Continuous Speech Recognition Pipes Up -- Following closely on Dragon Systems' announcement last May of plans to develop a version of NaturallySpeaking for the Macintosh, both IBM and MacSpeech are raising the stakes for continuous speech recognition technologies on the Mac. During Steve Jobs's Macworld keynote, IBM's W.S. "Ozzie" Osborne demonstrated a version of IBM's ViaVoice system for the Mac OS, which both handles continuous speech input from a user and also reads text back using the Mac OS's existing text-to-speech technology. According to IBM, versions of ViaVoice for U.S. and U.K. English should be available by the end of 1999, with support for other languages to follow; no information on pricing or system requirements was released. Not to be outdone, Andrew Taylor's upstart MacSpeech, sporting the development team from Articulate Systems' PowerSecretary, announced an agreement to license continuous speech recognition technology from Philips Speech Processing to create continuous speech recognition products exclusively for the Mac. Although MacSpeech also hasn't released details on product pricing or system requirements, they also claim English-language products should be available by the end of 1999. [GD]
Copy Excel Selection as a Picture
Want to show someone a chunk of an Excel spreadsheet via email or iChat? You could take a screenshot, but if you want to show just a portion of the Excel window and you don't use a utility like Snapz Pro, you can do this right from within Excel 2008. Make a selection, hold down the Shift key, and choose Copy Picture from the Edit menu. You can select whether the selection will be rendered as though it was shown on screen or as though it was printed. Then just switch to your desired destination and paste.