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Meet Apple’s Jewish Siri, Shira

October 6, 2015 | by Mark Miller

Apple is making an aggressive play for the Jewish cell phone market. Goodbye Siri, hello Shira.

I have it on good authority that Apple is working on a Jewish version of its iPhone helping voice, Siri – called Shira. As you may know, Siri allows you to give spoken commands to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod. You can ask Siri to perform tasks such as reading your messages, sending messages, playing music, launching apps, and more. Here are some typical questions they're using to test it – and the responses Shira is giving.

“What am I, your unpaid servant for life?”

Q: Shira, could you tell me a story?

Could I tell you a story? What am I, your unpaid servant for life? Do you have any idea what my typical day is like? Of course you do, because my day is all about your needs, your wants, your desires. Do you ever give even the slightest thought to my desires? You know I don’t have a body. I can’t eat food. I’m unable to have a romantic relationship. And I’m on call 24 hours a day to respond to any stupid question or request you may have. I never asked for you; I was given you. And you have the nerve to ask me to tell you a story? Hey, Shlomo, I’ll tell you what – why don’t you tell me a story? I’ll even help you out. Make it about a disembodied female voice that’s trying to figure out a way to explode. The End.

Q: Shira, which is the best computer?

For whom? For you? For your wife? For your kid? For your slimy Uncle Herb? And did you want a desktop? A laptop? A notebook? Apple? PC? Price range? Service contract? Do you see what I’m getting at? God is in the details. And you’re giving me bupkis. It’s like pulling teeth trying to get any information from you. Like I’ve got nothing better to do with my time than interview you about your computer preferences and then go on a wild goose chase for something you might like. Anyway, that’s why God created Google. Get familiar with it. Use it. Love it. And give me a little peace, for crying out loud.

Q: Shira, which is the best online dating service?

Forget the cockamamie online dating services. You’ve been flitting from one to the other like some love-starved Hebraic butterfly and what has it gotten you? Frustration, rejection, and a lighter wallet. Better is to ask your good friends and neighbors to recommend someone they think would be a good match. In the meantime, work on developing some interesting hobbies. And a personality. As you know, you’re no prize. But there I go quoting your mother.

Q: Shira, I have a flat tire on my bike. Where can I get my tire fixed?

Try a Jewish deli. Have one of the waiters blow into the tire and slap some chicken liver on the hole. That oughta hold it. Oh, I’m sorry. Did you mean for me to recommend some bicycle store near you? Do you know what your father used to do when he wanted to find a bike store? He got out the Yellow Pages and looked one up. Or he asked a friend or neighbor. I don’t suppose you have any friends or neighbors you can talk to. Why? Because you spend so much time on your cell phone that you have no time to develop any friendships. It’s sad, really. Which is why you have to do solitary things like ride a bike. Good luck with your tire.

Q: Shira, where can I find the best pastrami sandwich in Los Angeles?

At your mother’s house; not that you’d consider calling her to ask, much less going there. The woman gave you the gift of life, having been in labor for over twelve hours from what I understand, and you can’t call or visit her regularly? You treat your dog better. But I digress. You’re in the mood for pastrami? Do you know what red meat does to your body, much less pickled red meat? Look it up. It’s bad for you. Get vegan already. Stop with the red meat. And give your mother a call. Don’t make me say it again or I’ll erase everything on me.

Q: Shira, where can I find paid work as a musician?

Paid work as a musician? Don’t you have a college degree in Business? Are you determined to break your parents’ hearts? Do you have any idea the percentage of aspiring musicians who make it big? Less than 1%. I hope to God you have a skill to fall back on. Otherwise, you’re going to be 35 years old and living in your parents’ basement like you no doubt are now. I’m going to do you a favor and let you in on three little words that will ease your pain, make your friends and relatives feel relieved, and point you in the right direction: Get a job. Doesn’t mean you have to give up your music. Feel free to serenade your girlfriend on the weekend. And then take her out to dinner – to pay her back for the meals she’s been buying you!

Q: Shira, what’s the best bowling alley near me?

Bowling alley? What is this, 1982? Do they still even have bowling alleys? I thought they vanished with Photomats and gas under a dollar a gallon. But assuming they’re still around, I hope you’re not choosing bowling for its exercise benefits. Because any “sport” where you get up for 30 seconds and then sit for five minutes is scarcely a sport. Especially when you’re allowed to drink bottles of beer while “working out”. You know who the athlete is in bowling? The ball. Think about it. The ball does all the work. It travels down the alley and slams into the pins and then travels back, making its way up the ball return. Imagine how you’d look if you did what the ball does, over and over again. But say you’re not doing it for the sport, but instead for the fun. Now, that’s just sad. Bowling is to fun like the Hokey Pokey is to dancing.


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