Tag Archives: Siri

PTJ 319: Secrets and Lies

El Kaiser and J.D. discuss the recent technology headlines, including Facebook’s wobbly Libra cryptocurrency, yet another iOS 13 update and political chaos around the globe. Also, there’s a giant Ouija board up in Salem, Massachusetts. And, leaving his beloved 3.5-mm headphone jack behind, El Kaiser takes a walk on the wireless side with a pair of Jabra Bluetooth earbuds.
Listen up here in PTJ 319!

PTJ 316: Jacked

As The Summer of 2019 winds down, El Kaiser and J.D. discuss (among other things) the buzz around Apple’s annual fall iPhone event, Twitter’s account security issue with one of its major users, Facebook’s latest attempts at transparency in political advertising and Amazon’s growing video-surveillance network. And, as nerds, we used to always run after the shiny new gadget to have the latest and greatest gear — but have we gotten over that particular fear of missing out? Spin up PTJ 316 to hear it all!

PTJ 315: Rise Up

Hoverboard travel is here! In experimental trips across the English Channel, anyway. El Kaiser and J.D. take off through the week’s headlines, including more accusations of retaliatory workplace culture at Google, the move toward “pay with your face” forms of authentication and requirements for getting one of those new Apple Cards. J.D. also hosts a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint about getting more of that notepad program on your smartphone. PTJ 315 awaits!

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint

PTJ 314: All Aboard the Claim Train!

Pop Tech Jam returns from Summer Vacation Phase 1 to buckets of money from the Equifax data-breach settlement — or alleged buckets of money. While El Kaiser files his Equifax claim online, J.D. serves up the news of the week, including the Fortnite World Cup results, pocket air-conditioners and worrisome multimedia surveillance. And for those who dove headfirst into the Apollo 11 50th-anniversary coverage in July, J.D. has tips on where to find more archival material from that historic 1969 event — and the many other Apollo missions through the years.
Jump on PTJ 314 right here!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Show

The NASA Apollo Mission Archives Online

PTJ 288: Hot New Suits for Fall

It’s not just the leaves starting to waft through the air here in North America — plenty of lawsuits are swirling as well. El Kaiser and J.D.  discuss some of the bigger ones, including legal action aimed at California’s new net neutrality rules and  Facebook’s latest woes. And for those who aren’t fans of the new Gmail web design, J.D. has some tips for making the interface feel more familiar. Click on through to PTJ 288!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Show

The New Gmail Is Here to Stay

PTJ 259: Face Time

Whether it be tech giants facing Congressional committees or the Google Cultural Institute showing people the power of facial-recognition algorithms, El Kaiser and J.D.  have things to say about it all. Also in the mix: Several states and advocacy groups have fired up the Lawsuit Machine and aimed it at the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of the net neutrality rules. Oh, and here are a pair of newsflashes: Apple has lots of money and Facebook maybe didn’t do so much to stop misinformation on its platform last year.  Spool up Episode 259 for the details!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Episode

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint

PTJ 246: What’s the Frequency, Siri?

After a two-week summer vacation, El Kaiser and J.D. return to the studio to catch up on the week’s technology news: Facebook ‘fesses up to a chunk of Russian ad buys during the election, Amazon looks to expand its corporate footprint, researchers have discovered a way to hack most of the popular voice-activated assistant programs by sonic frequency — and the headlines just keep on coming. El Kaiser also previews two new pieces of gear from OWC and Anker for ultrabookers who need to pack their own USB ports and J.D. reports on a couple of scams gaining steam around the Internet. Summer’s over, folks! We’re back to work here on Episode 246!

Links to Stories Mentioned in This Week’s Episode

EL Kaiser’s Gear Preview

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint

PTJ 233: Tweet TV

Twitter continues its experiments with live streaming video, Facebook is handing out coupons, there’s a new flavor of Windows 10 coming to town — and also maybe an Apple-branded talking Siri speaker on the way. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss it all on this week’s episode, while throwing a Tech Term and a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint into this week’s mix as well. Join us!

Links to Stories in This Week’s News Segment

PTJ 202 News: Chew On This

Who says you shouldn’t release new products in August? Google’s all out with the shiny, releasing the final version of its Android 7.0 operating system to compatible Nexus devices. [Sorry about that, Nexus 7 owners.] For a deep review of the new system, check out what Ars Technica has to say. (Hint: Ars Technica has a lot to say.)

