Siri, Who Is Siri?

“When I first discovered that was my voice, to be honest it was a little creepy.” That’s Susan C. Bennett, identified today by CNN as the voice of Siri, Apple’s talking virtual assistant. At least she was the voice of Siri in the United States before two different voices began to replace her as part of Apple’s new operating system. Apple won’t confirm the news, but CNN enlisted a vocal forensics expert, who is “100 percent” certain that Bennett is …

Adobe Announces Customer Data Breach

Software manufacturer Adobe says that hackers infiltrated its computer system, gaining access to sensitive information on nearly 3 million customers – including names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers and details of past orders. “At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems,” Adobe said in a statement. Hackers also illegally took copies of the source code of some of the company’s widely used products, which, according to online security …

Cybercrime Costs 508,000 U.S. Jobs

As many as 508,000 American jobs have been lost to cybercrime, the hacking of computer networks to find confidential information and disrupt service, a new report says.  Armed with stolen data, foreign companies are able to better compete in world markets against American companies, leading to job reductions in the United States. Service disruptions, lowered consumer trust and higher costs of computer security also drag the American companies down. Touted as the first-ever report that connects cybercrime to job loss, …

‘Microsoft’ Calling? Don’t Believe It

Some people deal with pesky (and usually illegal) telemarketing calls by simply not answering the phone when their Caller ID displays an unrecognized or “private” number. I answer and even engage, so I learn more about telephone scams de jour. But these calls usually end the same way: After I hear their claims, obviously conning callers get their own earful: A blast of a portable air horn into the handset. You know, the kind favored by sea-stranded sailors because it …

Douglas Engelbart: The Man Behind Your Mouse (And a Lot More)

If it weren’t for Douglas Engelbart, the computer on your desk might still be little more than a glorified typewriter, and you might still be struggling to remember arcane DOS commands so you could type them into a luminous green C:\ prompt on a black screen. And the multimedia marvels of the Web might not have ever existed. As computer historian Howard Rheingold once wrote, “We wouldn’t be sitting in front of personal computers today if it wasn’t for him.” Back …

Could That Be a $671,400 Relic in Your Garage?

If you were one of the 200 or so people who bought an Apple-1 computer back in 1976 or 1977 and still have it on a shelf in the back of your garage, guess what? You’re in the chips. And we don’t mean microprocessor chips, either. The technology news website ZDNet reports that a surviving Apple-1, the computer giant’s first product, fetched a breathtaking $671,400 at a German auction. Other Apple-1s have fetched six-figure prices in the past, but this …