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(The New York Times)   Ever wonder what happened to Dragon Technologies, the company that had "Siri-like" voice recognition software on the market almost a decade ago? The short answer? Goldman-Sachs fatally screwed them over   (nytimes.com) divider line 212
    More: Sad, Dragon Systems, diplomatic recognition, due diligence, Henry M. Paulson Jr., dot-com bubble, Goldman Sachs, financial advice  
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22289 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jul 2012 at 2:25 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-16 01:07:44 PM
The last time I used any of their software was 1996, but it was pretty clear they were onto something big. It worked tons better than anything else at the time.
 
2012-07-16 01:25:39 PM
Protip, folks: Never do business with Goldman Sachs unless you want to get screwed out of your money. Those guys are professional conmen.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-07-16 01:55:22 PM
Job creators.
 
2012-07-16 01:55:39 PM

Lsherm: The last time I used any of their software was 1996, but it was pretty clear they were onto something big. It worked tons better than anything else at the time.


yup and I remember the L&H indictments back when that happened. LOL
Doesn't EVERYONE know to not trust goldman sachs by now? shoot, hindsight!!
 
2012-07-16 01:59:29 PM

bdub77: Protip, folks: Never do business with Goldman Sachs unless you want to get screwed out of your money. Those guys are professional conmen.


The recent history of goldman sachs is quite interesting. You have to ask why they havent all been shot already.
Between Greece and well pretty much everything.

"In his March 2012 resignation letter, printed as an op-ed in The New York Times, the former head of Goldman Sachs US equity derivatives business in EMEA attacked the company's CEO and president for losing the company's culture, which he described as "the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients' trust for 143 years". Smith said that advising clients "to do what I believe is right for them" was becoming increasingly unpopular. Instead there was a "toxic and destructive" environment in which "the interests of the client continue to be sidelined", senior management described clients as "muppets" and colleagues callously talked about "ripping their clients off""

MUPPETS
LOL
 
2012-07-16 02:06:02 PM
If I didn't think the NSA was reading any post containing the word "bomb" I would say that if what happens to the financial institutions at the end of Fight Club happened to Goldman Sachs, the world would be a better place. But because I do, I won't.
 
2012-07-16 02:10:58 PM

Rincewind53: If I didn't think the NSA was reading any post containing the word "bomb" I would say that if what happens to the financial institutions at the end of Fight Club happened to Goldman Sachs, the world would be a better place. But because I do, I won't.


Well, that's only because you just broke rule number 1: Do NOT talk about Fight Club!
 
2012-07-16 02:22:11 PM
25.media.tumblr.com

/Dragon! To the nuts! No! The bridge mix! The bridge mix!
 
2012-07-16 02:27:05 PM
I think if Dragon can get this in front of a jury, Goldman is going to have to write a VERY big check (okay big for anyone BUT Goldman). The fact that Dragon paid $5 million straight up for Goldman's help, and that got them a trio of unsupervised kids who couldn't be bothered to do:

A) basic due dilligence, not even to the level that Goldman's internal investment folks managed to do on the same company and concluded they were fraudulent (and apparently didn't share with anybody-shouldn;t these guys be legally made to become "mandatory reporters" like teachers and therapists when they have evidence of a financial crime?)

B) Show up at critical meetings relevant to the merger because they were "on vacation"

C) disclosure a serious conflict of interest GS had in handling the merger

Should make a rational person wonder what exactly Goldman DID do to earn their five mil?

Yeah, I could see a $1 billion+ verdict, and that's just special damages, given how people feel about GS these days Punitive ones might not be out of the question
 
2012-07-16 02:29:48 PM

Lsherm: The last time I used any of their software was 1996, but it was pretty clear they were onto something big. It worked tons better than anything else at the time.


I know someone who bought a copy a year ago - works exactly as well as it probably did in 1996.
 
2012-07-16 02:30:27 PM
Who are the commercials with the stay-at-home dad who writes cabana boy porn for then?
 
2012-07-16 02:31:17 PM
s1.static.gotsmile.net
 
2012-07-16 02:32:13 PM
Their software sucked. Still does. If the slowest typist in my office can outperform your software, it's not ready for the market.
 
2012-07-16 02:32:39 PM
Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.
 
2012-07-16 02:35:29 PM
i heart the vampire squid.

/and to think people claim show trials are wrong...
 
