Intermediate Word:  Helvetia (a) Switzerland  (b euphemism for "Hell"   (c) Polybius' land in Homer's "Odyssey"  (d) Grecian peninsula
Difficult Word: -trou-de-loup - (a)
game, throwing balls through loops  (b) conical pit with sharpened stake  (c) wolf snare  (d) loop-the-loop

Living Forever - SpaceDaily  Kurzwell's latest futuristic tome is the sequel to his last bestseller, "The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence," which posited that the ever-accelerating rate of technological change would lead to computers that would rival the full range of human intelligence. He now takes his readers to the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the fusion of human brain and machine. Thus, "the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will merge with the vastly greater capacity, speed and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations." Kurzweil is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame,     
Convergence Comes To China - SpaceDaily  A number of converged network communications projects are expected to move forward in China this year -- with wired and wireless elements -- spanning from Shanghai to Beijing, experts tell United Press International's Networking. One of the biggest networking projects is China's landmark west-east gas pipeline project (WEPP), which has selected an IP-based converged networking solution from Nortel to power voice and multimedia communications, both wired and wireless, along its 4,200-kilometer route. Operated by PetroChina Company Ltd., a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.     

Flat-screen marvels to show at CES  - C/Net  From big-screen flat-panel televisions that can simultaneously display four high-definition videos to a small dual-lens digital camera for wide-angle photography, this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will not be short on new gadgets. "Sling Media's Slingbox takes us closer to our overall goal, which is to turn every display that a consumer interfaces with into not only TV or some video source but turn it into the TV that you love the most, which is your living-room TV," said Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media. Other electronic gizmos that will be shown off this week include Kodak's Easyshare V570 digital camera, which has two lenses that work together to mimic a wide-angle lens camera. The new compact 5-megapixel camera allows the photographer to capture a bigger chunk of the subject without having to stand farther back. It will be priced at $399 when it hits store shelves later this month, the company said. One company will claim its flat-panel television will have one of the highest resolutions. Westinghouse is expected to unveil a 56-inch LCD that contains 8 million pixels. That's enough resolution to display four high-definition videos at the same time, said Rey Roque, vice president of marketing. Also, at 56 inches, it will be among the largest LCD displays to be available this year, Roque said. "This will have 23 times higher picture quality than images from standard DVDs," he said. The price is not set yet, but it will be ready for sale in the second half of the year, he said 

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