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Allen “Prisoner” Firstenberg
Prisoner
Prisoner
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I have yet to find a real bagel making machine. There are machines that make bread products with holes in them - but these aren't bagels. Ah... the crunch... the chew... sigh...

(via +Kee Hinckley)
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I/O 2018 Lottery Application
May the odds be ever in your favor.
Hope to see you in Mountain View!
The #io18 ticket application window will be open from Feb-22 at 10AM PST until Feb-27 at 5PM PST

Add the application window to your calendar → https://goo.gl/kz6DfT
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Five Years of Voice and +Google Docs

Five years ago today, I was learning how to build for Google Glass. My instructors, including +Timothy Jordan and +Jen Tong, weren't just trying to help us understand the style and syntax - we had to learn a whole new way to design, because our users would be using our programs in ways... most had never used them before.

What I created in just 24 hours was a tool to let you add and view a to-do list on a spreadsheet... using just your voice. It was rough, and had bugs, and didn't win the hackathon... but it convinced me that voice would be a powerful tool in a wide range of applications.

Vodo evolved out of this prototype and this belief.

Voice is now the heart of the Google Assistant, and I've been working to get back to my original vision for Vodo, and go beyond it. Vodo Drive is available for the Assistant now, but has quite a few bugs. We've squashed many of those, have added a couple of new features, and are getting ready for the new release as soon as we resolve an issue with the Assistant configuration.

But I'm using this test version on a daily basis, and I wanted to show a little bit of my favorite new feature.
It was five years ago today at the Glass Foundry event in NYC that Allen first used voice to control a spreadsheet. Here's a little taste of the next version of Vodo Drive.
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Trying to change Dialogflow project associated with Actions project

I'm getting ready to (finally!) release a new version of a project I first deployed in April, but I've run into a few issues:

- We used to have a control to specify API V1 or V2. That control no longer exists.

- There used to be a way to change the Dialogflow project associated with the Action project. My previous version was using a different project for the two and I'd like to make them the same. How can I make them the same?

In general - I want to bring my project configuration up to modern standards, and I can't figure out how to get out of the legacy situation.

I know this is a weird case, but I have no idea how to pull this off. Anyone?
+Ido Green
+Silvano Luciani
+Leon Nicholls
+Sachit Mishra
+Nick Felker

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My LeGuin Story

For me, it began in High School. I was an avid sci-fi reader in the Asimov and Heinlein and Bradbury vein. I wanted to do a report on one of these for my Senior English class. My teacher dismissed the very thought. "Try reading a good author. Like LeGuin."

Who?

I soon found out, and my eyes were opened.

I don't remember which book of hers I first read, but it captivated me. I suspect it was Left Hand of Darkness, which was a beautiful reminder to me about how people were both different and the same. All her tales felt this way to me - they resonated, but were never about someone exactly like me. And that taught me something.

Most of the obituaries talk about how she was a feminist writer, but most have omitted how she also wrote about race. In fact, she wrote about both in a way that it was only on later readings that I realized she had done so... and that they were so woven into the story that they felt like universal lessons. They were the first of many deep lessons she taught me that I ponder today, as I reflect on her passing.

Selected links, which are the best I've seen that talk about her:
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/23/580143122/prolific-science-fiction-and-fantasy-author-ursula-k-le-guin-dies-at-88
http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-leguin-scalzi-20180123-story.html
http://www.openculture.com/2018/01/celebrate-the-life-writing-of-ursula-k-le-guin-r-i-p-with-classic-radio-dramatizations-of-her-stories.html
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First clue!

The first clues about I/O 2018 have landed from the +Google Developers.

Now to just puzzle them out...
... and see you there later this year!
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Timeout with Assistant on Android

I'm seeing some strange behavior on the Android version of Assistant when it is trying to hit my Actions (going through Dialogflow, mostly hosted on Firebase Functions, some in test).

About half the time, the request just appears to hang. I get the pulsing three dots, and they never stop pulsing. If I restart Assistant, I appear to have the same state, make the statement, get the response, see the four dots prompting me to continue (which is correct), make the next statement, it chirps and changes to a microphone while the three dots pulse... and it hangs again.

I can see on my server that it replies, usually in the timeout time frame, but not always (thats the bug I'm actually trying to figure out). But even when it does, the Assistant doesn't seem to get it half the time.

I'm not seeing this problem with either the simulator or with my Home.

Anyone else seeing this? Anything I can do to diagnose, debug, and/or fix?

+Leon Nicholls
+Ido Green

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Talking about Talking on YouTube

Had a great chat with +Marcellus Pelcher and several others about Voice and the developer community. Looking forward to doing it again!
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2017 -> 2018 : We Go On

The IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show at Epcot is one of my favorite performances of any sort, anywhere. It moves me every time I see it, but none so much as this segment at the end. Watch the whole thing... but this segment is inspiring.

It has not been a good year for many of us. But we go on.

As we begin another "circle 'round the sun", may your new year be illuminated, and between the tears, may there be joy.

https://youtu.be/7gAnSBlvRZg?t=10m45s
(Not my video, unfortunately, but probably better done than any of my recordings.)
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