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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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22291 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 04:31:33 PM  

stoppit: thoreau: 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.

Yer right ... I bought Naturally Speaking in the early 90's and was amazed. I installed it and was playing around with it and opened another window to send a buddy an email. One of my kids came in the office and we yakked for a few minutes and when I looked back at my email, all of my side of the conversation was in it. I figured at the time that it would really be a boon for people who did a lot of typing that didn't involve syntax (I was a programmer). I didn't do much with it but last year when I bought my first iPhone, I downloaded a free app called Dragon - also voice recognition. I assumed it was the same vendor.


hom-a-e-r would like a word with u
 
2012-07-16 04:31:38 PM  

guestguy: "A few days before that meeting, Mr. Wayner of Goldman told Ms. Baker that he would be away on vacation and couldn't make the session. He also said that he would be unable to call in and that it was pointless to send anybody else from Goldman because there wasn't time to catch up on the deal. It was at this meeting that L.& H. proposed shifting the $580 million deal from half stock and half cash to all stock. The Bakers, with their high-priced investment bankers M.I.A., agreed.

Later, after L.& H. collapsed, Mr. Wayner testified that the bank "did not form a point of view" as to whether an all-stock deal would be risky or advisable for the Bakers. He said he could not remember if it had crossed his mind to warn the Bakers about potential issues with an all-stock deal.

Two weeks after the initial agreement was reached, Mr. Wayner told Ms. Baker that he would be leaving the next day for another vacation. He would not participate in a conference call with L.& H.'s accounting firm, KPMG, that was set up to discuss any open questions about accounting and due diligence. Mr. Berzofsky of Goldman did participate but later acknowledged that he did not raise any concerns. The Bakers say they believed that all issues had been addressed.

Mr. Wayner was still on vacation on March 27, when Dragon's board met to take a final vote on the proposed acquisition. This time, Mr. Fine and Mr. Smith of Goldman attended the meeting, and Mr. Wayner called in from Argentina. No one from Goldman gave a presentation, but minutes from the meeting, taken by Dragon's outside lawyers, indicate that the Goldman bankers expressed confidence that the combination of Dragon and L.& H. would produce a market leader. The board voted unanimously to accept the $580 million all-stock deal."

WTF?! You're paying this guy $5 million to advise you and he takes 2 vacations within 2 weeks of each other...which just happen to coincide with critical meetings concerning the deal? That right there should have been a red-farking-flag that he was a useless, slimy turd.


You can bet L&S was paying for his 'vacation'.
 
2012-07-16 04:34:20 PM  

ladyfortuna: My dad continues to buy Word Perfect from them for some unknown reason. I think it's just that he's been using it for like fifteen years and refuses to learn a new program.


Word Perfect still exists? Holy crap.
 
2012-07-16 04:34:42 PM  
Goldman Sachs is going to get kicked in the Sach for this one. This is clear-cut fraud, and they're responsible for all the lost value plus punitive damages.
 
2012-07-16 04:36:20 PM  

Scrotastic Method: rumpelstiltskin: If we set up a gallows pole and hung 10 bankers as a warning to the rest, what are the chances we would hang an innocent person? I'm figuring less than 10%

Well if you hung 10, you'd be hard pressed for, say, an 8% innocence rate.


I doubt anyone at GS is hung. I wouldn't mind seeing them hanged, however.
 
2012-07-16 04:37:39 PM  

sparkeyjames: Sounds like the typical Wall St. Fark over the little guy then let the big guns pick
up the pieces after you have screwed them into bankruptcy. For $5 million I would
have at least expected them to do an little investigation into L&H. Even a half assed
investigation that took all of an hour would have turned up bad things. It sounds like they did jack squat.


That's the crazy part. Goldman Sachs KNEW that L&H was fraudulent. It wasn't that "They didn't investigate L&H" but rather "They knew that L&H was fraudulent and didn't reveal this to the client, because Goldman Sachs had a much larger stake in the competition than it had in Dragon.
If they try to pass off the excuse that "Well the four people we sent didn't have access to that data" then they're admitting that the people they sent were incompetent and thus they did not perform their duties.
 
2012-07-16 04:38:32 PM  

MugzyBrown: Also, the fact that some investment arm of GS decided to divest themselves of L&H has no real impact. You can't impute the knowledge of a team in one department of the firm onto the whole firm.


