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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Smart cars enhance tourism

From wire reports

Attention, tourists: Forget about stumbling on cobblestone and fumbling through guide books in stifling heat. Entrepreneurs in the Spanish city of Cordoba have devised battery-powered sightseeing cars with computers that talk.

The vehicles boast Global Positioning Satellite technology that provides passengers with their location and explains attractions with its tactile screen or audio recordings.

A memory card stuck into a USB port provides information in Spanish, French or English on more than 150 attractions.

A trio of entrepreneurs launched the business, called Blobject, in May after concluding that monument-rich Cordoba, featuring an exquisite old quarter and a Moorish mosque with a Catholic cathedral built around it, often got overlooked by tourists lured to other southern Spanish cities, such as Seville or Granada.

•NerdTV identifies its target audience with its very name and with its format: It’s not available over the air but rather via a free Internet download.

The tech-focused interview show, created by pundit and PBS host Robert X. Cringely, is meant to be unlike anything on regular TV or elsewhere on the Internet, where video tends to come in short clips.

Instead, this is a “Charlie Rose”-style chat, about an hour, with “some incredibly smart person you always wanted to meet,” Cringely says. Among the names lined up for coming weeks are former Sun Microsystems Inc. guru Bill Joy, Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, computing pioneer Doug Engelbart and Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt.

This week’s debut offering was a talk with Andy Hertzfeld, who is described with a sort of nerdish breathlessness as “the first Macintosh programmer … ever.”

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