Apple announces iPhone 6, Apple Watch

Language

Researchers have analyzed the text from four percent of all books ever published, to learn...

You may have Facebook friends who have done the “Here are the top words from my Facebook status messages!” thing, where it lists the words they’ve most commonly used in telling the world about their lives. Interesting as that may or may not be, imagine something similar being done with four percent of all books ever published. That’s what a team of researchers from Harvard University, Google, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary have done. The resulting dataset is made up of the full text of about 5.2 million books, 72 percent of that text being in English, with French, German, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew making up the rest. Analyzing that dataset, a practice that the researchers call “culturomics” (a play on genomics), has revealed some fascinating things about the history of our species.  Read More

Proloquo2Go is an iPhone/iPad app that helps autistic children to communicate with others

iPad and iPod Touch application developers have recently created several programs which help aid the learning and development for children with autism. The success and usability of many of these programs has not only offered a new platform to help autistic children with their education, but can also offer much-needed relief to their parents. Autistic children are said to be adapting to these iPad programs like ducks to water, whilst the supervising parents can finally get some quiet time for a cup of coffee or to simply read the newspaper in peace.  Read More

Larger, numbered button-like electrodes (ECoGs) alongside the microECoGs indicated by the ...

Using the same technology that allowed them to accurately detect the brain signals controlling arm movements that we looked at last year, researchers at the University of Utah have gone one step further, translating brain signals into words. While the previous breakthrough was an important step towards giving amputees or people with severe paralysis a high level of control over a prosthetic limb or computer interface, this new development marks an early step toward letting severely paralyzed people speak with their thoughts.  Read More

WikiReader now supports 14 other language versions in addition to the original English

WikiReader, the palm-sized device that makes Wikipedia entries available offline, has gone multilingual. In addition to being able to store the more than three million English language Wikipedia articles, users can now download any of 14 other language versions of Wikipedia along with the virtual keyboards with characters to support them.  Read More

Converse iPhone app turns your phone into a double-ended language translator

We've all been there - you're trying to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language and you don't speak theirs, and no amount of charades and gesturing will do the trick. You need a toilet and he's wondering why you're telling him your brother eats flies. Converse is the name of a new app that will soon become available which is claimed to turn your iPhone into a double ended language translator – a multilingual, face-to-face instant messaging conversation. It's one of the most innovative uses of the iPhone's form factor we've yet seen, with both people able to type on a keyboard in their own language at the same time and have the words translated and displayed for the other person. If it works as advertised, Converse is set to significantly reduce communication problems on holidays and business trips. The new app enables an English speaker to communicate with people in 51 different languages and keyboards accommodate non-Latin languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Czech, Hebrew and Ukrainian scripts.  Read More

Google integrates multi-language virtual keyboards into search

If you are trying to search the web using a language other than English and you don't have the correct keyboard handy, well, there's bound to be a problem. Google has come up with a solution by integrating virtual keyboards into its search engine. Now up and running in 35 languages, the on-screen keyboards allow input in a local language script without any additional software and no matter what computer you are using.  Read More

Should ‘tweet’, ‘Twitter’ or ‘unfriend’ be the 2009 word of the year?

The English language is continually evolving and thanks to the technology of the 21st century – including the media and internet - new words and phrases are being created at an unprecedented rate. Increasingly, these new words result from our love affair with the internet, online social networking sites and geek-speak. This year, the American Dialect Society (ADS) has voted “tweet” – a short message sent via Twitter – as the 2009 word of the year. But two other organizations disagreed. The Global Language Monitor nominated “Twitter” as the word of the year and the New Oxford American Dictionary claimed “unfriend” – meaning to “de-friend” someone on a social networking site such as Facebook – deserved the 2009 word of the year award.  Read More

The Tele Scouter prototype wearable retinal display

The days of a Universal Translator like the one that made chatting between alien species a non-issue in Star Trek might be some way off yet. But a new device from NEC is definitely a step in the right direction for those of us on planet Earth looking for a way to communicate with other language speakers that doesn’t involve a human translator or a well-thumbed phrase book. The prototype device called a “Tele Scouter” is a glasses type display that translates the foreign language being spoken by a partner and projects the translation onto a tiny retinal display.  Read More

Karen Braun, Xerox color research scientist, helped develop a natural language that allows...

If you’re not a graphic designer, you may have struggled in the past to get your personal photos looking their best when relying on your printer’s color adjustment settings. Complex color wheels, sliders, brightness and contrast editors, and highlight tools all look handy – until you try to use them. Xerox has devised Natural Language Color Editing technology that allows you to adjust the colors in your printed documents by accessing plain English phrases. A drop-down Color By Words menu on your computer offers phrases like: ‘Make the blues a lot more vibrant’, which will then do just that across the entire document or image. Combining words can form thousands of different phrases to deliver the results you want. You can watch the demo video below or test drive the technology for yourself via the link at the end of this story.  Read More

The Qlocktwo offers stunning good looks and a thoroughly pleasant time-keeping experience ...

What's so great about numbers anyway? And why is it that the circular form seems so sought after? After all, the Qlocktwo from proves beyond reasonable doubt that it's cool to be square and words are what matter most. The familiar rounded clock face is abandoned in favor of a stylish and elegant, cornered design where illuminated letters spell out the time at set intervals. It's time-signal receiver ensures this quartz-driven timepiece is always accurate and its interchangeable faces offer numerous color coordination options.  Read More

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