The conceit of AI agents like Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and Siri is that they are to be always listening, invited to be treated as trusted family members. Or the loyal computer of our family’s starship. John Martellaro doesn’t like these analogies at all.
The Trump administration appears set to ban MacBooks, iPads, and other large electronics from even more flights to the United States. Jeff Butts has some tips for how you can make the most of your iPhone to be more productive during those long flights home.
The iPhone 8 will reportedly include a 3D camera with facial recognition capabilities, and LG Innotek is parts supplier. That fits with reports that have surfaced over the past few months, although this is the first time we’re hearing that Apple has placed a parts order with Innotek.
A piece at Seeking Alpha argues that Tim Cook needs to be replaced as CEO of Apple because he’s “identical to Steve Ballmer.” Bryan Chaffin was specifically asked what he thought, so here’s the short version: it’s balderdash—Tim Cook is no Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft announced that iTunes for Windows will be coming to the Windows Store, according to TechCrunch:
Here is a surprise: at its Build developer conference, Microsoft today announced that Apple’s iTunes will come to the Windows Store by the end of the year. The iTunes app will have full iPhone support and users will essentially get the same iTunes experience from the Windows Store app that the existing Windows app currently offers.
There are two points of significance: one is that Microsoft announced this, not Apple. The second is that this is the only way Windows 10 S users can get iTunes for Windows. That makes a Windows Store version a must-have for iPhone owners with Surface Laptops running that flavor of Windows.
It’s a floating globe. On your desk. It floats! No, no! It levitates magnetically! This is far, far too cool, hey? The 3-inch globe floats in its C-shape frame using the power of magnets, and it’s $39.99 through us.
Saturday Night Live has a new video trailer promoting Melissa McCarthy as White House spokesperson Sean Spicer, and it was retweeted by Apple VP Lisa Jackson. It could be that she’s a huge Melissa McCarthy fan—because yeah—or it could be the Apple product placement at 38 seconds.
Reuters reports the Trump administration wants to ban electronics bigger than a smartphone in the passenger compartment on flights to the U.S. from Europe. The irony is that the batteries in all the laptops and tablets could explode in the plane’s luggage hold. So that doesn’t seem very safe.
Apple has a supplier for 3D cameras for the iPhone 8, and the question is exactly how will they be used. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to debate what Apple intends to do with 3D on the new iPhone, plus they look at how the iPhone’s hardware features may be more important than its software.
Check out this quote from W about Paris Hilton:
Despite Hilton’s longtime dependency on various cellular devices, it is perhaps visionaries like Steve Jobs who are indebted to her, seeing that it was Hilton who took their creations beyond their wildest expectations, inventing along the way the maligned but ubiquitous selfie.
That’s right. Paris Hilton is the real hero of the iPhone. 🙄 Talk about confusing cause for effect.
What if you could spray paint a piece of plastic or wood, and use it as a Magic Trackpad? Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University have created touchpad paint, which can turn any object or surface into a touch sensitive one. It’s a project called Electrick. It’s based on an algorithm that can read a finger press by sensing changes in electric flow on a conductive surface, called electric field tomography. The team attached electrodes to an object covered in the paint, and were able to figure out where a touch was tapped. Professor Chris Harrison, head of Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Group, said the cost was “way under US$1 per square foot.” There are some limitations, such as not being able to do multi-touch. But that could change in the future. You can read the team’s research paper for more.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has started manufacturing Apple’s custom designed A11 processor for this fall’s iPhone 8 launch. Production was supposed to start in April, but was delayed while production issues were worked out.
With Alexa Show and Microsoft Invoke, Bryan and Jeff envision the Siri smarthome of the future to make the case for an Apple Siri device. They also talk about what Apple might do with sleep tracking technology from Beddit, as well some sexy new renders of Apple’s unannounced iPhone 8.
The rings of Saturn are about 10 meters thick. Yet they light up the solar system with wonder and awe. In this NASA image, the Earth is seen from the Cassini spacecraft through a gap in the rings of Saturn. It’s an encore of the famous Pale Blue Dot image of Earth seen from 6 billion km away back in 1990. In this new image, if you look closely, Earth’s moon is also visible. As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson might say, this one photo provides a substantial cosmic perspective. We are tiny. We are alone. This is the only home we have.
The designs of desktop and laptop PCs and Macs have reached a plateau. There’s not much more to be done. But user hunger for computational power never ceases. While Apple has traditionally focused on design, it may be time for Apple to, instead, dwell on sheer computational power, an enduring addiction for everyone.
With Amazon Alexa being joined in our living rooms by Google Assistant and now Microsoft Cortana, it’s clear that Apple needs to step up to the plate and take back the home. Jeff Butts makes the case for why Cupertino needs to develop an Echo-like device for Siri.
Amazon has Echo, Google has Home, Apple reportedly has its own voice controlled assistant in the works, and now Microsoft is getting in on the game, too. Microsoft’s device is called Invoke, and it uses the company’s Cortana voice interface coupled with Harman Kardon speakers.
Today Microsoft has released Visual Studio for Mac, which it previewed at the Microsoft’s Connect(); 2016 developer event. It’s exciting news for developers who want to develop for Windows without giving up their Apple devices.
Readdle announced Wednesday the release of PDF Expert 6 for iPhone and iPad. The update includes a new interface, the ability to password protect files, and you can work from and save to Dropbox. On the editing side, users can edit PDF text, add and replace images, add links to text and pictures, and redact content. The company put together a good video showing off the new features (below). PDF Expert 6 is available now on the App Store at $9.99.
Microsoft has its own Amazon Echo competitor coming, and it’s called Invoke. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their reactions to Microsoft’s new Cortana-based product, voice assistants, smart home fatigue, and more.