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Stack Exchange has a new feature, a small rubber duck that can help people solve the kinds of problems they might ask about on Stack Overflow.

Duck

Duck extolling values of Rubber Duck Debugging

However, it's not useful on Puzzling, where someone asking a question usually doesn't actually have a specific problem that they don't know (but need to know) the answer to.

It also raises privacy concerns when indicating (through generic sound wave animations) that it's listening through a mic, even when the user selected "No" to "do you have a microphone" in the first question, and no browser permission was given, and the browser does not indicate any recording.

"Quack Overflow Is Listening"

"The duck is typing"

Those concerns dissipate when it becomes clearer that was just a generic animation, but not everybody is getting into the always-on-microphones-voice-control craze.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a already covered. You can find related information here. $\endgroup$ – Eric Tressler Mar 31 '18 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ It appears to be extremely early. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 31 '18 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Gareth It's already 1 April in Kiribati. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 31 '18 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like another Clippy.... $\endgroup$ – Tzu Li May 9 at 2:33
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Meh.

It's a bit annoying, but it won't last long. Just grit your teeth and put up with it (or go offline and do something fun and Eastery!) for the next 48 hours and then you'll never have to worry about it again. I'm sure a lot of people on a lot of sites are unhappy about it, but I doubt SE is going to turn it off on any specific sites for us when it's only a 1-2 day long joke feature anyway.

However, it's not useful on Puzzling, where someone asking a question usually doesn't actually have a specific problem that they don't know (but need to know) the answer to.

Well, that's not true - the duck isn't connected to a question specifically (it appears on every site page, and not always at a specific height), so it could just as easily apply to an answerer struggling to solve a puzzle as an asker on another site struggling with the problem they're asking about.

It also raises privacy concerns when indicating (through generic sound wave animations) that it's listening through a mic, even when the user selected "No" to "do you have a microphone" in the first question, and no browser permission was given, and the browser does not indicate any recording.

Unfounded concerns, though, since the site isn't actually using your computer's microphone at all, regardless of what you answer to "do you have a microphone". (I do agree that it's bad to make people think they might be being listened to.)

For more info, see main meta. Specifically:

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  • $\begingroup$ Best one liner ever! $\endgroup$ – WELZ Apr 4 '18 at 3:00

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