Tech round-up for September 21: Siri mispronounces Streisand, NPR cancels comments, how Canadians can return their Note 7, NHL17 simulates World Cup of Hockey

Comments None
Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, take to the ice with NHL17 from EA Sports. Plus, why NPR is getting rid of comments on its website, and correcting Siri’s pronunciation without needing to call Tim Cook (I’m looking at you, Barbra Streisand). But first, how Canadians can replace their Note 7 before it melts down.

Update on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall

Everybody’s talking about Samsung. Not for all the right reasons, unfortunately. But I wanted to set the Canadian context for people.

Last week, the U.S. agency responsible for consumer affairs issued a formal recall of the devices which are at risk of catching fire or exploding while charging.

According to Samsung Electronics Canada spokesperson Paul Brannen, there have been no confirmed incidents in Canada with the Galaxy Note 7 handset. The executive vice president of mobile solutions made the claim in a statement posted to the web.

Even so, Samsung Canada is recalling all Galaxy Note 7 handsets, and there is a special website that has been set up for Canadian Samsung customers to register for the recall.

This could get complicated as new versions of the Note 7, with batteries that are not problematic, hit the market.

To find out if your Note 7 is potentially dangerous, you can visit the U.S. site, which has a device check.

You can also check the safety of your device with the Samsung+ app.

How Apple users can get Siri to pronounce their name correctly

Barbra Streisand didn’t like how Siri pronounced her name. So she called Apple CEO Tim Cook to complain. Apparently a fix for the problem will be part of iOS 10 when it comes out in September.

The singer told the story to NPR, the publicly-supported radio network in the U.S.

She could have fixed the problem herself, actually.

If Siri pronounces a name incorrectly, simply tap on the microphone button and say, “That’s not how you pronounce that.”

Siri will give you pronunciation options that you can choose from.

The other side of this is when Siri doesn’t understand the names that you are saying. This is why there are different language packages even for different countries that use the same languages.

If the name is particularly tricky – maybe it’s Welsh? – you can go into your contacts app and enter a phonetic name that Siri will hear and match up with the correct contact.

Data on online commenting prompts NPR to remove them

Speaking of NPR

We all know that while the Internet can be a wondrous, amazing place, it can also be a horrible, awful place. Which is why there’s an oft-repeated rule that you should never read the comments.

NPR is becoming the latest in an ever-growing list of media organizations and companies to deal with this by getting rid of comments altogether.

Writes Elizabeth Jensen, the ombudsman for NPR:

“NPR’s commenting system — which gets more expensive the more comments that are posted, and in some months has cost NPR twice what was budgeted — is serving a very, very small slice of its overall audience.”

Specifically, 0.06% of all NPR visitors post comments; just 4,300 people post 67% of the comments.

If the comments are mostly vitriol, the reasoning goes, then why give that small number of people a forum? It’s not like the majority of the audience are going to care.

Jensen wrote that she was disappointed that NPR was going to lose the opportunity for listeners to respond, but hopes that “newer engagement options” like using social media.

To be clear, NPR isn’t getting rid of audience engagement altogether. Like the aformentioned others, the discussions are being shifted to social media. Facebook and Twitter in particular. Facebook conversations, it seems, are much more civil.

One reason for that may be that with most Facebook accounts, people are using their real names. I don’t think there’s sound research to prove that using real identities makes people polite, but it’s certainly the reason that many organizations do not permit anonymous commenting.

There are good reasons for allowing anonymous comments, personal security and privacy among them.

Frankly, I don’t know what the solution is. I do think we all need to be nicer to each other.

Play in the World Cup of Hockey with NHL 17

You think EA Sports is going to limit you to NHL teams with the latest edition of its hockey sim? No way.

Sure, you can play as your favourite NHL squad, but you can also pick one of the national teams participating in the World Cup of Hockey, taking place in Toronto this month.

EA Sports always runs a simulation of big tournaments and playoffs, and they are predicting that Team North America, made up of American and Canadian players under the age of 23, will lose the three-game final series to Team Canada, two games to one.

NHL 17 is available now for PS4 and Xbox One/S.


Commenting is closed for this article.

← Older Newer →