Voice recognition – we’re not quite there yet

Voice recognition is only ever going to get better (check out CMU Sphinx if you want to play with speech rec. for yourself), but at the moment… um, it’s not quite up to scratch:

Okay, so he’s putting in on a bit for the lulz, and if he’d just said “where’s the nearest pub?” he’d probably get a useful answer – but that’s half the battle with speech recognition. At the moment we have to adapt our speech to the software, but in the future I don’t think we’ll have to at all.

At least for the time being, as Penny Arcade put it, it’s all going to be a bit like this:

Penny Arcade Kinect Integration - Jan-2012

Best keep your deer-combs handy.

iTunes + Zone Alarm do not mix

Crapple - Upside-Down Apple LogoJust noting this for future reference, but I finally got iTunes working properly on a Windows PC that would at random:
– transfer some songs to iPod Touch devices successfully,
– transfer some other songs, then crash, then the device reports no music on it, or
– corrupt the device so badly it needed fresh firmware restored.

And the the culprit turned out to be…. Zone Alarm. No kidding. Turn off Zone Alarm and everything worked instantly.

iTunes is still a god-awful PoS though, but at least it’ll now transfer music and apps. If you’re getting “app could not be installed because it is not signed” issues with iTunes, and you’re installing legit apps, chances are that turning off Zone Alarm will fix it right up. Amazing.