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 Google Home Hub is my favorite home assistant. Put it on your Xmas list, or sneak one under the tree for yourself. If your pictures are stored in Google Photos, then the Google Home Hub is worth the investment just because it is the best photo frame ever. But Google Home Hub stands out for everything else it does, too, so it’s highly recommended unless you are already so deep in the Amazon Echo ecosystem that it doesn’t make sense to switch. […] 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
Two factor authentication adds an extra step to the process of logging into your accounts.
It makes you safer.
Until recently two factor authentication was only used by techies and high value targets in government and enterprises. The world has gotten more dangerous and two factor authentication has become easier to use. […] continuedRead more
Google has improved the password management built into the Chrome browser. It’s . . . okay! Not bad! Better than nothing, absolutely. Saving passwords in Chrome is easy and kind of secure, as long as you take a couple of precautions that we’ll talk about below.Read more
Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.
In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continuedRead more
Samsung is a global electronics company with hundreds of thousands of employees. It is the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker by revenue. Samsung sells more smartphones than any other manufacturer by a large margin.
(You think Apple is number two in smartphone sales, and you’re a bit surprised it’s not number one, right? […] continuedRead more
Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.
It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continuedRead more
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
Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.
One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products. […] continuedRead more