We thought it might be a joke when it started making the rounds a few days ago, but Boing Boing has found a site that's selling it, albeit in Italian. (At least it's not in Latin.) It provided this direct translation of the description for the digital artifact, which is made by an Italian company called Prex: "The Saint rosary is recited by a feminine voice and a chorus … Read more
Is it a boon for identity protection or a blast at individual privacy when government has an eye glued not just on criminals, but on ordinary citizens?
The United States FBI has begun a project to create a database of fingerprints, iris scans, and facial shapes, among other traits, of regular people working in "vulnerable positions" such as child care. Read the story at CNN: FBI wants palm prints, eye scans, tattoo mapping
In London, some Members of Parliament are disturbed that they're under as much scrutiny as other English citizens--from the electronic surveillance systems they helped … Read more
The Guitar Wars saga continues.
In the epic battle with Activision's Guitar Hero, Electronic Arts has reportedly disclosed that a version of arch-rival Rock Band is heading for the Wii. Gamespot reports that EA's chief executive mentioned the news in a conference call yesterday after the company posted its latest quarterly earnings. (MTV Games is the official publisher of the game, but EA distributes it.)
"In terms of pacing the next few quarters, you're probably well aware of the more than $2.5 million music downloads that have occurred on Rock Band," Gamespot quoted CEO … Read more
Admit it: somewhere in a drawer or stashed in your closet, you have an old cell phone or digital camera with no practical purpose.
Second Rotation is a Web site designed to find a home for that used and no-longer-loved electronic gear. On Tuesday, the company announced that it has raised $4.4 million in funding led by Venrock to expand its product catalog and ramp up marketing.
The Web site, which launched last July, acts as a broker between consumers and eBay or an electronics recycler.
To unload your old Treo or Canon, you write the product name into … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--The AeA (American Electronics Association) plans to expand its focus on government technology policy to include many more individual states, the trade group said Thursday.
After spending much of its history lobbying for governmental policy favorable to the industry at the federal level and in a few key states with high-tech centers--California, Texas, Florida, New York, Massachusetts--the group says the current legislative environment requires more.
At a meeting of member companies here, new CEO Christopher Hansen said that it's necessary the AeA expand beyond those traditional tech meccas. "Legislation affects this industry in a lot of places … Read more
Japan's Bird Electron has always been known for the literally stripped-down design of its products, but it seems to be in a particularly minimalist mood these days for the iPod.
First we saw the industrially bare steel speaker stand made for the Touch, and now we have a decidedly DIY-looking iPod speaker. And it's not just any speaker, according to GeekAlerts, but the "one and only recycling speaker for iPod."
The EZ17-B speaker is designed to fit snugly into the clear plastic box that comes with certain versions of the Nano and Shuffle, without the need … Read more
What better way to put your iPod Touch on a pedestal than an actual pedestal?
That's what Bird-Electron has created with its EZ-18 speaker stand made of black steel, which gives it kind of a futuristic Vader-esque look. The stand includes a built-in 60mm speaker, though sound quality will undoubtedly be sacrificed for the sake of wireless portability.
In fact, it may not look very portable, but that may be a tradeoff because it's designed to be "durable and hard to tip over." And never fear: Uncrate says the stand has silicone padding to keep its … Read more
Wonderful things can happen when you are open to unexpected possibilities. That's one lesson I take from the story that starts with a software program called Singing Coach. Carlo Franzblau had wanted to learn to sing since he was an off-key teenager with musical theater aspirations. In 2000 he developed Singing Coach, software with an American-Idol-in-training vibe. Users sing karaoke-style into a microphone and the software tells them whether their pitch is too high, too low, or in tune.
While performing quality-control tests on Singing Coach, Franzblau received some unexpected feedback: one of the first testers was a middle school student named Ashleigh who happened to be a struggling reader, and her mother reported that the singing software was improving her daughter's reading.
Franzblau pursued this unexpected finding with gusto. He teamed up with literacy professor Dr. Susan Homan at the University of South Florida to conduct a research study to see if Ashleigh's finding represented a genuine effect. Dr. Homan found that struggling readers benefited greatly from the program, raising their test scores by more than a whole grade level after nine weeks of training with the singing program, which has been redeveloped specifically as a reading intervention called "Tune In to Reading." The kids who used Tune In To Reading sustained their gain, continuing to make progress six months later even when they were not using the program.… Read more
Talk about deja vu. Witnessing the evolution of DAB products in Europe is like watching a PBS documentary on a history of the analog radio. Some of today's digital versions are starting to look like the first portable AM/FM radios of the '60s.
At first glance the MP-Sound 41 from U.K.-based Roberts Radio looked like a shiny silver Sony transistor from the days of yore. Until you see the digital screen on top, that is, which is used for something unimaginable back then: an electronic programming guide that can schedule the recording of a show up … Read more
Earlier this week, I ran a story about how video game giant Electronic Arts plans to release its much-anticipated evolution game, Spore, on Macs at the same time as the PC version.
Unfortunately, at the time of the story, I didn't have any screenshots of the game being played on a Mac, and in fact, we had to rely on out-of-date images of Spore taken from game conferences in 2006.