Sunday, August 26, 2012

A brief summary of why Apple sued Samsung

Here's a very, very brief summary of why Apple sued Samsung for $2.8b and not others, and probably why Apple easily convinced the jury that the case is theirs (but only for $1b, not $2.8b):

Thursday, August 2, 2012

#lightbulbmoment How to make sure you don't get trapped in your own filter bubble

In a recent post, I wrote links to websites and a video describing how using Google might trap you into a filter bubble of your own, and how an alternative search engine could help you avoid that.

After discussion with a friend though, a light bulb went up.

What if someone creates a program that could artificially and regularly post arbitrary queries to Google? That way, Google becomes confused as to what filters exactly they will use when they send you search results. Of course, that would eat up some resources on your computer, but I think it's not going to be so much and it could be worth it.

To all developers out there, any takers? Or any thoughts?

[Mac / OS X Tips] Let your computer read text for you. For free.

What do these names have in common? Karen, Lee, Sangeeta, Moira, Fiona, Tessa, Daniel, Emily, Serena, Agnes, Jill, Kathy, Princess, Samantha, Vicki, Victoria, Alex, Bruce, Fred, Junior, Ralph, Tom, Albert, Maged, Ting-Ting, Sin-Ji, Zuzana, Ida, Ellen, Claire, Xander, Mikko, Julie, Sebastien, Thomas, Virginie, Anna, Steffi, Yannick, Alexandros, Eszter, Damayanti, Paolo, Silva, Kyoko, Narae, Yuna, Stine, Agata, Raquel, Joana, Simona, Milena, Laura, Javier, Paulina, Diego, Monica, Alva, Oskar, Narisa, and Aylin.

They're all the different (normal) voices available for you to use in OS X on your Mac, starting from OS X Lion. For previous versions of Mac OS or OS X, there are a lot fewer options to choose from. But basically they have support for 22 different languages including more than one different variants of English, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese. There are also a few funny "novelty" voices for American English.

So yeah, this has been a feature of the Mac since it was introduced in 1984. Siri's voice is actually the same as Samantha's voice.

Check out how to enable speech recognition on your Mac on this TUAW article. If you plan to install all the voices though, it will take up close to 20Gb of space on your system, so better choose only the ones that you could really use.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012