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Apple’s Siri vs. Google Search Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Voice Assistant



Siri Vs Google Jelly Bean

In Google I/O it was announced that Android will be updated from Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Revolutionary improvements are set to help Google make some leaps ahead in all kinds of areas from usability, searching, voice transcription and more. In this head to head battle however the analysis is on the personalized voice assistants in Google & Apple done by Jon Rettinger from Techno Buffalo.

Watch the video battle below

Everyone has loved Siri, Apple’s voice assistant which has done the best job of introducing voice commands on a smart phone. Siri has won hands down against other voice assistants with it’s speed and accuracy. This time around however, the battle has changed and it seems that Google’s Android Jelly Bean pre-release is faster than Siri about bringing back answers.

Google has called part of their voice & virtual assistant product Google Now. While some reviewers have associated the Google search with Google Now, we are pretty sure from viewing the Google I/O presentation these are two different things. If you have some insights or opinions on the difference feel free to let us know in the comments.

Now some might say that this comparison showing Google’s Jelly Bean beating Siri at answer questions ins’t fair because this is an older version of Siri, but that’s not the case. The version of Siri used in the video below is Apple’s iOS 6 Beta Version compared to the Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Pre-release.

So why exactly is Google’s Jelly Bean kicking the snot out of Siri at answering questions? Theories are that since the translation & transcribing engines are cooked right into the operating system into the Smartphones Android 4.1 it doesn’t need to talk to servers to process the voice. The voice gets direct transcribing and is submitted to Google search for the correct answers.

Google has also built some custom products which Google has called the Google Knowledge Graph. This new product allows Google to feed questions and answers directly into this Knowledge Graph by displaying panels that provide the information accurately and quickly.

Besides just winning in the speed Google seems to have tamed the robotic voice beast. This time around with Jelly Bean Android 4.1 you will notice that the voice responses sound more human like and you might forget you’re talking to a robotic virtual assistant. At this point, Siri is still talking robot and quickly reminds you it’s not your friend answering questions but a smart phone!

Here’s the video below of Siri vs. Google Search

Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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  1. Andrew

    June 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Great… the one thing that the iphone had better finally got trumped! Now what u got apple?

  2. jeffDham

    June 30, 2012 at 2:29 am

    I love my apple products, especially my iphone and siri. Having said that, it’s kind of interesting to see Google with voice assistance. It looks really good and on top of that it really makes me curious about the android platform. It seems it has come a long way. But, most likely I’ll wait on the Iphone 5.

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US Federal Agencies Are Spending Millions To Hack iPhones



ICE bought a hacking tool that would allow them to hack locked iPhones.

When people on the streets tell you that the government is spying on you, they might be right in saying that. Law enforcement and other federal agencies have been purchasing several technologies that would allow them to check up on Americans – even against their will.

A recent $1.2 million purchase was made by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a technology that would essentially hack into a locked iPhone. The acquisition underscores how law enforcement and other federal agencies are using technology in violation of Americans’ rights to privacy.

The said contract has two components. The first one, valued at $384,000 and was made in September 2018, and another made this month for $819,000. Sources revealed that the said hacking equipment will go to the agency’s Homeland Security Investigation unit. The unit focuses on the investigation on immigration crimes, drug trafficking, child exploitation, and money laundering, according to Thomas Brewster from Forbes.

Nonetheless, the ICE refused to disclose how the equipment will be used and for what purpose will it serve, but according to Washington Post, the contract come amid heightened and pervasive concern about the warrantless searches of phones and laptops that ICE and Customs and Border Protection conduct at airports and other points of entry following the stringent immigration crackdown by the Trump administration.

The American Civil Liberties, who sued the US government over the warrantless searches in the airport by two federal agencies said that they found that “CBP and ICE are asserting near-unfettered authority to search and seize travelers’ devices at the border.” That includes “for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws” including “investigating and enforcing bankruptcy, environmental, and consumer protection laws.”

The said contract of ICE is with a company known as Grayshift. The company is known for marketing tools to law enforcement specifically those that can hack into locked iPhones. They have been involved in so many conflicts with Apple as the tech company develops encryptions that would block Grayshift’s ability to hack into the device, but Grayshift seems always to find a new way to get in.

In the past, Grayshift has signed contracts with different federal agencies since 2017 including ICE, the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The total amount of deal the company inked with the U.S. government reaches $2.6 million according to the information on a government spending database.

In 2015, the FBI had waged a high-stakes lawsuit against Apple, the manufacturer of iPhones, because according to them, the security features in the phones make it hard for law enforcement and investigation agencies to bypass. According to the FBI, the advanced encryption systems in iPhones are hurting their investigations and are allowing criminals and terrorists to “go dark” online. They have been complaining that tech companies have been very uncooperative in helping them bypass those encryptions and now it seems that they are turning into another technology to avoid them without the permission of the user or the phone manufacturer.

