Staffed Remotely Using Robots

I laughed when the interviewer asked what happens if someone tries to steal a robot. The guy answering started off by saying it would be really hard as they weigh 92 pounds. Oh that's sooooo heavy.

But my first impression was that the robots were too short for the sales experience. The customers in the store would have had to stoop or bend over to be "face to face" with the telepresence operators. I'm guessing that the height was a compromise between a robot "sitting at a desk" and "walking around".

One thing I did think of was that for a series of retail stores you only need to "staff" all the stores for the average number of customers across the total number of stores.

Comment: Re:Driver in video was unfamiliar with the car (Score 2) 190

by OzPeter (#48605669) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

Really? I've never seen a car that didn't have the turn-signal lever on the left. Is that because I'm an ignorant American?

Ignorant? yes. American? Well that I don't know.

My understanding is that it is related to where the car was manufactured. I found this thread that talks about it Why are New Zealand turn signal controls backwards?. (And from my point of view, "backwards" is a contextual adjective ;-) )

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.