Weekly Round Up 9/7/18

 

Especially coming from a guy as corrupt at Ajit Pai…

The FCC chief’s call for cracking down on tech companies is not only laughable, it’s the ‘height of hypocrisy’

 

Here’s hoping one of them is designed to keep the Kardashians off the air…
10 Takeaways From Variety’s Entertainment and Tech Summit

 

The red tape alone is ging to take a millenium to get through…
A 22-year Apple veteran explains why Silicon Valley’s ‘fast fail’ approach won’t work with health tech

 

We were fools to think it could.

Now We Know Tech Won’t Save Us

 

Watson, you sneaky, little bastard…
IBM used NYPD surveillance cameras to develop facial recognition tech

 

If it helps produce more “People of Walmart”, it’s all good…
Exclusive: Walmart’s Tech Arm is Adding 100+ Jobs in Reston

 

Who needs eyesight when you’ve got Alexa & Siri?
Small screen, big problem: what tech is doing to your eyesight

 

I’m sorry, what did you say? I was checking my Facebook…

Google researchers say the tech industry has contributed to an ‘attention crisis’

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How to: Teach Siri to Pronounce Names, Learn Nicknames

Need to teach Siri how to pronounce a name or understand a nickname in your contacts list? You can train her to better understand your commands on iOS.

By Lance Whitney of PCMag.com

Are you tired of Siri mangling the names of people in your contact list? Siri can get vexed and perplexed by names that aren’t easy to pronounce, but you can fix her mistakes so your friendly, neighborhood voice assistant learns the right way to speak the names of family, friends, and other folks.

Siri can also get confused when you try to call or text someone in your contact list when you try to use a nickname. You can train Siri about pronunciations and nicknames on your iPhone or iPad, but the process will need to be repeated for both devices. Luckily it works the same no matter what you’re using.

 

Pronounce First Name

Let’s say you’ve asked Siri to call or send an email or text message to someone, and in so doing, Siri mispronounces the name. Activate Siri again and say: “You pronounced it wrong.” Siri asks how you pronounce the person’s first name. Tell her, and she’ll display a list of options, asking you to choose the right one. Tap on each option to hear how the name will be pronounced. If none of the options sound right, tap on the link to “Tell Siri again.” Siri asks you to say the name again, then displays another list of options. Again, tap on each one to hear it and then tap on Select to choose the best one.

Pronounce Last Name

Next, Siri asks how you pronounce the person’s last name. Pronounce the name for Siri. She displays the list of options. Tap on each one to hear it. No good? Tap on “Tell Siri again” and repeat the name. Tap on each of the new options and tap Select to choose the best one. If the person has a middle name, Siri will ask you how to pronounce that as well.

 

Teach Siri With a Direct Command

Alternatively, you can say: “Hey Siri, learn to pronounce name of contact.” Siri goes through the same steps, asking how to pronounce the first name and then the last name by prompting you to select the best option for each.

 

Enter Phonetic Spelling

If you can’t get Siri to pronounce the name by voice, then you may have better results diving into the person’s contact information and spelling the name phonetically. Launch the Contacts app, open the person’s entry, and tap on Edit in the upper-right corner. Swipe down the contact page until you see the link to add field. Tap on that link. At the Add Field page, tap on the entry for Phonetic first name.

Finalize Phonetic Spelling

In the Phonetic first name field, type the name phonetically as best as you can. You may want to look up the name in a dictionary or search online to see how it’s spelled phonetically. Swipe down the screen, tap on add field, and tap the field for Phonetic last name. Type the last name phonetically in the appropriate field. Tap Done. You can then ask Siri to show you contact information for that person, and Siri will now pronounce the full name.

 

Pronouncing a Company

You can extend this process beyond a person’s name to the name of a company. The contact information for a company includes a field for Phonetic company name. Add that field. Type the name phonetically, and Siri should learn the right way to pronounce it.

 

Nicknames

What if their names are pronounced correctly, but Siri is having trouble telling people apart. This is where nicknames become handy.

Let’s say you ask Siri to call or text someone by saying his or her first name, for example, “call John,” and there’s more than one John in your contact list. Siri will ask which John, displaying and speaking the possible choices.

