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America’s nukes are controlled by dead technology and we’re afraid

America Nuclear Arsenal Computers
It’s 2016 and for some reason, the world’s most powerful nations still have nuclear weapons – you know, just in case they need them. America's nukes are controlled by computers, no surprise there. On the plus side, these computers are so old that they can’t be hacked by zit-popping teenage hackerss. In fact, the devices used to control nukes are so old that most Snapchat users might not understand what they are. These massively destructive weapons are actually controlled by floppy disks. That's right, the same ones that died off years ago. Is there really nothing more modern that people can use when they have their fingers on the button?

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Chris Smith

May 26th

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A National Infrastructure Program Is a Smart Idea We Won’t Do Because We Are Dysfunctional

America’s roads and bridges are in horrible shape. We could fix them up and provide lots of jobs in the process. But we won’t!

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February 18th

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Why is Siri limited to 8 countries on Apple TV? Apple teaches movie & TV show pronunciations for each country

appletvui1

While Siri voice search is a core feature of the new Apple TV, right now it’s limited to only eight countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. In other regions, the Siri Remote is simply called the Apple TV Remote (not to be confused with the old Apple TV Remote) and pressing the mic button just opens the Search app.

This is despite the fact Siri on iPhone is actually available in 30 countries, so it wasn’t clear why Apple had pinpointed only a subset of those. It turns out, according to a chat with Apple by MacPrime, that there are some clever optimizations Apple makes with Apple TV Siri to improve speech recognition.

Because a core feature is the movie and TV show search, Apple tunes Siri in every country by teaching it about pronunciation characteristics for movie and TV show titles. Phonetic speech of actor names, films and directors vary drastically in different countries.

So Apple has to go through each country, add the differences in speech to the Siri database, so the overall user experience of searching for things is faster and more accurate. In the post, MacPrime uses the example of actor name Matthew McConaughey as something that is often pronounced in wildy different ways across languages and dialects.

It doesn’t do this for Siri on iPhone specifically because movies and TV shows is not a core function of using that device. But for Apple TV, it’s almost essential that those features work well so Apple will only add Siri for the country once it has gone through those training steps. In addition, on Apple TV there is no keyboard input for Siri so accuracy with voice recognition is doubly important so you can successfully find the content you are looking for.

Apple has therefore started by training Siri in the eight most popular countries (like USA and UK) and is working on expanding more soon.

You can read more about Siri on Apple TV in this Apple help document.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple TV, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple TV, Apple TV 4th gen, countries, remote, Siri, Siri Remote, UK, USA

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Benjamin Mayo

November 4th

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USA Killed It with Mr. Robot—They Might with Dystopian Drama Colony, Too

Mr. Robot is a dark show kinda uncharacteristic for USA. After all, it’s same network that brought us breezy comedy-mysteries like Monk and Psych. Which were great! But Colony , the decades-old channel’s upcoming series, could continue down USA’s new path of somewhat twisted genre TV. I watched the pilot and it’s great. Some spoilers within.

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October 10th

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Here’s What We Just Learned About Mr. Robot Season 2

So far, New York Comic Con has been a glorious amalgam of my favorite things: Pokémon cosplayers, convention center pretzels, unbridled fandom, and Mr. Robot. The techno thriller’s cast and creator took to the stage for a panel, where we learned season two will be super dark, so BE READY FOR SEASON 1 SPOILERS AHEAD.

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October 10th

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Which state would win if America declared war on itself? A former Marine has the answer

USA States War Each Other

Ever wondered which U.S. state would emerge as the winner if a war broke out between all the American states? What if there was no USA as we know it today, and each state battled its neighbors in hopes of conquering them and securing more resources? It’s not a movie — at least not yet — but one former Marine has imagined the frightening scenario in great detail.

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Chris Smith

July 30th

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Happy July 4th: Here Are Some of the Surprising Things Americans Believe

July 4: Surprising Facts Americans

What better way to prepare for a 4th of July barbecue and fireworks than to learn some exciting things about Americans, especially now that you know Independence Day isn’t going to be the USA’s 2015th birthday.

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Chris Smith

July 4th

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How the confederate flag wasn’t really the national confederate flag

The confederate flag is a symbol of hatred and it’s nice that it’s going away. But CGP Grey examines in this video explainer how the confederate flag we know and hate wasn’t actually the national flag of the Confederate States of America. They had many national flags but the flag we’re banning was never it.

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June 26th

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2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Leaks

These are the first full photos of the all-new 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, perhaps the first bike to genuinely live up to the adventure motorcycle’s potential. Big dirt bike? Yep, and not much more.

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Wes Siler on IndefinitelyWild, shared by Chris Mills to Gizmodo

May 15th

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How The New Cold War Is Improving Your Navigation

Ever contemplated going to war with America, but been thwarted when the Great Satan switched off your access to its navigation satellites? That’s potentially a real problem for China and Russia, but the real victor in this navigational arms race might be you; it’s improving the quality of location data on your phone and in your car.

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Wes Siler on IndefinitelyWild, shared by Alissa Walker to Gizmodo

April 29th

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