Friday, August 26, 2016

Siri's Voice to Benefit from Machine Learning Improvements in Apple's iOS 10


Extensive Improvement in Digital Personal Assistant – Siri

When iOS 10 had been introduced earlier in the year by Apple, one of the tent-pole additions in the software of the company had been extensive improvement in the digital personal assistant – Siri. Over the years, Siri has been progressing due to a focus on machine learning and new features combined in the mobile operating system, enabling third party application developers in gaining access on stock apps as well as their features. Siri would be getting a big enhancement with iOS 10 later in the year.

Siri’s voice could be more natural when iOS 10 tends to arrive this fall probably this September owing to its machine learning technology which Apple would be implementing according to an interview disclosed recently. Steven Levy had an impressive interview on Backchannel with various executives of Apple including Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi.

Plenty of focus has been drawn on Siri, with improvements and how it would impact Apple’s progress. The interview did not begin with the statement with regards to Siri but expressed as to why Siri was so important for Apple’s progress and how would the digital personal assistant become over the years as well as why iOS 10 would be a big upgrading over all that has already been upgraded over a period of time.

Replacing Earlier Licensed Implementation

With the release of iOS 10, this fall, Siri’s voice would be the last of the four components which would be transformed by machine learning and a deep neural network is said to be replacing the earlier licensed implementation. Tom Gruber, head of advanced development for Siri, observed that when the responses of the assistant are yet being darned together from the central database of recordings, the machine learning tends to smooth out sentences, making Siri sound much more human.

The robotic- sounding voice of Siri has frequently been deceived and disapproved. Recently singer Barbra Streisand had contacted the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, complaining regarding the way Siri pronounced her last name. Cook had replied that he would look into the problem in the forthcoming update which could have been a situation to the upgrade of Siri. The interview featuring executives such as senior VPs Eddy Cue together with Craig Federighi, observed that Apple had moved the voice recognition of Siri to a neural net-based system.

Enhanced Ability of Siri in Comprehending Commands

It is said that the technology has extremely enhanced the ability of Siri in comprehending commands. Federighi has commented that Apple had plenty of people working on the machine learning technology comprising of not only Siri but also things such as palm rejection for the Apple Pencil, though there is no central machine learning group.

Apple had moved Siri voice recognition to a neural-net based system for US users late one July day which went worldwide on August 15, 2014. Few of the earlier techniques seemed to stay operative, which comprises of the `hidden Markov model, though presently the system leverages machine learning techniques, together with deep neural networks, convolutional neural networks, long short-term memory units, gated recurrent unites and n grams.

Siri will still seem to look the same when users tend to upgrade, though now it has been supercharged with deep learning.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Apple says opening up iPhone NFC would ‘fundamentally diminish’ security as Australian banks resist Apple Pay


Banks Teaming to Get NFC for Digital Wallet Application

Apple has not taken well the way banks have been teaming up to get their own products on the iPhone which became clear when three Australian banks attempted to pressure the tech giant in giving it access to the iPhone’s near-field communication – NFC, chip for their own digital wallet application. NFC enables the user to tap your iPhone at the register in order to pay for the goods and services.

Apple Pay tends to permit iPhone and Apple Watch users in making contactless disbursements at merchandising outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Switzerland and Australia. Users need to just tap their devices on normal merchant contactless terminals for disbursement rather than utilising cash or debit/credit card.

Apple Pay will be coming to the web later in the year, supporting Apple Pay transaction on macOS also. Apple had made a formal complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in reaction to conflict from Australian financial institutions in accepting Apple Pay. Apple has stated that the three largest banks of the country have formed an anticompetitive union and together have been dictating terms of new payment business models such as Apple Pay.

Enabling Banks – Weakens Security

Apple had responded to their request recently with strongly phrased letter which was revealed on Tuesday clarifying that enabling the banks in having their way would essentially weaken the high level of security which Apple has focused to have on the devices.

