Tagged: Apple Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 7. August 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Apple, , , , , , , ,   

    Technology Giants: Makers of Everything 

    Technology giants begin rapidly moving to consolidate power, become makers of ‘everything’; http://eicker.at/NewsMedia2012

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 20. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Apple, , , , , , , iChat, , iMessage, , , , , , , , , , Mac OS X Mountain Lion, , , Messages Beta, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Messages 

    Apple released a public beta version of its new Messages app for OS X: the final days of SMS? http://eicker.at/Messages

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 20. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Download Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac – just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5. Here are the features you can expect with Messages: Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more. Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face. Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

      Apple: “Mac keeps the conversation going. Messages does everything iChat does, and so much more. For starters, it comes with iMessage. And just like iMessage in iOS, it lets you send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5. Send photos, videos, documents, and contacts – even send messages to a group. You can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply. Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message. With end-to-end encryption, your messages stay safe and private. And you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So nothing is left unsaid.

      VB: “In addition to the announcements about Apple’s next operating system Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the company rolled out a beta edition of its iMessages chat app today. – Apple previously launched its iMessages for the iPhone and iPad as an answer to RIM’s popular BlackBerry Messenger Service. The app lets you send text, pictures, contacts, and video over 3G and Wi-Fi connections to anyone with an Apple ID or one of the other third-party messaging services. One big perk to using Messages is that it doesn’t charge you for each individual message, similar to the way wireless carriers do with SMS. Now, Apple wants to bring this functionality to the desktop in an effort to bridge the gap between conversations on mobile devices. … People who never use instant messenger but frequently send texts will probably end up using this app. It’s also likely that far fewer SMS messages will get sent over the course of time, especially if you consider the rising cost of texting plans. That’s a good thing for Apple and a very bad thing for wireless carriers, who draw a large amount of revenue through texting services.

      GigaOM: “When I tried Messages out this morning, replies to an iMessage chat showed up in Messages on my Mac, but also appeared as notifications on my iPhone sitting next to me on the desk. I could switch back and forth between the two devices and continue the conversation on either one. The entire conversation was visible on both my Mac and my iPhone and the entire experience was completely seamless. … The importance of this seamless transition between devices for me is the ability to keep the context of the entire conversation in front of me, no matter where I chose to pick up and continue with my next reply. I might get some iMessage ‘texts’ on my iPhone, but when I get back to the office, I can open my laptop and continue right where I left off. … One nice detail is that the repeat notifications on the iPhone are muted when you read the message on your Mac. … The area that might require a little more polishing is that, when the message is unread on the Mac, it still appears to mute the repeat notification on the phone. … Overall, I am pretty positive about the new features. I think Messages for Mac will actually be a big help in my professional and personal life and will make text/IM even more convenient. As for the big picture, I think the overall theme of Mountain Lion (including this beta of Messages for Mac on Lion) is not so much that iOS features and apps are coming to the Mac, but that the apps will work across both iOS and Mac in a completely seamless experience.”

      TUAW: “6 cool Messages tips and tricks – It’s just arrived in beta, but Apple’s next chat app is intriguing. Are you looking to spice up your Messages skills? Here are a half dozen tips and tricks for you to start with.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 9. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Apple, , , , , , ,   

    Twitter Agenda: Discussing Social Media 

    The 4 most popular stories on Twitter in 2011 were about: Facebook, Google, Twitter itself, Apple; http://eicker.at/News2011

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Apple, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Tablets and eReaders 

    Pew: Tablet and eBook reader ownership nearly double over the holiday gift-giving period; http://eicker.at/TabletseReaders

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. – The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January. … These findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted. In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.

      Pew: “The surge in ownership of tablet computers was especially notable among those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000. More than a third of those living in households earning more than $75,000 (36%) now own a tablet computer. And almost a third of those with college educations or higher (31%) own the devices. Additionally, those under age 50 saw a particularly significant leap in tablet ownership. … The story with the growth in e-book readers was somewhat different from the story with tablet computers. Ownership of e-readers among women grew more than among men. Those with more education and higher incomes also lead the pack when it comes to e-book ownership, but the gap between them and others isn’t as dramatic.

