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Google Releases Chrome 25 With Voice Recognition Support 93

Posted by timothy
from the say-what-you-mean dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google on Thursday released Chrome version 25 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. While Chrome 24 was largely a stability release, Chrome 25 is all about features, including voice recognition support via the newly added Web Speech API and the blocking of silent extension installation. You can update to the latest release now using the browser's built-in silent updater, or download it directly from google.com/chrome." But if you're more interested in the growing raft of Google-branded hardware than running Google OSes, some good news (via Liliputing) about the newly released Pixel: Bill Richardson of Google posted on Thursday that the Pixel can boot Linux Mint, and explained how users can follow his example, by taking advantage of new support for a user-provided bootloader.
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Google Releases Chrome 25 With Voice Recognition Support

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  • Clever! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Friday February 22, 2013 @11:32PM (#42987327)

    I see what you did there, this is social engineering. Who is going to shout at their monitor "Natalie Portman grits petrified porn"?

    Fappist: "Natalie Portman grits petrified porn"
                Chrome: "Madly norman sits petrified corn"
                Fappist: "NATALIE PORTMAN GRITS PETRIFIED PORN"
                Chrome: "Actually foreman knits electrified morn"
                FAPPIST: "GRRRRR! NATALIE PORTMAN GRITS PETRIFIED PORN!!!!"
               

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Locally? Or on their servers?

      Next time you go and search, will you start getting ads for sports illustrated's swimsuit edition and Quaker?

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:19AM (#42987497) Journal

        The proposed API itself is agnostic, it just provides a way for a page to ask for mic access and a 'plz speech-to-text-this-audio' mechanism.

        Google's implementation, unshockingly enough, phones right back home to the mothership for speech recognition services. I would assume that(if this proposal makes it out of the cradle) implementations will vary: Google will phone home, Apple will 'siri' home, Microsoft might be awfully tempted to phone home on consumer SKUs, but not on enterprise ones; copies of Dragon NaturallySpeaking will probably include a browser plugin that brings your existing recognition training over to web text-to-speech, etc.

  • One of these days, I'll have a supported version of Chrome which can address more than 4GB of memory in my !Linux boxen...

    • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:02AM (#42987429)

      Aside from being '64 bit clean', why would you care about RAM?

      Doesn't each Chrome tab run in a separate process, i.e. say each tab addresses 2GB, if you're have 8 tabs open you're maxing out your 16GB workstation??

      Running a 32bit browser on a 64bit OS can be a blessing - Running Chrome on Windows means I don't have to disable (for security reasons) the 64bit Java Plugin the JDK installs.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Doesn't each Chrome tab run in a separate process, i.e. say each tab addresses 2GB, if you're have 8 tabs open you're maxing out your 16GB workstation??

        Yes, each tab runs in a seperate process. Hell I can't even max out what I have with 8GB on my home machine, or my work machine sitting beside me with 32GB. It simply dumps the tab that's not being used to the pagefile, and with the pagefile on a SSD if I switch to it, I can't notice that there's even a difference in access time.

        Though 64bit binaries would be nice, though we won't see that happening until OS's start to abandon 32bit like they did 8bit and 16bit.

      • by joelleo (900926)

        It boils down to a "64 bit clean" system. I'd prefer nothing die due to artificially limited resources -memory, in this case - being exhausted.

        • by Teckla (630646)

          It boils down to a "64 bit clean" system. I'd prefer nothing die due to artificially limited resources -memory, in this case - being exhausted.

          That would require a single Chrome tab using more than 2 gigabytes of memory.

          That's not going to happen and not worth worrying about.

      • Google is the only one still on 32-bit. I'm going to put that down to laziness. This is the company after all that relied on wine on Linux for some of their software. For such a bunch of intelligent people they're lazy and half assed a lot of the times, imo.
        • I thought the default builds for Firefox were still 32 bit?

          • (On windows)

            • by dririan (1131339)
              You are correct, Firefox is 32-bit on Windows. I believe Chrome may be more suitable for 64-bit on Windows than Firefox, as well (but I could be wrong here). Because of Chrome's multi-process model, compatibility with 32-bit plugins should be fairly trivial. The process running the plugin can be 32-bit (for plugins that are 32-bit only, such as Flash IIRC), but the rest of the browser's processes can be 64-bit. I know that Firefox does run plugins in a separate process (open Firefox, go to a site that uses
          • For Windows but that's the other thing. It's not so much that everyone else doesn't want to move on. It's that Microsoft is yet again very accommodating to people who want to stick in the past and Google seems to be just worrying about the lowest common denominator in the Microsoft world and the rest of us don't exist apparently. I'm sure some of it has to do with supporting XP too but if a company like Firefox or Opera can do a 32 and 64 bit release then one of the biggest companies in the world shouldn't
        • The difference between a Rolls Royce and a Volkswagen Beetle is in the 10% that costs 90% of the price/time. One of the reasons Apple did so well with its products is that it at least went for 5% at not to much extra. The "it just works" praise Apple often gets means a REALLY boring job for someone who doesn't get to build anything exciting and new but just has to fix small trivial bugs that only occur during a blue moon but are the difference between something working and NOT working.