2012-07-16 02:36:08 PM

Magorn: I think if Dragon can get this in front of a jury, Goldman is going to have to write a VERY big check (okay big for anyone BUT Goldman). The fact that Dragon paid $5 million straight up for Goldman's help, and that got them a trio of unsupervised kids who couldn't be bothered to do:

A) basic due dilligence, not even to the level that Goldman's internal investment folks managed to do on the same company and concluded they were fraudulent (and apparently didn't share with anybody-shouldn;t these guys be legally made to become "mandatory reporters" like teachers and therapists when they have evidence of a financial crime?)

B) Show up at critical meetings relevant to the merger because they were "on vacation"

C) disclosure a serious conflict of interest GS had in handling the merger

Should make a rational person wonder what exactly Goldman DID do to earn their five mil?

Yeah, I could see a $1 billion+ verdict, and that's just special damages, given how people feel about GS these days Punitive ones might not be out of the question


Punitive damages are capped now.

Hey, so are regular ones.

Hmm...I don't know enough about this, but I don't like what I know from Exxon's crimes...
 
2012-07-16 02:37:47 PM
They're still in business: they advertise on 2nd tier digital cable TV stations all the time.
 
2012-07-16 02:38:37 PM
Wouldn't Goldman's internal investments have been handled by the proprietary trading unit? Aren't they specifically barred, by law, from talking with the rest of the bank?
 
2012-07-16 02:39:05 PM
"Siri like", lol. Dragon was crap. "Oh hey, spend an hour reading War and Peace to train our software, and you'll get an astounding 80% accuracy rate! You'll end up spending 5 hours doing a task you could have done in 30 minutes if you'd just learn to type, but hey, voice!"
 
2012-07-16 02:39:11 PM

MBooda: Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.


RTFA, MBooda. G-S was paid 5 million dollars... You think that was for coat-holding?
 
2012-07-16 02:40:31 PM
... and if so, do you need a coat holder?
 
2012-07-16 02:41:25 PM

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Their software sucked. Still does. If the slowest typist in my office can outperform your software, it's not ready for the market.


Nice to see an expert taking some time from their busy day to weigh in on the discussion.
 
2012-07-16 02:41:30 PM

MBooda: Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.


And that's the point. Dragon basically went out and hired a bodyguard who then stood by and watched them get raped without liftng a finger.

L&H were scammers to be sure, but that's the point. Dragon hired GS because they knew they weren't competent to handle the merger on thier own. They paid them $5 million for their expertise and got: nothing. Due Dilligence is the minimumI would expect to get from my merger adviser, and it wasn;t like GS didn;t do that when they considered investing THEIR money in L&H. A simple round of phone calls would have saved thier client from making a $500 million dollar mistake, as would attending the meeting where L&H proposed making the sale an all-stock deal. A good investment advisor SHOULD have said "no, don't do that, that could be a stupid move"
 
2012-07-16 02:43:15 PM

jayhawk88: You'll end up spending 5 hours doing a task you could have done in 30 minutes if you'd just learn to type, but hey, voice!


Yeah! And what is the deal with all of those handicap people? They should just type with their bootstraps.
 
2012-07-16 02:43:25 PM

Theaetetus: MBooda: Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.

RTFA, MBooda. G-S was paid 5 million dollars... You think that was for coat-holding?


Not even that. According to what I read (YMMV), it was "for advice". 5 million consultation fee for a $580 million deal makes G-S look like they were doing pro bono.
 
2012-07-16 02:43:40 PM

MBooda: Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.


So, yeah, you wanna remind us what the $5 million fee paid for? Oh, right...holding coats.
 
2012-07-16 02:43:47 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Wouldn't Goldman's internal investments have been handled by the proprietary trading unit? Aren't they specifically barred, by law, from talking with the rest of the bank?


the thing is that laws don't apply to wall street banks. iirc genocide is a two year giveback for those directly shown to be involved and a $100K fine. so i'm assuming the penalties for some "illegal" internal discussions are a case of orange fanta per discussion and the forfeiture of the company suite at yankee stadium for next year's games verse the minnesota twins.
 
