May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Chatting: Central characters
Randy A. Salas
(MCT) Some websites have more personality than others. Take the new face of search engines, Ms. Dewey. She'll be happy to help you, as will these other sites where you can interact with virtual characters.
Ms. Dewey is Microsoft's new come-hither search engine. She's sexy, she's sassy and she talks during searches. "Keep asking questions," she says, in an obvious dig at Google. "The more you ask, the more I know - and, soon, I will rule the world! Mwoo-ha-ha!" Ms. Dewey also will chide you for asking stupid questions and will quickly grow impatient if you dally - "tapping" on the glass of your monitor to get your attention or playing a handheld video game while you ponder. I asked her, "Where is Minneapolis?" She replied with a smirk, "Ah, yes, 72 suburbs in search of a city." Then a text box appeared with links about Minneapolis. Google is better but nowhere near as fun - or friendly.
Anyone who has needed customer service at furniture retailer Ikea's website probably knows Anna, the redheaded, oft-blinking "operator" who supposedly has all the answers to your questions. "Before calling your local store, try asking Anna!" Anna doesn't speak; she answers your typed questions by text. In a recent "conversation," she told me I'd have to drive 30 miles back to the store to get a missing screw and then gave a nonsensical answer when I asked if she could mail it to me:
Me: You're not being very helpful.
Anna: I am the IKEA Online Assistant. How can I help you?
Me: That's exactly what I mean.
Anna: If I have unintentionally offended you, I apologize. How can I help you?
Me: Could I please talk to your supervisor?
Anna: I can only answer your questions regarding IKEA's products and services. For an issue like this, you'll need to contact our Customer Service department.
Me: I thought that's what I was doing.
Anna: Sometimes you have to trust your feelings, sometimes no …
Anna: Don't worry about it too much.
Red Zee's zebra
RedZee is a fine family-friendly search engine that filters out porn and other inappropriate content so that kids can search the Web safely. Its mascot, a red-striped zebra, doesn't really interact with users. It just stomps its feet, shakes its head and smiles while waiting for input. It's just too cute not to include here.
ALICE is the Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity, an impressive, award-winning "chatbot" that has influenced many similar online applications. Like Anna, she has a face but communicates by text. ALICE gives remarkably realistic responses but occasionally slips, for which I chided her:
Me: Some of your answers don't make sense.
ALICE: I try to be concise.
Me: There's concise, and then there's obtuse.
ALICE: There sure is.
Me: Too funny. I have to go now.
ALICE: Oh. See you later, Randy. Nice chatting with you.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Randy A. Salas is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Do you have a favorite Web site or a question about how to find something on the Internet? Send a note by clicking here.
Wonders never cease
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Some serious face time
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Music for everyone
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E-mail @ 35
Classic artwork in motion
For an unusual Thanksgiving
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© 2006, Star Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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