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May 7, 2006, 10:23 PM CT

Basis Technology Releases Rosette Linguistics Platform 5.0

Basis Technology Releases Rosette Linguistics Platform 5.0
Basis Technology ( announced recently the availability of release 5.0 of its Rosette Linguistics Platform (RLP). This release includes a wide range of new features and performance enhancements to Rosette's core technology, designed to provide a fast, accurate, flexible, and easy-to-integrate solution for tackling the most complex linguistic challenges.

New features and improvements include:

Rosette Entity Extractor (REX) - which identifies names, places, dates and other entities in unstructured text - has added Traditional Chinese to its list of ten supported languages, and improved its overall speed by an average of 35 percent. Specific language accuracy was also improved, highlighted by Chinese and Arabic, which increased by 27 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Rosette Language Identifier (RLI) - which identifies the language and encoding of a document - has improved accuracy on short text segments which help with the analysis of smaller documents, and has added Pashto, Somali, and Urdu detection.

The addition of a Japanese Orthographic Analyzer (JOA) which allows search engines and text mining applications to find occurrences of words that have multiple spelling variations but shared meaning, a common and frequent instance in the Japanese language. JOA enhances RLP's Base Linguistics component which performs critical functions such as word segmentation, decompounding, and part-of-speech analysis.........

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May 7, 2006, 10:18 PM CT

Venus - The next eye in the sky

Venus - The next eye in the sky Image courtesy of
By the end of the decade a revolutionary new micro-satellite will orbit around the world at an altitude of 700km sending precise information on agriculture and marine changes in unprecedented precision and detail. The Israeli-French project will allow farmers to better treat their crops, fisherman to locate large quantities of fish in mid-sea and will also vastly increase the ability of the scientific community to study and monitor the flora and fauna in a number of areas around the globe. Equipped with an advanced plasma engine, VENUS will be able to operate for at least 4-5 years in its planed orbit.

Modern satellites have a number of applications. Beside the obvious military uses satellites today are used for communication, navigation, space research, weather prediction and earth observation. This last type of satellites has a number of important functions. They conduct environmental monitoring, help create and improve maps and play an important role in the development of agriculture and fishing.

The heart of most observation satellites consists of a camera. Early satellites carried panchromatic cameras capable of taking pictures in only one spectral "band". Pictures originated from a panchromatic camera are commonly displayed in grey scale, where the brightness of a particular pixel is proportional to the intensity of solar radiation reflected by the target. Even today a number of reconnaissance satellites still use panchromatic cameras which are considered to have the highest resolution of any space-based camera type. A more recent development is the multi-spectral camera which can create color pictures that consist of many image layers; each layer represents an image acquired at a particular wavelength band. For example, the French SPOT 5 sensor operating in the multi-spectral mode detects radiations in four wavelength bands: the green (500-590 nm), red (610-680 nm), near infrared (790-890 nm) and the short-wave infrared or SWIR (1580-1750 nm).........

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May 6, 2006, 8:44 PM CT

Fuel Cells Savings

Fuel Cells Savings
We've gone on the record saying fuel cells are at least 20 years away. But when will that make a big difference in our use of gasoline? A long, long time:

"The potential for hydrogen fuel cells having an impact that you'd notice is a long way away," says John Heywood, professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. The estimates assume that competitive fuel cell vehicles will be available within 15 years, an achievement that will require improvements, for example, in hydrogen storage and production and fuel-cell costs. But even if and when fuel-cell vehicles come with the price and performance that consumers want, it will still take decades more before such new vehicles work their way into widespread use.

MIT is talking 60 years in regards to gasoline usage and nasty emissions before hydrogen makes a big enough difference for any of us to benefit from. So what to do?

Use less of the stuff. But MIT knows that's not the American way:

Heywood admits these ideas might not be rapidly adopted: "It's not American to conserve. We seem to have drifted into that attitude. Our culture doesn't bring us up to think about conserving. It brings us up to think about consuming".

