Tag Archives: Gadget Features

Barbra Streisand: I called Tim Cook to get Siri to pronounce my name right

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

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It takes just one call to make Siri get it right. Apparently.

Barbra Streisand/VEVO screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Let me tell you about pain.

Actually, let Barbra Streisand tell you.

The renowned singer and occasional actor gave an interview to NPR that was aired on Saturday.

In a surely unrehearsed moment, interviewer Scott Simon asked her about Siri.

Streisand revealed the extreme distress Apple’s personal assistant had caused her.

“She pronounces my name wrong,” she said.

Indeed, her second “s” comes out with a “z” sound when uttered by Siri’s digital chords. Everyone who’s anyone knows that her second “s” should be soft.

This was clearly deeply upsetting to the performer, so she took dramatic action.

“What did I do? I called the head of Apple, Tim Cook,” she said. “And he delightfully agreed to have Siri change the pronunciation of my name finally with the next update on September 30.”

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but you can surely imagine the Apple CEO immediately walking out of a meeting with senior Chinese figures to take her call.

You, too, likely feel La Streisand’s anguish. That an inanimate machine fails to pronounce your name is akin to Clint Eastwood not getting the right response from the chair he sometimes talks to.

Streisand is said to have diva tendencies. She insists that this isn’t true. She has, in the past, described herself as “quite ordinary.”

Dear Barbra, I’d like you to know that your Siri pain is intensely ordinary.

I’ve tried to teach Siri how to pronounce my last name over and over again.

She doesn’t even get close. Her grasp of Polish diphthongs is akin to my local raccoons’ grasp of foreign policy.

It’s not as if she just gets one letter wrong.

When I dictate my name to her, she offers me two versions. Neither resembles the actual pronunciation. One, indeed, is like someone reading each letter individually after seven martinis and a Newcastle Brown Ale chaser.

Dear Barbra, could you pass me Tim’s phone number. I need to do something about this, don’t I?

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/barbra-streisand-i-called-tim-cook-to-get-siri-to-pronounce-my-name-properly/#ftag=CAD590a51e

This ‘Bad Lip Reading’ video makes the DNC seem quite strange

Watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders give speeches about their favorite superheroes, “Game of Thrones,” manservants, wildlife and more.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/bad-lip-reading-democratic-national-convention-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-obama/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Cadillac’s Escala concept is yet another cool flagship it’ll never produce

Study CNET’s top picks for back-to-school tech

Before your student takes on the classroom, why not equip them with some awesome tech to help them?

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/pictures/cadillacs-escala-concept-is-yet-another-cool-flagship-itll-never-produce/#ftag=CAD590a51e

If you can’t legally drink, Facebook has (another) app for you

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Apps like this remind me that I’m old.


In your face, Snapchat!

Kids still say that sort of thing, right?

How about: The ’00s called and they want their app back!

Well, it’s late on a Friday, and Facebook has quietly released a new app, called Lifestage. And while its name might suggest the target market is caterpillars, this is actually for teens — aka not me.

Like other apps not built for me, it’s somewhat confusing. But the gist of it is that you (the younger version of you, who was able to eat french fries dipped in milkshakes any time you damn well pleased) create a profile using your phone number (remember those?) and your name. Then Lifestage has you take photos or videos of various things, with categories such as what you “like” and “dislike,” “how I dance” and “my best friends.”

It also gets into some pretty deep and depressing stuff. One of the prompts asks you to take a photo depicting when you have no money. Another asks about when you’re “in trouble.”

The way you take a photo is by tapping on the screen, which I’m sure the kids all do these days but which took me five whole minutes to figure out. (Thanks, by the way, to Facebook for not having a help page for us olds.)

“Lifestage makes it easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with your school network,” Facebook said in the app description. The company also warns that everything posted to Lifestage is always public, because privacy is for chumps.

The app is free and available for iPhones. A spokeswoman said “TBD” on when it’ll be offered for Android phones.

So why is Facebook doing all this? Well, it’s no secret that Snapchat is a hit, and since the company behind that app rebuffed Facebook’s offer of a buyout, the app has been well and truly becoming an alternative to the world’s largest social network. But there’s more to it than that.

Snapchat’s popularity is also pushing Facebook to branch out beyond its one size fits all, 1.7 billion users design. Facebook’s no-longer-a-teen CFO, David Wehner, said on a July conference call that while youngins use Facebook, it’s not the way you and I do. They’re using other Facebook apps, like Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Generally people aren’t sharing long blog posts about their lives anymore either. They’re sharing quick thoughts, videos and photos. “How they’ve used our service has evolved over the years,” he said, speaking specifically about people half his boss’ age.

So, will Lifestage be the next big thing since Frank Ocean (or whatever other celebrity I haven’t heard of but who’s somehow on the cover of magazines)?

We’ll see.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/lifestage-for-apple-iphone-if-you-cant-legally-drink-facebook-has-another-app-for-you/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Doctors can now prescribe fitness headphones to treat obesity, cancer and diabetes

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Jabra bills its Sport Pulse Special Edition the world’s first sports headphones with automatic fitness testing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The next time you walk into a doctor’s office, you might leave with a prescription for a pair of Jabra fitness-tracking headphones.

It’s part of a global partnership the audio company announced this week with TrainerMD, the first HIPAA complaint software platform that helps doctors monitor patients’ fitness and nutrition in real time.

The 360˚ Health Program makes it easier for physicians, trainers and nurses to collaborate on the needs of patients suffering from obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

Participating patients are prescribed a pair of Jabra Sport Pulse wireless earbuds to incorporate into their exercise routine along with a set of fitness goals tailored to their personal regimen.

The Sport Pulse’s integrated heart-rate monitor gets a reading through the ear and also calculates the patient’s Vo2 Max level, calories and pace during workouts. The data will then get sent to the accompanying medical team via real-time notifications so everyone gets an ongoing status update to manage the health of the patient.

“This is game changer for patients and health care providers across the country,” said Scott Lutch, MD, FACC, CMO, CSCS, NSCA, chief medical officer at TrainerMD. “Not only can patients now educate themselves, but they’re also empowered to take control of their health — and physicians, trainers and nurses are partners in all of that. With the added support of the Jabra Sport Pulse wireless earbuds, meeting individual health objectives is now as easy as listening to music or making a phone call.”

Earlier this week, Jabra announced the next generation of its Sport Coach and Sport Pulse in-ear wireless sports headphones that look similar to the originals, but bundles new eartip options, increased durability and the aforementioned fitness tracking features.

The new Sport Pulse can also save your workout history, update your distance and pace using GPS on your phone, and includes an audio player that taps into your music library to keep you motivated.

The 360˚ Health Program is currently in pre-enrollment and will officially launch this fall.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/doctors-can-now-prescribe-fitness-headphones-to-treat-obesity-cancer-and-diabetes/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Twitter has a new way to make unwanted tweets go away — kind of

Social network unveils new feature that lets users limit the tweets they see to only those sent by users they follow.

Article source: http://www.cnet.com/news/twitter-has-a-new-way-to-make-unwanted-tweets-go-away-kind-of/#ftag=CAD590a51e