Try explaining to a jury but, but, but, it's true that people working for Goldman knew L&H were scammers, but that wasn't us, it was just "some investment arm" of our Same Exact Company.

Cue world's tiniest violins.

Goldman is hosed, they deserve to be hosed. Whether the employees that screwed Dragon knew L&H were scammers or not, those employees should have known. The knowledge was within their own company. Dragon were clients paying for that knowledge.

If nothing else, this is a clear cut case of negligence.
 
2012-07-16 04:38:39 PM  

Scrotastic Method: rumpelstiltskin: If we set up a gallows pole and hung 10 bankers as a warning to the rest, what are the chances we would hang an innocent person? I'm figuring less than 10%

Well if you hung 10, you'd be hard pressed for, say, an 8% innocence rate.


not if one of the 10 was 20% guilty. partial blame and what not...
 
2012-07-16 04:39:31 PM  

jtown: 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.


I agree, except from the article it sounds like Goldman had already "analyzed" the all stock option and had indicated it was okay. In other words, imagine you'd been given "professional advice" and you got an offer that was on the list of options, it is not unreasonable to proceed with it. (Of course any radical change to a negotiating position should really be scrutinized much harder to understand the other party's motivation or gain.)
 
2012-07-16 04:41:10 PM  

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

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


RTFA friend. G-S was paid 5 million to do analysis so good decisions could be made and advised on. GS did none of what it was paid to do. Thus GS is at fault here.
 
2012-07-16 04:41:45 PM  

21-37-42: jafiwam: 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.

And you've completely missed the point.

The issue was the technology that existed in 1999 and the complex algorithms that made it work. The Bakers were pretty smart people. They were smart enough to think up the technology. They were smart enough to know that it was going to be incredibly popular outside of the narrow context that you boxed it into. If you read the article you'll see that the technology was bought a Ford subsidiary (heard of the "Sync" system in Ford vehicles?) and the other by a company with a licensing agreement with Apple (Siri make me sandwich).

They were also smart enough to recognize that they weren't smart enough to work through the complexities of a sale of the company on their own, so they hired G/S. Somebody up-thread equated this to hiring a bodyguard who then stood by and watched them get raped. I'd go further than that. They paid the bodyguard 5 million and for that they got raped and robbed.

I work in IT as well, and have no use for voice recognition technology at work, but I love telling my phone to text my wife while I'm driving and have it do it perfectly.

I think you need to get out more.


Voice commands when done well, are just plain fun. I love the Kinect (Sync was made from Dragon...Kinect's voice recognition got it's base right there) for everything besides gaming. It's a pleasure to be able to roll out of bed and talk the Daily Show onto my TV while i prepare my coffee. (Xbox, Video, My Video Apps, Hulu Plus. Queue, (Date of show), Play)
 
2012-07-16 04:41:48 PM  
So, who has been making the money from the saturation ads for Dragon that I've seen for the past year on tv?
 
2012-07-16 04:42:13 PM  
I don't want to disagree with the FARK experts who say Dragon sucks, but I actually worked with it briefly a few years ago to integrate it with other software that I work with. If you can't type, have the right equipment, and speak in normal tones and cadence, it understands and transcribes what you say fine...and I'm talking about medical jargon here, kids. I won't let that stop the experts from going OMG THE SUXXORZ!!!!ELEVENTY!
 
2012-07-16 04:42:57 PM  
Back in the 90s Dragon had Siri like technology. And so did a bunch of others. Everyone kept predicting that the recognition rates would improve, but they didn't. Without a limited dictionary (IE - say 'English' or 'Spanish') computers haven't gotten any better at it. The software techniques used haven't really changed either.

The reason computers stink at voice recognition in the wide-open way that Siri and all of it's many predecessors try to do voice recognition is that computers aren't aware. People are. When you talk to someone in a pub they know what you are talking about. They have contextual clues to fill in any work. Yeah, sure, you can program a computer to use a Markov chain or some crap, but it's doesn't come anywhere near the level a four year old can trivially achieve.

The only difference between Dragon, any of Microsoft's voice recognition software or things like 'Goog-411' and Siri is marketing. The world collectively decided that voice recognition was mostly a silly novelty....until Apple rebranded it. Then it was cool. Then everyone needed it. Then everyone got it. Then they realized it was still just a silly novelty outside of very specific purposes and tools have already existed to fill those specific purposes that are just as good or better than Siri.
 