      NYT: “The holiday season spawned a huge marketing and advertising push for the Nook Tablet, Barnes und Noble’s latest color device, and the Kindle Fire from Amazon. While many consumers bought the costlier Apple iPad at $500, tablets from Barnes und Noble and Amazon cost less than $250, a more tempting price for a Christmas gift. Some black-and-white e-readers cost less than $100. – ‘Publishers are putting a lot of effort into e-books; apps developers are cranking out more and more tools for tablets; libraries and tech companies are making e-books easier to borrow,’ Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, said in an e-mail. ‘So the ecosystem of these devices is making them more valuable.'”

      VB: “Leading the pack is Amazon, which sells a slate of Kindle e-readers and tablets. The online retail giant claimed to have sold units in its Kindle lineup at a rate of one million e-readers per week during the holiday push. … However, money still plays some role in whether or not a given consumer decides to spring for a tablet. – While some demographic factors such as race and gender showed little or no statistically significant variations among tablet owners, education and correlating factors such as income showed strong proportional relationships to tablet and e-reader ownership.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Apple, , , , , , , , , , , , , , iBooks 2, iBooks Author, , , , , , , iTunes U, iTunes U App, , , , Kno, , , , , , , , ,   

    iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U 

    Apple wants to reinvent textbooks and eBook publishing: iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U; http://eicker.at/iBooks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “iBooks Textbooks for iPad. – Introducing an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. A textbook created by publishers using a new authoring tool from Apple. A textbook brought to life by iPad. … For hundreds of years, textbooks have put a world of knowledge in the hands of students. But while the way people learn has changed dramatically, the traditional textbook has stayed the same. … Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology. iPod, iPad, computer – these are the ways they interact with their world. They need a textbook made for the way they learn. … A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

      GigaOM: “Textbooks in iBooks 2 also incorporate highlighting, note-taking, and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter, which also provide immediate feedback; no more hunting for a key in a separate book or appendix to see how you did. Notes and highlights are automatically turned into flashcards for study purposes. In short, it looks like Apple has taken a lot of the best aspects of services like Inkling and Kno and integrated them into its own product. – The new textbooks reside in a dedicated iBookstore category, and will offer free samples before you buy. The iBooks 2 app is free, and is available today via the App Store. Textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less, and initially be aimed at the high school market. That’s some seriously competitive pricing, and Apple’s initial partners are Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which together are responsible for 90 percent of textbooks available, according to Schiller.”

      TC: “This move is centered around reinvent the textbook. Schiller explained today that Apple sees textbooks as amazing devices, but they’re heavy, not searchable or durable. According to Apple the iPad is the perfect counter. It’s portable, durable, interactive, searchable, current and capable of containing even richer content. … This announcement puts Kno in a bad position. iBooks 2 packs many of Kno’s prime features into a native iPad app. Kno might have the edge with content, though. The company has long worked with the top education publishers and has an impressive library of textbooks. Kno, as a 3rd party app, has the advantage of being able to embrace other platforms like the web and Android where iBooks 2 will likely remain only on the iPad.

      Apple: “iBooks Author.Available free on the Mac App store, iBooks Author is an amazing new app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks – and just about any other kind of book – for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. … No need to let the blank page scare you. Just start with an Apple-designed templates. Each template has a variety of page layouts to choose from – or create one of your own. … iBooks Author makes it simple to flow in text, graphics, movies, and more, so your book looks exactly the way you want. Drag and drop a Pages or Microsoft Word document to the Book navigator to add it as a new section. Then, when you drag and drop in images, your type automatically flows around them. … iBooks Author has everything you need to create a great-looking book. Add text, shapes, charts, tables, and Multi-Touch widgets anywhere on the page with a single click. Mask images, use alignment guides – even add reflections and shadows. It’s as easy as using a word processor, but powerful enough to design more advanced layouts. … As you’re building your book, check out how it looks by previewing it on your iPad. When it’s just the way you want and you’re ready to publish, iBooks Author helps you submit to the iBookstore for purchase or free download. You can also export it in iBooks format to share on iTunes U or to give to anyone with an iPad.

      GigaOM: “iBooks Author comes with a template choose to help you get started quickly, and then you can click and drag your own media to add images, video, audio and other content to your book. You can even add things like 3-D models, which we saw demoed in the iBooks 2 unveiling earlier, as well as interactive elements like image galleries. … Amazingly, Apple’s iBooks Author is free, and is available today on the Mac App Store. This will definitely help attract content creators to the iBooks platform, and could also seriously impact the ability of competitors to sell publishing suites aimed at doing similar things.

      TC: “All the magic happens in a new OSX application called iBooks Author, which gives users a simple way to integrate different types of media in order to create iBooks of any stripe. What’s more, iBooks Author will be available today for free, so all you aspiring iBook creators can get started post haste. … That’s all well and good, but the real meat here is the ability to add interactive elements to an iBook with minimal headaches. Presentations created in Keynote can be dragged directly into iBook Author for inclusion as an interactive widget, and those who have worked with HTML and JavaScript can create more robust widgets on their own. Also included are a nifty glossary creation tool (essentially a two-click process), and the ability to publish the iBook directly into the store.

      Apple: “iTunes U – If you’re an educator at a university, college, or K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. … The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information. … The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks Textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.

      VB: “I can’t remember the last time anyone was so interested in education technology, but leave it up to Apple to whip up excitement. The company held an ‘education related’ event at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum today, where many expected it to take on the textbook industry with new, interactive e-books. … But Apple isn’t done yet. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, came on stage to discuss how the company is going to help teachers ‘reinvent the curriculum’ with iTunes U, a service that lets students download lectures and other materials from iTunes. Cue says Apple has seen over 700 million downloads from iTunes U, and that it has mostly been used for lectures. … All of this is very exciting, but it’s strange that Apple made no mention of how students can more easily get a hold of iPads in the classroom. While cool, Apple’s plans to reinvent education could leave a lot of students out in the cold.

      NJL: “The day the bookshelf shook: Four lessons for news orgs from today’s Apple iBooks announcements – The focus was on education, and Apple faces some significant hurdles in getting their products into actual schools (where textbook and technology purchasing are constricted by forces bureaucratic, fiscal, and otherwise). But in truth much of what Apple announced was squarely aimed at further disruption of the publishing industry – in this case, the book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and ebooks more broadly. … How will news organizations react to that newfound ease of publishing? … In the print book era, deciding to try one of these ideas would involve estimating the potential audience, deciding whether it’s worth investing the time to design it, guessing at a print run, figuring out how to get it in the hands of local retailers, and a host of other complications. But with ebooks – if publishing those ebooks is uncomplicated, just a few more steps than hitting File -> Save As…, built around common templates – what kinds of value could be unlocked? … Once books stop being only finished, whole things – when they can also be works in progress, works in development – the possibilities for journalists open up. … I can’t imagine news organizations need any further evidence that reading is going to keep moving from big screens to smaller ones, from stationary to mobile. But judging by a lot of news sites’ abysmal mobile experiences, maybe they do. So here’s one more data point: Apple’s investing big in a creating a new kind of reading experience for a new kind of content, and they’re completely ignoring every desktop and laptop computer in the universe.

      RWW: “In his official biography of Apple’s late cofounder, Walter Isaacson revealed that in addition to television and photography, one industry Steve Jobs was hoping to revolutionize next was textbooks, which he saw as being ‘ripe for digital destruction.’ – Today’s demonstration very much echoed Jobs’ vision for textbooks, which he saw as cumbersome, heavy and slow to update. … This is not an all together shocking direction for Apple to move into, considering its somewhat recent foray into e-books with iBooks and how the iPad is already being used for educational purposes. That the tablet form factor makes for a potentially excellent educational tool is not at all a new concept, and it’s one that Apple has already been using to help sell the iPad pretty much since day one.

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:31 on 20. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      RWW: “It’s hard to wrap my brain around the cold cynicism of Apple’s releasing a new tool to democratize the publishing of eBooks today, only to include in the tool’s terms and conditions a prohibition against selling those books anywhere but through Apple’s own bookstore. There’s just something so achingly awful about it. … Here’s section 2b of the End User License Agreement of the new iBook Author program. ‘B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows: (i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means; (ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.'”

