One of the most innovative features of Google’s new Nexus One is the built-in voice recognition. But there’s one major limitation that Reuters discovered while putting the smartphone through its paces: the phone is a bit of a prig.
Try uttering a curse word into the Nexus One, and the well-mannered device will automatically replace the offensive expression with a string of # symbols.
Thus, a jocular text message inquiring about a buddy’s whereabouts is transcribed as “Hey #### where are you?” on the Nexus One; A spirited rejoinder to a dubious assertion becomes “that’s bull #### and you know it.”
While perhaps not as politically charged as Google’s censorship of Internet search results in China (a practice Google recently said it will no longer engage in), this restriction of free speech for the foul-mouthed is puzzling, and somewhat inconvenient.
So why the no-curse policy? After all, what business is it of Google’s if a person chooses to be profane in their private communications?