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Microsoft's Next Windows May Be Dressed to the 9
January 13, 2014
Microsoft reportedly will discuss its vision for the future of Windows at its Build developer conference, to be held in San Francisco April 2-4. The company also will talk about the next version of its operating system, code-named "Threshold," which will be officially named "Windows 9" and will debut in April 2015. Windows 8 generally has been panned, and sales reportedly have been poor.
Retiring in Sanctuary Belize: Renewed Hope
January 13, 2014
After my Belize retirement update appeared last week, a number of things happened. Most initially were rather painful, but eventually I was placed on the phone with Rod Kazazi, the project CFO who is based in the United States. Since we both had a financial background, he was able to address most of my concerns by informing me of solid programs that ensure the project will be completed.
The CES 2014 Hotties List
January 11, 2014
The Internet of Things, wearables, mobile devices and the next generation of automobiles were the standouts at CES 2014. "The Internet of Things will probably have the broadest impact, since it includes quickly evolving, increasingly intelligent and highly mobile technologies of every kind," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
All Rumors 'Go' for the Widely Anticipated 'iPad Pro'
January 10, 2014
Rumors of a super-duper, amped-up, big-screen "iPad Pro" have been floating around at least as early as this summer, and that's before Apple surprised the tech community with its 64-bit A7 processors in September. Overall, most of the rumors seem to surround speculative predictions, where a financial analyst predicts a class of new product in an attempt to lend insight into how the market might shift.
CES 2014 Trends: The Weird and the Wonderful
January 07, 2014
Devices ranging from the sublime to the strange are debuting this week at International CES 2014. Products unveiled at the show suggest growing trends toward wearable health-tracking products and increased human-gadget interaction. There's a bed, for example, that tells owners how they slept the previous night and what they can do to sleep better in the future.
So Now China IS Lifting Videogame Console Ban
January 07, 2014
China reportedly will temporarily lift a sales ban on foreign videogame consoles, reversing a 14-year prohibition. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- which long have salivated over the heretofore obstructed gold mine of Chinese videogamedom -- will be allowed to make game consoles in Shanghai's free trade zone and then sell them in China.
Retiring in Sanctuary Belize: Tarnished Dreams
January 06, 2014
I've been executing on a long-term dream of retiring in Belize. I've been putting some rigor into the effort to make sure the perception of the dream doesn't outpace reality. I've often been brought in on projects that should have been shut down early, largely because executive staff had lost track of reality. I don't want to make the same mistake with this important project.
4 Unsettling Prospects for 2014
December 30, 2013
As we're getting ready for the big New Year's Day hangover, I'm reminded of the Chinese curse, "May you be born in interesting times," because 2014 is likely to be a very interesting year. I expect the Democrats will be trying to distance themselves from their failed Affordable Care Act, while Republicans will be doing their best to avoid actually reading it before attacking.
Was 2013 the Run-Up to Nineteen Eighty-Four?
December 23, 2013
It is time to look back on 2013 and consider what we've learned about technology and human nature. Both Apple and Dell were massively changed, and Google went from a company that wanted our private information to one that wanted our jobs. The U.S. government decided, through the NSA, that laws don't apply to it. Those who brought this to our attention got big punishments.
Apple's Sleek New Mac Pro Hits the Market
December 18, 2013
Apple has announced that its new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday. It unveiled the system in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, surprising attendees with its cylindrical design. The aluminum body is just an eighth of the size of a standard tower unit -- 9.9 inches tall, 6.6 inches in diameter and weighing in at around 11 pounds.
Brazil Shoots Down Snowden Asylum Speculation
December 18, 2013
Brazil reportedly does not plan to grant asylum to Edward Snowden. Snowden stoked the Brazil asylum speculation Tuesday when he offered, via an open letter, to help Brazil investigate the extent of spying on Brazilian citizens and President Dilma Rousseff. Snowden's temporary asylum in Russia, where he fled to after a stint in Hong Kong, is set to expire in August.
Tesla's More Affordable Model E May Hit the Road in 2015
December 17, 2013
Tesla plans to debut its Model E electric vehicle, with a price tag south of $40,000, at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, according to reports that surfaced Monday. Tesla has not confirmed the rumor, saying instead that it's made no change to its timeline, which would presumably place the vehicle's debut in 2016 or later.
Softbank May Be Gearing Up for T-Mobile Bid
December 16, 2013
SoftBank is considering a bid for T-Mobile USA, according to a new batch of rumors circulating in the press. Softbank shares were down 3.2 percent on Monday by the close of trading in Tokyo. SoftBank acquired Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile phone carrier, earlier this year, and now may be studying antitrust concerns prior to bidding for T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the U.S.
What Comes After Greed in Technology?
December 16, 2013
I just finished reading a very interesting book by Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson, Humanity in the Machine: What Comes After Greed? At the book's core is the idea that we eventually will use machines to make our lives better as opposed to coming up with creative ways to get more stuff. This seems an appropriate subject for this time of year.
The Maddeningly Painful, Pathetic Apple TV Experience
December 12, 2013
It's damn near 2014, and what's the most baffling computing experience we have? The Apple TV television experience. It's so disappointing. We get new so-called TV channels -- or little Applets -- that give us a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the content available from a particular broadcast network, but it's also locked down so we have to be a cable television subscriber to view it.
Google's Death Wish
December 09, 2013
A recurring theme in the technology industry is that very successful companies become arrogant and start taking unnecessary risks or abusing customers -- the two aren't mutually exclusive. That behavior can accomplish what competitors have failed to do: It can kill them. I was in IBM in the 1980s when it exhibited this behavior, and I wrote a report on Microsoft identifying this same behavior.
Apple Scores Huge China Mobile Deal
December 06, 2013
Apple and China Mobile reportedly have cut a deal that will bring the iPhone to China's largest mobile carrier. The official announcement of China Mobile's iPhone rollout is expected on Dec. 18, when the carrier plans to raise the curtain on its new 4G network. "The reason this deal is important is it adds seven Verizons to Apple's available market," said Carl Howe, research director for the Yankee Group.
Here's Looking at Me, iPhone
December 05, 2013
USPTO just granted Apple a patent for a facial recognition feature that could unlock a mobile device as well as control how it works. That's right, Apple just got a patent so our iPhones can look at us all the time. I just got used to the idea of using my fingerprint to unlock an iPhone 5s, but now my face? I'm vaguely uneasy about the potential for dark uses this sort of technology opens up.
Apple Patents In-Your-Face Technology
December 04, 2013
Facial recognition may be added to fingerprint scanning in Apple's device security repertoire. Apple has been using facial recognition for some time to manage images in its iPhoto app, but a patent awarded to the company on Tuesday combines that tech with facial detection to control a computing device. Apple's facial recognition system could be used to identify the authorized user of a device.
Topsy Buy Gives Apple Mountains of Twitter Data
December 03, 2013
Apple reportedly has acquired Topsy in order to gain more access to real-time consumer information. Topsy provides Twitter data for business clients, helping them to gauge consumer sentiment, find influential social media voices, and measure overall exposure on any topic that's been mentioned in a tweet. Earlier this year, Topsy debuted a search engine designed to parse tweets.

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