Print 10 comment(s) - last by Galcobar.. on Feb 2 at 6:40 AM

Google speak2tweet  (Source: Twitter)
Workaroudn is to get Egyptians back on Twitter

The last time so much of the attention in the tech work was focused on Egypt and the middle east with respect to the lack of communications within the land of pharos was in 2008 when undersea cables were mysteriously being cut. The cause of the more recent lack of communications with Egypt is the Egyptian government's doing. 

Egypt's government has cut the masses off from the internet due to a series of protests that have been taking place around the country. That means that people in Egypt can't access things like Facebook and Twitter to keep connected with friends and loved ones. Google announced that over the weekend it devised a way to allow people in Egypt to connect to Twitter, hear tweets, and leave tweets without having internet access.

Google worked with engineers at Twitter and with its engineers from SayNow to offer a new workaround that uses voice mail to leave tweets called speak2tweet. The service can be accessed using any phone by dialing +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855. To leave a tweet users just leave a voice mail and the messages will be tweeted with the #egypt hashtag.  The service is up and running now and was developed over the weekend.

The same numbers can be used to listen to tweets too. Google wrote on its official blog, "Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection." Google also said, "We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there."

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Yeah right :-)
By theArchMichael on 2/1/2011 11:30:15 AM , Rating: 5
If this thing uses the same online voice recognition services as google voice and google translate, expect a flood of tweets that are...

Confucious says miss ages about even more random messes.

RE: Yeah right :-)
By headbox on 2/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah right :-)
By sieistganzfett on 2/1/2011 7:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
speaking tweet is kind of like google voice about to get your words to live on how to charge your cell area 3
-This was the actual translation of my reply using google's speech recognition on my samsung fascinate.

I hope...
By Souka on 2/1/2011 1:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they're not using the current Google-voice translator.

I used Google-Voice for my Voicemail-box on my phone. Most of my voicemail is so horribly translated to text that I often end up having to listen to the voicemail sound file.

It's really bad if the person doesn't speak clearly, static on the line, or background noise (like from a car/bus).

RE: I hope...
By jbwhite99 on 2/1/2011 5:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
actually, I think the google voice to text translation is actually a translation of all of the adults on Peanuts speaking your message. I always get a laugh out of the message, then call the person back to find out what they really said.

I do applaud their efforts, but not sure how the phone numbers will get passed around. Perhaps someone can put a satellite dish on top of the pyramids and get Direct PC or something.

RE: I hope...
By omnicronx on 2/2/2011 12:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
do applaud their efforts, but not sure how the phone numbers will get passed around.
How about.. word of mouth?

The internet is down, they have not lost the ability to speak ;)

By Shadowmaster625 on 2/1/2011 2:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just tweet a link to an mp3 of your message? Anyone interested could just go listen to it instead of trying to decipher some translation.

RE: why?
By Galcobar on 2/2/2011 6:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
And exactly how would they follow this link when the whole bloody point is that Internet access is cut off?

If they could follow a link to a file, they wouldn't need to try to run tweets through a landline phone.

What good is speak2tweet
By Solandri on 2/1/2011 4:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
What good is speak2tweet if you're unable to speak, Mr. Andersen?

The cell phone companies already shut down early into this at the request of the government (though there are reports of service being restored). And the landline phone company there is government-owned, so anyone calling this number from their land phone is probably being recorded and tracked by the government. For this to work, people need to set up phone forwarders, where you take something like a Google Voice phone number and forward it to this service.

Also, for those criticizing Google's voice to text algorithms, unfortunately speech recognition is one of the most challenging AI problems there is. It's one of those things where you have to actually do a lot of it poorly before you can start to do it well (the AI needs to be trained). If you plan on sitting here criticizing any automated speech recognition which doesn't work as well as a human being transcribing what they hear, then the technology will never reach the state where it will work as well as you want.

RE: What good is speak2tweet
By Souka on 2/1/2011 4:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
If I understand, people are using their landlines and using good ole' dial-up to ISP's outside Egypt to get internet access... thus, twitter and other services.

Far as Google's voice algorytithms, it sounds like I hit a nerve with you. Sorry about that, I forget some people are overly sensitive to people expressing their opinion.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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