Mobile-Computing

theguardian.com
Has voice control finally started speaking our language?
The success of Amazon’s Echo proves that we are slowly coming to terms with talking to machines. How long before digital assistants can do more than just control our music, and start having meaningful conversations?
By Rhodri Marsden

The problem with using the human voice to control computers is well known and well documented: it doesn’t always work. You can find yourself adopting the aggressive tone of a belligerent tourist in a foreign land while digital assistants employ a range of apologetic responses (“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that”, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the question”). We throw our arms up and complain about their shortcomings. Plenty of us have tried them, plenty of us have dismissed them as a waste of time.

We tend not to hear about them doing the job perfectly well, because few people write impassioned tweets or blog posts about things that work flawlessly. The evidence, however, shows that we are becoming more comfortable with using voice control as its capabilities improve. Back in May, Google announced that 20% of mobile search queries were now initiated by voice; and it is predicted that this will rise – across all platforms – to 50% by the end of the decade.


happy bird, flustered bird, protective bird

5

Demigod photo album 1/?

I really love it when people make fake Instagrams/ scrapbooks using fictional characters, so I made my own!

I’m probably going to be doing more of these so if you have any ideas lemme know :)

(For the time line I’m sticking with the idea that BOO ended in late 2009, because I don’t really have much else to go on…)

~12x02 codas keep making me cry, so I’m offering up a happy one lmao here goes~

“What are you doing?”

“Ordering dinner.” Mary looks up from the takeout menu with bright eyes. “You can do that over the phone, can’t you?”

Dean knocks his hip against the counter and squints at his mom. “Yeah. You planning on picking it up yourself?”

“Why is it that I feel like I’m the child here and you’re my mom?” She playfully raises her eyebrows at him to punctuate the question.

Dean smiles down at the floor. “Uh, overprotective I guess. I’d, uh, love it if you went and got us some grub. Let me just get the keys and–”

“I’ll need 10 dollars. I wasn’t resurrected with any cash.”

Dean doesn’t hold back his laugh as he pulls a wad of cash out of his back pocket. “You’ll need more than that, Mom. Wait ‘til you see gas prices.”

She frowns down at the bills in her hands, but she doesn’t say anything else. As she makes her way toward the garage, she pats his cheek.

When she’s almost out of the room, he calls after her and reminds her that she hasn’t placed the order yet. She laughs and hits her forehead. He shows her how to use an iPhone. She calls it ridiculous and asks why they even say it’s a phone when in reality its other uses far outweigh its ability to make calls. He blinks at her.

Some stress drops from Dean’s shoulders once his mom is out of the bunker. He grabs a beer out of the fridge and downs half of it before joining Sam and Cas in the war room. Sam is staring intently at his laptop while Cas reads an old Men of Letters journal to see if there’s anything about the British chapter.

As Dean walks around Cas’ chair, Cas reaches his hand up without taking his eyes away from the book. Dean hands over his beer, Cas takes a drink, hands it back, and Dean pulls a chair out and sits close enough to Cas that their legs are knocking under the table.

Dean sighs heavily and leans back in his chair, reaching his arm toward Cas so he can give him a neck massage. Cas very briefly closes his eyes before resuming his research.

“How you doing, Sammy?”

From the opposite end of the table, Sam offers a tightlipped smile and trains his eyes back to the screen. “Still think I’m hallucinating, but at least it’s pleasant for the time being.”

“Did you try–”

Sam lifts his hands and presses his thumb to the old scar in his palm.

Dean smiles and drinks his beer.

“You trusted your mother to take the car?”

“You eavesdropped?”

“It’s easier than actively blocking you out,” Cas deadpans.

Dean stops rubbing his neck but keeps resting his hand on the back of his chair. “Should I have stopped her? I mean, she’s getting us dinner when she’s a guest in our home. Doesn’t that make us bad hosts?”

Cas just barely rolls his eyes as he closes the journal. “When I was sick, you let me watch Netflix and eat all of your Lucky Charms. I think you’re a fine host.”

Dean smirks at him and squeezes his shoulder. “That’s when you started sleeping in my bed, too. I think I went above and beyond as a host.”

“I don’t think that would be appropriate with your mother.”

“OK, the hallucination is once again a nightmare,” Sam says seriously. He closes his laptop and heads toward the kitchen.

Dean scoots his chair closer to Cas so he can nose at his jaw.

“You don’t seem too concerned about the British Men of Letters.” Cas’ neck betrays his words by tilting to the side and angling toward Dean’s mouth.

