op-ed

  • An Apple Watch In Middle America

    An Apple Watch In Middle America

    Okay, it’s technically not “middle” America, geographically speaking, but it is a small chunk of suburbia on the outskirts of an even smaller urban center. A place where people don’t rush right out and buy the latest new gadget simply because it exists. Where people don’t even notice your upgraded Dick Tracy-style Apple Watch wristwear, unless you find… Read More

  • Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 5: Upgrading To The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR)

    Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 5: Upgrading To The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR)

    In late 2014, I finally took the plunge and cut the cord with cable TV, reducing my monthly bill from a big TV, phone and internet bundle to one which now only includes broadband. My “TV” subscription, meanwhile, includes just a handful of services: Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video. That latter item is actually included with the annual subscription to Amazon… Read More

  • Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 4: Favorite Apps And Resources)

    Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 4: Favorite Apps And Resources)

    It’s now been over three months since I’ve adopted the cord-cutting lifestyle, thanks to finally following through on a long overdue New Year’s Resolution. Today, my “TV” diet largely consists of streaming video from the top three services, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus. I also find myself watching TV from more devices, including… Read More

  • The Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 2: Shaving The Cord And Cheating)

    The Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 2: Shaving The Cord And Cheating)

    2015 is the year I finally cut the cord with cable TV. No more flipping through programs mindlessly, no more massive lineup of channels I never watch, no more DVR’ing. In doing so, I’ve been determined to rely on streaming-only services for access to TV and movies, and my current lineup today includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu, with the occasional movie rental… Read More

  • Smartphone Makers Need To Put An End To Distracted Driving

    Smartphone Makers Need To Put An End To Distracted Driving

    I’m cruising down the road at 45 mph when – ka-ching! – the sound of a cash register blares out from my iPhone. It’s one of now several deal-finding apps I have installed that alert me to nearby sales at local stores. I love the functionality they provide, but I’m not thrilled with the timing. The phone buzzes some more as the alerts roll in as I coast past the… Read More

  • Accounts Launches A New Address Book For iOS That Tracks Your Many Identities

    Accounts Launches A New Address Book For iOS That Tracks Your Many Identities

    An application called Accounts, live now on iOS to start, is a new attempt at developing a universal address book. While many competitors that have gone before it have focused on aggregating user accounts from the major social networks – like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Accounts is interesting because it’s trying to catalog the long-tail of users’ social networks. On… Read More

  • The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

    The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

    About once a week, if not more, I find myself typing these words or something similar on Facebook: “I just PM’d you, check your ‘Other’ inbox.” Or, “sorry, I’m on mobile, I can’t get to the ‘Other’ inbox right now.” Or sometimes, just “bump.” If any of these phrases sound familiar, you’re probably also a member… Read More

  • Apple Announces Too Many iPads

    Apple Announces Too Many iPads

    If you’re in the market to buy a new iPad, your choices just became dizzying. As expected, Apple announced new iPads this morning at its news conference in Cupertino, but it didn’t retire some of its older products to make way for the additions. How many iPad models can you choose from now? Five? And that’s not even counting the fact that each flavor comes with various… Read More

  • In Today’s Messaging Wars, Platform Makers Apple And Google Are Coming Up Short

    In Today’s Messaging Wars, Platform Makers Apple And Google Are Coming Up Short

    The $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook is nothing if not a signal of the significant importance that messaging has in this new phase of online connectivity, in the world where people’s “first computers” are their mobile handsets. Dozens of new messaging apps launch every day, each with a core set of functionality and a few tricks of their own, ranging from the… Read More

  • Baby Selfie App Signals Impending Collapse Of Society (Or Not)

    Baby Selfie App Signals Impending Collapse Of Society (Or Not)

    The baby selfie app signals the “impending collapse of society” – or at least that’s one possible interpretation regarding this thing’s existence, admits the developer of a newly released Android application that’s designed to allow babies to take their first selfies. Yes, babies. The app is, ugh, kind of adorable. It works sort of like a digital game of… Read More

  • How To Not Be A Glasshole, Part 2

    How To Not Be A Glasshole, Part 2

    Remember when Google released a handful of guidelines explaining how to properly behave while wearing its new “face computer,” Google Glass? One rule in particular seems worth rehashing given recent events: Don’t “be creepy or rude (aka, a ‘Glasshole’)” suggested Google. While generally good advice, it seems like the nuances involved with… Read More

