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US Intelligence Unit Launches $50k Speech Recognition Competition

ClickOnThis Re:(pinky to mouth) (62 comments)

Nice one. You beat me to it.

2 days ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

ClickOnThis Re:Just one's mouth can make some powerful music (51 comments)

When I later learned about spread spectrum multiplexing, that's when I understood your brain is doing the equivalent of orthgonal frequency division multiplexing (which is the technology used for LTE).

I think that's taking it a bit too far. OFDM allows your cell phone to filter out all but one channel, so that all you hear is that channel. Whereas, when I listen to Haydn's Trumpet Concerto, I can't help but hear the orchestra too, even though I can recognize the individual instruments.

The name comes from frequency modulation synthesis - you modulate the magnitudes of the different frequencies (overtones) to alter what instrument the sound sounds like.

Actually, that sounds like additive synthesis. FM synthesis entails the frequency-modulation of a single note with a rich upper-harmonic content (e.g., a sawtooth wave.)

4 days ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

ClickOnThis Re:Pretty Lady Complex (51 comments)

I'll second the amazingly talented part. (The pretty part is obvious.)

Hearing her sing reminded me of the first time I heard of overtone singing. It was in Stimmung, a piece by German avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen for 6 vocalists.

You're right that overtone singing has been around for a long time.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Security Patch For Windows

ClickOnThis FTFY (176 comments)

Yet another reason to move forward to Linux.

4 days ago
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Boeing Readies For First Ever Conjoined Satellite Launch

ClickOnThis Re:Great (67 comments)

Half as many launches means half as many chances to blow up.

And twice the loss if it does.

about a week ago
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How To Mathematically Predict Lightning Strikes

ClickOnThis Yes random, but not uniformly (41 comments)

Lightning can have an increased probability of striking in certain locations, such as your example of ore deposits (due to increased ground conductivity) or tall pointy conductors such as antennas, spires or wet trees (due to stronger electric fields near the points.) However, the occurrence of lightning strikes in a given area of land is still random, just not uniformly so.

Lightning can still strike at a location that does not seem like a candidate for strikes, if the conditions for a discharge are favorable at that location at a given moment. For example, you could be in an open field at a safe distance away from your ore deposits, with your finger pointed upwards, and you might be a better path to ground for the lightning strike than anything else around.

Also, just because something is random does not mean it isn't physics. Physics deals with random processes all the time. There are entire subcategories of physics devoted to them.

about a week ago
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Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

ClickOnThis Re:Big deal... (132 comments)

Okay. So, you started by insinuating that MSNBC is a joke, and now you claim that CNN is a joke?

Actually, I think you have it backwards. Fox News is the joke. They discovered long ago that the truth doesn't sell ads.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

ClickOnThis Re:Big deal... (132 comments)

Actually, for several demographics, viewing times and shows, they're doing better than CNN.

However, the Fox News numbers are absolutely obscene. *shudder*

about two weeks ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

ClickOnThis Re: A man walks into a bar... (161 comments)

How about:

A boson walks into a bar and says "Bud Light for everyone!" And all the fermions leave.

Okay, that's all. I'll leave it alone now.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

ClickOnThis Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

if you truly study relativity, and i mean read Einstein's essays and not just the summary on wikipedia...you realize the linear view of time is just the way our electro-chemical computers (brains) process information. but in relativity, an atomic clock up in an airplane experiences time an a slightly different rate than you on the ground. since it is further from the earth.

This has nothing to do with whether the clocks are electro-chemical or atomic. It has to do with reference frames.

Two clocks in the same reference frame will experience the same proper time, no matter what they're made of.

Two clocks in different reference frames will not experience the same proper time. The frames can be different due to relative motion or due to different local strengths of a gravitational field.

about two weeks ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

ClickOnThis Re:Overreach... (251 comments)

mostly Congress, bu[t] in practical terms lobbyists have a lot of influence on the precise wording that makes it into the law

FTFY

about two weeks ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

ClickOnThis Re: A man walks into a bar... (161 comments)

No, I meant fermions.

I thought of adding something like: "The bartender says to the second fermion, 'We don't serve your kind here!'", but it seems to have more punch the way it is.

about two weeks ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

ClickOnThis Re:A man walks into a bar... (161 comments)

Two fermions walk into a bar. One says "I'll have a beer." The other says "I'll have what he's having."

about two weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

ClickOnThis Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

Who is to say whether [the boldface] tags will survive. And what's the point, anyway? Why not just quote the text and use your own words to express your view?

This is Slashdot, not a peer-reviewed journal. I used "FTFY" and boldface inserts for rhetorical emphasis, but I made it clear that I'm friendly to the OP's original points. If the bold-tags don't survive duplication, then that's the fault of future citers.

Here's to the thing finally being over.

Ah, wishful thinking. Will it ever be over?

Peace. ;-)

about three weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

ClickOnThis Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

So there are no counters, no safeguards of any kind?

Of course there are, but they're far more easily defeated if they're electronic than if they're paper.

when you compare the ideal (non-realistic) paper with the worst electronic systems, you'll find paper win every time. The ideal of each leaves electronic in the lead.

Bullshit. The worst paper system always wins over the best electronic system for one simple reason: macroscopic evidence of voter intent.

But nobody will ever take me up on that challenge, and will only presume the worst possible electronic systems.

That makes me think that all the people that hate electronic hate it for other reasons, but don't want to reveal them.

