May 2009 Archives

dictate.jpg
I just received my new copy of MacSpeech Dictate, version 1.5. I have to say that I'm impressed. Although I was not happy about the $50 upgrade fee, the accuracy of the speech recognition is much improved. You can guess of course, that I am typing this using the speech recognition software. So far there have been no errors in recognition.

Yes, this is how it should have been from the very beginning. Now, you can spell out names using the international radio alphabet (foxtrot alpha!). However, I found that this doesn't work perfectly, for example I have to type f-o-x-t-r-o-t a-l-p-h-a because I could not get MacSpeech to recognize when I wanted letters and when I wanted words.

Also, training new words,isn't as easy as Dragon Naturally Speaking. You can't just say "correct that." You have to train new words individually in a separate panel. Also because there is no "correct that" command, it can be frustrating when the speech recognition does actually make a mistake.

The overall verdict so far after my short time testing it is that the basic speech recognition is improved greatly. The ability to add the words is fantastic, although he should have been in the original release. However the inability to correct words on the fly is a huge impediment and limits the ultimate usability of this program.

Overall, I'm glad to see some improvement being made in it, and I hope that they continue to work on further. Perhaps one more release and it will be at the level where Dragon Naturally Speaking was five years ago.

One of my colleagues asked for a recommendation for a digital video camera for the field. I recommended against getting a Mini-DV or HV camcorder and instead going all digital with a flash (SDHC) based camcorder:
canon-hf10-1.jpg


These days, instead of using tape, I recommend going all digital. That way, you can simply dump the video files to your PC and don't have to bother digitizing them. You will need a large hard drive, but a 500 gigabyte pocket hard drive is cheap and fits in your laptop bag easily.


I recommend these models:

  • Canon Vixia HF-10 or HF-100 (this is the one I use)
  • Sanyo Xacti (small, handheld, the microphone isn't as good on this, but size is excellent)

Be sure to get a large SD card -- at least 4 gigabytes. Eight or 16 gigabytes is preferable.

Karen

Do you think this was good advice? Please post any suggestions or comments (or questions)!


NYT_Lens_blog.jpg

The New York Times has a new photojournalism blog titled Lens:

The New York Times introduces Lens, a photojournalism blog that intends to present some of the most interesting visual and multimedia reporting: in photographs, videos, audio slide shows and any other medium that fits -- our format.

I imagine others have remarked about the web's effect on photography, but this seems to be another example of a shift in emphases as a result of the web and really lives up to the promise of hypermedia.

The article titled "On Assignment: A Photo Op, More Like a Photo Hop," which features a video of a photographer's experience of the Oval Office, is an especially good example of the worlds that the Internet in general and this blog in particular can allow us to enter.

My friend George sent me this amazing link to a youtube video. It's a Pantene commercial from Thailand featuring a deaf violinist.

One of the best ads that I've ever seen. And their signing isn't that bad either!

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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