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Reading Your Voicemail, with Callwave

I've mentioned before how much I like Callwave.  Well, time to increase that "likeability" measurement again!  Callwave has introduced a "visual text" system they call "vtxt" which automatically translates the spoken word to the written word.  And the kicker is, it actually works.

I recently was persuaded by Callwave to try their voicemail system in lieu of the iPhone's stock "visual voicemail" system.  I have to say, I can't believe I waited this long to do it.  By swapping Callwave in, I can now get a text message and email with the message someone leaves typed into the message!  Meaning, I can read my voicemail.  How good is it?  I decided to call myself and leave myself the following message, which Callwave then converted into text:

"(Vtxt) Hi, this is Daniel Odio. I am leaving this as a message on my voicemail, which might sound a little strange to you because you're probably reading this on my blog, but that's the beauty of CallWave's voice transcription service, which is an automated transcription service that they have created. CallWave service allows for speech to be transcribed into text, which is then sent to the user as a text message or as an email or both, and so you can read your voicemail, which is a very strange concept to most people. So, let me just repeat how it works. You can actually read your voicemail by - whenever somebody leaves a message on your voicemail, it then gets transcribed by callwave.com into text and that text is then sent to you via text message on your phone or to your email or both. It's a pretty neat service, and I found that the accuracy is generally very good. We'll see how it is once this gets transcribed into text. But generally, I find it to be very good. Let me go ahead and just give my number so that you can see how a number transcribed. It's 202-250-3846. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy this text message that I get into my blog and post it as a blog posting, which also raises a lot of other possibilities about posting audio, you know, in text form and not having to actually write everything out. So, enjoy it and check the tool out. I'm very impressed."

I've mentioned before how much I like Callwave.  Well, time to increase that "likeability" measurement again!  Callwave has introduced a "visual text" system they call "vtxt" which automatically translates the spoken word to the written word.  And the kicker is, it actually works. I recently was persuaded by Callwave to try their voicemail system in lieu of the iPhone's stock "visual voicemail" system.  I have to say, I can't believe I waited this long to do it.  By swapping Callwave in, I can now get a text message and email with the message someone leaves typed into the message!  Meaning, I can read my voicemail.  How good is it?  I decided to call myself and leave myself the following message, which Callwave then converted into text: "(Vtxt) Hi, this is Daniel Odio. I am leaving this as a message on my voicemail, which might sound a little strange to you because you're probably reading this on my blog, but that's the beauty of CallWave's voice transcription service, which is an automated transcription service that they have created. CallWave service allows for speech to be transcribed into text, which is then sent to the user as a text message or as an email or both, and so you can read your voicemail, which is a very strange concept to most people. So, let me just repeat how it works. You can actually read your voicemail by - whenever somebody leaves a message on your voicemail, it then gets transcribed by callwave.com into text and that text is then sent to you via text message on your phone or to your email or both. It's a pretty neat service, and I found that the accuracy is generally very good. We'll see how it is once this gets transcribed into text. But generally, I find it to be very good. Let me go ahead and just give my number so that you can see how a number transcribed. It's 202-250-3846. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy this text message that I get into my blog and post it as a blog posting, which also raises a lot of other possibilities about posting audio, you know, in text form and not having to actually write everything out. So, enjoy it and check the tool out. I'm very impressed."

Guide to WordPress Comment SPAM

On Zach Browne

As your WordPress blog gets noticed and generates traffic, it becomes a natural target for spammers. If you’re noticing posts on your site that you don’t expect, or see users in the Dashboard that you didn’t create, you have other security problems. Most likely, your blog posts will accrue a variety of spam comments as a side effect of being popular.

You can recognize spam by a list of links within the comment or content-free comments saying that the poster enjoying your writing, with an attached URL or source address that invites you to a less-than reputable destination. In either case, the goal of comment spam is to generate more web content that points back to the spammer’s site, taking advantage of the page popularity ranking algorithms used by Google and others that give weight to incoming links. The best way to deal with spam is to simply get rid of it, denying spammers the opportunity to use your site to boost their own visibility.

There are three basic approaches to dealing with the problem: make it impossible for anyone to leave comments, increase the difficulty of a spammer sneaking a comment onto your site, and enable auto-detection of common spam patterns. Obviously, disabling comments (through the Dashboard) is a bit harsh, and defeats the goals of establishing conversation with your readers. On the other hand, if you decide to take this drastic step, remember that changing the settings for posts on the control panel only affects future posts; anything already on your blog will still have comments enabled unless you go through the Dashboard and turn them off individually. If you don’t mind an even greater bit of brute-force effort, you can remove the wp-comments.php file from the WordPress core, which somewhat unceremoniously puts an end to the ability to comment on your posts.

One approach to comment spam is to slow down the spammers; however, the simple approach slows down valid commenters as well. You can require commenters to register as site users before being allowed to post comments, as we discuss later in this chapter, but that has the downside of preventing passing-by users from adding their thoughts. It also requires that you stay on top of the user registration, as you may see seemingly valid users that are created purely for the purpose of posting spam to your blog.

Moderation is another tool in the slow-but-don’t-stop vein; you can hold all comments for moderation or require all commenters to have a previously approved comment. In effect, you’re putting the burden of spam detection on yourself, looking at each comment as it appears and deciding whether to post it to your blog or flush it. Again, an innocuous looking comment may be the approval stepping stone for an avalanche of spam later on from the same user. As with many security mechanisms, the bad guys are continually getting smarter and more automated, and testing the edge protection and response of the systems they want to infiltrate.

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