IBM’s Watson Now Has A Cook Book

Who doesn’t like their food? From the simple sandwich to a Sunday roast, there are plenty of meals you can make to enjoy in anything from five minutes to five hours. When it comes to trying to make something new, most people including professional chefs, prefer to go with using combinations and mixtures they know and like. IBM decided that they didn’t quite like this and tasked Watson, their cognitive computing system, to create a culinary cook book and it delivered.

Available now, the cookbook is a combination of Watsons and the Institute of Culinary Education’s experience creating over 65 different recipes using a combination of classical chef talent and cognitive science. Watson generates the recipes list of ingredients, with the result presenting a combination of scientific flavours while a Chef combined the ingredients to create recipes that even a computer could love.

Starting with a Baltic Apple Pie, Kris Naudus of Engadget found out the hard way that some of the recipes are a little more tricky than the originals they were based upon. The first thing that surprised Naudus was the inclusion of pork to the Apple pie, and the two sauces and garnish included in the recipe only add to the restaurant feel the book looks to create.

With recipes like Indian Tumeric Paella, which “brings simple Indian flavors to a classic paella”, and Turkish Bruschetta, a simple meal that would now include spices and even Japanese eggplants (also known as aubergines).

You can find the cook book on Amazon for £26.88 and so far the reviews seem to be coming in good, for the most part.

Roccbox Portal Oven Cooks Your Pizza 90 Seconds

There are some people who love camping outside, using tents and a small gas stove to cook baked beans while a fire roasts marshmallows. Some of us prefer glamping, with a small wooden house separating you from nature so you can stay warm and enjoy your friends company without the bumpy earth beneath you. One thing that is required though is good food, and the Roccbox portable oven could provide you with just that.

Originally started as part of an Indiegogo campaign, the concept for the project was simple. A portable stone bake oven. For $449 (£318.24) you can order yourself one of the ovens, which goes as high as 500 celsius in order to cook your pizza in roughly 90 seconds. If that wasn’t enough they’ve also shown off its use in cooking everything from fish to steaks.

After taking 15 minutes to warm up, you can see the benefit of being able to quickly cook your favourite foods in a portable stone bake oven. The Roccbox comes with two burners, meaning you can use either gas or wood to cook your meals, the choice is up to you.

Can you imagine going camping and having a freshly cooked mini pizza given to you while you lay under the stars? We can and we can’t wait to taste it either!

Tim Cook Praises Snowden, Responds to Questions About Apple Car

In case you hadn’t noticed, Apple’s Tim Cook has been on a global tour recently, visiting many places in Europe, including Germany and the UK, as well as other countries such as Israel. In Germany, he sat down to talk with BILD, one of the country’s biggest newspapers. In that interview, cook made some interesting remarks on a variety of issues, most intriguing were about Edward Snowden and also those rumours about an Apple car!

As for Snowden, Cook effectively praised the former NSA contractor, who in 2013 leaked thousands of classified documents revealing details about the US government’s spying programme. Cook, who is frequently heard talking about privacy issues, likened Snowden’s efforts to Apple’s values.

“If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. [Apple’s] values have always been the same.”

It really is quite significant that the CEO of the world’s largest company has praised a man some call a traitor. Snowden is a fugitive in the eyes of the US, and for Cook to associate his company with him like that is a big deal.

Beyond privacy, Cook was also pressed on future products, namely an Apple car. Recently we’ve seen a flurry of rumours suggesting that the company is hard at work producing a vehicle. The Wall Street Journal published extensive details, saying that there is a ‘Project Titan’ underway at Apple, with at least 1,000 employees working on it.

“We are still secretive about our coming products. So if you ask me what we are working on I’m not going to answer this question.” Asked about the Apple car, he replied simply: “I have read the rumours. I can’t comment on it.”

Ahh, not exactly a revelation, but interesting that he didn’t outright deny such a project. If a car was completely out of the question, Cook may well have laughed it off.

Source: 9to5Mac

Tim Cook: We Shouldn’t Give Up our Privacy Due to “Scare-Mongering”

Tim Cook was in London yesterday giving an interview to The Telegraph, in which he covered a whole range of topics, including the subject of privacy.

Cook has always been a vocal supporter of protecting user privacy. In this interview and others, his message has always been that “you are not our product” – effectively criticising companies like Google that utilise user information to sell ads. He’s also very strongly against government use of data, something particularly topical in the UK, where David Cameron recently said that encryption should be banned; a ban that would include Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage.

“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

His response to the threat of terrorism is interesting. He said that the privacy of good citizens should not be risked for the privacy of the few, and that no matter what governments do with relation to spying, terrorists will always find a way of hiding their tracks.