Despite the hot water that federal agencies have been bathing in as the issue on hacking and encryption breaking becomes more public, the FBI, among other federal agencies in question, is yet to prove that their inability to bypass the said encryption systems thwarts their investigation.

In fact, in the 2015 lawsuit that FBI filed to compel Apple to help them decrypt the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, the bureau ultimately withdraw its demand due to the lack of proof of the necessity of decryption. Sources suggest that an unnamed third party offered to help the agency hack into the iPhone for a hefty price.

The specific “help” that the third party offered was to disable a safeguard that would have wiped the phone’s contents after too many wrong password guesses. Interestingly, this method is similar to what Grayshift is offering. When this safeguard is disabled, federal agencies can run a program that tries all possible password combinations until they finally land on the right one without the risk of the content being wiped out.

Critics argue that the rush to litigate their demands against Apple is aimed not to hack the specific iPhone used by the shooter in the case but instead to set a precedent that would make it easier for them to request from the court a similar demand in the future.

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US-China Trade War Plaguing Tech Industries



Laest on us-china tariffs have cause tech companies to suffer

As news about the never-ending trade war between the United States and China began to emerge last week, there’s only one thing that’s sure: it’s not going to be good news. As the tension escalates between the two countries, the latest on the trade talks would most likely affect you.

Apparently, the United States has decided to raise tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. That’s a significant leap from the previous 10% to 25%. In obvious retaliation, China has also decided to impose tariffs on over $60 billion on U.S. goods starting June 1. Moreover, another $300 billion could be subjected to higher tariffs from China as early as July. According to the list released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, it will include a large majority of imports from China. Bluntly, covering nearly all products that the U.S. buy.

Ideally, what President Trump is trying to achieve with the on-going trade war is to pressure China into accepting a deal that would be more beneficial or, at least, less exploitative to American businesses whose manufacturers and resources come from China.

In a series of tweets that Trump has sent out to Twitter this week, he seems to consistently point out that Tariffs are actually a good thing and that the U.S. will gain more in the long run, that is if China will still refuse to accept the deal has previously been offered.

In a tweet, he claims that this year’s “good” first quarter was significantly aided by tariffs from China. That may be true, coming from an economic perspective. However, he seems to have sugarcoated the issue quite too much. The effects of U.S.-China trade wars and tariffs are consequential and definitely not a harmless battle.

In this next string of tweets, Trump seems to have completely been alluded by the idea that China will, in fact, give in to the terms set by the U.S. and that if they won’t, China is still on the losing end because U.S. companies could easily move out of China and source other resources in neighboring countries in Asia such as Vietnam. Better yet, U.S. companies can move their businesses back to provide more jobs for the American people.

But what Trump claims are easier said than done. As of the moment, most U.S. companies rely on China for manufacturing and resources. Particularly, companies like Apple would need to pay much less with Chinese employees compared to the U.S.

Moreover, tech companies source materials such as steel from China, which is vital in phone or tablet making, to name a few. In other words, having a manufacturing house in China would be more cost-effective for U.S. companies because they wouldn’t need to pay for tariffs of moving resources from one country to the other.

Specifically, companies like Apple are the ones at the front to absorb the impact of the latest set of tariffs since tech companies manufacture most of their consumer goods in China. In this case, Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and MacsBooks. So in a couple of months, if you’re looking to buy a Mac charger, expect to pay a few dollars more.

In numbers, Apple had its biggest drop of the year in the stock market since President Trump started to tweet about China tariffs last May 5. It fell 5.8% at $185 and lost almost 12% of its market value. This means a significant $120 billion loss for its shareholders.

In relation to President Trump’s tweet above, tech companies aren’t the only ones who will suffer the latest tariff adjustments. Most of the U.S. farm and produce exports mainly go to China to meet their large demand. However, by increasing tariffs on these products, the Chinese would most likely be forced to buy less or, worse, to source goods outside the U.S.

The trade game that two of the most powerful economies in the world may be a power play between who will give in to whom but the fact still exists that its effects directly affects its citizens. It’s true that the United States may earn from the upsurge of tariff implementations on China but the ones who are really paying are American households and businesses.

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See Through The Dark: A Helpful Guide On Setting Every Device On Dark Mode



Dark Mode for Android, Iphone, Mac and Windows

Bright and blinding screens on your phones, computers and other devices have currently become a “problem” for most users. Although the brightness of these screens can be manually set from bright to dim, users still demand something like an option that would make their experience a lot easier, especially for the eyes.

These demands are the reason why several devices, operating systems, and phone applications have included a dark mode option for their programs.

What is dark mode?

