Tech columnist David Pogue shares 10 simple, clever tips for computer, web, smartphone and camera users. And yes, you may know a few of these already -- but there's probably at least one you don't.
Abby Carnelia is an average sixth grader. She gets along okay with her parents, does pretty well in school, and has an annoying little brother. There’s absolutely nothing remarkable about her at all — that is, until the day when she happens to tug on her earlobes while standing in front of a hard-boiled egg. That’s the day Abby discovers there’s something very, very special about her after all: she has a magical power, and there are some people who will do anything to find out where it came from.
"This was a very great Battle Book. I love it alot."
History shows us that convenience is a key driver in consumer acceptance of new technology. No matter how trivial the gift to our laziness, a product that saves us effort is likely to be a winner.
On the Internet, ads are a real problem. They're a problem for us, the people, and not just because they clutter up our Web pages; they also cost us money (in mobile data charges), battery life and time. As much as 79 percent of the time it takes for a news Web site to load on your phone is waiting for the ads to arrive, according to a New York Times analysis.
Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating. But it's much harder to drag voting out of the paper era. In the 2012 presidential election, more than half of Americans who voted cast paper ballots - 0 percent voted with their smartphones. Why isn't Internet voting here yet? Imagine the advantages! There'd be no ambiguity, no hanging chads or errant marks. We'd get the totals instantly. And think how online voting would boost participation!
No question about it: self-driving cars are big news. Already a long list of car models - from Honda, Volvo, GM, Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Tesla, and others - automate some aspects of driving. They offer smart cruise control that goes all the way down to 0 mph, meaning they can drive automatically in stop-and-go traffic, braking and accelerating without ever risking a collision. They can change lanes for you - or stay in the lane for you.
As any tech headline will tell you, 2016 is the Year of Virtual Reality. Every billion-dollar corporation and its brother are rushing into the VR-headset market (Sony, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, HTC). Ever since 2014, when Facebook bought Oculus, a fledgling VR company, for $2 billion, journalists and investors have become part of the hype machine. With this technology, image-filled goggles immerse you in a world.
Tech doesn't have to be confusing. Some simple changes could make digital media easier to use.
Phones and tablets work pretty much the same way no matter who makes them, and it's not good for consumers.
It's become so common that it might soon begin to lose its impact.
"The Bright Side of Internet Shaming" is from scientificamerican.com, published on October 1, 2016.
I hereby stick out my tongue at everyone who’s ever accused me of filming too much. Yes, I was that dad with a camcorder, on every vacation, at every birth, wedding and graduation as my kids grew up. More times than I can count, I’ve been chastised for "hiding behind that damn machine instead of living the moment" and told that "you’ll never even watch those tapes." Even Steve Jobs essentially said I was an idiot.
Our tech lives are full of pain points, but at least the world’s tech geniuses seem committed to solving them. Today who complains about the things that bugged us a decade ago, such as heavy laptops, slow cellular Internet, the inability to do e-mail in planes? It was only a matter of time before those geniuses started tackling one of the longest-running pain points in history: passwords. We’re supposed to create a long, complex, unguessable password.
The best new technology of the past year wasn’t some phone or app. It was a new kind of USB cable. The new cable, called USB Type-C (or USB-C), is the same on both ends, so you never have to fiddle with it. The connector is also identical on both sides - there’s no upside down. USB-C can replace four different jacks on your gadget: data, video, power and, soon, audio. Yet the connector is tiny enough for phones and tablets and sturdy enough for laptops and PCs.