2012-07-16 04:44:55 PM  

RandomRandom: MugzyBrown: Also, the fact that some investment arm of GS decided to divest themselves of L&H has no real impact. You can't impute the knowledge of a team in one department of the firm onto the whole firm.

Try explaining to a jury but, but, but, it's true that people working for Goldman knew L&H were scammers, but that wasn't us, it was just "some investment arm" of our Same Exact Company.

Cue world's tiniest violins.

Goldman is hosed, they deserve to be hosed. Whether the employees that screwed Dragon knew L&H were scammers or not, those employees should have known. The knowledge was within their own company. Dragon were clients paying for that knowledge.

If nothing else, this is a clear cut case of negligence.


And even if you could somehow make the case that one arm of Goldman doesn't share with another, you Still can use what the investment arm did to set the bar on what minimum acceptable standard of Due Dilligence a GS customer would have a right to expect (the same level they do for themselves)

Since Dragon's "advisers" very oviously did not do that, you have a pretty clear "duty/breach/negligence" chain of proof.
 
2012-07-16 04:53:27 PM  

Securitywyrm: sparkeyjames: Sounds like the typical Wall St. Fark over the little guy then let the big guns pick
up the pieces after you have screwed them into bankruptcy. For $5 million I would
have at least expected them to do an little investigation into L&H. Even a half assed
investigation that took all of an hour would have turned up bad things. It sounds like they did jack squat.

That's the crazy part. Goldman Sachs KNEW that L&H was fraudulent. It wasn't that "They didn't investigate L&H" but rather "They knew that L&H was fraudulent and didn't reveal this to the client, because Goldman Sachs had a much larger stake in the competition than it had in Dragon.
If they try to pass off the excuse that "Well the four people we sent didn't have access to that data" then they're admitting that the people they sent were incompetent and thus they did not perform their duties.


I'm thinking 32 year olds at GS don't take two vacations right in a row like that, where they can't be reached for anything. He was ordered to go on vacation, so that he wouldn't be available in case Dragon asked him a question that might scuttle the deal. The only questions are, who at GS ordered him to avoid Dragon, and why? Did someone think the deal wouldn't go through if LH fell through? Who's bonus depended on that deal being done?
 
2012-07-16 04:53:49 PM  

Madbassist1: I don't want to disagree with the FARK experts who say Dragon sucks, but I actually worked with it briefly a few years ago to integrate it with other software that I work with. If you can't type, have the right equipment, and speak in normal tones and cadence, it understands and transcribes what you say fine...and I'm talking about medical jargon here, kids. I won't let that stop the experts from going OMG THE SUXXORZ!!!!ELEVENTY!


This. I watched my doctor transcribe notes on her laptop, with 100% accuracy. I was blown away that Dragon could accurately recognize the medical terminology in the report.
 
2012-07-16 04:56:18 PM  
This is probably a stupid question, but what are the benefits of receiving stock as opposed to cash? If I had the choice between $580MM in cash or $580MM worth of stock, I'd opt for the cash. I could buy anything with that cash... even stock!

/there could be anything in that box, Lois!
//it could even be a boat!
 
2012-07-16 04:57:42 PM  
If that article is correct, Goldman-Sachs deserves to be slammed in court. Too bad for the plaintiffs the shiatty Supreme Court will overturn any just decision against Goldman-Sachs.
 
2012-07-16 04:59:36 PM  
While Goldman was clearly negligent, don't overlook the fact that the dude in charge of L&H (Gaston Bastiaens) had just got done destroying Quarterdeck, Datastorm Technologies, and a slew of other companies with the same practices. He got away with it in the U.S. Those of us who worked at Datastorm were quite happy to see him in chains: http://flic.kr/p/s3XHC
 
2012-07-16 05:03:01 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?


No, no. You don't understand. If one portion of the firm is privy to information that could be useful and it shares that information with another part of the firm it is acting unethically and should be sued/prosecuted. Conversely, if it doesn't share the information it is acting unethically and should be sued/prosecuted.

Just refer to this simple rule to help understanding : Goldman bad!
 
