Thursday Morning News

siri_creteOver at Recode, Walt Mosserberg is saying Siri seems dumb. Not the concept of Siri — who doesn’t want a voice-activated personal assistant on their phone that can do stuff for them — but how Siri responds to even simple questions. Gruber’s take sums it up nicely: Siri has no ability to maintain context and chain together multiple commands, even though Siri can ask you follow-up questions about your requests.

Our friends across the pond in New Zealand now have access to Apple Pay, thanks to a partnership with ANZ. Interestingly, ANZ Visa and debit cards are the only cards supported by ANZ’s Apple Pay, with no mention of American Express anywhere on New Zealand’s Apple Pay site. ANZ NZ exec told Stuff that Apple Pay was worth paying the fee to Apple.

Australian Apple store employees have been implicated in a scandal involving explicit photos of female customers and staff. The images were either taken by Apple employees or stolen directly from customer devices, and was uncovered after one employee noticed a technician going through a customer device brought in for repair. Four people have apparently been fired from Brisbane’s Carindale store, and an overseas HR executive has been brought in to manage the fallout, according to the Courier Mail.

It’s hard to know which side to take in the Apple vs Kapeli situation. Michael Tsai’s roundup of commentary from the Apple blogosphere has very good points from both sides. Neither side did anything particularly “wrong”, per se, making the final decision even harder to make.

Apple has planned a second R&D centre in China, after announcing plans for a first in Beijing. Apple’s second R&D site will be in Shenzhen, close to China’s largest manufacturing district and all of the advantages that brings.

Speaking of China, Apple has been given a seat on Didi Chuxing’s board of directors following their $1 billion investment in the ride-hailing company. MacRumors says Adrian Perica, who manages Apple’s mergers and acquisitions, will be representing Apple on Didi Chuxing’s board.

The third beta of watchOS 3.1 has been released to developers. There’s no new features in the watchOS 3.1 release, but we’ll likely see bug fixes.

Amazon has released a streaming music service called Amazon Music Unlimited, with special pricing for both Amazon Prime members and owners of Amazon Echo, neither of which are available in Australia. For US $10 a month, you’ll get access to tens of millions of songs, a recommendation engine, and apps that can download music in the background so you’ll always have something to listen to.

Macworld tells us about using Time Machine on macOS Server to back up all the macs on your network, allowing you to create and manage backups from a central location.

A great story from Ars Technica tells us how Xserves are still being used in production environments, despite Apple dropping the hardware from their lineup in 2011. Second-hand hardware is cheap now that Xserves have been discontinued, and they’re surprisingly capable, surprisingly durable beasts. I almost wish I had an Xserve.

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