Siri is lousy at its job. That's the conventional wisdom surrounding Apple's digital assistant, which has counted the iPhone as a primary residence since its 2011 debut on the iPhone 4S (really second debut, if you count Siri's previous life as a third-party app). Siri has trouble hearing you, gets a lot of things wrong, and is really only good at telling you the weather. Just ask any iPhone user — whether it's your stepmom, your roommate, or your Lyft driver, the feature they like to complain about most is almost invariably Siri. SEE ALSO: Hey, Siri, Google Assistant is coming to the iPhone — and it's getting smarter The truth is more complicated, of course. Siri has steadily improved over the almost six years of its existence. It can launch apps and control some functionality in them. It speaks 21 languages, including Norwegian. Not to mention that huge "brain transplant" to integrate machine learning so its answers get progressively better at a faster rate. So Siri … [Read more...] about Apple’s next move: Siri needs to move out
Psychological needs definition
Better marketing of successful females in IT is needed to attract women to the industry, according to the first female engineer to become an MP. Claire Curtis-Thomas (pictured), MP for Crosby in Merseyside, said on Wednesday that a positive "psychological impression" was essential if more women were to be attracted to the technology sector. Technology is a sector where many of the visible role models are male. "Even if you represent organisations that cannot attract women, could you not at least show an image of diversity in your publications?" asked Curtis-Thomas, referring to companies' marketing literature. Speaking during a roundtable discussion on the issue of women in IT, convened by IT trade body Intellect, Curtis-Thomas added: "Ditto when you are looking for spokespeople. In IT, we don't tend to talk about things outside of our speciality, [thus ending up with] totally inarticulate, grey-headed baldy gits fronting a youth endeavour when they have … [Read more...] about MP: Tech needs more female role models
Two photos sit side by side on a yearbook page. In one, a teen looks straight into the camera, big grin, eyes twinkling. The second photo shows a less cheerful student. He’s not just unsmiling, but downright grim. So: Who is more likely to announce his divorce at the 20-year class reunion? In this case, the obvious answer is also the correct one: teens with authentic, warm smiles in their yearbook photos are more likely to be happily married later in life. Those with somber or stoic expressions are more likely to divorce. Matthew Hertenstein, an associate professor of psychology at DePauw University, is a leading expert in the field of nonverbal communication and the man behind that yearbook photo research. In his new book, The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are, he explains how silent clues can help us predict everything from election results to IQ scores, company profits — and yes, even marital success. Hertenstein talked to us about this … [Read more...] about Q&A: Matthew Hertenstein, psychology professor, on the science of people prediction
Will the Escape key on computer keyboards soon be...escaping? In a short "Who Made That?" column in the October 7 issue of the New York Times Magazine, writer Pagan Kennedy explored the history and the future of the button emblazoned with the abbreviation "esc." Reading the backstory of the key can help designers and users alike better understand our computing needs and the psychology behind them. The Escape key "says to the computer: ‘Stop what you’re doing. I need to take control,’" as J ack Dennerlein of the Harvard School of Public Health, whom Kennedy cites as a researcher on human-computer interaction, said in the article. In other words, it reminds us that people, not machines, are in charge. The button dates to 1960 and was created by I.B.M. programmer Bob Bemer. It was intended to help programmers switch from one computer language to another. Later, the key evolved and literally became an escape tool: users now press it to stop what function they're … [Read more...] about The Escape button: a key to the psychology of device design?
There is a chip implanted in my hand. I'm serious. Two years ago, a tattooed man backstage at a Berlin tech show used a syringe to insert the chip. The process was no more painful than having my ear pierced, and just as quick. The chip was the size of a grain of rice and gave me a new way to control my phone, but if I'm honest, I underwent the procedure purely for journalistic reasons.Yes, I'll do just about anything for a story. As far as "upgrades" go, it was largely benign and trivial. But some entrepreneurs are looking into augmenting our brains so that we can develop superintelligence. The procedure will likely involve implanting technology into our brains, creating what's known as a brain-computer interface. Think of this as one of the more extreme reactions to the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics, which, depending on whom you ask, is either the best or worst thing to happen to humankind. Tech luminaries such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have issued gloom-and-doom … [Read more...] about As AI and robots rise up, do humans need an upgrade too?
