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eDigital MXP100 with Voice Control

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the speak-your-mind dept.

Music 150

An anonymous reader writes: "Here is a lengthy review of eDigital's 1GB flash MP3 portable that is as much a review on Lucent's remarkable speech recognition technology VoiceNav as it is on the player. VoiceNav offers speaker-independent recognition, meaning it doesn't have to learn each individual user's particular speech patterns like IBM's ViaVoice. Just say the name of a music track into the player's microphone and VoiceNav pulls up and plays that song. In ideal conditions the reviewer was able to twice run through a list of 14 song titles without fail. This included titles with "non-real word" band names like Sum41 and U2. Neat technology that could make its way into PDAs soon. The player is a pretty good one too, using IBM's Microdrive for storage."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983450)

first post. can you dig it suckas?

P.S. please fire michael sims.

Re:fp (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983455)

I declare this second post as the real first post because the actual first post is anonymous.

Fonzy and Potsie would be proud of me. PROPZ to all DEAD JOANIE.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983457)

frost pist!

Re:fp (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983499)

Aww, pooh bebbe, no time to log in OR get the real FP OR post anything substantial! three strikes and YOU OUTTA HEAH!

Nth post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983466)

Fuck off trolls!

Re:Nth post (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983481)

Thank you for the serving suggestion, but no, I will NOT.


A simple question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983924)

  1. Are you a semi-literate kid who got onto his daddy's PC and decided to play at troll-for-a-day?

Re:A simple question (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984038)

No, because I dont know who my father is.

What about Ogg Vorbis support? (2)

Shiny Metal S. (544229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983469)

Have you seen any hardware player of Ogg Vorbis [] format?

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983502)

No, and there also aren't any that support MIDI. What's your point? Unpopular technology doesn't tend to be supported by vendors and idealism is utterly meaningless when it throws money away -- welcome to the real world.

Hehehe... (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983610)

"No, and there also aren't any that support MIDI"

All of the actually funny comments are passed over by the cockloving moderators...


Re:Hehehe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983800)

Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week.

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis support? (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983511)

as a matter of fact, no i heav'nt!!!!!!!!! BUTT, i have seen mp3 PLAYERZ!!!!!

OT: Why should it support Ogg? (2, Insightful)

Mdog (25508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983516)

I think I'm feeding the trolls on this one, but I can't understand why you think a company would spend money on adding support for that format unless it would be a selling point. I grant that mp3 is worse than ogg, but can you honestly say that ogg is big enough in the "real world" for a company to go to the trouble of supporting it? The vast majority of my linux using friends still use mp3, and you can bet almost no one in the windows world uses ogg.

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis support? (1)

drp (63138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983525)

I have yet to see one - there was a rumor that somebody was going to release a jukebox with no advertising for it, but support in the firmware.

I don't think we'll see players for Ogg Vorbis until the people behind the format realize that they desperately need to change the name. Unfortunately, (ugh) marketing counts for quite a bit in the real world, and 'Ogg Vorbis' is a name only a geek could love.

Re: marketing (1)

jred (111898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983581)

Granted, I don't use Ogg Vorbis. I think I looked into it a while back, but I spent too long ripping all my CDs to switch. That's the real issue. Even a batch mp3>ov converter wouldn't work. I don't want to recompress an already lossy compression.

As for the name, I think ogg would be better to say than mp3. Ogg= 1 syllable, mp3 = 3. Plus, instead of ripping CDs, you can ogg them. Ogg players. No, in terms of names, ogg has mp3 beat.

The problem is mp3 is "good enough", and already entrenched.

Ogg Vorbis (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983638)

Ogg is just the name of the, uh, 'group' doing the work. The actual audio format is called Ogg Vorbis, in contrast with Ogg Tarken, their proposed video codec.

So your sylable count is really incorrect :P

Re: marketing (1)

ywwg (20925) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983887)

it's easy to configure grip to automatically rip and sort any cd you put in the drive. That way you just spend some time swapping cds around. You don't need to do it all at once

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis support? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983608)

I don't think we'll see players for Ogg Vorbis until the people behind the format realize that they desperately need to change the name. Unfortunately, (ugh) marketing counts for quite a bit in the real world, and 'Ogg Vorbis' is a name only a geek could love.

And MP3 isn't a geeky name? A player isn't going to lose sales just because it supports a format with a weird name. It's not like Vorbis will be the only format supported - it will still be sold as an "MP3 player".

A free fixed-point decoder would be more helpful than a new name. Fixed-point Vorbis decoders (for ARM processors) exist, but they need to be licensed. Most companies probably couldn't justify the licensing cost, but if it was free, they'd be more likely to add support. At least one company has stated (on the Vorbis mailing list) that they will support Vorbis when a free decoder is available.

There are also rumors that iRiver's MP3 player will support Vorbis in a future firmware upgrade, but I haven't heard much about that.

Think big. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983554)

Ogg is _NOT_ better then MP3 from a market standpoint. Every 6 months there will be some new format that improves the compression and sound quality. Many times, geeks are to focused on the technical aspect, and not the market aspect. Ubiquity is the key. MP3 is good enough, and it is here to stay. WMA is also catching on, but you'll notice that even that took years to happen.

Re:Think big. (1)

ikeleib (125180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984083)

Yes it is. You don't have to pay anybody royalties.

Whee! (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983472)

This technology is just cool, with some pretty serious applications.

I remember sitting around with some voice recognition program (can't remember what one) about 5 years ago, running through all of the little training things to get it to learn my speech patterns.

I find it kind of strange that it's first appearing in an MP3 player, but I suppose that's the kind of market where a lot of innovation is going to be. I just wonder how long it's going to be until we start seing this in more practical applications, instead of just being a convenience thing.

Re:Whee! (1)

j2demelo (63411) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983637)

I think they make it pretty clear in the review that the voice recognition technology does not need to learn any speech patterns.

"Unlike a software product like IBM's ViaVoice, which needs to learn each individual user's particular speech patterns over time through regular use, VoiceNav requires no such learning input. That's a heck of an accomplishment if it works well."

Re:Whee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983819)

Nice job bucko, you managed to come off as an arrogant prick AND being incorrect about the parent poster's point at the same time!

Cool technology (1)

drp (63138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983483)

Now all somebody has to do is link this with a domain-specific natural language parser, and put it in my car stereo (along with a decent amount of storage) and I'll pay any amount for it.

