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Ask Ooloo puts the 'person' back in personal assistant

Before Google dominated search, Ask Jeeves depended on a team of humans -- yes, humans -- to answer your internet queries. Ultimately, search algorithms killed the internet's favorite butler, but the idea that humans are worthy competition for the software we create didn't follow him to the grave. Case in point: Ask Ooloo, a digital assistant powered by living, breathing human beings. According to Ooloo's makers, the PPDA (people-powered digital assistant) is staffed with "real people 24/7" ready to offer you quick, localized search results with a personal touch. All you have to do is speak your question, as you would with Google Now, Siri or Cortana, and wait for an answer. We put the iOS app to the test, asking it 'Who invented the Internet?" What it revealed, probably won't shock you.

And seven minutes later someone named Shefali replied: "Al Gore! Just kidding, check this out!" We were then directed HowStuffWorks for a detailed account of its creation. So no, it's not nearly as fast as the automated competition, but it does give you a bit of human-generated sass to accompany its answer. When asked the same question, Siri delivered a very dry, though prompt response via Wolfram Alpha. Considering the fate of Jeeves, we can't say we're confident in Ooloo's staying power. But for now, it's free to download and use via Google Play and Apple's App Store.

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Source: App Store, Google Play

  • Ask Ooloo puts the person back in personal assistant
Do you like watching German-language TV? Then this post's for you.

When we, at Engadget, indulge in the occasional use of the German language, it's usually to fire off Deutschland's version of our favorite four-letter word (hint: it rhymes with sh-high-zuh!). Instead, we're rattling off this mouthful: ProSiebenSat.1 Welt. Gesundheit is right.

The German-language TV channel has big news for its US-based fans: a subscription-based streaming service for the web and mobile. Interested parties that can, you know, understand German are welcome to test it free for a week before going all in on those monthly payments of 7.90€ (about $11 USD). It's pretty much your best bet to catch up on the latest episodes of Der letzte Bulle, Ladykracher and Pastewka, one of which we assume has to be the German equivalent of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Don't make that face. We've all watched it at one time or another. Oh, and Bitteschön.

[Image credit: Peter Bischoff/Getty Images]

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Source: ProSiebenSat.1 Welt

  • Do you like watching German-language TV? Then this posts for you.
Elle Fanning is Young 'Frankenstein' Author in 'A Storm in the Stars'
The work of author Mary Shelley is known around the world, because she's responsible for writing the classic monster tale Frankenstein. But her own story hasn't been told on the big screen at all until now. THR reports Super 8 and Maleficent star Elle Fanning will lead A Storm in the Stars, a period romance from Wadjda director Haifaa Al-Mansour that will follow he passionate love affair between dangerously charismatic poet Percy Shelley and 17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft, who hadn't yet taken the surname of her lover. Fanning will play Mary as she discovers young love at a time when she felt like an outcast. Mary was known for being well-educated and intellectual, but would gain fame for writing the genre fiction we all know today. This is a great project for Al-Mansour, the first female filmmaker to come from Saudi Arabia, very familiar with being a fish out of water in her own culture as a woman on the rise creatively ...
  • Elle Fanning is Young Frankenstein Author in A Storm in the Stars
bram vanderbeke mesmerizes the eyes with endless lights of possibility

a moving mirror within a halo of light creates ethereal patterns to look into the future of the cosmos.

The post bram vanderbeke mesmerizes the eyes with endless lights of possibility appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

  • bram vanderbeke mesmerizes the eyes with endless lights of possibility
Fox Shifts Release Dates for 'The Martian,' 'Miss Peregrine' & More
We've known since May of this year that Ridley Scott was going to be at the helm of The Martian, an adaptation of Andy Weir's book of the same name, adapted for the screen by Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard. However, since the director always has a slew of projects on his plate, we weren't sure if he would get around to making it sooner or later. But now it seems the project will actually be the director's next film, because Fox has just set it for release on November 25th, 2015. That's disappointing for anyone who was hoping for Prometheus 2, which was presumed for a March 2016 release, and now lies in limbo. So what's happening with that March 4, 2016 release date that Fox already staked out? Well, that's where they're moving their adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The Tim Burton film just recently added Eva Green in a lead role, and since ...
  • Fox Shifts Release Dates for The Martian Miss Peregrine  More
Argentina to LA: 1979 Ford Falcon Futura SP
This 1979 Falcon Futura SP is a South American-built car that's recently completed a trek from its native Argentina to Los Angeles. That trip must account for a large portion of the claimed 73,700 miles, and overall it appears to be in very good condition. A straight six/4-speed manual car, we imagine it likely shares many parts with earlier, American-made Falcons, while the flush-fit front headlights lend it an almost European vibe. Find it here on Craigslist in Sunland, California for $6k.
NASA successfully tests microwave thruster, paving the way for speedier space travel

As with airplanes and many other self-powered machines, the fuel a shuttle engine requires can weigh nearly as much as the object it's propelling, increasing costs while significantly limiting range. It's a challenge we're going to need to overcome before launching long-distance treks through space, where carrying enough fuel may not currently be possible. One proposed method for getting future spacecrafts to their destinations is by utilizing a device called a microwave thruster. A British scientist named Roger Shawyer managed to build a similar engine called an EmDrive several years ago, and while a Chinese team also accomplished the same, the rest of the world hasn't paid much attention until NASA confirmed from its own research that such a device could work during a presentation earlier this week.

