I heard San Francisco. Is that correct ?

Microsoft have paid $800m for California-based Tellme Networks. That's the voice-recognition company that specialises in technology for call centres and directory enquiries, and amongst others, American Airlines flight information.
Things don't look good then. Tellme's system apparently has no idea how to understand anything other than an American accent. This is a "conversation" I had with it last year.
AA: Hi, my name's Bob. I can help you find out flight information. First, tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: Arrivals.
Bob: I heard arrivals, is that correct?
Me: Yes.
Bob: I'm sorry. First, tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: (again) Arrivals!
Bob: I heard arrivals, is that correct?
Me: Yes.
Bob: Great. Is that for today?
Me: Yes.
Bob: Okay. Is it for tomorrow?
Me: No - it's for today.
Bob: I'm sorry. I only have information for today and tomorrow. Is this for today?
Me: YES!
Bob: Okay. Now tell me the city where the flight is arriving.
Me: Salt Lake City
Bob: I heard San Francisco. Is that correct?
Me: No.
Bob: Great. Now tell me the flight number.
Me: No - operator.
Bob: I heard 380. Is that correct?
Me: NO! Operator!
Bob: Great. (pause). Flight 380 does not arrive in San Francisco. Let's start again. Tell me if you want arrivals or departures.
Me: OPERATOR! (start pressing 9, 0, # - anything to get me through)
Bob: Ok. Is this for today?
Me: OPERATOR! NO! ZERO! RESET! HUMAN!
Bob: Great. Tell me the city of departure.
Me: Fuck you. *click*

If we can expect the usual degradation of software that happens once Microsoft absorb a company (to wit, what happened to iView, Microsoft Money etc etc), it's hard to imagine how that speech recognition system could get any worse.
Mind you, Microsoft's handwriting system can't recognise lefties in their mobile product (I have to use the soft keyboard) and it barely hits 25% success with righties so I guess they're continuing their trend of non-functional data-entry systems.

I have to ask - what's wrong with a mouse and a keyboard ?

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