Siri, what’s the secret of life?

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iol scitech oct 18 Siri

AP

Apple's Siri, which responds to a user's commands through voice recognition software, made its formal debut with the release of the iPhone 4S in 2011.

Siri, the know-it-all speaking digital assistant built into the latest iPhone, is causing a bit of a stir. Since its launch in October, iPhone owners have asked Siri all manner of silly questions, sharing her sometimes hilarious responses on websites, blogs and social networks.

Here’s an example:

“What’s the meaning of life, Siri?” “I don’t know, but I think there’s an app for that.”

And my favourite: “Where them hoes at?” “The strip club isn’t far from you,” she answers, before helpfully opening a map showing the location of said establishment.

So it was only a matter of time, I suppose, before iPhone owners would start asking, “Siri, what’s the best smartphone?”

Imagine their chagrin when she answered: “The Nokia Lumia 900.”

It didn’t take long for Siri to realise the error of her ways though. She now answers with “The one you’re holding,” or “You’re kidding, right?”, prompting much online mirth.

Nokia, however, seems to have lost its sense of humour, accusing Apple of tampering with Siri’s programming to give a biased answer.

They have a point. It may come as a surprise to some iPhone owners, but Siri doesn’t come up with such responses on her own. She relies on third-party search services to find the answers.

It does seem more than a little suspicious that these supposedly independent companies changed their search algorithms the same week Siri’s heretical touting of a Nokia phone started trending on social networks.

Of course, if Siri were truly independent, unbiased and up to date, you could argue that the answer she should be giving now is: “The Samsung Galaxy S3.”

The long-awaited successor to the hugely popular Galaxy S2 has just been released and for Android fans, it could truly be the best smartphone yet.

It’s due to arrive in SA on June 7 and I look forward to getting my hands on one for an in-depth “test drive” but until then, here are some details to whet your appetite.

The first thing you notice is that it’s big.

Samsung’s ditched the angular, rectangular profile of the S2 in favour of smoothed, rounded corners.

For a phone that’s so big, the S3 is astonishingly slim and light – just 8.6mm thick and weighing a mere 133g.

For me its standout feature is the Amoled screen. I’m told that watching HD video on the S3 is a feast for the eyes.

At first glance, the fact that it has an 8-megapixel camera, the same as the S2, is disappointing. But the new camera promises several improvements.

Finally, there’s S Voice, the S3’s answer to Siri. No prizes for guessing the first question I'll be asking it. - Sunday Tribune

For more information about the Samsung Galaxy S3, including SA launch details, visit GeekBeard.posterous.com or follow @alanqcooper on Twitter.

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