You think too much of yourself. Nobody can be bothered arguing with you. Except for some of us on this thread who are trying to perform a public service by refuting your e-voting fanboyisms.

about three weeks ago
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Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

ClickOnThis Re:Who wrote that birdcall? DMCA that chirp! (80 comments)

Thanks very much for that. Obviously I was confusing the two.

After reading your post, I vaguely recall hearing long ago that there was a difference between well-temperament and equal-temperament. But that's no excuse for my confusion now.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Giving a voice to ALS patients

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 9 months ago

ClickOnThis (137803) 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?"
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Programmer Outsources His Own Job to China

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 2 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "A USA-based programmer with Verizon oursourced his own job to a third-party contractor in Shenyang, China. He got away with the ruse for months until Verizon became suspicious of the traffic on his home-office VPN, and noticed that his in-office activities were perfunctory. From the article: "[T]he employee — identified only as “Bob” — used his 9-to-5 hours to peruse Reddit, watch cat videos, update his Facebook profile and shop on eBay." He paid the contractor $50,000 of his six-figure salary annually, and pocketed the difference. What is particularly irksome is that many blog posts on the Verizon website are praising him for his "business savvy.""
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Laser Technology May Reduce Military Friendly-Fire

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN has a story on the use of laser-based identification technologies to reduce friendly-fire incidents. From the article: 'The DCID-TALON works when its user spots a target in his or her scope. The shooter aims the device, which sends an encoded message by laser beam. If the target is friendly, the message will reflect off of the target’s retroreflectors (they are the size of a postage stamp and can be embedded in the soldier’s helmet and uniform; each soldier would be outfitted with multiple retroreflectors), and the device will display the word "friend."'"
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Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "BusinessWeek.com has an article on a speech given by Dr. Ari Jaaksi, VP of Nokia, at the Handset World conference. He claimed open-source software developers need to be "educated" on how the mobile industry works, particularly on the "business rules" that they need to obey, which include embracing "DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models." From the article: "Why do we need closed vehicles? We do," he said. "Some of these things harm the industry but they're here [as things stand]. These are touchy, emotional issues but this dialogue is very much needed. As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too." There is also some discussion about Maemo, the Linux OS that runs on Nokia's N800-series tablets, as well as Nokia's recent acquisition of Trolltech (makers of the Qt widget kit) and possible consequences for the mobile application market."
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" [rev

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "[a few corrections and additions...]

Candidates I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Kevin Mitnick
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "People I'd like to see on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"

OJ Simpson
Jenna Jameson
Richard Stallman
Alberto Gonzales
Uwe Boll
Hello Kitty Robo
The "Duke Nukem Forever" development team
A Beowulf cluster of Cowboy Neals"
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FCC opens door for US media consolidation

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "The Guardian has a story about Tuesday's 3-2 vote by the FCC in the USA to relax significantly the media ownership rules set in 1975. These rules were put in place to prevent a single individual or company from controlling too many sources of information in a city. Critics are understandably concerned with the effects of such consolidation on minority businesses and the public interest, not to mention the suppression of dissenting viewpoints. Of particular concern is the Commission's decision to have a short 30-day period for public comment, instead of the usual 90 days. From the article: '"The agency has treated the public like children allowed to visit the cockpit on an airliner," Democratic commissioner Michael Copps said, "not allowed to fly the plane but allowed a brief false moment to believe they are".' Curiously, the story has had no discernable coverage in the US media. One wonders why..."
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OpenOffice 2.3 released

ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that OpenOffice.org has announced the release of version 2.3. From the website: "Available for download now, OpenOffice.org 2.3 incorporates an extensive array of new features and enhancements to all its core components, and protects users from newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It is a major release and all users should download it. Plus: It is only with 2.3 that users can make full use of our growing extensions library." You can download it but be kind and use a P2P client instead, such as bittorrent."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 8 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that the space shuttle Discovery will be launched on December 6, in part to avoid concerns about operating the shuttle through midnight on New Year's Eve. From the article: The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. "We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another," said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. "We're not really sure how they're going to operate." The article goes on to explain that the decision was simply one of prudence, because the shuttle hasn't been certified to fly in that time period."
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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ClickOnThis (137803) writes "CNN reports that Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara have announced the development of a hybrid silicon laser that could lead to dramatic improvements in the speed and cost of computer systems and data networks. From the article: "The development makes it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, addressing one of the major hurdles in advancing the use of so-called "silicon photonics" in computers and data centers". The press release on the Intel website has additional details."

Journals

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ClickOnThis ClickOnThis writes  |  about 8 years ago

Electronic voting machines have been an incendiary topic on Slashdot for a very long time, and for good reason. Software errors, cheesy hardware, political patronage to put them in place, strong-arm tactics by the manufacturers to cover up flaws, not to mention the impossibility of verifying results...there's not much to like. And it seems that any technically-minded person is (rightly) well aware of the vulnerabilities of e-voting, and is unequivocally in favor of a paper trail to verify voter intent.

Obviously I come to bury e-voting, not to praise it. But there is something that continues to trouble me as very strange: the consistent reports of unreliability in the software that runs these machines. How can it be that difficult to write software that simply counts votes? It seems like a straightforward exercise in software engineering. Yet the problems with voting machines appear to be far out of proportion to their inherent technical simplicity.

Only for the sake of argument, let's ask: are the programmers that write this software blissfully incompetent, brazenly reckless or have they embraced a covenant that is unwholsomely against the mainstream of democracy? I can't accept any of the above as true. So, what's going on? Are these machines (or the process that manufactures them) "broken by design", and if so, why?

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