My favorite scene in Star Trek IV is when Scotty tries to use the computer in the 1980s. When he's told he must use the mouse, he responds, "how quaint", and then proceeds to try speaking into the mouse for the computer to respond. With the advent of Siri on iOS and voice recognition on Android, it's beginning to feel like the voice interface portrayed in Star Trek isn't too far away.
But it's not here just yet.
I set up my Nexus 7 tablet with the most recent tools from Google (technically, they're not yet available for the Nexus 7, but I'm a nerd, so I was able to find a way). I set my now always-responsive tablet on the window ledge in my office, just out of reach but in easy earshot. I went through the entire day, trying to use the tablet as often as possible without touching it. I discovered a few things:
Google is really good at giving certain types of feedback. If I asked about the time in London, the current weather or the stock price of a popular stock, I'd get a visual response along with a voice telling me the answer.
Outside that small list of things Google is really good at answering, it doesn't do anything more than give search results on the tablet. I was hoping for something like, "would you like me to read you the most popular search result?" But alas, it didn't even audibly tell me it heard my question.
Sending texts and e-mail messages is possible, but frustrating and scary. If you've ever tried to use voice calling with a Bluetooth headset, you've probably had the awkward experience of your phone accidentally trying to call an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend instead of calling the plumber. If you're lucky, you can stop it before it rings on their end, but thanks to caller ID, you're likely in for a very uncomfortable followup call. I found Google's voice-based messaging more cautious than my Bluetooth headset, but still potentially bad. This is especially true because the tablet was across the room, making it hard to dive and press cancel.
So, although we may not be to the point where we can ask Jarvis to order us a pizza while we're flying around in an Ironman suit, we're definitely taking a step in the right direction. The advent of Google Glass will make verbal commands more and more common. Even if you hate Google Glass, you can rejoice in the voice interface improvements it doubtlessly will cause.
Is voice interface more than a novelty for you? Do you successfully send messages to people on a regular basis by dictating only to your smart device? Did you think Star Trek IV was awesome too? I'd love to get feedback on your thoughts concerning voice interfaces, Google Glass and the future of interfaces in general. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I, for one, look forward to my first cranial implant. (I'd like to wait for version 1.1 though—nobody wants a buggy brain implant!)
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide