Parrot Uses Alexa to Order Watermelon, Lightbulbs While Owner Is Out

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A peckish parrot has been caught ordering strawberries, a watermelon and even a water boiler through his foster owner’s electronic personal assistant.

Rocco, an African Grey, requested the items through an Alexa device while his minder was out of the home. Luckily, due to a parental lock, none of his attempted purchases went through…

He also gets the device to tell him jokes and play his favorite tunes.

“I’ve come home before and he has romantic music playing,” Wischnewski told The Times of London. “He loves to dance and has the sweetest personality.”

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Yelp Reviewers’ Authenticity Fetish Is White Supremacy in Action

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When reviewers picture authenticity in ethnic food, they mentally reference all the experiences they’ve had before with that cuisine and the people who make it — and most of the time, reviewers view those experiences, whether from personal interaction or from interacting with media, as not positive. Reviews tend to reflect the racism already existing in the world; people’s biases come into play.

According to my data, the average Yelp reviewer connotes “authentic” with characteristics such as dirt floors, plastic stools, and other patrons who are non-white when reviewing non-European restaurants. This happens approximately 85 percent of the time. But when talking about cuisines from Europe, the word “authentic” instead gets associated with more positive characteristics. This quote from a reviewer commenting on popular Korean barbecue restaurant Jongro illustrates the bias: “we went for this authentic spot with its kitschy hut decor much like those found in Korea”

I Have a “1 Screen at a Time” Rule For Myself, and It’s a Game-Changer

Photographer: Paul KabataRestrictions: For editorial and internal use only. No advertising or print.Product Credits: Tibi Top, Amrapali Ring

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I can’t pinpoint the time I started watching TV while also scrolling through my phone, but I do remember the day I realised my double-screen habit had gotten a little out of hand. As I sat on the couch watching an episode of This Is Us, I found myself rewinding not once, not twice, but five (!) times because I’d been checking email and Twitter rather than paying attention.

At first, I thought, what’s the big deal? It’s fun to scroll through funny tweets about The Bachelor while I watch the show, and as a parent, I have limited time to myself, so why not multitask by moving through my DVR and my inbox at once? That’s just me being efficient! Well, here’s the thing: once I became aware of the two-screen habit, I couldn’t help but notice the negative effects. In splitting my attention between multiple tasks at once, I wasn’t giving anything my full attention. I’d walk away from a TV/texting/email/Twitter session feeling frazzled and unsure.

Late-Night Tweeting Degrades Your Performance the Next Day

Late-night Twitter use social media

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A new study of NBA players reports that it does indeed: A player’s shooting accuracy declines if they were up late tweeting the night before a game.

“These findings may apply widely to other sports, and other cognitive and behavioral outcomes,” writes a research team led by Jason Jones, an assistant professor of sociology at Stony Brook University. Nearly one-third of Americans don’t get the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep; these findings suggest the quality of their work may suffer as a result.

Why it’s vital to switch that podcast off occasionally and let yourself get bored

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It has become part of my daily routine to slip headphones on as I leave the front door. I don’t take them off until I reach my destination, unless I’m buying something in a shop or giving directions – as the writer Lucy Prebble has remarked, “taking off headphones is the new removing your hat”. I sometimes listen to music, but mainly I listen to talk.

Perhaps the biggest cost, though, is that I’m listening to myself less. When I’m riveted by the narrative of a real-life murder mystery, my thoughts don’t wander, and it’s only when thoughts are allowed to wander that they become interesting.

Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?

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Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years.

Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data. But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise. People don’t reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it’s not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture. A quick glance through my Facebook friends’ profile pictures shows a friend’s dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.

In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.