2012-07-16 05:03:10 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: I'm thinking 32 year olds at GS don't take two vacations right in a row like that, where they can't be reached for anything. He was ordered to go on vacation, so that he wouldn't be available in case Dragon asked him a question that might scuttle the deal. The only questions are, who at GS ordered him to avoid Dragon, and why? Did someone think the deal wouldn't go through if LH fell through? Who's bonus depended on that deal being done?


Maybe someone was banking on Dragon's assets being sold at auction to a larger client?
 
2012-07-16 05:03:11 PM  

autark: This is probably a stupid question, but what are the benefits of receiving stock as opposed to cash? If I had the choice between $580MM in cash or $580MM worth of stock, I'd opt for the cash. I could buy anything with that cash... even stock!


well if you trust/believe the bankers you hired to guide you through the merger process who stated that the joint stock would like quickly increase in value, then by accepting the stock you might get $700M instead of $580M after the joint stock appreciates on the news of the merger. of course the if the bankers you hired don't do shiat and the stock of the joint company is worthless as the acquiring company is actually a book-cooking fraud, well then in hindsight taking the cash would have been the better option.
 
2012-07-16 05:11:56 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: The only difference between Dragon, any of Microsoft's voice recognition software or things like 'Goog-411' and Siri is marketing. The world collectively decided that voice recognition was mostly a silly novelty....until Apple rebranded it. Then it was cool. Then everyone needed it. Then everyone got it. Then they realized it was still just a silly novelty outside of very specific purposes and tools have already existed to fill those specific purposes that are just as good or better than Siri.


That's an oversimplification. Siri's speech recognition may not be significantly better than Dragon's, but Dragon can't help you hide a dead body.
 
2012-07-16 05:16:51 PM  

NobleHam: I used Dragon Naturally Speaking occasionally in Middle School, and it sucked. Very basic sentences and words it was fine at, but punctuation in more complex sentences was awful and any word with more than two or three syllables was likely to be wrong. Not that modern voice recognition is much better.


It almost makes one wonder what voice recognition technology would be like today if Dragon never got screwed and had continued to innovate.
 
2012-07-16 05:18:13 PM  

A Fark Handle: autark: This is probably a stupid question, but what are the benefits of receiving stock as opposed to cash? If I had the choice between $580MM in cash or $580MM worth of stock, I'd opt for the cash. I could buy anything with that cash... even stock!

well if you trust/believe the bankers you hired to guide you through the merger process who stated that the joint stock would like quickly increase in value, then by accepting the stock you might get $700M instead of $580M after the joint stock appreciates on the news of the merger. of course the if the bankers you hired don't do shiat and the stock of the joint company is worthless as the acquiring company is actually a book-cooking fraud, well then in hindsight taking the cash would have been the better option.


4.bp.blogspot.com

So do you want to keep your 580 million or trade it for what's behind the curtain??
 
2012-07-16 05:19:19 PM  

Glendale: rumpelstiltskin: I'm thinking 32 year olds at GS don't take two vacations right in a row like that, where they can't be reached for anything. He was ordered to go on vacation, so that he wouldn't be available in case Dragon asked him a question that might scuttle the deal. The only questions are, who at GS ordered him to avoid Dragon, and why? Did someone think the deal wouldn't go through if LH fell through? Who's bonus depended on that deal being done?

Maybe someone was banking on Dragon's assets being sold at auction to a larger client?


Hmmm. That sounds plausible. It's also possible that two partners made a bet over whether the deal would go through, and one of them destroyed these peoples' lifes work so he wouldnt have to buy lunch or something. These are, after all, bankers we are talking about.
 
2012-07-16 05:20:05 PM  
My friend bought the most recent version a few weeks ago.

I assume this feature can be turned off, but when we were playing with it this weekend, we found that it has content filters like Fark. As in, if you speak the f-word, it shows up on the screen in Word as "fark." And f-ing becomes "farking."

I wonder if Drew paid for that.
 
2012-07-16 05:26:41 PM  
I use Dragon a lot nowadays. It's very sensitive to microphone quality. You need a reasonable ($40-$50) mic/headset for it to be happy. That said, it's about 99% accurate right out of the box for me, which is delightful and saves me hell of a lot of typing.

//G-S is evil, pure and simple.
 
