Tech companies know all your secrets.
Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are studying your every thought, word, and deed. AI analysis has already given them spooky abilities to predict your behavior for advertisers, with enough accuracy to make them the richest companies on the planet. Now they are exploring ways to influence your behavior, which opens up tremendously difficult moral, legal and political questions. […] continuedRead more
These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2019. You can download a copy here.
Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. 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. […] continuedRead more
I wrote an article a few years ago about how difficult it is for non-tech people to manage the fiddly bits required to run a Windows computer. It’s one of the things that drove the transition from computers to phone and tablets.
An interesting thing is happening today. The explosion of devices, products and services is causing just as much confusion and frustration in the world of mobile devices. […] continuedRead more
Remember when I wrote an article a year ago predicting that always-connected computers would be heavily promoted in 2018?
Yeah, about that: not even close. Nada. All the buzz died away when the first PCs in that category turned out to be underpowered and, well, pretty awful.
Okay, that prediction didn’t pan out. […] continuedRead more
A famous thought experiment shows how an AI could be designed with good intentions and without malice, and still wind up destroying humanity.
Imagine that an artificial intelligence is told to maximize production of paperclips. Through an oversight it is not given any instructions about also considering human values – life, learning, joy, and so on. […] continuedRead more
The term “invasion of privacy” is distracting us from understanding important issues.
Invasion of privacy is frequently thrown around as a core issue where consumers need protection against tech companies. Apple has made it the cornerstone of its marketing.
The European Union has enacted strict privacy laws for websites that obtain any kind of identifiable information about users. […] continuedRead more
In the last two months, there have been major announcements of new products by every computer and phone manufacturer on the planet. You don’t know about any of them, do you?
On September 12, Apple put on its annual presentation of new iPhones for hundreds of tech journalists, with the same showmanship that it has relied on since the days when Steve Jobs would take the stage in his black turtleneck and wow the faithful. […] continuedRead more
Douglas Adams tells this story in his classic novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
After waging frightful war against each other for centuries, two alien civilizations realized that the Earth was actually the source of the dreadful insult that had started the conflict. The strange and warlike beings sought vengeance by uniting and launching a million fierce star cruisers on a joint attack against Earth. […] continuedRead more
Previously: Tech Giants And World Domination
The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission will take effect on April 23.Read 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
If you’re an individual or small business Windows user, you might have the wrong idea about how Microsoft is doing.
We all tend to generalize from our own experiences. You can be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft’s future is dim when Outlook has just crashed or you’re paralyzed by an unexpected and unwelcome Windows update. […] continuedRead more
Technology in 2017 is just a bit . . . dull. There’s not much going on. You hadn’t really thought about it but now that I mention it, you know it’s true, right?
Choose your metaphor. It’s a plateau. It’s the calm before the storm. We’re in a holding pattern. We’re almost – but not quite – at a couple of tipping points. […] continuedRead more
When you think about the future, you may start to suffer from “abyss gaze,” the depression that settles in when you realize that we’re all doomed. Warren Ellis coined the term in a novella named “Normal,” which tells the story of futurists who suffer nervous breakdowns after discovering that there is no hope for humanity as a result of the trends in whatever area they study. […] continuedRead more
It’s the ten-year anniversary of one of the most important inflection points in history. 2007 was such an eventful year that its significance seems obvious in hindsight, but it’s gone unremarked until Thomas Friedman spelled it out in a new book.
Thomas Friedman, the well-known and controversial New York Times columnist, released Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations a few weeks ago. […] 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