The NFC of the iPhone is said to be the critical piece of tech which tends to power Apple Pay and the company has kept it under lock and key which is utilised mainly for its own service. Apple Pay introduction had given rise to customer awareness in mobile expenses and hundreds of monetary institutions all over the world have partnered with Apple Pay to enable their customer to connect their bank accounts to their iPhone digital wallets. However, Australia tends to claim of only one participating bank, namely ANZ.

So far Apple has been unsuccessful in negotiating the terms with any of its competitors that seems to be jointly refusing the services.The National Australia Bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp are making efforts of challenging the digital wallet monopoly of Apple on the iPhone by appealing to the regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, of the country.

Regulator to Consider Arguments of Both Group

They desire approval to negotiate with Apple with the expectation of installing their own mobile payment scheme on the device. However, Apple is not having any of it and in its letter to the regulator has send a warning to the banks that it would not permit external parties to control its future hardware and software verdicts, particularly when they team up against the company.

It reads thus “allowing the banks to form a cartel to collectively dictate terms to new business models and services would set a troubling precedent and delay the introduction of new, potentially disruptive technologies”.

The complete letter also comprises of specific legal arguments by Apple on why the requests of the banks should not be taken ahead by the ACCC. After August, the regulator would begin to consider the arguments of the groups from both ends inclusive of Apple and the banks. No comments have been provided from the representative of the banks, to the requests for comment.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Apple Said to Plan First Pro Laptop Overhaul in Four Years

mac pro

MacBook Pro Laptop – Thinner/Touch Screen Strip/Powerful/Efficient

According to some source, Apple is organizing its first significant overhaul of its MacBook Pro laptop line in over four years and will be utilising one of its older products in helping to reverse two quarters of sliding sales. The latest notebooks would be thinner, comprising of a touch screen strip for function keys and would be provided with more powerful as well as efficient graphics processors for expert users like video gamers, as per unnamed source.

The updated computers is said to be in advanced testing since early this year within Apple, as reported by some source who did not wish to be identified discussing the product before its release. As per some source, the MacBook Pros are not likely to be unveiled at an event which has been scheduled for September 7 to introduce the next-generation versions of the iPhone.

Spokesman Bill Evans of Apple refrained from commenting. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple signalled the tablets as probable laptop replacements by stating the iPad as a `post-PC’ device when it had been launched in 2010 though products such as the MacBook Pro had portrayed amazing flexibility. The sales of Macs inclusive of Pro line had ascended by 6% to $25.5 billion in the last fiscal year, while iPad sales fell 23% to $23.2 billion.

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes

MacBook Pro’s overhaul this year is targeted at increasing notebook sales at a time when consumers seem to be taking longer in buying or replacing iPads. Apple research has advised customers to upgrade iPad approximately every three years, while purchasing new iPhones every 18 to 24 months as per source familiar with the strategy of Apple.

This helps in understanding why iPad sales had tumbled from a peak in 2013. The most noteworthy addition to the latest MacBook Pro is a secondary display directly above the keyboard which tends to replace the standard function key row. As an alternative to physical key, a strip-like screen would be functioning on an as-needed basis which seems to fit the present job or use.

The smaller display would be utilising Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, which is thinner, lighter with a sharper screen technology, as per Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst of KGI Securities who mentioned it earlier this year. The objective of Apple with regards to the dedicated function display is to simplify keyboard shortcuts which is usually utilised by experienced users.

Casing – Shallower Curves Around Edges

The panel is said to theoretically portray media playback controls when iTunes is open though it would be displaying editing commands such as cut and paste during word processing work, according to some source. Moreover the display would also permit Apple to add new buttons through software updates instead of, through more costly slower hardware recharges.

The new top-of-the-line MacBook Pros would be slightly thinner than the prevailing models though are not narrow like the MacBook Air and modern 12-inch MacBook, according to sources. The fresh MacBook Pros have a smaller footprint than the present models and the casing tends to have shallower curves around the edges.

