#tech

Ann Syrdal, Who Helped Give Computers a Female Voice

Highlight

A decade later, she was part of a team at another AT&T lab, in Florham Park, N.J., that developed a system called Natural Voices. It became a standard-bearer for speech synthesis, featuring what Dr. Syrdal and others called “the first truly high quality female synthetic voice.” In 2008, she was named a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in recognition of her contributions to the rise of female speech synthesis, which is now a part of everyday life, thanks to Siri and Alexa.

Pay discrimination at Pinterest

Highlight

Ozoma asked her manager to address her level, but she says she was initially told that her current compensation package was the best the company could do. After months of trying to get her level changed, Ozoma finally hired a lawyer, who began to argue that she should have been hired at a level six, two rungs above the level four at which she was being paid. Once her lawyer got involved and began advocating for additional compensation, stock options, and back pay, Ozoma was told she didn’t have enough years of experience—a criteria that does not appear on the level chart, which Fast Company has confirmed.

Getting off of Netlify

Post

I wanted to quickly follow up to my recent post about personal infrastructure with some updates I made this week. Why the change I got a warning last week that I was almost at the limit for my allocation of “build minutes” on Netlify. Upon investigation, I found that my personal website had been building too often and for too long on Netlify, and that soon they would start charging me for the overages.

How this site works

Post

Note: There’s a follow up to this because I’ve since made more changes to the infrastructure of the site. Read more. I’ve been slowly moving over to self-hosting more services and trying to balance that with personal convenience. This post is a quick summary of the current setup I have running to do the following: Develop and run my personal website Cross-post certain types of content from my website to Twitter Periodically scrape a couple of proprietary services I use, to keep track of the media I’m consuming Store and serve that data along with some other personal data in an API Regularly update my personal website with the latest in my media consumption Personal website My website is built on Hugo, a static suite builder written in Go.

Computer Files Are Going Extinct

Highlight

Perhaps this is the archivist in me, but this process of creating files and flinging them into an unsorted pot and then searching or hoping that the newest one is the one we want gives me the collywobbles. It seems like a rejection of our past work, to just sling all the files into a heap, immediately devaluing them as soon as something newer comes along. — Computer Files Are Going Extinct, Simon Pitt in OneZero

Digital Tools I Wish Existed

Highlight

Part of the problem here is metadata is hard. Someone has to sit there and fill out the author, title, subtitle, summary, page count - and they’re probably not going to do it for free. Amazon is a good at it but is hostile to publishers. Goodreads has much potential but seems to have stagnated. Linking to the book’s Wikipedia entry would be my preference but very few books have an entry.

Tech Sabbath

Post

This excerpt from 24/6 by Tiffany Shlain makes the case for setting aside a day to go tech free: ditching phones and laptops and screens for the day. It’s come along just at the right time for me, as I’m generally shrinking away from tech outside of my work life more and more. I like the way the article describes what you might need a tech-free day: a basic watch, a pen, and a little notebook containing some emergency phone numbers.

Confessions Of A News Addict

Post

Hello. My name is Jack… [Group: Hello, Jack] …and I’m a news addict. In the earliest seconds of my waking day, as my brain begins to comprehend the external world and puts away the psychedelic nonsense of my dreams, I reach for the news. Around 9.30 every morning, or earlier if I’m awoken by whatever song I’ve decided to try and numb the pain of a 9am seminar with, I unplug my phone and open up the news.

Tinkering

Post

I spend a lot of my time picking apart how things work, and a lot of time sticking things together to see if they work in the way that I hope. That’s tinkering. I’ve been thinking about how I first started working this way. I remember when I was a kid, I spent long days in my dad’s office. His office was actually a garage, a separate building from the house, across the back yard.