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Marissa Explains It All
July 21, 2012
Given its lousy financial performance, periodic bouts of layoffs, questionable patent litigation strategy and security lapses, Yahoo appears to be adrift, listing, off course, capsizing. Name any unfavorable nautical condition, and it probably applies to Yahoo.
Yahoo Stuck Without SQL Injection Antidote
July 14, 2012
The term "SQL injection" sounds pretty scary -- kind of medical, painful, maybe even lethal. And it can be, for websites that fall victim to it. It involves tricking a site into forming a rogue SQL command that prompts a database to deliver its contents right into the hands of the attacker. If it's successful, a hacker can gain access to a ton of sensitive information.
Google Flexes Nexus' Tablet Muscles
June 30, 2012
Everyone in the tech world now suddenly wants to make their own hardware. Apple's been doing it for years, but Microsoft jumped on recently with the Surface tablet, and now Google's sort of making its own tablet too. I say "sort of" because the new Nexus 7 tablet isn't really made by Google. Like everything else in the Nexus line, it's made by a name-brand hardware builder -- in this case Asus.
Microsoft Gives Hardware Partners Some Hard Knocks
June 23, 2012
Microsoft's slow crawl to the tablet market is nearly at an end. It's designed the interface of its next operating system, Windows 8, to be easy to use on tablets as well as desktops. It's created a special version, Windows 8 RT, especially for mobile ARM-based devices. It's even shoved out multiple free preview versions of the upcoming OS.
MacBookius Superior: Apple's New Super-Powered Mutant
June 16, 2012
The bulk of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference basically amounts to a massive teach-in for makers of Apple software. But each year the event is kicked off with a traditional big-production Apple keynote, and ever since the company kicked MacWorld to the curb, that keynote has often served as an occasion to roll out some major new hardware upgrades.
LinkedIn: Unsalted, Assaulted and Faulted
June 9, 2012
An extremely determined and talented digital intruder can find a way to break through the security of just about any website. So when you hear about a site getting hacked, the fact that there was a break-in doesn't necessarily mean that anyone was incredibly lazy or inept or asleep at the switch. Sometimes a site just gets outplayed by a criminal genius.
May 26, 2012
Facebook's big debut on Wall Street turned out to be a milestone the company probably wants to forget as soon as it can, though that won't be possible for a pretty long time. By most accounts, Facebook's IPO was a disaster. Market glitches, bad decisions and allegations of shady dealings marred the social network's first day out
Verizon Lets the Sun Go Down on Unlimited Data
May 19, 2012
Wireless carriers have begun to realize that when you offer flat-rate, all-you-can-eat deals, it tends to bring out the pig in people. Whether it's food or beer or cellular data, customers will gorge themselves on it, and the buffet arrangement can quickly turn into a money-losing proposition if you don't plan it out just right.
The Thompson Crisis: Sloppy Whopper or Poor Career Personal Hygiene?
May 11, 2012
It's been more than a week since Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's resume blew up in his face, and by the looks of things, the Yahoo board isn't bothered by it. They're not bothered enough to fire the guy, anyway. Thompson's still in charge at Yahoo, and a week's worth of morale-melting embarrassment and haranguing from Dan Loeb haven't been enough to change that.
The Samsung Galactic Empire
May 5, 2012
This past week has been especially kind to Samsung. Big sales numbers were followed by the unveiling of the Galaxy S III, the company's latest flagship phone and one that could very well own the market this summer. The S III runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's operating system and one that up to this point hasn't taken residence on a very large number of phones.
Would You Let Your Data Sleep Over at Google's House?
April 28, 2012
A lingering cloud of Google vaporware finally condensed recently into an actual product. Google Drive has been a subject of speculation for years, but now the company's own cloud storage service is here for real. Google Drive lets anyone store a few gigabytes worth of data on Google's servers.
Larry vs. Larry
April 21, 2012
A San Francisco courtroom is presently the center ring in the worldwide tech IP litigation circus. While other legal battles over mobile device patents and copyrights are as down and dirty as ever in places like Germany, Australia, and elsewhere in the U.S., the fight between Oracle and Google over the alleged theft of Java technologies stands out due to its cast of characters.
The People vs. Apple
April 14, 2012
Apple has been accused of acting as ringleader of a price-fixing racket, enlisting half a dozen market-dominating companies in a conspiracy to profiteer through anticompetitive practices and artificial price inflation. The market: e-books. The U.S. DoJ sued Apple along with a handful publishers, accusing them of orchestrating a sales agreement that effectively changed the business model under which e-books were sold.
Google Gazes Into the Looking Glass
April 7, 2012
A while back we started hearing rumors about some kind of secret project Google was working on involving eyeglasses -- smart eyeglasses. You'd wear them like a normal pair of specs, but they'd somehow be connected to the Web, possibly through the Android phone in your pocket. And the lenses would display all kinds of information -- text and images relating to whatever it is you're looking at.
Another iThing, Another iTempest
March 24, 2012
The debut of the latest iPad was once again an orgy of revenue for Apple. The company claims 3 million were sold in the opening weekend, and that certainly does sound like a lot. But just as iPad sales are running hot, apparently so are the iPads themselves. Some users claim the devices are growing alarmingly warm in their hands during heavy use.
