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Comment: Nope, unless ... (Score 2) 81

by rogerz (#45822345) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Effective, Reasonably Priced Conferencing Speech-to-Text?

Are you able to do all of the following at your dinner conversation?:

1) Provide everyone with a decent close-talking directional microphone.
2) Require each person to take turns speaking, so there is very little overlap.
3) Have no pre-adolescents speaking.
4) Eliminate noticeable background noises.
5) Have no one with a strong non-native dialect speaking.
6) Require everyone to speak in full, grammatical sentences.

To the extent you say no to any of the above, you will get increasingly poor output. They are listed approximately in order of importance (1 being the most important). If you can say yes to all of those, you can probably get in the vicinity of 90% accuracy. This might be usable, depending on your ultimate purpose. If you were to additionally train acoustic and language models for all of the speakers, and then tell the software which user was speaking (i.e. switch the user on the fly during the conversation), you could probably get 95% accuracy and that would be quite usable.

So, in other words ... nope.

Comment: Re:first ti file? (Score 1) 365

by rogerz (#42838457) Attached to: Amazon Patents the Milkman

That's a helpful response, but begs the question: If the later filer had already manufactured the invention, doesn't that make it "existing practice" and therefore prior art? Even if they hadn't manufactured it, but only designed it, if they produce the design in court with a provable date prior to the earlier filing, doesn't that at least make it "obvious" if not "prior art"?

What am I missing here?

Comment: The argument against regulation ... (Score 1) 449

by rogerz (#42435187) Attached to: FAA Device Rules Illustrate the Folly of a Regulated Internet

... is NOT that "because some government regulations are unfounded, all of their regulations will be so.". The argument against regulations in general is that they punish innocent people (by restricting their liberty) without proof that the regulated activity will harm anyone. This is distinguished from objectively-defined law, where:

a) the restricted activity (in the case of good law) is a violation of someone's rights.
b) the violation must be proved in court (including civil court).

So, to choose an example I know will piss off many slashdotters, regulation of "air pollutants" is not a valid exercise of government power, since this punishes people that might emit a certain quantity of some substance, without proof that such emissions will actually harm someone. We already have laws against polluting other people's property - if someone can be proved to be doing so, they should be punished. And, if someone believes that they are going to be harmed by emissions that have yet to occur, they can even go to civil court and present merely a preponderance of evidence that this harm will ensue in order to receive relief, including injunctive relieve to prevent the activity, That is the valid operation of coercive government power - to prevent objectively definable rights violations, not to pander to people's imagined fears.

In the case of the FAA device regulations, the issue is even more clear cut - the FAA should have nothing to say at all about what devices a private airline allows to be used on its planes. That should be the decision of the airline, and they can base this decision on what they consider to be the appropriate tradeoff between safety and passenger convenience. Then, passengers could decide how they feel about a given airline's policy, and this could be factored into their patronage decision. True, this requires that passengers would need to exercise some adult judgment in their choice of airlines. Oh, the horror. Such is part of the price of liberty.

Comment: Re:Not that surprising (Score 1) 569

by rogerz (#42056793) Attached to: Israeli Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous

I've been through Ben-Gurion ~10 times, and have not had similar experiences. Indeed, from what I know of the Israeli security techniques, the goal is not really to make you sweat, but simply to observe your behavior in reacting to mundane, but rapid fire, questions. In effect, it's a lie detector test, where the detectors are well trained (and intelligent) humans. The US could have a similar system - with similar success - if we reallocated resources away from security theater and toward hiring and training good people to do this kind of pattern recognition. Unfortunately, since the TSA is viewed as a job-creation program, and since it *is* security theater (not actual security) that is the goal of the program, we are unlikely to get there.

Comment: Re:Best Missile Defense Shield (Score 1) 861

by rogerz (#42045217) Attached to: Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

Even with the danger posed by the current hostilities, Israel continues to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Name another country, when faced with rocket attacks on its civilian population, as Israel has for the past 5+ years, which would do anything similar.