“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do. If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999pc of people who are good.”

The interview is an intriguing read, one that gives us an insight into the mind of a man at the helm of the world’s largest company.

Source: The Telegraph

Tim Cook: Apple Watch Can Be Used as Car Key Fob

Tim Cook is still on his unannounced international tour, today stopping in London. He paid a visit to the flagship Covent Garden store, meeting with employees and customers (some even posed for pictures, as you can see below). He also took the time to give an interview to The Telegraph, offering some more details about the Apple Watch in the process.

Cook said of the key fob functionality that “This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.” That feature, like many, is yet to be properly announced. We expect to hear more about the watch on March 9th, when Apple will be holding an event, believed to be largely focused on the new device ahead of its release in April.

That event will hopefully reveal the actual release date of the device, as well as the prices – something highly anticipated as many still try to figure out just how much the 18-karat gold version will cost.

Source: The Telegraph 

Apple Watch is Waterproof, Apple Pay in Europe “By End of Year”

Tim Cook has seemingly been on a tour of Germany recently. Over the last few days, we’ve seen reports showing him visiting various places in the country. His visit began with the announcement that the company is to build two giant 100% renewable data centres in Europe, all as part of an investment worth $2 Billion. Just the other day, he was seen at a glass factory in the country, seeing glass that is to be used on Apple’s new campus. Yesterday, he visited a local Apple Store, and some employees from that store gathered new information about the Apple Watch and Apple Pay.

iGen reports that employees in the store asked Tim about his experience with the new device, and he said that he wears it all the time and “even in the shower.” We’ve known all along that the Apple Watch is water resistant to a degree, but not that it could be used in the shower. The innards of the device are said to be encapsulated inside a special resin that provides the water resistance.

As for Apple Pay, he told the employees that the service, which has been successful in the US, will arrive in Europe “by the end of the year.” This has surprised some, as reports have suggested that banks and other organisations have been finalising deals recently. Most of those reports concerned UK banks however, so it will likely be a staggered launch, covering most of Europe at least “by the end of the year”.

Cook also visited German Chanellor Angela Merkel as part of his visit, which has now seemingly ended, as he’s since been spotted in Israel, meeting with the President of the country.

Source: 9to5Mac

Apple Celebrates Martin Luther King Day on its Homepage

Apple has taken over its US homepage today with a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. The third Monday of every January  is marked as a special day in the US calendar, celebrating the life of Luther King.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has noted that King is one of his heroes, and he apparently has an image of the freedom fighter above his desk. Apple is encouraging employees to spend the day volunteering and will donate $50 for every hour spent volunteering.

“Today we reflect on the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the work that continues in service of the broader concerns of humanity” – apple.com

Cook has often spoken out about concerns for equality in US society and around the world, especially so late last year after the CEO came out as gay.

Source:9to5Mac

Apple Approves ‘Je Suis Charlie’ App in 1 Hour After Tim Cook E-Mail

Apple is notoriously famous for its lengthy App Store approval process. Some apps can take weeks to get approved for sale on the store. Well one new app got approved in just an hour after the developers e-mailed Tim Cook.

The app in question has been created for the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ campaign in support of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack in Paris. It simply allows users to tag their location on the map as a supporter of the campaign.

The developers apparently e-mailed Cook, Apple’s CEO, and they received a response from an employee in 10 minutes. The company promised that it would be reviewed in an hour and voila – it’s now available to download.

Source: 9to5Mac

Apples iWatch Rumored to Debut at $400

The hype for Apple’s new wearable device is ramping up. We previously reported on Apples update of their Health Kit policy and competitors such as Samsung preparing new devices in preparation for another large Apple release.

Recode has just reported that Apple executives are currently discussing the release price for the iWatch:

“Apple executives have discussed charging around $400 for the company’s new wearable device.

Pricing has yet to be finalized for the forthcoming product, which is expected to begin shipping next year. Sources say consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.”

It’s unknown when exactly the product pricing will be officially released, there is a possibility we’ll get a sneak peak on September the 9th at an Apple press conference, although this conference is set for iPhone discussion.

Tim Cook, Apple Chief Executive spoke last year about smartwatch competition at the D: All Things Digital Conference. He was quoted saying “There are lots of gadgets in this space right now, but there’s nothing great out there,” and “But none of them are going to convince a kid that hasn’t worn glasses or a band to wear one … There are a lot of problems to solve in this space. … It’s ripe for exploration. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this space.”

Watch this space.

Image courtesy of MacRumors