Good news for users who have Apple and Windows machines in their environment.
Without the urge to start a fanboy war I always see the pros and cons of different systems. I saw as an ICT consultant for many years, systems come and go but now there is an announcement for cooperation I support to come soon.
Apple will in MAC OS X Mavericks (version 10.9) replace their own AFP protocol by the SMB2 protocol as default setting. SMB is developed by IBM and later on due to the cooperation between IBM and Microsoft on OS/2 eventually evolved into Windows for Workgroups. Since that time SMB is the protocol Microsoft used for sharing via network.
In Apple’s OS X Mavericks Core Technologies Overview June 2013 is written they will use SMB2 as default setting. SMB2 is first used in 2006 in Windows Vista. The strange part is that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008R2 uses SMB 2.1 and Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are using version SMB 2.2 which is later called SMB 3.0 while Apple only writes about SMB2 in their technical document (see page 21).
What is in it for me will a lot of readers think? The advantage is for the users that the connection between Apple and Windows devices will work better (= easier and stabile), faster and more important safer with also more features.
Why does Apple do this?
Apple is active in a niche market but also has to deal with competition like Google. Apple and Microsoft have a love-hate relation for years. They complete each other well. Since Apple uses Intel processor they also support installations of Windows on their computers. Taking the license of Microsoft for using SMB2 will a lot of users of MAC OS X stay within OS X without the need to go to Windows via bootcamp. Apple pays those royalties and it costs a bit but you will have best of both worlds.
On iOS, the operating system of the iPhone and iPad Office of Microsoft in available, you can download it here for free iOS Microsoft Office 365 via official iTunes appstore.
Apple is believed that they in the new iOS7 connect Siri to BING, the search engine of Microsoft.
You see the cooperation gets some depth. Apple and Microsoft try to give some resistance to their common competitor named Google. Till now they can, sort of.
The annual event of Google for Developers is named Google I/O. Google I/O 2013 is currently happening. On internet there are plenty sites about Google I/O but I wanted to give one specific project my special attention.
Google wants to create the ultimate results machine. Not just a search engine which finds some results for you but one which will find on the right moment and location what you want and need.
Do you know the computer of Star Trek?
A place where you can ask questions and have answers for everything… exactly that kind of computer wants Google to built. When Amit Singhal from Google said this is exactly what they are working on now I was thinking… NERD PORN. That’s why this title of this article.
This will change a lot for us, users, if they can serve results faster and better. Some will now think what to think about Apple Siri. Siri is nice but it’s too limited. Imagine that all data and information Google has can use for this cause. The possibilities that can arise.
Soon searching via Chrome will come available with hot words and no interface which will imply you can do this without a keyboard and mouse. The system will react when you say the words : “OK, Google and you can ask you question.
By using Google Now you are already able via iOS and Android devices to try this, but you still have to push the mic-icon.
I had the Google-voice search language already on English US but I changed also Android UI to English US. I didn’t see the correct cards when using Dutch. I wanted to try the just introduced new card Reminder but it didn’t work when I was speaking English. When I changed all the language settings from Dutch to English it was working and I had the new features.
When Google has a search result in a Knowledge Graph this can be spoken as answer. This can be for eg how many people live in China or how much is 100+1. In stead of search results Google shows you the result specially made/calculated for you.
Google Now is an important part in this. If you ask a question Google will try to answer it. Like the Star Computer did in the 1960s TV series.
I tried several things to get an impression. They are working a lot to expand it’s features and I think later expand it to other countries. It’s a begin, but I found it an impressive begin. I did all in English.
How much people live in China?
How much people live in China is a statistic Google has and can answer you when you ask for it. Eventually it’s also meant you could compare this between other statistics like comparing it with India, China and USA inhabitants.
Maybe you already used Google to make a simple calculation. You can also ask how much is one hundred euros in dollars.
You noticed that Google calculates its currency-exchange and pronounce the numbers correct. Google doesn’t say one, two, eight, point, two, six dollar but hundred and twenty eight point two, six dollar. You hear that after the point Google stops reading in a natural way. This will I presume getting fixed in the future but it’s a lot better than in the past.
The question how many meters in one yard works also :
The question every nerd knows to answer is of course What is the speed of light :
Google knows and shows the answer but it’s not read yet. I think this will also come in the near future.
Another Nerd-question : Who is the creator of Star Trek.
I believe Gene Roddenberry would be proud on this begin.
When was Marilyn Monroe born?
That went well with a nice photo and complete date.
When did Elvis die?
Google comes with the correct date and photo again. What I like about this is that Google presume I meant Elvis Presley. I didn’t ask the question literaly. I said Elvis, not Elvis Presley. On this natural way of asking Google is going to bet for the future according Amit.
What is the time in New York now?
That also done well by Google Now.
Now something we need location services. The weather forecast. I ask What is the weather.
Google reads the weather forecast of Maastricht. Maybe you notice this is done in Fahrenheit in stead of Celsius. I was not able to change this. When I change my language to UK it doesn’t understand me well. I believe we can change this more later or even better speak in Dutch in the future. Google does first the US market and later the others.
I asked Google What is the next match of Real Madrid.
The integration with Google+ will be mind-blowing I will now give some voice search command which show you some photos from Google results. You can also let Google search within your own photos. The question I now ask is Can you show me some pictures of Camino de Santiago.
It’s all impressive but we are not yet there. I ask How much is one megabyte in bit.
The result is correct. The speech is not good enough. The figure is not spoken in an natural way like we humans would do (eight million etc….).
Google is really doing good efforts to create the ultimate Star Trek computer.
You can also check out the complete Google I/O 2013 Keynote.
Some other interesting news I want to mention aside the nerd porn :
- 900 million activated Android devices, a lot to go said Sundar with 7 billion people
- APIs with new features: Geofencing, Activity recognition (are you walking, running, cycling, driving, etc…) and Google+ Single Sign-On
- GCM which has the nice new feature to synchronize notification. At the moment 17 billion messages per day with a latency of maximum 60 ms are being processed. Incredible achievement.
- Gaming. Cloud Save. Game till a certain level and continue playing another device. Announced multiplayer.
Then they showed us Racer. A game which remembers me of slot-racing A demo showed how data are being synchronized between applications and devices If you look well you see it’s Android and iOS devices mixed (iPhone, iPad and android phone and tablet). Really nice to see this technically possible, now.
Nice proof of concept… curious what developers can make for this.
- Google+ has 41 new features like related hash-tags whereby they analyse photos and add a hash-tags automatically. A photo with a famous person which doing a sport will get hash-tags with his name, teamname and sport. Photos in Google+ can be easily organised. I tried and tested it three times but I was not able to upload 10 photos so I stopped trying, but it looks promising.
- Hangouts is nice new feature. Messages can be sent to each other despite the platform being used. Works nice. I’m going to make a test with several persons and devices. It looks better than Skype and Whatsapp combined and also more platform freedom.
Proud I announce my second book : “Europese ICT Professional z’n Camino de Santiago” in which I write about my Saint James pilgrims route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostella. This is a journey of almost 800 kilometers on foot. (This is the Dutch Edition, English will be available soon)