Saturday, August 30, 2003

Audio books

Some of the project Gutenburg collection is finding its way into MP3 via voice synthesis. Great idea. Given a choice you would listen to a real human reading this stuff but in the abence of such a thing, computer generated speech is better than nothing at all.
Having said that, it occurs to me that there is a lot of literary stuff encoded in SGML/XML especially as a result of the Text Encoding Initiative(TEI).
I wonder has anyone looked into using the XML markup to generate better synthesized voice?

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Web Services are not distributed objects

I disagree with some of Werner Vogel's article but agree wholeheartedly with his central idea which is that web services are *not* about distributed objects.

Monday, August 25, 2003

A simple route to location based services

So, the Irish Government is overhauling the speed limit signs. Every town/village in the country has at least one speed limit sign. So, while changing it for the new system, allocate each one a unique four character code.
Then, tie the location of the road sign to the code on the web and you have a very simple, very cheap way to deploy location based services e.g. where am I, where is the nearest hospital to me, how far is it to Sligo town, whatever. All these could easily be provided with SMS for example.
A quick calculation: use base 36 arithmetic ... 1.7 million unique 4 character codes using the letters A..Z and numbers 0..9. More than enough. Indeed, businesses might like to get a code and use it to help people find them - both geographically and also on the web. Just get people to jot down the 4 letter code and then they can use that to find your website etc.
Why not?