From The Tips Box: Siri Pronunciation, Facebook Likes, Speaker Cables

Readers offer their best tips for getting Siri to understand complicated names, liking articles on Facebook, and swapping the position of your speakers.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Use Nicknames for Hard-to-Pronounce People on the iPhone

Yean shares a tip for making iPhone contacts work better with voice recognition:

While you can use voice control in multiple languages (don't know about Siri though), the iPhone will not properly pronounce or understand foreign names — or heck, even hard-to-pronounce names. To account for this little problem you can simply add a nickname to your favourite contacts (edit contact > add field > nickname) that is easy to understand and use this name in voice control. When I want to call my girlfriend I now simply say "Call Natalie Portman", and when I call my best friend I say "Call Chuck Norris". It's great because by adding a nickname, you don't change the contact's actual name, either.

Add Comments Before Sharing Articles with Facebook's Like Button

The inquisitive guy discovers an improvement in Facebook's "Like" button:

Whenever you "like" a page on another website, the Facebook like feature now gives you the option of adding a comment before you really post it.

I'm not sure how new this is, but this has been the main reason I never used the Like button. Now it's worth using.

Switch Speaker Inputs for Easier Cable Wrangling

Photo by Mario Fernandez.

Undecim tricks his speaker cables into behaving:

If you've got a pair of speakers that use RCA (the red and white round plugs), or some other cable with separated channels, you can swap the position of the speakers AND the channel cables to e.g. let the power cord reach an outlet, or move the volume nob to the opposite side without swapping your channels

I found this useful today when the power cable wouldn't reach my new speakers. Swapping them around let it reach, and swapping the channels kept my sound from being backwards.

Obviously this isn't necessary for everyone, but if your outlet is on the opposite side of the room as the speaker connected to the main cable, this is a useful little trick.

Use Seat Belts to Keep Items from Shifting When Driving

KBS discovers seat belts aren't just useful for people:

Always lock your stuff with seat belt before driving especially if you keep them in the front passenger seat. You won't regret it when the bag with laptop comes tumbling down due to sudden break or sharp turning.

I totally do this all the time, but it may be news to some.


    I'm not sure I follow the tip on the channel cables there? Something seems to be missing...

      Totally agree. Read it three times and it still didn't make sense. Although, I think it may be referring to those small speakers people have for their PC that have the audio inputs and a separate power supply (ie in-built amp).

        people wrangling the types of speakers that require an RCA connection don't deserve to be giving advice on setting up Audio systems.

          + 1

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