Product ranking

Wize product review aggregator. ‘Wize sucks in thousands of product reviews from all over the web and calculates what they call a WizeRank (ala Google’s PageRank) based on what folks are saying. View products listed by WizeRank by category (like digital cameras or flat panel televisions) and view reviews from all over the web in one place with links to buy online.’

Lifehacker

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E-mail etiquette

‘Yours Truly,’ the E-Variations. ‘As negotiations started to break down, the sign-offs started to get decidedly shorter and cooler,” Mr. Troutwine recalled. “In the beginning it was like, ‘I look forward to speaking with you soon’ and ‘Warmest regards,’ and by the end it was just ‘Best.’ ” The deal was eventually completed, but Mr. Troutwine still felt as if he had been snubbed.’

New York Times

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Sales robots

Tmsuk unveils Ubiko: the personable cellphone salesbot. ‘Formerly known as the RIDC-01, this newly-named 44-inch tall employee on wheels sports a “catlike face,” internal DVD player, LCD display to show advertisements / presentations, built-in cameras and infrared sensors, and remote-controllable arms that hand out balloons and other niceties to potential customers. Ubiko can even spark a conversation about how bad you’ll need downloadable movie services on your next mobile, and reportedly boasts a “nasal electronic voice” that’s sure to grate passerbyers’ nerves.’

Engadget

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TV phones

Gigabyte gets official with g-Smart i120. ‘Though we’d have to put that tricky keypad through its paces ourselves before signing off on its goodness, the specs don’t lie: you get a 2.1 megapixel cam, 256MB of ROM with miniSD expansion, Bluetooth, FM radio, 64MB of RAM, 802.11b / g (for when the GPRS data speeds don’t quite cut it) — and perhaps most notably, a TV tuner capable of pulling in NTSC, PAL, and SECAM with recording capability.’

Engadget

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Home control compatibility

Smart homes a reality in S Korea. ‘The air quality here is important to mother and child and so she pops on the air purifying unit, which could be anywhere in the home, because it gets its instructions from the plug socket. Each flat makes use of the electricity cables to transfer data as well as power. Each appliance has to be compatible with a system called HomeNet, one of a number of competing systems on offer in South Korea. The choice of service also limits what devices Koreans can buy to hook into the system as each appliance needs to be compatible.’

BBC NEWS

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Tele-control

Robot with ‘human soul’ explores remotely. ‘Technology that lets a human “inhabit” the body of a distant robot for remote exploration is being tested in Germany. The robot sits on top of a wheeled platform and has an extendable arm that it uses to manipulate objects. An operator moves the robot around by simply walking or using a foot pedal and can see out of twin cameras positioned on the robot’s head after donning a head-mounted display.’

New Scientist

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