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Scenes from Microsoft's TechFair (photos)

Microsoft Research brought a taste of its annual science fair to Silicon Valley on Thursday. Here's a look at some of what was on display.

Ina Fried
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
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1 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Kicking things off

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Microsoft Research head Rick Rashid kicks off the TechFair eventat the company's Silicon Valley campus here Thursday by stating that the true testament of the power of Microsoft research is the fact the company as a whole has managed to outlive other firms that were founded at the beginning of the PC era.

"Microsoft is still here," Rashid said. "Virtually all of Microsoft's peer companies from that era are gone or not recognizable. Ultimately it is about survival."

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2 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Pen and touch combine on Surface

One of the more popular booths at TechFest used Microsoft's Surface to show how pen and touch can combine. The demo showed how one could use a pen to interact with a photo, acting as straight edge, X-Acto knife, paint brush, and more.
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3 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Pen and touch, not pen or touch

Another element of the research on pen and touch showed how to use them together to position where a straight line should be drawn.
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4 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Stars over Seattle

Some of the projects shown at TechFair were ones that had already graduated from the research labs and made it into shipping products, such as this addition to Bing Maps that overlays street-side imagery with data from Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope.
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5 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Explaining real privacy

Microsoft researcher Cynthia Dwark explains her work to show how true privacy can be applied when sharing aggregate data.
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6 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Can you understand me now?

Telephone Translator, one of the popular projects at this year's TechFest, made its way to Mountain View on Thursday. The research effort combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech to allow people that don't speak the same language to converse with one another.

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