Quick Roundup 239

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Parentheses and Immigrants and Feynman, Oh My!

Reader Adrian Hester introduced me yesterday to a very good comic web site through a series of strips pertaining to things I've blogged here at one point or another. Best of all, author Randall Munroe permits you to embed images of his work!

Without further ado, here are three of them, with the best saved for last.

On parentheses:


And yes, I'm pretty sure my college roommate was playing around with Lisp.

The following is an amusing commentary on one aspect of the immigration debate:


And finally, we have one of the funniest pieces of geeky humor I've seen in quite awhile:


I've added a link to this site, XKCD, under the "Humor" heading on my links page.

Another Telecomm Innovation

Soon after I blogged Google GrandCentral, reader Dismuke emailed me about another good idea brought to you by the Pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. I'll quote from his email:
It lets you speak into your cell phone, transcribes it into text and and sends it in the form of a note to yourself or to other people or even a group of people.

After you sign up, all you have to do is call their toll free number from YOUR cell phone. It will recognize who you are and ask who you wish to send your note to. Simply say "myself" or "me" and it will beep and let you record a message. It will then transcribe the message into text and email it to you. Or you can listen to the audio of your message from your account on their web page. Or you can, if you prefer, receive the note as a text message.

There are LOTS of occasions when really good ideas occur to me or I need to make a reminder to myself and I am nowhere near computer or paper. Or I might be somewhere and need to write down a phone number and am unable to find something to write it on. This will be GREAT for this. And I can even see how it would be good for sending messages to other people if one is away from a computer and does not wish to either phone them or leave a voice message. It basically lets you send an email to them by speaking into a cell phone.
It's called "Jott" and I would ordinarily say that this is an idea whose time has come -- except that this one even seems a bit ahead of the times to me. I won't claim to have been keeping up with this kind of technology, but transcribing voice messages strikes me as just a little bit on the nontrivial side.

In any event, it's nice to see that this technology is far enough along to become useful and that this company is going to try to continue providing the service free of charge to its customers.

Human Collages

Be sure to stop by Spark a Synapse (which has a snappy new look) and take a gander at the WW I-era photographs of collages of various American symbols created by thousands of military personnel at a time standing in formation for the photographer.

-- CAV

4 comments:

coreyo said...

Somewhat similar technology to the service you mentioned. I'm currently on the beta for www.spinvox.com . If you hate calling up voice mail to listen to your voice mail, this service is great. It converts your voice mail to text messages and sends them to you. It keeps the voice mail copy as a back up in case it converts the message poorly. I love this service. I can get voice mails in class and check them to see if they are an emergency without interrupting the class.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's a good one for me, as I have a few relatives -- and they know who they are :-) -- who deliver soliloquies come "message time" rather than getting to the point.

And then, of course, this saves the need to go back and listen again to such things as phone numbers.

Sid said...

xkcd is quite brilliant, eh? I think I've laughed the most at the centrifugal force comic.

Be sure to read the alt text (hover the mouse over the image), as that usually contains a related joke too. While there shouldn't be any problem on IE, for some reason, Firefox cuts off the alt text after a point, so right click and access the properties to read the whole text. It's usually worth it. :)

Gus Van Horn said...

Heh! That's a good one!

And no, I hadn't noticed the alt text gags!