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Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms

From: Eric S. Johansson
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 15:47:15 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100713 Thunderbird/3.1.1

 On 7/26/2010 3:33 PM, Chris Hofstader wrote:

cdh: I've used NaturallySpeaking on Windows and MacSpeech (a DNS based dictation program for Macintosh) on a number of occasions. I admit their recognition quality is pretty good but we can't go in and make them better or add API calls we would like or let some of our scholarly friends try out some new theory that might be a major step forward. With proprietary software, we get what we get.

I agree. But remember, my first goal is to make it better for crips like me. See the following for a very nice API. Works both with Windows and NaturallySpeaking.

cdh: Meanwhile, Nuance is bound by a huge debt burden that came (of course) from acquiring everything from ETI to Dragon to KESI to the Talx guys to SpeechWorks to L&H to some Israeli speech synthesizer to virtually all OCR companies aside from Fine Reader business and lots more. While they have incredible market share in most of their business segments, they are laying off high priced hackers and hiring commission based salespeople and are spamming all of we old customers on at least a weekly basis so they can catch up with their interest payments. A lot of their employees are looking hard for other gigs as they can feel the place going bad and I've even heard rumour that ETI might be spun off into the good old Eloquence only company that made the de facto standard speech synthesizer for screen readers.

This raises an interesting opportunity. If it does come to the point of collapse/sell off etc., one might be able to successfully argue to the bankruptcy court of this product is too valuable to disabled people to lose. That the Court should have the rights to it over to some appropriate organization for management and development. I'm willing to bet that the free software foundation could be either such organization or a supporter of especially for GPLed everything.

The other thought is that maybe, if somebody has contacted IBM speech recognition, maybe they could cut loose the old ViaVoice which is still used in some circles. It's not up-to-date with technology but it should be usable.

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