toq

CES: Wearables Yes; Watches, Not So Sure

As the CES pre-announcements pour in, it’s clear that a leading feature of this year’s electronics extravaganza will be wearable devices of all types. Smart watches will make the biggest splash, but I have grave doubts about this category’s chances …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   January 6th, 2014
Washington Post, 1/3/2014

Quantum Computing, the NSA, and Reality

The Washington Post led today’s front page with a very curious choice: An article, by Steven rich and Barton Gellman, that said the National Security Agency is sponsoring research into quantum computing that, if successful, would break public key encryption. The …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   January 3rd, 2014
Apple ][+

Eight Innovators That Shook the World

Note: This article was updated to correct the omission of Google.

There’s no more tedious subject on the internet than an endless discussion of which companies are or are not innovative. If you doubt it, pick a random Tech.pinions comment thread; …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   January 3rd, 2014
Copy of NSA document from Der Spiegel

Apple, iPhone, and the NSA: A Tale of Sorry Journalism

Watching CNN on New Year’s Eve, I learned that the National Security Agency was able to snoop on everything I did or said on my iPhone. Actually, I had been reading this for a couple of days on an assortment …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 31st, 2013
Photo of Acer Chromebook C710 (Acer)

Most Read Columns of 2013: Learning to Love Chromebooks and Succeeding

I have been a skeptic about Chromebooks since Google announced them. What could you really do on a pseudo-laptop whose only native application was the Chrome browser and which depended on an internet connection for most of its functionality. …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 27th, 2013
so_long_farewell

Hail and Farewell, All Things Digital

Next Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, will mark the end of one of the most important journalistic tech industry web sites, Dow-Jones’ All Things Digital. Those of you who have been following this drama in recent months know that its disappearance …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 26th, 2013
Screen shot from commercial (Apple via YouTube)

A Tale of Two Ads: “Misunderstood” vs. “Scroogled”

If you want to know why Apple keeps winning  in consumer markets and Microsoft keeps losing, you can find much of the answer in the ads the two companies use to present themselves to the world. This week, Apple …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 18th, 2013

Follow up: Adobe, Apple, and Bad Error Messages

In a Tech.pinions Insiders article yesterday, I wrote that one reason for the success of tablets is that they do not regularly befuddle users with error messages. No sooner had I written it than I got a lesson in the …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 12th, 2013
Building Digital Tablets Horizontal

Hits, No Errors: The Secret of Mobile Success

 

When Jeff Hawkins was designing the original Palm Pilot, he had a simple rule for his team. If a feature was generating error messages, it either got fixed fast or it was removed.  The Palm user experience was designed to …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 11th, 2013
sugarsync

The Freemium Model May Be Going Away

SugarSync, one of the pioneers of freemium cloud storage, announced today it was ending its free service. From now on,the minimum account will be 60 gigabytes of storage for $7.49 a month or $75 a year. SugarSync had offered a …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 10th, 2013
Photo of Amazon drone (Amazon.com)

The Pitfalls of Techno-optimism (and the Ambition of Amazon)

Jeff Bezos’ interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes accomplished three things. It told the world that Amazon is a true technology company, not just a giant retailer.  It took attention away from unpleasant subjects, such as working conditions in Amazon’s fulfillment …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   December 4th, 2013
FCC Seal (FCC)

Wheeler’s FCC: Ring Out the Old Fights, Bring in the New

The list of recent of accomplishments at the Federal Communications Commission is pretty short. Although President Obama and his FCC chief, Julius Genachowski, took office with a lot of bold talk, very little has happened in the past five years. …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 27th, 2013

X-ray Glasses Are for Real

Evena Eyes-On Glasses (Evena Medical) Readers of a certain age remember comic book ads for mail-order glasses that would let you see through people’s (read: girls’) clothing. They were, of course, a pure rip-off, but their real world counterpart is …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 20th, 2013
Photo of empty lecture hall (© SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com)

Education and the Future of MOOCs

Maybe online course aren’t going to remake the face of higher education after all.

