Hey Google, What the ####?

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist

Have you heard about this one? It’s been all over the internet by now. Google’s sexy Nexus One’s built-in voice to text functionality has an automated censorship filter. If you try to talk dirty to this phone it “bleeps” out the suspected crass comment using the “#” sign. This robo-censorship filter doesn’t just omit the sleazy letters like “f##k” – it blanks/bleeps out the whole Monty as in this example –  “what the ####?”  I wonder if it how it would work if we tried to tweet using a hash tag?

A very smart feature indeed, considering all of the automobile accidents that are caused by people who actually try to text while driving. I, myself have had a chance to use a Nexus One and- I have to say, its not bad at transcribing voice, not to mention, it’s a hell of a lot better than  my Google Voice’s voice-mail transcription prowess.

Needless to say, driving and talking on the phone is just as risky as texting at 65-70mph. Which makes me feel like the Nexus One’s voice to text feature could literally be the saving grace for those outdoor digital billboard networks that still insist on running UGC powered campaigns that offer an opportunity for “drive-by tweeting” to their roadside billboards. All kidding aside, even the most well planned out UGC campaigns can have catastrophic consequences if used in the wrong context.

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