I’m self-forwarding this recent BBC audio clip of Dr. Stephen Hawkins because I found it interesting. Not so much what he says, although I don’t necessarily disagree with him there either, but listen to his synthesized voice closely. He flubs several important words, and I find that odd since we all know he prepares his responses in advance. I’m left wondering why he didn’t correct those errors. Are we simply hearing some academic arrogance, or is there some limit on what his AAC can do? Of course, changing pronunciation is nothing in Xpress-It, but I’m told Hawkins uses older Dynavox equipment. Hmm, all I know is that my Shell managers would’ve rejected whatever he uses.
Also strange is the tiny electronic beep we hear before Hawkins speaks. What the hell is that?
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of me
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 1:50 PM
Subject: BBC Video/Audio: ‘Humans need another planet’
me saw this on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.
** Message **
** ‘Humans need another planet’ **
Stephen Hawking has said the long-term survival of the human race depends on its ability to find another planet to live on.
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Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 7:18 AM
To: Scott Royall
Subject: RE: Well, it was a long day
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 9:27 AM
Subject: Xpress-It information
When did American businesses decide they could redefine the English language? When did “unlimited use” mean anything less?
Yes, I’m talking about Verizon. Regular readers of my blog know I’ve been a Verizon customer almost forever, and most know I recently added EV-DO. It has been very helpful. However, I received a letter from Verizon today informing me that my EV-DO account would be terminated next Wednesday. The stated reason is that I’ve used too much bandwidth, over 10GB in a month. Verizon accuses me of violating the contract, and downloading movies or streaming video. Think again, rocket brains! You’re dealing with a laptop that’s always up. With that truth, 10GB is nothing for a full month. EV-DO isn’t good enough to stream video.
No, I’m not surprised. Astute observers of the Internet know Verizon has been trying to quietly do this for months. Many other news outlets, like CNet, have already pinned the actual source of the problem down to Verizon failing to understand how popular EV-DO would be, and simply getting overwhelmed by the success. What they’re doing now has already created something of an uproar on the Internet. Verizon recently lost another court battle regarding its wireless operations, and had to offer users rebates. The consensus of the ‘Net now is that Verizon will be back in this same fix regarding EV-DO in a couple of years after it runs out of legal recourse. There is apparently no valid legal justification for the reasons Verizon is giving for terminating selected EV-DO accounts.
I will go by my local Verizon store tomorrow to show the letter and this blog entry to the manager. I don’t expect him or her to give me any satisfaction other than maybe reproducing the same shocked expression the Blue Man Group does so well. Then, I will trundle across the road to Sprint or AT&T. Both offer broadband solutions at lower cost without hidden limits. All Verizon is doing is chasing away loyal customers.