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Poll

How do you feel about Cortana?

Gimme!
0 (0%)
I'll use it - if it works
1 (16.7%)
I won't use it - even if it does work
1 (16.7%)
Stay out of my life please.
4 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: March 03, 2015, 08:56:09 AM

Last post Author Topic: The return of Clippy! Microsoft says more about their digital assistant Cortana  (Read 7148 times)

40hz

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Clippy is baaaaack! But this time, he's gotten a major overhaul and a new name (Cortana) - and is no longer restricted to helping you figure out how to use Office.

I have very mixed feelings about this new feature Microsoft will be introducing into their Windows 10 OS.



I have to admire the implicit hubris in the assertion that Microsoft knows "what's great for customers."

Maybe it's me, but the "yes-buts" are drowning out the "sounds-goods" right now. And I find the constantly repeated "your" to somewhat suspect considering Microsoft's track record on issues such as privacy and square dealings with their customers.

The Register has an article on it here.

tomos

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I'd be open to trying it, but wary about what exactly it's 'learning'.
Tom

wraith808

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So, I have iOS devices.  And I really am starting to *hate* Siri.  Why?  Because their need to make it 'learn' and aggregate data gets in the way of it's usefulness.  And there's no way to opt out.

It seems they hobble adoption by those that might be open to using it.

An example... I have standup everyday, and sometimes I'm driving.  So it seems like a perfect use for Siri.  You program in a number for stand up, and when it's time- you say call standup, right?  But if there's no data reception at the time, it says "I can't take commands right now" because it needs to consult the aggregate data.  To call one of my contacts.  And then... what is it doing with the aggregate data of me calling a personal contact?

Things that make you go hmmm...

40hz

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^Considering how well the spell check suggestions work on my iPhone, I had very little in the way of hopeful expectations when it came to Siri. And I soon discovered it wasn't unreasonable for me to feel that way about it.

I especially appreciate the way Siri sometimes pops up without being asked. I lost several critical moments in a presentation I was recording thanks to my not noticing Siri was waiting for me to ask it to do something - and suspended the recording app I was using in order to do so. Which I don't get. The phone was just sitting on the table in front of me - completely untouched - when it happened.

siri.png

Siri is a rather pretty bit of coding. But it's also (from my experience) rather useless. I guess you could say Siri is 'pretty useless.'

At least AFAIC.

Curt

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Quote
... that we can build a personal assistant, ..., who knows your patterns, your behaviour, what you want, and predictions...

 if I am scared by Google wanting to know everything about me,
guess how scared this Microsoft assistant is making me!


Is Cortana funded by some American anti-terror agency?  :-\



40hz

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Is Cortana funded by some American anti-terror agency?  :-\

I sometimes get the feeling that the entire world of technology is now being funded by some big and terrified American agency.

I wonder if they will ever realize that 90% of the terror they're fighting against is often nothing more than the terror that only exists in their imaginative heads?

------------

Full soon in deepest hearts care finds a nest,
And builds her bed of pain, in secret still,
There rocks herself, disturbing joy and rest,
And ever takes new shapes to work her will
With fluttering fears for home or wife or child,
A thought of poison, flood, or perils wild;

For man must quail at bridges never crossed,
Lamenting even things he never lost."


                           -- Goethe, Faust
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 11:06:04 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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^Considering how well the spell check suggestions work on my iPhone, I had very little in the way of hopeful expectations when it came to Siri. And I soon discovered it wasn't unreasonable for me to feel that way about it.

Damn you auto-correct!  And Siri! ;D

app103

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Have they really improved their voice recognition a lot, since this demonstration of its capabilities?



I predict it will be as pleasurable to use as this, especially if you have any sort of accent that would be considered foreign to its developers:


xtabber

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Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

The money quote in the Microsoft PR release is this:  “She will learn your preferences, provide quick access to information, and make recommendations personalized for you.”

Translated into English, that means that the primary function of Cortana (as with Siri and Google Now) is to collect personal information about you to sell your profile to marketers.



