Opinion

  • What The Apple Watch Could Be

    What The Apple Watch Could Be

    What is the Apple Watch? The simple answer is Apple’s first smartwatch. In fact Apple calls it its “most personal device ever”. But early reviewers have wrestled with the raison d’être of the Apple Watch. Read More

  • On The War On General Purpose Computing

    On The War On General Purpose Computing

    The powers that be want to control your phones and your drones. And who can blame them? It was inevitable. Of course they’re upset that smartphones are making it hard to catch speeders. Of course manufacturers are hurrying to ensure that drones refuse to fly to certain locations, before they’re forced to do so by law. Those are the instruments of power in today’s and… Read More

  • Whatever Happened To PaaS?

    Whatever Happened To PaaS?

    In 2009 I discovered Google App Engine and fell in love. Its promise: any software developer could build web apps available to anyone, anywhere, 24/7, without having to worry about server configuration, or database setup, or OS versions, or security patches, or load balancing, or scaling. Automatic scaling! All we had to do was write our code; App Engine would handle everything else. Read More

  • Exclusives Screw Music Fans

    Exclusives Screw Music Fans

    Listeners lose when music becomes fragmented. You might like your new on-demand streaming better than CDs, but at least you could buy them in any store. At this rate, no matter who you choose to pay $10 a month, you might not get all the music you want. As each streaming app tries to differentiate itself, they’re signing exclusivity and windowing deals so you can only hear certain songs… Read More

  • Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 6: HBO Goes Over-The-Top)

    Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 6: HBO Goes Over-The-Top)

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is the world’s most pirated show, according to new data from anti-piracy solutions provider Irdeto out today. So it’s not surprising that the network has now moved to make watching its content more easily accessible to those who don’t want to pay for cable or satellite television. Instead, thanks to deals with Apple, Cablevision… Read More

  • Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop

    Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop

    “Most likely it will be amateur pornographers who make best use of Meerkat’s special features,” observes The Economist drily, ending an analysis of the battle between Meerkat and Periscope. “They have a long history of kick-starting new video technologies.” Indeed. Porn is always at the forefront of technology. But what about sex? Read More

  • When April Fools’ Day Gets More Love Than Good Policy

    When April Fools’ Day Gets More Love Than Good Policy

    Here is something to ponder: Silicon Valley will have gotten more work done on its April Fools’ Day jokes tomorrow than Washington has gotten done in the past several years. And that’s scary, for as much as playing PacMan on Google Maps is funny and maybe even endearing, driving on bridges ready to collapse is not. Read More

  • Why Jay-Z’s Music App Tidal Sounds Doomed

    Giving away music is how you get people to pay for it. That might seem crazy, but it’s true, though Jay-Z doesn’t want to listen. He just launched a music streaming service called Tidal with Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Kanye, Arcade Fire, and Rihanna as co-owners contributing exclusive content. The goal is to get artists properly paid. The problem is Tidal subscriptions costs $20… Read More

  • Drowning In The Live Streams

    Drowning In The Live Streams

    Phones can make us jerks. They let us ignore friends, cancel plans last-minute, and annoy those around us in public. But this month, we got a whole new way to abuse our mobile devices. Unless we can manage how we interrupt each other, it could ruin one of the most promising modern communication mediums: live streaming. Read More

  • A Farewell To Jobs

    A Farewell To Jobs

    Few subjects elicit more skepticism than the so-called “sharing economy.” Kevin Roose argues: “The Sharing Economy Isn’t About Trust, It’s About Desperation.” Catherine Rampell warns: “there’s a dark side to these work arrangements … the shifting of risk off corporate balance sheets and onto the shoulders of individual Americans.” Read More

  • The Live Stream Goes Mainstream

    The Live Stream Goes Mainstream

    In early 2011, Skype bought a mobile video startup called Qik, which had developed an app that let mobile users record and stream videos in real-time which others could be alerted to and then view. If that description sounds similar to the newly hot live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope, it’s because the overall concept introduced then is not all that far off from what’s… Read More

  • Anti-Tech Backlash Could Be Coming Soon To A City Near You

    Anti-Tech Backlash Could Be Coming Soon To A City Near You

    While it can be dangerous to take lessons from television shows or science fiction novels, there’s evidence that as technology advances at breakneck speed, there will be those who are afraid of what’s coming and people could choose sides. To some extent, it’s because technology is always a few steps ahead of society, and we have yet to come to grips with much of… Read More

  • Nintendo’s Move To Mobile Unlikely To Offer Retro Gamers Much More Than Memories

    Nintendo’s Move To Mobile Unlikely To Offer Retro Gamers Much More Than Memories

    Nintendo’s announcement that it would partner with Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA to create games on mobile devices using Nintendo’s intellectual property sounds like a dream come true, but will probably offer little more than muted nostalgia for retro game lovers. Unless you’re one of the nine people who have never owned one of Nintendo’s fleet of hand-held… Read More

  • The Terrible Technical Interview

    The Terrible Technical Interview

    Traditional technical interviews are terrible for everyone. They’re a bad way for companies to evaluate candidates. They’re a bad way for candidates to evaluate companies. They waste time and generate stress on both sides. Almost everyone, if pressed, will admit this. And yet they persist. I humbly suggest that it is time for engineers to start to flatly refuse to participate in them. 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

  • How To Play VC Poker With Billions In The Pot

    How To Play VC Poker With Billions In The Pot

    As the ranks of super unicorns continue to grow, such as with Pinterest’s shiny new $11 billion valuation, analysts are increasingly scrutinizing these prices and whether they signal a new tech bubble. Bill Gurley, the Uber investor and partner at Benchmark, argued at SXSW this week that there will be “dead unicorns” among some of these high-priced companies. Another angle… Read More

  • Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service

    Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service

    There seems to be cool new hardware everywhere I look these days. Swimming drones. Crash-proof flying drones. Creepy robots. Kickstarters like Hackaball, “a smart and responsive ball children can program to invent and play their own games.” Startups like Orion Labs, with their Star-Trek-esque Onyx communicator. 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

  • Apple Expediting The Future Is No Betrayal

    Apple Expediting The Future Is No Betrayal

    Apple’s new MacBook, which limits input and output to a single USB-C port and a simple 3.5mm audio in/out jack, has been characterized by some as a move that’s antagonistic to the consumer. Critics point to the single port, as well as the performance limitations inherent in using an Intel Core M chipset for power management and fanless logic board design, as causes for complaint… Read More

  • The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    Some months ago, the Washington Post waded into the debate about the NSA, pervasive surveillance, and end-to-end encryption with a call for Apple and Google to magically “invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant.” This was met with a chorus of contempt and opprobrium. Read More

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