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Mrs. B, Author Square Off Over 'Everything Store'
November 06, 2013
Mammoth tomes about high-tech entrepreneurs with a secretive bent are almost a sure bet to stir up a hornet's nest of controversy when they're published. That's certainly been the case with Brad Stone's The Everything Store about CEO Jeff Bezos and Amazon. The twist here is that the critic in the point position for Amazon is Bezos's wife, MacKenzie.
The Deadly Side of Social Media
November 04, 2013
My perception of social media changed a lot last week. I went from thinking of it as a sometimes helpful annoyance to a deadly hazard run by criminally negligent executives. Nearly getting kicked to death as a result of a Facebook post will do that to a person. What happened was pretty nasty and could have been lethal, so I've spent some time thinking through what I did wrong.
iPhone and the Amazing Microfluid Dreamcoat
October 30, 2013
Forget the gold iPhone 5s and the tiny color palette of the iPhone 5c because they might not matter if CODE Fluidics can produce its color-changing case through a new Kickstarter campaign. Here's the premise: CODE Fluidics developed a microfluid technology that lets consumers express themselves by changing the color of their products in real time as often as they want.
iTunes Radio Could Take the Sting Out of Apple's Limp Quarter
October 29, 2013
Apple on Monday announced its fourth-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2013, including revenue of $37.5 billion and a net profit of $7.5 billion, or $8.26 per diluted share. In the year-ago quarter, the corresponding figures were revenue of $36 billion and net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. Apple this week also revealed that it sold 33.8 million iPhones.
Mystery Barge Could Be Floating Google Showroom
October 28, 2013
There's a four-story barge floating on San Francisco Bay with a mysterious purpose but a fairly clear link to Google. Now docked near Treasure Island, the former U.S. naval base, the structure was generating no end of speculation on Monday, with suggestions that it could be anything from a floating data center to a brand-new store for Google Glass.
What's Missing in the iPad Air
October 28, 2013
Apple fans seem to thing anything Apple brings out is perfect and to suggest otherwise is heretical. Given that I think fanboys give up their intellectual freedom to the vendor or product they religiously follow, I tend to wear the Apple Heretic badge with honor -- and thus I'm going to point out the technologies the Microsoft Surface 2 and Nokia 2520 products have that the new iPad Air lacks.
iPhone Teaches Mac a Thing or Two
October 24, 2013
The Mac came first, but the iPhone and iPad are what rocketed Apple to the top of the consumer technology mountain. The thing is, while the iPhone is a great phone, the head-scratching success of Apple's mobile device sales is only partially due to the hardware and OS itself. Apple's success is all about how well Apple creates, connects and distributes its entire hardware and software ecosystem.
Apple Plays the Free Card
October 23, 2013
Apple threw down the gauntlet to the PC industry and aimed some veiled barbs at rival Microsoft at a Tuesday launch event to refresh its software and hardware lines. Apple announced new editions of its iWork and iLife suites, which will come free with any new iPad, iPhone or Mac. Further, all of its customers can upgrade to OS X Mavericks, the latest version of OS X, for free.
You've Got to Touch Apple's Airy New iPad to Believe It
October 22, 2013
In a flurry of presentations at its special media event on Tuesday, Apple introduced new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks -- available immediately, and free -- as well new generations of iWork and iLife app suites. The biggest buzz comes from Apple's brand new iPad, the iPad Air, which is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad that it replaces.
Microsoft Steps on the Glass Gas
October 22, 2013
Google Glass may currently be the name most associated with Internet-connected eyewear, but Microsoft is apparently hoping to make its own mark on the nascent category. Specifically, the company is now testing prototypes of a smart glass technology of its own, according to a Tuesday report. Rumors circulating online suggest they could be linked to Microsoft's Xbox line of gaming products.
LG Goes Chrome-Crazy at Trademark Office
October 21, 2013
LG last week filed for trademarks on three names that contain the word "Chrome," sparking widespread speculation that the company is planning to launch an array of devices that run Google's Linux-based Chrome OS. "ChromeOne," "ChromeDesk" and "ChromeStation" were the names LG snapped up, and for all three LG listed the device class as "laptop computers; computers, convertible computers; tablet computers."
Will Apple Throw the Enterprise a Bone?
October 21, 2013
Apple will likely debut a new iPad and possibly a new iPad mini at its Tuesday event in San Francisco. There is speculation about a new CPU, a keyboard case, better cameras, a splash of color, and the likelihood the new iPad will come preloaded with the buggy iOS 7. If the enterprise is looking for a little more business-friendliness from Apple, it may not find much gratification this time around.
Demo Fall 2013: Little Slices of Amazing New Technology
October 21, 2013
Demo's fall conference took place last week. This show has proven to be both a great and an expensive experience for me every year. Great because the technology shown is often truly amazing; expensive because I almost always end up buying one or two items, and my taste trends toward pricey. This year was no different, and my product of the week is the product I'd most like to personally own.
Security Pros: iMessage Security Is a Myth
October 19, 2013
Apple's iMessage instant messenger service, which has made headlines for being uncrackable by law enforcement, may not be so secure after all. An internal DEA document published in April stated that it was impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices. Not so, said Quarkslab researcher Cyril Cattiaux, who identified weaknesses in its end-to-end encryption.
Patent Win Could Give Apple a Courtroom Midas Touch
October 18, 2013
Apple appears to have been handed a potent weapon it can use as it battles in courtrooms around the world to assert its patent rights. Specifically, in a recent re-examination of a key multitouch patent held by Apple, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month upheld all 20 claims included in the patent, according to a filing spotted on Thursday.
Ahrendts Pick Bodes Well for a Fresh Apple Store Experience
October 17, 2013
I never would have imagined that I would jump on the bandwagon for the CEO of a British luxury fashion company, but here I am preparing to gush over Angela Ahrendts, who will take over Apple's retail store operations in early 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement Monday, and the first thing that came to mind was that the massively male executive team at Apple was finally choosing a woman.
5c Wobbles in Apple's iPhone Balancing Act
October 16, 2013
Apple has slashed orders to suppliers for the iPhone 5c and parts for the device, just three weeks after its debut. Apple claimed 9 million 5c and 5s iPhones were ordered in the first three days following their release Sept. 10, but it declined to break down the figures. The consensus among analysts was that the 5s was outselling the 5c by a considerable margin.
Apple's Oct. 22 Invites Kick Rumor Mill Into High Gear
October 16, 2013
Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to an undisclosed event to be held Oct. 22 in San Francisco, fueling fresh speculation about the company's planned product launches. It's widely expected that Apple will unveil new versions of the iPad and iPad mini. "The most solid rumors are that we'll see a 9.7-inch fifth-generation iPad," suggested Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research.
iPhone 5c May Flourish Despite Slow Start
October 15, 2013
Apple's latest version of its flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5s, is outselling the company's mid-tier iPhone 5c at a rate of two to one, according to statistics from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Apple's simultaneous launch of two iPhone models was a first for the company, so there was no basis for gauging consumer reactions. It now appears the 5s is far more popular.
The Technology Wave You Never Saw Coming
October 14, 2013
Here in Silicon Valley we are currently worried about a major transportation strike, and I doubt many on either side yet realize that this is likely to accelerate the move to automate most of the related jobs. There is little doubt the problem we are currently seeing here will be virtually gone in a decade, but I doubt the workers will be very happy with the solution.

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