“Google Translate” is a free app for Android and iPhones, that can now translate 52 languages, whether you are online or off. For example: We tapped the microphone icon, then tapped “Spanish,” and said “Where is the bus station?” A voice from the phone then immediately said “Donde esta la estacio del bus?” If the person you directed this to, spoke the answer into the phone’s microphone, the phone would translate their answer into English. Joy tried Indonesian because she’s reading “Tales of a Female Nomad,” and the nomad spent most of her time there. The app solves the worst problem with the old method of using foreign language phrase books: There’s usually little trouble in speaking the phrase […]
Gone in 60 Seconds. Not the movie. Our drone. It was bouncing along the grass, struggling for liftoff, so Joy handed the controller to Bob, and said, “You try it.” Bob naturally pushed the lift lever all the way up and the drone climbed like a socialite at a garden party. Within three seconds it was out of sight. We couldn’t have been more surprised if we’d launched a pocket rocket. “There,” Joy said. “I think it came down over there.” This was all wishful thinking, of course. As we went through the grass and the nearby woods, the odds were growing that it came down in the next county. Maybe. Bob had made the most common mistake in droning, […]
Here are some cool gadgets from the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As with all CES products, they’re expected out by the end of the year, but you never know for sure. Here are the coolest of the cool. ili wearable translator from iamili.com. It’s the size of a small flip phone and when you speak into it, it translates between English, Chinese and Japanese. A short video on the company’s website is fun. A handsome young guy with big dimples takes the device to the streets of Japan. He makes comments in English to pretty girls and the gadget speaks them aloud in Japanese. Often, he says he would like to kiss them. Most run away, but […]
If you ever go to a manufacturing show, you’ll see lots of big, incredibly expensive machines cutting little pieces out of big blocks of metal and other materials. The machines are controlled by computers and can even work in the dark, with no human nearby. The system is called CNC, which stands for Computer Numeric Control. Now, you can get one of these for your home workshop.
We did ourselves a favor last week and bought an external keyboard for our smartphone. Wow, what a pleasure to type on an actual keyboard instead of thumbing our way through the tiny keys on a phone screen answering email or anything. We bought a Logitech K380 on sale for $40 at our local Office Depot. This is a standard brand, been around since the last ice age, and it was wireless; we did not have to connect it to our phone with a cable. Typing on a screen was for the birds. Just because they hunt and peck, why should we? Typing on a roomy keyboard is fun. So what else does it work with? Besides a phone, we […]