      GigaOM: “It’s possible that Apple is planning to open up its new iBook textbooks, either by embracing the ePub standard or making it easy to move texts out of its system and into another, so that iBooks can live alongside Inkling textbooks or CourseSmart books or Kno books — but if it is planning to do that, we didn’t hear anything about it on Thursday. All we heard was how Apple wants to do the same thing to the textbook market as it has done to recorded music and mobile gaming: that is, own and control it.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:26 on 31. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , AOL Editions, , Apple, Apple Newsstand, , , , , , , , , , , , Google Propeller, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Social Media Feeds, , Tablet Apps, , , , , Yahoo Livestand   

    Tablet News Reader 

    Tablets and news are a perfect match: Google and Yahoo are going to add more reader apps; http://eicker.at/TabletNewsReader

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:27 on 31. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “Memo to Flipboard, as well as Pulse, CNN’s Zite and AOL’s Editions: You might want to make some room in the already-crowded news and social reader space, because you’re about to get some bigfoot company. – Next Wednesday, according to sources close to the situation, Yahoo will finally officially unveil its offering, called Livestand. – And perhaps as early as next week or soon after, Google will also weigh in with its version of the genre – code-named Propeller – which also might be the product’s name. Another moniker under strong consideration: Currents. As I have previously reported, Google Propeller is an HTML5 reader for the Apple iPad and Android – essentially a souped-up version of similar apps such as Flipboard, AOL’s Editions, Zite (which was just bought by Time Warner’s CNN) and Pulse. … Yahoo and Google PR declined comment.

      RWW: “Livestand is Yahoo’s take on the personalized reading app for tablets, which ousted CEO Carol Bartz announced earlier this year. Sources tell AllThingsD that the app is expected to be released next week. It was originally slated to be launched on iOS and Android during the first half of 2011. … More than Flipboard and Zite, Livestand looks and feels like AOL’s Editions app for iPad. … It’s a natural extension of Yahoo’s efforts to become a company that specializes, among many other things, in digital content. … Also in the pipeline is a project from Google, code-named Propeller. Less is known about how that app will look and function, but it’s generally understood to be the search giant’s answer to Flipboard, which Google unsuccessfully tried to acquire. … Even with the cross-platform advantage and enormous development resources behind it, products of this nature from Google and Yahoo could simply fail to catch on. The iPad has been in existence for nearly two years and applications like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse have proven very popular among consumers. To compete, the big players will need to offer something truly unique to readers, publishers and advertisers alike.”

      VB: “The tablet readers from two of the Internet’s largest technology companies has the potential to disrupt a landscape that has previously been dominated by small, nimble companies such as Flipboard and Pulse. Google previously tried to buy Flipboard, which was valued at more than $200 million in April, which is still chump change for the search giant.”

      pC: “Companies like Flipboard, AOL, Zite, and Pulse have found a lot of interest in their apps, which organize Web content through custom filters or by hooking one’s social-media feeds into the app. But given how new tablets still are to the vast majority of the population, and how as a result usage habits have yet to really settle into any established pattern, there’s still a lot of opportunity for both big companies and small startups to attract users.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Apple, , , , , , , , , Google Code Search, Google Code Search API, , Google Music, , , , , , Google Takeout, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard III. 

    Google shuts down: Buzz, Jaiku, iGoogle Features, Code Searchgoes music? http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “[W]e recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products. – Here’s the latest update on what’s happening: Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012. – In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout. – Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku. – Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are. – The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012. – In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search. – Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.

      Horowitz: “What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+. – But probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ – in a limited Field Trial – in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback. Your participation in the process is helping create what Google+ is today.”

      GigaOM: “Has Google really learned that much from Buzz and Jaiku?Is that because Google wants to be social, or is it because the company wants to be able to including being able to sell you things? The existence of Google+ seems to have more to do with the company’s need to harvest the “social signals” that emerge from such networks in order to improve its search and advertising business – and fend off Facebook – than Google’s desire to create a welcoming environment for social sharing. An engineer for the company described not that long ago how Google has no real interest in social networking for its own sake, but saw it as an information-harvesting strategy.Does Google have an ‘if we build it, they will come’ problem? … The amount of resources that Google is putting into Google+ is admirable, and it is good to focus on one thing, even if it means beheading other services like Buzz and Jaiku – and CEO Larry Page has made it clear that he wants the network to succeed. But wanting something and having it come true are very different things, and Google could well learn another lesson from Google+: that even if you build it, and it is well-designed from an engineering perspective, people may still not come.

