Drools (Java-based inference engine) ported to .NET

Drools.NET is a port of the Drools library to .NET. I have a bg, big architectural decision coming up for a client and I am debating about whether to tackle the issue with an inference engine or a scripting language. So I’ve been looking at Drools pretty closely. It’s okay. I wouldn’t put it in the same league as ILog JRules, but the price is right and it seems to have momentum.

In the .NET front, I’ve been told there’s a Rete-based inference engine inside BizTalk (?), but I never followed up on that. Another tool is mTuitive’s xPert Authoring Environment. More to check out….

Blown Away by NaturallySpeaking

Against my better judgment I bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 from Amazon.  Over the years I’ve tried lots of dictation software and have been uniformly disappointed.  The new NaturallySpeaking says that it achieves a high level of accuracy out of the box without extensive user training.  Many people say that “Gee, if you just invest the time in training, a few weeks or so,” the voice accuracy a level which is very practical but I’ve never had that patience.

Since being able to work with dictation would be such an incredible boon to me as a writer I bought the latest version of NaturallySpeaking. I also wanted to show exactly what NaturallySpeaking gave for an out of box experience and so I recorded screencasts of my very initial dictation with NaturallySpeaking. You can judge for yourself.

Oh, and naturally, I dictated this blog entry.

Panorama Stitching: A Solved Problem

Everyone’s buzzing about Photosynth, Microsoft’s impressive technology that stitches together photographs and presents them in a 3-D space. However, all that is available today is a video.

In the meantime, though, it turns out that automatically stitching together photos to create panoramas appears to be a solved problem. Autostitch is freely downloadable and does a great job.