2012-07-16 05:29:49 PM  
The last time I saw the software being used was actually about a month ago. I work with kids with learning disabilities, and for those who don't have the ability to express themselves via writing, the software can be a godsend. If you get it 'trained' well enough, you can actually rattle off a few sentences before you need to stop and let it catch up. For all you detractors - yes, it does take a lot of time to get it trained to that level. No, it's not always perfect (especially if you've got a speech problem). But between a kid shutting down and doing nothing, or taking an hour to write half a sentence, and them sitting down and reading some passages out loud into a headset, I know which I'm going to choose.

/But yeah, it's nigh useless for those of us who can both spell and type.
 
2012-07-16 05:30:54 PM  
I don't know what program you all got. Dragon 11.5 is farking awesome!

It will "type" as fast as I can speak....correctly.

granted, i have a kick-ass computer and an awesome mic.

/and yes...the speech engine in Siri is Dragon's...just not as refined as Dragon's Nat Speak's.
 
2012-07-16 05:34:21 PM  
On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.
 
2012-07-16 05:39:40 PM  
The client in this case made two unforgivable Wall Street errors:
1) They dared be a "small fry" and not have enough money;
2) They dared try to take an industry position that was in competition to one of GS's larger clients.

Even the most minimum levels of due diligence would have had their banker checking GS's internal market research. At that point he would have found that L&G was a joke.

The fact that their own primary banker missed not one but *two* meetings implies he did the above and knew the deal was bad news.
The fact that GS said they should hire an accountant in my mind indicates they were trying to kick the can down the road and make someone else break the bad news.

All in all, Goldman should hang for this. Of course if I'm their lawyer there is no way I let this one go to trial.
Look for a quiet settlement right around Halloween.
 
2012-07-16 05:40:06 PM  

ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.


if she's lonely enough to want to use Windows maybe you should have SEX with her??
 
2012-07-16 05:41:16 PM  

TheBigJerk: Magorn: 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

Cool.

Still don't understand why destroying an entire coast was capped (in terms of regular damages, whatever the proper term for it is) lower than destroying one business, but I assume it has something to do with who owned the legislators when the laws were written.

Goldman-Sachs is like COBRA.


A coast is just a thing, whereas, we all know, a business is a person.
 
2012-07-16 05:42:36 PM  

Madbassist1: I don't want to disagree with the FARK experts who say Dragon sucks, but I actually worked with it briefly a few years ago to integrate it with other software that I work with. If you can't type, have the right equipment, and speak in normal tones and cadence, it understands and transcribes what you say fine...and I'm talking about medical jargon here, kids. I won't let that stop the experts from going OMG THE SUXXORZ!!!!ELEVENTY!


Jargon is actually the best possible use for it, as long as it has the dictionary inserted. Regular conversation is generally dense and requires lots of parsing to figure out which of many combinations of sounds you actually want to spell out, but jargon is relatively clear and unambiguous, particularly when you're speaking to it like it's Majel Roddenberry.

Plus most people tried it in the 90's or early 00's and wrote it off. It's actually steadily improved and certainly sped up since then.
 
2012-07-16 05:43:12 PM  

Hobodeluxe:

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 320x240]

So do you want to keep your 580 million or trade it for what's behind the curtain??


You ALWAYS switch.
 
2012-07-16 05:46:24 PM  

ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.


It's available through a lot of online retailers and most big box electronics retailers (OfficeMax/Depot, Staples, Best Buy) though not all locations carry it. They've started heavily promoting it to big boxes again.
 
2012-07-16 05:48:06 PM  
1). I know hindsight is always 20/20, but the Bakers were retarded for selling their company for an all stock trade in an unknown company, especially since they originally wanted half cash half stock. They would still have hundreds of millions of dollars if they had gone through with that. Who the fark sells something and doesnt get money in return? Retards. I mean just think about the AMOUNT of money here... you're cashing out for life. You're not just rich, you're so rich that no one in your family will ever be poor again... ever, for many generations. Should have demanded cash and called it a day, end of story.

2) Everyone talking shiat about Dragon obviously missed the part where Apple ended up acquiring the rights to the technology through a series of intermediate purchases, and it is speculated that Dragon technology is actually behind Siri itself.
 
2012-07-16 05:55:04 PM  

ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.


Link
Send me a paypal addy. I'll put $20 to it.
 
