App Industry Roundup: Apple’s $200 million bet, an app for Altamont, Jon Stewart digs at Apple’s core

Apr 29, 2010
Finance

We are hearing that Apple paid upwards of $200 million to acquire voice-recognition app developer Siri. That bet speaks volumes about what the company plans to do with Siri’s core technology. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, we look at a new iPhone/iPad app that chronicles the infamous 1969 free Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, […]

We are hearing that Apple paid upwards of $200 million to acquire voice-recognition app developer Siri. That bet speaks volumes about what the company plans to do with Siri’s core technology. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, we look at a new iPhone/iPad app that chronicles the infamous 1969 free Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, and share Jon Stewart’s take on Apple and Gizmodo’s capital crime. 

Apple (reportedly) pays $200 million for Siri

 app, while a poster child for the next generation of search technology, has yet to generate a critical mass of downloads. Further, while the promise of speaking into your iPhone to purchase movie tickets or find a nearby restaurant is compelling, the app’s actual performance is not always ready for prime time. 

What Apple really acquired is commercial access to state-of-the art artificial technology. San Jose-based Siri was a spin-off of The CALO Project (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) project that attracted more than $150 million in research funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 

Conventional wisdom says that Apple will incorporate Siri Assistant, or a related application developed by the company, into the 4G iPhone it is expected to unveil in June. At the very least, Apple kept Siri out of the hands of Google, which is steadily replacing Microsoft as the company’s arch enemy.  

An app for Altamont

If George Lucas were forty years younger, perhaps we would have began his career as an iPhone app developer. Lucas, who served as a camera operator for the 1970 documentary Gimmie Shelter, may want to check out a newly released iPhone/iPad app appropriately titled You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

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More than just a book repackaged into digital form, the $9.99 application includes photo galleries and access to videos that chronicle the infamous 1969 free concert performed by the Rolling Stones at Altamont Speedway in Northern California. The concert, which attracted 300,000 fans as part of a “Woodstock West” promotion, was marred by onsite homicide.  The app is released simultaneously with a physical edition of book. 

Jon Stewart rips Apple 

On Wednesday’s episode of the The Daily Show, Jon Stewart advised Steve Jobs to take a chill pill. 

Criticizing Apple for it’s over-zealous police action against Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s (the lost iPhone scribe), said Jobs should start to think different. 

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way – Microsoft was supposed to be the evil one! But you guys are busting down doors in Palo Alto while Commandant Gates is ridding the world of Mosquitoes.” 
Here is the full clip for your enjoyment.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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