Re:Cool technology (2)

mshomphe (106567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983563)

You can get a domain-independant NL parser from, the PC PATR II parser. You may have to write a few grammar rules...

Filters (1)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983489)

Does the voice recognition filter itself out? When U2 sings "one" I don't necessarily want it switching to Aimee Mann's "one" and vice versa.

Re:Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983503)

argg americans ... read the dam review ...

Re:Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983518)

the dam[sic] review doesn't mention how it handles interference from itself.

Re:Filters (1)

jred (111898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983543)

According to the article, voice rec doesn't work when it's playing. So no stop or pause voice commands, and it won't switch songs accidentally...

Re:Filters (3, Informative)

d5w (513456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983552)

Does the voice recognition filter itself out? When U2 sings "one" I don't necessarily want it switching to Aimee Mann's "one" and vice versa

From the review:

Navigation using VoiceNav only operates when a song is not playing (manual controls will allow navigation when a tune is pumping), therefore there is no "Stop" or "Pause" command.
So they punted on that problem.

On another front, tt looks like "one" isn't likely to produce useful responses from the speech recognition in any case. The only times the reviewer seems to have gotten acceptable recognition of track names were when saying the entire artist and title.

I wonder how it would handle japanese songs.. (1)

Ikari Gendou (93109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983497)

Anyone who has their song names in japanese charecter format might be SOL for the voice part, unless it can read kanji/hiragana/katakana

Re:I wonder how it would handle japanese songs.. (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983564)

jappawhah? LISSEN GOOD AND LISSEN TO ME, something like this is too advanced for japs and japloverz to understand....DO YOU REALLY THINK the POEPLEZ of the orient understand technology?? AND WHAT about MUSIC????

here's a japanese song for you: kimito deattekara ikutsumono yoruwo katari akashita hachikireru hodo MY DWEAM TRUNK hitotsudakede ROMAN HIKOOE In DA SUKAI tobimawarekono MY HURT WO-O WO-O U-WO-U-O-U-O-U-O (followed by uki uki saru saru SOUNDZ)

see? no fecken problemo, you loundeye. get out of my house with your font problemZ, unicode OWNZ J00.


Re:I wonder how it would handle japanese songs.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983710)

well maybe not... i have yet to see a player (just me here) that supports kanji... its too hard to get enough resolution to make it readable... but there is a way to recignise the hiragana as well as katakana... the player could convert the song to romaji and you could just read it off and there you go...

Re:I wonder how it would handle japanese songs.. (2)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983772)

i have yet to see a player (just me here) that supports kanji...

You're telling me that you read Slashdot and you've never heard of the iPod [] ?!?

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983892)

anta baka?

GABE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983512)

Gabe - Thanks for the purchase of the Mtn. Dew. It's been great drinking it, and we all appreciate the fact that you went out of your way to get it. Again, thanks.

-Mark [your apartment-mate]

but some of my stuff is unspeakable (-1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983514)

or really long

am I seriously supposed to tell my mp3 player "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld (Loving U) " or "the little sandwich that got a guilt complex because he was the sole survivor of a horrible bus crash" or "Oce 9504"?

sometimes a cigar is just a penis^H^H^H^H^Hcigar

ﺹﻝﷲ (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983524)

less than ideal conditions? (2, Interesting)

kithkaddith (555700) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983527)

wonder how well it would work on, say, the side of a highway. if it worked well this would be a nice little toy for those of us who run (or bike) around.

Re:less than ideal conditions? (2, Insightful)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983536)

From the article ...

Test 2 - Walking outside with occasional traffic passing by. All track names said in proper order. - Result: very good to excellent

yelling (1, Funny)

Niksie3 (222515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983530)

We tried and found that the background din of music, talking, and slamming weights was too much for VoiceNav. Once in a blue moon we got the track to shift, but not until speaking loud enough to draw the gaze of a few patrons who wondered why we were yelling at our MP3 player.

heh, I loved that part

Re:yelling (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983624)

Yeah, this brings up the only problem with this technology- do you really want to be observed on public transport saying, apparently to yourself:

"Hit me baby one more time"


Voice Control (1)

beefstu01 (520880) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983535)

It seems really nice now, but when you have the machine in hand, the VC really sucks. As stated in the review, it's really picky with order. The best thing though would be when you use it in a really crowded place. I'd get it just to get looks from people when I'm yelling at the player. Interesting stuff. "Play Bach damnit! I want to hear something soothing!"

How can it differentiate... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983542)

I guess I have too many obscure mp3s, but how can the voice control differentiate:

Daydream Boat.mp3
Day Dreamboat.mp3

Alpha Betray.mp3
Alphabet Ray.mp3

Mont Anagram.mp3
Montana Gram.mp3

Re:How can it differentiate... (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983572)

stop making up song titles little girl, this discussion iz for grownupz.

Re:How can it differentiate... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983693)

SHUT up before I dick slap you in the face with my penis! BIATCH!

Re:How can it differentiate... (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983823)

I'd rather prefer that you dick slap me in the face with your nose, it seems like a far more appropriate tool for the task.

Re:How can it differentiate... (2)

Fjord (99230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983954)

If it's really that big of a problem, you could always rename/retag the files to me more different.

No Star Trek (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983545)

Bearing in mind that speech recognition not yet the equivalent of the chatty computer on TV's Star Trek...
Let us be grateful for small favors! []

Re:No Star Trek (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983746)

it's always puzzled me, why does Data have to ask the ship for things?
Why doesn't he have a tricorder built into him?

It's like "we need to make the equipment purposely braindead or else the viewers won't know wtf. is going on.

Same as the coppers in The Bill always telling each other what they are doing. "I'm going to put this in a back to stop anyone's fingerprints getting on it". I mean didn't these coppers ever go to cop school! (or watch TheBill and see what the coppers said to each other, er out of stack space

Re:No Star Trek (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983827)

it's always puzzled me, why does Data have to ask the ship for things? Why doesn't he have a tricorder built into him?

It's like "we need to make the equipment purposely braindead or else the viewers won't know wtf. is going on.

You've answered your own question. Bad TV shows don't trust their audiences to figure things out. So the characters waste a lot of time telling each other things they already know, but the audience might not. That's also why characters tend to be stereotypes. (Hence the "teaching black actors to act black" scene in Hollywood Shuffle [] .) Picard is brave-but-awkward, Worf is absurdly obsessed with "honor", yada yada.

