rants

  • Mr. Penumbra’s Out-Of-Touch Publishing Industry

    Mr. Penumbra’s Out-Of-Touch Publishing Industry

    Writer and "Media Inventor" Robin Sloan wrote an interesting book called Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore about an out-of-work web designer in San Francisco who goes to work at a bookstore. The only things fantastical about his novel, I suspect, are that the web designer, named Clay, is out of work and that he can find a book store in which to work. Read More

  • The Problem With Early Reviews

    The Problem With Early Reviews

    I'm going to let you in on a little secret: most of the reviews you read online are performed in a manner that you, as an intelligent consumer, would find abhorrent. I'm not naming names nor am I pointing fingers, but aside from a few very specific cases, your vision of a highly-experienced tech journalist sitting down at a workbench next to a Faraday cage and a drop test station is pretty much… Read More

  • Hey, Guys, Remember When You Used To Care About Flash?

    Hey, Guys, Remember When You Used To Care About Flash?

    I wanted to take a moment to pour out a little Club Mate in honor of Flash on mobile and to point out that it wasn't two years ago that the Flash/iPhone wars were top of mind for most people. Heck, even Steve Jobs chimed in when it looked bleakest. But, as we learned last year, mobile Flash was dead. Kaput. Deceased. No longer. Ex. Read More

  • Tablets Join The Long Race To The Bottom

    Tablets Join The Long Race To The Bottom

    Remember netbooks? Exactly. Two years ago netbooks could do no wrong. They were the future, a way to get work done on the go on a laptop the size of a paperback book. In the end, manufacturers saw them as a great way to squeeze profit out of a moribund product line. Sadly, I fear that's where we're headed in the tablet market. Read More

  • WTF
    Can Someone Send TechCrunch’s Fax Number To Vanity Fair?

    Can Someone Send TechCrunch’s Fax Number To Vanity Fair?

    Vanity Fair is one of my all-time favorite magazines -- it publishes loads of incredibly well-written stories about fascinating topics and people. Its regular features, like My Stuff and the Proust Questionnaire, are always entertaining. So, I was pretty excited to get an email from one of Vanity Fair's publicists this morning, offering an advance copy of a story that will run in the August… Read More

  • The Meh-Too Crowd

    The Meh-Too Crowd

    It's been a while since I came to Google's defense but I think it's time to talk about what an absolute downer it is to dig through a lot of tech commentary these days. The most recent example came after the launch of Google's Glass project, a HUD for future travelers that will let us connect to our world in a fairly non-obtrusive way. Arguably, the product is pretty pie-in-the-sky, but all things… Read More

  • TL;DR: The Problem With Long-Form Publishing Plays

    TL;DR: The Problem With Long-Form Publishing Plays

    Last week, our writer Devin Coldewey wrote a 3,000-word essay on Google+. It got 114 comments. Comment numbers are a wildly inaccurate metric for popularity in general - some posts get 100 comments because they're poorly written, sensationalistic, and/or just strike a nerve - but in this case 114 is a good number for a long piece on a relatively boring subject. On the same day we posted a videoRead More

  • Check-In Needs To Work, But How Can We Fix It?

    Check-In Needs To Work, But How Can We Fix It?

    Remember Highlight? That app that everyone thought was hot stuff back at SXSW? I used it for a few days and then deleted it, discovering quite quickly that the app, despite some utility, was an absolute battery hog. But what Highlight did was prove that, given the proper scenario, check-in works and is important. What frustrates me most, however, is that we keep doing it wrong. Take this new Read More

  • Pro Tip: Don’t Pivot Your Way Into Irrelevancy

    Pro Tip: Don’t Pivot Your Way Into Irrelevancy

    They say news is what happens to the editor on his way to work, so here's some news: podcast distributor Mevio has apparently pivoted right out of the game. The company hosted a number of well-known webcasts including, for a long time, the late GeekBrief.tv. I used the service for about two years to host my own podcast and was quite happy with the service, as were a number of other users I spoke… Read More

  • Nobody Wins At CES

    Nobody Wins At CES

    Rather than do a CES pre-round-up of exciting products I'd like to address this interesting slant on the whole "massive electronics trade show in the middle of the desert" concept that has kept the Gadgets crew here up for the past few weeks. MG said Apple won CES. He was being snide, but, in a way, honest because, in the end, nobody wins CES. The Consumer Electronics Show is, as its name… Read More