2012-07-16 02:44:17 PM

TheBigJerk: Magorn: I think if Dragon can get this in front of a jury, Goldman is going to have to write a VERY big check (okay big for anyone BUT Goldman). The fact that Dragon paid $5 million straight up for Goldman's help, and that got them a trio of unsupervised kids who couldn't be bothered to do:

A) basic due dilligence, not even to the level that Goldman's internal investment folks managed to do on the same company and concluded they were fraudulent (and apparently didn't share with anybody-shouldn;t these guys be legally made to become "mandatory reporters" like teachers and therapists when they have evidence of a financial crime?)

B) Show up at critical meetings relevant to the merger because they were "on vacation"

C) disclosure a serious conflict of interest GS had in handling the merger

Should make a rational person wonder what exactly Goldman DID do to earn their five mil?

Yeah, I could see a $1 billion+ verdict, and that's just special damages, given how people feel about GS these days Punitive ones might not be out of the question

Punitive damages are capped now.

Hey, so are regular ones.

Hmm...I don't know enough about this, but I don't like what I know from Exxon's crimes...


Punitives are capped as a "reasonable" multiple of specials. The legit specials in this case could be about $1 billion ($528 million loss on the sale plus interest and attorney's fees to recover it) the Punitives could knock on the door of 3-5 billion without violating the Supreme Court's cap
 
2012-07-16 02:48:25 PM

A Fark Handle: Fish in a Barrel: Wouldn't Goldman's internal investments have been handled by the proprietary trading unit? Aren't they specifically barred, by law, from talking with the rest of the bank?

the thing is that laws don't apply to wall street banks. iirc genocide is a two year giveback for those directly shown to be involved and a $100K fine. so i'm assuming the penalties for some "illegal" internal discussions are a case of orange fanta per discussion and the forfeiture of the company suite at yankee stadium for next year's games verse the minnesota twins.

One

of next year's games vs. the Twins, and it's the game with the bad pitcher.
 
2012-07-16 02:48:41 PM
I got my sister the Dragon software two years ago. She is disabled-has MS really bad and is in a wheelchair now. She can barely type, but since she is a writer, the software allows her the ability to keep writing and do things online. She would be fairly useless without it.
 
2012-07-16 02:49:39 PM
I would not doubt that the entire deal was a set up given how wildly profitable their technology turned out to be. They should investigate Nuance for a Golldman connection.
 
2012-07-16 02:49:52 PM
Does anyone here have info on text to speech software with good non-American accents?
Maybe it was Dragon back in the day, but I recall one that had some amazing natural sounding accents.

/especially female
//mrroooww!
 
2012-07-16 02:50:00 PM

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Their software sucked. Still does. If the slowest typist in my office can outperform your software, it's not ready for the market.


Surprisingly, not every amputee or person with paralysis that Dragon has helped is able to afford a personal secretary.
 
2012-07-16 02:50:42 PM
If you cram a whole bag of doritos into your face and then mumble out the bhagavad gita well then yeah, it's not gonna go so well, but if you enunciate and speak with your mouth open, naturally speaking was pretty good (dictate was "good for its time but still crap"). The training took fifteen minutes or so, which felt pretty long near the end but that's what it takes to give it a good baseline so "Mike" from Dell tech support, Cooter from Cow Arse, NB and Lord Chesterington Haughtingtonhaugh from Oxford can all use the thing equally well.Mousegrid and phonetic alphabet support made it one of my favorite toys.

/switch to command mode
//mousegrid
///eight five four
///click
 
2012-07-16 02:52:13 PM
I used the software for a few years. It saved me a lot of time as I would cruise to multiple sites, dictate a report and then download to my laptop. I would then email it to my office as my employer would not buy or allow the program on the server.
 
2012-07-16 02:52:49 PM

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Their software sucked. Still does. If the slowest typist in my office can outperform your software, it's not ready for the market.


Zizzowop: I got my sister the Dragon software two years ago. She is disabled-has MS really bad and is in a wheelchair now. She can barely type, but since she is a writer, the software allows her the ability to keep writing and do things online. She would be fairly useless without it.

 
2012-07-16 02:53:39 PM
What I'm wondering is who the hell still trusts these people. There's a mountain of evidence that they're lying through their teeth and trying to scam their clients, yet someone keeps putting money into them.
 
2012-07-16 02:53:48 PM

ProfessorOhki: Lsherm: The last time I used any of their software was 1996, but it was pretty clear they were onto something big. It worked tons better than anything else at the time.