Voice Recognition (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983551)

Lucent - formerly Bell Labs - really needs a shot in the arm. It's stock price has been battered big-time lately for reasons unconnected to the dot-bomb phenomena. Voice recognition on computers has been around for a while now with products like Dragon, Via Voice, etc. All of these programs are clunky, somewhat bloated, and need to be trained to individual speakers. A truly speaker-independent voice recognition system could be just what the doctor ordered for Lucent.

I searched Google for "VoiceNav" and the only references that came back were those connected to the MXP-100. I wonder if this is brand new. On the down side, if this does represent a breakthrough of sorts, Lucent probably holds patents on the technology that they will milk for all they're worth. The old Bell Labs used to have fairly liberal licensing policies for some of their stuff (UNIX anyone?) but now they're profit-driven. Shareholders might not look favorably on giving away a possible golden goose. I would love to see the magic behind this technology in an Open Source form.

Re:Voice Recognition (4, Insightful)

d5w (513456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983593)

Voice recognition on computers has been around for a while now with products like Dragon, Via Voice, etc. All of these programs are clunky, somewhat bloated, and need to be trained to individual speakers. A truly speaker-independent voice recognition system could be just what the doctor ordered for Lucent.
This kind of thing comes up every time speech recognition is mentioned here, and it's largely missing the point. Desktop speech recognition, as handled by Dragon NaturallySpeaking, is a very different problem from simple commands and list selection, and it has very different solutions. If you have to recognize and transcribe arbitrary sentences in a given language you have to handle a much larger search space in basically every dimension -- so much larger that the optimal search techniques can be very different, and (as in your comment) the resources required to implement those techniques will be incomparable.

I won't say the problems are fundamentally different, because the fundamentals are much the same between the two domains; but nearly every detail of the implementation of those fundamentals is likely to be different.

What is the cheapest portable MP3 player? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983557)

I want something under $100 with under 64 MB flash but it has to be small so I can take it jogging.

Re:What is the cheapest portable MP3 player? (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983583)

No I'm sure you want ti to be small as well as have a good subwoofer because youd like it to fit in your rectum. see, i know how you faggayz think.

Let's hope there's no RIAA back door . . . (2, Interesting)

base3 (539820) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983562)

. . . otherwise, there'll be a special broadcast on radio, cable, and embedded in trojan MP3s one day. It'll be Jack Valenti's voice saying "Don't play non-SDMI compliant content anymore." :).

Re:Let's hope there's no RIAA back door . . . (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983599)

jack valenti got messed up by some chica who goes by the name of FREAKY CHAVEZ. YOU NEXT.

Even worse than cell phone (4, Funny)

Ezubaric (464724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983582)

When I can't get voice rec to work, I usually end up speaking louder because the frustration is just too much. It's bad enough listening to people yapping down the street or in stores with those little embedded mikes and earphones. Can you imagine hordes of people walking down the street screaming:

"Uncle Fucker"
"Baby Got Back"

The last is probably worst of all. We know Barry exists, but it's horrible to be reminded that people actually listen to him.

Re:Even worse than cell phone (3, Funny)

Bilestoad (60385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983615)

Even better - imagine being able to sneak up on people with one of these, and saying

"Kenny G"

Re:Even worse than cell phone (1)

bmoyles (61470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983801)

In order to be able to sneak up and do that, an even more frightning reality must exist: they must *have* the Kenny G MP3 to begin with!


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Just to clear things up (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983600)

IBM's voice recognition line extends past ViaVoice. We offer several products, including an embedded product, that do not require any training. Only the highest end dictation product requires training because of the demands on it to understand what you just said from tens of thousands of words. If all you can say is a hundred or so phrases like "play", "stop", "rewind", "livin' la vida loca", etc. then it's a lot easier to make a prediction and training is a waste of time. At that point it's just a matter of microphone quality and filtering out the background noise. We can even do untrained natural language voice recognition in situations like this with the proper processor power. Since we know what you're by and large going to say, we can pick out enough from the whole free-form sentence to get the gist of what you meant without any training.

And believe me we're getting to the point where training isn't needed for dictation either :)

Re:Just to clear things up (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983641)

"Since we know what you're by and large going to say"

The idea of astroturfing is to not make mistakes like saying "We offer several products.."

So, did you know I was going to say that ? ;)


Re:Just to clear things up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983825)

It's not astroturfing if he blatantly comes out and says "Hey, I work for IBM" (which he essentially did).

Playlist with 14 entries isn't enough (5, Informative)

hovik (257174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983614)

In ideal conditions the reviewer was able to twice run through a list of 14 song titles without fail.

This doesn't mean much. To pick the correct one between only 14 possible is quite easy. The reviewer should rather have tried with a playlist with more than 3000 entres. The error rate will grow exponatially with the number of songs, because statisically more song will be phoneticly more equal, the more you add. (bad way to say it, but you prob get the point)

Re:Playlist with 14 entries isn't enough (1)

oregon (554165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983622)

The thing only has 1Gb storage. So 200 would be a better test than 3000.
Ie. 1 order of magnitude higher than they tried instead of 2.

Re:Playlist with 14 entries isn't enough (2, Insightful)

sean23007 (143364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984104)

The error rate will grow exponatially with the number of songs, because statisically more song will be phoneticly more equal, the more you add. (bad way to say it, but you prob get the point)

See sig. Wow.

Baka ni (1)

cronik (196639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983645)

When will the posters read the damn article this is not a 1GB flash system. When there is a way to fit a gig of flash into a CF2 slot I would like to be the first to know. The diffrence in both seek time and transfer speed between Flash and a microdrive is definatly non-trivial. The micro drive is a small HD, thats it, and they have been around for a while.

As for the test I would like to know if anyone here has less then 15 mp3's that they would like to store on one of these. I want to see how it reacts when you have a few hundred songs and try to use the name recognition system. I have the odd feeling that it might not work so well

Moving parts (2, Interesting)

DodgyGeezer (83311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983647)

For me, the biggest attraction of MP3 players is the ability to have no moving parts. This makes it truly portable and useful in more situations that what we had previously. So, my question is, how reliable is this IBM microdrive? How robust is it? If I'm training for to run a marathon, is it going to survive all of the pounding?

