All items tagged with "math"

Ask Siri to divide zero by zero and get ready for an hilarious insult

Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn't mean he/she has to like them.

Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn’t mean he/she has to like them.

Compared to more sedate virtual assistants like Google Now, Siri has always had a reputation for snark — whether it’s answering every annoying hypothetical question we can throw at it with equally sarcastic answers, or getting amusingly annoyed when we confuse him/her with rival AI assistants.

A newly-discovered Siri Easter Egg swept the Twittersphere on Monday, however. Asking Siri to divide zero by zero may sound like a basic math question, but the result is pure offbeat hilarity.

And just a bit mean, too.

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Building iOS math game a family affair

A scene from the math game CarQuiz, which asks drivers to answer math questions, swiping a finger to move to the lane with the correct answer. Photo: Smile More Studios

A scene from the math game CarQuiz, which asks drivers to answer math questions, swiping a finger to move to the lane with the correct answer. Photo: Smile More Studios

At 9, Mariah Martin already has a handle on future careers. “Veterinarian, professional figure skater, fashion model and teacher – not all at once.”

For now, she must settle for tech entrepreneur.

The Seattle fourth-grader and her father, Scott, understand learning math for many children is no joyride but they have developed an iOS game app they believe will put kids in the driver seat on a road to mastering the basics.

CarQuiz allows drivers to navigate a track with math equations along the way and a choice of three answers a little further down the road. Once the equation appears, the driver must quickly figure out the answer as three choices appear. With a finger swipe, the driver moves into the lane with the correct answer.

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Controversial math apps won’t help kids cheat

My daughter wishes these apps worked better. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

My daughter wishes these math apps worked better. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

My math-averse daughter wanted to cheat on her algebra homework. So we downloaded PhotoMath, a free app that lets you take a picture of your mathematical and algebraic equations, solving them for you and showing the steps to the solution.

PhotoMath has been at the top of the App Store charts for a couple of weeks, hitting number one on the Education, Kids Games and Top Apps lists. Small wonder, as it seems like a great way to get out of doing homework.

However, despite the concerns of some parents and teachers, apps like PhotoMath just won’t help when it comes to cheating — they’re far too limited. Still, it’s a promising technology that, once it matures, might actually turn into the type of wonder tool for education we’ve long been promised, turning our iOS devices into useful educational tools that will help kids actually learn math, rather than simply giving them a shortcut to homework answers.

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How To Use Spotlight Search As A Calculator [OS X Tips]

Spotlight as Calculator

When I’m sitting at my Mac and need to do a quick bit of calculation, I typically launch the Calculator app with my app launcher of choice, Alfred.

If you don’t want to launch the app, click on the numbers, or enter in the calculations via that graphical interface, you can just use Spotlight.

First off, activate Spotlight by hitting the Command and Space keys on your keyboard, or by clicking on the little magnifying glass in the upper right of your Mac’s screen.

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Soulver For iPad Gets iOS 7 Overhaul, As Soulver For iPhone Goes Universal

2013-10-31_04-18-39-soulver

Although a graceful crystal ballet danced in the world of symbols, for those of us who aren’t particularly math minded, all those plus signs, minus signs, dividers and parentheses can get confusing when we’re trying to figure out a problem.

For us, iOS app Soulver is a godsend, allowing you to perform various mathematical captions and functions by just typing them out on real text. Today, the plain text math app has received a beefy update, not only updating its look for iOS 7 on iPad, but also making it universal.

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Llumino, The Most Beautiful Calculator App You Have Ever Seen

Llumino, The Most Beautiful Calculator App You Have Ever Seen

Soulver is pretty much the best calculator app on the Mac and iOS, mostly because it doesn’t tie itself to the UI of old pushbutton calculators. But Llumino will probably win the award for the best-looking calculator app in the App Store, coming on like a 1970s flashing disco floor and, uh, a pushbutton calculator.

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How To Estimate How Long You’ll Have To Wait To Get Into Orchestra’s Mailbox App

mailbox-app

We’re huge fans of Orchestra’s email inbox management app, Mailbox, here at Cult of Mac. Less popular around here? The extraordinary queue that Orchestra forces you to sit in before they’ll let you into the app.

The reason Orchestra has set it up this way is to prevent demand from crushing their servers, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying (for more info on Orchestra’s rationale, see this article). When we download apps, we expect to be able to use them right away, not sit in a queue for an indeterminate amount of time.

We can’t help you get to the head of the Mailbox queue, but we can tell you roughly how long you’ll have to wait based on how fast Mailbox has let people into the app in the past. Here’s how.

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Quento Makes Calculating Fun [Review]

Give your brain some exercise

Give your brain some exercise

Here’s a new free puzzle game for young and old alike. It’s called Quento, and it’s colorful, addictive, and more difficult than it looks.

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Calculate Tips Quickly The Fun Way With Siri [iOS Tips]

Calculate Tips Quickly The Fun Way With Siri [iOS Tips]

Sure, you could use the calculator, or any one of a dozen-odd apps that allow you to tap the screen and calculate the tip in a restaurant, but why even bother? iOS and Siri can meet your needs just by talking to your iPhone–or iPad, but won’t that get meatloaf gravy all over it?

Regardless, here’s how to ask Siri the right way to calculate the tip for the super-helpful server or bartender in your life.

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How Super Algorithms Will Make Future iPhones & iPads Charge Twice As Fast

How Super Algorithms Will Make Future iPhones & iPads Charge Twice As Fast

Plug in your iPhone or iPad and charge it up, and you’ll notice that while the first 80% or so will go by pretty fast, they actually kind of suck at charging up that last 20%, taking a lot more time to do so than it feels like they should.

There’s a reason for this. Charging batteries up to “full” is a complicated process. There’s no real way to tell if a battery is completely “full” so all you can do is measure the voltage, which (and this is a vast simplification) tells you how much resistance is being met when you try to put more electricity into the battery.

That’s why it takes so long for an iPhone to charge that last 20%. It charges full blast until it measures a certain voltage, then goes into what’s called “trickle mode” to slowly allow small sips of electricity into the battery until it thinks, based upon some software calculations, that the battery is more or less full. But a new algotihm could make the time it takes to charge your iPhone or iPad go by a lot faster.

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