Google Translate has made web browsing much easier, giving users the ability to copy and paste text into the engine or, if you are a Chrome customer, then pages can translate on the fly wen you visit them. Now Google makes the service just a bit better, adding new languages and pushing Translate past 70 tongues.
“Google Translate helps bridge the divide between the content available online and people’s ability to access that information. Starting today, you can translate another five languages using Google, which combined are spoken by more than 183 million people around the globe” the company has announced.
New languages added include Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese and Marathi. However, Google warns that “with the exception of Bosnian, these new languages are “alpha,” meaning while the quality isn’t perfect, we will continue to test and improve them over time”.
Translate can not only be accessed via the web and Chrome, but also on Android and iOS devices. Google claims that it looks forward to continuing to add more languages.
If you are like me, then you probably do whatever you can to avoid having to watch commercials. Once in a while, though, it is worth taking a few minutes to check out an exceptionally well done ad. Such is the case with Audi’s new commercial, which features Mr. Spock vs. Mr. Spock… sort of.
Most people would recognize that Leonard Nimoy played the role of Spock in Star Trek the Original Series, (as well as in several Star Trek movies). The newly rebooted version of the Star Trek movies features Zachary Quinto as a young Spock. The Audi commercial has each actor playing himself, with the actor’s version of Spock overlapping him.
Basically, the two agree to have a race to the country club. Whoever gets there last has to buy lunch. The entire ad is sprinkled with subtle (and more obvious) things that Star Trek fans will immediately recognize. At the start, the two Spocks are playing a game of 3 Dimensional Chess against each other.
What might not be as obvious to viewers is the song that Leonard Nimoy sings in the commercial. It is called “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” which appears on the “Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy” album. Yes, he really did record that song!
Many of us play Angry Birds, but are frustrated by the issues that arise when we change devices. There are options for getting around this. In fact, there are at least two backup and restore apps available in the Play store, both of which I have used. There are also options for doing a complete backup using a service like Carbon.
Now Rovio aims to solve this issue with a new Account feature built into the games. This allows the customer to log in and save progress, then log in on another device and resume play from the same spot. “Rovio Account lets you store your game progress and continue playing on another device” the company tells us.
There is a good chance you have not seen this feature yet, as the Finnish game maker explains — “Rovio Account is currently available in The Croods game globally, and in the classic Angry Birds game on iOS in Finland and Poland. We will gradually introduce Rovio Account into more areas in the future and also add new features”.
This will be a much welcome addition to the popular game franchise and will eliminate the need for third-party solutions, which work, but can be a hassle.
It looks like EA may have learned something from the SimCity fiasco! One of the many problems with the launch of SimCity was that players were having difficulty being able to access the game. This was, to make a long story short, due to problems that EA was slow to resolve regarding their servers. Many have said that things would have been so much better if SimCity could be played without having to be online.
Perhaps the frustrated cries of thousands of gamers have been heard by EA. They have announced that The Sims 4 will offer a “single-player offline experience”. The EA blog says:
The Sims 4 celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising, and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience. The Sims 4 encourages players to personalize their world with new and intuitive tools while offering them the ability to effortlessly share their creativity with friends and fans.
I don’t have any details about exactly how the sharing ability will function. What I do understand is that The Sims 4 won’t require people to share anything at all with other players in order to access and play the game itself. Perhaps The Sims 4 will be able to avoid the problems that happened with SimCity.
Another interesting thing, at least to me, is that The Sims 4 is currently in development for both PC and Mac. As a gamer who uses a Mac, this makes me happy. Of course, we will all have to wait until The Sims 4 is released, sometime in 2014, before we can play it.
Last week Rovio released its Angry Birds Friends tournament -style game to the mobile world, making the popular bird-slinging, pig-killing game available to a wider audience. The Friends version had previously only been available on Facebook, but has now moved to both iOS and Android.
