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Google & Apple The Battle Is On

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Google says it will beat Apple in the race to turn the smartphone and other devices into intelligent, voice-controlled personal assistants.

The rival technology giants are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in their competing services, Google Now and Siri, and the field is expected to be a major battleground for their mobile operating systems, Android and iOS.

Both Conglomerates have teams of engineers working to crack the problems of making machines understand complex spoken questions and answer them in natural sentences. Google’s goal is to create a service comparable to the computer of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. 

Google Now aims to anticipate what people will want from their smartphone by reading their calendar and emails, and analysing their location. On an overseas trip it will serve up flight information based on booking confirmation emails.

Google Glass, the company’s wearable device, is among the first of a new generation of mobile technology it hopes will get people to talk to its services. Google Now will also target smart watches, cars and the living room, allowing people to ask the television questions.

Apple has apparently recognised Google’s advantage. This month it paid a huge sum to acquire Topsy, a start-up focused on finding patterns in the 500m tweets posted on Twitter every day.

 

 

The Smart Lightbulb

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Kelly Coffey, founder and chief executive of Smartbotics hopes to see the smart bulb in stores by the holiday.
The Robosmart lightbulb works with an app on Apple’s iOS platform for iPhones, iPads and other devices. It allows you to turn the lights on or off, even if you aren’t in your house. Android devices are expected to be compatible with the Robosmart bulbs in the next month. The bulb has a Bluetooth sensor that communicates with the smartphone, and it has a built-in timer that lets you switch on the device from afar. The light bulb has a 10-year life expectancy if used for three hours a day, and it sells for $40. 

 

First Firefox OS Device Will Cost $3 a Month

Mozilla announced the rollout of the first smartphones running its Web-based Firefox OS. The devices are meant to appeal to first-time smartphone buyers who may find the latest iPhone or Android-powered handset too high priced.

Mozilla’s chief technology officer (and the inventor of JavaScript),  said the ZTE Open will be available from the carrier Telefonica in Spain and will cost 69 euros ($90) and include 30 euros of usage credit for prepaid users, as well as a four-gigabyte microSD card. Those with a two-year contract, will pay 2.38 euros ($3.11) per month. Eich also said that both devices will be available in Poland in several weeks.

Smartphones running Firefox OS will be available elsewhere—such as in South American countries—later this year. It is not clear when the devices will go on sale in the U.S.,

Unlike Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS, Firefox OS relies heavily on Web-based apps. The presumption is that this will make it easier for developers to build apps that can work across multiple platforms, and for consumers to get their hands on a lower-cost, but still decent, smartphone (see “The Underdog Operating Systems Set to Shake Up the Smartphone Scene”).

Apple Has Waiting List For Law Officials To Unlock Phones

 

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Apple complies with law enforcement requests, like most big tech companies, to unlock devices or supply data. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was told it would have to be placed on a waiting list along with all the other requests Apple receives. Law enforcement are performing forensic analysis on mobile devices  but iPhones and androids are hard to crack. As CNET reports.

 

 

 

 

 

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