      RWW: “Even though Google Buzz wasn’t terribly good at anything, from a user standpoint, we at least enjoyed its developer-centric nature. It was all about open data. That may have been all it had going for it, but that meant something. Its replacement, Google Plus, is awfully slick and smooth and secretive. The few APIs released so far barely enable developers to make anything, much less anything interesting. – Google sure is a busy place. Its whole business is undergoing rapid transformations, even if its quarterly earnings are reported so generally that they seem stable. – Google is spending money and changing shape. It’s launching social networks and buying handset manufacturers. It’s hiring new people, buying new infrastructure, and now it’s shedding old products. When will Google start to break a sweat?

      NYT: “Five months after it introduced a cloud music service with limited capabilities, Google is in negotiations with the major record labels to expand that service and also open an MP3 store that would compete with Apple and Amazon. – According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks. It would most likely be connected to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices, said these executives, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private and continuing. … Music Beta was announced five weeks after Amazon opened a similar unlicensed service, Cloud Drive. – Apple got licenses for iTunes Match, which will instantly link a user’s songs to Apple’s master collection. With an unlicensed service, users must upload each song individually, a process that can take hours or even days.

      RWW: “Google reportedly had a hard time shoring up deals with music labels ahead of the initial launch of Google Music, so they launched it anyway. Traditional content owners have often been wary of Google, who has gained a reputation among some legacy media organizations as being too soft on piracy. The company has extended a few olive branches recently, making public efforts to discourage copyright infringement and buttering up media executives. … Google has an uphill battle to fight if it expects to take on Apple in this space. Amazon might provide a fairer fight. Either way, Google is hoping to bolt additional revenue streams onto its business model, which remains heavily bolstered by the money it makes search advertising.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1987, 1996, 2007, , 2016, A5, , , Apple, Apple Futureshock, Apple Knowledge Navigator, Apple Siri, , , , Artificial Intelligence Applications, , CALO, , , , , Conversational Interaction, , , , , , , , , Futureshock, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iPad 2, , , , Knowledge Navigator, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Natural Language Processing, , , , , , , , Personal Assistant, Personal Assistant Application, Personal Interaction, , , , , , , , , Siri Beta, , , , Spin-off, SRI, , , , , , , , , , , , , Voice Command, , , , , , ,   

    Siri: Let’s Talk! 

    Potentially Apple’s Siri changes how we interact with computers entirely: Siri, let’s talk! http://eicker.at/Siri

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Siri. Your wish is its command. – Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it. … Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like ‘Tell my wife I’m running late.’ ‘Remind me to call the vet.’ ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ And Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone. … Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ Siri will reply ‘I found a number of burger restaurants near you.’ Then you can say ‘Hmm. How about tacos?’ Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.”

      Wikipedia: “Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS. The application uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to an expanding set of web services. The iOS app is the first public product by its makers, who are focused on artificial intelligence applications. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. on April 28, 2010. – Siri’s marketing claims include that Siri adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, as well as accomplishing tasks such as making dinner reservations and reserving a cab. … Siri was founded in December 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI’s venture group. … It was announced on October 4, 2011 that Siri will be included with the iPhone 4S. The new version of Siri is deeply integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. Currently, Siri only supports English (US, UK, and Australia), German and French. … Siri is a spin-out from SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched.”

      TC: “The integration with iOS seems to be just as impressive as we’ve been hearing: you can ask it to remind you to call someone before you leave the office, and it’ll automatically create an entry in the Reminders app, complete with a geo-fence just to be sure. You can also ask Siri to read your queued messages to you and make an appointment in the Calendar app. – The worst part so far? Siri indeed seems to require the iPhone 4S’s extra horsepower, because it appears to be a 4S exclusive. The kicker? Siri was originally a run-of-the-mill iPhone app. What a shame. – Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come.

      WP: “As rumored, Apple’s doing some all-new voice-control AI stuff in iOS 5. It’s called Siri, which is the name of the app Apple bought for $200 million a couple years ago. … You can also ask Siri to look things up on Wikipedia for you, and Siri can use Wolfram Alpha to do more complicated calculations. Siri’s list of capabilities is near endless, including asking it to play genres of music for you, look up something on maps, or what the weather is. Our favorite question? ‘Siri, who are you?’ Siri responds: ‘I am your humble personal assistant.’ … The bad news? All this great stuff is only available for the iPhone 4S – Apple had to do something to force an upgrade! In all seriousness, some of this AI functionality can be incredibly processor intensive, so Siri might be leaning on the A5 chip quite heavily.”

