If you're already bored of getting English translated to Mandarin through JaJah, TwitterFone, another mobile service with voice recognition savvy, has put out a neat update that's sure to burn through your mobile phone minutes. You can now listen to the last 10 tweets from your Twitter pals and respond to any of them that you'd like using the same speech-to-text system in place for publishing tweets of your own.
Listening to MP3s of robotic voices reading stories from the Web is a good way to prepare for the eventual downfall of mankind at the hands of our robotic overlords. If you're into that kind of thing, Hearwho will do all the heavy lifting for you by converting any text you feed it into a downloadable MP3 file.
If you've spent hours amusing yourself playing with AT&T's text-to-speech demo, you'll be glad to know that Hearwho does away with the somewhat annoying 300-character limit. I dumped an entire 800-word story into the text box … Read more
Hey, remember when Nvidia issued that business update saying it was expecting to lose money repairing or replacing flawed graphics cards, but then declined to state which cards were affected and which manufacturers bought them?
Well, this week, both Dell and HP finally came out with a list of laptops that included the defective cards. Check your laptops, people, or you too may be treated to "multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, no video" or even a "notebook (that) does not start."
Moving on, analyst group Gartner says the $100 laptop is a pipe dream, but the $200-$500 laptop is going strong. This week saw Intel's Classmate PC primed for a third-generation release; the MSI Wind started shipping with a 6-cell battery (though that bumps the price to $550); and Asus reportedly prepared an Eee PC 701 powered by Intel Atom chips.
That last item is apparently part of Asus' plan to cook up a total of 23 varieties of Eee PC over the coming months (or years, the timeline isn't clear). It's enough to make me wonder if Asus will continue to manufacture any non-Eee PC computers in the next few years. Or will we soon be receiving a press release announcing that Asus is changing the company name to Eee?
Meanwhile, memory maker Buffalo gets our carpe diem award for recognizing the market opportunity in DIY solid-state drives for the Eee PC. First runner-up is Samsung, which finally recognized business users as a prime market for the UMPC and added a few enterprise features to its Q1 Ultra. … Read more
Could Alfa Romeo's first all-new compact car in 40 years be their ticket back into the U.S. auto market?
The Alfa Romeo Mi.To features Blue&Me (a Microsoft technology similar to Ford's SYNC) and a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine.
It was nice while it lasted. After a multi-week break from overwhelming netbook news, we were hit with a second tidal wave of tiny systems from Asus, Acer, and Sylvania. Feeling a little left out of the party, LG is supposedly mulling over a netbook of its own. Rumor has it that HP is contemplating a low-cost version of its 2133 Mini-Note. And Asus, not quite content with its many varieties of Eee PC, is reportedly working toward "whole-day" battery life on its netbooks.
The elderly among us may remember that before there were netbooks, there was the … Read more
My new tagline for This Week in Laptops: The antidote to iPhone fever. Catchy, no?
While our colleagues toiled away on iPhone rumors, iPhone release stories, iPhone reviews, and iPhone software news, the CNET Laptop Reviews team continued to fill out our roundup of back-to-school laptops that will be on retailers' shelves this summer. The latest additions: a $649 Dell Inspiron 1525, the $799 HP Pavilion dv2915nr, and the $799 Gateway T-6836. Keep checking back for more reviews as the first day of classes draws near (already?!). Not wanting to leave gamers out in the cold, we also pulled together … Read more
Graspr, a site for watching do-it-yourself videos on everything from how to make a homemade BB gun to how to break-dance, said Thursday it has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, among other investors.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which launched in September, is among a throng of how-to video start-ups that are nabbing millions from investors and seeking to become the next YouTube for instructional clips. Among its rivals are 5Min, ExpertVillage, Howcast, and VideoJug.
As part of its funding announcement, Graspr said that it has introduced technology to syndicate its more … Read more
Talk about an odd couple. Cable giant Comcast said Wednesday that it will work with Vonage to help ensure Vonage's Internet phone service works well over its broadband network.
The Comcast/Vonage alliance follows other similar announcements made with other Internet companies, as the cable operator tries to convince customers that it's not looking to kill competitive services that run over its network.
Last year, Comcast was discovered slowing down peer-to-peer traffic on its network. At first the company denied it was filtering traffic. Then it admitted it had slowed down some types of traffic to manage congestion … Read more
Video may have killed the radio star, but it doesn't have to kill the Internet.
That is if Internet service providers can figure out how to keep up with the video-driven bandwidth demand on their networks. Peer-to-peer technology provider BitTorrent says it can help.
Video consumes more network resources than any other media distributed on the Web. Even poor-quality video from YouTube eats up more bandwidth than e-mail, music downloading, and voice over IP services. And when you throw full-length high-definition video into the mix, you're talking about even more bandwidth. Depending on the compression used, a single … Read more
Virgin Media and the British Polyphonic Industry will work together to "educate" broadband customers on avoiding legal action while downloading music with peer-to-peer software, the organizations said Friday.
A joint release posted on the British Polyphonic Industry (BPI) Web site said Virgin Media broadband customers using their accounts to illegally share music will receive letters from Virgin Media and the BPI. Customer names and addresses will not be disclosed to the BPI--which is comparable to the Recording Industry Association of America--and the release says the letters will be of an "informative" nature.
According to the BPI, … Read more