Social networks aren’t always going to be en vogue. Facebook may have a billion users today, but what happens when that growth stalls? What happens when it turns negative? If it’s no longer the only source of revenue, the answers to those questions matter much less — hence, the purchase of Oculus VR. Lately, Facebook’s been buying (and trying to buy) companies that don’t exactly mesh with what it is. You could look at it two ways: It’s either getting into businesses that it has no concept of how to handle (see: Cisco’s purchase of Flip Video), or either it’s brilliantly diversifying its portfolio.
Think buying all news apps is a pain? Try buying a new car. For years, the switching costs involved in changing from one handset to another was little more than an hour’s wait — you know, for that painfully slow contact transfer procedure to finish up over Bluetooth. Phones made calls, sent texts, and if you were lucky, treated users to a game of Snake. Today, things are far different. More →
Two of my favorite pieces of tech aren’t only getting better today, they’re integrating with one another. Automatic’s Link, which plugs into a vehicle’s OBD-II port in order to track rides and send other useful tidbits to one’s phone, now works with IFTTT. The latter is a free service that enables one thing (in this case, a notification from Link) to trigger another. More →
My adoration of technology just barely trumps my love for sport, which explains why I’ve tuned into hundreds of radio shows concerning the latter over the years. One of my favorite hosts, a gentleman at ESPN named Colin Cowherd, routinely uses a particular line to describe the success (or lack thereof) of athletes. Paraphrasing here, but it goes something like this: “You need to be interesting or good — preferably both.”
It’s a simple line, but the truths that sit behind it are immensely powerful. And, as it turns out, they apply particularly well to technology outfits. More →
For a brief period of time, the Internet at large served the consuming masses. For those who can recall the day the mainstream public discovered YouTube, you’ll fully grok this concept. Janitors, executives, students, engineers, hippies, and baby boomers all sat down to watch video after video (after video). In a way, this defined the consumption era. The public began yearning for home-based Internet services, not satisfied with having to report to work, a local library, or a coffee shop in order to catch up on the latest news and converse over AIM. The thirst for knowledge shaped the business models surrounding Internet service providers, but those days are long gone. Unfortunately for us, the ISPs haven’t yet realized it.
A decade ago, the average Internet user logged on in order to be quenched. They desired to consume news. To read articles. To watch multimedia. There were exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of those breaking into the Internet scene were doing so in order to swallow up content produced by professionals. Pros produce, the masses consume.
Because of that, asymmetry became an accepted Internet delivery method, but as the technology continues to empower mere mortals to produce richer and more engrossing content, I’m left to wonder: when will the upstream get the respect it deserves? More →
It pains me greatly to acknowledge it, but blurting out whatever comes to mind on Twitter, Facebook or any number of social channels is a terrible idea. You already knew that, of course, but I’m talking about something more serious. Pecking out a furious tweet with a couple of typos is fairly embarrassing, but lately I’ve become fixated on the long-term consequences that are yet to be fully realized. It’s a notion I haven’t been able to shake since Justine Sacco was hastily fired from her job in December of 2013, and I’m not entirely certain that the world at large paused long enough to digest what that sequence of events truly described.
For those who were off preparing for the holidays, here’s a synopsis: Sacco fired off an admittedly less-than-glamourous tweet before boarding a long flight that was devoid of Wi-Fi. Hours before, she was relatively unknown from a celebrity standpoint. As she was passing through customs at her destination, it became clear that she no longer had a job.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that her undoing wasn’t necessarily what she said, but where she said it. More →
Last summer, I wrapped my iPhone 5 in a waterproof case built by Optrix. This past week, I did the same for an iPhone 5s, and I’m convinced that it’s the best lightweight, reasonably affordable waterproof iPhone case on the market. The new kid on the block is the Optrix PhotoX. It’ll fit all variants of the iPhone 5 line (including the new iPhone 5c and 5s), and for $100, it creates the cheapest, most accessible underwater shooting rig for any beach holiday… assuming you already own an iPhone, of course. To keep this brief, I’ll hit the pros and cons below. More →
You know, if only Nintendo’s Virtual Boy would’ve arrived in 2014, perhaps it wouldn’t have suffered such an unfortunate fall. As virtual reality, augmented reality and face-worn wearables become entirely more acceptable, we’re seeing a smattering of startups emerge with slightly varying visions for taking over your facial region. The latest, as you’ve probably surmised, is the Avegant Glyph. More →
“Glass will need to be immediately, obviously, and unarguably superior in the functionality department to stand a chance.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to use Google Glass in some form or another for months now, but just recently procured a pair of my own. Wired’s Mat Honan penned my favorite Glass review, and his words so similarly mirror my own overarching viewpoint that I’ll simply redirect you there if you’re looking to spend a hefty chunk of time reading. For the purposes of this article, however, I’m going to focus on brevity. I’ve just recently returned from a week at CES, where I used Glass during some portion of each day there, and I’ve reached a point where I feel comfortable opining on the unit’s strengths, its shortcomings, and my hopes for its future. More →
“Nest managed to attract such a large sum of cash because it did just one thing: made better products.”
Nest. Outside of the hardcore tech following, and maybe one level beyond that, no one on Earth had heard of this company prior to January 2014. It matters not. Google just agreed to pay $3.2 billion in order to bring Nest Labs over to Mountain View, and for those paying attention, the general consensus is significantly more positive than when Google decided to spend around four times that tally to buy Motorola Mobility. As in, a company that everyone on Earth has heard of. More →
Let’s face it: you’re older than you were yesterday. And on a serious note, so are the people who you may very well be taking care of in the months and years to come. While plenty of elderly alert systems have been concocted, an unusual suspect is joining those ranks this year at CES. Ooma, the VoIP calling company that doesn’t charge you a dime for basic calls once you’ve purchased its hardware, has released the Safety Phone — a wearable device that can ping quite a few people in the event of an emergency. The pendant itself allows those with limited mobility to engage in speakerphone conversations for up to five hours on a charge, while pressing a combination of buttons on the device can dial 911. Moreover, Ooma’s emergency system simultaneously dials or emails three other contacts of your choosing when a call for help is triggered. It’ll ship next month for $50, but prospective buyers need know that an Ooma Telo base station as well as an Ooma Premiere subscription ($10/month) is required for operation.
Try searching for online retailers that stock unlocked smartphones. Go on, I’ll wait. Chances are, the results that emerged took you to some dark, dark corners of the internet, and you’re probably deathly afraid of trusting any of them. For over seven years now, Negri Electronics has stood as one of the few online shops that offered legitimate, non-stolen devices of the unlocked variety, while also boasting a healthy amount of unique (LG G Flex, anyone?) and international handsets. Ryan Negri, the site’s founder, has consistently located hard-to-find unlocked units for a number of media outlets, and he’s offered me a bit of insight into the shop’s future. More →