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Switched On: A road trip with Siri

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

When considering the great technology advances of the past few decades, GPS tends to get short shift compared to such culture-rocking innovations as the internet and cellular networks. But it is a marvel nonetheless. Just a few generations ago, the idea of hopping in a car with no clue how to get to a particular destination was foolishness (or at least fodder for gender-stereotyping comedians). Today, with an inexpensive device or smartphone software, we can do so with near certainty of finding our way.

Developers of navigation apps and hardware must place great care in creating an experience that doesn’t unnecessarily distract the driver. For example, quite a few involve “lane assist” features that starkly indicate the options when coming to a fork in the road so that the driver avoids having to stare at the screen too long to figure out the right path. In addition, spoken instructions have long been a defining commodity. While Telenav, for example, offers a free version of its navigation app, it doesn’t include such audio. And Nokia recently followed suit with its distribution strategy around Nokia Drive, leaving the version with spoken turn-by-turn directions exclusive to its Windows Phones.

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Switched On: A road trip with Siri originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 11 Dec 2011 18:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BBC comedians ridicule tech naming schemes, make us laugh along the way (video)

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

They say all good comedy has a modicum of truth to it, and there’s no denying that the jargon that’s built up around technology is littered with opportunity for mockery, fun-poking, and general satire. Leave it to two old pros from the UK, then, Harry Enfield and Ronnie Corbett, to summarily dispatch Apple, BlackBerry, Orange, Microsoft and everyone in between in one of the better tech-related sketches we’ve seen. See them do their thing after the break, but be warned: the video contains (a lot) more than your recommended daily allowance of fruit puns.

[Thanks, Thanasis]

Continue reading BBC comedians ridicule tech naming schemes, make us laugh along the way (video)

BBC comedians ridicule tech naming schemes, make us laugh along the way (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Dec 2010 11:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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100 Comedians You Should Be Following on Twitter [Twitter]

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

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