 
  • SOPA, Freedom, And The Invisible War

    SOPA, Freedom, And The Invisible War

    While laughable in scope and reach (not to mention ridiculous in terms of potential enforcement) the Stop Online Piracy Act is seen as a very real threat to our freedom to, in short, surf the Internet. Although its ramifications are far more draconian than I'm letting on here, I posit that the government is the least of our concern when it comes to online freedom. Let's catch up since our last fewRead More

  • Do You Hear What I Hear? Yes, It’s Paypal Stealing Money From Kids

    Do You Hear What I Hear? Yes, It’s Paypal Stealing Money From Kids

    It's the holiday season, when a webmaster's mind turns to thoughts of love and charity. Take Regretsy, for example. The site collected a bit of money and began buying and sending gifts to the kids in the Regretsy community whose parents were having financial problems. In this economy, that could be just about anybody and, the Internet being the Internet, there was an outpouring of affection and… Read More

  • Gadget Sites: Ease Up On The Watermarks Already

    Gadget Sites: Ease Up On The Watermarks Already

    Here's a little inside baseball for you all but I wanted to get a pet peeve off my chest: all these darned watermarks on gadget imagery. It got pretty egregious this morning over at BGR where they posted some pictures of some purported iPhone 4S parts that (surprise) look very much like iPhone 4 parts. I was struck, however, by the plethora of watermarks boldly slapped onto the face of the image… Read More

  • Your ISP Is Screwing You: As Your Service Costs Go Up, Their Backbone Costs Go Down

    Your ISP Is Screwing You: As Your Service Costs Go Up, Their Backbone Costs Go Down

    In Japan, a multiple-megabit Internet connection costs pennies. I pay $99 for 50-mbps (and that's really about 1 mbps (when it's not raining) in Brooklyn. But why, you ask? Well, to hear cable companies (and carriers) tell it, it costs a pretty penny to get all that data to your door. Providers have to lease connectivity from the backbone and, as such, they're forced to add caps to prevent us… Read More

  • Welcome To The Post-Carrier Future

    Welcome To The Post-Carrier Future

    For most of the last decade, the carriers have called the shots. Likened to "Soviet ministries" by Walt Mossberg, carriers had full control of their environment, from billing to customer service to device availability. There were four carriers and each competed on different platforms but generally handset manufacturers went to them, hat in hand, and showed off a crop of new devices. Like mad… Read More

  • Dear Movie-Goers: Shut The Hell Up.

    Dear Movie-Goers: Shut The Hell Up.

    Hello, fellow movie-theater patrons! I’ve got something to say to you. Not all of you, of course — but it seems the number of you that need to hear this is increasing at a ridiculous rate. You ready? Shut the hell up. Read More

  • My Netgear Router Came Swathed In Dishonesty

    My Netgear Router Came Swathed In Dishonesty

    So I had to go pick up a new wireless router yesterday, and picked up a plain $35 Netgear one. Checking the back, I noticed this amazing, amazing panel, full of the most misleading garbage I've seen in a long time. Netgear should be ashamed of themselves. Let's just take a look at what's wrong with this panel. Read More

  • Can MacWorld – or any tech conference – survive the next decade?

    Can MacWorld – or any tech conference – survive the next decade?

    Comic from the great NatalieDee The Grube talks about an Apple-less MacWorld and how it will be a pretty sad show without the regular one-ring circus that is the Steve Jobs keynote but that it won’t be absolutely horrible, with smaller companies actually getting some attention this time. My thinking? Nah. Big trade shows are going down and here are a few reasons why: Read More

  • How Apple kills hardware innovation

    How Apple kills hardware innovation

    If there are two things you can count on it's Death and the propensity of Asian electronics manufacturers to capitalize on a rising trend. In short, what we buy Asia makes and Asia is very happy about the iPad. And this chain of events, in turn, destroys hardware innovation. First we have this AP report about accessories makers. We haven't posted very many iPad accessories since the launch but… Read More

  • You're worth it: How the "premium" perception is changing the way we buy gadgets

    You're worth it: How the "premium" perception is changing the way we buy gadgets

    This guy was asking the quality question way before the PSP Go The PSP Go just launched and the blogworld is in a tizzy about the price – $249 – and the apparent chintziness of this new PSP replacement. You see, the device doesn’t support Sony’s exciting UMD optical standard and is generally reported as “feeling” cheaper than the bulky but solid PSP. The PSP Go… Read More