March 21, 2004

NASA Researching new input technology that may improve accessibility

"NASA has developed a computer program that comes close to reading thoughts not yet spoken, by analyzing nerve commands to the throat. It says the breakthrough holds promise for astronauts and the handicapped.

"A person using the subvocal system thinks of phrases and talks to himself so quietly it cannot be heard, but the tongue and vocal cords do receive speech signals from the brain," said developer Chuck Jorgensen, of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. Jorgensen's team found that sensors under the chin and one each side of the Adam's apple pick up the brain's commands to the speech organs, allowing the subauditory, or "silent speech" to be captured.

'A logical spin-off would be that handicapped persons could use this system for a lot of things,' he said, as well as persons wanting to speak by telephone without being overheard."

[Via Yahoo! News]: Yahoo! News - NASA hears words not yet spoken

JetBlue founder & CEO takes time to serve customers - in flight

Inc magazine has a nice story of how a company's CEO takes time each month to serve customer and motivate his team.

Full Story: | Street Smarts: Learning From JetBlue:

"by keeping in touch, he gets a real-time sense of the market. He knows first hand what's going on out there, and he'll see trends before his competitors. That's one of the biggest advantages of having direct contact with customers. Markets change. Technologies change. Customer wants and needs change. If you have your finger on the pulse of the market, you're a step ahead of the competition. If you don't, you run the risk of getting blind-sided.
In addition, he's shaping the company culture. Employees see him working the crowd, going out of his way to help a customer, and they do the same. They hear him talking about the plans to introduce new services, and they spread the word. Above all, they know that Neeleman isn't sitting behind a desk somewhere counting his stock options. He's putting in overtime, and he's doing it with them. They can rest assured that he understands what's happening on the frontlines because he's been there. He's on their team."