From: Craig Phillips <> on behalf of Craig Phillips <>

Sent: Monday, June 08, 2015 9:50 AM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - Cortana, Citizen Next



Cocktail Talk

September 2015

Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig:   

Welcome to CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".


Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world. Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.


Cocktail Talk is archived on


Currently, on Cocktail Talk - Cortana, Citizen Next


When Microsoft's latest Terms of Service announcement landed in my Inbox I dutifully read it top to bottom. The same as you.


Some of it bothered me. Like "you grant to Microsoft a worldwide and royalty-free intellectual property license to use Your Content". But I'm not a lawyer so never mind all that.


But I am a computer guy and did recognize Bing, MSN, Office, Windows, Skype, and Xbox. What I didn't recognize was Cortana and Citizen Next.


Cortana, it turns out, is Microsoft's Siri. The name given to their on your phone artificially intelligent assistant. No big deal. But there was another Cortana listed in the Wikipedia search results as well.


The other Cortana is a character from Microsoft's Gamer sensation Halo. A computer / arcade game set in an imaginary universe, with an imaginary you, and your imaginary friends. has so much contributed information on Cortana it seems there are a lot of "Gamers" sitting in their Mother's basements in the wee hours of the morning imagining  Cortana is their girlfriend.


In the Gamer's world, Cortana was created from the cloned brain of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halse. She can hack alien computer systems, lives for seven years, believes she is a Goddess, and kills beings less intelligent than herself. 


In the real world Cortana was created from the face of Nefertiti, the voice of "voice actress" Jen Taylor, and the body of  the clearly female "bungee artist" Chris Hughes.


No male voice for Cortana, I guess.


Scary thought, a bunch of Halo fanatics running around with smart phones pretending they have a powerful artificially intelligent Halo Goddess in their pocket. That is, if they realize it's imaginary and not their real life girlfriend.


Why not have a Star Trek flip phone with Lieutenant Uhura as your artificially intelligent assistant? They could use Nichelle Nichols face, voice, and body. And while she isn't your girlfriend either, at least she'd be real.


I didn't recognize Citizen Next either. But I'm copping a plea on that one because it's not available where I travel so why would I.


Citizen Next is one of Microsoft's "Garage" projects. According to them it "is designed to help citizens connect to municipalities easily and effectively, to report issues or civic infrastructure concerns.".


Citizen Next links with Bing Maps and Bing's location services, the GPS in your phone, so that you can quickly and easily register complaints from an approved list with your local government. 


In Microsoft's examples you can report uncollected garbage, or a pothole, simply by taking a picture and entering a few optional words. Bing Maps and Bing location services then tell the authorities exactly where to strike. Which should probably be right where you're standing.


OK, to be honest, Citizen Next is only available in one city in India. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation(GHMC) and it's OK that none of us knew about it.




The Gamer's world or the real world, Halo or Star Trek, imaginary friends or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.



Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips

CN Consulting, Inc.





CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!



CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.


CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the use of information technology. We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.


CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.


We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.


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