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Richard Abbott
873 followers -
Living in London, enjoying family, writing about the ancient world
Living in London, enjoying family, writing about the ancient world

873 followers
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Another Alexa skill: Wordsworth Events... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0743FGP2N
"Find out about upcoming events relating to the life and work of William Wordsworth. Most of them take place near Wordsworth’s former homes at Grasmere and Rydal, in Cumbria, England’s Lake District. There’s always plenty going on, so check back often to see which ones you’d enjoy. The list of events is sourced from the web site wordsworth.org.uk/attend-events.html. You can step forward and back through the list, using the requests 'next' and 'previous'. Or ask Alexa to 'repeat that' to hear it again. The source event list is updated regularly."
UK only just now, with US to follow shortly
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Hi all, this is a rather vague and tangential question to which I would welcome thoughts. As some of you know, I write skills for Alexa and am considering branching out into a skill which is basically an adventure/exploration game. The limitations of the voice interface at present mean that the player would be limited to selection of small enumerated values such as left/right/straight on, use item from inventory and so on. Also it would be (at this stage at least) single player rather than collaborative or competitive. A bit like old DOS games used to be but voice rather than keyboard. So... do you think there would be interest in the big bad world for this? As gaming enthusiasts do you prefer some randomness in a game or purely deterministic according to your choices? Any thoughts welcome...

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The Hubble caught this sequence of pictures of Phobos and Mars...
Spotted! Mars’ tiny moon Phobos is seen during its orbital trek by the Hubble Space Telescope. Over the course of 22 minutes, Hubble captured 13 separate exposures, resulting in this time-lapse video. Watch: http://go.nasa.gov/2gNUHW7
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Much to my surprise my latest Alexa skill Grasmere Days has just gone live in the US as well, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073YC737C/ -
"Use this skill to plan your holiday in and around Grasmere. Here you will find a selection of days trip suggestions, based on your responses to a series of questions.. Do you want a walk? To go shopping? To delve into history? Or you can just take pot luck and say "I don't mind".
Wherever you end up, we're sure you'll have a great holiday here in England's most recent World Heritage Site.
Guests of Lake View Country House are especially welcome: please talk with us about what you'd like to do and we can offer even more ideas!"
Free to enable on your Alexa device in both the UK and US.

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My latest Alexa skill has just gone live - Grasmere Days, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073YC737C/ -
"Use this skill to plan your holiday in and around Grasmere. Here you will find a selection of days trip suggestions, based on your responses to a series of questions.. Do you want a walk? To go shopping? To delve into history? Or you can just take pot luck and say "I don't mind".
Wherever you end up, we're sure you'll have a great holiday here in England's most recent World Heritage Site.
Guests of Lake View Country House are especially welcome: please talk with us about what you'd like to do and we can offer even more ideas!"
Free to enable on your Alexa device (UK only for now, US will follow in a few days)
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My review of Golden Dragon, by VE Ulett "an enjoyable book, with an absorbing vision of an alternate technology that seems credible, and characters with whom one can readily identify"

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This week's blog, talking about voice technology and in particular Amazon Polly, producing good quality text-to-speech in several different voices...

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Lisl Zlitni's Lisl​'s review of Timing, Far from the Spaceports volume 2, "...a story that provides questions as well as answers, thrill and satisfaction, and an adventure that can’t be beat..." https://beforethesecondsleep.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/book-review-timing/

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Great news - The Lake District has just been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, joining Hadrian's Wall and a few other places in the UK http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/

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It was International Asteroid Day, so what better day to remember Far from the Spaceports! Also a brief mention of some reviews for Half Sick of Shadows...
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