Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?


The war between Android and iOS isn’t just about smartphone or tablet market share. How about Google Now vs Siri? Which is better? Well Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted a study that answers the question.

He threw 800 questions at both apps, and half of them were asked indoors, while the other half was outdoors. The questions were about local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS command.

Back in December 2012, Munster conducted a similar test and Siri came out on top answering 83 percent of the questions correctly, while Google Now answered 81 percent correctly. This year was much better for Google, but the spread was the same. Google Now got 86 percent of the questions correct while Siri was able to get 84 percent of the questions correct. Google Now received a grade of B while Apple got a B-. Google Now is the winner, but I guess you have to ask yourself if 2% better is really going to be all that noticeable?

Other interesting tidbits from the study was that Siri used Google as the source for only 3 percent of the questions. That is a 27 percent drop from December 2012. Siri is now relying more heavily on Bing for its search engine and Apple Maps for navigation related questions. Siri can still do somethings on its own, but not much. This year, Siri was able to answer 4 percent of the questions on its own, which is better than the 1 percent it achieved the last go around.

source: CNet

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Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha production may be limited due to metal design


Everyone is waiting for Samsung to release a handset that is constructed of primarily metal. For years, consumers have been complaining about the company using plastic or even faux leather. With the rumored Galaxy Alpha, that is all seemingly going to change. It is apparently going to be Samsung’s very first handset with a premium design thanks to the metal construction. But a new report out of Korea claims that production may be limited to this brand new design choice.

A worldwide launch, something Samsung is a very big fan of, would not be possible with the metal design. The report notes that Samsung’s manufacturers in China can only output about 1 million units per month. This is nowhere near what Samsung is used to. If this really is the case, Samsung’s best option would be to contract more companies to produce the Galaxy Alpha. That way, Samsung performs a global launch while finally making everyone happy with a new design.

Via: VR-Zone

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The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land to swarm onto mobile devices in 2015


AMC has announced that they will be releasing an official companion game for their hit series The Walking Dead. The new game, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, is being developed for mobile devices by AMC and Next Games. An early look at the game is expected at Comic Con later this month and the title is expected to be released in early 2015 which should coincide with the mid-season premiere for season 5.

According  to a statement that was released,

The game, titled The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land, will allow players to experience the world of the iconic show through gameplay exclusively developed for smartphones and tablet devices. Developed by Next Games in close collaboration with AMC, the game will feature themes familiar to the TV series, where characters fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic, walker-infested world. A recurring theme of choosing the right survival strategy and making the most human choices possible is at the heart the first-of-its-kind game.

If you want to get on the mailing list for updates from the developers, hit the source link for the page that was set up for fans.

YouTube Preview Image

source: AMC
via: 9to5Google

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Google releases updates focused on filters and views for Google Sheets


The Google Drive team has announced some new features and updates that have been added to the Google Sheets spreadsheet app. The updates focus on filter and view options for spreadsheets. Headlining the changes is the ability to create a “temporary filter view” on spreadsheets for which users only have read access permissions. Using the temporary filter, users can filter and sort data in those spreadsheets.

Google also added some features that will make it easier to share spreadsheet data with other users. First, a specific view can be shared so that recipients don’t have to go through a long list to figure out what it is you are wanting them to look at. This can be achieved just by copying and pasting a URL. Second, Google added the ability tothe range that is used to define a filter view. Previously, to change the range users would have to delete the existing range and then create a new one.

source: +Google Drive

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TalkAndroid Daily Dose for July 22, 2014


With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!


HTC puts the Sense keyboard in the Play Store for easier updates

Twitch for Android sees 3.0 update, bringing new interface and more features


Sprint not alone in wanting T-Mobile, Carlos Slim expressing interest

Kyocera Hydro Life coming to T-Mobile’s network later this year

More details surface about ZTE Olympia headed to T-Mobile

Verizon launches “Smart Rewards” program nationwide to reward customers for doing mundane Verizon tasks


Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness


NVIDIA announces the Shield Tablet and Shield Wireless Controller, pre-orders start now

Twitch for Android sees 3.0 update, bringing new interface and more features

The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land to swarm onto mobile devices in 2015


Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?

Google releases updates focused on filters and views for Google Sheets


Kyocera Hydro Life coming to T-Mobile’s network later this year

Korea’s LG G3 LTE-A finally unveiled, features Snapdragon 805 processor

OnePlus giving out 5000 invites in a “Blizzard of Invites”

OnePlus One bamboo cover coming in August

Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha production may be limited due to metal design

Xiaomi announces what it’s calling the ‘fastest smartphone in the world,’ the Mi4

More details surface about ZTE Olympia headed to T-Mobile


Kernel source files for LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live released by Google


NVIDIA announces the Shield Tablet and Shield Wireless Controller, pre-orders start now

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Why Are the World’s Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

So, the argument is why do we allow any scientist, country, or military to keep live samples?

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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn’t Always Worthwhile (Video)


Miller: This is Ben

and he works for a company called MarkITx. Am

I pronouncing it right, Ben?