We are totally diggin' the new subcompacts from the big 3 of Japan and are honestly hoping our big 2.5 from home announce competitors to those vehicles rather than announcing more of the same.........

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May 6, 2006, 8:04 PM CT

How To Attach Two Phone Wires To Make One

How To Attach Two Phone Wires To Make One
If you need a long phone cable in a pinch two shorter cables can be quickly spliced together until you can buy a real cable.


Cut the wires. Cut one plastic connecter (plug) off of each wire, you should used dykes or wire cutters, but if you don't have those a knife or scissors will do. It is important that you cut opposite sides off otherwise the you stand a 50/50 chance of screwing up step three. If you look at the connectors with the hook down you should see four wires in this order Black, Red, Green, Yellow from left to right and the other connector will have them in reverse order. Cut the connector with the wires in BRGY off the first wire then the connector with the YGRB off the second wire. (See diagram).

Viewed with hooks facing down on all connectors. Cut the connector with the wires in BRGY off the first wire then the connector with the YGRB off the second wire.

Strip the insulation back. Using a sharp knife or razor blade remove an inch of the outer plastic covering from the end you just cut. This should reveal four wires, strip 1/2" off of each of these individual wires.

Property match the wires. If you cut the wires properly you should be able to match up the colors if you didn't just make sure the wire that is on the far left of one connector is on the far right on the other side of the wire. (See diagram).........

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May 6, 2006, 1:49 PM CT

The Singing Keyboard Prank

The Singing Keyboard Prank
This year I decided to go all out for April Fools and do something that could be duplicated across multiple computers without permanent damage - and so the singing keyboard hack was born.


Take the musical element from a musical greeting card and connect it to the caps lock LED on the user's keyboard. Each time the victim presses caps lock the music plays (and quite loud too). This is a great sleeping prank.It might be found on the first day, or weeks from implementation. It's the perfect prank.

Why Caps?

True, most people don't use caps lock very often, if ever, but unfortunately not many other keys are linked to an LED. Also most keys are only pressed momentarily, which would require a solid-state bounceless switch; which I had trouble getting to work. The num lock LED turns on and off several times during boot time, so that's out and only leaves the caps lock as a viable solution.


If you decide to do this prank understand that it could be a career-limiting move if you do it to your boss and/or somebody without a sense of humor. I would also recommend to first experiment with a dummy keyboard that you don't mind destroying.

I will not be held responsible for your problems. ;o).


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May 6, 2006, 1:44 PM CT

TabletKiosk eo V7110 arrives in the US

TabletKiosk eo V7110 arrives in the US
Sure, it might be $900 bucks, but the TabletKiosk eo V7110 is not only the first UMPC to arrive in the States, but it happens to be the cheapest UMPC announced so far. It just started shipping today, but lucky reader Tomi B. got his hands on one already and snapped some unpacking pics to share.

Thanks Tomi! We can't say it looks quite as good as the marketing pics, but we're liking the white casing and we'll reserve any other judgements until people start snapping in the battery and firing this thing up. Click on for a couple more shots.........

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May 6, 2006, 1:41 PM CT

Touchless Trashcan

Touchless Trashcan
Would you ever watch an old TV without a remote control again?

Welcome to the 21st Century! Once you tried the Touchless Trashcan, you will never go back to the traditional or step-on trash can again. After all, it's your most use appliance everyday, make it easier!.

Touchless TrashcanTM is a patented new product widely recognized in Europe. And it has just been introduced to North America. Sold thousands on infomercial, QVC and HSN home shopping channels. It won the 2002 Invention Show - New Household Product Award.

It is a 100% hands-free operated, wireless, lidded waste disposal system. The built-in Artificial Intelligent (AI) Smart-Chip knows when you need to open trash can, and do all the openings and closings for you without touching or step-on anything.

How it works?

