IBM is working on an advanced computer voice that is almost indistinguishable from a human’s. Referred to as “generating paralinguistic phenomena via markup in text-to-speech syntheses,” the voice is programmed to use verbal tics like, ‘um’ and ‘er.’ It can react to an interruption by saying “shhh” and has an algorithm that can learn expressions at correct sentence points. The company plans on using them in telephone helplines, satellite navigation systems, cameras, etc. So we guess the Authors Guild may have a valid concern about the next generation of Kindle after all.
Read More | Telegraph
We were able to spend some time with an HP Mini Vivienne Tam Edition netbook (or, digital clutch as HP is calling it,) and thought the product was nice enough to warrant a photo gallery. We’ve snapped eighteen up-close-and-personal images of the Vivienne Tam Edition equivalent of the HP Mini 1000, and we have them available for you to view in our Vivienne Tam gallery. We will be bringing you much more on the HP Mini Vivienne Tam Edition, including videos and interviews with the people behind the product, but for now, enjoy the images.
Oh, and if you are interested in purchasing the Vivienne Tam Edition, here are a few links:
- HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition - 1.6 GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD
- HP Mini Vivienne Tam Special Edition - 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 60GB hard drive
- HP Mini Vivienne Tam Matching Scarf and Tote
Read More | HP Mini Vivienne Tam gallery
Gallery: HP Mini Vivienne Tam Edition gallery
If you are thinking bare necessity, Taiwan’s MSI has officially announced their WindBOX. The minimal desktop attaches to your monitor’s VESA mount. Features include an Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1 GB of RAM and a SATA II interface. It also has Ethernet and WiFi compatibility, a 3-in-1 card reader, a VGA out and 3 USB ports. Rumor has it that it will be out this quarter with a price of ~ $250.00.
Read More | MSI
So much turmoil over such a small thing, literally. Psion owns the trademark to the Netbook, a device they actually created and later discontinued. But it seems as if they would like to make sure that no one else uses the name. jk on the run first found about the dilemma, and seems to be in contact with their “people” who want to make their intentions perfectly clear. They have sent out letters to retailers and manufacturers who are using the term in their products. We were thinking they should be flattered by all the fuss, but what do you think? And what term should be, as they call it, a “legitimate generic?” Mini-book? Notebook-minus? Should we stage a protest or hold a contest?
Read More | jk On The Run
There’s a new mouse in town. Cyber Sport’s Orbita has a built-in compass to calibrate movements in 3D. The wireless 3-axis mouse does without a scroll wheel. Instead, users rotate it left or right. It also has a series of buttons for clicking. Ergonomically designed, it features a programmable interface with multi-function platform. The Orbita is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later. You can pre-order now for £82.10 (~$126.00) and expect a January delivery.
Read More | Cyber Sport
Last June, Dell began to charge customers $20.00 to $50.00 to downgrade to Windows XP. It was up to $100.00 by October. Now it seems that they are charging $150.00. At the same time, we recently read that Microsoft claims that 9 out of 10 Vista customers are satisfied. While we don’t believe everything we read, we keep wondering why Dell is punishing XP users and MS’s inhouse research, with figures that include licenses sold as part of a downgrade package, seems cheerfully optimistic. What do you guys think? Remember when Coke came up with a new version and nobody liked it? It just went away.
Read More | Silicon Alley Insider
Microsoft, in a clever move, located an “I’m a PC” recording kiosk outside an Apple Store in Birmingham, England. By the way, if you really are a PC, you can upload a photo or video online and you might find yourself in one of their commercials. The company has already selected several of them in ads that are airing on network TV and are part of a $300 million advertising campaign. We’re all for any idea that doesn’t feature Gates and Seinfeld.
Read More | Apple Insider
Buckypaper may look like regular carbon paper, but is in actual fact Florida State University’s Ben Wang’s material that is 10 times lighter but up to 500 times stronger than steel when stacked and pressed. It has the capability of conducting electricity and dispensing heat. The material is made from tube-shaped carbon molecules 50,000x thinner than a human’s hair. Applications would include energy-efficient aircraft and cars, and more powerful computers. At this point buckypaper, which came out of the discovery of the buckyball (a form of pure carbon,) is only made at half of its strength and is very expensive to produce, FSU is planning to developing it commercially in the next 12 months, according to Wang.
Read More | CNN
Next time your spouse/partner complains that you are on the Internet too much, you can site this study that will be in an upcoming American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The report suggests that middle-aged and older adults who use the Net may get a brain boosting. Using 24 “normal” volunteers between the ages of 55 and 76, half of the group had previous experience surfing. The participants showed similar brain activity when reading a book and those who went online also registered activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas, which are those that control decision making and complex reasoning.
Read More | Live Science
J!NX is a very cool site with t-shirts for the geek who wants to be blunt. We especially dig this comment on Pacman in the form of a light blue tee that comes in 5 sizes for ~$20.00. If that one is too gory for you, check through their newest releases for both men and women for all things gaming and computer oriented. JINX frequently has deals on close-outs and discontinued shirts and stickers.
Read More | JINX
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