• Into the Gloss, An Editorial Beauty Site, Raises $2M To Build Its Team

    Into the Gloss, An Editorial Beauty Site, Raises $2M To Build Its Team

    Into The Gloss, an editorial beauty website based out of New York, has raised $2 million in venture capital funding led by Forerunner and Lerer Ventures, along with several angel investors. Since it was founded in September of 2010, the site has been making waves in the style space for its insider access-type interviews with editors, designers, writers, models, and other creatives about… Read More

  • How To Disrupt Petty Inconveniences

    How To Disrupt Petty Inconveniences

    Depending on who you ask, Jack Dorsey started off the latest Disrupt on either a very controversial or a very non-controversial note. “We need revolution, not disruption,” he said, words that would be easy to characterize as platitudes if he were not working hard at uprooting a few global institutions. Even so, the sentiment did not entirely match the tone of the conference that was… Read More

  • All Your Metadata Shall Be In Water Writ

    All Your Metadata Shall Be In Water Writ

    The power of the internet lies in its near-infinite mutability. It’s an edifice of information being added to and sculpted by as many hands as there are eyes viewing it. Truly democratic and increasingly accessible, it will soon be the vector for most communication that takes place on our world. But its mutability is also a weakness, as so many great strengths are. The weakness arises from… Read More

  • Stranded Vessels

    Stranded Vessels

    The 20th century was owned and operated by middle men. Industry began as the creation of something for which would be traded other goods, services, or cash. As production centralized, distribution (as always) rose to close the distance between the product and the consumer. Facilitating consumption became a business unto itself: printing, shipping, packaging, and all the rest. A respectable… Read More

  • Iconoclasm


    What can be said about the save icon? It is a diskette. It is often blue. And of course, as others have pointed out, many (soon to be most) people using computers today have never touched one and never will. Yet you could say the same for a the “home” icon (millions will never own a house), the “phone” icon (used a model 500 lately?), the lasso, the magnifying glass… Read More

  • Laocoön


    Suppose you dropped your phone — a real fall, like from the second story — and it broke. You’re picking up the pieces, cursing and trying to think of the last time you backed up your contacts, when you notice something. Deep within the phone’s hardware, hidden from everyday use, you find a message — etched right onto the chassis. What kind of message? Let’s… Read More

  • The Way Things Work

    The Way Things Work

    Magic, they call it. And indeed we may add an appendix to that old saw: any sufficiently advanced, or sufficiently obscure, technology is indistinguishable from magic. You must know the story of the Mechanical Turk. How princes and tradesmen were amazed by this ingenious device’s ability to play chess intelligently. In an age of steam and brass hinges! Yet at the time thousands were fooled. Read More

  • Google+: The Charge Of The Like Brigade

    Google+: The Charge Of The Like Brigade

    A recent post by a defecting Googler (at his new and previous home, Microsoft) suggests that a fundamental reordering of Google’s priorities has made it far less than the company it once was. A sudden comprehension of the danger posed by Facebook’s ever-expanding platform caused the company to enter a sort of berserker state, focusing solely on reinventing social while neglecting… Read More

  • Paper Or Plastic?

    Paper Or Plastic?

    I have a confession to make: despite having reviewed a few e-readers, and having written dozens of articles about them, I’ve never really used one. I mean, I’ve used them enough to know a good one from a bad one, to understand the features, and to do a proper evaluation — but I’ve never made one part of my life, the way one makes a mobile phone or laptop part of… Read More

  • We’ll Handle Google And Apple, Mr. President; You Worry About SOPA, PCFIPA, ACTA, And Big Media

    We’ll Handle Google And Apple, Mr. President; You Worry About SOPA, PCFIPA, ACTA, And Big Media

    Mr. President, I’m glad your administration has taken the time to craft what looks like a fairly forward-thinking and potentially globally influential policy towards consumer privacy on the internet. No doubt it will have to be snipped here and built up there and the fast pace of the technology world may make some of its provisions quaint after a few years, but overall it seems strong… Read More

  • The Revolution May Or May Not Be Branded

    The Revolution May Or May Not Be Branded

    The Occupy movement, or rallying cry, or whatever you want to call it, is by its nature decentralized. By refusing to come together under one banner other than the word “Occupy,” they’ve both diluted their message and allowed it to spread more quickly. You don’t need an Occupy license to occupy a bank’s lobby in Kansas City, but at the same time there’s… Read More

  • Dirty Money

    Dirty Money

    The New York Times has published a long article on Foxconn which, while it doesn’t provide much in the way of new information, does act as a sobering reminder of just how companies like Apple can make so very much money. When our own John Biggs visited Foxconn, he focused on the company itself, its scale, its intentions. When I wrote about Apple’s suppliers failing to meet… Read More

  • Is This Activism?

    Is This Activism?

    Hundreds of websites (TechCrunch included) have gone dark or visibly changed their appearance as a protest against the Stop Online Privacy Act and its Senate doppelganger, the PROTECT IP Act. It’s a powerful statement and many are saying that it is already producing effects: Senators are changing positions, awareness is rising, and the opposition is becoming a dinner-table topic. But is… Read More

  • Is The Internet A Human Right?

    Is The Internet A Human Right?

    No. At least, that is what Vint Cerf, of TCP/IP, IEEE, and Google fame, decides in a NY Times op-ed piece. But the idea is subtler than the flame-bait headline; the decidedly less flashy “technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself” expresses it more accurately. It’s a difficult topic to address, not just because it’s naturally inflammatory, but because it… Read More

  • Tech Comes To The Real World

    Tech Comes To The Real World

    2011 saw many interesting developments in the virtualization of goods. The growth of app stores continued unabated, aided by huge sales of iOS devices and Android handsets, and media of all kinds continued the move to a totally non-physical state for the end user: Netflix, Spotify, and other services make the idea of storing your things, whether on your hard drive or in stacks by the TV… Read More

  • Tablet Zero

    Tablet Zero

    The global slapfight between Apple and Samsung shows no sign of abating – a victory here, an injunction there, a ruling here, a reversal there – like Aesop’s goats, neither will give way and chances are they’re both going to end up the worse for it, though not likely at the bottom of a ravine. It doesn’t mean that the conflict doesn’t furnish some… Read More

  • In Defense Of The Stylus

    In Defense Of The Stylus

    A little while back, I got an email from Atmel, one of the leading touchscreen makers, asking if I wanted to check out their latest creation: a new active stylus that works with an improved touchscreen, for stylus actions alongside normal finger-touches and technologies like palm rejection. I passed, because to be honest, it didn’t sound very exciting. It has shown up at a few other… Read More

  • The Beautiful Internet

    The Beautiful Internet

    If there is one thing I could say about most websites, it is that they are ugly. I mean really. Just atrocious. There are generally so many things going wrong that we have all had to completely reconfigure our expectations just to exist in this noisy, cluttered, pixelated world. It’s difficult to stretch one’s mind far enough to even imagine what the web would look like with… Read More

  • Federal Bureau Of Sisyphean Labors

    -FBI deputy assistant director Steven Chabinsky Read More

  • Google+: One Hell Of A Trojan Horse

    Google+: One Hell Of A Trojan Horse

    There’s no shortage of Google+ in the air these days. Overeager pundits and soothsayers are hoping to be among the most visible voices on the net saying which service or company it’s going to topple, why it’s going to fail or succeed, and why it should or shouldn’t be more like this or that. It all seems awfully premature, considering Google+ is just getting started, and… Read More

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