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Meet the World's First Family Robot

Society has long fantasized about robotic home helpers, but making one that is smart, helpful, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing is no easy feat. That’s what makes the new Jibo robot so impressive. This 6-pound, 11-inch-tall mechanical cyborg was unveiled on Indiegogo today as “The World’s First Family Robot,” aimed at being both a home helper and a friend. The crowdfunding campaign already hit its goal of $100,000 and is still climbing.

Jibo was created by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at MIT Media Lab and an expert in how humans interact with robots. Her goal? To humanize technology. “What if technology actually treated you like a human being?” Breazeal asks. “What if technology helped you feel closer to the ones you loved? What if technology helped you like a partner, rather than simply being a tool? That’s what Jibo’s about.” She wants Jibo to be a household companion, like a pet, or perhaps even another family member. And except for a heartbeat, it has all the hallmarks of a buddy.

It knows who you are.

Jibo's two hi-res cameras recognize and track your face, letting the bot call you by name and respond to your commands.

It knows what you like.

Over time, the bot will adapt to your preferences and learn your tastes. The Indiegogo demo video shows Jibo knowing—and then ordering—its owner’s favorite take-out meal.

It does nice things for you.

Jibo will send reminders and relay messages from your mobile devices. It will help you take the perfect photo by detecting when everyone in the frame is smiling before snapping the shot. The demo video also hints at a time when Jibo will be able to connect to other smart things in your house, switching on lights when you get home or turning down the temperature when you’re gone. The demo video even shows Jibo telling bedtime stories to youngsters.

Jibo can project social and emotional cues.

The bot's LCD screen serves as a de facto face with a digital eye that can squint with happiness or swell with curiosity. It responds to human touch, and its fluid body motions make him appear truly alive and relatable. “It’s really important for technology to be humanized,” Dr. Breazeal told the New York Times. “The next stage in computing, the next wave, is emotion.”

But what about security? The idea of having an all-seeing intelligent robot lurking in the corner of the living room might make more than a few people uneasy. The company says users' privacy is a top priority. It has “designed policies and controls to safeguard the collection, use, and disclosure of your information.”

At $499, this robot is cheaper than many top-of-the-line laptops. If you want to get your hands on Jibo, its creators say they hope to make him available to consumers by the end of 2015.

Images courtesy of JIBO on Indiegogo.

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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