Re:Moving parts (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983672)

b/c the microdrive is not really FLASH it is an actual HD in there it would probably not survive the pounding that running gives...

In a post a while back someone mentioned that they dropped their Microdrive from a height of about 4 ft onto a carpeted floor and it never worked again. I would suspect that long-term pounding from running would have much the same effect.

Re:Moving parts (1)

mikewas (119762) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983750)

... and in the same post somebody said they dropped their microdrive one a hard floor, it bounced several times, and it still runs fine.

Everybody has walkmans that withstand the pounding of joggers. The microdrive, since it has less mass than a CD, is pobably less affected & no doubt has ant-shock features designed in.

Re:Moving parts (1)

duren686 (463275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983991)

Maybe so, but if your CD hits the laser unit on your discman, it won't die horribly. A microdrive (as with any hard drive) will, i think, be toast if the head touches the platter.

Style. (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983663)

Hrm, the thing dosn't look quite as cool as the ipod. Not that I don't hate apple or anything, but there don't seem to be a lot of players out there that have both a high capacity and the esthetic styling approaching or surpassing the iPod. There are some cool looking mp3 players, and there are some that are better technically then the iPod. But unfortunately, they don't seem to be in the same group. (of course, given the price you could just get a real PDA that can play mp3s for a bout $100 more...)

Personally, I doubt the voice nav in the current system is really that great, especially since you have to manually stop the music in order to use it. Of course with 200 or so songs it might come in handy (if it scales that well).

Hype Company (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983686)

edigital has a long history of using hype and grossly misleading tactics to, IMO, defraud investors. So far they've lost tens of millions of dollars, and recently had to resort to taking a loan at a 49% interest rate [] just to stay in business. Even the CEO has referred to the investors as a "cult".

As for their history with their products, their much-hyped Treo barely sold any units in stores, and is now being sold by liquidators on ebay [] . A lot of customers were a bit pissed that their players didn't come with any storage media!

This wasn't intended as flamebait, but has a long history of using hype and misleading tactics to pursue little more than an incursion of investment money from gullible public investors. I didn't lose any money to them, but a lot of people did, and will continue to.

In fact, they recently registered 20 million more shares [] so they can stay in business a while longer. They really don't deserve this kind of attention from Slashdot.

For those considering investing in them, I'd say stay away. For those considering a product purchase, I'd recommend the same [] .

MEEPT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983688)

Ho Ho!

This reminds me of a recent story on the Financial Times, which was picked up by CNN.

It was about something that nobody cared about.

Where do dead uninteresting stories go when they die?

Slapdown!! That's where!

The meept is all for voice activiation. It reminds meept of "Clap on, clap off". However, it tends to be biased towards those who CAN speak.

The meept has no mouth , let alone a body. Therefore this media-bias towards mouth-iness is something that won't be addressed until we get a dumb preident.


Do we really need voice control? (2)

asv108 (141455) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983713)

Voice navigation systems are cool and they definitely have a "gee wiz" factor, but are they really useful? Sure they have a very short learning curve, but people tend to use alternative navigation methods after using the product for awhile. I remember having voice nav way back in 93 with the soundblaster AWE32. [] That was really cool back then, but nobody actually used it. Sure voice nav on the computer is much more reliable now via products such as viavoice [] and dragon [] , but both those products aren't nearly as fast for an midly experienced using point and click or especially keyboard shortcuts.

I have a lot of friends who have sprint phones with voice nav. They all used it for the first week because it was "cool" but after awhile, they went back to traditional methods. Another example is my father; he got the 02 Infinity Q45 [] which has loads of tech toys built in. The voice nav is really cool but it's not nearly as fast a clicking a button.

Re:Do we really need voice control? (2)

Tazzy531 (456079) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983871)

The only thing I could see is that with up to 1 gig of MP3s..that's approximately 500 songs. It might be difficult to scroll through the list to find a particular song using those tiny buttons. Also, if you were driving or walking or doing something else, you don't want to have to keep looking down to change songs. But you're right, to the most part, consumers either love it or look at it as a fad.

I was wondering when they'd come out with this (3, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983732)

...only I pictured it with the ability to retrieve a song by just singing a bit of it or speaking some lyrics.

Will (0)

headchimp (524692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983733)

this lead the way to incorporating it into a Cell phone, along with visual effects wired into a pair of glasses?

Picture this:
Stuck in traffic watching your favorite music video then saying "Pause" and "Dial Home" to tell sweety that you'll be late coming home because of traffic.

no FireWire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983736)

It's take too long to copy files to the thing. My iPod has spoiled me.

And for all you OSS zelots, OGG is not mature and has no place in hardware yet, deal with it. If you judge all hardware based on somthing that no hardware worth owning has, then you will never be happy. Opensource does not always mean it's better anyway.

It's Me Again, Lets Improve Slashdot Trolling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983771)

Please help improve both the quantity and quality by becoming a troll, and also a better troll!

Slashdot Troll HOWTO

This is version 0.6 of a troll HOWTO, sort of a companion piece to jsm's excellent troll FAQ. As a draft, comments and criticism are always welcome, if not appreciated :)

Section 1 - Trolling techniques

There are techniques used by successful trolls to elicit the maximum amount of responses from unthinking /.ers. This section is dedicated to explaining how to use these in the course of your trolls. Remember though, a great troll can break any or all of these and still be successful...

  • Timing

    Because you're posting as an AC, your troll will generally be ignored in favour of posters using their accounts, and so getting in early is essential. A good guideline is to get into the first 20 posts, so that people reading the article will see the troll before it is swamped out. One way of increasing the speed with which you get your troll into play is to prepare them beforehand, and then quickly customise them for the current article. This is easier than it sounds since /. typically repeats stories with small variations and runs lots of similar stories.

    Note that this is why Jon Katz stories are pretty worthless as trolling material - by the time you've found the article and prepared a troll there's already 50+ posts on it, most of them flaming Jon Katz anyway :)

  • Exposure

    Once you've got your troll in, you need people to actually read it. You also want replies - /.ers are more likely to read your troll if it starts a large thread. You also want to remember that some people have set their comment thresholds to values higher than 0 - to get the attention of these you either want to get your post moderated up (see Style, below) or get a reply which gets moderated up to 4 or 5, in which case your troll becomes visible to all.

