Apple trademarks VoicePass: I just read that Apple has trademarked the phrase "VoicePass" (or "Voice Pass"), and when I first heard the name, I assumed it stood for "Voice Password", meaning you could finally log into your Mac using a voice password instead of a text password. I'll be able to walk up to my computer, say "Soylent green is people", and the system will log me in, just like in the old tv show Millenium.
After my work with Mac voice recognition software this year (see Mac speech recognition, AppleScript text to speech, Java speech recognition) I thought, cool, Mac speech recognition is finally getting somewhere. The built-in Mac speech recognition server is clearly lagging behind current technology, so I assumed Apple was releasing some great new speech recognition technology. To show you how old the Mac OS X 10.6 speech recognition server is, it's still written in Carbon, their programming technology that preceded Cocoa, and was 'deprecated' what, ten years ago? Here's a blurb on Mac Carbon technology from Wikipedia:
"Carbon provides a good degree of backward compatibility for programs to run on the now-obsolete Mac OS 8 and 9, however these systems are no longer actively supported since Apple released the final OS 9 update in December 2001."
Here's a link to the Wikipedia article on Apple's Carbon API. They note that as of September, 2010, apps like iTunes, Final Cut Pro, and features in Quicktime still use Carbon.
Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be true. According to TechCrunch and others, Apple's VoicePass just does what the local Alaska cable company and my cell phone provide and insurance company have been doing for a long time: They recognize your telephone number when you call in for customer support. Yawn.