Tags: siri

New Email Editor Video, Same Classic Weekly Wrap

New Email Editor Video, Same Classic Weekly Wrap

Beyond • November 11, 2011

Had an awesome lunch today with some co-workers. The topic of first concerts was discussed. Mine was the Who doing Quadrophenia (before John Entwistle passed away). Another was Culture Club opening up for the Smiths, and possibly my favorite was Nirvana opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What was yours? Let me know in the comments, when you’re done checking out this edition of The Weekly Wrap. 5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business #6: Wait outside of Comicon and lure them with candy, comics and video games. Discover the other 5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business. Benchmark Email Video: How to Use the New Email Editor If you’re like me, you hate to read the instruction manual. No reading necessary with this video walkthrough of the new Benchmark Email editor. See it in action in this new Benchmark Email Video: How to Use the New Email Editor. Customize an Email Template for Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! If you’ve ever wondered what that smell coming out of your fridge was, or found an ecosystem growing in there, I’ve got just the holiday email campaign for you. Before it gets out of control, Customize an Email Template for Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! Workplace Motivation: Disney’s Electronic Whip Not to Be Emulated I wear a Mickey Mouse watch every single day. I feel naked without it. It did, however, make me a little sad to look at it after reading this post on Workplace Motivation: Disney’s Electronic Whip Not to Be Emulated. Siri Outages & iPhone 4S Battery Woes Sour Apple Fans I discovered this week that I was eligible for an iPhone upgrade. Being the giant child that I am, I wanted a new toy immediately. However, I was given pause due to the Siri Outages & iPhone 4S Battery Woes Souring Apple Fans. State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing More interesting to me than the State of the Union, but less fun, since you can’t play a drinking game based on the amount of standing ovations (don’t act like I’m the only one who does this). Francis delivers the State of the Media: Social Media in Your Brand Marketing. Bing Bleeds and Siri Leads: The Future of the Search Engine Wars I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a George Lucas film to me. Read the book (blog post) first. In a world (said in the movie trailer voice), where Bing Bleeds and Siri Leads: The Future of the Search Engine Wars. Online Marketing Tips: How Global Consumers Shop Online Email goes around the world and so should the reach of your business. Do it with some help from these Online Marketing Tips: How Global Consumers Shop Online. Quora: A Dynamic Informational Database for Your Business I didn’t think I’d like Quora. I’m impatient. I enjoy the instant answers that Google offers. However, if you want an answer from an expert to the exact question you posed, ask Quora: A Dynamic Informational Database for Your Business. Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits? Did I miss something? Did we already figure out what came first, the chicken or the egg? Or have we already ‘crossed that road?’ Get it? Thank you! I’ll be here all week. Try the veal! And answer the question, Social Media: What Comes First: The Impressions or the Profits?


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Bing Bleeds & Siri Leads: The Future of the Search Engine Wars

Beyond • November 8, 2011

What would you do with $4 billion? If you\'re an automotive enthusiast you could buy 363,600 Nissan Versas or 22,100 Bentley Continental Flying Spurs. Always fancied owning your own airline? You could buy 68 brand new Boeing 737-600 jetliners. Love bling? How about over two million 18-Karat Gold & Stainless Steel DateJust Rolexes? (Hand them out as tips to the night club waitress and the valet parking attendants to really impress your date.) You could even marry Kim Kardashian 400 times over. However, if you\'re Steve Ballmer of Microsoft you lose that $4 billion dollars each and every year doing nothing other than operating the Bing search engine. The Reverse Midas Touch Bill Gates\' bizarro mirror universe doppleganger with the Reverse Midas Touch has made a career out of squandering the torrent of profits generated by Microsoft\'s operating systems and Office Suite by enthusiastically engaging in complete facepalm epic fails such as Kin and Zune. However, nowhere is the Touch more blatantly obvious than in Bing, the search engine that was supposed to humble Google and instead turned out to be a money-sucking vortex of galactic proportions. Bing may be the most costly attempt to dethrone The Big G, but it is not fair to place the blame of failing to crack the Googleopoly on Steve alone, as the road to search engine hegemony is littered with the corpses of many failed would-be Google-killers. Real-Time Intelligent Search There are some observers who maintain that the conventional search engine interface of typing a phrase into a text box is going the way of the dodo bird, analog television and the Pax Americana. Search is becoming integrated into online activity and behavior so that content is suggested as a result of what you’re doing anyway, rather than specifically searching for. Twitter is applying this concept with its Top People/News feature where a link to a person or news story is provided at the top of your results, and it’s paradoxically not a tweet at all, but an algorithm which makes a determination of the top retweeted topics in that field. Siri Is the First Great Agent The “agent” who works silently in the background learning from your behavior and intelligently suggesting your next move has been expected to be the next step in computing for decades but so far all attempts have been abject failures that propose a link to Polish hard rock bands when you’re seeking to buy metal polish. The implementation of the Siri voice-activated personal assistant on the iPhone 4S seems to be the first legitimate candidate for the title of “the first great agent,” since setting up the function to be computed on Apple’s servers not only allows the data-crunching to happen much faster than on the mobile device itself, but it can also compile a massive database of queries in order to perfect itself. Siri will be getting smarter by the day and within a year or two can be expected to compare to today’s version as Russian mathematics genius Grigory Perelman compares to a grade school arithmetic student. Google\'s chairman and former chief executive Eric Schmidt actually admitted to the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that Siri was a significant development that could pose a threat to his core business. Soon, the current web surfing prerequisite of manually typing search queries may be seen to be as nostalgic as reading a book by turning pages or doing the laundry by beating it on a river rock. Authors can look to research assistants providing references in real-time as they merrily write along, and the rest of us will speak to our communications devices to find everything from pizzerias to the latest update in faster-than-light neutrinos.