Oh yes - Egypt has an ongoing land blockade of Gaza as well.

Comment: Re:both sides (Score 1) 861

by rogerz (#42044989) Attached to: Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

Please. Israel could wreak any level of destruction on Gaza they want. Indeed, I'd wager you have complained elsewhere about how "asymmetric" is Israel's war-making capacity and how that, ipso facto, makes their use of the military "offensive", independent of the reality of waves upon waves of rockets being deliberately launched at their civilian population. It is crystal clear that Israel is being as precise as possible in their targeting.

War is hell. Innocents die. The best way to save innocent lives is to end the war as quickly as possible, which means using the absolute minimum force necessary to ensure that the aggressor side is completely defeated, with no capability of resuming its aggression.

As to who is the aggressor - I propose the following thought experiment: if there were no active hostilities in the region, and if Israel could therefore remove its naval blockade of Gaza, and if Gaza were allowed, say 10 years to develop its political, economic and social, cultural institutions, where would you prefer to live: Israel or Gazastan? An honest answer to that question (especially if you are gay or female) would tell you all you need to know about the "who is the aggressor" question.

Comment: What impact will it have on STEM education? (Score 2, Insightful) 1113

by rogerz (#41571307) Attached to: US House Science Committee Member: Evolution Is a Lie From Hell

Well, if the federal government didn't control education policy and funding, then it would have no impact whatsoever. If you advocate the involvement of government in education, you can have very little to say in opposition to elected officials' pedagogical opinions being leashed on the classroom.

Comment: Re:No it doesn't (Score 1) 172

by rogerz (#41200481) Attached to: Twitter Jokes: Free Speech On Trial

This is ridiculous.

The only government action taken against OWS had to do with time, place, and manner restrictions on their _behavior_ (i.e. "occupying" public spaces). There have been zero restrictions on the content of anyone in that movement's speech (and I dare you to provide a cite that proves otherwise).

And, what is more, these time/place/manner restrictions on OWS "gatherings" were imposed with extreme laxness, as compared to such prohibitions implemented against virtually any other protest movement in US history. The Z-park encampment was allowed for at least two months; Philadelphia, 2.5 months; Boston at least 3 months; the list goes on. This is while health, safety and traffic regulations were routinely flouted (not to mention the rampant felony activity, including rape, assault, and theft).

The worst infringements of free speech rights in the U.S. remain as part of "campaign finance" law. The overturning of McCain-Feingold was a step in the right direction there, but there are still many unconscionable restrictions that are supported by both the D's and R's, since they amount to incumbency protection.

Comment: Re:Radiation in Denver is unavoidable (Score 1) 536

by rogerz (#41059777) Attached to: The Panic Over Fukushima

Yeah, but the quantity of stuff that needs to be mined to produce the same amount of energy is quite a bit different and impacts the likelihood of mining accidents:

Coal - ~6,150 kilowatt-hours (kWh)/ton
Uranium – 2,000,000,000 kWh/ton
Uranium, Fast Breeder reactors (up to 100x more) - 200,000,000,000 kWh/ton

Comment: Re:Easy win for Apple (Score 1) 138

by rogerz (#40830733) Attached to: Taiwan University Sues Apple Over Siri Patents

[Do over with my real user name - I hate being anonymous]

You are correct. And, not only is the '496 patent about an ASIC implementation of ASR, but it also uses the same ancient dynamic time warping approach to matching as does the '032. What is more, there is no chance at all that the plaintiff could have the slightest reason to believe that Apple (really, Nuance/Dragon) is using this approach. This case should be tossed out immediately.

The problem with our patent system is not the idea of "intellectual property" per se, but that the legal profession (including most of the well-meaning examiners at the USPTO) as currently trained is ignorant of the most basic technical concepts, and thus we waste time and money on ridiculous prosecutions such as this.

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