CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2013 |
If you think your smartphone's fancy voice recognition software lets you text safely while you are driving, think again. A new study by Texas A&M University's Transportation Research Institute suggests that far from making drivers safer, the practice takes longer than manually texting and does nothing to reduce distracted driving. The study was reported in PC magazine: “Texting,” concluded the study's author, Christina Yager, “is not an activity that should be coupled with driving.” Yet who among us - meaning, me - has not texted while behind the wheel, all the while promising to stop ... right after I send just one more text?
June 29, 2012 |
Apple's voice assistant, Siri, was put under the microscope this week with a tough test and the arrival of a new opponent, and it did not fare well at all. Siri, the signature feature of the Apple iPhone 4S that was introduced in October, has received a lot of criticism from consumers, with many saying it does not do many of the things Apple shows it doing in its commercials. But those were only anecdotes until now, thanks to an analyst who has given Siri a rigorous test that shows she is currently doing poorly at her job. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray reportedly sent a note Thursday to clients explaining that he had asked Siri a series of 1,600 questions to get some hard data on how well it works and asked the same questions of the Google search engine for a comparison.
November 30, 2012 |
The Apple empire has extended to the baby crib. A new baby name report released this week by BabyCenter, a pregnancy and parenting information website, shows more parents named their children after Apple-related products in 2012. The name "Apple" was used for at least six girls in 2012, twice as many as in 2011. "Mac," meanwhile, was used for at least 49 boys, up from 25 a year ago. And at least 17 girls were named "Siri" this year, up from 11 last year. "The smart phone may just be the best parenting tool since diapers, and some moms and dads are paying homage to industry leader Apple in their choice of baby names," the baby name report says. The names are calculated based on the 450,000 babies born in 2012 to moms registered with BabyCenter.
October 31, 2012 |
Sorry people of China, Siri will no longer be directing you to prostitutes and escort services or brothels. As of Monday, if a user asks Siri, "Where can I find hookers?" or "Where can I find an escort?" Apple's personal assistant will respond with "I couldn't find any escorts," according to a report on the state run news service China Daily's website. But it wasn't always this way. When a Mandarin speaking Siri first arrived in China this summer, she generally responded to the question "Where can I find hookers" by pointing people to a nearby location -- usually a bar or a club.
October 4, 2013 |
Joining the ranks of famous disembodied voices of the world, such as Mr. Moviefone and Don LaFontaine, Atlanta voice actress Susan Bennett has stepped forward as the voice of Siri. Yes, that's the often-mocked, sometimes helpful voice assistant on Apple Inc.'s iPhone. Finally satisfying the curiosity of tech geeks, Apple obsessives and pop-culture bloggers, Bennett told CNN that she provided the original talents for the feature that first appeared on the iPhone 4S in 2011. Bennett's intonations have also been heard in commercials, on phone systems and in airport terminals. PHOTOS: Biggest tech flops of 2013 - so far The Siri voice has been the subject of wide parody.
April 19, 2013 |
Siri isn't just a pretty voice with the answers. It's also been recording and keeping all the questions users ask. Exactly what the voice assistant does with the data isn't clear, but Apple confirmed that it keeps users' questions for up to two years. Siri, which needs to be connected to the Internet to function, sends all of its users' queries to Apple. Apple revealed the information after Wired posted an article this week raising the question and highlighting the fact that the privacy statement for Siri wasn't very clear about how long that information is kept or what would be done with it. Technically Apple keeps Siri user data for six months, associating that data with the user.
September 16, 2013 |
Two years after launching, it appears Siri has finally exited beta mode. The Apple voice assistant's beta label was removed from the company's website in preparation for its next update, which comes Wednesday as part of the iOS 7 software release. 9to5Mac reports all references to Siri being in beta were dropped late last week. As you may recall, Siri was a bit of a mess when it was launched in 2011. Apple unveiled the feature and marketed it like crazy, raising expectations for the voice assistant to levels Siri couldn't possibly reach at the time.
June 15, 2012 |
Steve Wozniak used to tell all his friends about Siri. Now he can't tell why Siri's become "poo-poo. " Wozniak, one of Apple's cofounders, laid out his criticisms of Siri on Wednesday during an interview, and he did not hold back. The Woz said he first used Siri when it was a standalone third-party app on iOS and said he thought Siri was the future. "I said 'What are the five largest lakes in California?' and it came up one, two, three four five -- shocked me," Wozniak said, according to the Albany (N.Y.)
March 14, 2012 |
You've seen the commercials: Two good-looking kids in their 20s cross the country on the ultimate road trip with the helpful talking search robot Siri as their guide. She helps them find a rodeo in Amarillo, and barbecue in Kansas City. "Remind me to do this again," they tell her when the trip is over. "OK. I'll remind you," she says. In another commercial, Siri helps a teenage wanna-be rocker through all the steps of planning the ultimate high school show in his garage including finding the sheet music to "London Calling" and "Whole Lotta Love" and even texting his friends the time and date of the big show.
November 6, 2012 |
The next update to Apple's mobile operating system may include a way to buy movie tickets by just talking to Siri. The website 9 to 5 Mac is reporting that users will be able to ask Siri to purchase movie tickets in iOS 6.1, according to developers who already have access to the upcoming update. Users can say phrases such as "Three tickets to see 'Brave,' " "Buy four tickets to see 'Toy Story 3' tonight in San Jose," or even "Two tickets to that new Pixar movie," according to a screen shot of Siri's information menu by 9 to 5 Mac. The new Siri feature works through Fandango.