Blair: Absolutely,

MarkITx, yeah.


Miller: They’re

dealers of used

enterprise level IT hardware, which means they

have kind of an

interesting view on what’s hot and what’s not, and what’s

going to be hot and what people are buying and what they’re



Ben, what’s hot?


Blair: We see

mostly networking gear – well one small correction. We’re

a place to buy and sell. We

don’t buy and sell ourselves, so we help

the buyer and seller

come together, but like you said we see all this order flow, and

what’s interesting – so what’s hot is mostly

networking gear. We see a whole lot of Dell and HP servers as well,

and a lot of other kinds of equipment but that’s sort of like

the fat tail of things, right, there’s like thousands of things

we see once or twice, but a whole lot of things. It’s

Cisco, Gear, Juniper, Arista, Aerohive, HP, Dell, IBM servers, kind

of across the board.


Miller: Well,

either the last video or the one before that we did was about HP’s

new… no

they’re not blade servers, they’re calling them

cartridges or something.


Blair: Yeah.


Miller: Basically


stick a whole bunch of single board servers in

a chassis. I remember that as blade servers, but that’s because

I’m old. So it’s obviously not that


Blair: Heh.

I mean, yeah,

it’s just people are looking for new ways to get better power

density and better weight density really in their cabinets, and it

makes a lot of sense. I mean, you raised an interesting question in

the email (that led up

to this interview), actually,

which was sort of what’s driving a lot of these changes and the

OEMs and the vendors I think would have you believe that there are

new features. You know, okay, great, HP has got a new cartridge based

system. You can have higher density and that’s


Miller: Yeah.





the calculation

incrementally, but if you think, I mean, back to mid-1990s and even

into early 2000s, the hardware really did drive things. You’d

get the next generation of Intel chips and boy, if you’re

running a database that had heavy load, you needed to upgrade it.

That was your path to better performance. And since we were in the

web world and everything has moved to scale out. You

got so much more load you couldn’t possibly fit it on a server

no matter how awesome it was, right? So we had a smart and hard

software problem of, “Let’s

make sure this can run on like 4 or 5 or 10 or 100 or 10,000

servers,” and once you solved that problem this was

really the thing that changed. It doesn’t matter so much

anymore that you have one server that’s more powerful or even

an enclosure that’s a little bit more power efficient. I mean,

they’re advertising, I don’t know, 80-some-odd-percent

power efficiency, which is fantastic. But it’s not going to

fundamentally change what you can do any more. You already have to

have things scale out and then it’s just a cost trade off, and

this is why I’m not trying to talk about why what we’re

doing is interesting, but fundamentally that

it’s the fact that

software is eating the world, that means hardware is becoming a

commodity, and so it doesn’t matter if you’re buying

servers, like HP wants you to believe that if I buy this server, it

will reduce my cost; if I bought cheaper servers that would reduce my

cost as well, I don’t necessarily need fancier ones. And as

long as my software can run equally across all of them because it’s

already scaled out, it’s not this need thing, I don’t

need a server that’s twice as good, right. I need twice as many

servers and I can have them more dense, less dense, those are all

then tradeoffs. As much as I’m a technologist and I want to be

in charge of all the stuff that’s almost a finance decision,

it’s like, look, I just need 50 cores and 80 terabytes of

storage to do this and I need this I/O bandwidth, but exactly how

that’s delivered to me, I don’t really care anymore.


Miller: The funny

thing is, one thing I hear made much of this power savings. I could

see that being important to Google. I could see that being important

to IBM or Amazon, but I do not know the people I know who are IT guys

or like small and medium sized businesses. You have 200 employees in

your business, you have 500, you have 1000. Let’s say you have

150 desktops, you have 200 computing devices in a factory or

warehouse, and some of them could be tablets, who knows, and you have

a bunch of servers, let’s say 50 servers even. How much money

are you

going to save on electricity? $100 a year?


Blair: Yeah. It’s

a good question. I mean, yeah, on a scale of 50 servers, I mean it

may be more than that, but let me give you the answer, slightly

different question, but one that I can answer to say I have more

firsthand experience.


Miller: Yeah.


Blair: Now suppose

you’re in a co-lo facility, right? And

there the costs are more concrete, like I’m paying $2,000 a

month for a cabinet and however many amps of power are going to that

cabinet, so my power costs are fixed, but what I can do with that

power is sort of where it matters to me, so if I can have servers

that are twice as efficient I can put twice as many servers in that

cabinet before I need to buy a whole new cabinet for another $2,000 a

month or whatever. So there it can matter, but it’s, I mean, I

don’t know, a 2x factor; like in power efficiency it is often

more like 20%, 30% as long as you are not talking versus something 8

years old.


Miller: But even if

it’s 2x and you’re talking at the most in mid-thousands

annually, it’s not a world changer. It’s


difference between buying a cheap used car or not buying one.


