A Brave New World of Babel Fish, Apple Killers and Scratchberries

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The things that make me go Beep this week:


- Sakhr Software have released

. You speak into the phone in English, it says it back in Arabic. If it works, it is a gift from the heavens, and we'll be testing it out later today. It's a ten dollar download on the iTunes store, currently not available to UAE iTunes users, and costs an extra $150 per month subscribtion, including a new feature where.....hang on, did I just say $150 per month? Yep, this software isn't for cheapskates - including basically every pseudo-bohemian foreigner in Cairo who could really really use an app like this.

- Sure, a universe of geeks awaits the rumoured Apple tablet computer / giant iphone. But Microsoft appear to have something even cooler in the works - the

is as gorgeous as anything Apple have ever made, and has a crazily cool looking user interface. Certainly one to keep your eyes on -

- Do you long for the sweet embrace of BlackBerry-style push email, but suffer from committment issues, bad credit or a criminal record, and therefore can't sign up for a contract? I feel you, brother. Now, our troubles are over (well, one of our lesser troubles).

(their name probably sounds better in the original German) have launched a prepaid push email service in the UAE, based on good old-fashioned scratch cards. It isn't totally clear how the whole system works -

- but it does seem to be based around buying a Windows Mobile-based

, which is a bit of a downer.