Feb 5, 2011

Google Translate for Android turns one, introduces experimental Conversation Mode, but there's no word on pricing or availability as of yet.

We know very well what Google considers beta -- after all, Gmail, Docs, and Calendar all shared that status until mid-2009 -- but here's a chance to check out an experiment from Mountain View that's "still in its earliest stages." Google Translate for Android is celebrating its first birthday this month, and to celebrate, an update will be pushed out offering a number of UI tweaks as well as an alpha version of Conversation Mode. Never heard of it? A demo was given at IFA 2010, but in case you're still in the dark, it essentially lets two speakers talk to one another in their respective native tongues while the app speaks real-time translations. Right now it'll only do English and Spanish -- and even then expect some hiccups with "regional accents, background noise or rapid speech" -- but the Babel fish has to start somewhere. Need more dialects / languages? Be patient, get a job for Google, or better yet, seek gainful employment with NIST / DARPA. Video from the IFA presentation is after the break and starts around the 26-minute mark.

Samsung 9 Series laptop unveiled - Wins Thinnest laptop crown!

Oh yes, that up there is Samsung's new 13.3-inch 9 Series laptop, and yes, it's said to be the "thinnest and lightest 13-inch notebook available." Revealed ahead of Samsung's CES presser, the duralumin machine weighs just 2.89 pounds and measures .68 inches thick -- in comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air measures 0.11 to 0.68 inches thick and weighs 2.9 pounds. Hit read more for details about the awesome specs!

Motorola Droid Bionic

Things are getting real with Motorola -- it's just announced the LTE-equipped Droid Bionic which, like the Xoom tablet introduced alongside it, will be headed to Verizon. The phone packs a dual-core processor with each core humming along at 1GHz, a 4.3-inch QHD screen, 1GB 512MB of RAM, a front-facing VGA camera, an 8-megapixel on the rear, HDMI out, and a Mirror Mode that will let you do simultaneous streaming of video to the TV and on the device. Hit the link below for a video.


Chevrolet and Powermat have announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that they are teaming up to offer a charging mat available for the Chevrolet Volt – thanks to a $5 million investment by GM in the upstart company. Eliminating the need for charging wires and cables, the mat mounts discretely in the center console area of the Volt and is capable of charging iPhones, Blackberrys and Android devices, among others. Hit read more for details.


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