      MLS: “Siri Search, makes use of Yelp’s business ratings, thus this makes instantly makes Yelp a strong local competitor to Google Places. Yelp is now very relevant to your small business rankings. Google Places has been the big dog in local optimization or as I call it, Local Awesomeization… And your places ranking and profile completion has become very important for your local marketing.- Now, Siri, which is a virtual assistant will be able to find you anything you want… and it is using the Yelp Reviews to rank the recommendations. … Nuture your Yelp account now. Claim it, and begin getting good reviews. Local search is a science, and you have to get that information out there.

      GigaOM: “Apple’s intent when it bought Siri was rumored to be building a search engine, though Jobs defused that speculation by saying, ‘We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it – other people do it well.’ But Jobs also said earlier last year: ‘On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re (consumers are) spending all their time on these apps – they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.‘ – With Siri, Apple doesn’t have to get into the search game if it can use Siri to direct people to the apps, services and information they need. That’s probably not a big money-gainer for Apple, but it could put a hurt on rival Google, which relies on search advertising.

      TUAW: “Curious about the iPhone 4S’s new voice assistant feature? So were we. – [We] tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction. – Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.”

      FC: “Don’t let her dulcet voice and easygoing, eager-to-please manner fool you. Behind Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant app destined to power Apple’s iPhone 4S, lies the heart of a hardened combat veteran. That’s because the technology was spun out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s high-tech research and development arm. … For now it can only respond to simple commands, but the technology underlying it is anything but. The problem with most speech recognition technology has been that it has a hell of a time with all-too human variations in speech – accents, dialects, intonation, enunciation, and slang. Tell it you want to hide under ‘a rock’ and it might tell you about ‘Iraq.’ Like the dream of the paperless office, which the advent of the personal computer was supposed to herald, speech recognition often makes more work than it saves. Siri promises to change all that, and you should thank the wizards at DARPA. While they didn’t create the technology, they incubated it. … I can’t wait to tell that to my Siri-powered iPhone, although I doubt it’ll know how to respond – not yet, anyhow.

      TC: “The most talked about element of … Apple event had to be Siri. The new feature of the iPhone 4S, born out of Apple’s purchase of the company by the same name in 2010, looks amazing. But one thing never mentioned during the keynote was a key piece of technology behind Siri: Nuance. – We first reported that Siri would be a key part of iOS 5 back in March. As we dug deeper, we learned that Apple and Nuance were involved in negotiations to make sure this could be a reality. You see, Siri does not work without Nuance. … So, is Nuance a part of Apple’s implementation of Siri as well? Yes. Though, don’t bother trying to get anyone to admit that. …Nuance is powering Siri. But Apple clearly struck a deal with Nuance which precludes them from talking about it. This is Apple technology, this is not about Nuance, is how I imagine Apple may put it. Apparently, Nuance is happy enough with Apple’s undoubtedly large check for this licensing agreement that they are willing to keep quiet.

      RWW: “Apple finally introduced the availability of the voice-command personal assistant app it paid $200m for today, called Siri. The military spin-off technology was both widely loved and often panned when it was available independently; it was either lovable Skynet or a fish on a bicycle, depending on who you ask. I tended towards thinking it the latter, myself. … But what do I want as a user – on my iPhone? I want Swype! Swype is a keyboard program available on almost every smartphone in the world except the iPhone. … It’s the fastest way to provide input on a mobile device. It’s fabulous and it’s incredible that Swype isn’t on iOS yet. I assume it’s because of Apple’s strict control over interface design and unwillingness to provide options in design. … Time will tell, but I don’t think Siri is going to be a killer app on the iPhone. Will it be used more than the current iPhone voice control? We’ll see.

