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Comment Re: Hot Air (Score 2) 46

Nuance's Dragon Naturallyspeaking is about the most frustrating, ill-conceived, effectively-unsupported, crash-prone, erratic and generally flaky application of its kind on the market. It's unstable, unpredictable, and regularly drives every user I know into apoplexy. The problem is, they just don't care. Really, they don't: bugs are left unaddressed for years, often through several major "revisions", because they know that there's nowhere else for users to go. That's especially true if one needs their specialized vocabularies.

If anyone wants to know why monopolies are bad ... this is it.

Comment Re:Privacy (Score 2) 46

Google's entire approach to speech recognition is based on big data, so yes, they will be "mining" it in the sense that they will use it to continually improve the technology, and improve accuracy for the individual user. I would be surprised if they didn't use that data for targeted ads (after all, that is what they do) but being Google there will likely be an easy opt-out.

Comment No sympathy for Verizon (Score 1) 214

'Washington should be very thoughtful how they go forward here,' he said. 'This uncertainty is not good for investment, and it's not good for jobs here in America.'"

Why not? Uncertainty drives change, and uncertainty at this point was created _by Verizon._ Granted, something had to change, because what the big ISPs have been doing is abusive at best.

Besides, it was Verizon that started this mess by trying to change the rules for its own benefit. Complaining now is just sour grapes. Enjoy your new Title II status.

Comment Allied (Score 5, Insightful) 242

Most of you probably don't remember back in the sixties when Radio Shack was the retail distribution arm of Allied Radio (yes, it was known as Allied Radio Shack), a major components distributor. It was a real parts store the. Eventually Tandy picked up the chain, began selling branded parts, and it was never quite the same. The reality is that the advent of the personal computer, the death of manufacturing in the U.S., and an educational system that no longer valued engineering skills combined to kill the electronics hobbyist market that the Radio Shack depended upon. Their change of focus to consumer electronics was a reflection of that new reality, but unfortunately that is a saturated market. This was, alas, a long time in coming.

Comment Re: Minor setback (Score 1) 213

Reading between the lines, I think this is a company that specializes in greasing palms/pulling levers in Congress and the Senate, as well as constructing sophisticated internet campaigns that include releases to key susceptible news outlets/columnists and hiring fake posters to post on certain widely read comment boards.

So, highly-paid, professional astroturfers.

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 1) 420

Cost reduction, maybe. It really involves management that is afraid to trust the very people it hired, and wants to keep them under constant surveillance. It's the modern way: trust no-one, watch everyone. It never seems to occur to such types that if you hire good people, pay them well, treat them well, and give them reasonable goals, you don't need to be so paranoid.

As a long-time software developer, I know that such an environment would severely impact my ability to focus and do what I'm being paid to do. Furthermore, any employer that would trust me so little is one for whom I would not choose too work.

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