First down. Field goal. What? New Alexa skill decodes football jargon for newbies

The football playoffs leading up to the Superbowl always attract new TV viewers to the games. The first-timers are made up of novice fans, significant others who don’t want to pass the time alone, and people who show up with the beer and the wings. When the TV football commentators start talking, newbies quickly realize they have no clue about what they’re hearing.

This year the NFL Media’s Digital Lab team stepped up to help decipher football terminology with a new Alexa skill, USA Today reports. The Rookie’s Guide to the NFL skill explains the terms, football slang, and jargon.

The NFL group came up with a list of approximately 2,000 football terms and recorded short explanations for each one. Typically the definitions are 30 words or fewer. If you want more info on a term, choose the “go long” option and the male voice in the skill drills deeper. You can ask about teams, players, rules, positions on the field, formations, or anything a commentator utters.

“The idea was, what if we created kind of a decoder that while you’re watching the game, you could just ask the NFL anything you wanted to know about football,” says Dan Hogan, NFL media services vice president of engineering.

If you already know the meanings of “onside kick,” “shotgun formation,” “red zone,” “blitz,” and a “Hail Mary” pass you may not need the Rookie’s Guide Alexa skill, although the NFL thinks even die-hard fans will enjoy the background and history in the skill.

NFL Network commentator Cole Wright introduces the skill and retired New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora gives a weekly update.

You likely can’t count on the Rookie’s Guide to the NFL to win bar bets. Even with 2,000 entries, the definitions and data don’t go deep with player, team, league statistics, or trivia. The NFL’s Hogan implies that if the Rookie’s Guide is a success, the league will add more data.

“This is the first skill we launched as a league and certainly the most ambitious,” Hogan says. ”This really is a bit of a test pilot for us. Our thought is really anywhere where the technology exists — you have a microphone, speaker and a screen perhaps — we think ultimately you’re going to want to use your voice.”

After you access and enable “The Rookie’s Guide to the NFL” on your Alexa device, start it by saying “Alexa, open NFL,” “Alexa, launch NFL,” or “Alexa, start NFL.”

Emerging Tech

Tiny animals discovered in Antarctic lake deep beneath the ice

Scientists have made a surprising discovery in Antarctica: the carcasses of tiny animals including crustaceans and a tardigrade were found in a lake that sits deep beneath over half a mile of Antarctic ice.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Computing

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Emerging Tech

How long is a day on Saturn? Scientists finally have an answer

The length of Saturn's day has always been a challenge to calculate because of the planet's non-solid surface and magnetic field. But now scientists have tracked vibrations in the rings to pin down a final answer.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Social Media

Facebook reportedly developing LOL meme app to try to appeal to teens

Facebook is reportedly developing an app named LOL, which will feature memes in the form of funny videos and GIF-like clips. The app is said to be in testing in a very limited private beta, but sources said that the app is "cringey."
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Emerging Tech

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists have developed elastic microbots that can change their shape depending on their environment.
Emerging Tech

Dinosaurs never stood a chance after asteroid impacts doubled 290M years ago

The number of asteroids pummeling Earth jumped dramatically around 290 million years ago. By looking at Moon craters, scientists discovered that d the number of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon increased by two to three times.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.