Apple Grows User Base, Makes Bank (Again); Google Translate Getting Audio Transcription; Cadillac Enhances Super Cruise; London Deploying Live Facial RecognitionPosted: January 29, 2020
Apple released their numbers yesterday, and as you might expect, made a bundle of dough in the holiday quarter. Appleinsider.com reports that Apple had an 8% revenue growth year over year, raking in $91.8 billion. That’s a huge number, but the real eye-popping number was the installed user base. Apple now has over 1.5 billion active devices in use by customers around the world, up from 1.4 billion a year ago! Bumping up by 100 million in a year is a pretty sweet jump for Cupertino. CEO Tim Cook also noted that it was Apple’s 5th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth outside iPhone sales, and they set a new record for growth in services. More than ever, they are proving that they are not just an iPhone company.
A new feature is coming to Google Translate that will make it more useful than ever. Google will be adding transcriptions in the next few months…at least on Android versions. As is common, iOS will get the feature later down the road. According to mashable.com, the feature will be similar to the real-time transcription in Google’s Recorder app, but will be translating the speaker’s words (in whatever specific language) as opposed to simply transcribing them. Unlike the transcription feature, the translation and transcription will be done in chunks instead of word by word, so the software can process what is said and make sense of the translation…much like a human translator does when translating speeches of world leaders…there is a bit of a delay. Maybe Apple can license some of the tech…their visual voicemail has enough trouble trying to transcribe calls in English without making absolutely laughable gibberish a lot of the time!
It won’t be retroactive, like Tesla’s software updates to its Autopilot, but Cadillac will be rolling out models with Super Cruise that will be able to change lanes automatically much like Tesla has had for a while now. Techcrunch.com says the update will be available on 2021 CT4, CT5, and Escalade models that will bow later this year. Much like Tesla’s, the software will note that you have signaled, and check on distance between you and the car in front, oncoming traffic, etc and then execute the pass. Caddy has also made some changes to the UI, and added better steering control software and better HD map info that should make the whole process pleasant.
London Metro police will be adding live facial recognition systems to their sensor collection to spot wanted persons walking through targeted areas. Arstechnica.com reports that the system is based on NEC’s NeoFace Watch system and will give the Bobbies the ability to check live footage for people on their ‘watch list,’ including suspects in violent crimes, child exploitation, mission children, and vulnerable adults…’among others.’ The officers monitoring screens will notify officers in the field, who will check out the people spotted. Each department will have what is being called a bespoke ‘watch list’. They claim the system isn’t much different from what’s been used in Vegas for years to spot card counters and others that have been banned from casino gaming floors. As with every other facial recognition system, this one isn’t close to error free, so expect some innocent people being detained, and the like. The long reach of George Orwell continues to stretch into our modern lives.
I’m Big Brother….er…Clark Reid