Apple won't let Siri speak to earlier iPhones, but it will let it keep an unblinking eye on you. And Amazon talks to its own voice-processing company. Yes, the remainders for Wednesday, November 9, 2011 are talking to you.
Surprise! According to an email Cult of Mac received from Apple in response to a filed bug, the company's not planning on bringing its iPhone 4S-defining feature, Siri, to its earlier handsets. Also not in the cards? A color display for the original Mac 128K, Mac OS X for the Apple II, and a Weather app for the first-generation iPod.
Little Sister Siri (iFixit)
Speaking of Siri, how does the 4S's virtual assistant know you're talking to it? Easy: A proximity sensor in the iPhone can tell when the phone is being held up to your head. But according to the invasive specialists at iFixit, it doesn't act quite the same as it did on previous phones; instead of being active only when you're making a phone call--that's why the screen goes dark, you see--it's now on all the time. Watching you. Waiting for you. Plotting.
Amazon has picked up Yap, a company that had previously produced an iOS and Android app that provided transcription of voicemail (à la Google Voice). Why does Amazon want a firm that specializes in digital speech-to-text processing? Because Jeff Bezos is a crazy billionaire who demands that nobody talk to him in person. (This is how rumors get started. By which I mean, this is how I start rumors.)
Among film fans, there is no catalog of higher esteem than the Criterion Collection. And now, you can rent 46 of those art-house classics on iTunes. Among them are titles like Sanjuro, My Dinner with André, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Whoops. Tokyo Drifter. I always get those two confused.
Remoter VNC 3.2 - Version 3.2 of the VNC client for iOS features a new tap-and-hold menu for easier access to right-click and double-click, support for Lion-style scrolling, a view-only mode, a search box for the session list, a security PIN feature, better multitouch handling for trackpad features, support for the RDP protocol over SSL/NLA, and more. Normally $2; on sale for $1.
Default Folder X 4.4.7 - St. Clair Software has updated its file utility to version 4.4.7, fixing a number of bugs including one that could cause an application to unexpectedly quit after using a file dialog. Also fixes a bug with Bias Peak, adds a hidden preference to hide offline favorites, and more. $35 for a new license; free update for owners of 4.x or those who purchased 3.x on or after June 1, 2007. $15 upgrade fee for owners of previous versions.