If you want to avoid all that, simply giving the contact’s last name will allow you to identify the correct contact quicker. As a warning, this method works best for last names that are different from the first names of other contacts. If you have more than one contact with the same last name, Siri will still ask you to specify the correct person.

Set a Relationship

Maybe you want to call or text a family member or relative but want to refer to that person by the relationship rather than his or her name. Here, you have a few options. Say: “Hey Siri, call Dad.” The first time you do this, Siri asks for your father’s name. Give her the name, and Siri then asks if you want to remember that person as your father. Say yes. From then on, ask Siri to “Call Dad” or “Call my father,” and she’ll know who to contact.

You can also give a nickname to a specific person based on your relationship by explaining it to Siri. Say: “Siri, wife’s name is my wife” or “husband’s name is my husband” or “son’s name is my son.” Siri asks if you want to remember that the person you named is your wife or husband or son. Answer yes, and Siri records the relationship in your entry in the Contacts app. You can extend this to friends, cousins, doctors, dentists, and other people in your life.

Set a Relationship With a Direct Command

You can also give a nickname to a specific person based on your relationship by explaining it to Siri. Say: “Siri, wife’s name is my wife” or “husband’s name is my husband” or “son’s name is my son.” Siri asks if you want to remember that the person you named is your wife or husband or son. Answer yes, and Siri records the relationship in your entry in the Contacts app. You can extend this to friends, cousins, doctors, dentists, and other people in your life.

Manually Set Relationship

Alternatively, you can go directly to your entry in the Contacts app to create a nickname. Launch Contacts and open your own entry. Tap on Edit. Swipe down the screen and tap on the button for “add related name.” Tap on the term that best describes the relationship, e.g., mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, manager. Then tap on the info button next to Related Name and select the contact you want to associate with the term you selected.

Set Custom Label

If none of the existing terms are a good match, tap the entry at the bottom to “Add Custom Label.” Type the term you want to use, such as Accountant. Tap Done. Then tap on the Info button next to Related Name and select the contact name for your accountant. Tap Done.

Remove a Nickname

What if you need to change or remove a nickname? No problem. You can tell Siri: “Joe Smith is no longer my accountant” or “Jane Doe is no longer my boss.” Siri asks if you want her to remember that information. Tap or say yes. If the nickname is saved in your entry in the Contacts app, just edit your entry and tap on the Delete button to remove the nickname and relationship.

How do you feel about Siri’s ability to learn? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 3/23/18

 

 

Apple’s looking pretty good right now, huh?
Facebook scandal could push other tech companies to tighten data sharing

Facebook may have just pushed our society back to the dark ages where tech is concerned.
It’s Not Just Facebook. The Big Tech Revolt Has Begun, Says Nomura

#deletefacbeook
The new tech divide: social media vs. everyone else

I thought I did. I didn’t.
Want to #DeleteFacebook? You Can Try

Um, they’ve never been held accountable for anything until now. How can it get worse?
Big Tech’s accountability-avoidance problem is getting worse

After the story of what Facebook did broke this week, there was no way this bill wasn’t going to pass…
Senate passes sex trafficking bill in defeat for weakened tech industry

I weep for our future.
People were asked to name women tech leaders. They said “Alexa” and “Siri”


Right, because they’ve proven so trustworthy with normal data….(eye roll)

Tech company using facial recognition technology to combat revenge porn


Oh, good. We found him.

This White Tech Guy Has an Idea to Make Tech Less White

Weekly Round Up 3/16/18

 

 

Will we see a $1500 iPhone later this year because of it? That’s the real question.
Trump’s tech tariffs may lead to higher prices for US consumers.

What do you want to bet Trump tries to impose tariffs on blockchains next?
Huawei Is Building Tech That Can Stress Test Blockchains.


Um…Denny’s should just focus on not serving me a plate of salmonella with a side of racism.

Every Restaurant Wants to Be a Tech Company Now—Even Denny’s

As they should…
Tech’s biggest leaders pay tribute to Stephen Hawking

Which is why I have my Siri set to be male and British.
Fun fact of the day: Voice recognition tech is naturally sexist

I feel like this is not really news. I assumed all facilities that size are using Facial Recognition as a form of security. Then again, maybe I’ve seen too many episodes of Homeland.
Madison Square Garden Has Been Secretly Using Face Recognition Tech: Report

Silicon Valley will blame our Tech Addiction on anything if it’ll take the scrutiny off of them.
Has dopamine got us hooked on tech?

