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At the movies with ZDNet Australia

What's the worst tech movie ever made? Why won't the PlayBook get cheaper? Will you have IT assets left next year? Why is your iPhone 4S being annoying? What would it have been like if Steve Jobs had killed people for their ideas? Technolatte is answering the questions you never knew you wanted to ask this week.

December 8, 2011

Apple introduces voice recognition app

Apple's Scott Forstall shows off Siri, the company's new voice recognition-enabled personal assistant for the iPhone 4S. The new software will allow you to ask for help and will respond back to you in human-like language.

October 4, 2011 by

You go MeeGo today?

You may well ask whether, with all the excitement concerning Android and sales of the iPhone, there remains much developer oxygen with which to power MeeGo.

March 31, 2010 by

Senators ask FCC to look into iPhone-AT&T exclusivity

With rumors flying about that Apple plans to open up the iPhone to Verizon as well as AT&T, four Senators are calling on the FCC to investigate exclusive mobile deals like the iPhone deal and Verizon (doh!) Sprint's exclusive access to the Palm Pre, Reuters reports.

June 15, 2009 by

Speak into your iPhone for fast Google search results

Google continues its efforts to optimize the mobile experience on the iPhone with their new speech recognition search application that will lets iPhone users ask questions verbally and receive back Google search results. This new search functionality will also take advantage of the iPhone location-based technology and sometimes give you back local results. Other recent improvements in Google services include new search results pages optimized for the iPhone and Google Earth for the iPhone.

November 13, 2008 by

Wii vs. iPhone - Which was the biggest hit of 2007?

When people ask me about the tech highlights of 2007, two products stand out from the crowd - Nintendo's Wii games console and Apple's iPhone. Both these products have enjoyed stratospheric levels of hype which has resulted in very strong demand, but which product was the biggest hit of 2007?

December 9, 2007 by

Web 2.0 Summit - reflections after a trans-Atlantic flight and a day off!

Last week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco was pretty intense, all things considered. It's therefore lucky that this week is the Half Term school holiday in this particular corner of the UK, and peppered with days off to do various non-work things.During the conference (sorry, 'summit') I managed to live-blog most of the sessions I attended, and the corpus can be found here. O'Reilly/CMP are also doing a great job of getting session videos up.Now I've had time to reflect without the need to type and listen and keep an eye on the office, what were the trends and highlights for me?I noticed two big switches since 2005 when I last attended this particular gathering. Firstly, although I didn't see much evidence of a credible alternative, there was far less of an assumption that Google AdWords were the business model of choice. And secondly the lobby conversations just seemed much less desperate than last time, when everyone and everything was frenetically for sale.The iPhone was everywhere. I saw lots of people using Apple's latest, but don't think I saw anyone actually talking into the thing, which means that Nokia's phone-less (?) alternative may do well. We get iPhones in the UK in a couple of weeks, and Talis will be raffling one at our conference the week before that launch. Something tells me that my chances of winning that iPhone are about as high as those for Nokia to send me an N810.There seemed less of an emphasis upon scheduled evening entertainment than previously. Richard MacManus comments on this, too. From my perspective it was a good thing, as it made my packed schedule of dinner engagements (and a trip to a real San Francisco home) so much easier to manage. In many ways, these (including one with Mr MacManus) were the highlight of the trip.The main auditorium was a truly unpleasant place to spend time; way too crowded. The overflow room upstairs was a far better bet, complete with comfy sofas, power, wifi (which you could also get downstairs, if your battery was up to the job), and easy access to food and drink. It would have been nice to be able to ask questions with a video link to the sweatshopauditorium downstairs that was bi-directional, though. A second display showing the whole stage would also have been good. The main monitor kept zooming in to provide detail on faces/slides etc; it wasn't always focussed on the thing I considered important.So what about the meat?Well, in case you hadn't noticed, Facebook is going to be big. I don't just mean suggestions that Zuckerberg may be 'selling himself short' at a mere $15bn, or evidence that Facebook's platform is delivering profit for third party developers. More than both of those, there was an underlying - often implicit - recognition that growth opportunities lie in pushing content and functionality off our individual websites and into the cloud. Although I've argued before that Facebook is a very long way from being open, it's 'Platform' remains a compelling example of ways in which external content can be aggregated and consumed elsewhere. Imagine what would be possible in a more open ecosystem, an ecosystem of which Facebook could be a part? Were others (MySpace, anyone?) to seed such an ecosystem whilst Facebook remained off to one side, would the rate of fall in Facebook numbers equal or exceed their recent growth?'Semantic' has arrived; the Metaweb/ Radar Networks/ Powerset pow wow with Tim O'Reilly (pictured) on the final afternoon was great, and was just beginning to go places when they ran out of time. More debate and analysis would have been nice, with (a lot) less demo. This was followed up by John Doerr recognising the whole space as a compelling investment opportunity, echoing trends that Brad Feld highlighted in his recent podcast with me. I found Danny Hillis' explicit distancing of himself from the Semantic Web odd (Shelley just found it funny...); I'll admit that I've done a little of the same, but more to demonstrate that there is plenty that the Semantic Web's building blocks (RDF, GRDDL, etc) can do right now, without needing to await the arrival of The Semantic Web. We do need to find better ways to describe this space, though; 'Web 3.0' can be unnecessarily confrontational/epochal, and 'Semantic Web' carries way too much baggage...Jonathan Zittrain had some interesting things to say, and they're not nearly as contrarian as they might at first have appeared.Mary Meeker was good value, as always... although impossible to blog! I was surprised by the lack of reaction to her figures illustrating the fall in US growth, relative to competitors to the east.The Launch Pad, that gathering of exemplary startups, was hugely disappointing. I can't believe that was the cream of the crop.Gene sequencing needs to be watched... very closely.Real people don't think (quite) like geeks and venture capitalists! Craigslist, rejoice...(Almost) everyone had a Platform, with some more black hole sucking-ish than others. It does appear, all too often, that the web is actually becoming less open than it has been of late. All these Platforms are sucking data and users and developers to themselves, and letting very little flow back out. It certainly fulfils short-term goals around eyeballs, advertisers, and the like. But it's bad for the web and, in the long term, it's got to be bad for (most of?) the guilty.(Almost) everyone was recognising the power of intention/attention, and seeking ways to implicitly or explicitly harness both. Social and semantic graphs have something to say, here.Photograph © James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media

November 1, 2007 by

iPhone is Not a SmartPhone

iPhone is Not a SmartPhoneBy: Eric Everson, Founder - MyMobiSafe.comThe saga continues as hackers continue to peel away the intricacies of the iPhone, prompting many to ask why hacking the iPhone has become so important.

July 16, 2007

iPhone for president!

With the iPhone line wrapped around the block at the downtown San Francisco Apple store, CNET's Tom Merritt got to ask eager buyers just how much they expect to love the device.

June 29, 2007 by

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