Remember the game that made weird robotic noises as it taught you how to spell? Turns out it was not just a toy after all. Learn more about Speak & Spell’s impact on speech recognition in our fifth tech fact installment:
Tech Fact #5: In 1978, Texas Instruments came out with Speak & Spell, an educational toy that was the first commercial product to use Digital Signal Processing. Speak & Spell marked the first time that “the human vocal tract [was] electronically duplicated on a single chip of silicon,” says TI.
The only time I’ve ever seen this thingy was in the movie “E.T.”
"When I was young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you’re a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin’ down MasterCard. But there’s no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I’m mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that."
"We have stumbled on the defining ambiguity of human emotional life: we are always caught between authenticity and fakery, always floating in the grey area between involuntary outburst and expedient pretence."
Sasha Frere-Jones explores “Weird Al” Yankovic’s enduring appeal: http://nyr.kr/1o7cvqS
“With his parodic versions of hit songs, this somehow ageless fifty-four-year-old has become popular not because he is immensely clever—though he can be—but because he embodies how many people feel when confronted with pop music: slightly too old and slightly too square. That feeling never goes away, and neither has Al, who has sold more than twelve million albums since 1979.”
Illustration by by Mr. Bingo.
Good job, Mr. Bingo.