  • Accounts

    An alternative to the time-honoured tradition of AC trolling is that of creating a "troll" account. This gives you the advantage of posting at 1 rather than 0, and slashbots are more likely to take you seriously, especially if you at least sound reasonable. If you do this, try to avoid posting stuff where it is obvious you're a troll under the account - post it anoymously instead - some slightly more canny readers actually check your user info before they reply. Not many though :)

    The ultimate goal of the troll account is to secure the +1 bonus, which is currently received once you hit 26 points of Karma. To get there, employ the techniques of karma whoring that we see every day on /. and watch the karma roll in. And of course once you get the +1 bonus, the world is your oyster in terms of /. Posts made at a default of 2 hit even those people with the threshold of 2, are more likely to get moderated up even further if they are at all coherent, and people tend to lose their critical thinking abilities in the face of the +1 bonus. Milk it for all it's worth.

  • Layout

    To get people reading it a troll needs to be easily readable. Make sure you break it down into easily digestible paragraphs, use HTML tags where appropriate (but always make sure you close them properly) and use whitespace appropriately.

  • Size

    Generally a troll shouldn't be too short, otherwise it'll get lost in the crowd. A workable minimum is a couple of medium paragraphs. Conversely, it shouldn't be too long, or no-one will bother to read it. Keep it to a happy medium.

  • Spelling

    Whilst spelling is important if you want the troll to be taken "seriously", key spelling mistakes can draw out the spelling zealots, especially if you mis-spell the name of a venerated /. hero, like Linus Torveldes or Richard Strawlman (thanks dmg). Related to this is the use of the wrong word, explaining an acronym as being something it isn't or making a word into an acronym even when it isn't.

  • Subject

    The subject line needs to draw attention to your post without making it obvious that it is a troll. A simple statement of the main point of your argument can work here.


    Once you realise that most moderators don't bother to read past the first paragraph or two, you can use this fact to craft trolls that can be moderated up as "Insightful" (note that I mean this in the /. sense rather than the real-world sense). Start off fairly reasonable, making statements that are /. friendly and not being too controversial. As the troll goes on, make it more and more controversial, building it up for the coup de grace in the final paragraph.

  • Linking

    As we all know, a post with links [] is considered "informative" by the /. crowd. Moderators love it, and they rarely check the links, so be sure to include as many as possible. And make them wrong - a link to the Perl website [] should instead point to the Python website [] instead, and vice versa. The other alternative to incorrect links is "useful" links to places like [] and i.e. places /.ers could never have found on their own :) []

  • Feeding

    The ideal troll requires no feeding - it runs on its own, generating flamewars between clueless /.ers for your amusement. But often a troll requires some help and so you should consider feeding it. Feeding is best reserved for people making either completely clueless responses, people making responses with holes in, or those wonderful people who write a 2000-word point-by-point rebuttal of your troll.

  • Know your audience

    Always keep in mind the kind of things advocated on /. so that you can play on and against them. This is why anti-Linux, creationist, gun-loving, pro-corporation trolls work well - the vast majority of /.ers hold the opposite viewpoints. And if a few people agree with you, so much the better - it merely validates your viewpoint in the eyes of readers.

  • Arrogance

    Be arrogant. You, as a troll, know that you're right. No other explanation could exist. The wronger the "fact", the more assertively you should state it. Make it clear that you are better than everyone else - you know the truth and they are just too stupid to realise it. Use plenty of sarcasm, and use "quotes" to show it to people too dumb to realise.

  • Offensiveness

    Being offensive in your initial troll can be counter-productive - it causes moderators to mark you down as flamebait in general. But if you're feeding, then you can get away with calling /.ers all kinds of things. Make broad generalisations about /. readers - call them "long-haired Linux zealots", "socialist open-source bigots" or whatever. Stereotyping is encouraged - people always want to think that they're an individual, and will point this out to you given half a chance.

  • Indifference

    Great for articles with a political or social bent, this kind of troll expresses complete indifference to the topic at hand, wondering who on Earth cares about it. An alternative method is to say that the topic only concerns a certain group of people - criminals, idiots, hackers (always use this instead of crackers) or whatever group you want to offend.

  • Sympathy

    Appear to take the same stance as the people you're trying to troll - claim you're as much a fan of Linux as the next man, but... This way you can make all kinds of claims in the sure knowledge that you actually know what you're talking about. A great phrase to use here is "In my experience". Remember to act like all the things you're pointing out are unfortunate but true.

  • The common touch

    Always accuse /.ers of being elitist. This is an easy thing to do seeing as a lot of them are. Claim that is their grandmother couldn't use it, then they are just into it to feel better than Joe Sixpack rather than "doing it for the average user". This is always great for working into anti-Linux trolls - attack command-line tools and poorly designed desktops.

  • The 31337 touch

    The opposite of the above. Claim that technology or whatever is only for the elite of society and that any attempt to open it up for everyone is wrong, an attack on intellectualism and possibly even dangerous. If people were meant to understand these things then they would, and it's their fault if they're too stupid to learn.

  • Contradiction

    Never be afraid to contradict yourself, even in the space of a single sentence. The phrases "I am a top programmer who codes in VB" or "I am a supporter of open source who uses NT at work and 95 at home" will be sure to get a response from some weenie smugly pointing out the contradiction. Confuse the issue more by engaging in contradiction when you are feeding - this will confuse /.ers who will then make even more stupid replies, leaving them even more wide open for response.


    If you're feeling brave, give the reader clues that this is an obvious troll. The classic example here is dmg's stock phrase "I am often accused of trolling (whatever that is)", but also feel free to use phrases like "I have not read the article, and I don't know much about XYZ but I feel I must comment". If anyone responds to a troll with these kinds of clues in it, feel free to bask in the glow of knee-jerk /. responses.

  • Denial

    If you're unlucky someone will accuse you of being a troll (surely not!) and try and ruin it for you. If you don't want it all to end there, then be sure to counter it by accusing them of being small-minded and petty, saying that it's easier for them to say it's a troll than to accept that people have different opinions. Be sure to say this in the subject line, especially if their subject was the infamous "YHBT. YHL. HAND."

  • Claiming credit

    Given that /. has its community of regular trolls (hi guys!), it's only polite to publish your troll on one of the so-called "hidden" forums for all to see and admire. This way, you get to bask in the praise of other trolls, they get to contribute to your's if they want to, and you get an easy way to find the troll later on when you want to check on its progress :)

    As for when to post it, that's a matter of opinion really. You can either post it straight away or leave it will after people start biting. Remember that the troll forum is also frequented by non-trolls, and sometimes you may get a self-declared "troll-buster" try and expose you. But remember, /.ers always post before thinking, and often it doesn't matter at all.

    There is no real current forum at the moment thanks to various spammers hitting the sids, but try trolltalk [] , the original troll sid started by 80md and osm way back in the day. Generally all postings are done there as an AC, with your name at the end of the post. Include a link to the troll somewhere in the text, which ideally will be directly to the post and its replies - click on the #XX link in the thread to get there.

  • Ending the troll

    Sometimes you just get bored with a troll, or people start posting genuinely thoughtful stuff in reply (it does happen). When this happens it might be time to own up to the troll with a helpful "YHBT. YHL. HAND." post. Sometimes people will carry on a discussion of the issue, and if you're really lucky (and it was a great troll) they will completely fail to believe you and carry on arguing. If that happens, pat yourself on the back for writing a great troll :)

  • The cheap $3 crack

    Finally, when all else fails and your troll gets moderated down to (-1, Troll) within ten seconds of you posting it, the only honourable thing to do is to accuse the moderators of smoking the cheap $3 crack (again) and give up :(

Section 2 - Types of troll

  1. The Maniac

    Probably the most popular kind of troll, the Maniac holds an opinion on something, and won't budge from that opinion no matter what evidence to the contrary is presented. If challenged, the Maniac will simply get more and more agitated and abusive, deriding his opponents as "idiots", "wrong-thinking", "dangerous" and "subversive". Generally the Maniac takes a position that opposes the prevalent /. beliefs, but a similar effect can be achieved by taking a typical /. viewpoint and pushing it to ridiculous extremes.

    Maniacs can be crafted for practically every article /. posts, although some are more obvious targets than others. Civil liberty articles, especially on things like censorship, DMCA, UCITA that really get /.ers riled up, are usually extremely fruitful grounds for a well-crafted maniac. The other obvious type of article is anything which could possibly involve religion, especially evolution :)

    Here are some fruitful avenues to explore:

    • The right-wing

      Always popular, the right-wing maniac (RWM) is a God-fearing, gun-toting, flag-waving American, and proud of it. They don't care about the rest of the world, unless it's to "prove" that America is better than everything else, and they cannot stand liberal whining over civil rights. They hate the moral decay of America and want it to revert into a nation of heterosexual, Christian whites like it was meant to be. Woe betide anyone that dares to suggest otherwise.

    • Religion

      There are two ways to approach this kind of maniac. The harder to pull off is the militant atheist, but this is quite common amongst /. posters and you would have to be very offensive to get this to work. Of course with religion trolls, the argument can go on for ever once it's started... The more common approach is the Christian fundamentalist. They are ignorant, intolerant and bigoted in the extreme. For them the Bible is the inerrant word of God revealed to man - it contains no flaws and no contradictions. Thus they are strict Creationists - mentions of evolution or cosmology will set them off on vitriolic rants. Flaming denunciations of anyone daring to contradict the "Word of God" are the way to go, and any kind of proof can always be ignored by appealing to "secular humanist brainwashing". And let's not forget, the USA is the greatest nation on Earth because it has the righteous power of Jesus Christ behind it.

    • Ideology

      Pick a philosophy, any philosophy. This troll is a troll with a cause - they have found some kind of ideological truth, and are out to expose every other philosophy as a sham. Whether it be libertarianism, objectivism, communism or capitalism, this troll will point out the obvious "flaws" in any other philosophies, whilst spouting dogma about their own. And the best thing is - you don't even need to know that much about what you're spouting - making doctrinaire mistakes will get both sides of the argument flaming you, adding to the fun.

    • Software

      This is an old favourite and crops up in many forms, covering the gamut from OS maniacs (Linux zealots, MS-apologists or embittered BSD fanatics), language maniacs (Pascal vs. C, C vs. C++, C++ vs. Java, Perl vs. Python, VB vs. everything), application maniacs(GIMP vs. Photoshop, Netscape vs. IE, vi vs. emacs) and also includes people who complain about how technology should only be for the 31337 hackers.Guns

      Americans love their guns, and will always fight passionately for their Constitutionally guarenteed rights to bear arms and shoot people. Even the slightest hint of criticism of this will bring down the wrath of a thousand and one enraged gun-owners on you, so it's always a great point to work into a troll :)

  2. The Expert

    The Expert is someone who is "savvy" in their particular field, and is perfectly willing to give their opinion on any topic even vauguely related to their field. The Expert is most likely to be from a field which /.ers as a rule despise - the classic example is dumb marketing guy, but try consultants, lawyers, politicians, lobbyists, executives, journalists (just think Jon Katz). With this kind of troll sweeping statements with little content are the norm, along wire dire portents of future catastrophe and dark hints of "insider knowledge".

    Some possible angles to exploit:

    • Industry knowledge

      The expert knows the computing industry from the inside - as a long-term pro, they can dispense knowledge knowing that they can "speak for the industry". Their smug self-satisfaction is bound to annoy, as is any suggestion that things aren't the way that /.ers would like it - saying "Linux requires the rock-solid guarantee of a trusted company like Microsoft" or "Apache cannot be trusted for mission-critical enterprise platforms" is guaranteed to get you denials explaining exactly why you're wrong, in excruciating detail.

    • Helpful hints

      With their tech-savvy (or law-savvy or whatever) experience, the expert is obviously the best person to point out what's wrong with things or to give out useful "factual" information. In fact this probably works best with lawyer trolls - for all that /.ers protest "IANAL", they certainly seem to think they could be, and any mistakes you make will send them rushing to prove themselves by correcting you.

    Offtopic Trolls

    Not really a "troll" in the strict Jargon File sense of the word, but they certainly should be included here :) This category includes parodies, offtopic weirdness any all kinds of amusing stuff. Not really my area of expertise, this stuff is mainly done by gnarphlager and opensourceman. Thanks to gnarphlager for this section.