Yeah, I think I’ll wait for version 2.0…
A startup is pitching a mind-uploading service that is “100 percent fatal”

 

How to: Set a Timer on HomePod

 

By Juli Clover of Mac Rumors

HomePod has built-in Siri functionality, which means it can be used to do a lot of the same things that can be done with an iPhone or an iPod, like setting an alarm or a timer.

If your HomePod is in the kitchen, setting a timer while cooking can be useful, and it’s as simple as using a single Siri command.

All you need to say is “Hey Siri, set a timer for X amount of time”

You can set a timer for a select number of minutes or hours, with a maximum timer limit of 24 hours. If you ask Siri to set a timer for longer than 24 hours, Siri will suggest you use a Reminder instead.

If you need to know how much time is remaining on the timer, you can ask Siri a question like “Hey Siri, how much time is left on the timer?” and Siri will give you a time update.

When the time is up, the HomePod will play a sound. To stop the timer sound, you can either tap the top of the HomePod or ask Siri to stop it.

Turning Off the Timer

At any point while the timer is running, you can ask Siri to turn it off with a command like “Hey Siri, turn off the timer” or “Hey Siri, pause the timer.”

You can also change the timer countdown with a command like “Hey Siri, change the timer to 10 minutes.”

Timer Limitations

Unfortunately, you can only set one timer at a time. If you attempt to set a second timer while the first timer you set is still running, Siri will say “A timer is already running at x minutes. Would you like to replace it?”

There’s also no way to view or manage your HomePod timers on an iOS device like there is with alarms — timers on HomePod all handled via voice with Siri.

Do you have a favorite HomePod Tip? Tell us about it in the comments below!

How to: Use Type to Siri on Your Mac

 

By Charlie Sorrel of Cult of Mac

Type to Siri isn’t just for iOS 11. You can also turn on this super-useful feature on your Mac if it’s running macOS High Sierra. Type to Siri lets you do everything you can with normal Siri — call people, send iMessages, look stuff up on the web, do math, set reminders, and so on — only you type the command into a box instead of saying it.

Type to Siri is classified as an accessibility feature, but it’s useful for anyone who works in a busy office, or just feels like a dork when they talk to their Mac.

How to enable Type to Siri on Mac

To enable Type to Siri, head to the System Preferences, found under Apple Menu>System Preferences, and click the Accessibility icon. Then, in the sidebar, scroll down to find the Siri icon, and click it.

Here you’ll find a single checkbox: Enable Type to Siri. Click that and you just switched Siri from a spoken interface, to a written one. Now you can do all the neat keyboard tricks that work with Type to Siri on iOS.

Add a Keyboard shortcut to activate Siri

To get the most from Type to Siri on the Mac, you should set a keyboard shortcut to activate it. Otherwise, you’ll have to mouse up to the top left of the menubar and click the Siri icon every time you want to use it. This is done in the Siri preferences, found at Apple Menu>System Preferences>Siri. You can also get to this panel quickly by clicking the shortcut button in the previous Accessibility section.

Here, you can choose whether to show Siri in the menubar, as well as picking the language, and other settings. The one we’re interested in the is Keyboard Shortcut. Click this, and pick a shortcut. if you don’t fancy any of the suggestions, just click Customize… and then press the key you’d like to use. On a desktop Mac, one of the spare Function keys is a good choice.

Now, whenever you want to use Siri, hit the keyboard shortcut, and type your command or query. For some suggestions fo what you can do with Type to Siri, check out out Type to Siri on iOS article, which is full of great tips.

What do think of the Type to Siri feature? Sound off in the Comments below!

Tips & Tricks: 20 + Must-Know Home Pod Tips

 

 

 

By Jeff Benjamin of 9to5Mac

If you’re an Apple Music subscriber who’s all in on the Apple ecosystem, then the HomePod is a compelling smart speaker. Not only does it sound excellent, but it has Siri built in, which can do things like control your music and control smart home accessories.

HomePod isn’t yet as “smart” as Google Home products with Google Assistant, or Amazon products with Alexa, but it has loads of potential, and already features many built in conveniences. Did you recently purchase a HomePod? In this hands-on video, we’ll walk through some of our top must-know tips for new HomePod users.

