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  • Apple's Siri history was plagued by infighting, mistakes and developer alienation, report ...

    As most here would not be subscribing (it's not cheap) here are a couple other pertinent excerpts:

    "Several former employees said (Apple) made a number of decisions that the rest of the team disagreed with, including a plan to improve Siri’s capabilities only once a year. That was the approach Apple typically employed with iOS... they argued in vain that that model was wrong for Siri, which they believed needed to be an online service that continuously improved, not updated annually... 

    "[Siri is] not in the search area,” Mr. Jobs said. “They’re in the AI area. … We have no plans to go into the search business. That's not something we know about. It's not something we care deeply about. Other people do it well.”

    Still, a quality search apparatus is a critical component to creating a useful digital assistant. When a user asks a question, the AI needs to tap into a source of knowledge and quickly identify the right response."


    Apple has of course made other purchases in the years since meant to bolster Siri capabilities.

    "In October 2013, (Apple) bought Cue for over $40 million... The startup had built a personal assistant app that searched through a user's emails to spit out a personal agenda.

    Apple made another big acquisition in 2013 by purchasing Topsy for more than $200 million. The Topsy technology was acquired to be used in Spotlight...

    The Topsy team ultimately grew into a massive organization... that now nearly rivals the number of employees on the Siri team.

    Members of the Topsy team expressed a reluctance to work with a Siri team they viewed as slow and bogged down by the initial infrastructure that had been patched up but never completely replaced since it launched.

    “There was a feeling that, ‘Why don’t we just start over and build what we need to build, and then worry about reconciling those two later?’”

    "Core Siri and Spotlight are powered by a combination of both Topsy's technology and Siri Data Services, which is based on older search technology ported over from iTunes search but modified for Siri and launched in 2013... Siri Data Services deals with things like Wikipedia, stocks and movie showtimes, while Topsy sorts through Twitter, news and web results. The Siri Data Services team was eventually lumped into the Topsy team... with the plan to integrate all of the tech into a single stack. But they're based on two different programming languages and are tricky to reconcile."

    "The difficulty integrating the search teams led to some embarrassing outcomes. Users could get completely different responses to the same question based on whether they were using Siri or Spotlight—which were powered by two different search technologies built by two different teams."

    In October 2015 (Apple acquired) VocalIQ. Apple has successfully integrated the VocalIQ technology into Siri's calendar capabilities, sources familiar with the project said.

    In a sign of how unprepared Apple was to deal with a rivalry, (the Siri team) didn’t even learn about Apple’s HomePod project until 2015—after Amazon unveiled the Echo in late 2014. One of Apple’s original plans was to launch its speaker without Siri included...

    But the most notable failure in Siri’s evolution is that it still lacks the third-party developer ecosystem considered the key element of the original Siri vision. Apple finally launched SiriKit in 2016 after years of setting aside the project .... Apple had been working on a developer kit off and on since 2012.

    So far it includes just 10 activities—Apple calls them “intent domains”—such as payments, booking rides, setting up to-do lists and looking at photos. Several senior engineers who worked on SiriKit have left Apple or moved off the project. 

    Among all these challenges, former Siri members noted that while Apple has tried to remake itself as a services company, its core is still product design. 

    “The structure of Apple works against those efforts”

    muthuk_vanalingamfreshmakerrandominternetpersonLukeCagepatchythepiratelarryacornchipequality72521jony0Alex1N
  • Microsoft should have been Apple's challenger in mobile, says Bill Gates

    "Google acquired Android back in 2005 for $50 million, and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted that Google’s initial focus was beating Microsoft’s early Windows Mobile efforts. “At the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful,” said Schmidt during a 2012 legal fight with Oracle about Java. Android ultimately killed Windows Mobile and Windows Phone off, and became the Windows equivalent in the mobile world.

    Gates’ admission is somewhat surprising, though. Many had assumed that Microsoft’s missed mobile opportunity was a Steve Ballmer era mistake. Ballmer famously laughed at the iPhone, calling it the “most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.” While Ballmer accepted the iPhone could go on to sell well, he crucially missed the touch-friendly era it was ushering in, and laughed off its lack of a keyboard.

