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Dogs, too, can be liberated by weblogs.

A Japanese toy manufacturer has developed a $120 pet collar which transmits dog barks into "human language". The barks are matched against a database developed by animal behaviorists.

"The console classifies each woof, yip or whine into six emotional categories -- happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, assertion and desire," reports Reuters, "and displays common phrases, such as 'you're ticking me off,' that fit the dog's emotional state."

300,000 of these "Bowlingual" devices have been sold in Japan, and manufacturer Takara is looking forward to launching the device in the USA this summer.

Naturally a pooch-to-computer interface is being developed, so man's best friend can join the eternal conversation of blogdom, which so far has been limited to humans, with computers, who have a lot of time on their hands.

It's the talk of the Net. The first dogblog is only weeks away, and the first "Woofie" - a reputation system based on barking - must surely follow.

Weblogs - self-published diaries - have given people with poor social skills a valuable social outlet. The weblog vanguard maintains that blogdom is as revolutionary as the invention of capitalism and the splitting of the atom, rolled into one. A very few curmudgeons dissent from this, insisting that "you keep collecting the good stuff" until it's "time to publish".

But surely these reactionaries will be swept away - especially now blogdom has dogs on its side: a sturdy and invincible alliance.

They got to the dogs first! ®

Bootnote: In a charming report, The Japan Times lists Bowlingual alongside other interesting technology that's designed to relieve stress, including the 'People In The Sun' doll:-

"Running on solar energy, the humanlike dolls, with smiling or meditative faces painted in pastel colors, slowly nod their heads."

Apart from a White House Press Conference, what does this remind you of?

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