We're pleased to welcome as our latest long-term sponsor, MacSpeech, the only company providing speech recognition software for the Macintosh since IBM exited the field in 2003. IBM's withdrawal also left the Windows world with a clear leader: Dragon NaturallySpeaking. By 2006, New York Times columnist David Pogue, who had long used dictation software to avoid unnecessary typing, found Dragon NaturallySpeaking to be extremely accurate even when speaking at full speed, and more accurate than MacSpeech's product at the time, iListen 1.7. Seeing that it wasn't productive to continue developing its own speech recognition engine, MacSpeech licensed Dragon NaturallySpeaking's underlying dictation technology from Nuance, and built it into a new product, MacSpeech Dictate, released in February 2008. Demand has been high, stretching MacSpeech's ability to keep up, but after some busy months, the company recently shipped MacSpeech Dictate 1.2. The new version adds the capability to spell out unusual words or acronyms, phrase training that enables users to fix incorrectly recognized words right away, and a Move command for verbal editing.
It's great to see MacSpeech supporting the Macintosh community through a TidBITS sponsorship, and with it, MacSpeech joins a number of other companies that have started sponsoring TidBITS again after a hiatus. Most recently, Circus Ponies rejoined our sponsor ranks after shipping NoteBook 3.0, a significant update to their powerful note-taking software. Microsoft's MacBU also restarted their sponsorship not long ago, in part to help us drive the development of the TipBITS feature of our Web site (more on TipBITS soon, but check out the upper right side of our Web site for helpful tips about Macs and Mac software). And of course, we're especially grateful to our longest-running sponsors: Fetch Softworks (Fetch), Bare Bones Software (BBEdit, Yojimbo, and Mailsmith), Mark/Space (The Missing Sync, SyncTogether), VMware (VMware Fusion), and CS Odessa (ConceptDraw). It may be relatively easy to put up a blog these days, but a serious Internet publication requires non-trivial hardware, software, staff salaries, development costs, travel, and other expenses. Put bluntly, without the support of our sponsors and direct contributions from our readers, we wouldn't be able to keep publishing TidBITS. Thank you, all!