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Comment Re:How big is the spoken phrase database? (Score 1) 93

Most such things these days use text-to-speech exclusively, or in concert with concatenative speech prompts.

When using speech prompts, the numbers get large, fast, and your conversational design acquires a strong tie to recordings which are hard to obtain in uniform quality in a reliable manner. What happens when a bus runs over your voice talent?

The Wildfire Assistant circa 1997 used 1200 voice prompts just to say North American phone numbers (1000 three digit sequences with an uplilt melody at the end (AAA), 100 two digit pairs with an uplilt (BB) and 100 two digit pairs with a downlilt (CC)). The output was perfection, as this is exactly how people say these: AAA AAA BB CC

Comment Email client software? Is this still a thing? (Score -1) 294

I'm about 10 years past using email clients. I would have to guess most of this audience is, too.

Compared to gmail accessed via web, email clients offer slower startup, higher bug count, inferior search tools, a crazily confusing configuration burden, create a deep disincentive to access email from any machine but your own, a centrifugal bumble-puppy model for where your emails reside that can be relied upon to place the emails "on the wrong machine" (or none at all, or N-fold on each of M machines) when you need it most, and they bifurcate your message store when you change jobs or ISPs, etc. Moreover, I am spared the horrors of the aged hacks and platform-bound kludgery intended to address the above faults (e.g., IMAP or whatever Office thinks it provides).

Email clients are the landlines of the 2010s.


Comment The litmus test (Score 1) 201

My worst Uber ride was about as good as my best taxi ride, all things considered.

The taxi/medallion system should wrinkle up and die, plain and simple. There are a few factors yet to consider, but the bottom line cannot be far from that if the interests of the passengers and the largest population of would-be drivers are fairly valued.

Comment Re:USA in good company... (Score 1) 649

Time to ask why this is so?

Is they sent for extra sandwiches, an all-nighter could suffice to handle any rational appeal process in this case. Why must it take years in a case where the facts of guilt are uncontested and the arguments for whether extenuating circumstances are based solely on rulings made in the past few weeks?

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