Acoustics engineer John Stuart Reid and American dolphin researcher Jack Kassewitz are working on a Cymascope, a device that allows dolphin-speak to be converted into graphics on a screen. The eventual hope is that the pair can translate that into words. They are starting with basic verbs and nouns and will work their way up into a conversation. Since humans cannot hear many of the sounds, the visual graphics will aid in deciphering. While this goal may not be reached in the foreseeable future, one day they may just find that dolphins have been laughing at us all along for our puny minds.
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If and when a real ET arrives, Dr. John Elliot from Leeds Metropolitan University will be ready. He claims that an alien language will have recognizable patterns and has has created a program to help identify and translate them. He says that all human languages have “functional terms” such as ‘if’ and ‘but’ and that they are separated by up to nine characters or words. The software can also be utilized to break the language down into nouns and verbs. If they still can’t figure it out, perhaps a bag of Reese’s Pieces might help.
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Take a peek at iriver’s business card-sized electronic dictionary. To be released in Japan, the D5 offers a 3-inch LCD display, supports 33 different languages and has up to 16 hours of music or video play time. Pick from black, white, or girly pink, and watch for them if you are globe-hopping this week. A 2GB version is available for ¥39,800 (~$369.00,) while a 4GB version can be had for ¥44,800 (~$415.00.)
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If you are the type that likes to study while listening to music, iriver has come out with a very kewl portable media player that doubles as an e-book reader with PDF, Excel, and Word support. The P10 has a 4.3-inch LCD with 800 x 480 resolution, 33GB internal memory, and can play WMVs and Mpeg video. The device also has several dictionaries that include Chinese, Japanese, and English. The P10 will be coming out in Korea with a basic model for €200 (~$320.00) and a Pro version with DMB for €250 (~$387.00.)
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If you still haven’t invested in a Kindle, ECTACO has just released its jetBook. The device has a clear image on a larger screen and features bookmarks and auto-page turning. The display rotates for portrait or landscape mode and you can adjust the book’s font. Running on an internal Li-ion polymer battery, the e-book will support an SD card and has a built-in MP3 player for tunes or audio books. With support for most major languages, the jetBook comes with an MSRP of $349.95.
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The South Korean company Mouscan has devised Voiscan, which will scan text in any language, recognize it, then read it aloud. It utilizes HP’s scanning technology CapShare and is expected to be sold for travelers to other countries, students for practicing, and those with sight impairment. Look for the Voiscan to hit the market next year. We think it might be amusing to be able to go into a foreign restaurant and not have to be embarrassed by asking some of the contents of our dinners.
Read More | San Francisco Chronicle