Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

· · Particle Debris

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

LEGO Batman has the Siri Easter Eggs We Deserve

· · Cool Stuff Found

The LEGO Batman movie is out, and it shows us just how important Siri is: She’s the computer system of choice for Gotham’s elite vigilante crime fighters. Luckily, we don’t have to live in Gotham, become emotionally scarred orphans watching our parents die, or spend gobs of money on devices named bat…something. We can get Siri to treat us like the bat heroes we want to be right on our iPhones. Just press and hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying, “Hey, computer,” or “Hey, ‘puter.” Siri will respond with bat-appropriate comments, first try.

LEGO Batman has the Siri Easter Eggs We Deserve

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.

Apple and Worker Visas, HomeKit Falls Behind in the Smarthome Game – TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-31

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations

Work Visas for the tech industry may be changing thanks to an executive order that’s said to be coming from the White House. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the draft order and the impact it could have on Apple and other Silicon Valley companies. They also have some thoughts on the rapidly changing smart home market and Apple’s apparent lagging position.

Apple Joins Partnership on AI as a Founding Member

· · News

Apple a founding member of the Partnership on AI

Apple’s commitment to the artificial intelligence community is even stronger now that it’s officially a founding member of the Partnership for AI. The organization was created to help shape the future of artificial intelligence technology in an open way.

macOS Sierra: Using Content-Aware Reminders

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra Siri

All right, maybe you feel dumb talking to your Mac, so you don’t use macOS Sierra’s version of Siri. Melissa Holt feels awkward about it too, but for using content-aware reminders, she’ll make an exception. Wanna get reminded in an hour to respond to a certain email? You can do just that, and we’ll tell you how!

Speeding Up a Sluggish Mac and Cool Stuff Found – Mac Geek Gab 641

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Cool Stuff Found today contains lots of things you suggested after listening to recent shows, including tools to help your Mac sleep, help you manage your keyboard shortcuts and macros, privately sync your notes, auto-file your Mail, and free backup storage! Then its on to sharing your tips and answering your questions. Want to learn how to factory reset your AirPods, enable band-steering on your router, or have Siri search Google instead of Bing? Let’s go!

Bryan Gets Paranoid About the IoT – ACM 391

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine iTunes Art

Bryan is totally paranoid about the Internet of Things, and he isn’t at all happy about the idea of having an Amazon Echo or Google Home listening in on everything in his house. Jeff laughs at him. Once the guffaws die down, they talk about how and why Apple is getting crushed by these good enough devices.

macOS: Four Quick Ways to Find and Open Files

· · Quick Tip

Today’s Quick Tip will give you tricks on finding and opening files within macOS. If you’ve ever wondered what the fastest ways are to do that, then this article’s for you! (Or heck, if you just want to tell us in the comments that we forgot your favorite method, then that’s fine too.)

macOS Sierra: Using Siri to Get Specs

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra Logo

If you’re running macOS Sierra, you may know that you can use Siri on your computer, but Apple’s voice assistant can also help you find out what specs your Mac’s got. So if you need to know how much storage space you have remaining, say, Siri has you covered. And so do we!

Tim Cook: Giving Up Privacy with Siri and AI is a False Choice

· · Analysis

Apple logo and really smart tin robot

The best analyst questions during Apple’s Q4 2016 Financial Results came from Simona Jankowski with Goldman Sachs. She asked Tim Cook about his perspective on home vs. mobile artificial intelligence agents and then the issue of privacy. Tim Cook took a solid stand on both questions that reveal the future direction of Apple.

What Will We Do When Siri Picks Our Pocket?

· · Particle Debris

Hal9000 eye

A major problem with Artificial Intelligence (AI) development is that a time might come when AI’s are able to learn and teach themselves faster than humans can manage them. Recently, President Obama suggested AI’s that aren’t properly constrained and regulated could be unleashed on unsuspecting citizens and severely disadvantage them. Figuring out when to step in will be the great 21st century challenge for governments.

Samsung Still Chasing Its Apple Dreams, Buys Viv AI

· · Analysis

Viv demo on MacBook Pro at Disrupt 2016

Samsung continued living its Apple dream this week. According to TechCrunch, the South Korean conglomerate purchased Viv, a next-generation artificial intelligence created by three of Siri’s creators. Bryan Chaffin offers his thoughts on what this might mean.