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Kurzweil's kReader can now translate scanned text and read it out in your language.

Ray Kurzweil is one of the most amazing intellectuals and inventors of our time. From his teenage years he's been building a long list of extraordinary achievements, from his early work teaching computers to compose music, to his world-first font-independent optical character recognition system, to his pioneering electric synthesizers that are so accurate that even musicians can't discern them from a real piano in listening tests. In 1976, blind music legend Stevie Wonder bought the first production model of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, a tabletop-sized device that was able to scan text documents and read them out using a text-to-speech engine. Last year, Kurzweil teamed up with Nokia to integrate the reading machine and its synthetic voice into the N82 mobile phone, letting blind or illiterate users read documents, menus, bills, and anything else they could capture on the phone's inbuilt camera. Now, Kurzweil has announced that the kReader phone can translate text it captures that's in another language and read it out to you in your language. It also has new text-tracking abilities to make it even easier to capture all the text on a page.  Read More

Major iPhone hardware revision in the works?

MacRumors has found a reference to "iPhone2,1" in the iPhone's 2.x Firmware. What makes this special? The original iPhone is "iPhone1,1" while the iPhone 3G is "iPhone1,2" - which points to a major hardware revision in the works.  Read More

Panasonic's display at CES 2009

With the head of LG Display recently quoted as saying that flat-panel LCD prices have bottomed, the world's electronics manufacturers are looking for the next big thing to keep the coffers ticking over. With a number of companies rolling out various 3D TV technologies over the years, it’s obvious that many think that this will be the next big thing. Panasonic is one such company that has spent a lot of time and money investing in 3DTV. The fruit of its labor: the world’s first 3D Full HD (3DFHD) Plasma Home Theater System.  Read More

Troy Bayliss thrashes the 2009 Ducati 1198S

MotoGP fans can argue all they like about whether Casey Stoner's 2007 World Championship was a triumph of Ducati electronics over rider skill - but the fact remains that traction control technology is certainly relevant to us lesser riders, particularly in an age where half the price of a family car can buy you a 180-horsepower, featherlight superbike missile at any dealership. Ducati's 2009 1198S packs a 170-horsepower, 97lb-ft L-twin, top-rate Öhlins suspension front and rear, 7-spoke Marsechini wheels, an upgraded data acquisition and downloading system - and the same 8-stage traction control system you'd find on Stoner's GP8 or Bayliss's 1098R. Oh, and if you paid USD$40K for the 1098R last year, you might be annoyed to find out that this year's 1198S, a virtually identical bike with just 10 less horsepower in stock trim, is going to sell for less than USD$22K. Ouch.  Read More

Measurement Lab detects blocked or throttled ports

Google, the PlanetLab consortium and the Open Technology Institute today launched the Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform for Internet measurement tools, along with three tools for users to test their Internet connections - including Glasnost, which tests whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled.  Read More

Boeing Laser Avenger
 Photo Credit: Boeing Photo

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now a well established tool in modern warfare, having proved their worth in both in reconnaissance and increasingly, combat roles. As with all weapons however, this success might not be viewed so glowingly if you happen to be on the receiving end. In developing ways to combat the threat of UAV platforms, Boeing has demonstrated for the first time that a laser equipped Avenger ground combat vehicle can shoot down a UAV.  Read More

Super Talent 64GB SSD upgrade for Asus S101 Eee Netbook

Flash storage manufacturer Super Talent is now offering a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) specially designed as an upgrade for the Asus S101 Eee netbook PC. The Windows S101 netbook has just 16GB of local storage as standard, so the US$169 upgrade 64 GB SSD can quadruple the storage capacity inside a few minutes, while offering ballistic read and write speeds of 90/55 MB/sec respectively.  Read More

The Extreme Bentley – fastest, most powerful ever

It has been interesting to see the continued rise of the time-honoured Bentley automotive brand and its immense desirability to the young and nouveau rich. The attractiveness levels are about to rise another magnitude with the imminent unveiling of the Extreme Bentley, the perfect badge of success for extreme athletes and other non-conventional financial achievers. Only a promotional film and single darkened image have been released so far, along with the news the vehicle will feature Bentley’s new flexfuel powertrain, announced at the NAIAS a week or two back. Oh, and the news it will be the fastest, most powerful production Bentley ever. That means …  Read More

Ultimate Aero EV: 1000 horsepower electric supercar

In the latest installment from the company that announced only four months ago that it is working on a new breed of EV super car “featuring a revolutionary power source allowing for the possibility of several years between charging”, we now have the just-as-fantastic prospect of the world's first roadgoing 1000 bhp battery electric vehicle. Shelby Sports Cars says it expects to roll out its first full-scale, pre-production Ultimate Aero EV in Q2 2009 so we won’t have long to see if this ambitious claim can become reality.  Read More

WD launche s industry’s first 2 TB hard drive

WD today announced the first 2 terabyte hard drive – the world’s highest capacity drive and the latest addition to the WD Caviar Green hard drive family. The drive is likely to become hot property due to ever increasing need for hard disk space – already in the United States, some ten percent of 3.5-inch hard drive sales are 1 TB or more.  Read More

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