Washington Apple Pi Journal, reprint information
Early in the life of the Macintosh computer family the people at Apple began including a microphone with most Macintoshes. Children in schools loved the ones included with the LC line. Small circular disks on long cords made great items to swing and dangle in the never-ending search for things to use to drive teachers crazy. Few software programs included software for recording speech and music so most of the microphones ended up in boxes of tangled cables.
The later addition of the triangle shaped PlainTalk did little more than give home and school users another piece of computer junk to add to their mounting piles of cables, dead mice and soiled mouse pads. Although microphones were great for recording system sounds and adding voice to multimedia projects, daily use of the computer microphone was very limited. A few people began using voice recognition to control their computers. A few more began using the microphones for computer based telephones. However, the general public saw little use for their microphones and most were lost.
In recent months speech recognition got a big boost on the Macintosh platform with the release of IBM's ViaVoice software. People now had a reason to talk to their computers, and the computers even began to respond by turning the users voice into written text.
The microphones shipping with ViaVoice required an audio-in port on the computer, and the new iBooks are lacking the port. Speech recognition users became tied to their computer by a headset and cord. Some users complain of headaches from the pressure of the head bands on headsets and others disliked having to use the computer's processor to convert the analog signal of the their microphone to the digital one required by the program.
Then USB microphones entered the picture. Imagine a microphone that could sit on your desk. Imagine one that could sort out your voice from the myriad of other noises present in a home school or work environment. Imagine one that captured your voice digitally to speed voice recognition.
The Telex Super-Directional USB Digital Microphone was developed to fill those needs. The microphone is housed at the end of a tube approximately one foot long. At the far end is a c-shaped hinge attached to an oval stand that is about six inches long. Made of high-grade plastic, the user...
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone\\\'s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a \\\"roving bug,\\\" and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping himthe eavesdropping technique \\\"functioned whether the phone was powered on or off.\\\" Some handsets can\\\'t be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set