Friday 8 June 2012

News: StarBugs, Dyslexia, Housing Market, Apple Sues SIII & Euro 2012

News!!! News!!! News!!! Finally!!

I have been waiting for these worthy news for a long time!!! And here they are!!!

Image from Sam Hodgson, Bloomberg
Starbucks plans to upgrade its pastries by investing US$100M in absorbing the San Francisco-based Bay Bread, this is always good news for the customers, as they need not be reminded of the red bug syrup Frappuccino that had gone through their digestive systems previously. Lucky I was never a fan of their Strawberry Frap, but in Hong Kong, will we get to try out some of the Bay Bread cakes?

Red bugs in the Starbucks syrup
Image from Red Orbit

Image from Locky's English Playground
Second news talks about a research published the National Academy of Sciences which shows that 54 Italian and 40 French dyslexic children aged 8 to 14 are shown to have increased their reading speed by 20% and the accuracy doubled when using font size 14, 5.2pt spacing texts. If this works across all races and written languages, then it will be a great news for the dyslexics. I have always found reading words too small or too big more difficult and slower, so I believe that font size and spacing do matter. Teachers should understand this and not blame their dyslexic students if they cannot read fast enough for "normal" text.

Image from Macau Daily
The third news reports that Hong Kong's financial secretary John Tsang warns / advises Hong Kong property buyers again to manage their risk and that further measures will be implemented to stabilise the market. Public opinions are 50-50, half thinks that housing market will fall after the next chief executive assumes duty on the 1st July, others think prices will continue to rise at 5-10% within a year. All I know is, when you need it, you can't wait. Investments need a lot of luck.

Last but not least, Apple knows Samsung is serious this time with their Galaxy SIII and has to resort to what-else-other-than patent lawsuits again to stop GSIII from selling in the U.S.! Apple is attacking GSIII for its Siri-like S-Voice speech recognition personal assistant and data-tapping (whatever that means).

Image from ABC News
In order to understand the case better, here's a short story about Siri and S-Voice.

Image from Vlingo

  1. Apple bought Siri when it was an app on the App Store on April 28, 2010.
  2. Siri's voice recognition technology is powered by Nuance.
  3. S-Voice developed by GSIII is powered by Vlingo.
  4. Vlingo used to be involved in multiple lawsuits with Siri due to patent infringements until Nuance bought Vlingo.
  5. So now both Siri and S Voice are powered by the same company, Nuance.
  6. Therefore, Apple owns Siri, Samsung owns S Voice, both use service from Nuance, 

In a sense, it is just like two restaurants having the same vegetable supplier but serving different customers. Is that wrong? I don't think so, Apple is unlikely to be able to win in the court with this point.

Anyway, Apple, can you stop trying to stop other brands and fight fair like a man! Killing creativity by limiting consumers' choices is just going to make more people want other phones! Stop your iSweatshop factories and make better phones to beat your competitors!

Image from ESPN
Euro 2012 will kick off in 10 hours 48 mins 47 secs. Football fans shouldn't miss the updates on ESPN!!! Time to learn to pronounce names of players in their native languages, really helps when you need to read those brand names.

dyslexic -- (adj) a difficulty with reading and writing caused by the brain's being unable to see the difference between some letter shapes
stabilise -- (vb) [T] If you stabilize something, you cause it to become fixed or to stop changing
assume -- (vb)[T]  to take or begin to have responsibility or control, sometimes without the right to do so, or to begin to have a characteristic
resort to sth -- phrasal verb to do something that you do not want to do because you cannot find any other way of achieving something


Starbucks to upgrade food by buying artisan bakery chain @ Los Angeles Times,0,2144357.story

Starbucks Uses Bugs To Color Frappuccino @ RedOrbit

Wider letter spacing helps dyslexics read: study @ Google News

Hong Kong's financial secretary urges property prudence @ Macau Daily Times

Apple Tries to Stop Samsung Galaxy S III at the Border @ All Things D

Samsung challenges Apple’s move to block Galaxy smartphone sales in the US @ Washington Post

Siri v S Voice @ YouTube

Inside Apple's Chinese 'sweatshop' factory where workers are paid just £1.12 per hour to produce iPhones and iPads for the West @ Dailymail

Siri @ Wikipedia

Samsung blocking Vlingo-powered ‘S-Voice’ feature for non-Galaxy S III users @ 9to5Google

Nuance acquires speech recognition competitor Vlingo, Apple’s speech engine choices dwindle @ 9to5Mac

ESPN Euro 2012