Do you know why computer voices are mostly female

infoneer-pulse:

One answer may lie in biology. Scientific studies have shown that people generally find women’s voices more pleasing than men’s.

“It’s much easier to find a female voice that everyone likes than a male voice that everyone likes,” said Stanford University Professor Clifford Nass, author of “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships.” “It’s a well-established phenomenon that the human brain is developed to like female voices.”

Research suggests this preference starts as early as the womb, Nass said. He cites a study in which fetuses were found to react to the sound of their mother’s voice but not to other female voices. The fetuses showed no distinct reaction to their father’s voice, however.

Another answer lies in history. According to some sources, the use of female voices in navigation devices dates back to World War II, when women’s voices were employed in airplane cockpits because they stood out among the male pilots. And telephone operators have traditionally been female, making people accustomed to getting assistance from a disembodied woman’s voice.

When automakers were first installing automated voice prompts in cars (“your door is ajar”) decades ago, their consumer research found that people overwhelmingly preferred female voices to male ones, said Tim Bajarin, a Silicon Valley analyst and president of Creative Strategies Inc.

This may explain why in almost all GPS navigation systems on the market, the default voice is female. One notable exception has been Germany, where BMW was forced to recall a female-voiced navigation system on its 5 Series cars in the late 1990s after being flooded with calls from German men saying they refused to take directions from a woman.

“Cultural stereotypes run deep,” said Nass, who details the BMW episode in his book.

» via CNN

The ChallengePost Blog: Building a new era of TV apps

challengepostblog:

Are you a software developer? Love working with leading technology? Super into convergence? If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out freethetvchallenge.com.

Samsung is offering $225,000 in cash and prizes for the most innovative converged apps that enable an interactive…

// Chrome now syncs your extensions, apps and has added profiles//

bitshare:

This is a funny story, well mostly for me but i’ll share. I use Chrome daily and for the most part have switched over all my activities to Chrome, although I still enjoy using Firefox from time to time and am a bit forced to use IE to cross-check coding and to see what other users see, since IE is still used globally.

Read More

(Source: bitshare)

Data Jujitsu and Data Karate

nosql:

David F. Carr in an article about DJ Patil and his work on Big Data at LinkedIn:

That is what he means by data jujitsu, where jujitsu is the art of using an opponent’s leverage and momentum against him. In data jujitsu, you try to use the scope of the problem to create the solution—without investing disproportionate resources at the early experimental stage. That’s as opposed to data karate, which would be a direct frontal assault to hack your way through the problem.

Original title and link: Data Jujitsu and Data Karate (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)

Tenenbaum Demands Rehearing of $675,000 RIAA File-Sharing Case

infoneer-pulse:

After more than five years the long-running and controversial file-sharing case of Joel Tenenbaum against the RIAA continues with his legal team filing a petition for a rehearing en banc. Tenenbaum argues that the jury instruction which led to a staggering $675,000 fine was both erroneous and prejudicial.

» via TorrentFreak

// Nokia’s prototype flex-phone may revolutionize mobile devices//

bitshare:

Nokia appears to be the first company to come up with a working prototype of a smart mobile phone that you can bend and flex to perform actions like zoom, scroll or take a picture. I have seen this concept before with the paper thin concept phone or more of a graphical design with the Galaxy Android.

Read More

(Source: bitshare)

// 7 of the The World’s Most Powerful People are in Technology//

bitshare:

Forbes just published the world’s most powerful list of people. There are 70 people on the list from politicians to religious leaders to drug dealers. Some of the names you might recognize already from the Top 40 under 40. To come up with the list, Forbes has four measurements: how many people does this person oversee, financial resources, influence and power.

Read More

(Source: bitshare)

infoneer-pulse:

World Languages Mapped by Twitter

Twitter is a linguist’s dream come true: it compiles millions of messages in hundreds of languages daily, making the question “Who speaks what languages where?” easy to answer. That is the question taken up by self-described “map geek” Eric Fischer. He has created a map of the world’s languages used on Twitter by pulling together data collected by Google Chrome. “What a joy these maps are to behold,” writes Big Think’s Frank Jacobs writes. “It’s as if someone took one of those composite satellite maps — you know, impossibly showing the whole world at night, the darkness broken by hubs and strings of artificial light … and gave it the power of speech.”

» via The Atlantic

infoneer-pulse:

World Languages Mapped by Twitter

Twitter is a linguist’s dream come true: it compiles millions of messages in hundreds of languages daily, making the question “Who speaks what languages where?” easy to answer. That is the question taken up by self-described “map geek” Eric Fischer. He has created a map of the world’s languages used on Twitter by pulling together data collected by Google Chrome. “What a joy these maps are to behold,” writes Big Think’s Frank Jacobs writes. “It’s as if someone took one of those composite satellite maps — you know, impossibly showing the whole world at night, the darkness broken by hubs and strings of artificial light … and gave it the power of speech.”

» via The Atlantic

It’s not obvious exactly what to do here.

HP’s new CEO Meg Whitman talking to employees about the future of webOS today.

In April of 2010, when HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion, I spoke with Brian Humphries, HP’s SVP of Strategy. His quote:

“Our intent is to double down on webOS.”

That was just a year and a half ago. I’m getting whiplash watching HP these days.

(via parislemon)

(via parislemon)

The book is great technology, but it’s not good for everything

infoneer-pulse:

Printed books may have been groundbreaking technology 500 years ago, and they still have plenty of value as an information-distribution platform — but they are no longer good for every purpose, Matt MacInnis of digital textbook publisher Inkling told attendees at the GigaOM RoadMap conference in San Francisco on Thursday. When it comes to learning and exchanging information about a topic, MacInnis said, multimedia platforms like the tablet are a better solution. And as books increasingly go digital, traditional bookstores will have to emphasize the social aspects of books and reading if they want to survive.

» via GigaOM

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