Boy With Autism Is Best Friends With Siri | POPSUGAR Tech


Many people bash on Siri because of her faults, but one mother is singing its praises. In a moving New York Times piece and the ABC video above, Judith Newman explains how the virtual assistant tremendously helps her 13-year-old autistic son. Siri is his best friend — a presence that is patient and funny, nonjudgmental and knowledgeable.For instance, Gus has obsessions with trains and planes. Siri entertains him with facts about them. Gus needs to practice his speech. Because of how she operates, Siri forces him to enunciate. Newman details plenty of other touching examples.”She is also wonderful for someone who doesn’t pick up on social cues: Siri’s responses are not entirely predictable, but they are predictably kind — even when Gus is brusque. I heard him talking to Siri about music, and Siri offered some suggestions. ‘I don’t like that kind of music,’ Gus snapped. Siri replied, ‘You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.’ Siri’s politeness reminded Gus what he owed Siri. ‘Thank you for that music, though,’ Gus said. Siri replied, ‘You don’t need to thank me.’ ‘Oh, yes,’ Gus added emphatically, ‘I do.'”But mostly, it comes down to how Siri makes Gus feel.”Of all the worries the parent of an autistic child has, the uppermost is will he find love? Or even companionship? Somewhere along the line, I am learning that what gives my guy happiness is not necessarily the same as what gives me happiness,” she writes. “Right now, at his age, a time when humans can be a little overwhelming even for the average teenager, Siri makes Gus happy. She is his sidekick.”


via Boy With Autism Is Best Friends With Siri | POPSUGAR Tech.

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We rode a $10,000 hoverboard, and you can too

It’s impossible to talk about hoverboards without invoking a particular movie title, so we’re not even going to try: Remember that awesome scene from Back to the Future Part II? It’s one step closer to reality: A California startup just built a real, working hoverboard. Arx Pax is attempting to crowdfund the Hendo Hoverboard as a proof of concept for its hover engine technology — it’s not quite the floating skateboard Marty McFly rode through Hill Valley and the Wild West, but it’s an obvious precursor to the imagined ridable: a self-powered, levitating platform with enough power to lift a fully grown adult.I initially approached the floating pallet with caution, expecting it to dip and bob under my weight like a piece of driftwood. It didn’t. The levitating board wiggled slightly under my 200-pound frame, but maintained its altitude a mere inch or so without visible strain. Arx Pax tells me that the current prototype can easily support 300 pounds and future versions will be able to hold up to 500 pounds without issue. Either way, you’ll need to hover over a very specific kind of surface to get it to hold anything: The Hendo uses the same kind of electromagnetic field technology that floats MagLev trains — meaning it will only levitate over non-ferrous metals like copper or aluminum.

via We rode a $10,000 hoverboard, and you can too.

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Blocks’ modular smartwatch will talk to your iPhone

Blocks first unveiled its modular smartwatch with a plan to use Android Wear, much as Project Ara smartphone will use a special version of Android. However, there has been a change of plans — and it’s good news if you’re not of the Google persuasion. The team now says that it’s using a version of the open source Tizen platform that should support Android, iOS and Windows Phone, so you probably won’t have to give up a favorite device just to try this out. The Blocks team also has access to Intel’s newest processors thanks to a prize from a recent design challenge, and modules will have removable covers that let you change both the style and functionality of your wristwear. This is still an incredibly ambitious project that may not pan out as planned, but it’s evident that the pieces are quickly falling into place. click below for video Continue reading

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Lockheed Martin’s new fusion reactor can change humanity forever

This is the interior of an invention that could change civilization as we know it: A compact fusion reactor developed by Skunk Works, the stealthy experimental technology division of Lockheed Martin. It is the size of a jet engine, power airplanes, spaceships, and cities—and they say it will be operative in only 10 years.

Aviation Week had exclusive access to their secret laboratories and talked to Dr. Thomas McGuire, the leader of Skunk Work’s Revolutionary Technology division. And revolutionary it is, indeed: Instead of using the same design that everyone else is using—the Soviet-derived tokamak, a torus in which magnetic fields confine the fusion reaction with a huge energy cost and thus little energy production capabilities—Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Reactor has a radically different approach to anything people have tried before.

via Lockheed Martin’s new fusion reactor can change humanity forever.

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You’re Putting The Wrong Gas In Your Car

This handy infographic shows you the recommended fuel type for car models built in 2012 or newer. We hope this clears up any confusion you might have about what type of gas to put in your car. If your car isn’t listed here, refer to your owner’s manual or the inside of your gas cap for the recommended octane.

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The Skills We’ve Lost to Technology and How to Get Them Back

Technology usually makes our lives easier. It also makes it so we don’t have to practice a few basic skills. After years of smartphone use, many of us can’t even remember a phone number.

Here’s how to get the skills that matter back.It’s easy to cry wolf and lament for a time that used to be. People argue that before technology ruled our lives, we were happier, smarter, and better at general living. That utopian vision of the past is a bit too rose tinted, but the point remains that we’ve lost some basic human skills over the years. Relearning them makes us a little less dependent on technology, flexes our brain muscles, and gives us an opportunity to interact with the world. You don’t have to be a luddite to appreciate most of these skills and getting them back is easy enough for even the most technologically reliant amongst us.

via The Skills We’ve Lost to Technology and How to Get Them Back.

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Electric Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4,

It’s not the fighting bull’s first real hybrid — it’s still just a concept after all — but if the finished product is anything like the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, sign us up. Sporting a surprisingly curvaceous body, this plug-in powerhouse features a mid-mounted, 5.2L V10 engine, that’s paired with a combination of three electric motors and a hefty battery pack. The result is a maximum output of 910 hp, a 0-62 time of 3.0 seconds, a top speed of nearly 200 mph, and yet amazing fuel economy, reduced emissions, and the ability to drive up to 30 miles at speeds of up to 77 mph without burning any gas at all.

via Uncrate.

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