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Shortcuts Is Apple’s Solution to Making Siri More Useful

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According to Apple, Siri is the most-used digital assistant on the planet. But for anyone who has ever used Alexa or the Google Assistant, that doesn’t mean Siri is always the smartest. To give Siri more ways to help you out, Apple has created a new app called Shortcuts that will debut with iOS 12.

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yatesa01
20 days ago
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Andover, CT
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★ 10 Strikes and You’re Out — the iOS Feature You’re Probably Not Using But Should

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For many years now, iOS has offered an option in the Passcode section of the Settings all: “Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts.”

I’ve long been intrigued by this setting, but never turned it on, out of the vague fear that something could happen and I’d wind up with a wiped iPhone. Say, if a “friend” surreptitiously took my phone at a bar and entered 10 wrong passcodes as a prank. Something like that.

I asked on Twitter over the weekend how many people use this feature, and over 4,000 people responded to the poll. One-third use the feature, two-thirds don’t. Among those who don’t, the most common response, by far, is that they don’t use it because they’re the parents of young children, and they fear that their kids will trigger the erasure of their phone.

I had no idea until I looked into it last weekend, but it turns out this feature is far more clever than I realized, and it’s highly unlikely that your kids or jackass drinking buddies could ever trigger it. After the 5th failed attempt, iOS requires a 1-minute timeout before you can try again. During this timeout the only thing you can do is place an emergency call to 911. After the 6th attempt, you get a 5-minute timeout. After the 7th, 15 minutes. These timeouts escalate such that it would take over 3 hours to enter 10 incorrect passcodes.

It seems pretty clear from the responses to my poll that I wasn’t alone in thinking that this feature was more dangerous than it really is. I’ve got it turned on now, and I can’t think of a good reason why anyone wouldn’t enable this.

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samuel
22 days ago
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Wow, did not know that. Will be turning on this feature now.
The Haight in San Francisco
fancycwabs
20 days ago
I have a toddler and may turn on this feature in three years.
yatesa01
22 days ago
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Andover, CT
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More Trolleys, More Problems

jwz
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@mcclure111:

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT AI: Since AI can be perfect and process much faster than humans, it can be massively safer than humans. Human drivers will probably be so much worse they'll be outlawed!

ACTUAL AI: We concluded brakes were distracting users from the ad flow so we removed them.

THE TROLLEY PROBLEM: A trolley barrels down a track. A control program must decide whether to turn a switch, killing a person, or do nothing, killing three. The control program was developed in 3 weeks by a team which quit the company last year and never got docs for the sensors.
There was an employee who advocated putting up rails to discourage people from walking on to the tracks so often but she was fired for being a "bad culture fit".

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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yatesa01
29 days ago
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Andover, CT
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Lynx To Lynx: "AHHH."

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They both make some good points.

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yatesa01
33 days ago
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Andover, CT
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Uhh, Google Assistant Impersonating a Human Is Scary as Hell to Me

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Google could soon have a feature that lets your phone impersonate people—because consumer-facing artificial intelligence isn’t terrifying enough. Called Duplex, it’s intended to make people’s lives easier by handling standard phone calls that are necessary, but not especially personal.

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yatesa01
47 days ago
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Andover, CT
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‘We Can Have Differences Of Opinion And Still Respect Each Other,’ Says Betrayer Of The One True Cause

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BRYN MAWR, PA—In a blasphemous act of disloyalty against the rightful movement, local man Joseph Fischer stated Tuesday that “We can have differences of opinion and still respect each other,” exposing himself as a cowardly betrayer of the one true cause. “Even though we disagree on this issue, I’m glad we can have…

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yatesa01
54 days ago
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Andover, CT
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