Monthly Archives: October 2012

Google’s Voice Search completely shames Siri. Big Data wins again

Google vs siri

Google’s voice search (on iOS) on the left; Siri on the right

After the hype of Siri, Google’s claim that “its most advanced voice search has arrived on iOS” seems kind of a yawner.

However, my first experiences with Siri were so lackluster that I hadn’t used it since the iPhone 4S debut except to goof around (“Is there a God?“). My first question through Google’s voice search though was so amazingly fast and accurate that I see myself actually using it day-to-day.

I asked both Google and Siri, “How much damage did Hurricane Sandy do?”

Google heard it as “How much damage did Hurricane Sandy too?” and returned with official Hurricane Sandy emergency info and latest news stories literally as I stopped talking.

Siri took nearly five seconds to register my question as “How much damage did hurricane you do” and responded with hockey league standings for the Hurricanes team.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Google voice search is to Siri as Google Maps is to Apple Maps. And while some might argue that Apple’s data-weak, inaccurate maps are still more stylish, the Google search app is executed far more beautifully than Siri. That, plus the immense voice data that Google has been collecting, plus…well, Google’s search expertise…makes it hard to see how Apple can even compete here.

Check out the announcement on Google’s blog.

Steve Wozniak’s Twitter bio

Steve Woz


I just glanced over Woz’s twitter profile because I wanted to tweet this Bloomberg article about him. What he notes in his 160-character-limited bio is notable for what it doesn’t contain.

Here it is in list form:

  1. Engineers first!
  2. Human rights.
  3. Gadgets.
  4. Jokes and pranks.
  5. Segways.
  6. Music and concerts.
  7. Gameboy Tetris*.

He recently did a Q&A over at Slashdot and someone asked him “Do you feel like you were dealt the short end of the stick where Apple is concerned?

Woz’s response:

Our union was very lucky. I think it was luckier for Jobs since I had strong internal philosophies that didn’t connect my happiness with business success or money or power. I built projects for myself and the Apple ][ was the 6th of those that Jobs saw (when he got into town) and said we could sell them. We always split the money evenly as far as I knew but money is not my thing in life. My best days were in the lab building things for myself. But I’m so nice that I give almost all my time now to young people and fans that I can help. I love my life the way it is and told that to Jobs in one of our last phone calls before his death.

A class act, through and through.

* Woz’s love of Tetris is one of my favorite side-stories about him. He was so prolific that his name was banned in the Nintendo Power listings for being listed too frequently. Here’s how he hacked around that.