Google is an advertising company. Its incentives are all tied to maximizing engagement with places where you will see ads served up by Google’s ad network. But that has more depth than you realize, driven by Google’s desire to have those ads be more effective and tailored to you than anyone else’s ads, combined with a strong ethical culture and the sheer joy of technology. […] continuedRead more
Amazon seeks to be the middleman in every financial transaction on the planet. Its incentives are all tied to making customers happy in every context where Amazon can take a small fee as money moves from one place to another.
Since the beginning, Amazon’s mission statement has been: “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” In the most recent SEC filings, however, that is shortened; now it refers only to “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” without restricting it to sales from the Amazon website. […] continuedRead more
Apple is a company that sells premium smartphones with very high profit margins. Its incentives are all tied to profits from selling iPhones.
The other products, the iPads and Macs and the rest, are all swell businesses that generate lovely profits. They help reward Apple faithful and lock in users. Make no mistake, though: in 2018, Apple’s single-minded goal is to increase iPhone sales. […] continuedRead more
Five giant technology companies have set up walled gardens full of shiny devices and enticing services. All of us live in their gardens. We’re not completely locked in. We move from one walled garden to another, but each company hopes to keep you within its garden by making its services and devices work better if you stay in its embrace. […] continuedRead more
There was a time when Windows was cool. A long time ago, people lined up to get new versions of Windows when they went on sale. Maybe not quite the numbers of people outside of Apple stores at the height of iPhone madness, but still – Microsoft was pretty cool.
When the iPhone was released in 2007, Microsoft began its long decline with consumers. […] continuedRead more
We have arrived at a point where Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. To a generation of computer users, Windows was the product that defined Microsoft and defined our own relationship to technology. Now that defining product is a legacy, used by many but beloved by few.
In this article: Could Microsoft have done anything differently? […] continuedRead more
Microsoft announced an internal reorganization last week and raised the profile of its cloud, artificial intelligence, and enterprise teams.
This would not normally be an important event for us. Microsoft frequently reshuffles its employees. This reorganization, though, has major repercussions for every computer user.
Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. […] continuedRead more
Five companies – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft – dominate everything that happens in technology. They arguably wield more power than many governments and they have an outsized influence on the global economy.Read more
I never used a credit card in Australia. I bought coffee and sandwiches and souvenirs and dinners and clothing, but I never pulled out my wallet. I never used cash, either.
You should tap.
Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continuedRead more
The battle between Amazon and Google in the market for home assistants will be the source of the most interesting technology advances in 2018.
You probably know the basics. Perhaps you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home in your kitchen already. You may not be aware, though, of how broad the vision is for these devices and how far Amazon and Google are prepared to take them. […] continuedRead more
These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2018. You can download a copy here.
You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords. Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. […] continuedRead more
I don’t like Focused Inbox. I want my Clutter back.
Focused Inbox is Microsoft’s new method of filtering mail for Office 365 business accounts. Here’s more info about Focused Inbox.
The short version:
• Clutter and Focused Inbox are both ways to separate important messages from messages that are less likely to be important to you – newsletters, notifications, marketing and ads. […] continuedRead more
Stretch your imagination.
Imagine that you pull your laptop out and pop the lid open and start using it right away. There’s no delay, no swirling circle – it’s just on, bang, every time. You put your finger on the fingerprint reader and you’re logged in immediately.
Now imagine that the computer is always online with a working internet connection. […] continuedRead more
Nearly every modern processor has security flaws that potentially could allow hackers to steal data from any computer or server. The two related problems, code-named Meltdown and Spectre, have the technology industry in a tizzy and spilled over to the mainsteam press a few days ago. They are difficult to fix and alarming to read about. […] continuedRead more
A year ago I wrote this prediction: “The word of the year for 2017 is “chaos.” Write it down, seal it in an envelope, open it up a year from now and see if I got it right.”
I think I get full marks. (Although Dictionary.com chose “complicit” as the word of the year, which has a certain snarky charm.)
We are in a transitional time in technology, with a handful of very large companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – accumulating power and wealth and dominating the landscape. […] continuedRead more