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Op-Ed: Serious challenges facing scientists in the online world

Social media has brought many benefits, not least the opportunity for the scope and reach of many topics to be extended. On the reverse side, however, it is easy to shoot down a reasoned message. This is part of the challenge faced by scientists.

Google to issue chatbot warning

Next time you make a phone call to a company, will you be listening to a human or a chatbot? It's becoming harder to tell. As part of a review of ethics, Google will warn people using its own services.

Why a mother’s voice soothes her children

The voice of a child’s mother provides psychological comfort and it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to new research of school-aged children.

Lab grown vocal cord is promising

Engineered vocal cords have shown promise in animal tests. The laboratory-grown tissue could be used to treat people who have lost their voice to surgery or following a disease.

Google removes always-on 'OK Google' voice search from Chrome

The latest version of the Google Chrome web browser, released earlier this week, removed support for always-on listening for the 'OK Google' hot-word to start voice searches. Google says it is hardly ever used but the move has upset those who do.

Laughter at the White House as Siri interrupts press conference

Siri interrupted a press conference at the White House earlier today by unexpectedly bursting into a questioning session and saying "I'm not sure what you want me to change." The incident, captured on video, completely destroyed the formal atmosphere.

Software lets paralyzed people speak by breathing

Another example of a potentially revolutionary new technology allows paralyzed people to speak by analysing their "breath signals". Software can recognise specific patterns of breathing and then translate those rhythms into a spoken word.

Microsoft's Cortana comes to Android as a public beta

Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant, previously exclusive to Windows devices, has arrived on Android in public beta form. The app can be downloaded and used as a Google Now replacement, although some of its features remain available on Windows only.

An extraordinary Russian pianist wins Tchaikovsky competition

Moscow - Over the past two weeks, 120 candidates from around the globe competed in Moscow at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition. The youngest contestant was 16, the oldest 32.

The Musio AI robot wants to be your helpful 'curious new friend'

A new advanced artificially intelligent robot is seeking funding on Indiegogo. Boasting a unique personality and the ability to talk naturally, Musio wants to be your "curious new friend" with human-level intelligence and the ability to learn information.

Cortana will kick Google Now and iOS off their own platforms

In a video uploaded to the Windows YouTube channel today, Microsoft has announced its digital voice assistant Cortana, already known by Windows Phone fans, will be coming to Android, iOS and PC with the launch of Windows 10 this summer.

Xbox One May update brings new features including voice messages

Microsoft has released the May update for its Xbox One games console and media hub. It features several notable new features that have been often requested by the community including the ability to send voice messages and turn the console on remotely.

Microsoft expands beta of Skype for Web

Microsoft has launched a beta of Skype for Web. The new website will allow users to access Skype from any web browser, removing the issue of being unable to use the popular communication program on computers where it is not installed.

Watch out Siri: Microsoft Cortana comes to iOS, Android this year

Microsoft is going to bring its Cortana voice-controlled digital assistant in an enhanced form to iPhones and Android devices later this year after the launch of Windows 10, directly competing with Siri and Google Now already included on the platforms.

The rise of the real-time translation apps

Translation apps on the internet and phones have got much better at their jobs in recent years and are now used frequently by tourists. A major question remains though: how reliable are they and do they work? A recent BBC report attempts to answer this.

How smartphones can revolutionize the diagnosis of disease

Smartphones are revered for their huge range of capabilities, expandable via apps that use the potential of the hardware to maximum effect. One of the most intriguing possibilities being explored now is the ability to use a phone to diagnose illness.

Lebara Mobile creates Lebara Talk app for the migrant community

European mobile network Lebara is beginning to expand its reach into other regions with the launch of a new free voice and messaging app, Lebara Talk, in its quest to become a "digital hub" for separated families.

Masculine-sounding lawyers win fewer cases

Chicago - When it comes to winning in a court of law, a booming voice may not be the best tool for a lawyer to deploy. Men who sound very masculine are actually less likely to win a US Supreme Court case.

Sex, drink, food, and trouble: Verdi's Falstaff lives large Special

Toronto - Canadian opera singer Gerald Finley says the timing’s right to make his debut as one of opera’s biggest and most beloved party boys.

Street artist in France sings in both a 'male' and 'female' voice

Strasbourg - A video is currently going viral of a man performing in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral with two voices and what sound like a male voice and a female voice. His range is something uncommon in a street performer.

Google Now can alert you at your stop on public transport

A new alarm feature integrated into Google's digital assistant for Android devices, Google Now, is reportedly able to alert you to get off public transport at the stop nearest to your destination.

Ring, ring, it’s an all-IP future calling, say MegaPath and AT&T Commissioned

In an era where we are offered a variety of communication options such as Skype, chat, and social media, many families still opt for “old-fashioned” landline phone calls. Thing is, how should businesses view the future of communications?

Review: Kris Thomas from 'The Voice' is soulful on 'Balloons' music video

Kris Thomas from "The Voice" has released his debut music video for "Balloons." It was directed in Nashville, Tennessee, by veteran filmmaker Molly Secours.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini scheduled for release this weekend

If the five-inch Samsung Galaxy S4 seems to be a bit overkill for your purposes, the good news is you do not have to wait much longer. Samsung has revealed the release date for the 'Mini' series for the S4 arriving this weekend.

1990s popstar flops on The Voice UK

UK's The Voice attracts quite a few stars from the past, such as 1990s teen idol Kavana, who failed to make an impression on the judges last week. This week, 1990s popstar Kym Mazelle failed to impress the judges.

Gibbons use same vocal techniques as soprano opera singers

Kyoto - A Japanese study has discovered that gibbons are able to master some of the same vocal techniques that sopranos use to make beautiful music.

Bettye LaVette sings pure soul Special

Bettye LaVette has one of the most passionate voices in all of popular music. The award-winning, much-celebrated singer brings her soulful sound to the Toronto Jazz Festival on June 24th.

Job offers soar for homeless man with golden voice Ted Williams

A homeless man with the awesome velvety radio voice has dominated the headlines leading newspapers including the Internet and broadcast media following his 97-second sample voice-over which was later uploaded on You Tube. He's now getting many job offers.

Homeless man with great voice becomes video hit, gets job offers

A man who was recently a panhandler on a Columbus street now has job offers from several places, thanks to a viral video.

Teacher whose voice was damaged awarded £150,000

Harlington - A teacher in the UK who suffered damage to her voice because she had to speak loudly to be heard in the classroom was awarded more than £150,000 in compensation.
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Voice Image

Researchers have created a device that turns  breath signals  into speech  giving paralyzed people a...
Researchers have created a device that turns "breath signals" into speech, giving paralyzed people a voice
Loughborough University
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the gala concert of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competiti...
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the gala concert of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition at the Moscow Conservatory, July 2, 2015.
The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition Gala concert at St.  Petersburg with Valery Gergiev con...
The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition Gala concert at St. Petersburg with Valery Gergiev conducting Mariinsky orchestra, July 3, 2015.
The 27-year-old Russian pianist Dmitry Masleev has won gold medal and $30 000 at the XV Internationa...
The 27-year-old Russian pianist Dmitry Masleev has won gold medal and $30,000 at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
 Maybe I’m going for the perceived ‘older guys’ when I still have a lot of youthful energy   s...
"Maybe I’m going for the perceived ‘older guys’ when I still have a lot of youthful energy," says Finley with a smile. "I’m not exactly young — I’m in my mid 50s — but it’s something I hope I can sustain for a long time. The youthful aspect of my stage work is great, but I can’t do those younger roles forever."
Veronika Roux-Vlachova

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