NASA's device, a microwave thruster called the "Cannae Drive," was built by US scientist Guido Fetta. It works by bouncing around microwaves within a sealed container, using a method that seemingly contradicts the law of conservation of momentum. Miraculously, the thruster seemed to function as described, and while the model NASA tested is hardly capable of moving any large object through space, the fact that it registered any measurable movement is promising. If the agency can scale up the device significantly, it could be used for anything from limited satellite propulsion that uses solar power exclusively to a spacecraft that can carry astronauts from Earth to Mars in just a few weeks.

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Source: Wired (UK), NASA

  • NASA successfully tests microwave thruster paving the way for speedier space travel
Maggie Gyllenhall: I Have No Idea What My Name Is

You know that actress Maggie Gyllenhaal? No you don't, because she doesn't exist.


  • Maggie Gyllenhall I Have No Idea What My Name Is
1967 Volkswagen Type 2 Thirteen Window
This 1967 Type 2 thirteen window retains its original paint and bodywork, is said to run and drive great, and is mostly structurally solid with rust limited to battery tray, cargo door bottoms, a few of the pop-out window frames and a few small holes in the front floor. The 1600 single port motor has less than 2k miles since rebuild, and the seller details several other jobs recently completed as well. Find it here at The Samba's classifieds in Minnetonka, Minnesota for $16k.
German Delivered 1960 Triumph TR3A Project
This 1960 Triumph TR3A (chassis TS73425L) is an unusual German-delivered example recently pulled from long term storage. Its motor turns freely but isn't currently running, and despite some rusty body panels the car is said to be substantially solid with good frame and floors. A British Motoring Industry Heritage Trust certificate is included, as is a rare German delivery data plate. Find it here on eBay in Uxbridge, Massachusetts for $9,788 OBO.
Mary Lambert’s Video For ‘Secrets’ Is The Best Start To Your Weekend
Mary Lambert may be best recognized for writing and singing the chorus on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ inspiring LGBTQ anthem Same Love, but the Seattle singer is about to step out on her own in a big way. Lambert recently released the lyric video for her infectious single Secrets, where she tackles every taboo label […]
  • Mary Lamberts Video For Secrets Is The Best Start To Your Weekend
Old Dog, Rejected After Walking 30 Miles Home, Is Now Filthy Rich

An elderly black lab named Lady, who made headlines for walking 30 miles to return to the family that gave her up, will get to live out the rest of her days in comfort at the home of a wealthy Florida heiress. Her new mom sent a private plane to pick her up yesterday.


  • Old Dog Rejected After Walking 30 Miles Home Is Now Filthy Rich
Marianas Trench Take On Robin Thicke, Mumford & Sons and LMFAO In Their New Video
We were ecstatic to see the return of Marianas Trench earlier this week with the lyric video for their new song, Pop 101, and now we are even more excited to share with you their music video for the song! As with the song, the video gives us a lesson in pop music and what […]
  • Marianas Trench Take On Robin Thicke Mumford  Sons and LMFAO In Their New Video
​Google is reportedly separating its photo service from its social network

Love Google's services, but not a fan of its social network? Good news: the Mountain View company may be spinning Google+'s photo features into their own product. According to Bloomberg sources, Google is hoping to attract new users by making some of its social network's best features available to consumers who aren't interested in Google+. The company has already made Hangouts available sans Plus to some business customers, but wouldn't confirm or deny if the reported photo spinoff was really happening. "Over here in our darkroom, we're always developing new ways for people to snap, share and say cheese," a Google spokesperson told us. Well, that's certainly cheesy.

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Source: Bloomberg

  • Google is reportedly separating its photo service from its social network
Sinead O’Connor Finally Leaves The Past Behind In Euphoric “Take Me To Church” Video: Watch

Sinead O’Connor grabbed headlines last year for writing Miley Cyrus a series of very long and complicated open letters. Hopefully, the veteran singer/songwriter will be making a whole more in 2014 — this time, thanks to brilliant comeback single “Take Me To Church” and promising new LP I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss (due August ... More »
  • Sinead OConnor Finally Leaves The Past Behind In Euphoric Take Me To Church Video Watch
Tax Pledge Cretin Will Join, Deeply Misconstrue Burning Man​

Churlish hamster Grover Norquist nearly brought the U.S. to the brink of default three years ago, pressuring legislators with his "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" into a debt ceiling battle that was both dangerous and inane. This year, Norquist plans to attend Burning Man, which he sees as a stateless capitalist Utopia.


  • Tax Pledge Cretin Will Join Deeply Misconstrue Burning Man
Cam Girls Reveal Their Clients' Most Bizarre Sexual Requests

Jasmin.com (formerly LiveJasmin) (RIP) is a popular webcam site where one can go to watch people from all different nations get naked for money or smoke cigarettes for free (source: experience). In an effort to normalize the cam experience, the site has put together a list of the weirdest requests models have gotten. Have you heard of piggybacking? Well you have now!


  • Cam Girls Reveal Their Clients Most Bizarre Sexual Requests
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