Microsoft's latest Terms of Service announcement landed in my Inbox
I dutifully read it top to bottom. The same as you.
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.
I am a computer guy and did recognize Bing, MSN, Office, Windows,
Skype, and Xbox. What I didn't recognize was Cortana and Citizen
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
male voice for Cortana, I guess.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Gamer's world or the real world, Halo or Star Trek, imaginary
friends or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.