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Kapow! Amazon’s Alexa has learned new words – and she’s more nerdy than ever

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - February 14, 2017 3225

An update has added more geeky in-jokes and references to the e-commerce giant’s AI assistant, from ‘Cowabunga’ to ‘Great Scott!’

Alexa, the talking lady who sits inside the Amazon Echo waiting for you to say her name, is having a personality makeover. The talking AI’s latest update comes with a range of “speechcons” – little expressions or verbal tics.

Alexa will say 100 new words, including “bazinga” and “woohoo”.

'Reliability is all for Wikipedia, which is why the Daily Mail was banned'

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - February 12, 2017 1801

Katherine Maher, head of the Wikipedia Foundation, discusses the platform’s role and questions around accuracy

News that a few dozen Wikipedia editors had decided that the Daily Mail should be “generally prohibited” from being used as a source caused consternation among many in the media. That’s not least because the anarchic way in which policy is set at the “world’s public library” is a million miles away from what most of the journalists and academics referenced by the site are used to.

Spotify's Daniel Ek named most powerful person in the music business

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - February 10, 2017 823

The chairman and CEO of the streaming service displaces Universal’s boss at the top of Billboard’s Power 100

Spotify’s chairman/CEO, Daniel Ek, has been named as the most powerful person in the music industry by the trade magazine Billboard. Ek, 33, tops Billboard’s annual “Power 100”, rising from No 10 last year. He displaces Lucian Grainge, the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.

Opening its citation for Ek, Billboard says: “For the first time since Napster decimated music sales, the recorded-music industry is showing signs of growth, and that reversal of fortune is largely due to one man … Daniel Ek.