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theEweekly Wrap

Google Time Machine – Microsoft Cortana Video – Mark Zuckerberg Waxwork

Google invents time machine for Street View

Google's ever tinkering scientists have released their latest invention: a 'time machine' for Street View.

The service allows you to travel back through time digitally to Street View images as prehistoric as 2007. On the Google Street View blog product manager Vinay Shet said "if you've ever dreamt of being a time traveller like Doc Brown, now's your chance."

On your travels you may come across sights of a surprising breadth of meaning and significance. Sadly, you can see the before and after of structural damage caused by natural disasters, such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. But when you need relief, you can see buildings which had just started development become completed, such as the before and after of the World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.


Microsoft shows off Cortana in new video

Microsoft revealed Cortana to the world earlier in the month but it's only now that we can all see a video of the service on the BBC website, which shows what Cortana should be like.

Microsoft Cortana is a personal assistant intended to compete with Apple's Siri and Google's Now. But Cortana could bring the assistant service to the next level, as Microsoft want it to show both personality and a sense humour.

In the video Larry Heck, the chief scientist involved with Cortana, says Microsoft would like "depth of conversation and naturalness of conversation... so that Cortana can talk to you about anything you are interested in."

There's a comparison to make with the recent Spike Jonze film Her, which feeds an ongoing debate outside of the film about if the appearance of being and thinking is the same as being and thinking. In the film writer Theodore and A.I 'Samantha' are shown to fall in love.

This might seem a bit heavy for a blog post, so perhaps we can feel relief when in the BBC video reporter Richard Taylor asks Cortana if it loves him, and the service takes only a few moments to reply "I'll need quite a few upgrades before I can give you a heartfelt answer."


Mark Zuckerberg made at Madam Tussauds

Residents of San Francisco have got a lasting impression of Mark Zuckerberg - he's been recreated there by Madam Tussauds in wax.

He is the latest technology entrepreneur to be modeled by the world famous museum.

It took twenty artists between 3 and 4 months to complete the waxwork, which Lauren Fahrer, marketing manager at the San Francisco museum, says is a life size replica down to the last freckle. Normally these works use a sitting where over 200 measurements are taken, but as the CEO couldn't spare any time all the work has been achieved in reference of photos, making this waxwork a spectacular achievement.

He is the latest tech celebrity to be given a wax double, following one of Bill Gates in New York and of Steve Jobs in Hong Kong. The figure of Mark Zuckerberg will punctuate the June opening of a Madam Tussauds in California, the very same state as Facebook's Silicon Valley HQ.

Written by Rachel Hand


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