When Apple announced the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011, the headlines were not about its speedy A5 chip or improved camera. Instead they focused on an unusual new feature: an intelligent assistant, dubbed Siri. At first Siri, endowed with a female voice, seemed almost human in the way she understood what you said to her and responded, an advance in artificial intelligence that seemed to place us on a fast track to the Singularity.
Initial enthusiasm for Apple's newly introduced Swift language appears to have died down somewhat, based on two monthly programming language popularity indexes.
For the longest time, Microsoft had something of a poor reputation as a software developer. The issue wasn't so much the quality of the company's software but the way it was developed and delivered. The company's traditional model involved cranking out a new major version of Office, Windows, SQL Server, Exchange, and so on every three or so years.
An open-source project has released the first free application for the iPhone that scrambles voice calls, which would thwart government surveillance or eavesdropping by hackers.
Signal comes from Open Whisper Systems, which developed RedPhone and TextSecure, both Android applications that encrypt calls and text messages.
On July 22, Mozilla officially released the stable version for Firefox 31 for all supported platforms, integrating 11 security fixes, three of them being marked as critical.