Watch Out Siri, Amazon Just Bought Its Own Digital Assistant Named IVONA

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Apple Siri event

Siri has enjoyed mild success since her debut on the iPhone 4S. She’s not the world’s greatest personal assistant, but she gets the job done most of the time, which is better than a lot of other voice recognition options out there.

Now Amazon is preparing to do battle with Siri thanks to a new digital assistant they just bought. Her name’s IVONA, and we’re pretty sure it’s not the same Ivona from Austin Powers.

Warren Buffett: Steve Jobs Asked My Advice On Apple’s Cash But Didn’t Take It

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Apple's update strategy saves a lot of money over maintaining Windows XP
Apple's update strategy saves a lot of money over maintaining Windows XP

There have been a lot of ideas suggested for what Apple could do with its nearly $100 billion in cash. Some have been serious suggestions like companies that Apple could buy while others are a little more absurd but illustrate just how much money Apple’s got.

Today, Warren Buffett revealed to viewers of CNBC’s Squawk Box that Steve Jobs wasn’t sure what to do with all the money Apple began raking in over recent years and asked for advice. He ultimately ignored that advice in his typical fashion while telling others that Buffett agreed with his decision for Apple to just sit on its money.

Chomp? Why Didn’t Google Think Of That?

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Cathy Edwards
Cathy Edwards was the CTO and cofounder of Chomp, an innovative app search engine acquired by Apple. She is now a senior iTunes engineer. She'll be working on one of the thorniest problems faced by the iOS users -- how to find the best apps.

Apple announced this week the acquisition of Chomp, an app-search startup.

Chomp CEO Ben Keighran is reportedly working already in Apple’s marketing department, and CTO Cathy Edwards is already employed as a senior iTunes engineer.

Chomp crawls the data associated with all the apps in an app store and uses a sophisticated algorithm-based search function to enable people to search and actually find the apps they really want. Less appreciated by the public (but not Apple) is what appear to be incredible analytics tools, enabling a deep understanding of what people are searching for, how successful they are at finding it and detecting meaningful trends in app demand.

Sound familiar? Search algorithms and analytics are Google’s core competency.

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Chomp, chomp. Apple gobbles up the startup app-search service
Chomp, chomp. Apple gobbles up the startup app-search service

Google Could Take 2.25% Of Every iPhone Sold After Motorola Acquisition

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Google has sent letters out to various standards organizations, including the IEEE, promising to honor MMI’s patent licensing policies after it completes its planned acquisition of the company. This includes honoring MMI’s maximum go-forward per-unit royalty rate of 2.25%. This is the same rate MMI is asking Apple to pay in order to lift the injunction on the iPhone and iPad 3G passed down in Germany. Apple has rejected this offer and is fighting it, claiming it’s unfair and contrary to the principles of FRAND licensing commitments. No matter the outcome of the Apple/Motorola dispute, Google will be honoring it once they take over.

Wi-Gear CEO: “I Wish” We Were Acquired By Apple

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Earlier in the week, it was reported that Apple might have acquired Wi-Gear, a company that makes the iMuff line of wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The evidence seemed pretty good for a secret buyout. Not only did Wi-Gear’s home page feature a somewhat unceremonious message about the company ceasing operations and being unable to respond to any press inquiries, but Wi-Gear co-founder moved to Apple as an iOS Bluetooth Engineer.

Unfortunately, like many good rumors, the evidence didn’t add up to the truth of things. Asked about a buyout by Macworld, Wi-Gear CEO Mark Pundsack said: “I wish!”