    Offtopic trolls, like any other, come in almost as many colours as an iMac, but generally not as cute. But then again, a good offtopic "troll" can affect more people than a repulsive little gumdrop on your desk, because you need to have someone SEE your desk before they can react. Simple? Moreso than even my overblown prose could indicate. Some basic examples:

    1. The serial troll

      Write a story. Keep expanding it. It doesn't matter what article you post it under, so long as it's high up. If you want people to recognize you, pick a couple themes or symbols, and carry them on throughout the story. Other alternatives include back linking or including the entire story, but adding more each time. Be funny if you want. Or if you don't feel like being funny, just be really weird. Someone will react.

    2. The random troll

      This has nothing to do with anything. Be it a stream of consciousness rant, or a description of the corner of your desk. Another favorite is a monologue, read as if spoken from any one given entity to another. The more outlandish, the better (a pair of socks talking to a mousepad, for example). If you really wanted to be artsy, work in an actual metaphor or legitimate meaning behind it, but it's not necessary.

    3. The vaguely related troll

      Start out with a comment about the article. Have a definite opinion of it. Then, after a little while, disintegrate into randomness. All roads eventually can eventually lead to cheese (yum), Natalie Portman, cannibalism, toasters, squirrels, futons, you name it. All it takes is a little bit of creativity. Oh, and feel free to use other trolls' motifs. Open source and all that ;-)

    General tips:

    • If it's funny for a fleeting moment, then it's worth posting.
    • Puns. Puns are only less vile than mimes, but it's hard to mime on /. So feel free/obligated to litter your offtopic and random bits with puns. Hurt the bastards. And if they're sick enough to laugh at them, then they'll eventually end up here ;-)
    • Obscure cultural references and injokes are always good. SOMEONE will get them eventually.
    • Several drafts of a serial or random post are common, but true elegance is being able to come up with something on the spot that still makes the top 40 posts (on a post-heavy article)

Section 3 - Useful trolling links

The following links contain background information useful for trolls needing quick quotes and "expert" opinions to include.

  1. General purpose links
  2. Religious links
  3. Political/economy links
  4. Crackpot science links [mailto] Copyright © 2000 James Skinner

Motivation for adding voice nav. (1)

Joel Ironstone (161342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983777)

I guess there was really no reason not to add voice nav to the system. The DSP arhcitecture they use for decoding is also pretty ideal for voice recognition apps. It's just a matter of adding some software they probably alreayd own and want to test.
I figure this gives them a cheap opportunity to test their voice rec. system where it won't cause too many problems if it doesn't work (You can still play MP3's) adn none will be too pissed.

The Slashdot Drinking Game (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983808)

LotCaf: The Slashdot Drinking Game The Slashdot Drinking Game

Brought to you courtesy of the clearly-a-sarky-observation-piece dept and can't-be-arsed-to-copy-the-colour-scheme-or-layout dept.

faux instructions

  1. Surround yourself with a handful of Slashdot-aware friends.
  2. Surround yourself with a variety of alcoholic beverages.
  3. Familiarise yourself with things to slur when sufficiently intoxicated. These may include - but are not limited to: "Whaaaassssup!" and "I regret to inform you, ossifer, that my alcohol may contain trace amounts of blood".
  4. Gather friends around a large monitor.
  5. Familiarise yourself with the observations set out below, and decide among yourself which drinks to down, and when.
  6. Load a web-browser, and visit Slashdot [] . Open up an article on practically any subject; display preferences set to 'flat, threshold 1, oldest first'.
  7. Scroll down the page, slow enough so that even the booziest of observers has enough time to read and comprehend each post. As per the pre-arranged rules, consume a beverage of your choice.
  8. CMP state,#bladdered : BNE stage_7

real instructions
  1. Read the observations listed below.
  2. Depending on whether you agree with them or not, either nod sagely and concur, "True, true" or scowl angrily and accuse the author of smoking crack.

the actual observations

Drink a quantity of alcoholic substance and/or nod solemnly whenever...

  • A poor analogy is constructed, embellished and never refuted, especially when it relates to the politics of MP3s, the feasibility of designing accessible websites, the ramifications of gun laws or the relative advantages/disadvantages of Intellectual Property.
  • A large number [] of words [] in an article [] are unnecessarily hyperlinked [] , thus causing the hapless (yet curious [] ) reader to place the mouse [news] pointer over each and every one, in [] the [] hope [] that at least one of them might [] be in any way [] interesting [] .
  • Someone says "Ummmm... you did read the article, didn't you?"
    • ...but they probably didn't read it themselves.
  • An informative article is moderated as 'insightful', or vice versa.
  • Someone claims that their post consists solely of the cold harsh facts of truth, while the opponent has to resort to name-calling, FUD or other such beastly tactics [] .
  • The pre-emptive plea: "I'll probably get moderated down for saying this..." which of course gets moderated up.
    • ...they were posting anonymously to "protect their karma".
  • The 'Slashdot mentality' is described and 'rebelled' against, to the author's karmic advantage.
    • ...they are effectively moderated up simply for voicing an opinion which is (or claims to be...) 'radically different'
    • ...plausible examples of the 'groupthink conformity' are mentioned (e.g. pro-Linux, pro-Open Source, anti-Microsoft, anti-spam, pro-Libertarian, anti-censorship, pro-Napster etc).
    • ...implausible examples are mentioned ("I'll probably get moderated down for voicing this opinion in what is clearly a predominantly anti-taildocking forum")
    • ...the author talks of 'Slashbots', 'Sheepdot' or other such anti-Slashdot rhetoric ("Open Source, Closed Minds... we are Slashdot")
    • ...a clearly inflammatory post is saved from a rightful (Score: -1, Flamebait) with the cautionary "this isn't a troll, I'm just pointing out the facts" or better still, the unconvincing "this isn't a troll - I don't even know what a troll is."
    • ...the score makes it clear that Slashdot moderators are becoming more sympathetic to pro-Microsoft posts than pro-Linux ones.
  • A poster recognizes a troll and comprehends the futility in replying to such, but does so anyway with the resignation, "I know I'm not supposed to reply to trolls, but..."
  • A poster is accused of being a troll despite being not even remotely inflammatory or controversial.
  • After being berated for posting an insensitive, illogical or offensive post, the author caves in and posts, "*sheesh* it was only a joke! Evidentally you have no sense of humour!"
  • Ignoring the numerous replies to a "It's funny. Laugh" article that clearly demonstrate that the posters have indeed found it to be amusing, someone suggests that everyone is taking it "waaaaay too seriously."
  • Something is criticized as being "cool" or "trendy".
  • A posting ends with the author saying, "eh, whatever", "go figure" or "*shrug*".
  • Someone utilises any of the following terms or phrases: zealot, jihadist, sheeple, hysterical, misguided, whine, apologists, "funny, isn't it, how...".

