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For me, the low-point on the curve was from some of the characters in late 90's-early 2000's video games. Think Ocarina of Time or Deus Ex. Once it got past that, I was perfectly comfortable.
As for voice, hell, I could sleep soundly with hal-9000, gladOS, or prof Hawking reading me bedtime stories.
But, as I did actually skim the article, I can see that the article is more about the un-human responses the device gives, not the voice. Which, again, to someone who's grown up with computers, we're used to the occasional rediculous, non-sensical answers. It doesn't matter if my computer has an almost-human voice, I'm still very aware of it's limitations.
TFA didn't say if that option had been explored.
If the thief wasn't threatening him with violence, he could probably solve his problem by keeping his phone in a zipped pocket when he's not using it.
Also, ok, I know this isn't the best decision, but she's been wanting to play left-for-dead, and I can only say no so many times, so I say if her grades keep up, then ok. And similar to you, I'll tell her mom "they're zombies, so it's ok".
When I used Labview, it would get so messy and stringy that at some point I'd just say 'fuck it' and wrap up everything in a module (I forget what it's called). A nice looking little box with a few inputs and outputs that hides the horrible mess I'd made. Good for me, torture for anyone who used it after me. No one else could know what it was doing in there. A few years after I finished at that lab I saw that they were still using the Labview code I wrote. So yeah, I feel a bit bad.
Although, I guess I could wrap that up into your problem #3. Maybe it shouldn't have allowed me to pull such dirty tricks.
Having said that, I'm still glad my new phone goes 2 days and still has > 20%. I just want my week-long charge back.