40hz

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Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

Possibly only because the technology wasn't yet available (and Microsoft lacked Apple's "the world is my oyster" vision) to make it so? ;)

wraith808

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Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

Possibly only because the technology wasn't yet available (and Microsoft lacked Apple's "the world is my oyster" vision) to make it so? ;)

For the missteps of Clippy and Bob, it's pretty easy to see that the ideas are pretty analogous to what we're getting today.

40hz

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Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

Possibly only because the technology wasn't yet available (and Microsoft lacked Apple's "the world is my oyster" vision) to make it so? ;)

For the missteps of Clippy and Bob, it's pretty easy to see that the ideas are pretty analogous to what we're getting today.

Microsoft never willingly abandons an investment in research or software development. Even when it's a bad idea or doesn't work.

But that mindset still doesn't stop them from abandoning a genuine technical achievement like FlightSim simply because it (a) wasn't "serious" enough and (b) they couldn't sell 80 million copies of it.

wraith808

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Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

Possibly only because the technology wasn't yet available (and Microsoft lacked Apple's "the world is my oyster" vision) to make it so? ;)

For the missteps of Clippy and Bob, it's pretty easy to see that the ideas are pretty analogous to what we're getting today.

Microsoft never willingly abandons an investment in research or software development. Even when it's a bad idea or doesn't work.

But that mindset still doesn't stop them from abandoning a genuine technical achievement like FlightSim simply because it (a) wasn't "serious" enough and (b) they couldn't sell 80 million copies of it.


Isn't FlightSim not only a technical achievement... but an investment?  Which is why it boggles me that they abandon the investment already made... not just from a technical perspective, but the sheer amount of data processed for the detail of the landscapes and such.

40hz

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Isn't FlightSim not only a technical achievement... but an investment?  Which is why it boggles me that they abandon the investment already made... not just from a technical perspective, but the sheer amount of data processed for the detail of the landscapes and such.

Something went down, that's for sure! I never once heard an explanation from anybody (including the "mothership" herself) why they axed that gem. And not just axed it either. They completely buried it as well. Inventory completely pulled from retail channels. No legacy copy for "download sale only." No tombstone freebie release to the public like they did with Money. Dunno...it just makes no sense based on anything they officially told us. And the rumors about "what really happened" haven't made much sense either.

And that's too bad. FlightSim would have been all they needed to keep me (and a lot of other people) customers of Microsoft forever.

Vurbal

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Even though I was never that interested in Flight Simulator, the game controller technology it spawned was ground breaking, and opened my thinking up about computer interfaces significantly.
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TaoPhoenix

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Isn't FlightSim not only a technical achievement... but an investment?  Which is why it boggles me that they abandon the investment already made... not just from a technical perspective, but the sheer amount of data processed for the detail of the landscapes and such.

Something went down, that's for sure! I never once heard an explanation from anybody (including the "mothership" herself) why they axed that gem. And not just axed it either. They completely buried it as well. Inventory completely pulled from retail channels. No legacy copy for "download sale only." No tombstone freebie release to the public like they did with Money. Dunno...it just makes no sense based on anything they officially told us. And the rumors about "what really happened" haven't made much sense either.

And that's too bad. FlightSim would have been all they needed to keep me (and a lot of other people) customers of Microsoft forever.

Sometimes, with all of the cop shows going on, you'd want somehow for questions you always wanted answered to be crucial to some kind of terrorist sting bust. "We TRIED To keep the secret, but then it was found out that evil guys used it!"

MS does some strange things sometimes. Or a lot of times, in the music businesses.

Clippy was annoying, but to my knowledge it at least was "innocently annoying". Now everything that companies do has an ominous tone of collecting and doing things with info.

 >:(

app103

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Translated into English, that means that the primary function of Cortana (as with Siri and Google Now) is to collect personal information about you to sell your profile to marketers.

Once upon a time there was a notorious purple monkey that you could talk to. And because he did that, they called him spyware. His existence was just one of many cases that lead to the the creation and need for anti-spyware applications.

bonzibuddy-32779[1].jpg

Now we have a new breed of spyware, that for some twisted corporate political reason, it is considered acceptable when they do the same as the old spyware, and the anti-spyware applications do not and will not detect and offer to remove them.

