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‘Who Is Jesus?’ Google Home Couldn’t Answer and People Weren’t Happy
January 27, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Anger over Google Home’s inability to answer questions about Jesus led the company to bar the device from answering questions about all religious figures, according to a statement released Friday.

Some users became angry when the smart speaker was unable to answer questions such as, “Who is Jesus?” but could respond to similar queries about Buddha, Muhammad and Satan, CNBC reports. Some unhappy social media users alleged that Google was “censoring” Jesus.

Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liason, tweeted a statement by way of explanation on Friday. “The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about ‘Who is Jesus’ or ‘Who is Jesus Christ’ wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect,” the statement reads. “Some of the Assistant’s spoken responses come from the web, and for certain topics, this content can be more vulnerable to vandalism and spam.”

Until the issue is fixed, according to the statement, all responses for questions about religious figures will be temporarily unavailable.

Google’s reliance on “featured snippets” — the pullout information that appears at the top of a page of search results — has gotten the company in hot water before. Inaccurate and offensive information can find its way into featured snippets, which has led Google’s smart products to repeat sometimes inflammatory comments.

Google Home is now responding to questions about religious figures with, “Religion can be complicated, and I am still learning,” users report.

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Home Depot's CEO Did This 25,000 Times. Science Says You Should Do It Too
November 10, 2017 12:04 pm|Comments (0)

When Frank Blake announced his retirement three years ago as the CEO of Home Depot, employees flooded him with handwritten notes of appreciation.

“I got boxes and boxes of notes,” Blake recalls. “They are my most important mementos from my time at Home Depot.”

Those notes brought the spirit of gratitude full circle.

During his seven-year stint as CEO, Blake set aside several hours every Sunday to hand-write notes thanking standout employees for their service. He estimates he wrote more than 25,000 notes to everyone from district managers to hourly associates.

“I’d see the notes framed at the stores,” he told me. “So I knew it mattered.”

Science confirms it mattered. Studies show that employees who feel appreciated are happier, more engaged, more productive, and more likely to contribute in positive ways.

And it’s not just the recipient who benefits. Studies show that people who express appreciation are more optimistic, as well as physically and emotionally healthier.

In other words, gratitude stays with those who give it.

So, as we head into Thanksgiving, here are four tips for using the lost art of letter writing as a way of expressing appreciation to your employees.

1. Be specific about why you’re thankful.

When Frank Blake thanked me via email and phone for writing about this particular topic, it made me smile. We all want to be appreciated for what we’re doing, and when you’re recognized for something specific, it’s even more of a motivator.  

Blake says when writing his notes, he stayed away from generalities. Instead of simply thanking employees for their customer service, he told me he’d write: “I heard that you did xyz for a customer recently. Thank you for setting a great example of customer service.”

Lydia Ramsey, a business etiquette expert and author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits, suggests mentioning the specific effect on your team or organization. For example, “Thank you for coming in on your day off. You helped us finish our project on time and set a great example for everyone involved.”

2. Set up a system.

When Blake sat down every Sunday to write his notes, he had a process for identifying the recipients: Each store would collect specific examples of great customer service. The store would send those names to the districts. The districts would send their top picks to the regions. And the regions would send their top picks directly to Blake.

“I figured the advantage of this is that it created an atmosphere of people being on the lookout for recognizing great behavior,” Blake says.

Regardless of the size of the company, he advises bosses to develop a mindset that focuses on identifying employees who put in extra effort, and then a system to recognize those employees.

3. Keep note cards handy.

In this digital media age, it’s easy to skip the pen and go straight for the keyboard. But when was the last time you put a text or an email in a keepsake box? There’s just something about a handwritten note that creates a more meaningful connection.

To avoid the temptation of dashing off a digital thank you, have fun picking out some note cards that reflect your personality, and stash them in a convenient place in your desk. That way, “you don’t have to hunt them down, and you can write that note immediately, while the act is still fresh in your mind, says Ramsey.

4. Go beyond gratitude.

Making employees feel appreciated goes beyond thanking them for a job well done. It can also include recognizing and acknowledging significant events in their lives like birthdays, engagements, work anniversaries, kids’ graduations, and even family illnesses.

