Who's More Intelligent, Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa?

· · Editorial

Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.

Russians Who Hacked DNC Now Targeting Macs

· · Editorial

Dramatic interpretation of a hacker plying his trade

A Russian group that hacked the Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential election are now targeting Macs, according to security firm Bitedefender Labs. APT28—also known as Sofacy, Sednit APT, and other names—has been developing malware that targets Macs and gives the Russians remote access to those Macs. Bryan Chaffin has the details.

Apple Posts New iPhone 7 Plus Commercials to Highlight Portrait Camera

· · Editorial

Screenshots from Apple's Soulmate Spot,

Apple has two new commercials out promoting iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait camera. That’s the two-lens camera unique to iPhone 7 Plus that allows photographs to have a shallow depth of field (meaning a blurry background and sharp foreground). The pieces explain in very simple terms what Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus does for a photo.

Apple, Kill the LG UltraFine 5K and Make Your Own Displays

· · Editorial

As if it weren’t bad enough that the LG UltraFine 5K performed poorly when placed too close to a wireless router, now Apple’s shipping times for the display have slid to five to six weeks. Jeff thinks that it just might be time for Cupertino to resume making the displays for their Macs and MacBook Pros instead of relying on the third-party market to fill the void.

How to Stop Your New TV From Spying On You

· · Particle Debris

Eye Spy on Your TV

Recently, Vizio agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey a total of US$2.2M to settle a complaint that it spied on its TV customers. It’s an unexpected and sorry state of affairs when a new, beautiful, expensive 4K/UHD TV is also reporting on your viewing habits. John offers some advice on how to put a stop to that spying.

It's Time for Apple to Show iBooks Some Love

· · The Back Page

A Feast for Crows Enhanced Edition on iBooks

Apple doesn’t love iBooks, and it shows in the way the company has largely let its ebook store languish. Bryan Chaffin argues that what we’ve seen (not) happen to iBooks is what we’ve seen every time an Apple product stopped being the focus of top executives. That needs to change.

How Can We Tell if Our Love for Apple is Logical or Biased?

· · Particle Debris

Apple is our most favored company for perfectly good reasons. Or so we think. And yet there are people who despise the company. How can both attitudes be right?  The reason for this duality may depend on a particular kind of thinking called cognitive bias. John Martellaro explains. Or, at least, he thinks he’s explaining.

Meet Alo, A Phone Concept From The Future

· · Editorial

Have you ever wondered about a “post-iPhone” future? Well, French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck have one possible answer. It involves a metal and resin device they call Alo, and it’s meant to be a voice-only smartphone with built-in artificial intelligence.

Apple's Multiple OS Family Used to Be a Good Idea

· · Editorial

The new Microsoft Surface family

When all we had was Mac OS X (now macOS), our Mac life was simple on Intel-based Macs. Then came iOS with Cocoa Touch, a derivative of macOS for touch devices using ARM CPUs. That seemed so very sensible in 2010. Then, of course, came tvOS and watchOS which means Apple has even more code bases to maintain. While perhaps only a mild burden, the biggest problem may be the future development of Apple devices. John explains.