Now you can say what a timer is for when you set it on an Amazon Echo. “Alexa, set a timer for the pasta for eight minutes.” Then set a second timer: “Alexa, set a timer for the laundry for 30 minutes.” Eight minutes later, the Echo will chime, and Alexa will say, “Your pasta timer is done.” “Alexa, how much time is left on my laundry timer?” “Twenty-two minutes.” You can set reminders, too. […] continuedRead more
Google announced a number of new products and services at its developer conference last week. One of them, Google Lens, might change the world. It might be the most important technology announcement in ten years. Of course, it’s just as likely that it will turn out to be nothing important, just another bit of vaporware that is underwhelming when it appears and is abandoned two years later. […] continuedRead more
China uses smartphones differently than anywhere else in the world. It’s a fascinating story! Understanding WeChat and why QR codes are displayed everywhere in China will give you a context to understand the importance of Google’s announcements last week. I’ll tell you about Google Assistant and Google Lens in the next article. […] continuedRead more
Next month Microsoft will begin selling Surface Laptops, elegant and sexy, Microsoft’s first Surface devices with a traditional clamshell design. You’ll be tempted to buy one, but in the end you won’t. Almost no one will buy them. Microsoft will sell some Surface Laptops, of course, but sales volume will be insignificant – no shame but no bragging rights. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft made two big announcements this week at an education-themed press event. They’re related in a couple of ways. One common element is that Microsoft will fail at both of the new ventures it announced. I think each one is deeply flawed.
The two announcements:
• Microsoft will soon release Windows 10 S, a new version of Windows 10. […] continuedRead more
On May 2 Microsoft will announce a new generation of Windows for low-cost computers targeted at education. Information has leaked about some parts of that announcement and tech journalists are speculating about what it might mean. There is one thing that has not been discussed and it is crucial to the success or failure of the new venture. […] 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
Microsoft is losing another race. This one should have been Microsoft’s race to win but it is falling behind for familiar reasons: an inability to keep up with the competition, and its self-inflicted injuries from making overly complex, confusing services with poorly chosen names.
Small businesses and law firms want to store shared files in the cloud instead of on a server in the closet. […] continuedRead more
Smart contact lenses are coming. There are no products on the market today and no one can predict how quickly the technology will be ready for public use, but it may be sooner than you think.
If the technology can be developed, smart contact lenses have the potential to solve what I call the interface problem. […] continuedRead more
Google Chrome is a web browser. I kind of vaguely knew that it could do other cool tricks.
I stumbled on a pretty amazing Chrome app that I’ve been overlooking for five years. Sometimes it seems like Google is having all the fun with new technology.
With Chrome Remote Desktop, you can control a Windows or Mac computer remotely from almost any other device: another Windows or Mac computer, a Chromebook, an iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone or tablet. […] continuedRead more
Chromebooks are poised to change the world. Delicately balanced. Teetering on the edge. Any day now, they’re going to take off. Whoosh! Any day now.
Chromebooks are low-cost laptops that run Google’s ChromeOS instead of Windows. ChromeOS is basically the Chrome web browser taught a few new tricks and dressed up so it works with laptop hardware. […] continuedRead more
This is a tip that is basic, elementary, beginner level. Unless you don’t know it, in which case this will help you feel centered and peaceful – slightly radiant, really.
Google Chrome syncs open tabs, bookmarks, and browsing history to all your devices.
That’s it. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? […] 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