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Tue., Aug. 19, 2008

Looking at its size, shape, white wrist strap and B-button on the bottom, it’s easy to compare the Stix with the Wiimote, the wireless controller for the popular Nintendo gaming console. Except the Stix is for your PC.

The Stix comes from Playhut Inc., a toy company that also makes cute little indoor tents for kids. The Stix 200 remote, which began selling for $49.99 at Target, Costco and other retailers this week, promises to “redefine the PC and online gaming experience” with the motion-sensing controller.

A stab at some of the 2D casual games available on Sphere, the game portal of Playhut subsidiary GoLive2, offers a bit of novelty and fun, though nothing as exciting as scoring that first strike in Wii bowling.

For those who feel constrained by 2D games and want to do more than shake their Stix left and right, the company plans to release the Stix 400 for $59.99 in October (though it’s already on sale on for a higher price.) The Stix 400 is compatible with 3D games and sounds more promising.

TALK TO TEXT: If you can say it, you can write it with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred software. Nuance Communications says the latest version of its popular speech-recognition software can turn talk into text with up to 99 percent accuracy at speeds up to 160 words per minute. The new title also includes voice shortcuts that speed up spoken commands for multiclick tasks. Designed to work with documents, e-mail, the Web and other popular PC applications, the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred edition costs about $200. Another version, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred Wireless, includes a Plantronics Calisto Bluetooth headset. It costs $350.

POWER CHECK: Worried your camera is running low on power or memory? Samsung’s TL9 digital camera makes it easy to check the status. Two analog dials on top of the camera provide easy-to-see estimates on its remaining battery life and memory capacity. The 10-megapixel shooter also can snap pictures, record and play video and even play MP3 tunes. The camera boasts a 5x internal optical zoom, dual image stabilizers, face-detection technology, a 2.7-inch color display and a Secure Digital memory card slot. If you accidentally delete a photo, you can retrieve it from an “oops” recycle bin. The camera will go on sale in September for $280.

From wire reports


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