Scientists at Siemens Corporate Research have developed a prototype system that enables one to access e-mail messages or World Wide Web pages using any touch-tone telephone, including a cellular phone. For those away from the office, or with no laptop readily available, the system promises to fill one of the last communication gaps. Called DICE (Delivering Information in a Cellular Environment), it uses a computer algorithm and speech synthesis tools to analyze e-mail and HTML documents, and then play them back as audio. The algorithm not only analyzes a document's text, but also its structure for audio presentation. To use DICE, one simply dials up a service provider and uses the telephone keypad to access web pages; to respond, users key in a number on the phone to record a voice message. "We're working on converting the verbal response back into an e-mail message at the other end, and should support this feature soon," adds Arding Hsu, department head, Multimedia/Video Technology. Contact Guy Pierce at email@example.com.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
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