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Text to Speech: Your Own Language Slave

Fri, Jan 23, 2009

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TTS or Text To Speech is the process of converting any written text to spoken speech by way of a computer.   In the past the quality of these text to speech tools was pretty bad.  It would sound like robots were talking to you instead of humans.  However, a lot of progress has been made in the last few years.  To give you an idea, I’ve compiled this text to speech video comparison.  Some of you may be familiar with the text I used for this comparison.

If you are wondering why I didn’t include the whole Braveheart “Freedom” speech from the movie it’s because some of the tested tools have word or character limits so I couldn’t fit all the text in.  Either way, it’s pretty fun to see how far the technology has come along.  In the video this is what was demonstrated: (more…)

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5000 Years of Chinese Sex

Wed, Jan 21, 2009

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china-sex-museum

When I think of places to visit in China I first think of the typical things that people think about visiting in China–the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Soldiers, and of course the Sichuan Panda Reserve (to visit those ever adorable pandas).  Imagine my surprise when I discovered the China Sex Museum in Tongli, China.

I don’t really associate China with sex so a China Sex Museum sounds strange to me.  After thinking about it a little longer it starts to make sense.  The country has over 5000 years of history and over 1.4 billion people.  There probably has been some sex going on.

SEX MUSEUMThe China Sex Museum was first opened in Shanghai in 1997 and championed by a retired sociologist from Shanghai University, Dr. Liu Dailin.  When the museum first opened in Shanghai Liu thought it would be a raging success.  However, he lacked official government support which didn’t help to promote the museum (via thingsasian):

First government officials would not allow him the use of the word sex on his billboard, making the museum all but impossible for tourists to find on crowded Nanjing Road. The authorities claimed they were upholding national regulations forbidding the advertisement of sex artifacts

Ultimately, the museum had to move to a new home and relocated to it’s current location of the small town Tongli in Jiangsu Province just west of Shanghai.  I’m sure all this information you are finding fascinating, but you may be wondering, exactly what kind of sexual artifacts are in this museum?  Good question! (more…)

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