Yesterday, Apple Insider published an interesting story about Apple’s application for a “smart dock” which would listen in on your daily activities, and allow a docked device to use Siri to accomplish various tasks.
On the one hand, it sounds a little bit creepy (Apple already knows way too much about me without Siri constantly listening in), but on the other hand, there are lots of great use-cases. Activating music playback comes to mind, as well as being able to read and answer messages and emails via voice while doing the dishes, for example.
It’s an interesting idea that could have a wide range of applications. As published in the patent application, the device seems to be essentially a smarter speaker dock, but I for one would love to see an option for a speakerless version that could be integrated into an existing home stereo setup.
If you’re interested in peeking behind the curtain at other ideas that Apple is chewing on, check out Patently Apple.
Over at Ars Technica, there’s an in-depth look at the Macintosh TV. No, not the Apple TV—that’s something completely different.
If you weren’t an Apple nerd 20 years ago, you probably don’t know much about the fabled (and failed) Macintosh TV. It was a boxy, jet-black all-in-one Mac that came with all the bells and whistles of the time: a 32 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, 5 MB of RAM (which you could boost to a whopping 8) 160 MB of internal hard drive storage, and a 14″ 640×480 Sony Trinitron Monitor.
Oh, and there was the black box’s killer feature: a built-in TV tuner! But this was the olden days, of course, so you could watch TV or putter around in System 7.1—but not both at the same time.
You can read more about the Macintosh TV experience over at Ars, or check out this in-depth Macintosh TV restoration, complete with pictures.
Saying that they “still have a lot to cover,” Apple recently invited a select group of the tech press to an event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco next Tuesday.
While the invitation gave little in the way of clues, it’s almost a sure bet that Mavericks and new iPads will be on display. But there are also rumors circulating about an updated Apple TV, and the Mac Pro that was teased at WWDC this year.
If you want to dive into the rumor pool, check basically any tech site on the internet, but The Verge has a concise roundup of what Apple fans might see next week. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, over at CNET, you can take a gander at Apple event invitations through the years
In 1984, the original Macintosh was a revolution in computing. From the provocative ad to the cutting edge interface, the Mac represented the future of technology. One of the marquee features of the new machine was an app called MacPaint, which cost $195 at the time, in a bundle with MacWrite.
Of course, by today’s standards, MacPaint was an incredibly primitive graphics program. But at the time, the idea that a computer and a mouse could create images that you could save and re-use in other applications was nothing short of amazing…and it kick-started the Mac’s reputation as the go-to machine for graphic designers and other people who work in visual mediums.
MacPaint was discontinued in 1988, but thanks to CloudPaint you can take MacPaint for a spin in your web browser. It’s a whole lot of retro bitmap monochrome fun. Although, we’re glad we have some better design tools at our disposal now:
Siri is one of those iOS features that I never thought I’d need…until I started using it. Now, I use Siri several times a day to do everything from checking to see if there’s a baseball game today (useful for planning transit trips) to setting a timer for my morning tea. I use Siri to check weather for upcoming trips, and to send text messages when I’m driving or otherwise have my hands full. But I never really thought about who the “real” Siri was until today.
According to CNN, the voice of Siri is Susan Bennett, a voice actor from Georgia. Though Apple won’t confirm it, Bennett says she recorded the voice eight years ago, not knowing at the time that she’d end up interacting with millions of iPhone users on a daily basis.
In 2005, Bennett spent four hours a day for the entire month of June recording “nonsensical words and phrases” which were then isolated and digitized, where they were used as the building blocks for Siri’s signature sound. You can read more about the process, and see & hear the real Siri over at CNN.com.
PS: Best Buy is having an iPhone 5c sale…but you’ve got to be quick!
It’s only offered in-store, but Best Buy is offering a $50 gift card that you can use on the spot to cut the price of a new 5c down to $49. If you’re planning on buying a 5c this weekend, you might want to check Best Buy before heading to Apple or your carrier’s stores.
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