Posts Tagged ‘Hulu’

Microsoft Talks Up What It’s Calling The First Truly Virtual Personal Assistant

Microsoft cortanaAs The Semantic Web Blog discussed yesterday here, the Virtual Personal Assistant is getting more personal. Microsoft officially unveiled Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone software at its Build event yesterday, and the service effectively replaces the search function on Windows smartphones, both for the Internet and locally.

This statement served as the theme from corporate vice president and manager Joe Belfiore: “Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me and about the things that matter to me most and the people that matter to me most, that understands the Internet and is great at helping me get things done.”

The Bing-powered Cortana is launching in beta mode, and was still subject to a few hiccups during the presentation. For example, when Belfiore asked Cortana to give him the weather in Las Vegas, it reported the information in degrees, and was able to respond to his request to provide the same information in Celsius. But he couldn’t get her to make the calculations to Kelvin. But, he promised attendees, “Try it yourself because she is smart enough to tell you the answer in Kelvin.”

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Facebook’s Timeline Launches

Facebook today posted that users now officially can upgrade their profiles to its Facebook Timeline by heading here. Timeline, as Mark Zuckerberg described in September, is Facebook’s way of helping uses curate the stories of their lives, calling out the most meaningful events and recent highlights. During the F8 Developers’ Conference, he said that Facebook had “rethought from the ground up the heart of the Facebook experience.”

The Open Graph protocol, based on RDFa, provides power to the experience, enabling applications to focus on filling out user Timelines with lightweight activities, and on discovering new things through friends in what Zuckerberg at the time called a frictionless experience. As an example, he noted the debut of the Open Graph Spotify music app that adds to a user’s Timeline the songs she listens to, radio stations, and albums.

Other Open Graph app launch partners announced at the event in the fall were The Daily, Dailymotion, Earbits, The Guardian, Hulu, iHeartRadio, The Independent, Izlesene, Jelli, My Video, Netflix, Rdio, Slacker, Songza, The Washington Post, and Yahoo. Others, such as The Huffington Post, joined later. In late November, Facebook said that the publishers building social news apps to help users see what their friends or reading or to view past top articles are seeing good early results.

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