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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 29, 2012/ 8 Sivan, 5772

Save the questions for humans, not your phone

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm not talking.

Not to a phone.

It may be all the rage for celebrities in iPhone commercials to have pithy exchanges with Siri, the female-sounding voice assistant, but if you ask me, they just sound stupid.

Like actress Zooey Deschanel, in her pajamas, telling her iPhone, "Remind me to clean up ... tomorrow." Really? If you can't remember to do your chores, how can you remember to check the phone? What if you can't find it, because the place is so messy? How about reminding you to get out of your pajamas?

Or Samuel Jackson telling his Siri, "Find me a store that sells organic mushrooms for my risotto." First of all, Sam Jackson making risotto is tough enough on the credibility. But don't you think, if you're that advanced in the culinary arts, you've gone shopping for food before? Or did you suddenly wake up as Julia Child?

Maybe the worst is John Malkovich, who sits in a chaise with classical music playing and asks his Siri for a "joke."

"Two iPhones walk into a bar," the machine says. "I forget the rest."

Malkovich laughs, proving he's a good actor.

Sorry. Not joining this club. I have often been guilty of purchasing the "latest technology" (and by "latest" I mean things that were new for six minutes). But I have enough experience talking to machines to know that a microchip is not your friend, no matter how close you keep it to your bed.

Have you forgotten the frustrating electronic voices that now answer almost every business number you dial? "For English, press one. Para Espanol, dos. If you'd rather stick needles in your eye, press three."

Or the voice technology in your car? I tried this once. It went like this:

"Call Dad."

"Baghdad."

"Not Baghdad."

"Starting call."

"Stop."

"Calling cop."

"No -- call Dad."

"To call Fred, say yes."

"No!"

"Calling Nome."

Conversations with a car should be one way only. And they should be limited to "Oh, come on, come on" (when it won't start) and "You gotta be kidding me!" (every other problem).

Asking a car to find the nearest Belgian restaurant is not really what Henry Ford had in mind.

But what really bothers me about this Siri rage is that the very devices that are keeping us from communicating with each other now suggest you get verbally cozy with them.

But using voice recognition software and bouncing it through a server to a series of digital modeled answers is not the same as a lover whispering into your ear.

These iPhone ads with Deschanel, Jackson and Malkovich suggest being alone with your device is sort of comfy, one-on-one time.

It isn't. We've become so desensitized to one another that communication -- even eye contact -- is becoming a lost art. What scares me most about this Siri business isn't that they have technology that can mimic human conversation, but that humans might actually prefer it over the real thing.

What'd I prefer to hear in one of those spots is this:

"Siri, how many ounces in a cup?"

"Can't you ask your mother?"

"All right, text mother."

"She'd rather hear your voice."

"I don't want to talk to --"

"Too late, here she is."

"Son, is that you?"

"Uh, hi, Mom. Just thinking of you ..."

Let me know when they invent a dialogue string like that. Until then, I'll limit my conversation partners to those that have lips and tongues. Even if they can't find organic mushrooms.





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