I had dinner with Mr. Jalopy
a couple of nights ago and he mentioned an e-mail I'd sent to him earlier in the week, in which I described how much I like my recently-purchased Dragon Dictate 2.0 speech-to-text application.
He told me, "In your e-mail you said that you hoped that you didn't sound too chatty. You didn't sound too chatty, but you sounded like you were crazy."
I understand what he meant. It's a lot easier for me to talk than it is to type, because I am a pathetically clumsy typist. But typing forces me to slow down and organize my thoughts, instead of running off at the mouth. However, I am so pleased with DragonDictate's accuracy, and how it saves wear and tear on my hands and wrists, that I am sold on it and never want to go back to typing.
The application costs $154 on Amazon, which may seem steep, but it comes with a nice USB headset. It takes only about five minutes to train the application to learn how you speak.The last time I tried using a speech-to-text application, the training took much longer and the accuracy was terrible. Also, this was many years ago, and computers were much slower so it took forever for the words to appear on the screen after I said them. I swore off speech-to-text programs, until I heard Alex Lindsay on MacBreak weekly talk about how much he loved Dragon Dictate. I decided to give it a try myself.
It's magical seeing my words appear on the screen almost as fast as I utter them. I think I would probably be too embarrassed to use DragonDictate in an environment where other people could hear me talking to my computer. I work alone in a home office, so it works for me.
Dragon Dictate 2.0
Since 2015, our family has been in love with Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and Her Unicorn books, a kind of modern take on Calvin and Hobbes, only Calvin is an awesome little girl, Hobbes is a unicorn, and the parental figures can see and interact with the unicorn, but are not freaked out because she generates a SHIELD OF BORINGNESS. Now, the insanely prolific Simpson has released the fourth collection in the series: Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure.
It’s been more than 20 years since the publication of Making Book, Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s collection of essays, mostly drawn from the pre-online days of fanzines and letters columns; this year, in honor of Teresa’s stint as Fan Guest of Honor at Midamericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, NESFA Press has published a second volume: Making Conversation, a collection of essays drawn from the online world on subjects as varied as moderation and trolling, cooking, hamster-rearing, fanfic, narcolepsy, the engineering marvels of the IBM Selectric, and more.
Review Meta has published an in-depth analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews and found that “incentivized reviews,” those with a disclaimer that the reviewer got the product free or discounted, skew substantially higher than non-incentivized reviews.
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