A new voice digital assistant is on the scene in the U.S., but unlike other Siri-challengers Sherpa comes with some overseas work experience. Sherpa launched its Spanish-language Android app in October and has since risen up the Google Play charts in Spain and Latin America. Sherpa has now learned English, and on Wednesday it launched in the U.S. in the Play store.
Most virtual assistants powered by natural language processing are taught to do specific tasks very well but tend to come up short when given unfamiliar assignments. For instance, Siri excels at jobs like making calendar appointments and dictating text messages but can be confounded by more general requests for information, usually resorting to simple web searches.
But speaking to various analysts, the Journal found plenty of pessimism to go around: As Darren Tristano, executive VP of food industry consulting firm Technomic put it, the cupcake craze was just a short-term trend. “We’re starting to see a real saturation … Demand is flat. And quite frankly, people can bake cupcakes.”
Of course those within the industry, like Yogen Fruz co-founder Michael Serruya, take the opposing view: Serruya just did a $10 million financing deal with Crumbs and says the gourmet cupcake category is here to stay. “We wouldn’t have committed our money to this deal if we believed otherwise,” he told the Journal.
Then there’s Magnolia Bakery, arguably the most famous gourmet cupcakery around, featured in HBO’s Sex and the City and the film The Devil Wears Prada. According to the Journal, its sales are actually up so far over 2012 — though it’s hard to say what that means, exactly, since only half of the store’s revenue is cupcake-specific.
Fear not, gourmet cupcake-philes: If the market really is plunging and you’re not bake-phobic, scores of scrumptious cupcake recipes are just an interwebs search away.
If the reports are true, it would be joining the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google, and others looking to capitalize on a forecasted boom in wearable electronics.
Microsoft has so far refused to comment on the rumors.
This wouldn't be Microsoft's first shot at making a smartwatch. Back in 2004 it fielded a product under the name SPOT that used FM radio signals to send instant messages from Windows Messenger, news headlines, stock information, and weather forecasts as part of a paid subscription service.
But production stopped in 2008, and the SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) project was finally canceled last year.
Interestingly, Microsoft researcher Bill Buxton spoke at length on the 37-year history of smartwatches last month, possibly foreshadowing a return to the market.
The news comes days after a bleak report from IDC last week claiming that Q1 2013 marked the steepest decline ever for the PC industry, down 13.9 percent over Q1 2012, a trend that apparently accelerated rather than slowed with the release of Windows 8.
It's also the second significant leak in the report's aftermath — last week The Journal reported that Redmond was also working on a 7-inch Surface tablet due later this year.
So the Mets players bundled up — looking more like snowboarders than baseball players — and ventured into the newly white outfield to play catch as they tiptoed ankle-deep in powder.
The scene, strange as it was, is the current reality for the Mets, whose game Sunday in Minneapolis was postponed because of snow. The Mets on Monday laughed it off and shrugged with resignation. There are things you cannot control — like the weather, and baseball’s schedule-makers.
“We’ll just have to adjust,” Manager Terry Collins said after it was announced the teams would play, or try to play, a split doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 3:10 p.m.
The Mets last had consecutive games postponed by weather conditions in August 2011, when Hurricane Irene was passing through the New York area. It was rain then. This week, it has been snow and cold, the constant threat of which has put the Mets into a state of uncertainty.
“It gets to be tough, because now your pitching is drastically affected along with your pitching down the line here a little bit,” Collins said.
Dillon Gee, who was supposed to pitch on Monday, was expected to pitch the first game on Tuesday. Collins was undecided on who would pitch the night game. The right-hander Jeremy Hefner was scheduled to start Tuesday night, but the left-hander Aaron Laffey was also a consideration.
The only certainty seemed to be that the Mets would use Matt Harvey against the Washington Nationals and their ace, Stephen Strasburg, on Friday, when the teams open a series at Citi Field.
“I don’t think I’m going to mess too much with Matt Harvey at this particular moment,” Collins said. “I would imagine that he’s still on track for Friday.”
He added, to laughter, “I don’t know who’s pitching Saturday and Sunday, I’ll tell you that.”
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek each posted a goal and two assists while Wayne Simmonds and Erik Gustafsson also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a four- game losing streak to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.
Also thanks to 25 saves from Ilya Bryzgalov, Philly now has 39 points on the season and sits seven back of the New York Rangers for the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher each posted a goal for the Canadiens, who have dropped two of three. Carey Price gave up six goals on 29 shots in two periods while Peter Budaj allowed one in on four shots in the third period.
Montreal sits in second place in the Eastern Conference and first in the Northeast Division with a one-point lead over the Boston Bruins.
Boston was scheduled to host Ottawa on Monday, but the game was canceled in the wake of the twin bomb blasts that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
The Flyers scored just 2:45 into the game as Simmonds let fly with a slap shot from the right circle that was stopped, but the rebound came back to him and he chipped it out front where the puck went off a Habs stick and into the net.
It was a 2-0 game three minutes later as Gustafsson wristed a shot from in front that went through a screen provided by Simon Gagne.
Montreal got one back with 57.2 seconds to play in the first period while on the power play as Tomas Plekanec sent a pass from the right point to the slot where Pacioretty re-directed the puck between the pads of Bryzgalov.
The goal sparked the Habs as the team tied the game just 38 seconds into the second period on the power play when Gallagher netted his 13th of the year off a feed from Pacioretty.
