Siri teams with Cerebral Palsy Foundation to teach you to ‘just say hi’

Siri is loaded with fun Easter eggs. However, its latest addition — created in collaboration with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation — isn’t flippant or sarcastic like some of the AI assistant’s other one-liners; it’s just good advice. Ask Siri how to start a conversation with someone with a disability, and she’ll answer, “It’s easy. Just […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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New Study Finds Siri More Distracting Than Google Now While Driving

Siri and other voice-activated systems can cause potentially unsafe mental distractions lasting several seconds while driving, according to a new research study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Siri’s score of 3.4 on the five-point scale is considered more distracting than Google Now’s 3.0 score, but less distracting than Microsoft Cortana, which received a 3.8 rating.

AAA’s mental distraction rankings also included vehicles, ranging from the least distracting Chevy Equinox at 2.4 to the Mazda 6 at 4.6, which is nearly the highest level of cognitive distraction. The study found that mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after using hands-free or voice-activated systems, as drivers readjust to the task of driving.

“The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.”

Researchers found that potentially unsafe levels of mental distraction can last for as long as 27 seconds after completing a distracting task in the worst-performing systems studied. At the 25 MPH speed limit in the study, drivers traveled the length of nearly three football fields during this time. When using the least distracting systems, drivers remained impaired for more than 15 seconds after completing a task.

AAA’s mental distraction rankings while driving are broken down into five categories:

Category 1: About the same as listening to the radio or an audio book
Category 2: About the same as talking on the phone
Category 3: Equivalent to sending voice-activated texts on an error-free system
Category 4: About the same as uploading social media
Category 5: Highly challenging, scientific test designed to overload a driver’s attention

The study did not include the latest in-dash systems such as CarPlay or Android Auto.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published Phase I and Phase II of this study over the past few years. In the second phase, the foundation found Siri’s high complexity and low intuitiveness resulted in some of the highest levels of mental distraction compared to other in-car tasks such as adjusting the radio or navigating complex menus.



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Tim Cook Says New Apple TV Will Ship ‘Next Week’, Orders Begin Monday

While speaking at tonight’s WSJDLive conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the new Apple TV will begin shipping next week. Orders will begin taking orders for the new set-top box on Monday, October 26 with shipments beginning at the end of the week.

The new Apple TV, which Cook also said is the „foundation“ for a new type of TV experience, features an A8 processor and either 32 or 64 GB of storage. It also has support for a full App Store, which Apple says will help „modernize“ the „linear TV“ experience that most consumers are familiar with. The new Apple TV also comes with the brand new Siri Remote, which allows users to use Siri to easily sort and find their favorite TV shows and movies.

The new fourth-generation Apple TV will be available for $149 with 32 GB of storage and $199 with 64 GB of storage.



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Tim Cook Named to Duke University’s Board of Trustees on Six-Year Term

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been named as one of eight new board of trustee members at his alma mater Duke University, where he earned his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business in 1988, the school announced today. Cook began serving his six-year term on July 1 and will assist the governing body in determining Duke University’s educational mission and fiscal policies.

Tim Cook speaking at Duke University in April 2013
The other new trustees are The Coca-Cola Foundation chairwoman Lisa Borders, PRM Advisors founder Patricia Morton, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and ValueAct Capital CEO Jeff Ubben. Duke University also appointed three observing members on the board, including Elastic Fabrics of America marketing executive and Duke alum Jack Boyd, recent Duke graduate Anna Knight and Duke JD/MBA candidate Ben Shellhorn.

Cook returned to Duke University in 2013 for his 25th reunion and participated in an hour-long dialogue with Fuqua School of Business Dean Bill Boulding and students about why Apple is successful, collaboration, ethical leadership, career planning, inspirational leaders, intuitions and more. The embedded playlist of videos above will play through each of the seven clips that the university shared.



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