How Alexa got its name

I always assumed that the name for Amazon’s smart voice assistant, Alexa, was some sort of nod to the (female) name Alexandra. But I was wrong. The creator of Alexa, Brewster Kahle, revealed how he came up with that name, in an interview with Kara Swisher for the Decode Recode podcast, which you can listen … Continue reading How Alexa got its name

Something for your weekend: The Machine Stops

I have a present for you.   It is my favourite kind of present: a book.   What? It is a short novel by E. M. Foster, first published in 1909. It is called ‘The Machine Stops’.    Where? You can read it here, or buy it here (no affiliate links).   So what? This … Continue reading Something for your weekend: The Machine Stops

Something for your weekend: The Joy of Data

What? A one hour documentary, presented by mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, exploring ‘Data’ – what it is, why it is valuable, and issues around collecting, storing and using it. Where? I first saw it on BBC iPlayer, but you can also access it on Youtube.   So what? Like many other BBC science documentaries, this one offers … Continue reading Something for your weekend: The Joy of Data

Something for your weekend: Social media reviews of 2016

We are now well into December and social media are full of 2016 reviews, and 2017 predictions. Here are two that caught my attention.   YouTube Rewind More than 200 YouTubers and personalities got together to relive some of 2016’s crazes – there is dabbing, and bottle flipping, and pineapple pen apple pen, and mannequin … Continue reading Something for your weekend: Social media reviews of 2016

November 2016 round up

This month was dominated by starting the new job. In the first half of the month, it was all about wrapping up various matters, saying good-byes, and the emptying the office at the previous job. Then, the second half, was about settling in at the new place. Amid all these changes, there were the following … Continue reading November 2016 round up

Day in the Life of an Academic #6: new job

This is quite an unusual 'day in the life of an academic' blogpost, as it focuses on the first day at my new job and, admittedly, changing jobs is not something that I do frequently.   This is what I got up to last Wednesday, November 16th.   I got up at 6am, as usual. … Continue reading Day in the Life of an Academic #6: new job