- Animator for Netflix’s ‘Carmen Sandiego’ says he was fired after asking for fair pay Sunday 3:17 PM
- YouTube reverses decision to remove creators’ badges Sunday 1:47 PM
- How video game developer Valve got served secret subpoena as part of FBI’s counterterrorism fight Sunday 12:31 PM
- Aron Eisenberg, ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ actor, dead at 50 Sunday 11:35 AM
- Who needs glass slippers? This Cinderella cosplayer upgraded with a stunning glass arm Sunday 10:19 AM
- How to check if Yahoo owes you $358 Sunday 9:25 AM
- How to stream Bears vs. Redskins on Monday Night Football Sunday 7:00 AM
- What are the best alternatives to the electoral college? Sunday 6:30 AM
- The best PS4 games you can’t play anywhere else Sunday 6:00 AM
- How to watch the 2019 Emmy Awards Sunday 5:00 AM
- How to stream ‘Power’ season 6, episode 5 Sunday 4:00 AM
- Former developer at software company deletes his code to protest its ties to ICE Saturday 4:21 PM
- A mysterious website is doxing Hong Kong protesters and journalists Saturday 1:44 PM
- The best ‘Skyrim’ followers and how to get them Saturday 1:26 PM
- Why Joel Osteen gets cyberbullied every time Houston floods Saturday 12:40 PM
Wikipedia will ensure you always know what celebrities sound like
Just in case YouTube doesn’t last.
Imagine you could hear the Gettysburg Address delivered in Abraham Lincoln’s own voice. OK, so that’s never going to happen—but thanks to Wikipedia, the people of the future will know how English author, actor, and television presenter Stephen Fry introduced himself in conversation.
Fry is among the first of a famous few to have their speaking voices recorded for archival reasons, according to the Wikimedia U.K. blog, along with U.S. astronaut Charlie Duke and Baron Knight of Weymouth, a politician. The idea is to create a 10-second audio file for every living subject of a Wikipedia article “so that Wikipedia’s readers know what they sound like and how to correctly pronounce their names.” The BBC is embarking on a similar project to extract audio from its programming and will provide the Wikipedia Commons with another 500 to 1,000 files. This is the first time it’s openly licensed content from their broadcasts.
The BBC, in turn, will eventually use the voice archive “to power a real-time, open-source voice-recognition engine,” Engadget reported. The question now is: which other voices need to be recorded? Anyone who has their own Wikipedia page or knows someone who does is encouraged to get involved, but redditors had some specific people in mind, with Morgan Freeman and Sir David Attenborough high on the list. (My vote goes to Gilbert Gottfried.)
As for Fry’s inaugural voice sample, well, there have been some gripes about quality. But what’s more important, a crystal-clear recording, or the preservation of that perfectly British “um” for posterity? Besides, things really sound more historical when they’re this grainy.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'