Turn, Turn, Turn & Substitute Speaker

Turn, Turn, Turn
In the handheld market, the stakes keep getting higher. Sony has upped the ante by unveiling its new PDA, a light, lean swiveling machine. The Clié comes with 16MB of RAM and features a rotating (180 degrees) display and a built-in keyboard. The Palm OS-based device also has a digital camera that rotates 300 degrees.
($600; www.sonystyle.com/vaio/clie)

Substitute Speaker
We’ve all had that nightmare: You know the one where you’re giving a speech in front of a large audience sans clothing? Frightening, isn’t it? Right Seat Software Inc. says it has the cure for your public speaking nightmare: Vox Proxy. The product is an add-on to Microsoft’s PowerPoint application and features 17 animated characters that can interact with you and your audience–once you program the information (gestures, sentences, and so on).

Although the product works in theory and practice, the voices can be a bit difficult to understand and the moving characters are at times distracting. Additionally, the product lacked African American characters. The company says it’s looking to increase the variety of characters it currently offers.

Nevertheless, Vox Proxy works well for short, informal presentations. For serious business, stick with the tried and true–plain ole PowerPoint. ($199; www.voxproxy.com)

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