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Coronavirus Polling

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If you want to see the polling questions we agree on MOST, you can check out Chapter 24 of my book How To, where I got the Roper Center on Public Opinion Research to help me design the world's least electable political campaign platform.
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SimonHova
26 days ago
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Who are the 24% who DON'T feel positively about kittens?
Greenlawn, NY
petrilli
26 days ago
Who are the 14% who don't feel positively towards Betty White?
DexX
26 days ago
Diehard Bea Arthur fans...?
jlvanderzwan
25 days ago
I don't *dislike* kittens, but I feel very annoyed by how kittens are shoved down my throat and that loving them is socially mandatory
HarlandCorbin
25 days ago
Who are these sadists shoving kittens down your throat? And, are you okay? How about the kittens???
jlvanderzwan
24 days ago
I cannot answer that and I am totally not a lizard person who can unhinge his jaw
jlvanderzwan
24 days ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RqVOn-pJsY&t=2m30s
TheCrappyCoder
17 days ago
We're asking the wrong questions here; I think we should be far more worried about the 14% of Americans who trust Kim Jong-Un to do the right thing.
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alt_text_bot
26 days ago
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If you want to see the polling questions we agree on MOST, you can check out Chapter 24 of my book How To, where I got the Roper Center on Public Opinion Research to help me design the world's least electable political campaign platform.

Kids can learn at home with Read Along by Google

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With many students currently at home due to school closures, families around the globe are looking for ways to help children grow their reading skills. To support families, today we're sharing early access to Read Along by Google. It’s an Android app for children 5+ years old that helps them learn to read by giving verbal and visual feedback as they read stories out loud. 

Read Along uses Google's speech recognition technology to help develop literacy skills, and first launched in India (where it is available as “Bolo”). After receiving encouraging feedback from parents, we’re excited to share this app with more young learners around the globe.

Read Along is now available in over 180 countries and in nine languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi. Read Along will continue to improve as we receive feedback from families, expanding the selection of books and adding more features.

How Read Along works

Read Along helps kids independently learn and build their reading skills with the help of an in-app reading buddy named Diya. As kids read out loud, Diya uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to detect if a student is struggling or successfully reading the passage. She gives them positive and reinforcing feedback along the way, just as a parent or teacher would. Children can also tap Diya at any time for help pronouncing a word or a sentence.

Read Along keeps young minds engaged with a collection of diverse and interesting stories from around the world, and games sprinkled into those stories. Kids can collect stars and  badges as they learn, which motivates them to keep playing and reading. 

Parents can create profiles for multiple readers, who tap on their photo to learn at their own pace and to track their individual progress. Read Along will personalize the experience by recommending the right difficulty level of stories and games based on their reading level performance. 

ReadAlong.gif

Safety and connectivity

Read Along was built with childrens' safety and privacy in mind, and has no ads or in-app purchases. And after the initial download of the app and stories, Read Along works offline without Wi-Fi or data—helping with worries about unsupervised access to the Internet. Parents can simply connect to Wi-Fi periodically to download additional stories. 

Read Along is also easy to start and doesn’t require sign in. Even the voice data is analyzed in real time on the device—so that it works offline—and is not sent to any Google servers.

Families can download Read Along for their Android devices by visiting the Play Store. To help us continue to improve the experience, we want to hear your feedback at readalong@google.com.

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SimonHova
30 days ago
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Interested?
Greenlawn, NY
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UV

6 Comments and 12 Shares
Hey, why stop at our house? We could burn down ALL these houses for the insurance money.
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SimonHova
1979 days ago
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That went to an odd place.
Greenlawn, NY
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3 public comments
mxm23
1979 days ago
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Alt-text: "Hey, why stop at our house? We could burn down ALL these houses for the insurance money."
West Coast
tedder
1979 days ago
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"my morality has evaporated under the harsh UV light."
Uranus
cmr
1979 days ago
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I love this so much.
Minneapolis, MN

Watch As A Hacker Frees This Telepresence Robot From Its Confinement

io9
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Watch As A Hacker Frees This Telepresence Robot From Its Confinement

A robotics company recently made one of its telepresence units accessible over the Internet for a public demonstration. But to keep it from going astray, the device was confined to an office — an unacceptable constraint that one crafty user interpreted as a challenge.

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SimonHova
2018 days ago
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Very fun watch. And, a cool device, very reddit.com/r/hailcorporate
Greenlawn, NY
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Robot Callers Are Denying That They're Robots

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Robot Callers Are Denying That They're Robots

A reporter at TIME magazine recently got a phone call from a woman named Samantha West who wanted to talk about health insurance. When the reporter asked her if she was a robot, she laughed and said, "I am a real person, can you hear me okay?"

TIME Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer got the initial call from Samantha on his cell phone, and although she sounded somewhat like a real person who wanted to talk about healthcare, he quickly deduced that she was definitely a robot.

Scherer and his colleagues called her number back multiple times and made some recordings — she can sort of carry on a real conversation, and parts of it are convincing — she laughs naturally and has a few different responses to the word "robot."

But then, according to TIME:

She failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection

TIME published the robocaller's phone number, and eventually the number just began diverting to busy signals. Before it did, they tracked down a human, who said he was Bruce Martin of Premier Health Plans, Inc. He apparently denied Samantha being connected to the company, and although he initially asked TIME to advertise his service within the article, his website was quickly taken offline.

But that's not the most interesting part.

One Atlantic reporter tried to track down the technology used. Alexis Madrigal spoke with interactive voice companies who all said only one program might be capable of Samantha's range of conversation. Madrigal ultimately concluded that the technology doesn't really exist right now for a robot to casually chat with callers — it's more of a Ferris Bueller setup.

His conclusion is that these calls might be made by people unfamiliar with English or with accents who have pre-recorded responses on a soundboard that they play during the call. But it's not certain — he too was rebuffed by the only human voice to answer Samantha's number.

[image via Shutterstock]

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SimonHova
2357 days ago
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Mark my words- this will be the most important story to come out of 2013.
Greenlawn, NY
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Peter O'Toole Was a God Amongst Men

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Today we lost the dashing, dry-witted, über-talented Peter O'Toole, and his legendary performances are rightly being commemorated. But O'Toole had more than just acting chops — he had the charisma and the gravitas to, say, pull off riding into Letterman smoking a cigarette atop a camel, which he later fed a Heineken.

"I believe that's called a stupid pet trick," he said dryly afterwards.

He also mentioned a failed plan to prank Letterman with Omar Sharif, with whom he "lost much of his 'Lawrence' earnings in two nights... at casinos in Beirut and Casablanca," in the 70's, according to the New York Times obit.

The clip also includes a great story involving Sharif, brandy, camels, milk and a rope.

Bonus clips:

Peter O'Toole quotes Spice Girls lyrics. (“I’m a professional,” he once said in an interview, “and I’ll do anything — a poetry reading, television, cinema, anything that allows me to act.”)

O'Toole and Orson Welles discuss Hamlet

Share your favorites below!

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SimonHova
2357 days ago
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Greenlawn, NY
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