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     Volume 5 Issue 78 | January 6, 2006 |

   Cover Story
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Treo 700w and Motorola Q To Face Off in January
We've been anticipating these two devices for more than half of 2005, and now it looks like the Motorola Q and Palm Treo 700w will go head to head at the start of 2006. According to Infosync, Palm has now confirmed a January release for its preliminarily named 700w handset, and Motorola has already confirmed its own January release for the Q. The two devices, both running Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, may signal a new epoch for smart phone users who have so far seen few options beyond the usual lineup of Palm OS and BlackBerry handsets. Let the battle for smart phone supremacy begin.

Fuel Savings
Replacing spark ignition with direct injection of natural gas can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent, according to Westport Innovations. The company is working with Isuzu, Cummins, Ford and BMW on implementing its direct injection technology on compressed natural gas and diesel vehicles. Westport's Compressed Natural Gas Direct Injection (CNG-DI) technology also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. The Vancouver, BC, company says Isuzu will use the technology to meet the country's tougher emissions standards in 2009. We may see an expansion of CNG vehicles as the prices of oil goes up, making CNG even more of a bargain.

Indictments Via SMS
If you're the sort of person who gets indicted frequently, you'll be pleased to learn that South Korean prosecutors are streamlining the process to make your next grand jury appearance a more convenient affair. Since 70% of South Koreans own cell phones, prosecutors in the country decided to take advantage of them by sending indictments and information about other legal actions (including fines and other penalties) as text messages. But in order to receive such messages, you have to first sign up for the service, and we're a little confused about why anybody would want to do that.

Smart polymer helps surgeons
A German researcher has created a smart polymer surgeons can use to close stitches from inside the body of a patient. Professor Andreas Lendlein, a chemist at the GKSS Research Centre in Teltow, near Berlin, said the polymer can be placed into the body in compressed form, then change back to its original shape, do its job and dissolve, Deutsche Welle reported Monday. Thus you can introduce a bulky implant in a compressed form into the body through a small cut, such as in keyhole surgery, Lendlein said. By warming the room temperature to body temperature the implant unfurls and then the whole thing disintegrates after a certain (amount of) time. It dissolves so that you don't have to carry out a second operation to remove the implant. Lendlein has also created a special thread for surgeons that make itself into a loop once inside the body.

Do the Robot Dance
Japanese electronics giant Sony's humanoid robots Qrio display dance a Argentine tango for a Christmas special stage at Tokyo's Sony showroom 23 December 2005. Qrio will shows its ability to attract Christmas shoppers
through out
Christmas Day.

What Does the Web Smell Like?
In the early 1960's, the film industry toyed breifly with the idea of Smell-O-Vision, pumping scents into movie theaters to enhance the viewing experience. Alas, it was an idea whose time had not yet come. We don't know if the present is any better a time for such an innovation, but Japan's NTT seems to think it might be. By attaching a funky little orb peripheral to your PC, the company is enabling smell-enhanced web surfing. This is't actually the first time we've seen prototypes of internet scenting devices, but this is the first one that looks like it might actually go to market (at a retail price of USD 640).

Britain to Spy on Cars
England must have NSA envy. Criminals and people who dare to drive with expired registration will have no where to hide in England. The country is going to convert the cameras used to capture red light runners to read the license plate numbers of each vehicle that passes by. While images of the vehicles drivers won't be recorded, the system will record the intersection location where each vehicle passes in an attempt to combat organized crime and more readily identify stolen vehicles. Wow. This seems like a massive undertaking, and hopefully the video recognition software that they use to take down the plate numbers is up to snuff. I can imagine lots of interest in photo blocking sprays and drivers "accidentally" forgetting to clean their plates off. The information is also going to be made available to British intelligence officers. I can imagine lots of folks being interested in peeking at the data (where was my spouse last Saturday night?) so I hope the security system is impenetrable.

Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: AFP, Wired and Webindia123


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