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Submission + - Giving a voice to ALS patients

ClickOnThis writes: We are all familiar with the speech synthesizer used by Stephen Hawking, famous physicist and ALS patient. He has heard the synthesizer's accent described as Scandinavian, American or Scottish although he has learned to identify with it. But what if an ALS patient could speak with her/his own voice? Former helicopter mechanic and now ALS patient Cal Moore can do just that. Moore, with the help of speech pathologist Roberta Kelley at Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital, began recording his own voice years ago, before the disease began to affect his speech. He can play back, in his own voice, phrases such as "I feel tired", "You know what? Your driving sucks" and others. The process, known as voice-banking, was invented by speech pathologist John Costello at Boston Children's Hospital. Granted, it's not exactly a synthesizer, and obviously it requires sampling of the patient's unaffected voice in advance. But couldn't this be a precursor to other technologies that could synthesize arbitrary phrases in a patient's own voice, from pre-sampled phonemes?

Submission + - Court Rules Off-The-Grid Living Is Illegal (offthegridnews.com)

schwit1 writes: Living off the grid is illegal in Cape Coral, Florida, according to a court ruling Thursday.

Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that the city’s codes allow Robin Speronis to live without utility power but she is still required to hook her home to the city’s water system. Her alternative source of power must be approved by the city, Eskin said.

At the hearing, Eskin noted that city officials have not actually been in Speronis’s home to make that determination.

The International Property Maintenance Code is used in communities throughout the United States and Canada. The code states that properties are unsafe to live in if they do not have electricity and running water. Speronis has electricity and water. She gets running water by collecting rainwater and electricity from solar panels.

Submission + - How to fix Slashdot Beta? 17

Forbo writes: Since the migration to Slashdot Beta was announced, it seems all meaningful discussion has been completely disrupted with calls to boycott and protest. Rather than pull an Occupy, what can be done to focus and organize the action? What is the end goal: To revert entirely to the previous site, or to address the problems with the new site?

Submission + - AltSlashdot is coming (altslashdot.org) 3

Okian Warrior writes: I've registered "AltSlashdot.org". I intend to run a site much like Slashdot used to be — better articles, less decoration and less "in your face" functionality. I'm reviewing and getting comfortable with slashcode right now. I'm looking for volunteers to help with setup and running the site. If the site becomes profitable, I intend to hire from the pool of volunteers. If you've ever wanted to participate in a site like Slashdot, here's your chance! I'm particularly in need of people who can:
  • Set up and manage a high-traffic site (servers, load-balancers, data sites, &c)
  • Edit story submissions
  • HTML, CSS, and script creation/bugfix/repair

Contact me if interested John (at) AltSlashdot (dot) org

Submission + - Why is Slashdot ignoring the advice of so many developer articles. 2

An anonymous reader writes: Over the years, Slashdot has recycled plenty of articles about lousy UX, lousy design, lousy graceful degradation, lousy development practices, lousy community management, even lousy JavaScript implementations creating security problems. Did Slashdot read any of those articles?

Submission + - Dice Holdings has written off Slashdot Media at the close of 2013 (prnewswire.com) 3

moogla writes: Apparently Dice.com could not make Slashdot work they way they wanted to; with a murky plan to tap into the Slashdot-reader community to somehow drive attention or insight into other Dice Holdings properities, they've burned through

$7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media

and have only started to realize some improvement on related sites. With ad revenue declining and not expected to pick up (read: everyone who uses Slashdot uses adblocking softwarwe), it appears that the Slashdot stewardship experiment by Dice Holdings has been a financial failure. Since the site has been redesigned in a user-hostile fashion with a very generic styling, this reader surmises Dice Holdings is looking to transform or transfer the brand into a generic Web 3.0 technology property. The name may be more valuable than the user community (since we drive no revenue nor particularly use Dice.com's services).

Submission + - Fuck beta 1

An anonymous reader writes: The beta is bad. It's so bad. The comments are reduced in screen width about 50%. Subject lines are deemphasized, scores are minimized, etc.

The discussions are the reason to come to Slashdot, and the beta trivializes them entirely. It looks like the comment section on a generic news site.

The comments now look like an afterthought, whereas they used to be the primary focus of the site.

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