Is it faster to read or to listen?


A reel-to-reel tape recorder.

Fourteen years ago, I blogged about the future of voice. In the post, I asked these two questions - which I'd nicked from someone else: Are you faster at speaking or typing? Are you faster at reading or listening? Lots of us now use Siri, Alexa, Bixby, and the like because it is quicker to…

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Alexa Standard English


A reel-to-reel tape recorder.

"Alexa… timer for fifteen minutes." The problem with the English language is that it is full of homophones, or semi-homophones. 15 and 50 sound basically the same. Humans have a hard time distinguishing them. So there's no wonder that voice assistants also have difficulty. Recently, I've noticed that my wife and I have adopted a…

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My solution to spam calls


The Amazon Polly config screen.

Like most of you, I'm inundated with spam calls. So I have a new solution. When an unknown number calls me, they get routed to this audio file. This was created with Amazon Polly which is free for casual use. I was pretty impressed with the voice quality. Although there are limits to how well…

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Adding SIP calls to Android - for free!


Config setting screen.

SIP is a stupid acronym. It's basically a standard way of making phone calls over the Internet. This means you can make and receive phone calls over WiFi. Here's how I got it working - for free - on Android. By the end of this tutorial you will be able to: Receive calls to a…

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Protecting Against Credit Card Scams


I recently read about an innovative telephone call scam. A scammer rings the mark and asks for her credit card details. If the mark refuses, the scammer tells her to hang up the phone, then dial 999 and ask for "Sergeant Scammer of the Fraud Squad". The mark does so, and is connected to what…

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The Future of Voice


I went along to the Social Media Cafe's talk on The Future of Voice. It was a wide ranging discussion on how we use our own voices in different situations and how we use our product's voice. A couple of questions for you to ponder. There are no right or wrong answers and no prizes,…

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