Booting Up: The Person Behind Siri Was Revealed And She’s Not a Robot

Siri isn't a robot. (Photo: CNN)

Here’s your new complex: You only generate 55 cents of ad revenue for Twitter. Facebook gets $1.55 per user. [Quartz]

Adobe smartly thought that yesterday was a good time to disclose that a security breach affected three million of its customers’ credit card numbers and passwords. [AllThingsD]

Amazon is readying a streaming device to add to your dusty, set-top device platter that looks longingly at your TV. [Wall Street Journal]

CNN doxxed the voice of Siri and all it got was a woman from suburban Atlanta. [CNN]

Apple purchased personal assistant startup Cue to better compete against Google Now. [TechCrunch]


Siri Finally Learns to Pronounce Your Name in iOS 7

Siri's ancient predecessor, Galatea. (Photo:

The latest iteration of iPhone servant Siri may be eschewing Google in favor of Bing, but she’s also taking steps to finally learn how to say Sheik Fartington, or whatever it is you force her to call you.

Channeling Eliza Doolittle, Siri will now ask her master, “Which pronunciation should I use?” according to 9to5Mac. Phone-owners can then direct her to stop dropping h’s like a Cockney plebe — “It’s Henry Higgins, dummy.” Read More


Booting Up: Reportedly, No One Likes Working at Foursquare

Foursquare's Dennis Crowley. (Photo: David Brabyn)

The morale at Foursquare is apparently terrible and everyone wants to leave. One person described the startup’s dire situation as “the building is on fire.” [Business Insider]

Here’s a think piece about what it means for Google now that Bing is Siri’s favorite search engine. [AllThingsD]

The new feature on iOS7 that turns the iPhone into a flashlight is bad news for those apps that claim to do the same thing. One app, which is VC-funded, issued a statement: “We are certainly concerned about this announcement by Apple, as it could affect our core revenue stream.” Sure, that’s your problem. [TechCrunch]

Sony says the Playstation 4 will cost $399, which is $100 less than the XBox One. Clearly Sony didn’t come here to make friends. [Tech Hive]

Just days after launching on Android, Vine is more popular than Instagram on Twitter. [The Verge]

Apple in Your Eye

Apple Is Hiring Funny Writers To Make Siri Into the Joke That It Is


A few days after Thanksgiving, some gangly punk tried to mug me as I stepped off the C train. My iPhone 4 flew up like a basketball toss and the screen cracked on the concrete. I managed shove him off, but short story shorter it was an excuse to upgrade and I am now the slightly lost owner of an iPhone 5 when Google Maps won’t load.

Naturally, the first thing I did after unboxing was fool around with Siri. Had Apple’s “intelligent assistant” inched any closer to artificial intelligence since it launched? Turns out, it’s still pretty easy to reach the limits of her utility, so the only thing left is to try to find questions that might serve up an Easter egg or human-ish response.   Read More


What’s More Alarming: Naming a Kid After Apple Software, or After 50 Shades?

I mean, WTF.

Hot on the heels of the rumor that some terrible, unfeeling parents have named their newborn Hashtag comes the news that names from Cupertino are the latest thing. The parenting website BabyCenter has released stats on the popularity of various names among the parents registered on the site, and The Next Web reports that Apple has increased its popularity 15 percent as a girl’s name. Siri (apparently a real Norwegian name) increased 5 percent. And among the lads, Mac jumped 12 percent.

Hang on–the littlest Yahoo’s name is Macallister, which you’d presumably shorten to Mac. What are you up to, Marissa Mayer? Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Nathan Fillion Stops Just Short of Couch-Jumping Over His iPhone 5

Basically singing an aria right now. (Photo: Screencap)

Nathan Fillion, hunky star of the beloved-but-taken-too-soon TV series Firefly (and also Castle, we suppose?) appeared on Conan last night. And it seems the main thing he could talk about was how much he loves his iPhone 5.  He loves his iPhone 5 more than you love your mother, spouse and/or labradoodle puppy.

And what’s more? That little bundle of chips and Gorilla glass surely loves him back. He gushed to host Conan O’Brien: “It’s pretty, it’s tiny and it’s light and it’s so smart and it loves me, obviously it loves me.” Read More


Booting Up: Help Us, Marissa Mayer, You’re Our Only Hope Edition

(Photo: Twitter)

Some poor Yahoo employee made a Marissa Mayer Hope poster. We are embarrassed for everyone involved. [Twitter]

Actually, Mitt Romney’s face is following you around the Internet–and it’s freaking most people out. [New York Times]

“Keep this movement going. Keep this movement tweeting.” – A really weird music video by Kim Dotcom that you should watch ASAP. [YouTube]

The Wall Street Journal is confused about who invented the Internet. [Ars Technica]

Martin Scorsese is in Apple’s newest star-studded Siri commercial, and naturally it’s set in a cab cruising across Manhattan. [9to5 Mac]