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from the L.A. Times

New Google Goggles app solves Sudoku

Sudoku Google Goggles is now faster, can read newspaper ads, and, more important, will solve that stubborn Sudoku puzzle.

The new version of the visual search application, released Monday, has a couple of features geared toward shoppers: improved bar-code scanning and the ability to recognize print ads in major U.S. newspapers and magazines to return information about the products (this feature is similar to a marketing experiment Google announced in November).

There's another new feature aimed at the Sunday-morning-newspaper crowd: If you get stuck on a particularly knotty Sudoku, the app can now analyze and provide the answer to the popular number puzzle -- useful perhaps in a situation in which someone spilled coffee on the answer key.

A video on Google's blog shows a phone with Google Goggles beating the time of 2009 national Sudoku champion Tammy McLeod at a Sudoku fest.

However, the phone was disqualified from formally competing because it's, well, a phone.


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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: Tammy McLeod of Los Angeles, who won the first-place title, smiles while standing beside her puzzle at the Sudoku tournament in Philadelphia on Oct. 24, 2009. Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press

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