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Finally, A Robot That Will Talk To Your Children So You Don’t Have To When You Are Tired

Finally, A Robot That Will Talk To Your Children So You Don’t Have To

NICHOLAS CARLSON AUG. 21, 2013, 8:50 AM 3,856 17

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You work really hard all day, so when you’re finally back at home, all you want to do is kick back with your iPad and play with some apps. A little Candy Crush and scotch to ease the pain, am I right? But no. First some 8-year-old wants you to talk to them. Then some 3-year-old is trying to give you a hug. Ugh. Fortunately, for you, modern parent, there’s a new Silicon Valley startup called WittyWorX. WittyWorX makes a green robot owl called “IXI-Play” that is programmed with a “rich set of sensors and expression capabilities to support the playful interaction” with your children. “With its lifelike body movement and posture, animated eyes and sounds, IXI-Play is very well suited to express its emotions during game play. Children recognize and enjoy this interaction, making IXI-Play feel like a real buddy for playful interaction.” Translation: make sure there’s water in your ice cube trays and your iPad Mini is charged, because you’ve finally got some quality time ahead of you in your evenings, modern mom or dad. WittyWorX showed off IXI-Play yesterday, at a very important conference for startups in Silicon Valley called YCombinator Demo Day. All the top venture capitalists attend the event to see what kind of life-improving innovations are coming next. IXI-Play was a favorite. Here are some of IXI-Play’s expressions. Note the one in the second row from the top, second column to the left. This robot will handle the tough love for you. Here’s a video demonstration of IXI-Play.  When the dad sits in the easy chair at 41 seconds in, remember to imagine that’s you.

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How Roberta Benteler went from wanting a job in fashion to owning an online retailer to challenge Net a Porter

How Roberta Benteler went from wanting a job in fashion to owning an online retailer

Roberta Benteler runs Avenue 32, an online retailer to challenge Net a Porter. She talks to Emma Sinclair about how she grew her business from scratch, her biggest inspiration and whether the fashion world really is like The Devil Wears Prada.

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Roberta Benteler founded Avenue 32 to challenge the likes of Net a Porter

By Emma Sinclair

1:30PM BST 19 Aug 2013

In April 2011, Roberta Benteler founded Avenue 32, an online retailer to challenge the likes of Net a Porter. The site has already made its mark: its largest single order to date is an unbelievable £51,000 (I’d love to know who that client was!). If Net a Porter is something of a department store, Avenue 32 is more a series of independent boutiques all under one roof with well-known designers on their pages. A firm advocate of new and young brands, it provides an online platform for young designers who otherwise might not have much of a presence on the internet. Additionally, the site looks after distribution, logistics and photography; often the most challenging elements of an online business for young designers. Read more of this post

The Science of Investing

The Science of Investing

By Samuel Lee | 08-21-13 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

Though it sometimes is hijacked by ideologues, the scientific method works. The most successful societies entrust scientifically trained workers with the most specialized tasks, such as performing brain surgery, designing airplanes, and setting marketwide interest rates. And yet, many individuals regularly entrust their fortunes to the investing equivalents of witch doctors and astrologers. Or they take matters into their own hands for no good reason other than a vague belief that they can do it if they put their minds to it. Unlike good scientists, they’re not skeptical enough of themselves or others. Read more of this post

Enforced education the worst motivator in learning

Enforced education the worst motivator in learning

Professor K Ranga Krishnan is right that “Understanding motivation — and apathy — is key to education” (Aug 16). Motivation is key to every undertaking in life. It is the mental fuel, just as sugar and fat are the physical fuels that propel us forward.

FROM EE TECK EE –

6 HOURS 5 MIN AGO

Professor K Ranga Krishnan is right that “Understanding motivation — and apathy — is key to education” (Aug 16). Motivation is key to every undertaking in life. It is the mental fuel, just as sugar and fat are the physical fuels that propel us forward. The worst kind of motivation is enforced motivation. Observe a pupil who dislikes second language but has to study it. Listen to a child tapping listlessly on the ivory keys because her tiger mother is within hearing distance. Read more of this post

Welcome to the Age of Denial: Our society no longer values the integrity of scientific fact

August 21, 2013

Welcome to the Age of Denial

By ADAM FRANK

ROCHESTER — IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the population who are creationists is 46 percent. In 1989, when “climate change” had just entered the public lexicon, 63 percent of Americans understood it was a problem. Almost 25 years later, that proportion is actually a bit lower, at 58 percent. The timeline of these polls defines my career in science. In 1982 I was an undergraduate physics major. In 1989 I was a graduate student. My dream was that, in a quarter-century, I would be a professor of astrophysics, introducing a new generation of students to the powerful yet delicate craft of scientific research. Read more of this post

China Banks on Buddhism; A shadowy Chinese association gears up to develop the Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, known as “the Buddhist’s Mecca.”

August 21, 2013, 5:48 p.m. ET

China Banks on Buddhism

ILARIA MARIA SALA

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Many have long lamented the untapped tourism potential of Lumbini, known as ‘the Buddhist Mecca.’

The plain of Terai, a poor agricultural land crossed by holy rivers, straddles the border between Nepal and India. Its sweltering summers see temperatures climb above 100 degrees, but this parched terrain might be on the verge of tumultuous changes. On the Nepali side is the small city of Lumbini, which, after long neglect, is now at the center of great power politics. Read more of this post

The Common Core and the Common Good: American schools need rigorous standards to make kids competitive in a global job market

August 21, 2013

The Common Core and the Common Good

By CHARLES M. BLOW

America, we have a problem.

Our educational system is not keeping up with that of many other industrialized countries, even as the job market becomes more global and international competition for jobs becomes steeper. We have gone from the leader to a laggard. According to the Broad Foundation, an educational reform group, “American students rank 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries.” And we have gone from No. 1 in high school graduation to 22nd among industrialized countries, according to a report last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Read more of this post

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