Phone Smack-down: Cortana vs. Siri & Google

Wondering how the different mobile virtual assistants fare?

Dan Rubino, of Windows Phone Central, put together a tête-à-tête-à-tête  comparison, pitting newcomer Cortana (Windows phone 8.1) against veterans Siri (Apple) and  Google Now (Android).  Although presented fairly objectively, consider the source when reviewing, and judge for yourself.

If you want to skip the 7 minute video, here’s the the blow-by-blow. In many cases each assistant handled its task slightly differently. For more details view the video, or follow this link to wpcentral.com’s article.

 

Siriapple

Cortanawin8logo

Googlephone_android

Settings
“Turn off WiFi.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Social media
“Four Square, check-in.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Connect
“Call _____ using Skype?”
 blue checkmark  blue checkmark
Events
“When’s the next Miami Heat game?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Flights
“Flight status, AA125.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Appointments
“What’s my schedule?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Web Browser
“Go to CNN.com.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Notes
“Note: I need to repark the car.”
blue checkmark(w/Notepad) blue checkmark(w/One Note) blue checkmark(w/email)
Navigation
“Where’s the nearest Dunkin Donuts?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Weather
“Whats the weather like Tuesday?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

 Windows Phones 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1

At this month’s Build ConferenceMicrosoft debuted their newest mobile operating system,Windows Phone 8.1. This OS will appear on select new phones, with an update for existing phones targeted for later this year.

Here are some highlights:

  • Swype Keyboard Input. Something android users have long enjoyed, this slip-slidemethod of typing and pattern recognition will speed up your mobile typing.
  • Action Center. Pull-down access to key settings (e.g., WiFi, Bluetooth). The Center can be customized, allowing you to select what features you want to access more easily.
  • Cortana, voice recognition IA (named after the character in Microsoft’s HALO game). Speak your request and Cortana responds. Cortana (whose search is, not surprisingly, powered by BING) has both a sense of humor (ask her if she knows Siri) and a decent singing voice.
  • Additional Improvements have been made to the Windows Phone Camera (now featuring a Burst Capture) and Kids Corner (now simplified, so you can easily hand junior your phone for games without worry that your data will be deleted).

To read the full review visit Pocket-lint

 

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

April Fools’ Tips & Tricks

 Happy April 1st.

First the tip: When leaving your PC unattended, press WINDOWS KEY + L to lock your screen and keyboard. This will prevent you from falling prey to any seasonal pranks (like these).

Now the tricksHere is a short list of relatively harmless April Fools’ pranks you could play on a friend’s unlocked PC.

Windows

Change the Double+Click speed

“My mouse is broken”

  1. Click Start, type “mouse”, select Settings filter, then click Change Mouse Settings.
  2. Select the Buttons Tab.
  3. In the Double-Click area move the slider bar to the fastest setting.
  4. Click OK.

Flip the Screen

They might need to stand on their heads for a bit

  • Press CTRL + ALT + DOWN ARROW to rotate the display 180°
  • To return screen to normal press CTRL + ALT + UP ARROW

Excel

Cursor Up on Enter

Gravity will seem to have taken a holiday as Enter moves the cursor up instead of down.

  1. File/ Options / Advanced.
  2. In the Editing section, check After Pressing Enter move selection,
  3. For Direction select Up.
  4. Ok.

Ribbonus-Interruptus

Formula entry is problematic when pressing = moves the focus from the sheet to the Ribbon.

  1. File/ Options / Advanced.
  2. In the Lotus Compatibility section, in the Microsoft menu key field type  =.
  3. Ok.

 

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

MS Office on the iPad

Microsoft Office, for the iPad is finally here!

After years of working with 3rd party viewers, you can now open and view Documents, Spreadsheets and Slides using MS Office for iPad. Tap the Share button to open an attachment in its respective Office application. The look and feel are just like using a streamlined (portable) version of your desktop Office.  That is to say, it won’t have all the same features, but for on-the-go computing it works great.

The apps are free, however, to unlock the full potential you’ll need to subscribe to Office 365. This is the Office via Cloud (aka SAS) and will enable you to create, save and edit files.

I have never been a big fan of editing on a tablet and Word for the iPad has yet to convince me otherwise. I do, however, appreciate being able to view and create spreadsheets while away from my desktop, using Excel for the iPad. But the real winner thus far (less than 24 hours into install) is PowerPoint for the iPad. Now I can display a presentation directly from my iPad to a projector/monitor and use familiar presentation controls, complete with laser pen, highlighter and notes (sweet!)

Comments and questions are always welcome!hɔuᴉnb

 

Google Android Wear

Google-Android-Wear

Google; in your home, on your streets and, soon, on your wrist! The Google smartwatches, or Androidwear, are coming to a mall near you. Watch this video from GoogleMobile to see why you want one.

Spoiler alert: you’re cell phone’s days are numbered.

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Accents made easy in Word

JasonUnderwood
loved your pate!

Our world shrinks and our community becomes increasingly global. For those using the 26 letter (aka, US 101) keyboard, proper communications can be challenging.

Master these easy keyboard shortcuts so as not to mistake pate with pâté, fur with für, or Crème fraîche with, well, anything. 

To avoid a lot of memorization, remember: look for the key that looks like the accented character and match it with a CTRL (and sometimes SHIFT) stroke. Many of the special characters can be created by using apostrophe ( ′ ),  colon (:)  caret (^) and tilde (~).

Char

Name

Keystroke

Example

´

acute accent CTRL +, followed by letter más (Sp., more)

`

grave accent CTRL + `, followed by letter (Fr., where)

¨

diaeresis/umlaut CTRL + SHIFT + :, followed by letter Tür (Gr., door)

^

circumflex CTRL+ SHIFT ^, followed by letter tête (Fr., head)

~

tilde CTRL + SHIFT ~, followed by letter Piña Colada (a dreadful 70s song)
Bonus language-specific shortcuts:

ç

(Fr.) cedilla CTRL + , (comma), followed by c garçon (boy)

ß

(Gr.) eszett CTRL + SHIFT + &, followed s groß (large)

Related

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Excel NCAA templates

March Madness is upon us!

In 1892 Coach James Naismith hammered two peach baskets into the gym balcony, and forever changed how we use Excel!

NCAA_LooneyToons

Using these free templates available in Excel, you can plot out your final four projections!

To access NCAA templates

  1. Click File and select New.
  2. In the Search Office Templates field type ‘NCAA‘ (no quotes) and press the search arrow. The search results will populate the dialog.
  3. Select preferred template and click Download.

ncaa

from Wikipedia:

[Naismith] divided his class of 18 into 2 teams of 9 players each and set about to teach them the basics of his new game of Basketball. The objective of the game was to throw the [ball], into the fruit baskets nailed to the lower railing of the gym balcony. Every time a point was scored, the game was halted so the janitor could bring out a ladder and retrieve the ball. Later, the bottoms of the fruit baskets were removed. The first public basketball game was played in Springfield, MA, on March 11, 1892. That day, he asked his class to play a match in the Armory Street court: 9 versus 9, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets.

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Additional reading:

Comments and questions are always welcome!