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Russian Siri Appears to Be Quite Homophobic: WATCH

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Despite the country’s recent fallings out with Apple as a company, Russian demand for Apple products has been strong as a weakened Ruble has resulted in lower prices for certain iOS devices. About $1.3 billion worth of iPhones were sold in Russia alone last year and the relative price drops promise only to further boost the phone’s Russian popularity. To that end Apple has been hard at work to make iPhone more accessible to Russian users.

In a recent update to  iOS, iPhone and iPad users gained the ability to set Siri to speak in and understand commands in Russian. As Russian-speaking YouTube user Alex points out however, Siri appears to have been programmed with a bit more than just new language skills. When asked about finding the nearest gay club or where one might be able to register for a same-sex marriage license, the virtual assistant responds with a variety of homophobic answers ranging from silence to flat-out insults.

“So, now you’re swearing obscenities and then you’re going to eat with those very hands,” the program exclaims when queried about finding registering gay marriages in England.

It’s important to point out that Siri’s localized answers aren’t location-dependent. As Alex points out, he initiated all of his searches from England and had only changed his Siri’s language in his iPad’s settings menu. Though Apple declined to comment on the odd behavior seen in Alex’s video, a spokesman explained to Pink News that it was a bug that the company intends to deal with.

Watch Alex’s video exposing Siri’s homophobic Russian tendencies AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t Pink News)

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Continue reading "Russian Siri Appears to Be Quite Homophobic: WATCH" »


Latest Apple iOS Update Includes Even More Gay Family Emojis

iPhone users who downloaded the latest iOS update this week received a little gay-inclusive treat thanks to some new emojis, Yahoo! reports:

Emoji2The new emoji appeared on an update to Apple's mobile operating software, iOS 8.3, which was rolled out on Wednesday. Some test versions of the software had been in use since February.

The new emoji include illustrations of families with families that include two male parents or two female parents.

The updated emojis also include characters of various races, as previously announced by the Unicode Consortium which sets international rules for text and characters to insure consistency across platforms.


Is Apple CEO Tim Cook A 'Hypocrite' for Calling Out 'Religious Freedom' Bills But Not Anti-gay Countries? - VIDEO

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Many on the right certainly think so.  

Incensed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence bowing under corporate pressure from Cook and other business leaders by signing a "fix" to his state's discriminatory "religious freedom" law, a number of right-wingers pounced on what they saw as an example of left-wing hypocrisy. 

In a CitizenLink video, Focus on the Family's Stuart Shepard called out Cook for recently boasting about Apple's "fantastic new home in China" but this week slamming "religious freedom" bills as "dangerous" in a WaPo op-ed

Said Shepard:

"Mr. Cook, if China is 'fantastic' could you at least bring Indiana up to 'okay'?"

FiorinaFormer Hewlett-Packard CEO and likely GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, told The Wall Street Journal that there was "nothing objectionable" with Indiana's original "religious freedom" law and that Cook and other CEOs had engaged in "a level of hypocrisy here that really is unfortunate."

“When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he’s in, including China and Saudi Arabia,” Fiorina said Thursday. “But I don’t hear him being upset about that.”

Bernard McGuirk, an executive producer of Don Imus' radio show and frequent O'Reilly Factor guest, took things a step further by branding Cook a "bigot hypocrite" on Fox Business Network this week: 

“You have this hypocrite, this bigot hypocrite, Tim Cook, who is running his mouth about the whole thing. He sells products to Iran. He sells products to Saudi Arabia where they execute people if they’re gay...he won’t allow these religious people to exercise their freedom...he doesn't allow this Orthodox Jewish guy to refuse service that's the whole point of the law is to allow him to exempt himself from certain situations."

Calmer heads, such as The Washington Post's opinion writer Jonathan Capehart, dispute the validity of these criticisms and claim Cook is merely navigating the waters of today's corporate landscape. 

