Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrated today technologies for transcribing spoken Chinese, making handheld computers aware of when they’re being touched and moved, and adding emotion to computer slide shows. At an event recognizing the 10th anniversary of Microsoft Research, Gates indulged his fondness for technology, raising hopes for a world where computers will become more useful. At the event, among the things it was showed was a handheld computer that understands which way is up and where it’s being touched, technology that lets it reorient the display according to how it’s held or understand when a person is holding it like a cell phone to give dictation. The “Mulan” software project for reading Chinese writing out loud or transcribing speech into characters. With about 60,000 characters in Chinese, it’s difficult to use keyboards. Automated bug detection that helped make Windows 2000 less crash-prone is being used in all other Microsoft product lines. Video compression technology that’s less error-prone than the prevailing MPEG4 standard. Software that’s designed not to sap people’s emotion when creating narrated slide shows so sharing photos online is more like the storytelling that accompanies the viewing of traditional photo albums. Software that can reconstruct three-dimensional images from a few still photos.