Peter gent’s Blog

Documentary: Epic2015 how google will take over the world

Posted in blog by petegent on February 27, 2009

A pretty interesting doc on googles rise to power and how it will force the conventional sources of media – like the NY times out of business.

Google 2015

quite interesting, and I like the music. It might be way out of date though.

edit: lol – seems like an april fools 🙂

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Becoming more dissaffected with lost *spoilers*

Posted in blog by petegent on February 27, 2009

Like many people I’ve been watching the latest season of lost with great vigor after wondering how the hell they were going to sort out the time-traveling island connundrum or get back to the island.

But after watching last nights episode, courtesy of the pirate bay I’ve suddenly become a bit dissapointed or dissafected all over again.

Until now it seemed like they were really going to answer a lot more questions about the island – what is it, why can it travel through time and they manage to tell a story in a really uber way through flashbacks through time. I really got the sense that it was building towards some “god help us all” climax.

With last nights episode we basically got to see john locke doing his usual man gets humiliated and forced into doing a ritual of rights to appease the island and somehow widmore and ben becoming more “likable characters”.

Honestly I now I just don’t know anymore – series 4 and 5 have been largely better than 2 because they’ve had both distinct baddies and distinct goodies; and a clear sense of the plot building towards some major event.

Suddenly it’s gotten all soapy and fillerish with no new major plotline to catch onto after many of the oceanic 6 have gotten back onto the island.

Oh well, we can only hope it doesn’t choke and go back into the dark ages of series 2 and 3.

new blogging software – dearest sender

Posted in blog by petegent on February 27, 2009

Just updated to a new piece of blogging software – deepest sender.

It seems kind better than the other firefox addon I was using; if only because the sidetray is on the left (del.icio.us side, might I add), rather than at the bottom of the page.

Pretty neat.

Deepest Sender :: Firefox Add-ons

New website concept designs.

Posted in blog by petegent on January 7, 2009

Hey guys!

Just to let you know that I’ve been working on a new set of concept designs for the site (not sure how to implement it!)

Check it out!

1) Two column layout

something_abby.jpg

Fig a) Website categories next to the title

b) Widgets down the left

c) content on the right – user scrolls down to view more widgets etc

2) A different 3 column layout with the title on the left and a list of categories down the center. Content on the right. I quite like this one because it separates everything nicelyinto three distinct areas. The main thing I don’t like so much is the fact that the colours look so ridged next to each other.

something2.jpg

Just who has the best text – speach software out there?

Posted in blog by petegent on December 18, 2008

 

 

So I was stuck behind my rss reader (Newswire on Mac OSx) today, with an unexpected 33+ rss posts being unread, which is a lot for me. But I’m not sure if that is for anyone out there.

I then thought “Aha!” why not just try to use the speech feature built into newswire, which uses OS x’s built in text to speech feature.

First up I tried to convert Stephen fries latest blog post (somewhat of a sacrilege, really?) but, there was just no way that the synthesized voice was ever going to match up to his excellent oration.

Setting my targets a little lower I decided to try and read out a news story from one of my feeds that covers world humanitarian stories from the UN – http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=81779. It faired rather better and was underst-andable but there were plenty of examples of corrupted tones between syllables.

So I then asked myself the obvious question – are there actually any decent text to voice synthesizers available on the web today? I set google and del.icio.us to the task and here’s what I found.

At&T – Reckoned to be the best ‘Apparently’

Cons: really wasn’t that great (as you can hear in this sample). that’s not to say it was understandable, just not better than apples own text to speech syntersizer. Not as good as the acapela synth.

Overall: 2/5

Wizzard

Cons: really bad conversion. It sounds pretty much like stephen hawking after one of his book launches – sample

Overall – 1/5

 

Acapela-group (Most impressive quality) (http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html)

Pro’s: Relatively solid/ good quality for synthesizing the sample block of text. I settled for the english voice (I am that biased)

Cons: No direct linkage to make a quick comparison and it’s only available to buy.

Overall: 4/5

Expressivo.com (http://say.expressivo.com/jennifer/everybody%20wang%20chung%20tonight)

Sample:

http://say.expressivo.com/eric/IRINGA,_2_December_2008_(PlusNews)_-_For_two_months_of_the_year,_James_Lusago_can_count_on_a_steady_income_from_working_in_the_rice_fields_of_Pawaga,_in_the_southwestern_Tanzanian_region_of_Iringa._

Pro’s – Free linkage.

Cons: Relatively poor synthesized version of the sample text.

Overall: 2/5

Iringa:

Pros: None – I didn’t even bother to try it!

Cons: Required to buy it unless you register and no demo given.

Overall: 0/5

TalkrMost surprising!

Pro’s: It allows you to subscribe to rss feeds, converting them into a linkable/downloadable .mp3 files. This is definitely quite an interesting bit of online tech and v cool in that respect.

Cons: you have to register, there’s no synergy between your local rss reader and theirs. This seems like a no-brainer considering everyone’s personal taste of RSS reader and if wordpress etc can offer an export function then why isn’t this the same for most rss readers?. The quality itself is ok, but not great.

Sample: http://www.talkr.com/audio/i/r/i/n/867245.mp3

Overall: 3/5

Spoken

http://www.spokentext.net/register.php?lang=en

Overall: 0/5 – lengthly registration process meant It was just too much for me to get stuck into.

