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.
Read More | Telegraph
We know a lot of you guys have been waiting for this one, so it brings us joy to share with you that Slacker Internet Radio has finally come to the BlackBerry Storm. We’ve proclaimed our love for Slacker in the past, and we’ve been enjoying it ourselves on the iPhone. This is good news to lovers of Internet radio, who also just happen to rock the Storm. You can grab it by firing up your web browser on the phone, and heading over to slacker.com. We’ve got the full release after the break for you. Also, be on the lookout, we are going to be giving away 10 Slacker Radio Plus subscriptions later today - stay tuned.
When Apple announced the new iLife ‘09 suite during the MacWorld 2009 Keynote last month, we were immediately intrigued by the seemingly powerful features included in iPhoto and iMovie. If you happened to catch it, you know what I am talking about. Faces and Places in iPhoto had the ability to change the way we use the program, and image stabilization in iMovie would be amazing for any amateur videographer or video hobbyist. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the software, and now that we have been able to give it a good few days of playing with, we are ready to report back with our thoughts. Should you purchase iLife ‘09 for $79? Hit the jump for our thoughts.
What’s the latest on the iPhone Flash rumors? It looks like work is being done, but that finding a solution is proving to be tough, as evidenced by Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen:
“It’s a hard technical challenge, and that’s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating,” Narayen told Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver.”
Did you get that? Apple and Adobe are working together to come up with a suitable Flash derivative for the iPhone. So while there’s no set date or anything, we can at least rest assured that it’s coming. iPhone Hulu, anyone?
Read More | Bloomberg
If you want more than basic GPS, the newly updated HTC Touch Cruise doesn’t simply give navigational directions, it allows you to take a picture while their Footprints software saves your location. You can then add your comments and audio. The phone also has a one-touch interface and lets you locate services and traffic tangling. This a great phone for geocachers and those who want to convince their friends that they actually saw Mt. Denali. Look for the unlocked Touch Cruise in the spring for about $500.00 to $600.00.
Read More | HTC
This may be better than a watchdog. The Motion Tracking Camera automatically captures movement by panning 180° and tilting 60°. Control the camera remotely with software via the Internet and set it up to automatically email you when it knows someone is in the room. The cam captures 640x480 res video at 30 fps and has a 4x zoom and built-in microphone that can record up to 20 ft. away from the subject. Compatible with Windows XP/Vista, you need a high-speed connection. The 4 1/4 x 3-inch webcam plugs into your USB 2.0 and carries a price of $89.95.
Read More | Hammacher Schlemmer
The virus Downadup, which originated in October by the name Conficker, has apparently attacked more than 3.5 million computers in less than 24 hours. The hackers have used phony Barack Obama websites to do the damage. The network of worms becomes a part of Windows services.exe then establishes an HTTP server from the computer. Make sure you have an updated anti-virus software program and check with Microsoft for patches to ensure your computer’s safety.
Read More | Gadgetell
Our pal Robert Scoble was able to get an early look at the new Microsoft Songsmith software, and we were impressed enough that we wanted to give you guys a look at the video. Songsmith allows you to make music, that you sing to, by generating musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. You sing into your mic, and the software creates the backing music for you to make you sound good. It’s not just for novices either, as you can play instruments into Somgsmith for capturing, and it includes an intelligent scratchpad to allow it to work with new melodies. Kind of hard to explain, so really, check out the video. You can download a free trial at the Songsmith page as well.
Read More | Songsmith
During the kickoff Microsoft keynote that marks the start CES, Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 7 beta is available starting today for TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Nothing too exciting there for the average Joe, we know, which is why we were excited when he also mentioned that the beta would also be publicly available beginning this Friday, January 9th. You’ll be able to grab either the 32-bit version, or the 64-bit version of the Windows 7 beta software if you are one of the first 2.5 million people to hit the download button. You just need to head to the Windows 7 product page to do so. Just be aware that the beta software will expire on August 1, 2009.
As part of the release, Microsoft was also happy to note that Windows Live Essentials, “a free suite of communications and sharing applications that make it easy for people to communicate, share and keep their online lives in sync and in one place with one login,” is now also available on a worldwide scale.
In the final announcement of the MacWorld 2009 keynote, Phil Schiller listed off some of the changes coming to the iTunes ecosystem. First and foremost, in our mind, is that iTunes is going completely DRM-free. Starting today, 8 millions songs on the service will be DRM-free, and by the end of March, all 10 million will be without DRM. Consumers will be able to upgrade their entire purchased music library to iTunes Plus, which means no DRM and much higher quality at 256 kbps.
In a related note, Apple also announced that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store is no more, and that instead, your iPhone can now download iTunes tracks no matter what connection you are on - that means no need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to download the latest from Flo Rida. Of course, iPhone downloads are also DRM-free and sport the same quality.