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Computer Pioneer, Subjected to Homophobic Prosecution, Pardoned by Queen
December 27, 2013
Alan Turing, a British man whose code-breaking prowess helped thwart Nazi Germany in World War II, was pardoned this week by Queen Elizabeth for his decades-old "crime." Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for "gross indecency" for having a sexual relationship with another man, a ruling that resulted in the loss of his security clearance and compulsory hormone treatment. Two years later, he died from cyanide poisoning in what was ruled a suicide.
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.
It Was a Very Good Marketing, Partners and Platform Year
December 11, 2013
We are nearing year-end, and that means it's time for my annual year in review -- my assessment of things that will matter in the long run. From my spot, it looks like marketing took a big step toward greater relevance in 2013, the importance of being a partner in an ecosystem increased -- as did the significance of software platforms -- and reports of CRM's demise were greatly exaggerated.
Could Ashton Kutcher Be the Next Steve Jobs?
December 02, 2013
I can hear the virtual voices screaming: "No, there is no way -- he isn't an engineer, he is an actor." Yet in a way, so was Steve Jobs. It's clear that when he was pitching a product on stage he was acting. So why couldn't an actor who has those skills -- and even did a credible job playing Jobs in a movie -- be for Lenovo what Jobs was for Apple?
Internet of Things Will Burn Privacy for a While, Cerf Warns
November 21, 2013
"Privacy may actually be an anomaly," Vinton Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, told participants in an FTC workshop on privacy and security in the Internet of Things. Privacy doesn't really exist in small towns, for instance. Further, consumers' social behavior is "quite damaging to privacy," Cerf said. "The technology we use today has far outraced our social intuition headlights."
Musk Heaps Fuel on Tesla Model S Fire
November 20, 2013
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week launched a probe of the safety of the Tesla Model S automobile. The investigation "was prompted by recent incidents in Washington State and Tennessee that resulted in battery fires due to undercarriage strikes with roadway debris," said agency spokesperson Kathryn Henry.
What if EMC's Joe Tucci Were US President?
November 11, 2013
I've been noodling on this question ever since I attended an EMC analyst event last month and was astounded by the number of analysts who wanted its CEO to run for office. They started with president but seemed to feel no matter where he ended up in government, he would make things better. Joe Tucci is one of the few statesman CEOs and has a rather unique skill set.
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.
Hyperloop Project Revs Up
October 31, 2013
A project to build a super-high-speed transportation system in California is gaining traction. JumpStartFund on Thursday revealed its users had voted to select the official name, "Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc.," for the company undertaking the challenge. aerospace engineer Marco Villa, Ph.D., and civil engineer Patricia Galloway, Ph.D., will lead the project.
With Pogue Hire, Yahoo May Be Putting Content Horse Before Ad Cart
October 22, 2013
Yahoo on Monday announced the hire of New York Times tech columnist David Pogue to lead "a major expansion of consumer tech coverage." He will publish columns, blog posts, video stories and more, starting later this year, the company said. Pogue and his team "have much bigger plans, too, for all kinds of online and real-world creations," he said.
Greenwald to Join Billionaire-Funded Journalism Project
October 17, 2013
Tech billionaire Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and chair of eBay, will team up with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald -- the first to open Edward Snowden's treasure chest of leaks -- to launch a mass media venture designed to foster top-flight journalism. Omidyar has long supported journalism. He has made grants to independent media outlets in Africa, as well as to government watchdogs in the U.S.
Tech Titans Take On Global Digital Divide
October 08, 2013
A coalition of organizations has launched the Alliance for Affordable Internet Access to create the conditions for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets in developing nations. The alliance "will undertake a blend of international advocacy and research, coupled with on-the-ground work," in three pioneer countries, said A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge.
iMotion Offers Game-Changing Potential With 3D Motion Control
October 02, 2013
For a glimpse at the future of gaming control, there are few places better to look than iMotion. Intellect Motion's concept is to create a large, motion-sensitive area in front of you while you're gaming -- a kind of invisible, virtual touchscreen. Handheld controllers then interact with that touchscreen. A movement of your hands controls the game, and haptic feedback provides feel.
Occipital Promises Mind-Blowing 3D Trickery for Work or Play
September 25, 2013
If you've ever used Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing input device for the Xbox 360 game console, you'll have an initial grasp of how Occipital's 3D scanner for mobile devices, called "Structure Sensor," functions. Whereas game add-on Kinect is a sensor for detecting and interpreting movement, new Kickstarter crowdsourced funding project Structure Sensor is for mapping three-dimensional spaces or objects.
iSketchnote: an iPad Cover That Digitizes Your Paper Scribbles
September 18, 2013
There's no denying the popularity of Apple's iPad and its Android-based kin, not just with adults but with kids as well. Now, for all those parents out there who wish their kids would play with something else once in a while -- simple drawing paper and pens, for instance -- a new Kickstarter funding project offers fresh hope. Enter iSketchnote, a new effort that promises to bring sketch functionality to Apple's tablet.
LockedUSB Keeps Devices Safe While They Charge
September 06, 2013
It's late, and you're on your way home from a work trip on a subdued, last flight of the day. You instinctively glance at your phone and notice it's about to die. Been there? It's a problem, and if you don't address it, you'll obviously have no battery for calls when you land. Kindly, your seat neighbor and colleague offers you a charge using a USB port on the laptop he's clacking away on.
Hyperloop Dreams: JumpStarter Thinks It Can, It Thinks It Can
August 30, 2013
JumpStarter aims to use its new JumpStartFund platform to help Elon Musk's Hyperloop project draw the attention and investments it needs to get off the ground. Musk's design for a high-speed transportation system that could transport people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in a little more than half an hour has drawn interest from the science and tech communities.
Google's Barra Gets the Heck Out of Dodge
August 29, 2013
Google executive Hugo Barra, one of the leading public faces for Android, has left for up-and-coming Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. "In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," Barra announced. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge."
Microsoft's Post-Ballmer Comeback
August 29, 2013
Windows 8 is the torpedo that sunk Steve Ballmer, the headlines have been screaming. The news we were all expecting finally arrived last Friday with the announcement that Steve Ballmer would step down as Microsoft's CEO. Now the question is who will replace Ballmer -- and will that person be the right choice? If the company gets this right, it can return to a successful growth track.
Former Windows Boss Sinofsky Resurfaces in VC World
August 24, 2013
Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who shocked the high-tech industry when he abruptly parted ways with the company shortly after Windows 8 was launched, has joined venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner. Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran at Redmond, led the creation of Windows 7 and 8 and six versions of Microsoft Office.

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