References:

http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html

http://wizzardsoftware.com/products/tools.php#2

http://www.dancewithshadows.com/tech/text-to-speech.asp – original article.

 

My dream: The house that ate people

Posted in blog by petegent on December 1, 2008

So I had a pretty crazy dream last night. Hmm lets see if I can recall any of it.

So there was this house and it was all from the third person with some random people that I don’t even know IRL.

Basically the house started eating people by drawing them one at a time into the ventelation system where there was this day of the triffids esque monster living there.https://i2.wp.com/www.cinemasterpieces.com/triffids6sh.jpg

Anyway somehow or another the inhabitants caught on and they managed to get out of the house but then the house became really annoyed and started to brainwash some of the escapies and thus dividing them into the zombie esque house worshipers and the band that managed to get away and start their own town/house thing.

The house then sent the zombie hords against the peaceful people looking to convert more people. The last thing that I remember was that the mindless zombies were coming after me in the first person.

Weird! I guess that should have been a nightmare but I strangely enjoyed it!

Do I have a serious gaming addicition?

Posted in blog, gaming by petegent on November 27, 2008

After being enthralled in call of duty 4 for a while I’ve been left to wonder if I actually have some kind of real and serious serious game addiction? no seriously ?

I mean, I just never seem to accomplish anything much. I get distracted easilly and I flitter from one thing to the next in the blink of the eye. But I’m not actually sure if it’s just restricted to games. I’m finding that now I’ve moved back home I’m kind of sitting and watching the TV for no apparent reason when I’ve got around 15 books that I should be reading.

I wonder whether my life would have been made richer if I never got involved with games at the early age of six(ish). Maybe I would have been less of a geek and more of a socialite from the start. There are plenty of alternitives out there like rock climbing, parachuting etc that I could (or maybe I feel that I should) be doing.

But, sometimes of course you get a creeping desire to play a certain game because your not sure what else to do and that strikes me as a bit of a habbit. I guess it is what it i.e. pure innocent fun but are there not a lot more productive things that I could accomplish – paint a picture, read a book. Organize my life.

I fear that in hindsight gaming has been a source of escapism for me and I kinda wish I could banish it fully.

I feel in a state of conflict between rejection and embrace of this geek yin and yang. Maybe I could just banish gaming entirely from my life or embrace it further – but where has that lead me really ?

Hmm. Back to COD4

Are you sitting comfortably?

Posted in blog by petegent on November 17, 2008

Howdy. Are you sitting comfortably?

Ok, good. Time for a quick update:

Work

So i’ve found a potential job. But it’s working at essex police as an ‘IT installation technician’ Kinda below my stature but I could use the money and I can always leave the job at any time.

Still it’s a slight break from the disheartening thoughts of how the hell I could do anything other than games testing FOR THE REST OF TIME!

Life:

The chilling continues and I’ve now been doing a combination of tai chi (natures anti-depression meds) and drumming lessons. Hopefully before long I’ll be abe to invent my own hybrid art of beating people up and then drumming them.

Drum chi; Perhaps?

Something of an epiphany happned today when I realized that I’m doing drum and tai chi lesons but I’m not doing such a good job of integrating them into my life. Why is it that I’m doing a lesson to learn something when I wouldn’t necessarilly do it outside of that particular time slot?

is it necessary for us to only do things at specific times or should we actively search for things to change our lives?

I guess it boils down to my general apathy with life. As depressing as that may be.

Well. Until the next update, folks.

Pete – AYSC?

Bank holiday blues

Posted in blog by petegent on October 3, 2008

Huzzah it’s a bank holiday! you might think…

Actually bank holidays in Germany are well… shite. Even less stuff is going on (or seems to be) than

on Sundays, which is the other form of punitive existence in Germany. At least in England I can go to a fricking Tesco 24/7 and get milk, doughnuts and other critical munchies at 2:03 in the morning.

 

I guess in that respect Germany is actually very backward and very much like what England was around 10 to 15 years ago before a new dawning age in shopping and
 lifestyle appeared.

On the other hand perhaps people here in Germany are just not as big suckers for buying things to make ourselves feel better a bout our stupidly pointless ant lives.

It’s certainly true to say that I think they have a much more liberal society than England does. You can pretty much do anything here as long as you’ve a got a grip on the language, which I guess is the crux of the problem for me.

They also don’t have the omni-present surveillance society that’s slowly being setup in England. More cameras than anywhere else in the world, Eco town gulags, the Mi5 reading through every email or word you put on the Internet. Even ISP’s are now being forced into sending file sharers intimidating letters .

On a completely different note from governmental overwatch I’ve started jogging at lunchtimes now and doing pressups + situps daily to improve my strength and stamina. I’ve been following the excellent hundredpressups.com program but I’ve really gotten stuck around week 4. It just seems like whatever I do I just can’t quite do 20 pressups and perhaps it’s time I invest in some weights etc to work out my upper body strength a bit more. I’ve already got my eye on getting a gripmaster to strengthen my forearms for kung fu and guitar, which is probably gonna be the subject of a whole different blog post ☺.

I’m also looking for some tips on how to find a good running shoe or a shop to fit proper running shoes to my feet.  These days it seems like every shop these days is flooded with crappy Adidas or other flimsy running shoes made for self proclaimed sported people than actual runners.

Anyway I’m just short of starving to death now so I’m gonna go out to get some grub.

– Pete