Saturday, 18 December 2010

BBC News - US Senate lifts 'don't ask, don't tell' gay soldier ban

18 December 2010 Last updated at 22:35

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US Senate lifts 'don't ask, don't tell' gay soldier ban

Activists rally for the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in Washington, DC, 10 December Activists have urged President Obama to deliver on the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

The US Senate has approved landmark legislation allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.

Senators voted 65-31 to overturn the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bars gay people in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.

The House of Representatives had already approved the repeal bill. President Barack Obama says he is looking forward to signing it into law.

Opponents argue that the change will damage troop morale at a time of war.

More than 13,000 service members have been dismissed under "don't ask, don't tell", enacted under President Bill Clinton.

Saturday's vote was along broad party lines, with a few moderate Republicans joining the Democratic majority in favour of lifting the ban.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The Department of Defense will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change”

End Quote Robert Gates US Defence Secretary

The BBC's Iain Mackenzie in Washington says the vote is a major victory for Mr Obama, who had made overturning "don't ask, don't tell" a key policy objective.

The president said it meant "thousands of patriotic Americans" would not be forced to leave the military "because they happen to be gay".

The repeal will take effect after a 60-day period allowing the defence department to consider how to implement the new policy.

Defence secretary Robert Gates also welcomed the Senate vote.

"Once this legislation is signed into law by the president, the Department of Defense will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully," he said.

Aubrey Sarvis, head of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group, said: "Until the president signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day Congressional period is over, no-one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law."

Earlier this month, a Pentagon report said that allowing openly gay troops would have little impact on the cohesion of US forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Democrats, who still control both house of Congress, have said they want to approve the repeal before the start of a new Congress in January.

What effect will this have in the US military? Do you believe that it is right to lift the ban on gay people in the military revealing their sexuality? Send us your comments and experiences using the form below.



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Voice Search

Voice Search

Speak your search queries instead of typing.

Get Voice Search

Visit this URL in your phone's browser:

Voice Search is a feature of Google Mobile App for iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia S60 V3 phones.

If you have an Android phone, search for the "Voice Search" app in Android Market. The Android operating system also enables you to speak instead of typing in any app where you launch the keyboard.

Voice Search is not available in all languages or on all mobile phones.

Voice Search gets personal - Official Google Mobile Blog

Voice Search gets personal

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 9:02 AM

When we launched Voice Search more than two years ago, we wanted it to “just work” right out of the box, without an initial setup process. And so, we built speech models broad enough to accommodate a wide variety of people, regardless of gender, age, and accents, or variations in pitch, pace, and other factors. But we always knew we could build a more accurate model by listening to your voice, and learning how you -- as a unique individual -- speak. So today we’re launching personalized recognition.

If you opt into personalized recognition, we begin to associate the recordings of the words that you ask us to recognize with your Google account. We then automatically use these words to build a speech model specifically for you. This speech model enables us to deliver greater recognition accuracy. Although subtle, accuracy improvements begin fairly quickly and will build over time.

The first time you use Voice Search, you’ll be presented with a dialog to turn on personalized recognition. Google takes your privacy seriously, so you can enable or disable personalized recognition at any time through the Google voice recognition settings on your phone. If you’d like to disassociate your voice recordings from your Google Account, you can do so through the Google Dashboard in the Speech section.

The personalized recognition functionality is currently available for English in the United States. We plan to support other countries and languages in the near future. To enable it, you must have Android 2.2 or higher, and download the latest version of the Voice Search app from Android Market. The new app also includes some improvements to name recognition and speed, especially over 3G and EDGE connections.

So go ahead and download the latest Voice Search app, and let’s get personal!

Scan this QR code to download:

Posted by Amir Mané, Product Manager and Glen Shires, Member of Technical Staff


Pedro said...

Sounds great ! I hope we'll be able to see this (and Voice Actions) in french soon !

ÅggeåÅsa said...

Sweden is a country too, you know...

Brian said...

Would someone please do a Jamaican patois language?

Dragos said...

It would be nice to have Google Goggles or other apps for Symbian devices. It's verry popular in Europa. Nokia and Sony Ericson devices use it.

Avinash Agrawal said...

Can we please have this on Google Chrome browser too, for laptops ?

Nrupen Masram said...

Sounds cool i hope gets available in local languages as soon as possible

Network Scanner Nmap

Greg said...

I'm glad to see the personalization feature added. However, even with the personalization feature turned on, voice search still does not recognize several of the last names in my contact list. Is there any way to "teach" the voice recognition application the pronunciation of specific names?

212231 said...

Please guys...
Just give us something comparable in German and please activate voice commands in German! If I use Voice Search the German words for navigation, send text message to... etc. are understood correctly but no action happens.

Thank you guys!

Roocer said...

I don't see the setting "Show hints - Show hints of search box". Am I the only one?

Felix said...

Yes, please add german language as soon as possible!!!!

Jeremiah said...

Now you just need to work on the Voice Dialer...I can almost never get that thing to work!

comra said...

ÅggeåÅsa, I agree with you. Swedish is a beautiful language!

wingdo said...

Can we please see this in localized spanglish?

Josh said...

Offer a setup if the user wants one. Then you wouldn't have to have this over-time garbage, it would be personalized right away.

Dawid said...

+1 for Swedish!

Charbax said...

Are you using my speech model in my YouTube videos as well to generate better subtitles? Any way to point out who I interview in my videos so with their permission you can also use their speech models to also generate more accurate subtitles for what they say? Is it able to automatically recognize who is talking in a video so time codes need not be entered as long as all users in the video are just tagged once in the YouTube video settings?

Softbank Sucks said...

I am hoping that you add support not for additional languages in the future but for multiple languages at the same time to better serve people in mixed language environments, especially when we're talking about languages that are very different.

kcee_iitg said...

when is it coming to iPhone

Kenny said...

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My book every 8 grader to masters in business if you ever read another book b& has it on sale. If you hate non fiction it's and educates and is fun to read even if you don't like send back to publisher

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Nida said...

i love this Post….!!!
its is so awesum…….i ws lost in a trance while i ws readin it……
gr8 wrk !!!!

source: Mobile Jokes

CCACaptioning said...

Will this work for more than one voice? Asking if more than one person can train one mobile device to be as accurate as possible for real time speech to text for millions of people with hearing differences who need a mobile to use in meetings and real life...understand? We hope so :-).

When a mobile can really be used everyplace, for speech to text, with enough accuracy for many voices, we will be celebrating with you. Check out the CCAC and join us there too.
Lauren/CCAC founder - all volunteers

Dor Rotman said...

Awesome news!
However it seems the application is not listed in the Market for Samsung Galaxy S i9000 devices in Israel (operator: orange.)

Additionally, it would be great if the voice dial could search contacts nicknames and not only names. This way, if I write the contacts name in an unsupported language, I can write a nickname in English to search by.

gyndius said...

Too bad I don't have a 2.2 capable phone yet. :*(

scott said...

This is genuinely a great post, like the information here and will be sure to check back again. i am wondering when it comes to iphone to?

Point. said...

Great stuff. We learn to talk (recognise language) by listening. Software must do the same. I can teach my phone my language now.

Jeff said...

It would be nice if Google “recognized” it's US users that have unbranded phones. I can't get the personalized recognition feature even though I have a US based Google account running on a US carrier, all things Google on my phone think I am in the UK because I run stock HTC Froyo 2.2 which isn't available in the US. Interesting way to judge who is and who is not “in the US”.

ajarnaree said...

So cooooool, when will we (Thai) can use it?

abenk said...

it's nice blog..... i like it..
pleased to meet your blog...
please VISIT ME...OK...thank u very much

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