I know someone who bought a copy a year ago - works exactly as well as it probably did in 1996.


I have the Dragon dication app on my iPhone. Works great. I assume it's the same company.
 
2012-07-16 02:57:43 PM
I presume there's some Nuance between Dragon Technologies and Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
 
2012-07-16 02:57:52 PM
If defining success to Goldman is "we guided them to a successful transaction" regardless of whether that transaction was based on fraud or whether the parties made or lost money, then they're terrible at their business and you have to wonder what is the basis for charging clients so much when very little work was done, even easy stuff, very little true expert advice was given to the clients (to let them know what advantages and disadvantages there were) and the transaction resulted in catastrophe?

Bottom line - if you want to charge a lot you have to provide a valuable service. Whatever Goldman provided these folks may or may not have been per the terms of the contract - but it was at the end of the day worthless.
 
2012-07-16 02:57:53 PM

Fluid: What I'm wondering is who the hell still trusts these people. There's a mountain of evidence that they're lying through their teeth and trying to scam their clients, yet someone keeps putting money into them.


Money doesn't care. As long as Goldman Sachs continues to turn a profit for their folks, well, they will continue to demonstrate that money has no morals, no ethics, and no memory.
 
2012-07-16 02:57:56 PM
Accuracy often comes down to microphone. If you buy Dragon for PC, buy a good mic: Sennheiser ME3.
 
2012-07-16 02:58:28 PM
I remember Dragon Naturally Speaking as being a great app if you had just one person using it and the time to train it to your voice. It seemed like the sort of thing that, with just a tiny amount of effort by end users, could have led to a complete shift in user interface from keyboards & mice directly to voice controls. I, like pretty much everyone else that tried it, never got around to getting it trained.
 
2012-07-16 03:01:37 PM

Lor M. Ipsum: Yeah! And what is the deal with all of those handicap people? They should just type with their bootstraps.


GOP Typing for the Disabled

freebies.site40.net
 
2012-07-16 03:02:48 PM
It was at this meeting that L.& H. proposed shifting the $580 million deal from half stock and half cash to all stock.

Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

That's the sound of an alarm going off. I'm not even an investing banks guy but I'd watch my cornhole if someone suggested changing the deal like that.
 
2012-07-16 03:04:56 PM
Goldman Sachs! Goldman Sachs! Goldman Sachs!!

/please, deals go bad
//whiny bakers made a bad deal, didn't get accountants to vet the books of the acquiring company, chose the highest bidder instead of a high profile acquirer
///but Goldman has deep pockets, so sue sue sue!
 
2012-07-16 03:05:40 PM

bdub77: Accuracy often comes down to microphone. If you buy Dragon for PC, buy a good mic: Sennheiser ME3.


That's a good point, people make the same mistake with sound quality and speakers too.
 
2012-07-16 03:05:46 PM
Nope.

Because I am not a retard and can type. Heck, I can type faster than I can talk. People who can't type should stay away from computers.

If I liked to talk, I wouldn't be working with computers, I'd be a salesweasel or something instead.
 
2012-07-16 03:08:22 PM

MBooda: Goldman-Sachs Lernout & Hauspie fatally screwed them over

RTFA, subby. G-S was, in this case, holding their coats, nothing more.


Nope, Goldman is just as guilty.

From a previous article, Goldman had private knowledge that Lernout and Hauspie were grossly inflating their sales. Goldman obtained this information when they were considering an investment of Goldman funds into L&H. Based on what Goldman found out, Goldman declined to invest in L&H.

Goldman then pushed Dragon (a client who was paying Goldman for advice) to sell to L&H. Goldman did not tell Dragon they knew L&H was grossly falsifying sales or that Goldman themselves had declined to invest in L&H because of this tremendous amount of falsification.

The only important parts: Goldman KNEW L&H were crooked but pushed their paying client into a deal with them anyway. Because Dragon were paying clients, Goldman is hosed. My guess is that they'll settle for a few hundred million - because if this goes before a jury, they could lose a lot more.
 
2012-07-16 03:09:18 PM
If I was ever in a position where I needed an investment bank, I sure as hell wouldn't go with Goldman. If possible I would try to avoid any of the majors on Wall Street and go with a boutique shop where I get someone experienced, instead of a recent college grad.

Some deals are simply too big to avoid the Wall Street majors, but I'd avoid them if I had the opportunity.
 
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