After a fast start, reality seems to be closing in on the world of the massive, open, online courses that were supposed to replace traditional lectures and …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 20th, 2013
Silhouette of a man athlete running on wave background. EPS 10.

UnderArmour Deal Shows Fitness Tech Going Mainstream

If there was any doubt that fitness measurement, whether using wearable devices or sensor-equipped smartphones, is going mainstream it should have been settled Nov. 14  by UnderArmour’s purchase of startup Map My Fitness for $150 million.

Of course, devices such as the …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 15th, 2013

Apple Support: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

See update below

Apple is a company that inspires both delight and dismay in its customers, sometimes both in the same person and on the same day.

First the good news. My 27″ iMac had been acting weird since I installed Mavericks. …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 7th, 2013
© Sergey Nivens - Fotolia.com

Tablets, Desktops, Laptops: How the Tools Fit My Life

With the endless arguments about tablets’ productivity or lack thereof, I decided to take a close look at the computing tools in my life. The result is a seemingly contradictory conclusion: We truly live in a post-PC era in which …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 6th, 2013
Interim CEO John S. Chen

At Last, the Last Act for BlackBerry?

Interim CEO John S. Chen This may be the exception that proves Betteridge’s Law.1 It’s too soon to put a number on the days remaining to the once high flying BlackBerry, but the latest financial developments suggest that the sand …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 4th, 2013
Comments Off
comments-icon

A Note To Commenters

At Tech.pinions we value and encourage spirited debate in our comments. You can argue with our writers and you can argue with other commenters, even vociferously. But we have a very low tolerance for personal insults.

The fastest way for your …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 1st, 2013
jdpower-tablet

J.D. Power Explains Its Inscrutable Tablet Rankings

J.D. Power caused a bit of a stir today when it put out a new survey in which Samsung had displaced Apple as the leader in U.S. tablet satisfaction. While the headline of the McGraw-Hill Financial unit’s press release declared “Samsung Ranks …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   November 1st, 2013
Project Ara photo (Motorola Mobility)

Why Motorola Won’t Offer a Modular Phone

Motorola created a lot of buzz this week with its announcement of Project Ara, a sort of Lego kit mobile phone that would allow users to pick and choose components. I know this is going to …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   October 30th, 2013
iWork photos (Apple)

iWork vs. Office: Apple Chooses, Microsoft Faces a Dilemma

Apple took a big step last week when it made its iWorks apps–Pages, Numbers, and Keynote–free to buyers of new iPhones, iPads, and Macs. But the redesign of the programs themselves may have been a bigger, if less commented-upon move. …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   October 30th, 2013
Healthcare.gov screenshot

Obamacare: Where Did 500 Million Lines of Code Come From?

Anyone who knows even a little about enterprise software has to be horrified by the events surrounding the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Not so much the obvious flaws in the enrollment process, though they are bad enough, but …...

This premium content is available for [cointent_extras]individual purchase or for [/cointent_extras]Insider members. Insider Exclusive content goes beyond the free Daily Tech.pinion to provide deeper insight and additional analysis. [cointent_extras] To continue reading purchase this article: [/cointent_extras] [cointent_lockedcontent view_type="condensed"] [/cointent_lockedcontent][cointent_extras]Or subscribe and become an Insider:[/cointent_extras] As an Insider you'll get exclusive access to all premium columns and features, quarterly industry reports and more.

Subscribe Today Already an Insider? Log in

by Steve Wildstrom   |   October 25th, 2013
Comments Off
icloud

A Better iCloud: Missing in Action

If anyone mentioned iCloud at Apple’s announcement event yesterday, it went by so quickly that I missed it. And that means that a glaring hole will remain in its otherwise strong ecosystem for the foreseeable future.

iCloud does a few things …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   October 23rd, 2013
iLife screenshot

Apple Drives Consumer Software Prices to Zero

Oct. 22, was not a good day to be in the consumer software business.

In addition to a slew of new iPads and Macs, Apple announced the avaibility of new versions of some key software offerings. Mavericks, the new version of …

by Steve Wildstrom   |   October 22nd, 2013