Workouts are just plain easier with music. There have been a slew of studies done on the effects of music on physical performance and conclusions for moderate exercise in general show that working out with some beats can make you run a little farther and feel better about it afterward.Developers are all well aware of the psychology behind this. That said, these aren’t the apps designed to discover new music, so don’t download them for that. If you already have a music streaming service like Spotify, then there’s usually a workout channel or two, and if you actually pay for your streaming you have more control over your track selection and playlists. Songza is another decent streamer that’s often forgotten, but it offers decent workout options. And don’t forget the other biggies, Pandora and Slacker. If you don’t already stream or don’t have a fitness tracker, here are five apps designed specifically to match music with your … [Read more...] about No need to make exercise playlists with these music apps
For parents, it may be the closest thing on Earth to a dance with the Devil — getting your child to go to sleep. Beleaguered mothers and fathers, whose struggles with putting their children to bed ultimately affect their own sleep patterns, must embark on what may well be a millennia-old quest to find ways to quiet their children. But now, a book just may do the trick.No, the book doesn’t emit any magical gasses or come with a vial of sleeping potion. Rather, “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” depends upon a “specific language pattern based on psychological techniques that will help your child to relax and fall asleep.”Swedish author Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin is a man of many talents — not only did he pen this Amazon top-20 bestseller, but he also works as a life coach and professor of communications, and his varied background seems to have played a significant role in the success (both critically and … [Read more...] about Hey parents, need your kids to go to sleep? Try reading them this story
Greg Searle, 35, has 400 friends on Facebook. That seems like an average number for the common Facebook user these days. But Searle was a little less an than your average Facebooker after he promoted to all his friends that he was going to murder people on Facebook, sending a hoard of police officers to his apartment for an eight-hour armed standoff, reports BBC.The events took place last August in Chepstow, South Wales when Searle began acting strange on the social network. After Searle’s mother became suspicious, she called the police on her son which resulted in Searle pointing a gun at officers from his upstairs window. The four officers that arrived decided the situation was getting out of hand, so they called an armed response team complete with bulletproof vests to tackle the challenge.During this time, Searle continued to taunt the situation on Facebook, posting status updates such as “I give you live murder on Facebook. Bet you sick freaks … [Read more...] about Threatening to murder someone on Facebook will most definitely land you in jail
The year of the Linux desktop has long been the unicorn of the open source movement. People have looked for it for quite a long time, but nobody’s ever seen it. But hope springs eternal, and for some the quest for the year of the Linux desktop goes on.One redditor recently asked what needs to change in Linux for next year to become the “year of the Linux desktop.” He got some very interesting answers from his fellow Linux redditors:0Oceanman0: “What do you think needs to change about GNU/Linux in order to make next year, the year of the "Linux Desktop.”Eleventhousand: “I don’t think desktop computing excites many people anymore (unfortunately).It’s still a little bit too inconvenient for laymen. For example, users are used to just pressing “install Windows updates now.” These same users will be lost in Ubuntu when it fails to install updates because there is no room due to a bunch of old kernels taking up space. Linux requires … [Read more...] about How does Linux need to change to achieve the ‘year of the Linux desktop?’
It's February, and you know what that means: You've probably already given up on at least one of your New Year's resolutions.It's not just you. According to this (self-reported, so take it with a grain of salt) 2002 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, over 35 percent of resolution-makers abandon their resolutions after a month.If you're already struggling with that resolution you made on January 1st, we're here to help. Your smartphone is always with you, so what better way to motivate yourself to stick to your goals than with constant reminders and guilt-tripping via apps? Here are 10 apps that will help you lose weight, move more, save money, and even kick your tech addiction.Whether it's five pounds or 50 pounds, losing weight is difficult, especially since the parade of holiday treats is gone and you're now struggling to make "good" decisions when all you really want to do is dive into a bowl of pasta. The main key to losing weight is controlling your food … [Read more...] about 10 apps you need to get your New Year’s resolutions back on track