Nursery Rhymes: History’s Most Viral Startup?

(This is a copy of my weekly column for newspapers and radio.) As the father of a child born in the era between the first and second iPads, I am made acutely aware that technology is driving baby rearing–just as it is driving everything else. But I find the field surprisingly uneven. Nappies, for example. …

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Translate This

I’m a sucker for this kind of thing: Translator Boomerang (thanks, Satya), which translates from English into a foreign language and then back again, just for laughs, really (I suppose one could say something pompous about how this reflects the difficulty of translation etc.): Google Translator Boomerang is a silly little program that uses the Google …

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Headsets Get the Bling Treatment

A few weeks back on my WSJ.com column (subscription only; I’ll update you when it’s out on the BBC World Service) I explored the world of bling cellphones, including the Vertu range, the Kathrine Baumann “Wireless Wardrobe” Collection (inexplicably that collection is now password-protected since I last visited), the fancy wooden Mobiado range, and the diamond-encrusted, …

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News: Trademarks, Slaps In The Face and McJobs

 An interesting tale that is not that technology-oriented, but illustrates how stories now tend to unfold in real time, in front of everyone, leaving less and less wiggle-room for companies and institutions involved. Merriam-Webster, The Register says, is revising a web page for its online Collegiate Dictionary after a McDonalds executive complained about the inclusion …

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Update: Microsoft Deny Bursting

 Here’s Microsoft’s take on the Burst.com case I mentioned in a previous posting. Would the correct version please stand up? In a nutshell it comes down to the question: did Microsoft deliberately erase weeks of emails from all servers and backups related to the case?   Winnet.mag quotes a Microsoft spokesman as denying that a judge ordered …

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News: You’re a Bad, Bad Owner

 From the This Gadget May Well Tell More Than I Really Want To Know About My Pet Dept, a Japanese company that produced the world’s first dog translator is working on a similar device for cats. An article at ComputerWorld’s website says that Japan’s Takara Co. Ltd. is working on a the Meowlingual, that “will have some …

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