9to5Mac: Is this Siri ‘Assistant’ a big deal?
Norm: Let me first say I have no knowledge of what Apple plans to do with the Siri purchase. I read the rumors just like everyone else and it appears that Apple is getting ready to reveal what it has done with Siri over the past year and a half (we were actually expecting it at WWDC). Make no mistake: Apple’s ‘mainstreaming’ Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I’d go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language. The PAL will get things done and this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’re talking another technology revolution. A new computing paradigm shift.
Watching the keynote, I was pretty disappointed, until the final reveal of the Siri Assistant. I happened to be one of the regular users of Siri before it got picked up by Apple last year, and although it was buggy and clearly called out for deep integration with other apps, the experience was fun and generally produced good results.
I can’t wait to see the Apple-tuned version of this already powerful, exciting application.
Yep. Apple is planning a cloud-based music locker service, which will let users stream their music, over the Web, to different devices.
Which may sound a lot like what Amazon rolled out last month.
From the music industry’s perspective, however, there’s a big difference: Amazon started its service without getting approval from the big music labels. But Apple is actively seeking licenses for its service, and will pay the labels for the privilege.
Except the lack of iOS support, Amazon’s cloud music service is everything I want. I’m fairly certain the Apple service, like Ping, will be primarily written to meet the company’s goals, not the users’.
The most recent of these criticisms arose from an update to the Dropbox Terms of Service to state that if the government asks, it will hand over your files:
All this comes on the heels of a report last week by security engineer Derek Newton that revealed another insecurity in Dropbox. Newton reports that the machine hash — a string that uniquely identifies the computer running Dropbox to their servers — is stored unencrypted and in a standard location on any machine with Dropbox installed. This means that if someone steals that single small file, perhaps by tricking a user into revealing it or through a malware attack, they can copy the machine hash to a computer of their own and download a copy of the entire contents of the Dropbox account in a manner that is almost undetectable to the user.
Beware the cloud?
It’s been two weeks since Amazon launched its cloud-based music service. And Amazon says it’s been a big success–for the music labels.
In a letter sent to the big labels, Amazon says it has been selling more MP3s since it launched the service. In other words: Stop whining about licensing deals and start thanking us for making you more money.
My first encounters with the service were definitely positive. But, where’s my iPhone version??
Even from my short test, it became apparent that Amazon wasn’t launching some half-baked product; Cloud Player is a fully functional, very usable streaming music player that could even make iTunes obsolete for many people, and its ability to play on-device and cloud-based music could quickly make it Android’s killer app.
Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet and set a high bar for cloud-based music streaming. Apple and Google, which are expected to launch their own cloud players sometime this year, will have to match Amazon on usability and price if they’re going to compete.
Very exciting news. But where’s my iPhone app?!
Anyone know if it’s possible to use the in-phone browser to access the Amazon music cloud?
Update: Actually, Mashable says no. But: How to Use Amazon Cloud Player with iOS Devices.
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