          Consider this: Java.

        • Google is the only one still on 32-bit. I'm going to put that down to laziness. This is the company after all that relied on wine on Linux for some of their software. For such a bunch of intelligent people they're lazy

          Not doing extra work beyond that which is required for the goal you are attempting to achieve is efficient, not lazy (well, it isn't lazy-as-in-indolent, it is lazy-as-in-Haskell.)

      • by cronot (530669)

        I agree with this argument on Windows. On OSX though, 32-bit chrome is a problem incidentally because of Java: on recent updates (past year) the 32-bit Java plugin on OSX was disabled. You can say what you want about Java, its vulnerabilities and shortcomings as a platform, but the fact is that many sites (banks or such) still require it, and that means I have to use Safari for those sites. It's not a big problem, but it's incovenient, and OSX, compared to Windows, has a much higher ratio of software and sy

    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      One of these days, I'll have a supported version of Chrome which can address more than 4GB of memory in my !Linux boxen...

      Well, maybe you could use an open source browser and build it for 64 bit instead of using Chrome.

    • You really don't want 64 bit Chrom(e/ium). All it does is waste more memory. I've seen 64 bit Chromium use over 1 GiB for only 20 tabs. At the moment, any possible performance benefit of the extra registers is offset by the greater cache footprint of a 64 bit build. The future is the x32 ABI. AMD64 only makes sense for things that mmap large files and work with huge amounts of data.
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday February 22, 2013 @11:59PM (#42987421)

    It looks like they're making a marketing mistake: they make it sound as if they added recognition of arbitrary text.

    There are only two things voice recognition is useful for:
    * taking a small number of distinct commands
    * producing nonsense poetry that keeps rhythm and rhyme with input voice

    A small corpus of words can be distinguished between pretty easily -- as long as no two are similar to each other. In a real language, with many thousands of words, even a human has a hard time without understanding the subject matter and filling the gaps from context. In fact, what you hear is mostly gaps -- just try to transcribe a series of random words with any real speed. Or, for another example: in a written text, randomly permute all letters except the first and last in every word -- it will still be pretty understandable if you recognize its sense or not at all if you don't. And recognizing the sense is an AI-hard task.

    • by Albanach (527650) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:08AM (#42987453) Homepage

      There are only two things voice recognition is useful for:
      * taking a small number of distinct commands
      * producing nonsense poetry that keeps rhythm and rhyme with input voice

      That's funny, I used voice control of my Nexus 4 yesterday evening to open the email application, pick the correct contact and then dictate an email along the lines of:

      Hi _name_,

      I've just left work. I'll be home in about ten minutes.

      See you then,

      _my name_

      That certainly seems to be more than a small number of commands. Okay, I'm not going to dictate War and Peace, but it's certainly functional.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Does it understand non-NorthAmericans yet?

        The speech recognition was completely useless on my Android phone unless I delivered a fake US accent.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Fastolfe (1470)

          I'm not sure I understand. Are you talking about the Old World? I think Google has better things to do than get speech recognition working for fictional places and people.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Not sure if you're joking or you actually managed to get some text through, but my experience with Every. Single. Recognition. Program. is same as the Frist Psot on this very article. And it's not just me: when some version of ViaVoice came out with much hype, I and a bunch of friends wasted a good part of a day trying to get a single sentence intact. With no luck -- even getting a single word through was a cause for celebration.

        Things have improved since then but not by much.

        • There are bad voice recognition progs out there. Google's is not one of them. Really, try it out in an phone store some time.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        You sent an email to tell _name_ you will see them in 10 minutes?

        • by dissy (172727)

          You sent an email to tell _name_ you will see them in 10 minutes?

          You never know how late he was already running before sending that email.

          I've dictated similar emails when running late for work due to bad weather. If I'm already 30 minutes late, letting them know I will be there in another 10 minutes is not only polite but could be a stress reliever if someone has been waiting on you for anything important.

          We've had a lot of ice storms and snow these past few weeks, an annoying one just yesterday in fact.
          It started raining ice pellets around 2-3am Friday and by 7am my c

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      I'd heard the original purpose of this was to help people search for things that they had no idea how to spell.

