Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Well, thanks to an unbelievably long wait for a doctor (I guess I really should expect it now), they came in and said hi to me and then went to look at my MRI results - took them 1/2hr, couldn't they do that before hand?
Anyways, these got finished as a result! Kind of a letdown almost - this was the only project I had in progress, I guess there's nothing left to do but study! (yay?)

Again, these are in the Lattice Stitch pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock "Icehouse" colourway.

Emerging Technology 1

As mentioned earlier, I'm going to stray from normal topics for a couple posts while I complete a school project, so just bear with me and I'll get back to knitting as soon as I finish this (and when my yarn gets delivered...).

Say It, Sign It

For my first emerging technology, I chose to talk about a technology that has just been making headlines this month. It’s a newly developed technology from IBM that translates speech into sign language, called ““Say It, Sign It” or “SiSi” . Here’s an example of how it works: (Video from YouTube)

The speech is first turned into text using speech recognition software and then SiSi is able to convert the text to animated signing in British Sign Language (BSL). It was developed in 12 weeks by a group of interns in IBM’s internship program Extreme Blue with cooperation from the University of East Anglia and the RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People). (MarketWatch Article)

This technology has the possibility of making it much simpler for companies to integrate deaf team members into meetings and conference calls when a qualified interpreter is not readily available. Because of the simultaneous translation, time would not have to been taken to communicate through writing or special accommodations made to allow for speech-reading. This not only allows for integration of deaf workers but also gives them a more equal footing with everyone else in the meeting and does so in a timely manner.
It could also be used to make other applications user friendly for deaf users both in the workplace, such as translating voicemail, and at home, such as translating television or radio programs. This techonological tool would work best for translating presentations given in a lecture format.

There are a number of drawbacks to the current edition of this program. The system is not currently commercially available and is only able to translate to British Sign Language, which limits the use of this technology to only users of BSL. However, a student who was working on the program said it should be fairly easy to further develop the system so that translation into other signed languages was available. (BBC article)
Also, the SiSi system can only translate one way, from speech to sign, as opposed to an interpreter who can also translate from sign to speech. This means that the communication advantages provided by this program only work in one direction. Deaf workers would not be able to use this system to contribute easily to the conversation in their first language (usually a signing language) and would have to rely on an interpreter or a spoken or written language. As seen in the comments on the YouTube example of this software some people are already very critical of this flaw and I can understand their point of view.

However, overall I do believe this new technology will be a great tool to assist organizations in intergrating and including deaf workers and will increase the speed at and extent to which they are able to do so.


Visual Interpreter turns speech into sign language. (September 13, 2007). Retrieved September 25, 2007, from CBC.ca Website: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/09/13/tech-deaf-avatar.html

Adams-Spink, G. (September 15, 2007). Technique links words to signing. Retrieved September 25, 2007, from BBC News Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6993326.stm

IBM Research Demonstrates Innovative ‘Speech to Sign Language’ Translation System. (September 13, 2007). Retrieved September 25, 2007, from MarketWatch Website: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/ibm-research-demonstrates-innovative-speech/story.aspx?guid=%7B57DE2EA8-D02B-4B9E-90F6-80EE757D441E%7D

IBM Research Demonstrates Innovative 'Speech to Sign Language' Translation System. (September 12, 2007). Retrieved September 25, 2007, from IBM Website: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22316.wss

IBM Voice-to-Sign Language Translation Tech. (September 12, 2007). Retrieved September 25, 2007), from YouTube Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RarMKnjqzZU

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yay! 1st sock done & still more yarn...

So I just finished my first sock, I'm really disappointed that my yarn for the sweater didn't come today, but hopefully early next week. And this is how much yarn I have left in the half of the skein I divided up.

And this is what my sock looks like
I would post a close-up picture of the detail but it was too dark and it didn't show up well. But the pattern is Lattice Stitch from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch in the Icehouse colorway of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.