The Flyers, though, answered 24 seconds later when a Canadiens player overskated the puck behind his own net and Giroux quickly passed it out front where Voracek one-timed it home.
Skating on the man advantage, Philly made it a 4-2 game when Giroux sent a short pass from the left circle to the slot and Hartnell one-timed it in at the 7:30 mark.
Montreal kept it close by scoring just two minutes later as Davis Drewiske's shot from the right point was stopped, but Galchenyuk put the rebound home while battling out front.
The Fiat 500e has an EPA-certified range of 87 miles when it is fully charged, which Fiat claims is “best-in-class and better than all U.S.-market all-electric vehicles produced by high-volume manufacturers.” It also has an estimated 108 MPGe. There will be 25 dealerships all across California that will sell the 500e, and each will offer 4 charging stations that 500e owners can use. The dealerships will also help customers find other charging points, as well as offer locations of other charging stations on the customer’s route.
Fiat will offer its customers the “Fiat 500e Pass Program”, which allows 500e owners to choose an alternative car to use for up to 12 days each year. The owners will be able to choose from select cars offered by Enterprise Holdings, including the Fiat 500s, the Dodge Dart, the Chrysler 200, or bigger vehicles like a minivan or a pickup truck. The Fiat 500e Pass Program is only available for the first 3 years after you purchase your 500e.
There is also a smartphone app available for 500e owners. The app is available for both the iPhone and Android phones. It will provide you with details like real-time vehicle status and charge management, and will also allow you to track energy use, locate charging stations, prep routes, set up alerts, and more. The 500e itself has a 111hp/83kW electric motor that is able to deliver 147 lbs-feet of torque and is powered by a 24 kWh lithium battery. It is able to be charged in under 4 hours with 240 volts. The Fiat 500e is expected to be a huge hit in California.
Four regulars, all marquee names, are on the disabled list with injuries. But if the Bombers get pitching like they did Sunday night from Hiroki Kuroda, they can persevere through a tough stretch.
Kuroda was exceptional in twirling a five-hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles as the Yankees scored a 3-0 victory before 34,154 at the Stadium. The Bombers have won five of six and though the first three of those wins were due largely to the offense, it is starts like this one by the righthander and Friday's performance by CC Sabathia that can sustain them.
Kuroda's effort was backed by a three-run fifth inning that was capped by Brett Gardener's two-run homer off the high end of the right field foul pole.
The righthander didn't allow a Baltimore baserunner to get into scoring position during the first eight frames and allowed the first one only with two out in the ninth. There were five singles, no walks and five strikeouts. He got the O's to hit into a pair of double plays.
Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, beating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff on a soggy Sunday at Augusta National.
The Masters went to a sudden-death playoff for the second year in a row when Scott and Cabrera made matching birdies on the 72nd hole.
They both made par on the first extra hole, returning to No. 18, before Scott rolled in a 12-footer for birdie to win it.
Scott pumped his fists in the air, screaming toward the gray, darkening sky, and embraced caddie Steve Williams, who was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods' 14 major titles.
For Scott, this is the first, making up for his major meltdown at last year's British Open, where he bogeyed the last four holes to lose by a stroke to Ernie Els.
"I found my way today," Scott said.
Scott, playing in the next-to-last group, made a 20-foot putt at 18 and celebrated with Williams as if it were over. Cabrera, in the final group, watched from the fairway knowing he had to hit a brilliant shot.
Cabrera's ball pulled up 3 feet from the cup for an easy birdie that sent the two players to the playoff tied at 9-under 279.
"That's how golf is," said Cabrera, who was denied his third major title. "I had some issues during the course but I came back."
A niche gadget designer has created the world's most expensive iPhone 5 from gold, white diamonds and a rare £9million black diamond.
Craftsman Stuart Hughes created a 24-carat gold smartphone with an Apple logo encrusted with 53 sparkling jewells.
The phone is now worth £10million.
The hand-crafted iPhone 5 is encrusted with a jaw-dropping 600 white diamonds and the sapphire glass screen contains 135 grams of 24-carat gold.
But without the black diamond the phone would be worth a meagre £150,000
Mr Hughes said: 'The most difficult part of building the phone was the solid gold chassis.
The 43 year-old is no stranger to crafting expensive phones.
He has created a solid gold handset for Australian football team owner and gold magnate Tony Sage.
The designer laughed: 'Luckily with Mr Sage we had absolutely no problem getting hold of gold as he's involved in the gold extraction business.'
The black diamond iPhone 5 has beaten the previous record set by Mr Hughes in 2009 with a £1.92million iPhone 3GS Supreme.
The Jets may have looked into the possibility of unloading Mark Sanchez – and his hefty contract – to the Buccaneers as part of a potential trade involving Darrelle Revis.
Although ProFootballTalk.com reported on Friday that Sanchez was discussed as a possible piece to a deal involving Revis, one source familiar with the situation told the Daily News that the quarterback isn’t likely to be included in a trade with Tampa Bay.
A second source familiar with the situation said he was unaware of Sanchez being a part of recent trade discussions with the Buccaneers.
Sanchez, who committed 26 turnovers for the second consecutive season, is scheduled to earned a guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013 with a nearly $13 million salary cap charge.
Although the Buccaneers have more than $30 million in available salary cap space for the upcoming season, they would lose a good chunk of that by absorbing Sanchez’s contract and giving Revis a new long-term deal. Tampa would presumably have to dole out a less attractive quality draft pick compensation package if asked to take Sanchez off the Jets’ hands.
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