How to access HomePod settings

To access HomePod settings, open the Home app, tap the Home tab, long press on the HomePod tile, and tap the Details button in the bottom right-hand corner.

How to access and rename HomePod

Although each HomePod takes on the identity of the room its in, if you have multiple HomePods in the same room, giving them a unique name may be a good idea. To rename your HomePod, open its settings, and tap the name field at the top of the screen.

How to talk to Siri

There are two ways to invoke Siri. You can simply say ‘Hey Siri’ or you can long press anywhere on the HomePod touch panel and Siri will respond.

Keep in mind that when talking to Siri via Hey Siri, you don’t have to wait for Siri to respond before issuing your command.

If you make your command a part of the initial Hey Siri command, you will have more success controlling HomePod.

So instead of saying:

Hey Siri…. <wait for response> what’s the weather today?

Say:

Hey Siri, what’s the weather today?

How to disable ‘Hey Siri’

Disabling Hey Siri is easy, and can be done directly via the HomePod settings using the Hey Siri toggle. You can also disable Hey Siri by asking HomePod to do so via Siri.

Simply say:

Hey Siri, disable Hey Siri.

Siri will ask you to confirm with a yes before disabling Hey Siri. If you wish to enable Hey Siri again, you’ll need to do so directly from the HomePod Settings, or by manually invoking Siri using the HomePod’s touch controls.

How to control HomeKit accessories

 

HomePod can be used as a hub to control most HomeKit accessories like smart lights and thermostats. Simply say something like:
Hey Siri, turn on my string lights.

You can also use Siri to control HomeKit scenes. For example, say:

Hey Siri, goodnight.

How to set alarms on HomePod

 

Keep in mind that HomePod alarms are separate from the alarms you set on your iOS device. There are two ways to set an alarm with HomePod. The first way is to use Siri:

Hey Siri, Set an alarm for 8:00 AM.

You can also venture directly into the Home App, tap the HomePod tile, and tap the Alarms button in the bottom left hand corner.

How to play music with HomePod

The easiest way to play music on HomePod is to simply ask Siri. Just say:

Hey Siri, play <name of song, album or playlist>

Keep in mind that you can only play music Apple Music, iTunes Match, iCloud Music Library and iTunes Purchases via your voice.

How to adjust HomePod volume

There are several ways to go about adjusting volume with HomePod. For starters, you can use the touch controls to incrementally adjust volume up or down. You can also long press on the + or – buttons to quickly adjust volume in either direction.

Of course, you can also ask Siri to adjust volume as well. Some valid commands include, Hey Siri…
Set volume to max.
• Mute volume.
• Increase volume by 50%.
• Set volume to 10.
• Set volume to 85.

How to control music playback

You can use Siri to control music playback on HomePod. Simply say:

Hey Siri, <play/pause, skip, go back>.

The HomePod’s touch controls can also be used to control music playback, much like the EarPods inline remote controls.

• A single press of the touch panel will play/pause.
• A double press will skip to the next song.
• A triple press will go back to the previous song.

You can also pause and play music directly from the Home app. Simply open the Home app, and tap on the HomePod tile to pause or play music playback.

How to play similar music on HomePod

If you’re enjoying the currently playing song, simply say:
Hey Siri, play more songs like this.

Or you can say something like:

Hey Siri, make play the whole album.
Or:
Hey Siri, make a station from this song.

How to add a song to your library using Siri

If you’d like to save a now playing song to your music library, say:

Hey Siri, add this song to my library.

How to play Podcasts on HomePod

You can playback your favorite podcasts on HomePod by saying something like:

Hey Siri, play the latest episode of 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour.

Request the latest news from Siri

Hey Siri, what’s the latest news?

You can change your news source by saying:

Hey Siri, switch to (CNN, NPR, Fox News, or Washington Post)

How to add a song to Up Next using Siri

To keep the music playing, use the Up Next feature to queue up songs to play next. Say Hey Siri…
Add ‘Hotel California’ to Up Next.

If you’d like to check which song is queued to play next, say:
Hey Siri, what song is up next?

