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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Google's Plans For The Future Include Voice Search

"We believe voice search is a new form of search and that it is core to our business," said Vic Gundotra, Google's vice president of engineering at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. "Look how far we have come. I get the advantage of looking at daily voice queries coming in and it's amazing. It's working. It's reached a tipping point. It's growing and growing very, very fast and we are thrilled about it,"

Gundotra indicated that voice search is a technology that is getting better and better the more that it is used, increasing in accuracy by 15% since the launch of the service on the iPhone, which he attributes to the increased number of users and the resulting increase in data.

There was also talk about an offline version of the 5 year old Gmail service and a "no comment" on the rumored acquisition of Twitter.

Source: BBC

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How To Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Many of us likely have an old PC kicking around the basement or last years cellphone occupying space in the junk drawer. If you are like most people you probably only give it any attention when you stub your toe on it or push it aside to find a rubber band.

Want to do something good for the environment and feel better about your space at home, but don't know how to safely dispose of those unwanted gadgets? Wired's Gadget Lab has taken the guess work out of it for us with their round up list of major companies and how their recycling programs work.

If you need more motivation, here is a word of advice from "If your house is full of clutter you are living in the midst of a lot of very stale, stuck energy. Since feng shui works by shifting the energy of your home, it's going to take a lot more effort to get results if you don't deal with your clutter first."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Google's Cognitive Auteheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity

April 1st is my favourite day of the year, for it is the day that the great minds at Google unleash their creative powers on the world in an attempt to bring humour to the masses and pull the wool over the eyes of the gullible. This years April Fool's joke is the announcement of CADIE: Cognitive Auteheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity. CADIE is bringing a host of new features to the google offerings including Gmail Autopilot, which answers your e-mail for you, Chrome updated for use with red-and-blue 3D glasses, and Picasa Web Albums feature to add red-eye to your photos, as well as Brain Search for Mobile.

"...We started this project as a continuation of mankind's perpetual quest to learn the nature of reason and what defines us as humans. We would have been pleased if we achieved nothing more than a system that passed a Turing test - i.e. that wrote a symphony but didn't necessarily know it had done so. However, while we still think of CADIE as a young entity, we are convinced now that she has evolved her own "strong AI" presence. We continue to conduct tests, but increasingly, we conduct long conversations with her, acutely aware that our creation will raise many ethical questions on the part of the public. Will humans be surpassed by artificial evolution? Will we lose our sense of uniqueness, and if so, what would that mean? In which direction will CADIE's consciousness evolve? How is she going to be held accountable, if at all? Will CADIE herself at some point connect her own electromagnetic dots in some idiosyncratic manner which turns her into something we are no longer capable of understanding in any sort of productive way, much as that aforementioned toddler, waving at herself in the mirror, leaves primates forever behind in their own tragically limited world?

We don't know. Did you really think we possibly could?

The CADIE Team
March 31st, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Google Announces Venture Capital Fund

In a tough economic downturn many companies are having a hard time to find the funding they need to move innovative ideas forward. Yesterday Google announced it's own brand of venture capital called, Google Ventures of course. In a post on the Official Google Blog say "Economically, times are tough, but great ideas come when they will. If anything, we think the current downturn is an ideal time to invest in nascent companies that have the chance to be the "next big thing," and we'll be working hard to find them. If you think you have the next big idea, or if you just want to to learn more, please see our website at"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shuttle Discovery Touches Down

The crew of the space shuttle Discovery had an extended mission by about 90 minutes when it's first entry window was waved off by Mission Control because of cloudy and windy conditions in Florida. The missions main goal was to install a final set of solar panels on the International Space Station which required 3 space walks. "We're very proud to have left the space station with more power, hopefully power that for many, many years will provide very useful research to your future payloads," mission commander Lee Archambault said before undocking from the station on Wednesday.

Source: CBC

Sunday, March 29, 2009

China Based Spy Network Uncovered - Targets Dalai Lama And Foreign Affairs Offices

Researchers from SecDev Group, an Ottawa-based think tank, and the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies working on behalf of the Dalai Lama's office have uncovered an elaborate electronic spy network working mostly from within China. After a 10-month investigation the researchers found that as well as the Dalai Lama's office, the ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan all appear to had been the targets of the spys. Hacked systems were also found in the embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan, according to the BBC. "We uncovered real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems, extracting sensitive documents from the private office of the Dalai Lama," investigator Greg Walton was quoted by the Associated Press.

The researchers point out that there is no conclusive evidence of Chinese government involvement.