Campus News in Brief

16th annual food drive begins

This week, Staff Council will sponsor Carnegie Mellon’s 16th annual food drive. The food drive will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, which is a non-profit organization that collects, stores, and distributes food and household products to nearly 350 other charitable agencies including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, day care, and senior centers for low-income people and special care facilities.

Drop boxes and barrels will be placed around campus to accept all non-perishable items. Highly requested items include toilet paper and high-protein foods, including peanut butter, tuna, and soups that include meat.

On Wednesday, “One Day, One Can” will be held during Carnegie Mellon’s Benefits Fair in the University Center. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the Food Drive table.

The Cans Across the Cut event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Fence. The goal is to create a line of canned goods down the Cut, from the Fence to Forbes Avenue. Individuals or teams can participate after registering at .

Tartan Spirit Day will be held Saturday. Students are encouraged to show their Tartan pride by bringing a non-perishable food item to the Food Drive table during the football game.

Prof. helps make iPhone App

Jibbigo LLC, a startup company launched by Alex Waibel, professor of computer science and language technologies at Carnegie Mellon, has developed an iPhone application that turns the iPhone into a translating device.

The app, which runs on the new iPhone 3GS, will translate both English speech to Spanish and Spanish speech to English.

The Jibbigo app can recognize over 40,000 spoken words. Users simply say small sentences or phrases into the iPhone and the application will respond with an audible translation. The Jibbigo application functions as a general translator, but is also especially useful to both international travelers and medical doctors. One unique aspect of the application is that it does not require a wireless connection to function.
“Jibbigo’s software runs on the iPhone itself, so it doesn’t need to be connected to the Web to access a distant server,” Waibel said.

“That’s important for travelers and especially for humanitarian aid workers who venture beyond the big cities. It’s in those areas where wireless hotspots are few and far between — if they exist at all — that Jibbigo might be needed the most.”