The source had also informed that the pressure-sensitive trackpad also seemed to be slightly wider. The new design would comprise of USB-C technology, a multifunctional kind of port which can manage charging, data transfers and display connectivity. Apple is also considering gray, gold and silver colours to its new line of product like the other products such as iPhone, iPad and the 12-inch MacBook. I

t is not known whether the coloured Pro laptops would be made available when the new line would be released.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Faster Apple Watch 2 With GPS to Launch Later This Year

Apple Watch

Of news and rumours about Apple watch 2

We may already know a great deal about the next iPhone already, however, details of a possible Apple Watch upgrade have been on show by their absence keeping in mind the original model was declared more less two years ago. An investor note sent out by Ming-chi Kuo, a well-connected analyst obtained by Apple insider and Mac Rumors gave us the first clue of what Apple has in hoard. It is believed that for 2016 Apple was planning two new models of the watch.

The greater update, called Apple Watch 2as of now, will apparently have the same common design as the present watch, but will comprise of new interior mechanisms like a GPS radio, a barometer, a sleeker display and a new and a more rapid, 16nm processor from TSMC. These features demand a greater battery life according to Ming-chi, inhibiting Apple from reducing the device’s dimensions. The second Apple Watch of 2016 won’t have much of an upgrade.

According to the note, it will not have Apple Watch 2’s new features, and the built-up design will remain the same with a few updated constituents. It may set a price cut for the series. Also, an additional model having a parallel form factor is anticipated to be launched next year in conjugation with LTE support, if one is waiting for a more significant design renovation, temporarily, Kuo debates that she doesn’t think it will happen up to 2018.In around a month’s time, Apple will possibly hold an event to launch this year’s iPhone. Any new Apple Watch models to be launched will be done at the same event.

Features of Apple watch 2

Rendering to a recent report, Apple Watch is rumoured to come with micro LED panel size varying from one to hundred microns. The production costs of these are higher than that of the OLED panels, and the usage of these could indicate to a slimmer and greater battery competent device.

While Apple fans look forward to the next Apple Watch, Cupertino keeps pushing updates to present models. Watch 0S 3 is scheduled to be launched this autumn, proudly publishing rapider app load times all credit to the new ‘dock,’ which can immediately unveil integral and third party programmes.

Pressure on Apple

Apple Watch continues to maintain their position at the top for selling smartwatch in the world, data from IDC declared. Apple’s dominance of the market of smartwatch is so solid that if the sale of their devices takes a turn south, it results in a poor quarter for the entire chain.

In accordance to the data by IDC, 1.6 million watches in q2 of 2016 where shipped by Apple, which has been the first time where deliveries have plunged for the company. The senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, Jitesh Ubrani said that, ‘Apple yet manages to maintain a noteworthy lead in the market and unluckily a drop for Apple indicates to a drop in the whole market. Every vendor goes through comparable challenges related to style and functionality, and although improvement is expected next year, growth in the remaining of 2016 will mostly be subdued.’

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note7 Launch Reveals It Will Hit Australia before Apple’s New iPhones

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 – Pre-order Hits – Free 256GB Memory Card

Samsung, one of the major smartphone manufacturers in the world has launched a belligerent pitch for new users with an eye scanning, water-resisting, curved screen phone which is likely to arrive in Australia a few weeks before the new iPhone of Apple.The Galaxy Note 7 of Samsung, the new flagship smartphone would be appearing in stores on August 19 though the company has already informed buyers of probable pre-order hits due to a free 256GB memory card offer together with exceptional demand from telcos.

The company had also revealed its new flagship phone in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom recently portraying a big-screen device which seems to be lighter than its precursor but with more storage, water resistance together with security features which comprise of an iris scanners that functions through spectacles and contact lenses.

The Note 7 is said to be the first phone of Samsung which would be featuring an eye scanner for the purpose of security besides the phone’s fingerprint scanner. In order to scan the eyes of the user, the smartphone tends to utilise a third camera having an infra-red beam to capture the detecting features in the irises.

