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Culture

This week in gadgets

Demofall once again shows itself to be a rare breed of technology conference with succinct presentations of scores of new products.

Demofall, which took place this week in California, once again showed itself to be a rare breed of technology conference.

By limiting presenters to six minutes, it gives those on hand a unique chance to see dozens of the latest innovations in a short period of time.

One that stood out was Destinator Anywhere Server, which is a mix of services like Yahoo Local and mobile phones incorporating GPS (Global Positioning System). The idea is that the phone becomes a portable version of the little digital boxes--now offered by many car rental companies--that direct drivers to their locations by spouting vocal commands on when to turn left, right or go straight for another quarter-mile.

Also at the conference, Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, told fellow venture capitalists that despite some bad economic signs, the time is ripe for a new cycle of investment, even if the size of funds has dropped significantly since the bubble burst on the Internet boom.