Robotic cursing hack in Spanish

VozmeThe hacker in me is rearing it’s head. I want to hack something cool. A true hacker hacks for the challenge. The other day I was browsing Google Gadgets and I found a Text-to-Speech gadget from Vozme that touched on a subject that’s dear to my heart. I did some of my best work in the area of Text-to-Speech many years ago. (See the patent post for a good story about that.) Next thing I noticed was that it can generate Spanish. Woohoo. Spanish. That’s my language! What to make it say? Dirty words, of course! That gets people’s attention. So the goal is for this post to blast out a few vulgar expressions carefully selected for their exceptional insult value. In Spanish. And I wanted it to be as user-friendly as possible.

Hmmmm…. I discovered that there is a WordPress plugin for Vozme. But I don’t really want Vozme to read my blog posts to you. And I discovered that you can select a piece of text and Vozme will talk it to you in a popup window. No, that won’t work. I don’t want to display the nasty words at all and I would also prefer not to have a popup. What I really want is to have a set of choice preset cuss phrases in Spanish and if you click the button the thing will randomly say one of them. Sooooooo…. I’ve sucked down a copy of vozme’s little flash mp3 player, and I’ve saved a few choice mp3’s. First I figured out that you can’t have javascript in a wordpress post. Next I had to figure out that what you see in the preview isn’t what you get when you publish. It worked fine in preview mode but it couldn’t find the swf the first time I published. Something about the permalinks and the pseudo directory. I solved the problem by prefixing a slash before all references to datafiles — both in the post and in the javascript that rewrites the swf player code. Now it works hunkie dorie.

Change to a different phrase

The beauty of this hack is that there are no dirty words in the post text for a dirty word spider to find! You’ll only get the full brunt of the insults if you actually understand spoken Spanish! Another interesting footnote — I find it rather oddly affirming that the quality of Text-to- Speech in general has not improved much in all the years since I worked in the field.

2 comments to Robotic cursing hack in Spanish

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