Blair: Yeah,

exactly, and it’s just trading off sort of operational dollars

for dollars upfront; like your car example, I can buy a more

expensive car today that saves me gas, but how long before that pays



Miller: Used

equipment, obviously you guys are brokering it, it’s coming

through your thing, this is getting hot, you are seeing volumes go



Blair: Yeah,

volumes are up really significantly. I mean, if you look at it,

I am sure you’ve experienced this and probably everyone who’s

on Slashdot has a closet full of old stuff, right?


Miller: Yeah.


Blair: And this is

true whether you are a small shop or if you are a giant bank, except

instead of a closet

it’s a warehouse, but it’s hard to deal with this stuff

and as technologists, this is sort of eye opening for me getting into

this, like I always had the view too that I want the thing that’s

going to help me do my job and the cool new thing. And

then I get the next generation, what do I do with this stuff? I don’t

know. I don’t want to throw it away, that’s really wrong,

and I got all these other things to do, so just like put it back

there somewhere, right.


Miller: Yeah.


Blair: And that’s

a fine decision sort of once or twice and then you do it, you know,

do it over and over and pretty quickly you got a warehouse. And so

it’s crazy.

So the good thing for us, it’s a pretty easy conversation to

have with someone, hey, all that stuff that you think isn’t

worth anything, it’s actually maybe half or a third of it isn’t

worth much and we can help you recycle it. But a surprising amount,

half, two-thirds, if we’re talking to like financial

institutions that are refreshing every year-and-a-half, maybe it’s

three-quarters of the stuff they have is perfectly good, and lots of

people want to use it. We’re not in the time

again — to go back to like late 1990s, early 2000s – where

corporates were increasing fast, you have technically more hardware

imrpovements going. But

software has changed that. So now if you’re a smart company, if

you’re thinking like some of our customers, our buyers are

small… mid-size and small companies, the whole business is renting

used hardware, right? They may buy it new most of the time, but the

minute they have one customer running on it, and then the next one,

it’s used in a sense, right? And they’ll run it for 4 or

5 years.


Miller: And we know

off-lease, a lot of people lease their



Blair: Yeah.


Miller: And that’s

where I first saw used computers, in a commercial and legal sense,

was coming off-lease.


Blair: Yeah.


Miller: Like you

said, you rent them, and the second you take it home, it’s



Blair: Exactly.


Miller: So why not

get a used one?


Blair: The

economics for buying even one server or one switch, it’s better

if we are buying used. But it’s not going to change your world,

right. Where it really matters is if you are buying 10 or 30 or 50,

right, and then that can make a really huge difference and so I

think, you are not talking about like the Windows 95 revolution where

everything, suddenly,

really was obsolete,

you simply couldn’t run the software you wanted on it, and now

if you’re running a pizza box and it’s got two quadcores

instead of one quadcore or four quadcores or Intel or AMD, I mean,

these all make incremental differences, but they don’t say

whether you can run a piece of software or not, and either way, if

you’re running any kind of sizable infrastructure, your

software is already built to be distributed over dozens of machines,

and if you have twice as many machines with half the performance,

it’s not an even trade off necessarily, in some scenarios, but

it’s close to it.

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Firefox 31 Released

An anonymous reader writes Mozilla has released version 31 of its Firefox web browser for desktops and Android devices. According to the release notes, major new features include malware blocking for file downloads, automatic handling of PDF and OGG files if no other software is available to do so, and a new certificate verification library. Smaller features include a search field on the new tab page, better support for parental controls, and partial implementation of the OpenType MATH table. Firefox 31 is also loaded with new features for developers. Mozilla also took the opportunity to note the launch of a new game, Dungeon Defenders Eternity, which will run at near-native speeds on the web using asm.js, WebGL, and Web Audio. “We’re pleased to see more developers using asm.js to distribute and now monetize their plug-in free games on the Web as it strengthens support for Mozilla’s vision of a high performance, plugin-free Web.”

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Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

An anonymous reader writes: With the Little Box Challenge, Google (and IEEE, and a few other sponsors like Cree and Rohm) is offering a $1 million prize to the team which can “design and build a kW-scale power inverter with the highest power density (at least 50 Watts per cubic inch).” Going from cooler-sized to tablet sized, they say, would make whole lot of things better, and the prize is reserved for the best performing entrant. “Our testing philosophy is to not look inside the box. You provide us with a box that has 5 wires coming out of it: two DC inputs, two AC outputs and grounding connection and we only monitor what goes into and comes out of those wires, along with the temperature of the outside of your box, over the course of 100 hours of testing. The inverter will be operating in an islanded more—that is, not tied or synced to an external grid. The loads will be dynamically changing throughout the course of the testing, similar to what you may expect to see in a residential setting.” The application must be filled out in English, but any serious applicants can sign up “regardless of approach suggested or team background.” Registration runs through September.

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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

We don’t need it if we would quarantine the people that decided to get this virus. Other than a very few people that got it from blood transfusions in the 80′s, nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did. Why can’t we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases? Why is GRIDS so different that we can’t protect the public from these people? They’ve proven they’ll intentionally spread it, or it would have died-out over twenty years ago. Instead, we let these people keep spreading it.

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