Eye Scanning Technology – Most Secure Safeguarding Information

The scanner seems to function about 30cm away from the face of the user and thereafter the initial scan will ascertain the eyes of the user through clear prescription glasses or contact lenses. Phil Newton, chief marketing officer of Samsung Australia had stated that the eye-scanning technology was the most secure in safeguarding information in a smartphone and could be utilised also in locking down individual files or app in a Secure Folder feature within the phone.

 He commented that one does not have to use the iris scanner but it is the easiest way of locking things away. History tells that Note user have intense security requirements. Mr Newton had informed that the Note 7 would also report problem from the last model which had restricted users to only 32GB storage with no space for a memory card. He further added that the big call out for them in the Note 5 was that it has lost the capacity to extend storage which had been the huge issue for Note users and so they brought it back. As a pre-sales offer they will be giving away a 256GB card.

Launching Redesigned Gear VR Headset

He informed that the memory card for $300 would be made available with pre-orders between 5 to 18 August and demand from Australian phone carriers had been `far exceeding supply. Newton also mentioned that based on the present demand the phone, most likely would sell out.

Samsung would also be launching a redesigned $159 Gear VR virtual reality headset with the Note 7 and the phone would also be featuring a new USB-C connection. Foad Fadaghi, managing director of Telsyte had stated that Samsung Note 7 launch date would provide the company with a lead of a month on the impending iPhone launch of Apple and was a strategic move to win added attention.

He also stated that it is straight from the playbook from Samsung in trying to surpass Apple by proclaiming its handset a month earlier. According to Canaly, sales of Apple iPhone had dropped in the second quarter of the year, to 40 million handsets worldwide. The company claimed top spot with 80 million smartphones sold after the launch in February of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dota 2 Fans Now Able To Watch Games via VR

Dota 2

Dota 2 online gaming

The VR hall allows people to view the game with friends and can be also provide a ground view. Dota 2 online game followers can now view the largest match of the world battle by the means of digital certainty. The VR hub of Dota 2 could be downloaded free, now available under the DLC men in the game, which permits you to begin the game in virtual authenticity. The game cannot be played directly; nevertheless, you can view full size forms of the characters in the game to view as well as to observe live or recorded matches in the past of Dota 2. And doing so is enchanting.

The owners of HTC Vive headset received an update which allows them to watch via a ‘spectator hub.’ With its help, the respective players can view by moving around the in-game battle arena or via a huge virtual screen, as the players battle.Just before the International e-sports tournament commenced, the hub had been released, in which a Dota players battle to win a prize amount of $18m (£14m). Dota was created by Valve, a game developer, which is also a main partner in the establishment of the Vive headset. Dota 2 in which there are two teams, each consisting of five players, battle to control a small map, is an arena based battle game.

Complete control

The system of Valve’s hub gyrates around a simulated ‘lobby’, with the help of which, players are allowed to view an archived match or view a tournament, simultaneously as it is played. Along with that, this hub also allows the HTC Vive owners to arrange a lobby exclusively for themselves and for 16 others max.With the help of voice chat, these players can travel around the lobby and interact with other players, who like them, are virtually present.

The people or players per say, as displayed as disembodied facades and their hands as shown as gloves by the system. The system allows the viewers to watch the characters which are controlled by the players battle against each other and also against the sycophants controlled by the computer. People can either view the game from overhead or are even given the option to dive down to floor level, once in the game.

“Anybody viewing Dota games through the in-game system, would come across a sharp ‘learning curve’ in get acquainted with the animation created by the angles of the camera” was mentioned on the new site by a reporter named Sam Machkovech. Nonetheless, he also stated that, with regards to the spectating system, his early experiences were ‘totally comfortable.

“This mind-boggling idea of an in-game broadcasting analysis in leagues of professional sports has been a dream for many people. However, as an alternative for having complete control of how we view Messi or Lebron, viewers would be able to do that for the likeness of Admiral Bulldog and Dendi” he said.The tournament in 2015 was won by US Dota2 team, called Evil Genuises, who bagged more than $6.6m (£5m) as cash prize.