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I'D LIKE A BONE, PLEASE

Dog owners, ever wonder what your canine friend is trying to tell you? A Japanese toymaker has designed a device that deciphers growls and yelps into six feelings: frustration, alarm, self-expression, happiness, sadness, and desire. Depending on the bark, words pop up on the display, such as: "I'm arf-ully lonely!" Similar to voice-recognition technology, the handheld "Bowlingual" device made by Takara Co. translates barks into sentences, using digital patterns. The gadget also produces a diary of the pooch's day: "So many fun things. What an ultra-happy day!" It goes on sale in Japan in February for $104.

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POSTAL SERVICE LOVES LUCY

Sure, the red wig, black chiffon skirt, and thick makeup weren't as comfortable as her regular work attire. But Sharon Clark said she was willing to set comfort aside to promote the new Lucille Ball commemorative stamp. Clark, a postmaster in Carterville, Mo., dressed like the comic actress as the new stamp went on sale this week. She also dressed as Marilyn Monroe when her stamp came out in 1995.

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Most-popular methods used to access the Internet

The number of US households subscribing to online services rose to 70.7 million over the past three months, according to a survey by Telecommunications Reports International (TRI), a telecommunications-information publisher. TRI's Online Census found that of six access methods, five, including paid dial-up, cable modem, and Internet TV, showed increases in subscribers, with the greatest reported increase (52 percent) coming in the satellite category. Meanwhile, free dial-up services saw an 11 percent decrease in subscribers. The most-popular access methods, followed by the number of subscribers:

Paid dial-up 52.2 million

Free ISPs 9.1 million

Cable modems 4.9 million

Digital subscriber line 3.1 million

Internet TV 1.2 million

Satellite 114,000

- PR Newswire

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