Oh, what fun! Part 2
Slots, tables, actual sounds, Frank, Dean and Sammy Hoyle Casino has everything for a risk-free Vegas fix. And if you're tired of just playing the slots in real casinos and want to learn how to lose some real money, tutorials on games such as craps and Pai Gow poker will have you bellying up to the tables on your next Vegas trip. Hasbro, meanwhile, offers computer board games such as Monopoly, Jeopardy and Scrabble at about $25 each, and The Learning Co. has Lego Island for $24.95 and Chessmaster 6000 for $39.95.
Hoyle Casino by Sierra On-Line Inc.
¿Qué es eso? (What's this?)
Travel alert: Before you take a trip to Madrid or Tokyo, why not tutor yourself with multilanguage software? I checked out two language packages to see just how helpful they were. Berlitz Passport to 31 Languages was far more useful and navigable than IMSI's Easy Language: 25 World Languages. In Passport, I was able to repeat dictated words and phrases and then be graded on a scale of tourist to native. The packages are for learning at the tourist level.
Berlitz Passport to 31 Languages by The Learning Co.
Easy Language: 25 World Languages by IMSI
Let me ink about it
Rocket Ebook is a great first step into the world of electronic books. It carries the equivalent of 10 novels in a paperback-size, 22-ounce product. But after looking at a computer screen all day, we didn't enjoy reading fiction on the Ebook at night. We also checked out Audible's MobilePlayer. The 3.5-ounce device holds up to two hours of digitized audio that you download from Audible's Web site. The downloads were fast, but the audio was tinny and hollow.
Audible MobilePlayer by Audible Inc.
At the tone . .Mitsubishi's Mobile Access 100 digital cellular phone doubles as a fax/data modem, letting users send and receive E-mail from laptops and browse intranets or the Internet via Unwired Planet's Browser 2.0. It also includes two-way paging, a data port and Cellular Digital Packet Data radio modem. Microsoft recently released a $199.95, 900-MHz PC Cordless Phone System, which is a combination voice-activated cordless phone and fully featured phone-mail system.
Joe Maglitta and Tom Lamoureux
Mobile Access 100 by Mitsubishi Wireless Communications Inc.
CardScan Executive lets you pop cards into a 6-in.-wide scanner, which then enters that data into an electronic card file. That isn't new, but this is: CardScan Executive places new emphasis on sharing the card data with other applications and gaining access from mobile computers.
CardScan Executive by Corex Technologies Corp.
E-mail on the go
JVC revives the ancient audio coupler for a single-purpose device that lets you get E-mail on the go, with no laptop involved. Forward your mail to PocketMail.com, then retrieve it and send replies using an 800 number. Downloads are fast, but forget long messages or attachments 4,000 characters (just under two computer screens) is the limit.
JVC HC-E100 Portable E-mail Device (for PocketMail) by JVC Company of America
Talk this way
Dragon Systems' NaturallySpeaking Mobile wireless speech transcription device looks like a shaver. Unfortunately, it transcribes like one, too. The handheld unit is light, user-friendly and easily plugs into a serial port. But the system got only about half my words right. To be fair, with more training, the system might do better.
NaturallySpeaking Mobile by Dragon Systems Inc.
The BeepwearPro isn't fashionable, but it's the ultimate accessory for the serious tech-head. The device takes a standard digital wristwatch and builds in a scrolling-text alphanumeric pager and a 150-number phone book. It uses Skytel's national paging network, which can easily add $20 per month to the cost. You also can get news and other information beamed to your wrist.
Beepwear Pro by Timex Inc. and Motorola Inc.
Would I lie to you?
The Sharper Image calls it a "sculpture," but its purpose is to help you determine whether you're being deceived. The circuitry detects frequency modulations in the human voice caused by stress. Green lights indicate low stress; red lights show high stress, which can translate into "LIE!" The company warns that no lie-detection devices are foolproof, but the Truth.Seeker is fun anyway. Use it on your spouse, your kid or your favorite TV newscaster. Sharper Image also offers a Truth.Quest phone and a Truth.Seeker with a phone jack, if you're feeling Linda Tripp-y.
Truth.Seeker by The Sharper Image
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