Personally, I do not see the difference between the Cortana, Siri, and the purple monkey, except that the latter was a bit less advanced in its capabilities in both what it could do for the user, and in how much data it could collect about them.

So, what does that mean? It's ok when a large corporation creates software that spies on you and collects data for marketing purposes, but not ok when smaller companies create less advanced software, capable of collecting less info, for the same purpose?

wraith808

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So, what does that mean? It's ok when a large corporation creates software that spies on you and collects data for marketing purposes, but not ok when smaller companies create less advanced software, capable of collecting less info, for the same purpose?

*cough* Java *cough*

It has been annoying me for a while that it can bundle the ask toolbar with it by default selected, and no one calls them on it...

app103

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So, what does that mean? It's ok when a large corporation creates software that spies on you and collects data for marketing purposes, but not ok when smaller companies create less advanced software, capable of collecting less info, for the same purpose?

*cough* Java *cough*

It has been annoying me for a while that it can bundle the ask toolbar with it by default selected, and no one calls them on it...

I am talking more about things like the Ask toolbar, itself. Why is that considered unacceptable malware/spyware/adware and things like Cortana, Siri, and Google Now are not? There was quite a few applications in the first generation of this type of software that were quite useful and users went out of their way to install, that collected data on it's users for marketing purposes (Go!Zilla, Flashget, Copernic Shopper, Gator, ZipUpTheWeb, WeatherBug, etc). Why is the new generation of big corporate spyware considered acceptable and not held up to the same standards as the old stuff was subjected to, and that stuff from smaller companies is still subjected to?

wraith808

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So, what does that mean? It's ok when a large corporation creates software that spies on you and collects data for marketing purposes, but not ok when smaller companies create less advanced software, capable of collecting less info, for the same purpose?

*cough* Java *cough*

It has been annoying me for a while that it can bundle the ask toolbar with it by default selected, and no one calls them on it...

I am talking more about things like the Ask toolbar, itself. Why is that considered unacceptable malware/spyware/adware and things like Cortana, Siri, and Google Now are not? There was quite a few applications in the first generation of this type of software that were quite useful and users went out of their way to install, that collected data on it's users for marketing purposes (Go!Zilla, Flashget, Copernic Shopper, Gator, ZipUpTheWeb, WeatherBug, etc). Why is the new generation of big corporate spyware considered acceptable and not held up to the same standards as the old stuff was subjected to, and that stuff from smaller companies is still subjected to?

Well, yes, the ask toolbar is bad.  But it is even worse in that it's being bundled with Java.  Like all of these companies are in bed with each other to erode the consciousness of the average consumer to the point where this kind of thing is commonplace and accepted.

app103

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So, what does that mean? It's ok when a large corporation creates software that spies on you and collects data for marketing purposes, but not ok when smaller companies create less advanced software, capable of collecting less info, for the same purpose?

*cough* Java *cough*

It has been annoying me for a while that it can bundle the ask toolbar with it by default selected, and no one calls them on it...

I am talking more about things like the Ask toolbar, itself. Why is that considered unacceptable malware/spyware/adware and things like Cortana, Siri, and Google Now are not? There was quite a few applications in the first generation of this type of software that were quite useful and users went out of their way to install, that collected data on it's users for marketing purposes (Go!Zilla, Flashget, Copernic Shopper, Gator, ZipUpTheWeb, WeatherBug, etc). Why is the new generation of big corporate spyware considered acceptable and not held up to the same standards as the old stuff was subjected to, and that stuff from smaller companies is still subjected to?

Well, yes, the ask toolbar is bad.  But it is even worse in that it's being bundled with Java.  Like all of these companies are in bed with each other to erode the consciousness of the average consumer to the point where this kind of thing is commonplace and accepted.

