Thursday, August 6, 2009

Purple Monkey Dishwasher

Like Lovecraft's cyclopean creatures of the deep, Google continues to extend its suckered tendrils out of the blackness, grasping at humanity. One of their latest offerings is Google Voice, which lets you have a phone number of your choice, to satisfy some need that I'm not entirely sure I understand. Something about linking your phone numbers together. I guess if you've got your cell phone, home phone, work phone, etc., you can get the one number to rule them all from Google, and switch which phone that number will send people's calls to. I suspect that the condition known as iPhone Ownership puts you at risk for another condition called Google Voice Number Wanting.

Perhaps that's why Nels got one. Early this evening, just before I left work, he asked me to be the guinea pig for his new number, and help him test out the message-taking feature of Google Voice. You see, if you enable it, GV will act as your message service. It'll record and store your call, transcribe it, and send it to you as an email. Clearly this needed a field test. And a challenging one at that. I left the following stream-of-consciousness message for Nels, including a Battlestar Galactica reference in a raspy voice, my last name, my company's name (initials), and several other proper nouns:
Ohh, Bill... They killed my Ellen. I am calling from [company name] and my name is Fred Beukema and uh, I don't know what else is a difficult word to say. Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice today which means she should be ready to serve on the court this fall and David Souter can retire to New Hampshire and his little cabin. Uh, bye.
Here's what Google thought I said:
yo so they shut my land i am calling from [company name -- they got it accurately] and my name is fred you come home and i don't know what else is a difficult would just say sonia some on your was confirm the supreme court justice today which means it should be ready to serve on the the court this fall and gave it to 210 your tires to new hampshire and we'll kevin bye
They're close, but the algorithm needs some polish, I'd say.

Incidentally, I think Souter's cabin looks like it belongs in an Evil Dead movie.

Until next time, this is Fred You Come Home, signing off.

No comments: