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Chaos Computer Club have given Apple one in the eye by undermining their fingerprint biometric security feature within 48 hours of the handset being in the publics hands. This makes the NYPD pavement pounding exhortations of the merits of the 5S security ring a little more hollow. Rest assured that Apple including such a feature is probably the thin wedge of biometrics featuring more in consumer devices. For one Valve, the online gaming colossus, have plans to include biometrics in their forthcoming console Steambox. That's a concerning trend, given the amount of countries already deploying the technology within organs of the state. So what else other biometrics can we expect to see in the gadgets of the near future?

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nuance wintermute

We just met with Nuance at CES to get a first-hand look at the company's new Wintermute project, which aims to provide a consistent voice assistant experience across platforms. The software works similarly to something like Siri, but it was demoed working on iOS, Android, Windows, and a smart TV — remembering your requests and preserving history across them all. For example, you could ask your phone to play a certain song, and then later in the day say something like "play that song I was listening to this morning" when using your computer. The text-to-speech voice has personality, too, making bad "Start Me Up" puns in response to a request for the Rolling Stones and so on.

There were a couple of times in our demo when the...

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Voice-activated assistants are playing an increasingly prominent role in the technology world, with Apple's introduction of Siri for the iPhone 4S and Google's (rumored) work on a Siri competitor for Android phones.

Voice-activated technology isn't new—it's just getting better because of increasingly powerful processors and cloud services, advancements in natural language processing, and improved algorithms for recognizing voice. We spoke with Nuance Communications, maker of Dragon software and one of the biggest names in voice recognition technologies, about why voice is becoming more popular and what advancements we can expect in the future.

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My main interest is the usability department. Things like alternative keyboards (that's the main thing probably), organizer apps, calendars etc. Or maybe some major updates of older apps I should take a closer look at?

How are the things with atlernative launchers? I'm currently using LauncherPro, has anything interesting surfaced recently?

Thanks a lot for suggestions

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