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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.
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]
Source: ProSiebenSat.1 Welt
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.
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.
Filed under: Science
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.
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 »
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.
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!
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