Featured
Turn By Turn Navigation iPhone

An ode to turn-by-turn navigation: Making ‘lost’ a foreign concept

By on August 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM.

An ode to turn-by-turn navigation: Making ‘lost’ a foreign concept

Last week, I drove for 11 hours in a vehicle during a single calendar day. I decided to take such an endeavor the evening before, and all told, it took around five minutes to scope out the plan. The morning of, I settled into the adequately posh driver’s seat of a trusty rental car, tossed my iPhone into a Kenu Airframe mount, tapped a few screens, and threw it in drive.

And I knew that absolutely everything was going to be just fine. More →

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Featured
Twitter Vs. Facebook Advertising

Twitter goes Facebook by injecting foreign content into your stream

By on August 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM.

Twitter goes Facebook by injecting foreign content into your stream

It was really just a matter of timeTwitter is now Facebook. In its early days, where new Facebook users friended just a handful of close pals and relatives, every single status update poured through into one’s news feed. And then, hundreds of millions of people joined. More →

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“The ability to search for and find ongoing conversations about nearly any problem in the known universe is one of the Internet’s greatest gifts to humanity.”
— Darren Murph
Featured
Why The Internet Is Awesome

Let’s never speak again: The incredible benefits of searchable text

By on August 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM.

Let’s never speak again: The incredible benefits of searchable text

I could, in theory, phone everyone up that’s reading this story and convey this message to them via voice. I’m in no position to argue the merits of vocal interactions, and indeed, we all owe a great deal to Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the first practical telephone. But we’re beyond that now. The power of the Internet is too great to encapsulate in a single article, but I’ve been relying on it more heavily than usual of late. As I slide into a new home, I’m faced with all sorts of quandaries. DIY projects abound, curiosities need sating, and in general, I’m finding myself thirsty for knowledge in an area that I’m somewhat unfamiliar with. More →

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How Undersea Internet Cables Work

The insane process of connecting the world through undersea Internet cables

By on July 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM.

The insane process of connecting the world through undersea Internet cables

We’ve oohed and ahhed over interactive maps that detail the world’s mysterious network of undersea Internet cables, but a new report over at Builtvisible is taking things to an entirely new depth. The exhaustive account looks at the entire history of the process, ranging from experiments in the 1840s to a rash of undersea surveillance taps in the 1970s. Today, there are 263 active cables that carry upwards of 95 percent of global Internet traffic, with 22 new drops planned for the coming years.

Hungry for a few more nuggets from the report? More →

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Long Flight Tips

How to make long flights tolerable for just $60

By on July 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM.

How to make long flights tolerable for just $60

Flying is amazing. You can start your day in Russia, and finish it in Reno. You can travel in relative comfort at over 500 miles per hour. Of course, the operative word here is relative. Few things are sweeter than figuring out a way to cruise in business class as you cross an ocean or two, but if I’m honest, it’s pretty impractical for the vast majority of humans. So, do you squeeze yourself into an impossibly tight seat for 13 hours to get from Atlanta to Seoul, or do you stay home and spend the day clicking through Google Images?

You go.

I’ve endured my fair share of excruciatingly long flights in economy class, and there’s really no redeeming quality to the experience. The only benefit is that you arrive somewhere different. In fact, a quick Google search for “how to survive long flights” yields page upon page of tips from here, there, and yonder. I suppose I’m adding yet another to the pile. More →

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Opinions
Windows Phone Vs iPhone

Are we witnessing Windows Phone’s last stand?

By on July 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM.

Are we witnessing Windows Phone’s last stand?

Much has been written about Microsoft’s unsettling plan to cut loose some 18,000 of its employees by the end of 2014. You could argue that it’s a necessary evil, or you could argue that it’s a short-sighted misstep. From what I’ve read, this is about Microsoft repositioning itself for the current reality it finds itself a part of.

In many ways, Ballmer never took the steps to shape the company into a viable behemoth. Just as he laughed off the iPhone in 2007, he never really figured out that the company was slipping in a lot of ways — not the least of which was mindshare.

Out of the 18,000 announced cuts, a staggering 12,500 will come from Nokia’s devices division. A division that Ballmer was hellbent on acquiring before heading for the exits. To me, however, the question shouldn’t be on Microsoft’s commitment (or lack thereof) to building phones. The question should be about Windows Phone.

I’ve long since believed there are some battles worth fighting, and some worth conceding. The trick, as you know, is figuring out which slots where. More →

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Review
Kenu Airframe Plus

Kenu Airframe+: One of our favorite smartphone accessories just got even better

By on July 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM.

