I want to kill bugs, sir!

     
 

Lets Just Take A Moment...
2001-04-23 05:52:34


Net Flotsam
 
I hate to be a one issue voter, but the first candidate that promises public booze fountains gets my vote.
-- Johnnie Royale

 

.... and think about this. The good folks at Bell Labs have a nice little Text-To-Speech demo page up. Nothing too fancy, just pick a voice, type in some text and click "Synthesis." But wait! What's that little checkbox in the corner? "If you plan to enter text which our system might consider to be obscene, check here to certify that you are old enough to hear the resulting output." Whaaa???

There are so many things wrong with that sentence I don't quite know where to begin. First I was just loving the contorted logic that someone might be old enough to write something that they couldn't hear repeated by a synthesized voice.

But there's just so much more being implied here. Like in the phrase "text which our system might consider to be obscene"-- so, what, they're worried that their server might be offended? Just what does their "system" consider obscene? How old is their system and what are the standards of decency in it's community?

I'm just waiting for the day when the alphabet comes with a disclaimer "If you plan to use these symbols to represent concepts which a culture on planet Earth might consider to be obscene, please sign here....".

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

paco@pigdog.org


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