• It’s been a rocky—we could even say stoney—year for Michael Phelps, America’s golden boy who last year left Beijing with the most gold medals ever awarded an Olympian in a single games. Riding high after being called the greatest swimmer of all time, Phelps found his way into a very public scandal when photos emerged of the swimmer holding a bong. But America is nothing if not forgiving, especially to its athletes. Not so many months later, the media has forgotten Phelps’ youthful follies and he’s back in the pool. His next big opponent: Shaquille O’Neal.

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  • Beijing's pollution isn't a secret. But as part of its bid to secure the Olympic contract, the world's 13th filthiest city (according to a World Bank study) embarked on a massive cleanup to improve air quality, sanitize drinking water and purify the rivers in time for the games, which began on Thursday. New sports stadiums were built with solar power and other energy-saving technologies, while new public transit systems were introduced to the streets. But can Beijing really claim this summer's games are green?

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  • I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a clever way to write about this technology, but the bottom line is this service is far more buzzworthy than whatever story I can wrap around it. Just in time for the Beijing Olympics, web telephony company JAJAH just launched an automated English to Chinese/Chinese to English call-in translator. Here’s how it works. You call in, you speak English, and it automatically translates it back to you in Mandarin. If you speak Mandarin, it translates it to English.

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