    This was a key part of Microsoft’s early mobile mistakes, and it came from the very top.

    Gates said that, without his mistake, Microsoft would today be the biggest company in the world.

    “It’s amazing to me that having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time, and there was this antitrust lawsuit and various things, that our other assets like Windows and Office are still very strong, so we are a leading company,” says Gates. “If we had gotten that one right, we would be the leading company, but oh well.”


    Fun Fact: Samsung could have had Android for all to themselves in mid-Dec 2004, but they pretty much laughed Rubin and Danger out of the room when they visited Korea to pitch it. No interest, waste of time. By the first week of January 2005 tho it was Google who approached Danger and ultimately purchasing them in February 2005. ...And there went Windows Mobile.
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  • Video shows 10-year-old unlocking mother's iPhone X via Face ID

    There's some circumstantial evidence that ambient lighting plays a part in this. After her son's first round of successfully unlocking her phone, with Face ID seeing his face as hers, the mom reset her phone and did the typical Face ID initial setup for a second time but now under bright outdoor lighting. Her son couldn't access her phone afterwards, each of his attempts failed with FaceID working as it should. Then the phone was reset yet again and set up under indoor lighting as she had the first time. Her son then had better success with his face unlocking her phone about half the time, and eventually after several uses working every time. 

    So perhaps if you go outdoors on a sunny day for initial setup it will increase the chances that only your face will unlock your iPhone X. Or take Apple's advice and use passcode instead of Face ID if you have serious concerns about siblings or others accessing your phone. Personally I wouldn't. Heck I could not care any less if my wife wishes to use my phone when hers is in the bedroom or wherever. 

    Now why ambient lighting conditions would have any impact on Face ID is a good question. I don't know.
    dysamoriamuthuk_vanalingampatchythepiraterepressthisrevenantradster360radarthekat[Deleted User]philboogie
  • Study finds Android shares 20x more data with Google than iOS does with Apple

    It took some digging (I didn't see it anywhere in the AI article or the ArsTechnica source) but the link to the study itself is:
    https://www.scss.tcd.ie/doug.leith/apple_google.pdf
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  • Apple shuts down Epic Games developer account

    sbwolves said:
    Quench,  so you believe that Apple owns a piece of all revenues from anything on their devices?

    wasnt that way with Macs and ought not be a walled garden with a 30% Apple tax.   iPads and phones ought not be so locked down,  it is anti consumer 


    quench said:
    So Epic agreed to the contract because they know Apple has an enormous base of customers. Then epic got greedy and thought they could be dishonorable and cheat the company (Apple) that helped them become a worldwide sensation.
    epic you suck for your dishonesty, lying to customers when you blamed Apple for the situation that you forced onto itself, stealing from the company that made you extremely wealthy. 
    I don’t care what quality games you produce, I will not support a greedy, lying, stealing company ever again.
    I'm done with you epic!

    If Apple was the only game in town...the only devices...the only apps and only app store...you might have a point.

    Apple deserves whatever fees it sets...and people are willing to pay. There will always be people...like you I assume...who want everything free. But nothing is free...nothing. When you use a google product, where much is touted as 'free' they make their money off selling all your information to advertisers. You must know this by now. 
    So many people, and you may be one, really don't understand Google does not sell your information. They don't. What they are is an intermediary between consumers and advertisers. A company like Apple chooses the audience they want to market to, and Google matches an anonymized basket of Advertising ID's to place those ads in front of.  The data never leaves Google, nor are your name or address or any other private information ever exposed to the advertiser.

    If Google did as you thought they did I too would have a serious issue with it. That's why I refuse to update credit information for a card provider O already deal with because credit bureaus sell information to companies that aren't even offering you credit. I also don't use rewards cards because that transaction data is sold to assorted data aggregators.

    I do what I can to make sure any personal information I decide to share remains with the entity I chose to share it with, not passed on to another party. I trust Google not to sell my data on to others. I don't have the same trust in credit providers and credit bureaus, banks, insurers, stores, or pharmacies.
    muthuk_vanalingamrazmatazpscooter63dewmeuraharaGG1
  • Facebook says Apple blocked in-app message informing users of 30% App Store fee

    Pascalxx said:
    As I understand it, Facebook basically wants to allow small businesses to receive donations through the platform, without taking a cut and wants Apple to do the same. It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable suggestion to me. Are there no App Store fee waivers for donations?
    Nope, not in the US or EU.