Watch Capehart's op-ed video "Stop Accusing Apple CEO Tim Cook for Gay-Rights 'Hypocrisy'"AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Is Apple CEO Tim Cook A 'Hypocrite' for Calling Out 'Religious Freedom' Bills But Not Anti-gay Countries? - VIDEO" »


Apple CEO Tim Cook Slams Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Laws: 'America Must Be A Land of Opportunity for Everyone'

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out swinging against so-called "religious freedom" bills allowing individuals and businesses to discriminate on religious grounds in an op-ed published in The Washington Post today.

Writes Cook:

MapAmerica’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers’ lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement. From North Carolina to Nevada, these bills under consideration truly will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country where a 21st-century economy was once welcomed with open arms.

I have great reverence for religious freedom. As a child, I was baptized in a Baptist church, and faith has always been an important part of my life. I was never taught, nor do I believe, that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate.

I remember what it was like to grow up in the South in the 1960s and 1970s. Discrimination isn’t something that’s easy to oppose. It doesn’t always stare you in the face. It moves in the shadows. And sometimes it shrouds itself within the very laws meant to protect us. [...]

Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality. We owe it to them, to each other and to our future to continue to fight with our words and our actions to make sure we protect those ideals. The days of segregation and discrimination marked by “Whites Only” signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past. We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone.

Head HERE to read Cook's op-ed in full.

This is not the first time Cook has spoken out against these types of bills either. Following Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signing the state's "license to discriminate" bill into law last week, Cook tweeted:

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has not yet signed his state's "religious freedom" bill into law but has pledged to do so.

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[map via HRC]


Tim Cook Pledges to Give His Apple Fortune Away to Charity

In a lengthy profile for Fortune magazine, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed he will be donating nearly all of his multi-million dollar fortune to charity:

CookTo Cook, changing the world always has been higher on Apple’s agenda than making money. He plans to give away all his wealth, after providing for the college education of his 10-year-old nephew. There should be plenty left over to fund philanthropic projects. Cook’s net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, is currently about $120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested. Cook says that he has already begun donating money quietly, but that he plans to take time to develop a systematic approach to philanthropy rather than simply writing checks.

Cook also discussed his decision last year to come out as gay:

Looking back, he says that he primarily acted out of concern for kids who were bullied at school, some to the point of suicide, and because of the many states that still allow employers to fire workers over their sexual orientation. Also, whereas U.S. courts were moving surprisingly quickly on the issue, “I didn’t feel like business was exactly leading the way in the executive suite.”

Cook says that he’d come to the decision of coming out “quite some time ago” and that his announcement was viewed internally at Apple, where his sexual orientation was more or less well known, as a “yawner.” Speaking out so publicly was a big step for Cook, though, who has described himself as intensely private and who is rare among big-company CEOs for being genuinely ill at ease talking about himself. “To be honest, if I would not have come to the conclusion that it would likely help other people, I would have never done it,” he says. “There’s no joy in me putting my life in view.”

Cook remains the only openly LGBT CEO in the Fortune 500.

Read the full Fortune piece here.  


Gay Hook-Up App Planned for the Apple Watch Will Notify You When the Right Guys are Nearby

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Planet Romeo is one of the largest gay male social networks used outside of North America. Unlike most U.S.-based gay dating services, Planet Romeo encompasses a rather broad set of online services incorporating aspects of geo-location apps, traditional dating sites, and community reviews similar to Yelp. In its latest move to set itself apart from the increasingly crowded market for digital real estate, Planet Romeo has announced its plans for a mobile application designed specifically to work with the upcoming Apple Watch.

“Imagine being notified as soon as the right guys are nearby or getting turn-by-turn navigation to your next date," said Planet Romeo Chief Product Owner Sven Voges. "PlanetRomeo is a perfect match for the smartwatch. Users will easily view profiles, chat and plan dates on the go.”

While hookup apps like Grindr and Scruff have become ubiquitous across most mobile computing operating systems, none of the larger mobile apps have successfully made the jump onto wearable platforms. It remains to be seen just how a fully-fledged chatting app might work on a small wrist-mounted screen. If Apple’s “digital touch” features work the way Jony Ive and co. have described, however, Planet Romeo may have the most interesting take on the hookup app to date.

 


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