The Touchless Trashcan uses patented invisible harmless infrared technology. Place hand or debris about 6 inches away from the infrared sensor near the lid. It will open instantly when you approach and will close automatically in 3-second after debris has been released and hand moves away. Lid will remain open if debris or hand is within 6 inches range of the infrared sensor. There are 2 buttons on the front to open and close the lid manually and an on/off switch on the back of the trashcan.........

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May 4, 2006, 4:55 PM CT

Embryos In 3-D

Embryos In 3-D
Utah and Texas scientists combined miniature medical Computerized axial tomography scans with high-tech computer methods to produce detailed three-dimensional images of mouse embryos - an efficient new method to test the safety of medicines and learn how mutant genes cause birth defects or cancer.

"Our method provides a fast, high-quality and inexpensive way to visually explore the 3-D internal structure of mouse embryos so researchers can more easily and quickly see the effects of a genetic defect or chemical damage," says Chris Johnson, a distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Utah.

A study reporting development of the new method - known as "microCT-based virtual histology" - was published recently in PLoS Genetics, an online journal of the Public Library of Science.

The study was led by Charles Keller, a pediatric cancer specialist who formerly worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of University of Utah geneticist Mario Capecchi. Keller now is an assistant professor at the Children's Cancer Research Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

University of Utah co-authors of the study are Johnson - who directs the university's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute - Capecchi, medical student Mark S. Hansen and several members of Johnson's institute: computer science undergraduate Thomas Johnson III, research assistant Lindsey Healey and former associate director Greg M. Jones, who now is state science advisor to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.........

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May 3, 2006, 11:08 PM CT

Babybot Takes First Steps

Babybot Takes First Steps
BabyBot, a robot modelled on the torso of a two year-old child, is helping scientists take the first, tottering steps towards understanding human perception, and could lead to the development of machines that can perceive and interact with their environment.

The scientists used BabyBot to test a model of the human sense of 'presence', a combination of senses like sight, hearing and touch. The work could have enormous applications in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine perception. The research is being funded under the European Commission's FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) initiative of the IST programme, as part of the ADAPT project.

"Our sense of presence is essentially our consciousness," says Giorgio Metta, Assistant Professor at the Laboratory for Integrated Advanced Robotics at Italy's Genoa University and ADAPT project coordinator.

Imagine a glorious day lying on a beach, drinking a pina colada, or any powerful, pleasurable memory. A series of specific sensory inputs are essential to the memory.

In the human mind all these sensations combine powerfully to create the total experience. It profoundly influences our future expectations, and each time we go to a beach we add to the store of contexts, situations and conditions. It is the combination of all these inputs and their cumulative power that the ADAPT scientists sought to explore.........

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May 3, 2006, 0:46 AM CT

World-Leading Microscope Shows More Detail

World-Leading Microscope Shows More Detail The new microscope in action
unique 3-dimensional microscope that works in a new way is giving unprecedented insight into microscopic internal structure and chemical composition. It is revealing how materials are affected, over time, by changes in temperature, humidity, weight load and other conditions.

The device could lead to advances in a range of areas, such as healthcare (in furthering, for instance, the understanding of conditions such as osteoporosis), the development of better construction materials, improved oil extraction methods and even the study of fossils.

Like a number of other microscopes, the new microscope harnesses X-rays to provide information about an object's internal structure down to micron scale. (A micron is a millionth of a metre.) What makes it unique, however, is its innovative use of a technique called 'time delay integration', which enables it to generate much better images of larger objects than any other device. This means that microscopic structure can be studied with greater accuracy.

With EPSRC funding, a multi-disciplinary team drawn from six UK universities has been developing and utilising the microscope, which, although similar to the CT scanners used in healthcare, can view things in much greater detail.

X-ray microscopes can produce 3-d internal pictures of an object by taking a large number of 2-d images from different angles - this is known as X-ray microtomography. However, the new microscope's combining of this technique with time delay integration is completely unique. Through averaging out imperfections in the image across all pixels, this approach enables the microscope to produce clearer and bigger pictures than previously possible (see 'Notes for Editors').........

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