Tag Archives: iphone

Are You Telepathic? Incredible Hack Gives Siri The Ability To Read People’s Minds [Video] | Cult of Mac

**UPDATE of sadness: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2011/11/14/siri-mind-control-hack-fake/ **

Since the advent of the iPhone’s multitouch interface, I’ve been fascinated by technologies that lower the bar between an operator’s thoughts and the actual result within the computer (/device). Before the advent of Siri, I hypothesized that speech input would soon come to replace touch, mainly because touch requires us to change our visual focus from whatever we’re trying to accomplish in the real world, to look down at the screen of our device.

But speech removes that hurdle, enabling a whole new kind of multitasking. Using Siri, I can now place calls, perform web searches (and have the resulting webpages actually ready back to me outloud), play any selection of my music, and much more, simply by raising the device to my head and speaking naturally. The best places to do this? While driving, or cooking – activities I don’t really want to be using a touch interface for (for one, because of safety, and the other, because my fingers are usually covered with olive oil and/or garlic) but which generally provide many opportunities for effective multi-tasking. (“Siri, how many tablespoons are there in three cups?”).

But of course speech inputs for years have had to be “trained” for days, if not weeks, ahead of time, and essentially amount to matching the specific sounds within words to your vocal patterns, a method which is both inaccurate, and slow.

But as this video demonstrates, we’re not too far off from a world where both touch and speech input could be replaced by a direct “thought” interface.

The advantages of that should be obvious: imagine a world with no keyboards or mouses, where your Xbox has no 18-button’ed controller, where composing a letter was a simple as thinking it.

The seamless integration of human thought and computing power will obviate much, if not all, of our current clunky interface systems, and bring the world one step closer to “Snow Crash“.

Co-Founder of Siri: Assistant launch is a “World-Changing Event”

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.

Security researchers find iPhones, 3G iPads track user location

Two security researchers have discovered that iPhones and 3G-equipped iPads regularly record and store location information to a hidden file that is backed up to iTunes and even transferred to new devices. While the information isn’t necessarily accessible to remote hackers, the researchers noted that it does raise some important concerns about privacy.

Researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced this morning that they are presenting their findings at the Where 2.0 conference on Wednesday. “Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,” the pair noted in a post to O’Reilly Radar. “We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.”

Fascinating and creepy. What’s their goal?

Verizon quietly begins throttling data as iPhone launch looms

Verizon has quietly begun throttling the wireless connections of its heaviest data users, the company revealed in a PDF buried on its website (hat tip to BGR). The document explains that Verizon has begun two new network management practices in order to “provide the best experience to our more than 94 million customers,” and that they go into effect starting today, February 3.

Another point of note is Verizon’s position on the latest net neutrality rules. The company sued the Federal Communications Commission last month to block the rules from taking effect, even though they are comparatively light on wireless communications. Still, with the decision to throttle heavy data users, Verizon is obeying what’s outlined in the FCC rules by making sure the implementation is site- and content-agnostic, as well as by being transparent about its practices. The company knows that the move isn’t likely to be popular, so it’s trying to offer as much information as it can so that users can understand better what’s going on behind the scenes.

I’m still standing in line at 6AM to get my new Veriphone! I at least appreciate their transparency about the change.

Oldboy Director Park Chan-wook Shoots His Latest Film on the iPhone

Well-known South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook has shot his latest film entirely on the iPhone 4. The 30-minute short “Paranmanjang,” Korean for “ups and downs,” is fantasy-horror film about a middle-age man who catches a woman’s body while fishing in the middle of the night.

Despite some of the limitations of the iPhone camera, Park said that the device worked well for the filmmaking. The main difference, he said, was the size and portability of the “camera.” Park told The Guardian that “the new technology creates strange effects because it is new and because it is a medium the audience is used to.”

iOS 4.3 To Launch In Mid-December With App Subscriptions

News Corp. has spent the last three months assembling a newsroom that will soon be about 100 staffers strong. The Daily will launch in beta mode sometime around Christmas, and will be introduced to the public on the iPad and other tablet devices in early 2011. It is expected to cost 99 cents a week, or about $4.25 a month. It will come out — as the name suggests — seven days a week. The operation is currently working out of the 26th floor of the News Corp. Building on Sixth Avenue in a space that looks like a veritable construction zone. The staff’s permanent home will be on the ninth floor, and they’ll move down once it’s ready.

Together with details revealed by Fox Business and WWDMedia, the Guardian reported The Daily was the result of a “collaboration that has been secretly under development in New York for several months” between Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch. We speculated that Apple’s involvement in the project might be the first step towards the implementation of iTunes recurring subscriptions for apps.What’s really interesting is the role Apple and iOS are going to play: recurring subscriptions for newspapers might be implemented on a server-side level, on iTunes’ backend, but Gruber speculated they may also require an iOS update to support subscription billing APIs. It is possible that News Corp’s engineers and developers have already been provided these APIs, but it’s important to specify that, according to the rumors, Apple isn’t building an “iNewstand”: instead, it’s a brand new recurring subscription for App Store apps. The Daily will likely be the first app to support it, and this should be announced with a media event.

Hopefully 4.3 will make my iPhone 3G usable again – 4.2 has left it only slightly less crippled than 4.1. Hopefully Apple will collaborate with some non-evil corporations as well.

At least it appears the platform they’re developing will be available to multiple parties in the long run, as opposed to a provider-specific implementation as some very early rumors suggested.  I still believe it’s in Apple’s best interests to approach as many parties as possible with this, though; a News Corp and Apple partnership, for an exclusive and proprietary content and production chain from start to finish, certainly has the distinct whiff of a megamonopoly trust violation to it. Allowing Hollywood to own the studios, and the theaters – thus the entire production chain – didn’t work out very well for them.  Sure, News Corp and Apple are obviously independently owned – but the very fact that Apple is giving them this exclusive access aligns their business interests a little too closely.

More to the point – isn’t Apple missing an enormous business opportunity by not including a few other content pushers here, alongside News Corp?  Do you think they’re making the right call?

Skyfire to Bring Flash Video to iOS Devices

CNNMoney.com reports that a new iOS application from Skyfire that converts Flash-based video to HTML5 has been approved by Apple and will go live in the App Store on Thursday. The app, which will be priced at $2.99, activates a function that allows Flash video content in the browser to be sent to Skyfire’s servers, converted to HTML5, and sent back to the device for display.

So, it may not play games yet, but Skyfire is one giant chink in Apple’s Flash-repelling armor. Looking forward to downloading this Thursday. Thanks to @svartling for the tip.