  • Jelly’s Novelty Wears Off, But Long-Term Potential For A Mobile #Lazyweb Remains

    Jelly’s Novelty Wears Off, But Long-Term Potential For A Mobile #Lazyweb Remains

    Let’s get this out of the way up front: I was prepared to dislike Jelly after its reveal. After all, when Twitter co-founder Biz Stone described the new startup as experiment designed to “make the world a more empathetic place,” – yes, a mobile Q&A service – it’s hard not to roll your eyes. And if you look at some of the usage in Jelly’s first… Read More

  • Overrun With Messaging Apps

    Overrun With Messaging Apps

    Because I’ll install almost any app on my iPhone just to take a look, I’ve got a jam-packed folder called “messaging apps” that’s now five pages deep. It includes only the big names, regional giants, and those newer arrivals buzzy enough to secure coverage on TechCrunch or other tech blogs. You know, recently. The situation is getting out of hand. Read More

  • Startups Pitching A “Netflix For E-Books” May Have A Tough Sell

    When it comes to getting consumers to pay for things on a subscription basis, some services fare better than others. A growing number of people seem happy to pay for entertainment-based offerings like Netflix or on-demand streaming music, for example, while “box of the month” clubs and subscription-based shopping sites have been something of a mixed bag. More recently, a handful… Read More

  • Startups Apparently Do Not Care That Android Is Better

    Startups Apparently Do Not Care That Android Is Better

    In a must-read post for the tech industry, Twitter experience designer and serial startup founder Paul Stamatiou writes: “Android is Better.” His op-ed serves as something of a wake-up call for the industry, where developers building the next generation of mobile applications still heavily prefer the iPhone, not only as their personal smartphone of choice, but also as the… Read More

  • Automation Startup IFTTT’s New iPhone App Is Beautiful, Simple, But Still Limited

    Automation Startup IFTTT’s New iPhone App Is Beautiful, Simple, But Still Limited

    IFTTT, the web services automation startup backed by $8.5 million from NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, and others, is now available as a mobile app for iPhone. Like the web version of IFTTT, the app allows you to create and edit tasks (in IFTTT lingo, “recipes”) that allow you to kick off actions based on other activities. For example, if it’s raining, then text me, or save my… Read More

  • Thank You, Google Overlords

    Thank You, Google Overlords

    Running a website not optimized for smartphones? Guess what, you’ve been put on notice. Google is using its influence and the power of its algorithm to finally force web publishers to fix their mobile website configuration issues, or risk getting downranked in Google Search. Directing smartphone users to 404’s? You lose. Sending smartphone users looking for specific content to… Read More

  • Tumblr’s Teenaged, Double-Edged Sword

    Tumblr’s Teenaged, Double-Edged Sword

    “im ddeleting the internet [sic]“: A telling re-blog from a teenaged girl on the blogging platform turned social networking site Tumblr, in a chain of re-postings that had her pondering Tumblr’s impact on her life twenty years from now, when her passing, immature thoughts become fodder for a discussion among her boss and colleagues at some imagined future workplace. Read More

  • Facebook Home And The Promise Of Android

    Facebook Home And The Promise Of Android

    If you’re an iPhone user, you might be feeling a little left behind, because Facebook launched an application called Facebook Home, touted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the “next version of Facebook.” In fact, you might be feeling this way if you’re an Android user, too. For now, only a handful of select devices can even run Home (officially) — notably missing from… Read More

  • Calm Down, No One’s Getting Fired Because Of FireMe!, New Site That Exposes People Tweeting Horrible Things About Their Jobs

    Calm Down, No One’s Getting Fired Because Of FireMe!, New Site That Exposes People Tweeting Horrible Things About Their Jobs

    Anytime there’s a lull in our outrage over the public nature of social media, a new site shows up to again demonstrate its dangers. Like clockwork, the latest to play on users’ fears is FireMe!, a website that tracks when people are saying inappropriate things about their jobs on Twitter, including their hatred for their boss, their desire to murder said bosses or co-workers, and… Read More