AT&T Flails in the Quicksand
March 17, 2012
The name of AT&T's pain, for this month anyway, is Matthew Spaccarelli. He's a customer that gave the carrier a small thumping in court, and that would have left AT&T with a very minor scab. But it seems the company just couldn't resist picking at it. It all started when Spaccarelli took AT&T to small-claims court over his smartphone data rate being throttled.
iPad: What's in a Name?
March 10, 2012
Apple finally drew the curtain on its next-generation iPad, revealing a device that looks a whole lot like last year's model but is definitely packing some heavier guts. First of all the screen is now a super-sharp Retina display, so named because theoretically you shouldn't be able to spot the individual pixels with a naked eye.
Google's Walls Come Crashing Down
March 3, 2012
If you've visited basically any of Google's major services over the last several weeks, you may have noticed a little orange box that pops up as soon as you get to the page, sometimes hanging out right over the spot you wish to click. "We're changing our privacy policy and terms. This stuff matters. Learn more or dismiss."
Apple Wanders Into Mountain Lion Territory
February 18, 2012
Apple let OS X Lion out of its cage just last July, but the company's already started talking up the next version of its operating system, which it'll call "Mountain Lion." The details and developer preview that Apple has come out with indicate that even more iOS DNA is being mixed into OS X this time around, with more shared features and functions.
The Whens, Whats and Hows of iPad 3
February 11, 2012
A Wall Street Journal report on Thursday gave Apple fans all the excuse they needed to indulge in some more speculation regarding the iPad 3 -- if that is its real name, and if whatever it is even exists. Apple's kind of tight-lipped about this stuff. At this moment in the tablet universe, it's hard to guess what kind of grand and monumental new features Apple would want to add to the iPad.
Facebook to Investors: You Like What You See?
February 4, 2012
Facebook's finally decided to take a head-first dive into the mountain of cash it's been standing on for years. Following several days of heated rumors and years of speculation about when CEO Mark Zuckerberg was finally going to cash in his chips, the company filed an S-1 statement with the SEC, paving the way for an IPO as early as this May.
Apple Does the Money Dance
January 28, 2012
pple's first fiscal quarter is usually a big one. The way its financial calendar works out, what it considers Q1 ends on Dec. 31, meaning it covers the entire holiday period, as well as maybe a little back-to-school action. But the numbers Apple posted about its most recent Q1 were in an entirely different class than the usual money bender it wakes up from this time of year.
SOPA Shellacked, PIPA Plastered
January 21, 2012
The Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as "SOPA," is losing friends fast, and now it looks like there's a good chance it'll lose the support it needs to make it out of Congress alive, much less the White House. SOPA and its Senate bill cousin PIPA, the Protect IP Act, have been controversial from the beginning, but a recent round of protests have made them almost toxic.
Google's Nettlesome Search Gambit
January 14, 2012
Google has tuned up its search engine once again, but this time instead of shaving a couple of precious microseconds off its response time, it's decided to adjust some back-end systems in a way that changes the kinds of results people get, depending on who they are.
Barnes & Noble's Nook: Life Preserver or Dead Weight?
January 7, 2012
The arrival of the Amazon Kindle Fire gave Apple reason to worry, but it may have given Barnes & Noble a reason to completely freak out. Its Nook Tablet Android device arrived about a month after the Kindle Fire was announced, and the Nook may be in a much more vulnerable position than the iPad.
Verizon and Google Enter Holiday Party Late and Sulky
December 17, 2011
The Galaxy Nexus has finally arrived in the United States after showing up in places like Europe and Hong Kong several weeks ago. This is a Samsung smartphone running the very latest and greatest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. And there are no factory-installed tweaks to the OS either -- it's straight Android, no mixer.
Twitter Rolls the Dice
December 10, 2011
When a social media site undertakes a major redesign, it's kind of like that scene in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Drink from the right cup, and you're completely re-energized. But there are a lot of poor choices you can make, and drinking from any of the wrong cups will turn your site into a dried-out husk.
Tinkerer, Carrier, Rootkit, Spy
December 3, 2011
The company Carrier IQ became an overnight pariah this week after a security researcher published information suggesting that software it makes could potentially be used to significantly violate the privacy of millions of smartphone users. The researcher is Trevor Eckhart, and he said that the way Carrier IQ's application is used could allow it to tell your cellphone carrier all sorts of things.
Another Grim Week for RIM
October 29, 2011
Research In Motion continues its trend of getting beaten up week after week with more and more bad news. This time, it had to swallow three separate helpings of trouble affecting everything from its PlayBook tablet to its as-yet unborn BBX operating system. It's also going to have to deal with some fallout from the massive, days-long, world-wide service outage it suffered a couple of weeks ago.
Will Microsoft Get Lucky With Yahoo?
October 22, 2011
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently commented on Yahoo's present situation by saying "Sometimes you're lucky." He was referring to his company's rebuffed attempt to buy Yahoo a few years ago for $47 billion. But that doesn't necessarily mean he thinks owning Yahoo now would be a bad idea -- perhaps all he meant was that by waiting a few years, Microsoft may be able to get Yahoo for a whole lot less than $47 billion.
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It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
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