Today, the first full tournament gets underway — new ones will begin each Monday. Today though, something special is involved in the game. According to Rovio “if you play today you’ll see the incredible in-game marriage proposal made by one of our biggest fans”. The Finnish game maker goes on to explain that “a while ago a guy named Ben got in touch with an unusual request. He wanted to pop the big question to his long-term girlfriend Mel through Angry Birds! We jumped at the chance to bring these lovebirds together, and started building a custom-made level that featured Ben’s marriage proposal”.
While there have been no download statistics released for this latest Rovio game, it does appear as a featured app on the Google Play store. Combining the popular mobile game with the Facebook name should bode well for both companies.
The Technovation Challenge began in 2009. It is run by Iridescent, which is a 501c3 non-profit company. The purpose of the Technovation Challenge is to give girls the opportunity to learn how to start a company and become high-tech entrepreneurs.
Teams of five (or more) high school girls can enter. All they need is “a safe place to meet, a laptop with internet and a smart phone”. It doesn’t cost any money to enter the Challenge. A curriculum is provided to the teams to help them through the process. Every year, a theme is selected for the Technovation Challenge. For 2013, girls needed to develop an app that solves a problem in their local community. They can focus on a health problem, a social problem, or a lack of resource.
This year, there were 115 submissions. You can check out a complete list of the finalists. One that caught my attention is a team from The Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City. The team of high school girls have created an app called “Arrive”.
The purpose of the app is to allow girls to use their smart phones to check into school. Administrators can use the app to view student attendance by class and last name. Parents can opt-in to having the app send them a text message when their daughter arrives at school.
This would replace the school’s current check in system, which uses plastic ID cards and countless paper attendance sheets. Instead of having students gather around one check in point, “Arrive” would let them scan a QR code (which can be placed in many locations). The video below shows the girls as they explain more about what “Arrive” will do.
In this episode we talk with Paul Colligan about his book YouTube Strategies. Listen to win a copy of Paul’s book! He shares with us insights that content creators will want to employ with their shows. Paul understands the power of podcasting as well and he gives his opinion on where the space is.
Rob and I have new email addresses for this show so feel free to drop us a line at Rob or Todd @ newmediashow.com
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The United States has had little luck with landing Kim Dotcom or Julian Assange, but it has managed to grab a hacker. Hamza Bendelladj, known online as Bx1 is an Algerian hacker who was captured and extradited from Thailand. He was arrested back in January while moving through the Bangkok airport on his way from Malaysia.
Bendelladj stands accused of hijacking customer accounts at more than 200 financial institutions using the SpyEye program. Alleged totals of more than 100 million USD over the past five years have been indicated. SpyEye allowed the attacker to alter web pages displayed in a person’s web browser and trick them into entering personal data.
Variants of both SpyEye and Zeus have been used by criminals to automate the process of transferring money. Bendelladj faces 23 charges from a 2011 indictment. He arrived in Atlanta on Thursday and was arraigned on Friday. He faces up to 30 years in prison and as much as a 14 million USD fine. Security researcher Brian Krebs has posted a PDF of the indictment on his site.
Staples announced that it has become the first major retailer in the United States to sell 3D printers. Those of you who have become interested in getting your very own 3D printer won’t have to wait too much longer to purchase one from Staples.
Staples will begin offering a limited number of The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems by the end of June of this year. The Staples website has the price set at $1,299.99. It comes in five different colors: magenta, blue, green, silver, and white. The announcement includes the following details about the 3D printer:
The Cube 3D Printer, ready to use right out of the box, features Wi-Fi, is compatible with Mac or Windows, and comes with 25 free 3D templates designed by professional artists, with additional templates available online.
…The Cube 3D Printer can print items up to 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5”, using material cartridges in 16 different colors including metallic silver, glow in the dark, and vibrant and neutral colors. Users can either print from a template or create a design using Cube’s own software, Cubify Invent, sold separately. Staples makes printing with the Cube easy, by offering all of the essential accessories, including recyclable ABS and compostable PLA plastic cartridge refills, replenishment Cube Sticks, which are used to stabilize the object being printed, and replacement Cube Print Pads.