Tag Archives: Skills

Alexa skills can now offer one-time-use purchases, like in-game hints or points

Alexa skill developers will now be able to sell “consumables” within their voice apps, aka Alexa skills, Amazon announced this morning. The company says that, starting today, developers in the U.S. will be able to take advantage of this new feature to sell products to Alexa device owners, which can be purchased, used, then purchased again — for example, a ...

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Pollution ‘hugely’ impacts intelligence with language skills most affected, research reveals

A new study found chronic exposure to air pollution can take a “huge” toll on one’s intelligence. The average impact of breathing in toxic air is the loss of a whole year of education, the study found. The risks posed by unsafe air to people’s physical health are already well documented, as the World Health Organization claims 4.6 million people ...

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Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition gains new skills from Disney and others

Amazon is today rolling out a set of new features to its Echo Dot Kids Edition devices — the now $ 70 version of the Echo Dot smart speaker that ships with a protective case and a year’s subscription to Amazon FreeTime, normally a $ 2.99 per month subscription for Prime members. Now joining the Kids Edition’s parental controls and ...

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Amazon now lets you share your custom skills made with Alexa Blueprints

Earlier this year, Amazon introduced “Alexa Blueprints” – a way for anyone to create their own customized Alexa skills for personal use, without needing to know how to code. Today, the company will allow those skills to be shared with others, including through text messages, email, messaging apps like WhatsApp, or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The ...

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US sailors lack basic ship handling skills – Navy report

Almost 85 percent of junior officers in the US Navy lack basic seamanship and ship handling skills, according to a new report. Twice last year, this lack of skills led to fatal accidents at sea. A three-month internal review conducted by the Surface Warfare Officer School selected junior officers in the fleet at random and subjected them to tests on ...

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Political polyglots: World leaders employ their foreign language skills – with mixed results (VIDEO)

Vladimir Putin’s emergency German language interjections during a recent heated interview with an Austrian journalist has begged the question: Which other world leaders have rolled out a foreign language, for better or for worse? At times, the Russian president’s conversation with Armin Wolf, from Austria’s state ORF channel, became so contentious that Putin found himself switching to Wolf’s native tongue ...

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Alexa developers get 8 free voices to use in skills, courtesy of Amazon Polly

Now Alexa’s voice apps don’t have to sound like Alexa. Amazon today is offering a way for developers to give their voice apps a unique character with the launch of eight free voices to use in skills, courtesy of the Amazon Polly service. The voices are only available in U.S. English, and include a mix of both male and female, ...

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Oops! Sex workers not found: New Zealand removes prostitution from skills list for visa hopefuls

Experience in the sex or escort industry will no longer help would-be immigrants move to New Zealand, it seems. The recently-hyped addition to the employment list, for visa hopefuls, has vanished from the immigration website. News about prostitution being listed as skilled employment in New Zealand made headlines last week. While migration experts said that applying for a resident visa ...

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‘Lack of learning skills:’ More than half of migrants fail German language test – state agency

Every second migrant attending integration courses in Germany fails to reach the expected level of language proficiency at the end of their training, authorities have said. About one in ten doesn’t have a basic command of German. Out of all migrants who attended integration courses in 2017, only 48.7 percent managed to reach the required B1 or “intermediate” language proficiency ...

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Trump displays shrewd deal-making skills with latest Twitter threat against US partners

Donald Trump has wheeled out his signature negotiating tactic – thinly-veiled extortion – in an attempt to drum up support for Washington’s 2026 World Cup bid. The US president’s threat-based diplomacy has a spotty track record. Trump took to Twitter on Friday in an attempt to persuade Washington’s valued partners to support a US bid to host the international football ...

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