TECH BYTES: Google gets in on e-books

June 1, 2009 8:47:31 AM PDT
Google is getting in on the e-book game. The company is reportedly set to introduce a program that would allow publishers to sell digital versions of their books direct to consumers.

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The program would give readers access to their books on any device with internet access including cell phones. The new service would be a direct challenge to Amazon's Kindle Book Reader.

Booking an airline ticket online is about to get cheaper. Two top online travel agencies are announcing Monday that they will stop charging extra for buying tickets. Travelocity and Orbitz are eliminating the fee that usually runs $7 to $12 extra per ticket.

Last week Expedia ended its booking fee.

Nintendo is reportedly planning to launch a new version of its Wii Fit game this fall. The Wii Fit Plus will feature a new and improved balance board with more precise measurements. The board is used for exercise games and to monitor weight. The new version will also let friends and family compete over the internet.

Do you believe in ghosts? If you do, a new program for the Nintendo DSI handheld gaming console can help you hunt them down. The creators of Ghost Wire claim you can use the device's built-in cameras and microphone to find the ghosts that exist around you and communicate with them. The developers call it "augmented reality gaming."

We're not sure about the reality part.

Finally, taking out the trash goes high-tech. The Dust-Bot is an experimental robot navigating the narrow streets in a small Italian town picking up garbage on-demand. Residents call the robot to their homes by cell phone any time of the day. The Dust-Bot then opens its bin, collects the trash and takes it to a designated area.

The robot is designed to work in tightly-packed urban areas such as old European cities, so don't expect to see it on our streets anytime soon.

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