    Another provider of connections to exercise services was temporarily allowing users to directly donate to the small gyms they partner with for on-line workouts, forgoing any profit for themselves, their reasoning being the exercise venues need every assist they can get just to survive the shut-downs.  Apple still insisted on their 30% cut of the donations though so that service simply chose to stop offering them. 

    If money passes thru an App Store app Apple wants a significant cut, with exceptions made only for China, and really out of necessity if they want to sell product there. Apple's business in China is a balancing act, not so much in the rest of the world.

    Now in Facebooks case they have ulterior motives so it's not about "helping the little guys survive". It's about trying to make Apple look greedy and petty and adding pressure for regulators to step in. Facebook is obviously staging for a public-relations battle with Apple, and it all about getting richer. I sincerely hope people understand what Facebook is up to. They are not innocent.
    nikon1georgie01muthuk_vanalingamPascalxxdewmedysamoriajahbladepscooter63christophbn2itivguy
  • Renesas chip foundry fire could harm Apple's supply chain

    tedz98 said:
    What’s amazing is the decline of chip fab capabilities in the United States. ... The US really needs to find ways to improve its abilities to create wafers and chips. Chip manufacturing capabilities are no where on the Biden agenda. That has to change.


    You aren't following news. Biden has already begun addressing it.
     https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/24/biden-signs-executive-order-to-address-chip-shortage-through-a-supply-chain-review.html
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  • Apple demands halt to publication of tell-all App Store book over confidentiality issues

    It's already in circulation, and also on Amazon for the Kindle and in paperback. A little late now, and if anything Apple probably just helped sell more than a few copies. No doubt some excerpts will make it into web articles now that the blogosphere has been put on notice. Just be sure you can read German if you buy a copy for yourself.
    bulk001n2itivguybeowulfschmidtCloudTalkinFLMusicdysamoria
  • Contact tracing app vetted by Apple found to share data with Foursquare and Google

    sdbryan said:
    lkrupp said:
    Anyone who downloads and installs these contact tracing apps should have their heads examined. We can’t trust ANY of these bastards, including Apple. ...

    Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to ‘examine’ the protocols that Apple/Google have published to see if there is some privacy defect? Assuming a rigidly cynical position for all contact tracing efforts could lead to reduced ability to contain outbreaks which would have real world consequences. I hope security experts do vigorously examine contract tracing efforts and I am sure they will. But unless and until a problem is discovered I would encourage everyone to participate so that fewer people get sick and die. Because it is a global pandemic.
    This had zippo to with Apple/Google's COVID tracing API. The article leaves readers with the impression it does but did dedicate a single sentence to it:
    "While Care19 does not rely on the recently released Apple-Google Exposure Notification API... "
    Why wouldn't the developer want to? Because the Google/Apple system does not collect location info which the developer of ProwdCrowd finds valuable for marketing.

    So if it's not using the Apple/Google API, which would have prevented this, how is Apple involved? Well, there's the second half of the sentence I quoted making that tenuous connection: 
    "Apple was involved in the vetting of the app."  That's it. The app was approved for the App Store just like millions of others.

    The Washington Post is creating FUD to scare away potential users of the Apple/Google tracing API, and I've no idea what their rationale is for employing tactics meant to ensure the effort fails. I really would hope it's not just more partisan politics. It's getting to that season where you can't believe anything you read unless you're willing to spend extra time vetting it. Too many articles are IMO intentionally misleading even if they're technically not lying. 

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  • Reminder: The US government isn't going to text you about COVID-19 payments

    Here's an even sneakier scam actively exploited in the Tampa/St Pete area. You get an email supposedly from a local hospital advising you that a patient admitted for Covid-19 has named you as someone exposed to that patient and likely infected. You are told to report to that hospital for testing and to open and fill-out the attached form (zip file) in order to expedite the process and prepare the hospital for your arrival.

    ....and there ya go. 
    seanismorrisKT123muthuk_vanalingamronn