2012-07-16 06:03:11 PM  

Alonjar: 1). I know hindsight is always 20/20, but the Bakers were retarded for selling their company for an all stock trade in an unknown company, especially since they originally wanted half cash half stock. They would still have hundreds of millions of dollars if they had gone through with that. Who the fark sells something and doesnt get money in return? Retards. I mean just think about the AMOUNT of money here... you're cashing out for life. You're not just rich, you're so rich that no one in your family will ever be poor again... ever, for many generations. Should have demanded cash and called it a day, end of story.


You hire someone to provide you with information on a company to make deal. The company does nothing and tells you
everything is fine. Then you take it up the arse mere weeks later when the company turns out to be a fraud. Who's at fault?
Just remember the internet in those days looked like most every site was designed with Microsoft frontpage. So collecting any data
on that company was not easy for someone not in the investments and mergers business.
They paid Goldman Sachs to advise them and Goldman Sachs failed miserably.
 
2012-07-16 06:20:11 PM  
WarszawaScream: "(Though it's hard to cue up the app while I'm doing 70 on the 495.)"

Just curious. Between all of the never-ending construction around the Beltway and the rush-hour that keeps on getting longer and longer, how do you manage to drive 70 on I-495? Most days I'm lucky if I hit 34-40 mph.

\Or am stuck with Metro that's even worse.
 
2012-07-16 06:22:54 PM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.

Link
Send me a paypal addy. I'll put $20 to it.


That's very nice of you to offer :) - I'll let you know if it looks feasible. Also actually it turns out she has a Mac, I didn't know she'd upgraded for school this year. Now I have to figure out which version that is.
 
2012-07-16 06:25:29 PM  
"What the large print giveth
The small print usually taketh away."

And it's companies like Goldman Sachs that fund the politicians who write the small print.

The upshot - I'd be very surprised if Goldman Sachs is out anything but lawyer's fees from this. It's Wall Street. They ripped them off fair and square.
 
2012-07-16 06:27:02 PM  
Dragon user: the cat jumped out of the hat...scratch that - a feline exited the head cover.

Oh yea, i'm buying it.
 
2012-07-16 06:29:48 PM  

ladyfortuna: The Jami Turman Fan Club: ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.

Link
Send me a paypal addy. I'll put $20 to it.

That's very nice of you to offer :) - I'll let you know if it looks feasible. Also actually it turns out she has a Mac, I didn't know she'd upgraded for school this year. Now I have to figure out which version that is.


Wait until the 25th. Spend $25 to upgrade to Mountain Lion. Enjoy Mac OS X's built in dictation software. (It's the text-to-speech part of Siri, so it will require an internet connection).

Otherwise, Dragon Express is $49.99 on the Mac App Store right now.
 
2012-07-16 06:31:57 PM  
Dragon NaturallySpeaking absolutely smokes Siri in the voice-recognition apartment. It's not even close. And yes, I'm writing this using NaturallySpeaking right now, as I do every time I need to write something on my PC.
 
2012-07-16 06:36:46 PM  

kbotc: ladyfortuna: The Jami Turman Fan Club: ladyfortuna: On the subject of the disabled who use it, I don't suppose anyone here knows a cheap but legal way to get a Windows 7 compatible copy of Dragon? My friend, who is pretty severely physically disabled, often has trouble typing because her fingers don't quite work correctly either and she said it hurts to do so. She was looking for it recently and I'd like to point her in the right direction.

Link
Send me a paypal addy. I'll put $20 to it.

That's very nice of you to offer :) - I'll let you know if it looks feasible. Also actually it turns out she has a Mac, I didn't know she'd upgraded for school this year. Now I have to figure out which version that is.

Wait until the 25th. Spend $25 to upgrade to Mountain Lion. Enjoy Mac OS X's built in dictation software. (It's the text-to-speech part of Siri, so it will require an internet connection).

Otherwise, Dragon Express is $49.99 on the Mac App Store right now.


Great, thanks for the info. I hope I can help her get it; she's studying biochem so I know she needs all the help she can get with making the computer more accessible.
 
2012-07-16 06:39:40 PM  

Jon iz teh kewl:
if she's lonely enough to want to use Windows maybe you should have SEX with her??


Also, stay classy man.
 
2012-07-16 06:41:50 PM  
If only there were some way to learn a method of inputting thousands of keystrokes without having to stop and look at each one as you enter them.

www.suggestsoft.com

/yea, i know. some people are legitimately disabled and need VR. But most are just TOO farkING LAZY to learn how to type.
 
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