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MIT uses Macs to learn how children gain speech skills


Apple's Science page has a profile up for the folks over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- apparently two MITers, Deb Roy and Rupal Patel, are using Macs, including "five Apple Xserves and a 4.4TB Xserve RAID," to record and track every single moment of their son's early childhood.

Not only are they assured to get his first few steps on tape, but they're also studying early development and how young children gain the skills to interact with other human beings. In order to do this, they're dealing with huge amounts of audio and video data -- about 250TB. And they're also building an analysis application on the platform called TotalRecall to scan through all the audio and video and pick out interesting parts and patterns (creating the kind of image seen above -- apparently that means something to them).

Of course, there is one thing they do that Apple can't -- when the time came to figure out how to transfer 200GB a day from the home environment to work, they eventually settled on a "sneakernet" approach, packing up the digital tapes in a case and carrying them to work. Here's hoping Apple will announce their own proprietary version of iSneakernet at the next WWDC (with a stylish design and a reasonable pricetag, of course).

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