Language Learning App Magiclingua Lets You Practice Speaking With an AI-Powered Smart Bot

Magiclingua
Magiclingua

Move over, Duolingo, Babbel, and Memrise: There’s a new language-learning app on the scene. Magiclingua bills itself as “the first language learning app built for your tongue, not your thumb”—and for good reason. The app, which is built for Android and iOS, uses a combination of video tutorials and artificial intelligence to get you speaking in full conversations (in a foreign language) from day one.

When you first start out, you’ll watch some videos to learn the basic grammar structure from a language instructor. Shortly after that, you’ll have the chance to talk to an AI-powered “smart chat companion,” which will correct your sentences in a safe, embarrassment-free environment. “Our smart conversation bot will be patient, won't judge you, and will let you practice as long as you want without any fear or awkwardness,” according to the company, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

Once you start to gain confidence, you can have an actual conversation with a native speaker via the app’s 30-minute tutor sessions. The app was created by a team of developers, designers, and language professionals, all of whom are fluent in at least three languages. It’s currently being developed for people who want to learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English, but there are plans to add additional languages in the future if the company’s fundraising goals are met.

The app hasn’t officially launched yet, but subscriptions to the beta version are currently up for grabs at discounted rates. Sign up on Kickstarter to get three months’ access for about $39 (the fee is displayed in Euros), six months’ access for $68, or lifetime access for $148.

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Daniel Radcliffe’s Original Harry Potter Glasses Are Hitting the Auction Block

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved
© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Having trouble reading your spell books and A History of Hogwarts? Maybe all you need is a pair of original Harry Potter glasses. If you’re a diehard Potterhead, you can now buy one of the first pairs that Daniel Radcliffe himself wore on the set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).

The glasses are on auction on EwbankAuctions.com, but you might want to check your vault in Gringotts before you decide to put a bid down, because the movie prop is going for about £3000 to £5000 (around $3800 to $6300).

The description for the glasses is as follows:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) - Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, a pair of silver metal wire frame glasses. Round clear lenses, bordered in black matte finish, silver metal earpieces tipped with transparent plastic. Left frame arm inscribed 'FRAME MADE IN ENGLAND' and right earpiece numbered '40 20 135'. These glasses are one of only a small number of pairs produced for the film. This is one of the first pairs of glasses Daniel Radcliffe wore as Harry Potter.

Judging by the photo provided, the glasses look to be in spectacular condition, and come in a black eyeglass case.

The auction site is also offering up other props from the Harry Potter films, such as Hagrid’s bird house from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), a song sheet used by the students in the Great Hall at Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and even one of the many sealed Hogwarts acceptance envelopes that were sent to Harry's home in the first film.

Whoever the lucky winners of these bidding wars are, they’ll get to have special pieces of the Harry Potter films that no one else has. So be careful of any envious friends who might perform a Confundus Charm on you.

Need a Robot Vacuum? Neato's Botvac D6 Is $330 Off This Week

Neato
Neato

We've previously recommended robot vacuums as an amazingly easy way to keep your home free of dust, pet hair, and other allergy-triggering nasties, but with higher-tech models going for hundreds and hundreds of dollars, it can be hard to convince yourself you need a vacuum that badly. Except when there's a great sale, like this week's Best Buy deal on Neato's Botvac D6 Connected vacuum.

The app-controlled automated vacuum normally retails for $729, but it's going for $400 right now—a $330 discount. That's 45 percent off.

The Botvac D6, which came out in 2018 and is one of the company's fanciest models, features a battery life of 120 minutes, LaserScan technology that allows it to memorize your home's floorplan (including multi-level homes), a high-performance filter to collect allergens, a turbo mode with increased suction, a pre-scheduling feature, and that signature D-shape that's made to capture debris in tight corners. Neato advertises the Botvac D6's combination of brushes as being 70 percent larger than most other robot vacuums' brushes, allowing it to pick up even more pet hair and dirt.

It also has a bunch of smart features that lower-tier robot vacuums don't offer, like the Quick Boost charging feature, which allows the vacuum to return to its base to quickly top off its charge—just enough to finish the job—if it's running low on juice, and the ability to set no-go lines around pet bowls, piles of cords, and other areas that you don't want your vacuum zooming through. You can control the vacuum via your phone, Amazon Home, Alexa, your Apple Watch, the Neato Chatbot on Facebook, and more.

This is only the latest Neato vacuum to go on super-sale. In March, the company's Botvac D4 was also featured in Best Buy's weekly deals, selling for $300. That model (which features 75 minutes of battery life to the D6's 120) is currently selling for $400 at Best Buy as well.

Here's a tip: We bet your dad would love getting one of these babies for Father's Day. It would also make an excellent gift for a new grad moving into their first grown-up apartment.

Buy it from Best Buy for $400. The deal lasts until 10 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 27.

If controlling your cleaning plan with your phone doesn't seem exciting enough to you, there are plenty of even fancier robot cleaning assistants out there. May we suggest one that will vacuum, mop, and clean itself?

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