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983817)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(

Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other []
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

Just say the name of a music .... (1)

Orre (452514) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983830)

Just say the name of a music track into the player's microphone and VoiceNav pulls out a rabit...

Way off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983832)

I know this has nothing to do with anything but i want at least someone to read this.

Anyone watching the basketball all-star game knows what i'm talking about. A Canadian singer, dont know his name, DESTROYED the canadian anthem. Patti Labelle KILLED the Star Spangled Banner. I didnt even recognize either song.

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983838)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(

Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other []
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

Re:Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983868)

ROFLMAO. Good one!

weird claims (1)

gawi (123608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983841)

"In ideal conditions the reviewer was able to twice run through a list of 14 song titles without fail. This included titles with "non-real word" band names like Sum41 and U2."

Don't buy the "it-worked-for-me" argument. Especially with speech-recognition technology. A selective test is not a benchmark.

This speaker-independent technology is based on recognition of phonems. To be able to perform recognition, you first need to translate written entries into sequences of phonems. For example, "Genesis" will become "JH EH1 N AH0 S AH0 S". Usually, this conversion is done by looking up in a phonetic dictionary. When there's a missing entry, a fallback strategy is to perform automatic graphem-to-phonem automatic, i.e. create phonem strings based on lexical structure of a word. This yields poor results for many languages such as english which has unpredictable graphem-to-phonem correspondence. So, either this technology uses a dictionary (within the PC application) or it uses a graphem-to-phonem engine. The problem with dictionary is that it may be HUGE with all the music authors and titles available and it evolves rapidly.

Also, the training is usually done for only one language (sometimes, two). This is called acoustic model training. Each phonem of a given language will be trained in HMMs (Hidden Markov Model). You can only achieve limited results when using words made out of foreign phonemes. "Björk", for instance, will be phonetized "B Y AO1 R K" for english-speaking persons. If you happend to pronounce correctly (i.e. in Icelandic), the engine won't be able to figure it out because the acoustic data is not modeled properly.

I have strong doubts about this gadget because it requires dynamic dictionaries and multi-lingual support. I listen a lot to foreign music. I don't think this toy will work ok for me.

poor product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983851)

1) it's too big.
2) they claim to have not many competitors, that like is a complete pharce. they have plenty. some whose players are smaller and hold more.
3) i see some complaining for ogg vorbis support. um do you not get it, mp3 is here, to stay. regardless of which technology is better think of the names.. "mp3".. "ogg vorbis".. MP3 winds hands down, totally no contest.
4) most people won't even bother with portable mp3 players like this. maybe if it were smaller than a wallet, held over two weeks of music, and retailed for under $100.. then people might start buying these newfangled gadgets. Until then, you're losin money baybay.

needs to use CDs and support ogg (2)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983876)

If this thing ran off CDs and supported ogg vorbis I would buy this in an instant. As it is i'm forced to drool over the spiffy voice recognition and keep waiting...

nice, but.. (1)

bo0push3r (456800) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983896)

Li-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7V/1200mAh) for over 12 hours of playback

you can't really get a gig worth of MP3s out of that..

No No No and No again (2)

Kirkoff (143587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983897)

It's tempting, but I won't go for it. I'm too much of a They Might Be Giants fan. I can see it now, sitting there in a public area with some weird looking device in my hand:
"...NO!" Someone speaks to me "Are you OK?"
"Yeah Yeah," Yeh Yeh starts playing. "Ahh!"
"Sir, are you sure you're alright?" [stopping]
"Yeah, fine." suddenly person A asks person B for a light. "I've got a match."
The thing starts playing agian. Just then a Dirt Bike wizzes by and someone says "Man, that's a fast Dirt Bike." Guess what song starts playing. Then I stop it so I can play "I AM A HUMAN HEAD!" again getting more stares.

Then what if I want to hear Chuck Berry? "MY DINGALING" *SMACK*

No, for me this is nothing but trouble...


Re:No No No and No again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2983982)

LOL. Good one :)

If you don't mind better quality... (2, Informative)

l1nuxhax0r (557971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983916)

you might be interested in the fact that this has already been done []

Re:If you don't mind better quality... (2)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983973)

Granted, I've never used an iPod, but I'd be curious as to how easy it is to upgrade the harddrive in it. With this thing, just pop in a new Microdrive. The most interesting thing about this new one, though, is the voice recognition. Does the iPod have it?

Re:If you don't mind better quality... (1)

Madmanz123 (203006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984054)

Nope the Ipod doesn't. Our original poster was being a dick :)That being said the Ipod is a fine piece of tech and Apple did a nice job.

It's the money, stupid (2, Interesting)

squarooticus (5092) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984023)

The only reason we haven't seen OGG Vorbis support on solid state players is that they would only lose money by doing so, at least for now. This is coming from someone who encodes all of his own CD's as .ogg's.

Alas, I wish there were some incentive for player manufacturers to add the support. There are two ways I can see for this to happen:

(a) Make adding it as trivial as possible. If adding .ogg support required only a few days of extra development time, you'd see it.

(b) Increase the market share that OGG Vorbis has. This one is trickier, mainly because of the slim market that a good, lossy codec serves. What do I mean? Well, audiophiles aren't going to want to listen to any compressed format (though these dinosaurs claim their hissy records are better-sounding than Super Audio CD), and Joe Sixpack isn't going to notice any difference at all between .mp3 and .ogg.

Having done numerous sound quality tests of OGG Vorbis and MP3 on my own equipment, I can say without a doubt that were all things considered equal, OGG would win out. Unfortunately, OGG has had a very late start, and is up against lots of other competitors who are all "good enough" for the average person, so its supporters will have to reduce the barriers to its use before anyone will care.

VoiceNav (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2984081)

It is very impressive when you shout the word "Folder" talking like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and it still works.

Not really. I'd be impressed though it picked up on the guy's name instead of his accent.
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