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Siri Outages & iPhone 4S Battery Woes Sour Apple Fans

Beyond • November 7, 2011

A number of iPhone 4S users recently reported outages in their Siri voice activated personal assistant functions. Cupertino has been officially mum on the situation, but it is obvious that since the data-crunching for Siri’s processing-intensive workings is performed at Apple data centers, the servers may be bottlenecking on too many requests or are allocating too many resources to sort out questions about buying a guitar no strings attached, or whether you can listen to AM radio after noon. The wholesale emigration of many everyday computing services to the cloud seems to have glossed over a critical factor: What happens when the cloud crashes? Computers & Mobile Devices Are Now Ultra-Thin Clients In the long ago era when hearty cavemen ate brontosaurus burgers while they typed out business letters on their state of the art 486SX-25s, there was never a question as to where all those keystrokes were being stored. They were ending up on a large floppy floppy disk, a smaller unfloppy floppy disk, or if their IT manager was especially fond of them, their very own internal hard drive. With the advent of the cloud seamlessly interacting with computers and mobile devices, which are now essentially ultra-thin clients, it is next to impossible to determine exactly where that data is. When you upload a photo of your dog with sunglasses over his tail, that file may end up residing exclusively in a data center halfway around the world. If that server dies for whatever reason, your doggy picture will vanish along with all the other data it contained. Unless you have a backup somewhere in your possession, it’s bye bye pup. Ask a T-Mobile Sidekick User about Cloud Reliability Amazon, Microsoft Office 365, Google Docs and many other cloud services have suffered outages that have infuriated their users. T-Mobile’s data loss permanently erased the vast majority of the storage of their entire Sidekick customer base in one fell swoop. Therefore, if you want to find out just how secure cloud data is, ask a loyal Sidekick owner. MobileMe Would Vanish Like a Mischievous Poltergeist Apple is no stranger to cloud outages, with its pioneering MobileMe service vanishing at will like a mischievous poltergeist. However, all the public hand wringing by frustrated Siri users was essentially incorrect in blaming Apple directly. With server failures, it’s not the singer, it’s the song. Even with the most sophisticated redundant ultra-modern multi-million dollar server technologies, there is always a chance that something will bring the entire system down like a house of cards. It does not seem to matter whether the data center belongs to Apple, Google, Facebook or anyone else. Batteries Draining, along with Patience An aspect of iPhone 4S performance that can be blamed squarely on Cupertino’s engineering corps is the enormous variance between the device’s announced battery life and what users are actually experiencing. At launch, Apple claimed up to 8 hours of active talking time or 6 hours of browsing on 3G networks, but in the real world those durations seemed unachievable. It seems that the 4S is excessively transmitting and receiving location information and thus draining the juice on functions that the user is not even aware of. Apple has released an iOS 5.0.1 beta to developers, which is supposed to eliminate this issue, but it begs the issue of how this situation wasn’t spotted before launch. Did anyone actually check 4S’ battery life before composing the marketing hype?


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iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