“Too hungry to care right now.”

“You could’ve offered to cook. That probably would’ve taken less time than Mary picking something up.”

Dean stops kissing Cas’ neck. “Honestly, I thought she might offer to cook. I was about to ask her what she wanted to do for dinner when I found her hovering over a menu.”

“Did you even check to see what she ordered?”

Before Dean can answer, Mary walks in empty-handed. She stops in the middle of the room and plants her hands on her hips.

“They were backed up. Said it would take an hour to fill our order! I’m starving.”

After a pause, Cas says, “I see where Dean gets his impatience.”

“And my appetite apparently,” Dean adds as he stands. “Don’t worry, Mom, we have steaks in the freezer. I got it.”

They’ve got some onions and peppers and a freaking eggplant in the fridge, so Dean quickly throws together an orzo salad with macaroni noodles since they don’t have orzo. Once the steaks are thawed (in the microwave, but nobody needs to know that), he throws them on the grill, heads back inside and tells Cas to keep an eye on them. He definitely doesn’t waste five minutes passionately explaining to Cas how to make sure all the steaks turn out perfectly medium rare.

While he’s roasting some broccoli, carrots and zucchini, Mary comes up behind him and asks what he’s doing.

“Uh, just roasting some vegetables. We went to the farmer’s market right before…well, a few days ago. Everything’s still good. You good?”

“You’re roasting the vegetables?”

“Uh, yeah?”

“And they taste good that way?”

“You kidding me? They’re amazing. I didn’t know I liked broccoli until I tried roasting it.”

“Huh.”

Dean mixes the not-orzo salad and lets the silence sit between them for a second.

“Oh! I gotta ask you. Um. That meatloaf you used to make when I was a kid. You still know the recipe?”

Mary laughs and takes a seat at the kitchen table. “Piggly Wiggly, sweetheart.”

“What?”

“I hated cooking. Why do you think I gave you PB&J for lunch every day?”

Dean huffs a laugh and scratches the back of his neck. “That’s, uh–I gotta be honest, one of the main things I’ve thought about you over the past three decades is that you’re a good cook.”

She immediately gets up and walks over to him. “Well, we’re getting to know each other now.” She pats his back a few times. “So, show me how you roast these vegetables.”

By the time Cas comes in with the steaks, Mary is cutting up some feta and laughing as Dean goes through the list of all the different kinds of mac and cheese he made for Sam when they were kids.

“He’s gonna be pissed when he sees the macaroni noodles in the salad,” Dean says with a wink to Cas and a nod toward the table.

Cas sets the plate of steaks down and stands with his hands by his sides, waiting.

“Macaroni and feta,” Mary says.

“Babe, go get Sammy, would you?”

Once Cas leaves, the conversation dies.

Dean and Mary laugh some more as they navigate around each other to set the table. When Sam comes in and asks what’s funny, they shrug him off.

Dean takes his usual seat next to Cas and squeezes his hand before they start eating. It’s his way of saying grace, which Cas finds sacrilegious. And hilarious.

Mary immediately stuffs her face and sings Dean’s praises with her mouth full. Sam looks at her, slack-jawed, but doesn’t say anything.

Dean loves cooking. He’s good at it. Not because he was trying to imitate his mom or take care of his little brother–even though those things are true–but because he just loves cooking. And that’s something he can share with his mom, show his mom, because they don’t have it in common.

After dinner, they all sit around the table and talk for a long time. Dean rubs Cas between the shoulder blades like he always does and then he scoots himself closer to Cas like he always does and then he wraps his arm tightly around Cas like he always does and then Cas leans up against his chest practically in his chair like he always does.

It’s not until Cas lazily turns and presses a kiss to Dean’s cheek that Dean registers something.

“Uh, Mom?”

“Yes, sweetie?”

“You know Cas and I are–we’re–we have a, uh–I should’ve said–mentioned–”

Mary downs the rest of her beer. “You had a crush on John Travolta when you were 4, Dean.” She winks at Cas. “If you want my approval, you’ve got it.”

2

Shiro loves mac and cheese, baby

I couldn’t sleep yesterday night so, naturally, I doodled some sheith
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

2

troye sivan instagram // update

“The most miraculous process is watching a song go from a tiny idea in the middle of the night to something that 55,000 people are singing back to you. I am getting to the point where the only love worth being in is the love worth singing about. Sitting on a bedroom floor crying is something that makes you feel really alone. If someone’s singing about that feeling, you feel bonded to that person. That’s the only way I can find an explanation for why 55,000 people would want to come see me sing.”