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  • Tim Cook confirms that Apple has been working on generative AI for years

    I'm sorry - but the excuses about Siri being crap because of privacy concerns just doesn't hold water.

    "Hey Siri - play Scarborough Fair". Now I have "Scarborough Fair" by Simon & Garfunkel in my library, and I'd guess this is the version that 99.9% of people would want 99.9% of the time and it's a track I've also asked Siri to play literally hundreds of times because it helps my toddler get to sleep.

    And yet, every time it is a gamble if she will play this, or some other rando version, or some other rando song completely. Siri learns NOTHING and doesn't even use the contextual knowledge available to make a reasonable guess of what you want.

    Or what about a simple query while I'm driving and I idly ask what year some actor died. "I can't answer that while you're driving". Is that to preserve my privacy or is it just because they haven't put in the work to make Siri be able to answer simple queries in natural language?
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  • Scammer pilfers $75,000 in bitcoin from Steve Wozniak

    vannygee said: Imagine a digital asset that is valued based on supply and demand
    It isn't really based on supply and demand because there is no limit to the supply. The digital "mine" will never run dry. There is no "search" for new sources. 
    Yes there is. There is a finite number of Bitcoin (21 million) that can ever be mined built in from day 1.

    I would say this is actually more of an issue because coins will get lost (or rather, the keys to claim them will) and no more can be produced to replace them.
  • Man blames Apple for bitcoin theft by fake app in App Store

    Well, I am victim-blaming here. Situations like this are literally the reason real banks for real currencies have FDIC oversight and mandatory deposit insurance, and why investment banks have SIPC oversight and insurance. This person intentionally opted out of that system. He decided to use unregulated banks, so the consequences of that decision are on him.
    So if this had been a fake app representing itself as the banking application of a regional bank and had defrauded the user that way, it would be Apple’s fault?

    Apple’s scrutiny of the app and its later releases, its failure to validate the publisher against a known entity, and its failure to stop the company using fake reviews to get close to 5 stars all mean Apple isn’t running the safe and secure App Store it claims  to.
  • Proposed Australian law forces tech companies to decrypt customer messages

    "Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis said he believes the new law can be implemented without building backdoors into encrypted platforms"

    That's because George Brandis is a world-class moron with no understanding of technology. He could be even define what "meta-data" was when they wanted to bulk-collect that. If he does an interview on this topic, and half-informed interviewer will tear him to shreds. 
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  • Apple Music Classical begins rolling out to international users

    byronl said:
    dymmas said:
    You can’t download to listen offline.


    The app experience is great. Hopefully they adopt it for the Music app.
    How does the app experience differ to the Music app's?
    It's familiar. Shows music from the main Music app (matched and Added) that fits a classical Category.

    Metadata tagging in albums seems to be ordered more hierarchically by works rather than just a list of tracks. No option to download for offline listening on iOS. 

    I guess the bigger benefits will be around music discovery and help finding versions. For instance if I search for Mozart's Requiem it recognises that as one "Work" and comes back with 824 (!) recordings of it and seems to lead with an Editor's Choice and some classic recordings.

    Seems like they did an okay job to keep it familiar and keep any classical music you already have in Apple Music. 
  • Editorial: New Mac Pro highlights the gap Apple isn't filling

    Not going to happen. With all the BTO options now available, there actually is a pretty smooth gradation from low-end to high and a reasonable cross-over point from the iMac to iMac Pro.

    There’s also that nice 4-quadrant view of entry/pro and modular/all-in-one. Like it or not the Mac Mini is your modular option with external components fleshing out anything you can’t build to order. I would love if that also included a midrange display but I’m pretty sure it won’t. 

    The Mac range is in a better state than it has been for ages (particularly if they replace the MacBook Pro soon with something slightly more flexible). Expect incremental upgrades across rear of the line only for the next couple of years.
  • Australian banks call alternatives to NFC 'unrealistic' in fight to avoid using Apple Pay

    They want to convince you to use the bank-branded app to retain control of the user experience and keep them fenced in. They refuse to accept that there's a lot more to ApplePay than just NFC. There's the tolenization strategy, the touchid secured secure enclave which is tamper proof. But if they were to implement a payment system of their own and it had a security breach - you know the headlines would include Apple prominently because that's pure ClickBait. The banks don't want to share fees and they don't want their cards mixed up in a wallet where they don't control the whole branding. And as for the possibility they might pass some of the savings into their customers! If the ACCC believe that, I have a very attractive bridge in Sydney to sell them.
  • New HomePod vs 2018 HomePod - compared

    charlesn said:
    Sometimes I really don't understand Apple decisions. WiFi 7 is just around the corner, with the draft standard having been written two years ago, but the 2023 Home Pod takes us back to WiFi 4 (or "n") that debuted in 2009? I get that it doesn't need the speed of WiFi 6, but there are far fewer routers and devices currently using 6, which becomes a helpful factor when you live in an apartment building and 40-something networks other than your own come up under wifi. How much extra could wifi 6 support have cost Apple? Similarly, why not support the latest Bluetooth standard, 5.3, in a newly released speaker, instead of 5.0 from 7 years ago? 
    I was surprised to learn that all Apple Watches only support 802.11b/g/n - - I guess because they're using the same S7 SoC as the Apple Watch, they inherited this limitation. Was also surprised how many devices on my home network are connected at WiFi 4 (or "n").
  • Apple Watch Series 4: Should you upgrade?

    or who wants to fitness-track their sex life, I suppose ...

    Would saying "hey Siri, start a workout" kill the mood? :D   

    With watchOS 5, it will notice you’ve started your workout and tap you to ask if you want to record it. 

  • Apple has most of the elements it needs to create its own search engine

    I think Apple *could* start a search engine but if they wanted to be as valuable to advertisers as Google/Facebook ad markets they would have to indulge in some of the same shady user tracking behaviours.

    With the status quo they get to remain the company of privacy first for their customers while making a huge chunk of money from Google for rent-seeking.