FORTUNE -- Although it was never in quite the same boat as The Motley Fool, Insider Monkey or ValueWalk, there's been a predictable cast to the Apple (AAPL) coverage on the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch site these last few months. Typical headlines:
And that's just from the past two weeks.
But there was something different about Dan Gallagher's Before the Bell column Tuesday morning that ran under the headline Apple shares juiced with 'massive' buyback. It's as if someone at the Journal looked at Apple's stock chart and decided it might be time to turn the ship around.
Gallagher's piece is chock-a-block with the metaphors of change. Investors are warming. The tide has turned. And, from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, speaking of Apple's $60 billion stock buyback:
"I think that's getting investors to realize that it's no longer trying to catch a falling knife."
Language like this matters more than you might think. Headlines from the likes of Insider Monkey and The Motley Fool dominate the news feeds on business-oriented sites like Google Finance and Benzinga -- news feeds that are read not just by retail investors but by high-frequency trading computers trained to sniff the wind for changes in market sentiment.
MarketWatch even offers readers a chart that's color-coded like a litmus test:
For a backgrounder on artificial intelligence, market algorithms and high-frequency trading, I recommend Scott Patterson's Dark Pools: High-Speed Traders, A.I. Bandits, and the Threat to the Global Financial System.
Would that Apple's intelligent assistant were as reliable as its Christmas TV ad suggests
Apple (AAPL) has been pushing Siri hard as the key selling point for the iPhone 4S, especially on TV with ads like the Santa spot it began airing this week. (It's also available on YouTube.)
But our experience is that between system outages, misunderstandings and the basic limitations of its knowledge base, Siri is considerably less reliable than MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 20, 2011 7:21 AM ET
The question isn't whether Siri is a search engine that can replace Google's search box. It's a different kind of search -- one that could be the future.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE -- It sounded pretty good until Eric Schmidt said it: Siri, the so-called personal assistant app on Apple's iPhone 4S, is the new face of search. Siri is threatening to sideline the tried-and-true search box that Google turned into MORENov 9, 2011 11:27 AM ET
The downside of server-based voice activated computing
Apple's (AAPL) Siri, to paraphrase Alan Kay's comment about the original Macintosh, is the first voice-activated artificial intelligent assistant good enough to criticize.
Good enough, in fact, that Asymco's Horace Dediu has suggested that voice-activation might be the next revolutionary user interface, as disruptive for future computing devices as the mouse, the scroll wheel and the touchscreen were before it. In his Critical Path podcast Wednesday (Back to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 4, 2011 8:08 AM ET
Memorable quotations from the new iPhone's intelligent assistant
I was worried before the launch of the iPhone 4S -- with its built-in "intelligent assistant" named Siri -- that Apple (AAPL) might be in for another round of "Egg freckles" moments.
Siri has certainly had her share of those in the Elmer-DeWitt household. But what early iPhone 4S adopters seem more taken with are the canned phrases with which Siri parries personal, ridiculous or MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 15, 2011 2:15 PM ET
An analyst may have put her finger on the conversational interface's killer app
In a note to clients issued Friday, Cross Research's Shannon Cross pivots from the Steve Jobs eulogies to take a closer look at Siri, the natural language interface that Apple (AAPL) unveiled the day before he died.
In particular, she singles out an application that wasn't in Scott Forstall's demos or Apple's slick promotional video, but which fits perfectly MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 9, 2011 8:02 AM ET
A computer you can chat with. Hmm. Where have we seen this before?
It was hard for veteran tech reporters to watch Scott Forstall's demonstration of the iPhone 4S's new Siri "intelligent assistant" system (see here, starting at the 73-minute mark) without recalling one of Apple's (AAPL) most embarrassing episodes from the John Sculley era.
Sculley, whose previous job had been, in Steve Jobs' unkind words, selling sugar water for Pepsi, was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 5, 2011 10:19 AM ET
Watch it this afternoon, when an IBM supercomputer takes on two human champions
It's the biggest man vs. machine confrontation since Deep Blue humiliated Gary Kasparov on the chess board in 1997.
Over the course of three episodes -- February 14, 15 and 16 -- an IBM (IBM) supercomputer named Watson will challenge Jeopardy!'s most successful human contestants.
We're not privy to the outcome, but based on the level of pre-publicity generated by MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 14, 2011 1:33 PM ET
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