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  • Apple's 'iPhone 7' lineup said to be waterproof, sport new antenna-concealing tech

    All I want is for them to figure out a way to get rid of that ugly plastic antenna strip on the back and make a truly all metal iPhone. That's all..
    Those are mutually incompatible things though.  An all-metal chasis would not be not radio-transparent.  Physics is physics. 
  • Amazon's top home audio product this holiday was a turntable, besting an Apple AirPlay-compatible r

    The only people who really believe the vinyl is a decent recording medium are those too young to remember what it was like when that's all we had.  I struggle not to laugh out loud when some young hipster is trying to convince me of the superiority of their vinyl records and how they capture the "true sound" of the  artist and all that BS. 

    Speaking as a former owner of a 10,000 record collection (when vinyl was king) ... the sound quality is awful, even a single play of a record basically ruins it, the equipment is ridiculously "fiddly," it also produces heavily distorted sound and is as about far from "archival" as one can get.  

    Even back in the day, a real collector would only play their vinyl record for the one time that was necessary to transfer it to tape or CD.  Then they played the tape or the CD and put the vinyl away.  Vinyl not only sucks, it pretty much always has. 
  • Google rumored to be working on Siri & Facebook-like chatbots for new messaging app

    Siri doesn't do this at all.  "Chat-bot" in this context generally means text not voice. Siri does not do text.  
    Actually Apple has built in "Spotlight" that does text search of local and internet data. THAT is, in my opinion, more of a threat to Google than Siri's searching. However, being able to initiate a search via voice is useful—especially with hands free operation in an automobile, as Google and Apple are driving toward.
    As far as I am aware, Spotlight does not actually search "local and Internet data." It searches local data in that it searches the phone itself of course (not really what you want 99.9% of the time), but it doesn't search the Internet per se nor does it search "local" databases or access such information.  It mostly just presents advertisements for local businesses, services and apps around that search field.  It will pop up links to nearby businesses for example whether they have any relevance to your search or not.  It will also pops up app suggestions that relate to those local businesses, but it's all advertising really.  Again, there is no real relevance to your search or your location other than these adverts. 

    If you want your question to be looked up on the web, you also then still have to select "Search the Web" to get Internet results, which as I have argued above, is an extra step as opposed to merely opening the browser and typing your search in there.  At least that's the way it looks to me.  Perhaps there is a setting which I overlooked?  
  • Google rumored to be working on Siri & Facebook-like chatbots for new messaging app

    patsu said:
    Oh, well true enough.  I don't give a rat's behind about the Google angle.  I would just be interested in a Siri chatbot because of Siri's poor voice-recognition.  

    If I could open Siri and ask a question in text, I could save a HUGE amount of wasted time.  That would be brilliant.  
    Ah, look at Spotlight. It already does natural language search, math, launching app, and also search into app contents like WolframAlpha.
    I agree adding text commands to Spotlight might be useful.

    But Siri voice recognition is very accurate for me.

    I had to go to Settings and set my English accent. Have been using it everyday for navigation, setting reminder, and occasionally text my wife.

    Siri has very very poor voice recognition for me and always has.  I've tried fiddling with all the settings multiple times, but to no avail.  And I have an excellent, clear speaking voice and no accent to speak of of any kind. 

    Like you, I have thought it might be down to accents.  I believe Apple expects you to have a Cockney accent for instance if you set the language to "British English," not realising perhaps that there are multiple English accents and many English and British people around the world who have no accent at all, but merely prefer to use English instead of American.  Its been many years now and my suspicion is that Apple doesn't seem to have made any allowances for the possibility that an American might want "proper" English settings or that a Frenchman might be living in China, but using Belgian language settings etc.  It all seems very crudely done and overly biased towards America as a lot of Apple's things are.  

    Spotlight is a good suggestion and the exact spot in the OS where a "Siri chatbot" should actually be located, but it fails also unfortunately.  All that happens if you type in a question in Spotlight is that it presents you with three options: Search the Web, Search the App Store, and Search Maps.  The last two are things I rarely need and even if I did, I could just search within the actual maps app or the store app.  The "Search the Web" option covers the majority of what Siri does of course, but then I could also just open the browser and search there which would be one step less and give the same result.  

    In other words, when you are using Spotlight, you aren't actually using Siri.  There is no connection to any of the sources that Siri uses to get the answer to your question other than the three manual options which are a waste of time as described.  One is far better off just opening Safari and typing the question into the search bar.  Especially since the vast majority of the time, Siri will just take your mangled request and shoot it over to Safari anyway.   

    Also, you have to turn off "Siri Advertisements" (they call them 'suggestions') to use Spotlight without going insane anyway (at least IMO).  You will be bombarded with massive amounts of useless and irrelevant information otherwise (advertisements for local businesses, apps & app services essentially), even though the results for the search will be the same.    
  • FBR is latest firm to cut iPhone 6s estimates, but expects 'mega product cycle' for 'iPhone 7'

    shard said:
    Traditionally if past releases are a guide, the change in number is always a major release and not just cosmetically.

    Hmmm...I would argue the 5S and 6S were bigger releases in terms of the technology inside than the 5 or the 6. We've had zero rumors about the 7 other than the possibility of removing the headphone jack. So what is this alleged "pent up demand" for other than these Wall Street clowns thinking if the phone doesn't look different people won't buy it.
    I agree.  The whole report seems to be based on the assumption that people will wait for the full number release instead of buying the "s" model release, but the "s" models are generally a better buy.  I would argue that there are many who wait for the "s" models as there are who wait for the full number models.  I have no actual facts to back that up, but I don't think this guy has the facts to back up his contrary claim either.

    I would think (again no facts to back this up) that the majority of people actually buy a new phone when they drop their old one in the toilet or in a bar, or their contract runs out and that very few people actually "wait" for a model of any kind other than pure tech heads.  Mostly people go to the phone store when they need a phone, and the guy at the phone store (it's never a girl is it?), tells them what they should buy.  Typically the shiniest, latest one.