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     Volume 5 Issue 106 | August 4, 2006 |

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Voice Activated Remote
If you still think the TV remote control is the pinnacle of mankind's ingenuity, you haven't seen the inVoca 4-in-1 Voice Operated Remote Control. This remote features voice recognition and more than 54 language and accent independent voice commands. No longer do you have to tax your arm to turn on your favourite show. Just speak the channel you want and the inVoca does the rest. The remote can control up to three other devices besides your TV. Though the inVoca was primarily designed for individuals with mobility restrictions, we believe it will be embraced by the indolent everywhere.

Monopoly Adopts Electronic Banking
Monopoly is keeping step with changing technology. The new version of Parker's classic board game dispenses with the coloured currency and instead employs Visa mock debit cars. The card is inserted into an electronic machine where the banker records the players' earnings and payments. For this updated game, Parker partnered with Visa, which made the card and banking machine. The game, dubbed Monopoly Here and Now Electronic Banking, retails for USD 46.

Stowaway Guitar
Frankly, we thought guitars were pretty portable as is, but if you find your regulation axe too portly to tote around, check out The Stowaway Guitar. This six-string features a Clip-Joint neck connection system for quick and easy assembly and disassembly -- when you're travelling to a gig, just remove the neck and slip it into the diagonal cavity in the back of the body. We're just guessing here, but this guitar must be a bear to keep in tune, and, considering that at least half the point of carrying a guitar around is to get the attention of the ladies, that corporate looking briefcase isn't going to boost your cool quotient any.

Electronic Paper Displays to hit market soon
Chizuru Namiki, employee of Japan's electronics giant Hitachi displays the new A4-paper-sized 4,096-colour electric paper display "Albirey" 3.7mm thick and ultra low electric consumption at Hitachi's high-tech convention in Tokyo. Hitachi will put it on the market this autumn to replace paper as information display medium of still frame for trains, offices and shops.

USB Dictionary
It seems dictionaries are no longer the back-breaking volumes from our childhood. This 256MB flash drive (USD 50) contains the Webster's digital dictionary with 300,000 words and a 500,000-word thesaurus. The drive also contains a phonetic spell correction, a grammar guide and confusable function alerts that detect possible misuses of similar sounding words like "there" and "their." You even get a crossword puzzle solver, and memory not allocated to the above software can be used for storage.

Fish to monitor water supply
Japanese scientists have developed a way of using fish as a warning system in the water supply, much like canaries in a coal mine. Medaka rice-fish tend to swim in a regular pattern for as long as three minutes. The fishy security plan takes advantage of that habit because fish exposed to toxic substances alter their behaviour. At water filtration plants, two tanks will be installed and a fish placed in each one, with a computer programmed to look for changes in behaviour. The changes can include swimming close to the surface to get more oxygen, swimming in a smaller area or swimming faster and more erratically, sinking towards the bottom of the tank as death approaches or -- the ultimate behaviour change -- dying. The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry ordered the Shizuoka prefecture to develop the plan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. The prefecture plans to install the tanks and fish next year.

Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: Wired and Webindia123


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