California Speaks update of 4/25

Team Name (tag this post with your team name as well): California Speaks

What we did the past week: Fully implemented the search function (“search for {term}”) in the skill, and have uploading of files reside on Amazon S3 (not any personal server).

Issues we had with gathering material (finding sources, verifying facts, interviews, etc.):

Issues we had with producing the content (writing, recording, editing, etc.): It looks like California Speaks won’t be updating for a while, so there won’t be new content in the near future.

Technical issues (with WordPress or Alexa, etc.): I struggled with running ffmpeg on AWS, it’s just running manually on my laptop for now.

Other questions we ran into:

What we are going to do this week. Things to improve. Who is doing what: Publish the skill, and respond to user feedback.

How we are going to test our skill this week: Go through the flow diagram and make sure each path works as expected.

Help we need:

California Speaks 4/25 homework

My marketing plan for the California Speaks skill will be broken up into two parts. First, I’d like to attract new listeners and direct them to the Alexa skill, and second, convert existing listeners to use the skill.

To attract new listeners, I’d put up fliers around campus that advertise California Speaks, and direct readers to listen with Alexa. A QR code or short URL would make it easy for people to quickly add the skill straight from their smartphone. I would also consider asking other local radio stations in California, including San Jose State’s, to promote California Speaks in a 20-30 second clip.

To convert existing listeners, I’d ask California Speaks to mention that you can now listen to episodes using your Amazon Alexa at the end of every episode. They could also promote the skill on their existing social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), as well as on their radio stations during the weekly broadcast of the question and answers.

8 Assignment

Part I:

The skill I would like to create is an air quality advisor. The Skill will tell people what the air quality is like in their area of the state. It will give information such as Air Quality Summery, Current Air Quality, Air Quality Forecast, Incidents and Advisories, and tell users if it is Spare The Air day.

I chose this idea because I a very active person and like to hike and do outdoor activities. I remember how bad the fires were around the state last year and how hard it was to find out information the air quality on the web and on the news for a specific location. I think knowing what air quality is like would be useful to anyone who has a job that is outside, people planning a trip, going to a outdoor event, or taking part in out door sports. People don’t always know what precautions to take or how to plan when it comes to air quality. The information is available in other places but the websites are hard to navigate and the news gives a general rating for the area not a specific location. The name of the skill is Blue Skies.

Part II:


User: Alexa open Blue Skies

Alexa: Welcome to the Blue skies skill. I can tell you the current air quality, give you the 5 day air quality forecast, tell you about incidents and advisories tell you if its a spare the air day or give you the air quality summery which would you like to here.

User: Current Air Quality

Alexa: The current air quality is good with an AIQ of 46 the pollutant types present are Ozone. The current color level is Green. No health impacts are expected”

Alexa: Thank you for using the blue skies skill.

Scrip 2:

User: Alexa ask Blue Skies if its a Spare The Air Day

Alexa: there is no Spare the air advisories in effect today. No health impacts are expected. Barbecuing and wood burning stoves/ fireplaces are okay to use.

Alexa: Thank you for using the blue skies skill.

Part III:

Part IV:

The data for the skill would come from and the skill would use Alexa voice and SSML


Jessica Week 5 Task 5

Are you sick of missing the hottest trends and kick ass deals on your favorite online clothing websites?

good grief

Me too.



I have an answer for you!

With the Hot Deals of the Day Skill on Alexa, you’ll never miss out on those deals ever again.

Just by saying “Alexa, what’s hot today?”, Alex will list the hottest trends and deals that you are subscribed to.


It can’t get any better than this.

No more hearing what’s ooh la la and what’s boo from your friends. Instead, you’ll be the one a step ahead of everyone.

Enable this Alexa skill to have everyone saying oh snap and your bank account saying tee hee

c’mon who doesn’t like saving money?!

Now raise your glasses and cheers to your new best friend.

Look good and save money without the effort.

tick tock stop what you’re doing and enable the skill now!

Julie edit of Nick

Hi, I’m Warren, and I’m interviewing my guest, peace.
North Korea’s diplomat Kim Yo Jong recently made an appearance at the pyeongchang
Olympics. Her smile is a sneer and she sits above Mike Pence. Obviously insulting our global hegemony. Don’t you think?
No.. uh. I think that’s just how her face looks. We should be celebrating peaceful relations while North Korea is on the world stage. The fact that we weren’t offered any peace deal is an obvious snub. And we should be angry. Don’t you think? No. I’d disagree I’d say that the fact that, when interviewed, Kim yo Jong said she wouldn’t make political theatre out of an international event. While the opportunity for a deeper conversation on a peace agreement, Kim sat down near Mike Pence at the olympics with no real cost. The photo spoke to the ceasefire, and showed that we are not nations currently at war, or currently launching nukes at each other. Hmm. Well. Just to be safe let’s just conduct military drills on their borders and kill leaders without nuclear arms, that’ll make them stop arming themselves. Don’t you think? No I think that it’s really a matter of … ugh.
god damnit.
We’re done here.

Week 4 Task 1 — SSML assignment

With only a couple of days until the season opener, San Jose State University’s baseball team is still searching for a new head coach. Their previous coach stepped down from the position after being accused of holding illegal practices. In the meantime, assistant coach Brad Sanfilippo, will be filling in as head coach until a permanent replacement is found.

