It’s not your imagination: robocalls are on the increase. The volume of robocalls has risen sharply in 2016. Complaints are up. The government and big companies are taking new steps to try to rein in the scammers and perhaps tame the “legitimate” telemarketers. It may be a losing battle, because the scammers and nuisance telemarketers are leveraging new technology and taking advantage of decreasing costs of doing business. […] continuedRead more
As we move quickly into a post-Microsoft world, Google Chrome is the program where we spend most of our time on our computers. Last week Chrome was updated in a couple of small but significant ways, with a cleaner look based on Google’s “material design” aesthetic, speed improvements, and improved battery life and reduced power consumption, especially important on laptops. […] continuedRead more
Google introduced a new app for video chats last week. Google Duo makes one-on-one video chats as easy as possible, with nothing required except a phone number and someone on the other end who’s running the app or willing to install it. Google Duo doesn’t even require a Google account. Setup takes only a moment, and once it’s set up it literally requires only a single tap to start a call. […] continuedRead more
I’m not good at predictions. Tim Cook, the CEO of the largest company in the world, called me a twit during a global presentation a few years ago because I made a poor prediction. (Seriously. Here are the details.) I made a commitment then to avoid sweeping generalities about the future. […] continuedRead more
We’re drowning in passwords.
Slowly – slowly! – we are moving out of the Age Of Passwords. Better alternatives exist. Apple has integrated fingerprints deeply into iOS and fingerprint readers are turning up on many Android phones. Microsoft has built Windows Hello into Windows 10 to authenticate you with fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition – right now to log into a computer, eventually to log into websites. […] continuedRead more
On a recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said that “people around the world spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.”
Facebook has more than 1 billion active users every single day, more than 1.6 billion active users every month.
An average of 50 minutes a day. […] continuedRead more
One is an aberration. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend.
There are three new Chromebooks on the market with some interesting things in common. It’s a trend. It might be an early sign of an important shift in the devices we use.
Let’s get some background, then take a look at the three new devices. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft Edge is the web browser that Microsoft developed to replace Internet Explorer. When you upgrade to Windows 10, Edge is set as the default browser, regardless of your previous settings. It is also set as the default program to open PDFs, even if you were using Adobe Acrobat or some other program designed for PDFs. […] continuedRead more
It’s the guiding principle of technology these days: everything is simple and easy once you know how to do it. I discovered a Google Chrome trick that makes me giggle with happiness.
Chrome lets you pin a website to the taskbar.
Really, that’s it. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Let me tell you how it’s done, then I’ll gush for a while about why it’s such a swell trick. […] continuedRead more
The tech community is entranced with Google Project Fi, a partnership between Google, major carriers, and hardware manufacturers to deliver a unique and satisfying phone experience – and along the way deliver a powerful message to the carriers about how they should change their business practices. It’s audacious and ambitious. […] continuedRead more
Market share for Internet Explorer is going down fast. Google Chrome is the Internet browser being chosen by more people every year. If you’re an Internet Explorer user, you’re not required to switch! This is an interesting trend, not an emergency. Nonetheless, I recommend having Chrome installed on every Windows computer, either as the default browser or as the fallback for websites that Internet Explorer does not handle properly. […] continuedRead more
There are three points that are frequently overlooked in the debate about the FBI’s demand that Apple provide custom access to a terrorist’s locked iPhone.
• Apple is not defying a court order
• The FBI is seeking a broad precedent
• The tool requested by the FBI would compromise Apple in other countries
These are not the only issues in this debate. […] continuedRead more
Google posted an announcement a few days ago that Picasa will be closed down soon. Picasa is two things – a cloud service for storing photos online, and a desktop application for managing photos on your computer. Both of them will be shut down in the next few months. Google is committing all of its resources to Google Photos, the online photo service that duplicates much of what is in Picasa, and more importantly works perfectly on mobile devices, the focus of everyone’s efforts these days. […] continuedRead more
Google is an advertising company. Roughly 95% of its revenue comes from displaying ads on web pages. But it spends large resources on projects that are genuinely good for the world, even if they don’t directly make money. The Google Cultural Institute is one of those projects that I had missed in the five years since it was launched. […] continuedRead more
Happy holidays! Welcome to the end of 2015! I knew we’d make it. Take a deep breath. There’s no reason to feel the urge to throw a computer out the window for at least a couple of weeks.
It’s been an interesting year in technology, mostly good news but with occasional infuriating bits – which is actually the way it’s been for the last couple of decades, isn’t it? […] continuedRead more