Talking Points

Keeping Score in Your Next Debate

UD - Talk-o-MeterYou've always been a careful listener. The type to observe, absorb and then surprise everyone with the world-shaking insight that they never saw coming.

But in this town, the person who talks the most usually wins. Which means it's time to start keeping score...

Which brings us to Talk-o-Meter, a new iPhone app that will listen to—and keep track of—your next establishment-rocking conversation.

Basically, it's a real-time scorecard for your next debate, sales pitch or cabinet meeting. Here's how it works: designate a "blue" speaker and a "red" speaker (coincidence, we're sure) and cue the software to listen for the unique signature of each person's voice. (If one of them belongs to Chris Matthews, you may have bigger challenges ahead.) Then, after a few minutes of casual chat, you'll see a color-coded graph showing how much each person talked (in other words, who won).

So the next time you feel like you're getting out-talked, shouted down or otherwise filibustered—say, your next turn on The McLaughlin Group—turn this on and you'll get a real-time progress report of your talk-a-thon. Right now, the app is designed to track two people conversing, but designers are working on an update that would track voices in larger groups.

A merger with C-SPAN can't be far behind.

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