Baking is on hold...

Among other things. I tried my oven for the first time over the weekend, and it heats up but then doesn't stay hot - so after a week of trying to chase my landlord I finally caught up with him, he says he's called the company and they should call him back sometime next week, but they're going in prioity sequence - and apparently my oven is not a prioity. Oh well, we'll see how cookies bake up in the toaster oven - could be a fun experiment.
The scrolls socks from last post are also on hold - I've decided to work with my other skien of Lorna's Laces, to see if I can get two ankle socks out of one skien - and then we'll see what happens with the scrolls sock.

Too tired to come up with anymore right now, but I'll try to post again over the weekend - really hoping my yarn for the Wheat-ear Cable Yolk sweater comes in today so that I can start soon (very excited!!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Current Knitting and such

As I mentioned in my first post, I love to knit socks, so I normally have a couple on the go at a time. Right now I just have one, and have just discovered I only have enough wool for one sock(!!), which is really too bad because I am loving this pattern.

It's "Traveling Vine" from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks, a book which I bought when I wanted to advance from just stockinette stitch to more advanced socks. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Hawaii colorway - I'm not sure I like how it's pooling, but I guess that may be irrelevant if I can't afford anymore yarn to make a second one and have to frog this one...

I went yarn shopping today for yarn for the Wheat-ear Cable Yoke sweater from IK Summer '07 (scroll down, it's on the 3rd line). I ended up walking about 5kms, so I guess I should do my research more before I venture out into Montreal again. It may just be me and the fairly newness to knitting, or the communication barrier here, but I didn't really end up with something that will work. I went to this awesome yarn store, Magasin de Fibre L.B., which has bins and bins of all types of, well, string, and you can pick out what you want, even mix and match a little and they will custom wind the weight and amount that you need. It's super-cheap too! I ended up with a cotton yarn which I really like, but the swatch is turning out a bit too see-through for this sweater I think, so it will be used sometime later.

For the sweater I'm thinking about ordering some KnitPicks Swish Superwash, either in Jade, Marine Heather or Deep Ocean, but I'm still not sure about ordering yarn online that I haven't been able to feel, but I think I'm about out of options for LYSs, so I may go ahead and give it a try.
Off to put a casserole in the oven for supper, and maybe squeeze in some studying (ugh...)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hello World!

So, I'm new to the whole wide world of blogging - and kind of intimidated if I may say so, there are so many bloggers and great blogs out there that I read and lurk around, but have always put off actually starting my own blog. Reason #1 would seem to be that I don't feel that I have a great talent for writing, or writing creatively enough to keep anyone's interest for long. Also, until recently when I moved away to school, internet access speed was painfully slow due to living in the country on dial-up.
But having moved out into the world of high-speed, I feel more inclined to start typing. That and one of my profs has assigned us a project that we must post on our blogs - so when I start into talking about new emerging business technology, bear with me, this will pass and feel free to completely skip over those posts.

Now time for random subject changes as I introduce what I think I'll be posting about and why. Yay for the random-ness!

Knitting - I just started about a year ago and I am completely in love, completely obessed. I soon went from being a starting knitter, to being mostly a sock knitter and I love how easy and mindless and how hard and frustrating it can be, often interchangeably from one moment to the next. I am just about to start my first sweater and am hoping to share my experience with you other knitters out there.

Baking - Baking is the one thing in life I could maybe see myself doing in the future, which is somewhat problematic, seeing as I'm studying business and Japanese, and my parents have no idea about this desire. I especially love baking bread and how you do all this work and wait, but at the end it's all worth it because you have this amazing smell in your apartment and this beautiful loaf staring back at you.

My Life - As I said, I'm at university studying business and Japanese, and I'm not quite sure where that's heading, but I'm excited to find out. Anyways, right now I have to be headed off to class, because I'm late, so thanks for finding me and reading this far, hopefully I'll be talking to you later!