Regardless of the precipitating event, Ramsey calls handwritten notes “a chance to build positive relationships with employees.”

And since fewer and fewer people are putting pen to paper these days, you’ll stand out with each letter you write.

Letting people know you’re thinking of them creates a chance for meaningful connection. It also creates a keepsake they can look back on and remember that you took the time to reach out.

“There’s something so powerful about the written word,” says Blake.

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Greenstar Home Services Announces Partnership with Nest
June 30, 2017 1:05 am|Comments (0)

Greenstar Home Services, an air conditioning, heating, and plumbing company based in Orange, CA has partnered with Nest Labs, Inc. to include the Nest Learning Thermostat as a standard component of…

(PRWeb May 20, 2017)

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55% off Panda Security Ransomware and Virus Protection Products for Home Users – Deal Alert
May 18, 2017 1:55 pm|Comments (0)

Panda security solutions will fully protect you against the newly released malware and ransomware attacks, and Panda is offering 55% off all security products for home users using the coupon code ANTIRANSOMWARE at checkout. See Panda’s Internet Security product here, or their Antivirus Pro product here, and enter the code at checkout to activate the 55% savings. This code will work for all Panda Security products for home users. 

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Nest Cam Outdoor shows me the cat lurking outside my home
November 13, 2016 4:15 am|Comments (0)

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Seeing is safety.

I live in a relatively safe neighborhood, but some years ago, my home was burglarized. The thieves broke in through the back door. Since then, we’ve been more vigilant about locked doors and windows and installed a Nest Dropcam indoors to keep an eye on our house. It does a great job of showing my open-floor-plan kitchen, dining room and den, but is of no use for the space outside my home.

Nest Cam Outdoor takes everything that’s good about Nest Cam — easy setup, anywhere-in-the-world access and cloud-based footage recording – and adds in weatherproofing. It is an excellent addition to the Nest family of smart home devices. Read more…

More about Smart Home, Security Camera, Web Cam, Nest Cam Outdoor, and Nest


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Apple’s Echo rival could make Siri the master of your home
October 30, 2016 9:20 am|Comments (0)

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Amazon is sitting pretty on top of the smart home with its Alexa voice-controlled Echo devices, and Google will close in later this year with its own Home assistant device. But what about Apple?

While iOS 10’s much-needed Home app for controlling all your HomeKit-compatible smart home devices is a step in the right direction, the company may need an Echo rival of its own.

Apple is reportedly working on an Echo-like smart home device according to Bloomberg

This report corroborates a earlier one from The Information earlier this year that Apple was developing its own Echo-like product based around Siri.  Read more…

More about Voice Assistant, Smart Home, Siri, Apple, and Google Home


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Acoustiblok® “Hits Home Run” at Fenway Park with Solution to…
August 30, 2016 4:10 am|Comments (0)

Acoustiblok’s All Weather Sound Panels® were installed at Boston’s famous Fenway Park to resolve noise issues from a chiller and other mechanical equipment in an exclusive outdoor function area….

(PRWeb August 29, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13640074.htm


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Amazon Echo Dot gives you a voice-controlled smart home for only $90
April 16, 2016 12:10 pm|Comments (0)

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Nobody saw it coming. While Apple and Google were busy trying to beat each other to the smart home with HomeKit and Nest, respectively, Amazon snuck in from nowhere with the Echo and its Alexa voice assistant and embarrassed them both.

When I reviewed it last year the Echo could only do a handful of things like play music, read the news, tell you the weather and set timers. Today, the Echo’s a full-featured, voice-activated smart home hub thanks to all the third-party devices and services that can connect to it.

The Echo’s success pushed Amazon to put Alexa in more devices and now she’s available in the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and two new devices: the Tap (read my review here) and Echo Dot. Read more…

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This Delaware entrepreneur used to run an ISP out of his home
February 20, 2016 7:20 pm|Comments (0)

Kahn became founder and CEO of The First Street Corporation, which offered web hosting, dialup service, circuits and support to clients. Kahn serviced the servers himself, developed the company website himself, managed and maintained the equipment …


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