Access HomePod Now Playing from Control Center

 

Although it’s not very discoverable, it’s possible to control and view details about the currently playing song directly from an eligible device, like an iPhone, on the same network.

To do so, invoke Control Center, and long press on the Music widget. Scroll to your HomePod, and you should see the currently playing song. Tap on the HomePod to expand the Now Playing controls, which will allow you to play/pause, skip, and go back to the previous song.

You can also use the HomePod Now Playing controls to adjust playback volume directly.

How to fully control Apple Music on HomePod from an iOS device

It’s possible to fully control Apple Music, including selecting additional songs, and queueing up music, directly from an iOS device on the same Wi-Fi network as HomePod.

There are two ways to do so:

The first way is to invoke the HomePod Now Playing interface as described in the previous step, and tap on the album artwork to open the Music app. From there it’s possible to control your music just like you would when playing music directly on an iOS device.

The second way to access full HomePod music controls is to open the Music app, and tap the AirPlay button at the bottom of the Now Playing interface. Once you do, you will be able to access the HomePod, and control music playback directly.

Share the Up Next queue

One cool thing about controlling HomePod from an iOS device using the music app is that you, or anyone else on the same Wi-Fi network with Apple Music can contribute to the Up Next queue.

Simply access the HomePod controls as described in the previous steps, long press/3D Touch on a song, album or playlist, and select Play Next. This allows multiple people to contribute to the Up Next queue, which is great for parties.

How to transfer a phone call to HomePod

Although you can’t initiate a phone call from HomePod, it is possible to transfer a call to HomePod to continue a conversation. While on a phone call, tap the audio destination button in the Phone app interface, and select HomePod.

You’ll know when HomePod is hosting a phone call by the green Siri indicator on top of the Touch Panel.

How to output sound via Apple TV

There are several ways to go about connecting the Apple TV to HomePod for audio output. The easiest way is to simply press and hold the Play button on the Siri Remote while on the Apple TV Home screen. Doing so will invoke an interface, shown in the photo above, that allows you to quickly select audio output.

You can also go to Settings → Video and Audio → Audio Output and select the HomePod as output. Other apps, like the Music app, allow you to select audio output options directly as well.

How to control Apple TV playback features

One of the major benefits of outputting sound from Apple TV to HomePod is that it surfaces a limited amount of voice controls. While watching content, you can control playback via HomePod using the following Hey Siri commands:
Hey Siri, play/pause.
• Hey Siri, skip ahead <amount of time>.
• Hey Siri, go back <amount of time>.

In the future I imagine that Apple will work on fleshing out Apple TV voice control via HomePod to be more closely aligned to what’s possible via the Siri Remote. But even now, in this limited state, using HomePod to control the Apple TV playback experience is pretty awesome.

How to AirPlay to HomePod from Mac

 

To AirPlay all sounds coming from your Mac, you should enable the Show volume in menu bar option located in System Preferences → Sound. Once you do, you’ll be able to easily select your Mac’s sound output destination, which includes the HomePod, by clicking on the Volume button in the menu bar.

How to AirPlay to multiple HomePods using AirFoil

Users will be able to facilitate stereo pairing with two HomePods once AirPlay 2 launches in a future iOS/HomePod software update. For now, it’s possible to enable “stereo” playback via AirFoil, a paid Mac utility. It’s not exactly what Apple had in mind with AirPlay 2, but it’s an interesting workaround until stereo pairing launches alongside iOS 11.3 in the near future.

How to reset the HomePod

 

There are two ways to go about resetting the HomePod. The easy way is to venture into HomePod settings via the Home app. Once there, you’ll find a Remove Accessory option at the bottom of the screen.

The second way to reset the HomePod, and the method that you’ll need to use if resetting via the Home app fails, is to do so directly from the HomePod itself.

Step 1: Unplug the HomePod power cable.
Step 2: Plug in the HomePod, and after three seconds elapse, tap and hold the touch surface.
Step 3: Continue to hold the touch surface, and you should see the touch control status indicator turn red. Continue holding the touch surface until you hear three beeps.

The HomePod will then reset, allow it to be reconfigured from scratch.

Conclusion

There are many more Siri commands that you can utilize to control HomePod. What are some of your favorite commands?

What other HomePod-related tips do you have to share? Sound off in the comments below with your feedback.