      TUAW: “Since the iPhone 4S features the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, owners of Apple’s current-gen tablet have wondered if it’s possible that Siri, Apple’s new voice assistant, might be offered on the iPad 2. … Voice Control as it now exists on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 doesn’t function on the iPad or iPad 2, but there’s a reason for that: the existing commands would be essentially useless on those devices. … On the other hand, Siri’s commands would be immensely useful on the iPad. … In fact, we’ve done some digging into Siri and found that most of the actual work of understanding voice commands gets offloaded to external servers. In essence, the iPhone 4S and its built-in processing functions determine what you said, while Apple’s servers translate that into what you meant and send that information back to your iPhone. … For the time being, Siri remains an iPhone 4S exclusive and one we have yet to test for ourselves. We look forward to putting this innovative feature under our interrogation lights once the iPhone 4S is released on October 14.

      Waxy: “In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator [the rest of the video is newer, probably circa 1996 or so, but the Knowledge Navigator part is from 1987], a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer. … Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written ‘about five years ago,’ setting the year as 2011. – And … at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S. – So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

    • katrce 05:21 on 10. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hi siri

    • Baby 00:16 on 27. September 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi siri

    • Yo Mama 06:02 on 27. October 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

    • Adrianna 00:56 on 7. March 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes she has a little attitude

    • Doll 01:09 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey siri.

      how you doing today.

    • bigL 22:36 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:27 on 8. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Apple, , , Imaging, , , , , , , , , , , Predictive Texting, , , , , , , T9, , , , ,   

    Nuance Acquires Swype 

    Nuance adds Swype to its speech and imaging applications, brings Swype to iOS? http://eicker.at/NuanceSwype

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 8. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      UC: “Nuance has acquired Seattle-based startup Swype for something more than $100 million, says a source with knowledge of the deal. – I’m a big fan of Swype, and this is a brilliant acquisition by Nuance. … Nuance already has T9, a predictive text application first developed in the 90s, and T9 competes directly with Swype.

      TC: “Swype has been blowing minds since it first launched at TechCrunch 50 back in September of 2008. For those unfamiliar, Swype is the maker of an awesome app that allows users of touchscreen mobile devices to type messages with one swipe of the finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard. The alternative (and patented) input method has proven to be super speedy, allowing data entry at over 40 words per minute, and has swept across Android devices. … The speech recognition giant has also been in the news of late, as it is has been in negotiations with Apple over licensing for Lion OSX. What’s more, while Apple did not confirm, MG held that Nuance is also a large part of the technology behind Siri, which will be native on all iPhone 4Ses.

      ATD: “As touchscreen phones became more popular, the predictive texting that eliminated triple-tapping became less necessary, as new forms of input on a piece of glass became mandatory. Nuance bought the technology from AOL. … The importance of voice and text entry became even more prominent this week after Apple unveiled Siri, a voice-activated assistant.

      TC: “Earlier today, I spoke with Swype CEO Mike McSherry, who explained the thinking behind the deal. ‘The broadest vision,’ says McSherry, ‘is we want to be the input for every single stream. You talk to your refrigerator and in-car navigation, you want your language models to follow you around.’ – When he puts it that way, Swype seems like a much more strategic acquisition for NUance than one which simply fills a hole. … Yes, Nuance is powering the new Siri Assistant in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4S with its voice recognition technology. So does that mean that Swype could be coming to the iPHone as well? ‘I’d love to be able to see that,’ says McSherry, adding, ‘There are certainly lots of requests to see Swype on the iPhone.’

      RWW: “This could be the first steps to bringing Swype to the iPhone. We lamented after the iPhone 4S announcement that Siri, the voice input “assistant” coming in iOS 5, should have been Swype. Apple was a good working relationship with Nuance and if the parties can figure out a good graphical interface for Swype on the iPhone, it may be the next important feature in iOS. … Even if Swype never comes to the iPhone, Nuance has made a very astute acquisition. Nuance was already the leader in speech-to-text technology, ahead of others like Vlingo, The acquisition gives Nuance the clear lead in input methods for mobile devices. With Swype as part of the team, Nuance has planted its flag to be the leader in the vertical for the foreseeable future.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:55 on 6. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Apple, , , , , , , , , , , , , Pixar, , , , , , ,   

    Steve Jobs 

    RIPSteve Jobs: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life; http://eicker.at/SteveJobs

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:15 on 6. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Jobs: “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. – About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes. – I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now. – This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. – Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

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