Yes, the month of August seems to make everyone want to shop, and not just for Trapper Keepers and sturdy jeans for school. Pinterest just bought the streamlined reader app Instapaper. Microsoft has acquired the firm Genee, which specializes in intelligent scheduling coordination and optimization, or rather, letting bots run your calendar and send you reminders. (In a blog post, Microsoft said it plans to use the Genee technology in its Office 365 suite.) Microsoft is also getting closer to Lenovo, as the China-based hardware company announced plans to preload Microsoft Office mobile apps on certain Android-based devices it sells.

babsAnd Apple’s been shopping too, acquiring Gliimpse, a startup specializing in personal health-data management. Apple also made news recently with the decision to replace the revolver emoji in the coming iOS 10 system with a squirt gun to artistically make a comment about gun violence. The iOS 10 system itself is expected out by the next month and if a certain diva is to be believed, it might just be on Friday, September 30th. Actress and recording artist Barbra Streisand told NPR that she personally complained to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the way the Siri virtual assistant pronounces her name and he agreed to fix it.

No official word on when the annual fall Apple Special Event will be slurping up all the media bandwidth next month. Some observers like WhenIsKeynote.com are going with September 6th, the day after Labor Day, while others predict it’ll be sometime around September 13th. Major iPhone changes are not expected this year and some blogs are already skipping ahead to 2017 with the breathless anticipation of an overhauled handset design, including a curved display not unlike the Samsung Edge.

echoAmazon is looking to grab some more customers by going cheap. The ReCode site hears the übermegaeverything store is looking to launch a cheap streaming music service that only works on its Amazon Echo speaker assistant and may cost about $5 a month.

The state of Massachusetts is taking a stand of its own in favor of a taxi-cab industry that’s been taking it on the chin from ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. As the Reuters news agency reports, the Bay State plans to levy a 20-cent tax per trip on a ride-hailing service and a nickel of that will go right to the taxi industry until the year 2021.

Also taking a stand: Dozens of human rights and civil liberties organizations who have signed a letter protesting the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed plan to screen the social media accounts for foreign visitors to the country. The comment period for the proposal ended on this Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony is getting into downsizing mode with a thinner design for its PlayStation 4 console called the PS Slim.  Sony is said to be planning a media event on September 7th to share the news.

tux25This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Linux operating system kernel. On August 25, 1991, one Linus Benedict Torvalds posted a message in a Usenet group announcing a little project and suffice it to say, some people paid attention.  Here’s to the next 25, Penguin Nation.

The enthusiasm for the Pokémon Go mobile game seems to be fading a bit. Does Pikachu get a third act?

Twitter has finally added that eye-soothing dark night mode to the iOS version of its app. Android users have been enjoying the feature since last month.

The once hot Gawker website shut down for good this week. Gawker’s founder Nick Denton put up one final post.

And finally, after two years in the wilds of space, one of the two Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft, known as STEREO-B, has reestablished contact with NASA after going silent in October 2014. The agency’s website explains how the bond was broken, in case you were wondering. NASA engineers had been trying to get back in touch with the craft for the past 22 months and were finally able to establish a lock on STEREO-B’s downlink carrier on August 21st — thanks to the Deep Space Network array of giant radio antennas. Don’t you go running off again, STEREO-B, you hear?

stereoB

 

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: Sky Talker

Hate pecking away on a tiny glass keyboard? While that sort of thing may be okay for texting and other short bursts of data entry, it can become wearisome when you want to process a significant amount of words.

Voice search and dictation programs have been around for a while, and both Windows and OS X have had their own speech-to-text recognition functions for years. As we all know, Google Now, Cortana and Siri all response to brief voice commands. But if you want to compose that great American Novel on the go, you can do it without having to download a third-party dictation app, thanks to built-in functions you already have on your mobile device — as long as that device is running a fairly recent version of its maker’s operating system.

Both Android and iOS include the dictation feature, but you may have to enable the service in your system settings if you start yapping and nothing happens. Also, keep in mind that in most cases, your words are being sent up to a server in the sky for translation, so manage your own privacy expectations.

In recent versions or Android, you can dictate documents in Google Docs open in the Chrome browser — and even add punctuation and editing by calling out the commands. Just open a Google Doc and either tap the microphone, or go to the Tools menu and choose Voice Typing. Then dictate your thoughts.

voicetype

If you get no reaction from your Android device, do into the Settings app to Language and Input and make sure Google Voice Typing is enabled. You can tap further into the settings there to make adjustments, like activating the ability to record through a Bluetooth headset or to block any offensive words that may (accidentally, of course) slip into your speech while dictating.

On a compatible iOS device, turn on the speech-to-text feature by going to Settings > General > Keyboard. Flip on the button next to Dictation to enable it. Now, when you want to recite a lengthy bit of text in Notes, Mail or another wordy app, tap the small microphone icon that now resides on the iOS keyboard and start talking.

ios

The dictation feature may not be as precise as an real, live human secretary, but it should get you that first draft with a minimum of actual typing. So grab your phone, yell “Take a memo!” as you tap on the microphone and start talking your typing.