Kenu Airframe+: One of our favorite smartphone accessories just got even better

Kenu’s Airframe is my favorite in-car phone mount, but for those of you with phablets or bulky cases, it’s a bit small. The company is seemingly well aware of that, and is making strides to address a broader market with the introduction of the Airframe+. Weighing under an ounce and supporting phones with screen sizes as large as 6-inches diagonally, the sized-up holster addresses one of the few gripes I had with the original.

I’ve been using the Airframe+ for the past couple of weeks, and I can safely say that it’s a marked improvement over the already-impressive Airframe. More →

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Opinions
Apple IBM Partnership

Apple’s enterprise deal with IBM: The dawn of a new era at Apple?

By on July 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM.

Apple’s enterprise deal with IBM: The dawn of a new era at Apple?

At the conclusion of this year’s WWDC, I remarked that the Apple of 2014 was starkly different from the Apple which had showed itself at events in prior years. For the first time, Apple had let its guard down with iOS, inviting developers to build third-party keyboards, invade the Notification Center drop-down screen, and talk openly about the changes in iOS 8. Refreshing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

But, as they say, actions speak a lot louder than words on a Keynote slide. This week’s blockbuster deal between one of the most influential outfits in consumer electronics (Apple) and an absolute behemoth in the enterprise space (IBM) speaks volumes about the former’s willingness to look beyond Cupertino for solutions. Pundits have been wondering where Apple’s next revenue hike would come from, and as it turns out, it may arrive from solutions created in conjunction with companies it used to call rivals. More →

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Android One Subsidies

Will Google subsidize data to get the next 5 billion people connected?

By on June 26, 2014 at 4:04 PM.

Will Google subsidize data to get the next 5 billion people connected?

For as nifty and novel as Glass, Google+, and 60fps gaming on a high-end Android device are, those aren’t items that will truly drive Google’s growth in the next decade. Indeed, something far less headline-worthy will be responsible, and it’s something that piqued my interest during this week’s Google I/O keynote. More →

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Android One

Google’s Android One: Bringing high-quality performance to those who can’t afford it

By on June 26, 2014 at 1:22 PM.

Google’s Android One: Bringing high-quality performance to those who can’t afford it

Android One won’t make too many headlines, and you won’t read too many reviews of handsets that emerge due to its existence. But in my mind, it was the most significant announcement made by Google at I/O 2014. In a nutshell, Android One is a new Google project that will provide reference hardware to any manufacturer that wants it. The typical Android One smartphone will boast a 4.5-inch display, an FM radio, a removable SD card, and room for two SIM cards. Google sets the standards, someone else builds it.

And each Android One phone will cost $100 or less. More →

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Telecommuting Policy

Our society’s view on commuting (and telecommuting) is still painfully warped

By on June 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM.

Our society’s view on commuting (and telecommuting) is still painfully warped

A Google employee peers down at an Android Wear smartwatch demo, and notices that — based on real-time traffic information — it would take him 55 minutes to get to work. “Commute’s not looking too bad!,” he exclaims, before swiping to the next card on the demo.

How severely damaged must our society’s state of mind be to make such a comment? More →

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Review
Best iPhone Car Mount

Kenu Airframe review: The best in-car smartphone mount for travelers

By on June 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM.

Kenu Airframe review: The best in-car smartphone mount for travelers

I’m hoping that things change in the (near) future, but for now, my smartphone outsmarts any in-car navigation system that I’ve seen. To date, I have yet to find anything as excellent as having Google Maps leading the way, which presents a relatively simple problem: How is one supposed to mount his or her phone in their vehicle without leaving any permanent scars? More →

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“Three inseparable friends enjoying a laugh, and one moron in the corner drooling over some meaningless Silicon Valley gossip.”
Social Media Negativity

A great idea, ruined: Perpetual negativity is driving me away from social

By on June 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM.

A great idea, ruined: Perpetual negativity is driving me away from social

I’m spending far less time on social media these days than I once did. A combination of factors have led to this. First off, there’s the inherent risk of saying something that ends up crossing an esoteric line and gets you fired while you’re high above the Atlantic en route to Africa. Second, it’s simply too noisy to make sense of in any sane amount of time. And third, I’ve found that focusing more on my surroundings — things that I choose to take enjoyment in — leaves less time for negativity to find its way into my soul via someone else’s keystroke. More →

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