After a year or two of dominance in the geocaching field, Garmin is finding some ‘old’ players are re-entering the handheld GPS receiver market. I was fortunate enough to test out Lowrance’s latest offering, the Endura Sierra.
When you take the Endura Sierra out of the box it is a good fit in the hand. The size is about right and there is adequate rubber grip on the sides and back. With batteries (2 x AA) the unit is a little heavier than other units of similar ilk, but it is well balanced. The space for the batteries is tight and it a few attempts to get the correct angle for closing the back panel.
An Australian music expert believes voice recognition systems need to tune into our emotions.
“There are several problems with voice recognition technology,” says University of NSW Australian research fellow Dr Emery Schubert.
“The best ones are around the 80-90 per cent mark, but that’s with a nice stable voice with a clear accent.”
Accuracy becomes much worse when it has to deal with emotionally charged voices or strong accents.
Schubert, who is chairing the inaugural International Conference on Music Communication Science being held in Sydney, believes the secret to developing a better voice recognition system may lie in music.
Move over desktop computers, the laptop is set to conquer the world.
During the past 10 years, notebooks have increased from a 20% market share to almost 50%, and they are expected to outsell desktop computers by the end of the decade, according to Intel developers attending a Forum in Taipei last month.
Mooly Eden, Intel vice president and general manager of the Mobility Platforms Group, believes the internet is the main driver behind the growth in laptop computers.
“If you believe that one of the most persuasive things today is to be connected to the internet, (then you’ll know) it’s unnatural for us to be tethered to a desktop,” he said.
He says the popularity of the mobile phone also proves that people want to stay in touch with the world while they’re on the move.
Transferring files from your digital video camera to your computer will happen in an instant as USB enters a new generation.
The head of the USB Implementers Forum, Jeffery Ravencraft, said last month that USB had become the standard for connecting devices to computers. He said the formation of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group would help deliver a “faster sync-n-go capability”.
“USB is the most successful interface in the history of computing. Last year 2.1 billion USB connections [were shipped] and to date over six billion units [have been sold],” Ravencraft said at the Intel Development Forum in Taiwan in October.
Plasma and LCD TVs are in the sights of environmentalists after a study showed exactly how much power they munch.
Flat screen television manufacturers will have to become greener after the release of a government discussion paper suggested many plasma and some LCD TVs could be banned for being energy hungry.
The paper, which was prepared by consulting firm Digital CEnergy Australia and commissioned by the Australian Greenhouse Office, was presented at an industry meeting last week.
It was suggested a set of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and a star-based energy rating program be applied to televisions from October 2008, banning from the Australian market any product that failed to achieve a single star rating.
For many technology geeks it’s a given that Australia sits at the end of the roll-out queue. But it hasn’t stopped many from getting their hands on Apple’s iPhone.
Since it was launched six weeks ago, hundreds of examples have made their way to our shores and Australians are paying a high price to get their hands on one.
The 8GB model initially went on sale in the US for $US599 ($713).
Despite this, people aren’t hanging around until 2008, when the iPhone will probably be released in the Asia-Pacific region (Apple won’t say any more than this about the Australian release date). Bids on eBay auctions in Australia have been consistently hitting well over $1000.