California News Reviews


From my interviews I found that people were fine with the Alexa voice and that it was easy to understand. The pace also works and gave enough time to think about what was said. My older sister who is 26 said that she would most likely listen to it in the morning or when she was bored. She did suggest that adding titles in between the story would help. Such as “in politics” or “in business.” Most people said they would listen in the morning or the evening. My youngest sibling did point out that she found the content interesting however, “as a teenager,” this skill would not be of interest to her.

I interviewed my three sisters age 26, 18, and 16 and my husband who is 22..

Matt’s interviews

I found from my interviews that most people were fine with just hearing the Alexa voice. The only complaint was from Kelly Abbott, Teacher at Castro Valley High school age 36 who said the Alexa voice had a little bit of a hard time with some words and names so she was forced to play the flash briefing over once or twice. All three of my interviewees said they liked how the skill gave news from different parts of the state. They all also agreed that they would most likely use the skill in the morning when waking up before starting their day. Tim Seitz age 26 did say he would like if the skill could give emergency updates if something big took place in the state that day.

People interviewed, Tim Seitz age 26, Matt’s roommate, Brendan Byrne age 24, SJSU engineering student, and  Kelly Abbott, Teacher at Castro Valley High school age 36,

Yale’s interviews

It seems that with my interviews the common consensus really boils down to whether or not they are buying the central premise of the skill. Jay had an issue with the daily nature of the post, but I don’t think with our current workforce we would be able to post twice a day. None had mentioned any grievances with the Alexa voice or the length, which lends me to believe that our approach is solid. I do agree that we might need some more political content, maybe we can ensure that one post is at least somewhat politically measured.

Jay Clouse, roommate: Said he thought the length of each individual item was compact, which is good. The focus on California is neat, but he was not sure if he would use it EVERY morning.

Danny Lin, roommate: Kept his attention at the very least, most of these Alexa skills don’t really do that. Wouldn’t see himself really using it too often because he felt it didn’t really apply to him that much.

Karin Wyatt, mom: She likes the California focus and the fun story at the end, helps her pay attention to the newsier elements. Maybe put some more political intrigue in there.

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


Nick, Matt, revised UPD response

Nicholas Girard:
San Jose State University was surprised by a possible school shooting on February 28th.

A photo of threatening bathroom graffiti circulated twitter. However, campus officials didn’t send out an alert until hours later. Some students found the response inadequate and unsafe.

Sarah Helwig even wrote a critique that she published online. She’s a public relations student at San Jose State.

Helwig says the text alert from campus police didn’t tell students any plan of action.
Sarah Helwig: “And I think they dropped the ball by not explaining it in the first place”


The automated Alert SJSU system sent texts to students saying “UPD is aware of the graffiti in DMH. We are investigating the credibility and will take precautions.”

Helwig says the vagueness of the text created a potentially unsafe situation. Some students didn’t even know that there   might be a danger on campus

Sarah Helwig: “I had plenty of students that I talk to afterward and they were like oh! the graffiti what about the graffiti. But they had no idea what was really at stake”

The message read “shooting today, 2/28”  
University police chief Alan Cavallo spoke to the Spartan Daily. Said simply, the police withheld the message to prevent a panic.
Nicholas Girard, California One.