[nfbwatlk] Fw: [gui-talk] Fwd: Article: Karen

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Sun Aug 22 09:30:24 CDT 2010

Mildly off-topic but those of us who use ScanSoft RealSpeak with JAWS or 
Window-eyes or our iPhones will enjoy this one. I confess I switch to Karen 
or Emily (the British voice on the iPhone -- thank God it's not Arogant 
Daniel!) when I get bored with Samantha. Wish the VRStream had Karen but I 
suspect that she's too complex. <g>

Mike Freeman

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Pattison" <srp at internode.on.net>
To: "Access L" <access-l at access-l.com>; "CUG Members" <Members at bcacug.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:00 PM
Subject: [gui-talk] Fwd: Article: Karen

> This article is about Karen Jacobsen who is the voice that the RealSpeak
> Karen voice is based on that is used in JAWS and some other adaptive
> technology products.  More information about Karen Jacobsen can be found
> at www.karenjacobsen.com.  You can also hear some of her songs on her
> home page.  -Steve.
> From:    Peter.Scanlon at justice.vic.gov.au
> To:      vip-l at freelists.org
> Meet 'the other woman' who is always telling you where to go
>                By: Garry Maddox
> August 14, 2010
> Karen Jacobsen, a Queenslander who has been living in New York for 10
> years, is the voice of GPS units in Australia.
> Could drivers be finding in their GPS units something more than just their
> way home? Are American Jill or Espanol Paulina becoming ''the other
> woman''
> for harried males who spend hours each day on the road? Are women driving
> to work fantasising about an evening with Irish Sean?
> Karen Jacobsen, a little-known singer known as ''Australian Karen'' in
> millions of TomToms, NavMans and other GPS units around the world, learnt
> a couple
> of years ago that she had an underground fan club of smitten drivers.
> ''I started to be contacted by people thanking me for getting them through
> a dark lonely road in Italy or being lost in the Black Forest in Germany
> or
> around Los Angeles on the freeways or taking them to school and back,'' Ms
> Jacobsen said. ''It's increased to the point where I've realised people
> really do have
> an intimate relationship with the voice in their GPS system.''
> The American writer Bruce Feiler wondered in The New York Times recently
> whether the GPS unit was rewriting the rules of male-female relationships
> after
> confessing that he had fallen for the automated voice that had ''guided me
> effortlessly through the maze of freeways and road rage like a graceful
> hostess
> - unflappable, efficient and with just enough sex appeal to give some
> sizzle to my protracted absence from my wife''.
> He quickly realised he was not alone. ''At sites like gpspassion.com and
> pdastreet.com, the number of lewd comments about the voices of American
> Jill or
> Australian Karen seem more suited to a convention of 900-number [adult
> entertainment line] users.''
> Ms Jacobsen, who has lived in New York for 10 years, is always meeting
> people who feel they know her already because of her voice. ''They'll want
> to tell
> me right away the story of the time we were travelling in this city or
> that country and what happened,'' she said.
> Jacobsen is not surprised that the connection matters to drivers. ''You're
> on that dark lonely road on your own in the car, you don't know where you
> are
> and this voice, even though its coming from a machine, seems like your
> companion. It's something that you're trusting.''
> She believes the voice on the GPS unit can help relationships by stopping
> arguments between couples about directions.
> ''They take it out on the third-party GPS. It's kind of like a community
> service - reducing the amount of angst between couples in the car.''
> The chief executive of Relationships Australia NSW, psychologist Anne
> Hollonds, agrees that GPS units are easing tension on the road between
> couples by
> ''outsourcing the navigation role''.
> And Ms Hollonds is not surprised that drivers are having an emotional
> response to the voice.
> ''The car is actually a very intimate environment,'' she said. ''A lot of
> people will say they have their most meaningful conversations - with their
> partner
> or their kids - in the car. It's like a bubble.''
> Ms Jacobsen's new career started when she recorded almost 50 hours of
> script for a text-to-speech system. Having now achieved a strange kind of
> fame, she
> is taking it for a spin.
> Her latest CD is called Take A Little Drive. (And, no, it doesn't include
> lyrics like ''at the next intersection, turn left''.) She also has a
> personal
> development podcast called Directions For Life and has shot a pilot for a
> TV show called Travel the World With the GPS Girl.
> ''Growing up as a little girl in Mackay in north Queensland, I always
> wanted my songs - my voice - to be coming out of the car radio,'' Jacobsen
> said.
> ''Now,
> all these years later, my voice is coming out of the GPS.''
> Regards Steve
> Email:  srp at internode.on.net
> MSN Messenger:  internetuser383 at hotmail.com
> Skype:  steve1963
> Twitter:  steve9782
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