    • Your post is about 5 years outdated. Google 411 when it still existed was remarkably good at acting like "siri" before siri existed. Since then google's voice recognition has become quite good-- it is about 95% accurate on my android phone, and is REALLY useful with google maps ("directions to [place of work]", "gas"), texting on the go ("Text [contact]; im on my way and will be there in 5 minutes period see you soon"), etc.

      You should give it a try rather than speculating, if you really want to comment.

  • How do you pronounce "Goatse" anyhow?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      It's explained in this video [youtube.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's just a Goat, see? I vaguely considered trying this on my tablet which already has the Google voice recognition courtesy of Cyanogen Mod, but I'd rather Google not associate that with me forever.

  • Not to sound like a rant but I've almost had it with their countless bugs with password saving.. I tried every trick on the net short of abandoning it for another browser.. it won't save my passwords anymore, it never updates my existing passwords, and the ones I delete won't ask me to add them anymore.. And googling around I see countless others who have the same problems since 2009.

    No I don't want to use another plugin, I'd prefer to stick to google's own as much as possible and not replicate features.. I

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's with the releases every couple months? What's with the bloat? Why don't they address speed and stability bugs that have been open for two years?

    Oh wait. This is a Chrome thread. Google gets a pass. Never mind.

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      What's with the releases every couple months? What's with the bloat? Why don't they address speed and stability bugs that have been open for two years?

      Oh wait. This is a Chrome thread. Google gets a pass. Never mind.

      They're trying real hard to keep up with the bloat and stability issues of Mozilla? Google Chrome wanted to add features rapidly like Mozilla, and Mozilla envied the rapid release of Chrome. Not sure who's winning that battle. IE10 maybe, but it depends on your definition of 'winning' (no, not the Charlie Sheen drug induced euphoria definition).

    • What's with the releases every couple months?

      Eliminating waste -- costs that have been incurred (e.g., by investing programmer-hours in development) that are not delivering value (e.g., by being incorporated in a shipping product) are a form of waste. Basic application of Lean principles.

      What's with the bloat?

      One user's bloat is lots of other users' value.

      Why don't they address speed and stability bugs that have been open for two years?

      Probably because for those particular issues, the expected value of the

  • Since this morning's update on Ubuntu I can't pull up Gmail. It's pretty darned annoying and now I've gone back to Firefox to wait for the next update to fix whatever is really busted.

  • No? Wake me if it ever does.

  • I'm 31 and I am the current generation of consumerists...I can type faster than I can talk (I am special because I was taught to type when I was 7). I was in high school before computers where common. kids now have been typing as long as they have been writing. I don't see speech recognition as being to terribly important, but it does have its use cases.
    • by oobayly (1056050)

      Yup, a while ago I wondered when Google would bring Google now and search to a PC until I realised what's the point.

      It's something I use all the time on my phone because (even for an English accent) it can be quicker for certain tasks than a soft keyboard. However typing on a proper keyboard will always be faster for me.

  • One of my favourite spontaneous epithets being, "Bite me!"

    I'm sure inventive Slashdotters can devise even more entertaining variations.

  • "Display bookmark sidebar."
  • I have not had the opportunity, but is voice disabled by default and the user can selectively turn it on? I don't mean is the checkbox checked to turn it off ... is it actually off and not phoning home?

  • Google - the front runner of innovation :)
    Btw I think this has something to do with Google Glass - those glasses will be just an aux display for the phone. Phone needs to have good voice recognition integration. To get there in time they are starting with pc browser (10 years too late).

    • That was what my thoughts were... Why does everyone wet themselves like a puppy with a new chew toy when Google and Apple announce "something new and innovative" when it has been on the market by other companies for so long already?!? Weird.....
  • I don't know whether this has been mentioned before, but the big problem with Google's approach is that it won't allow me to define a formal grammar as the "set of things the user might reasonably say". Dictionary recognition, as is employed here and on the Android phones, has the big disadvantage that I would need some kind of natural language understanding on the (already error-prone result) for anything but dictating text.

    It is in essence a projection of voice to an N-Best list of recognition results. No

    • I don't know whether this has been mentioned before, but the big problem with Google's approach is that it won't allow me to define a formal grammar as the "set of things the user might reasonably say".

      AFAICT from reading the API spec and surrounding information is that's not a problem with "Google's approach", its a problem with the fact that the W3C Speech API Community Group couldn't come to a consensus on the grammar format(s) to support in the Web Speech API, so that while the API adopted in the group

  • Let me know when the geniuses over at Google finally figure out how to release a version of Chrome that has a fucking menu bar. Until then, I'll stick to FireFox and Opera.

    LK

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