Dark mode is a feature on the theme of your phones, laptops, and applications that sets it to black or something close to it. Aside from the fact that it changes the look of the program, it also helps the eyes especially when you use your devices in the middle of the night, and you’re too lazy to turn on the lights. Also, the dark mode helps the battery life of devices to last longer especially when smartphones have an OLED display.

But during these days, with the undeniable support for dark mode option for devices, it is not rare anymore to find programs and operating systems that support this specific feature. A system-wide dark mode was added by Google to the third beta of Android Q. You can also notice this on the operating system of the maCOS Mojave and Nintendo Switch. There are also certain apps that have the dark mode option like Twitter, Google Chrome, Messenger and Slack. Moreover, Google is devoted to applying this feature on all the first-party applications they produce, but the dark mode is not yet available everywhere.

With the unlimited demand for dark mode, there are third-party solutions that let you apply the dark mode on your device, but this does not guarantee a successful dark mode display.

Either way here are some tips and tricks to set dark mode on your devices. But do take note, that before jumping on this opportunity, there are inevitable mishaps due to device incompatibility.


All iPhone users know that dark mode is not yet supported on the current iOS. However iOS 12 offers a smart color inverter for its apps. But it does not guarantee a full on color change for the downloaded programs. There will be app elements whose color would not be able to be inverted by the iOS 12. Do not fret because this option works very well with the pre-installed applications of iPhone.

To turn on color smart inverter:

  1. Tap on the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap on General, then on Accessibility
  3. Tap on Display Accommodations which is the fourth from the top options.
  4. Find Invert colors and tap on it
  5. Switch on the Smart Invert option

If the Smart Invert isn’t enough for you, according to a report from Bloomberg a full support dark mode will be launched on iOS 13. This next update on the iOS software may have a full effect on the whole interface of the operating system.


The third developer preview for Android Q launched Dark Theme, a google system-wide dark mode. However, this feature is only available on Pixel phones and 15 other devices.

To activate Dark Theme on Android Q. On your screen, pull down from the top of the display to reveal Quick Settings, and you will find a button to activate Dark Theme. If you can’t immediately see the icon, pull all the way down of the screen and click on the pen icon. Drag the Dark Theme icon on your main lineup, and when you click it, it will automatically enforce the Dark Theme on the whole system of Android Q.

There is a chance that Dark Theme won’t be activated on some applications, but you won’t have to worry since Google is trying its best to build this feature on its first-party apps.

If ever you still don’t have the device that runs on Android Q beta, the case is a little bit different, but there is still the dark mode option but with limited performance.

Here is how to activate the Night Mode for Samsung phones that have the Android 9 Pie:

  1. Find the setting menu a tap Display > Advances
  2. At the bottom of the feature list, you will find the “Dark Mode.” Then activate the setting.

Furthermore, whatever Android phone you have as long as it runs on Android 9 Pie, you can set Night Mode as your default setting as long as you have Developer options.

  1. To activate Developer options, open Settings and click on About Phone
  2. At the very bottom, you can find “Build number” then tap that seven times to access Developer options which you can find in Settings in this sequence: Settings > Advanced  > Developer options
  3. Scroll down, and you can see Night Mode at the bottom, and you can set it to “Always On” or “Automatic (based on time of the day)”

If you want a quick solution to set your phone on Night Mode, you can download from Google Store the app, “Nova Launcher.” It’s free, and it sets your phone’s user interface to dark mode.


If your device is running on macOS Mojave, it already has a built-in system-wide dark mode. It can also toggle on third-party applications that are built to support it such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

To enable dark mode on a macOS Mojave-running device:

  1. Open system preference by clicking the Apple logo at the top left of the screen
  2. Click on General
  3. In the Appearance section, you can see the option to switch the look of the user interface
  4. There are Apple applications that won’t automatically turn on dark mode unless you manually enable their settings. Apps like Notes, Mail, Maps, TextEdit and Dynamic Desktop, are some of the apps with this rule.

If you only want dark mode for your device on a specific time, you can download f.lux and NightOwl which can change the scheme of your device’s theme on a specified time of the day you want it to activate.


With Windows 10, it’s straightforward to enable the dark mode settings on your device. However, just like other programs, the dark mode setting for Windows 10 is not automatically supported by the application, but it still does work for pre-installed applications

  1. Go to Personalization menu within the system’s settings which you can also navigate through by right-clicking on the window
  2. On the sidebar, you can choose your preferred color Under App Mode and select the dark option to enable the dark mode.

With all these tricks of the trade for your gadgets, you can now easily navigate through your device at any time of the day and circumstance. So the next time you’re stuck in your room at the dead of night and still can’t go to sleep, you can avoid counting sheeps but instead read through tweets, answer emails or scroll through social media without the need to turn on the lights because you already know how to set everything in dark mode.

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