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]
Opening a Folder from the Dock
Sick of the dock on Mac OS X Leopard not being able to open folders with a simple click, like sanity demands and like it used to be in Tiger? You can, of course click it, and then click again on Open in Finder, but that's twice as many clicks as it used to be. (And while you're at it, Control-click the folder, and choose both Display as Folder and View Content as List from the contextual menu. Once you have the content displaying as a list, there's an Open command right there, but that requires Control-clicking and choosing a menu item.) The closest you can get to opening a docked folder with a single click is Command-click, which opens its enclosing folder. However, if you instead put a file from the docked folder in the Dock, and Command-click that file, you'll see the folder you want. Of course, if you forget to press Command when clicking, you'll open the file, which may be even more annoying.
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