I will agree that the Ask toolbar is bad, more because of how it ends up on a user's system. But would someone that actually went to the Ask website and willingly downloaded and installed the toolbar, because they wanted it, feel the same way? There are plenty of people that I know that have gone out of their way to install the Alexa toolbar, which is in the same category. Yes, both are spyware. But they are not more spyware-ish than the Google toolbar ever was, and that toolbar was never flagged by spyware removers.

I willingly downloaded and installed Flashget, and even paid for it (for ad removal), and later on had to tell my anti-spyware software to ignore it and not remove it from my system.

Same with Copernic Shopper (which I miss), and Gator (I used to be a freebie hunter and had to fill out a lot of forms on a daily basis. Gator made it quick & easy, and was the only software like it, that I could find at the time).

All of these were flagged by anti-spyware apps for good reasons...but the new spyware by big companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple are not held to the same standards as these apps were, and they are no less spyware than the old stuff was, and in some ways they are even worse.

And that is my point.

The crapware that gets bundled with things like Java is a completely different discussion, because that stuff does get detected and removed by anti-spyware.

When was the last time you saw Spybot S&D or Malwarebytes flag and offer to remove iTunes, Quicktime, Google toolbar, etc. And what is the likelihood that they will ever offer to deactivate/neuter Cortana for you?

wraith808

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The crapware that gets bundled with things like Java is a completely different discussion, because that stuff does get detected and removed by anti-spyware.

It actually doesn't.  The ask toolbar isn't considered to be malware, at least by any of the scanners that I use.  At most, it's flagged as questionable.  The official Java installer installs the Ask toolbar.  And Oracle is just as large as the other players. And no one says anything about it.

40hz

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When was the last time you saw Spybot S&D or Malwarebytes flag and offer to remove iTunes, Quicktime, Google toolbar, etc. And what is the likelihood that they will ever offer to deactivate/neuter Cortana for you?

If they ever did try, I'd expect Microsoft would simply remove them instead. Probably with their Malicious Software Removal Tool which runs as part of the regular "security updates" maintenance cycle.

You can get heavy with 3rd-party apps that try to do things you don't like. But it's considerably harder to do that with something the OS developer included and billed as "a feature" for their OS. Try to remove something like that and you're suddenly in that awkward position where you run the risk being classified as malware yourself. Microsoft has the last word about what is and what isn't malware. It's their operating system. They own it. So they get to define the parameters.

wraith808

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When was the last time you saw Spybot S&D or Malwarebytes flag and offer to remove iTunes, Quicktime, Google toolbar, etc. And what is the likelihood that they will ever offer to deactivate/neuter Cortana for you?

If they ever did try, I'd expect Microsoft would simply remove them instead. Probably with their Malicious Software Removal Tool which runs as part of the regular "security updates" maintenance cycle.

You can get heavy with 3rd-party apps that try to do things you don't like. But it's considerably harder to do that with something the OS developer included and billed as "a feature" for their OS. Try to remove something like that and you're suddenly in that awkward position where you run the risk being classified as malware yourself. Microsoft has the last word about what is and what isn't malware. It's their operating system. They own it. So they get to define the parameters.


Which was another point of control built into their 'kind' offer of anti-virus software...  :-\

app103

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The crapware that gets bundled with things like Java is a completely different discussion, because that stuff does get detected and removed by anti-spyware.

It actually doesn't.  The ask toolbar isn't considered to be malware, at least by any of the scanners that I use.  At most, it's flagged as questionable.  The official Java installer installs the Ask toolbar.  And Oracle is just as large as the other players. And no one says anything about it.

Also, Oracle didn't make the Ask toolbar, while Apple did make iTunes and Siri, Google did make the Google toolbar and the Chrome browser, and Microsoft did make Cortana, and a ton of other crap that I can't recall at this moment.

While Oracle can be blamed for bundling questionable software and with the way they present it in their installer, they can't be blamed for what the Ask toolbar actually contains or does.

Should anti-malware prevent you from installing Java or deactivate/remove Java if it is found on your system? Or just the Ask toolbar, which is not Oracle's product? That is the difference.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 08:07:02 PM by app103 »