Beyond • October 19, 2011

Reading the reviews of the iPhone 4S could lead some to believe that there are two different variants making the rounds: one that is a welcome, feature-laden descendant of the earlier iPhone 4; and another that is an embarrassingly disappointing prologue to the post-Jobs age where Apple’s famed innovation has gone the way of Hummers, zero-down mortgages and breezing through airport security. Regardless of the reviewer’s slant, there seems to be universal agreement that the iPhone 4S is an evolution rather than a revolution. Unlike earlier model introductions where Applephiles would dump their older models in a heartbeat, there are actually some who might be better off holding onto their iPhones rather than engaging in knee-jerk upgrading. Brilliant 4S Innovations Cosmetically, the iPhone 4S is a clone of its predecessor, but when you delve into the details you discover that there is barely any aspect of this latest Apple smartphone that has not been extensively revised: The dual core CPU is considerably faster and more capable than earlier single core iterations The camera has been boosted to eight megapixels with 1080P full HD and has a variety of automatic features added The battery provides the same duration as earlier models even though the 4S has considerably greater electricity requirements AirPlay mirroring is absolutely addictive The antenna doesn’t require the mastering of Masonic handshake positions to get reception ...and of course there’s Siri, which is the game changing artificial intelligence voice assistant that is the primary reason to get the iPhone 4S - and is the first step towards the conversion of all human-machine interactions to conversational speech. Old Nags Are Still Present However, not all is perfect in 4S land: Flash is still verboten, locking out nearly three quarters of all active web content The headphones still don’t measure up to the cheap Chinese imports at the local dollar store Satellite navigation is still an extra cost option … and most of all: the 4S is widely regarded as a half-measure on the way to what promises to be a far more revolutionary device in the iPhone 5, which is widely rumored to encompass a swath of new technologies ranging from a larger screen and 4G/LTE support to teleportation and phaser fire. However, this marvelous fantasy device may be as far as a full year away from introduction, so what should an iPhoner do now? Upgrade or hang on? Upgrade Now? Maybe Not If you’re a dyed in the wool enthusiast with Apple juice running through your veins, you’ve likely already stood in line to be the first one on your block to have a 4S. However, if you’re a bit more rational about how your smartphone fits into your lifestyle it may not be necessary to take the 4S leap right now. Most people don’t use their phones as a substitute for a digital SLR, so the capabilities of the new camera will be lost on them, and you can bet that after a brief novelty fling with Siri most 4S owners will rarely ever use it again. Considering that a 4S is going to set you back a couple hundred dollars plus whatever your carrier is going to tack on, the value of upgrading now may be questionable for some Most Mobile Phones Are Used as… Phones The vast majority of the Earth’s 5.3 billion mobile accounts are on phones that allow users to make voice calls and send texts (remember those nostalgic functions?) and get along just fine without pushing the 4S dual core to the limits while playing Infinity Blade. Even many of the owners of the advanced Apple and Android mobile units fail to take full advantage of their devices’ impressive functionalities in their median everyday use.If you need Siri and/or just have to flash the coolest, latest hyperdevice around the workplace or bar, by all means go grab a 4S. If you can rationalize holding on to your iPhone 4 or even (gasp) the 3GS or (double-gasp) the 3G until the 2012 premiere of the iPhone 5, you might find you’ll be a bit richer and just as happy.


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Apple iPhone 4S Siri: The Final (Email Marketing) Frontier

Beyond • October 4, 2011

These are the voyages of the Apple iPhone 4S, it’s ongoing mission: to boldly go where no smartphone has gone before. This morning, when Apple introduced the new iPhone 4S, there had been widespread rumors that it would have incorporated a revolutionary new voice-activated interface. However, not even the most fervent of Apple enthusiasts would have predicted Siri, the new iPhone function that leverages a highly sophisticated level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand your voice commands and respond clearly and accurately. The prospect of conducting a conversation with a handheld device may be novel enough, but Siri presents a breadth of opportunities to online marketers that have never previously existed. As is usually the case when new technological paradigms are established, the early adopters who can come up with the most powerful and compelling applications for that technology are the ones who triumph over their slower competitors. A Game Changer Siri is nothing less than a game changer for mobile marketing, as it paves the way for fully voice controlled automated assistants that actually work. Siri is not the stereotypical voice recognition application that types “putter on a petal stool” when you say “put her on a pedestal.” By applying a remarkably advanced AI to its voice recognition system, Apple has been able to create the most lifelike and realistic voice ever to issue from the cybersphere. Through the implementation of Siri technology, not only can your email newsletter take the form of a realistic voice more like a phone call than a marketing message, but it can be interacted with in real time. Not for Kitchen-Table Programmers Granted, applying AI in an email marketing campaign at this hyperelevated state is not something for kitchen-table HTML coders to tackle. However, you can be certain that in the days ahead there will be a flurry of activity as programmers provide easy-to-use Siri interfaces that will allow you to place your entire product catalog into a voice activated conversational mode and be able to answer many of the questions that your customers might pose. Any queries that stump Siri can be readily directed to your Customer Service personnel: the ones with pulses who actually demand paychecks, benefits and take up office space. Mastering the Most Natural Human Interface The world of high technology is dogged by products that are overhyped and ultimately underdeliver. Anyone who remembers the promises of how the Segway was going to change the urban environment forever can testify to the truth in that statement, and let’s not even mention Microsoft Vista, Olestra or the Betamax. Therefore you can’t be blamed if you are approaching with trepidation the prospect of your email marketing being driven by customers happily engaging in conversations with a piece of plastic that result in your sales levels spiking. Unlike the overhyped technoflops that came before it, the key to the effectiveness of Apple’s latest innovation is that unlike almost all of the computerdom that came before it, Siri presents an interface that can be mastered just as easily by the IT manager of a Fortune 500 corporation as it can by your grandma who still gets up off her chair to change the channel. It is an essential aspect of human life to converse, and by mastering this most natural of all interfaces, Siri is destined to become the new standard in online marketing.


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