Host: What are your thoughts on this coach?

Interviewee: Well, no offense to the team but you’d think that if illegal practices were being held…. the team would be a hell of a lot better!

Host: Talking about the team, how do you think they are going to perform now that their stuck in the middle of this mess?

Interviewee: Hopefully it will be a reversed effect and they fight until the finish because, let’s be honest, the odds are against them.

Host: Well their record is 2-2 after their series opener this past weekend. May the odds be in their favor this season.

Week 4 Assignment Task 2 (Selina)

On February 14 we found ourselves reading the horrible headline we know all too well: A man walked into an American school with a gun and took the lives of 17 kids and teachers. Many of us asked ourselves: What can be done to prevent another tragedy of this magnitude? Is the solution in the hands of lawmakers in Washington? Does the problem lie in the educational system? Or is the issue of mass shootings a public health one? Today we talk to the New York Time’s John Doe about what he thinks can be done to prevent mass shootings.

John Doe: The first thing we want listeners to understand is the amount of guns found in the United States.

Host: How many, roughly?

One for every citizen

Host: Wow.

Doe: We have an obscene amount of guns in the United States yet we don’t regulate them as we should.

Host: What would you consider an efficient way to regulate them?

Doe: We need to impose a public health approach modeled after the automobile industry.

Host: But don’t gun owners say that cars kill just as many people as guns do yet we don’t try to get rid of them like we do guns?


But we regulate them like crazy in order to reduce the amount of deaths by automobiles. Since 1921 we’ve reduced the death rate by

95 percent

Per 100 million miles driven.

Assignment 3 Task 2

The San Jose Mercury News reported that some San Jose City Council members and city staff signed non-disclosure agreements with Google, during discussions about the tech giant buying city property near the Diridon Station in downtown. San Jose’s City Attorney Rick Doyle said that NDAs are becoming more common when dealing with large tech companies, despite public questions about whether city officials accountable to the public should be allowed to sign NDAs.

One of Hillary Clinton’s top aides in her 2016 presidential campaign has filed paperwork to run for governor of California. Amanda Renteria threw her hat into the ring earlier today, shocking some political leaders. Renteria is currently the Chief of Operations for the California Department of Justice, and has worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein in the past.

Passengers on a flight to Honolulu might have started their vacation off with a bang…literally. A United Airlines flight on route to the holiday destination had its engine cover fall off with a bang, leading to an emergency landing in Honolulu. The Federal Aviation Agency is still investigating what might have caused the Boeing 777 aircraft to malfunction like that.

Assignment 2 Skill Survey

Skill: Daily Bruin

I picked this skill since it was California-based. This skill is just Alexa reading the headlines from the Daily Bruin website, some of which did not make much sense for audio. For example, a sports team’s record was read out loud as “(16-7, 7-4)”. The biggest problem though, was that the stories were in the order of whatever was published most recently, instead of the order of importance or relevance.

Skill: The Daily from The New York Times

I am an avid podcast listener, and had listened to The Daily in the past. I was curious to see if they do anything different for Alexa listeners. From what I could tell, it is the same podcast that you would normally hear. I think this is problematic since ideally Alexa would cycle through multiple news sources, but because The Daily is so long, it is going to be fifteen minutes until that happens.

Skill: The Economist Espresso

For a change of news, I picked a world news source this time. This one was appealing because it is not a traditional flash briefing. Instead, you directly ask Espresso for the day’s agenda, or for a brief on the world. I like this format since you can choose each day what type of news you want. The only downside is that it won’t automatically move over to the next news source.

Assignment 2

  1. KPIX 5 San Francisco Bay Area is a local news skill published by CBS Local. The skill gives local news headlines about the events happening in and around the San Francisco bay area. The skill is read by San Francisco KPIX 5 news anchors. This skill is perfect for someone looking to get a quick summery of local news. However I did find it was missing some news headlines I would like to know about, for example there was no local weather forecast, or sports. Also the skill only touched on a few headlines which all seem to be business now while this may have just been that day’s news if felt like there were other topics that were left out.

  1. Good Morning Beautiful is a skill published by Learyce. This skill is designed to help you start your day off right by giving an inspirational or positive out look on life and the day. This skill was tailored made for people who need to hear how beautiful they are on both the inside and the outside. The skill will say a one line or phrase about how beautiful you are as a person. The sayings are a little cheese for me and sound like some you would here on a bad TV show.

  1. The Fandango Skill is a must have for any movie buff. Published by Fandango, Inc. this skill will integrate with your Fandango account, allowing you to buy tickets to movies. Not only will it let you buy tickets for movies the skill will also remind you of any upcoming shows you have bought tickets for. The skill will read off theaters near you to pick from, once you select a theater the skill will list the movies, after you select a movie it will give you the show times. The skill is pretty straightforward and easy to use. In no time I had a bought tickets for my self and a few friends and charged it to my account. The only thing I would like to have that was missing from the skill was a brief description of each movie after each title was read. As well as a little more of a pause in between each movie title sometimes it sounded like one long title.