The "Next iPhone" We Didn't See Coming →
Prepaid provider Cricket Wireless will start selling the iPhone 4 and 4S on a no-contract basis June 22. That’s appealing enough (I might buy one just for research purposes). But what’s more exciting is the fact that its microSIM card slot will be unlocked for international use—get off the plane, buy a prepaid SIM, off you go.
Rethinking the Kindle Fire, six months later →
A chance conversation with a CNNMoney.com editor at CES about the lack of follow-through in tech reviews led to this long-term evaluation of the Kindle Fire tablet, based on another six months of on-and-off testing.
Your Next Remote May Already Be In Your Pocket →
This week’s post on the Consumer Electronics Association’s blog eyes some encouraging developments in replacing remote controls with smartphone and tablet apps—and suggests three ways this trend could go awry.
The Next-iPhone Season Draws Near, Read Wisely →
Before you get all breathless over rumors about the next iPhone, remember that most of these rumors turn out to be incorrect. Here, I offer some guidance in parsing these predictions—and cite three that make sense to me.
The sad lifespan of a laptop battery →
This week’s USAToday.com turns to two subjects that have come up often in my recent travels: battery wear and tear and making the most efficient use of an available outlet.
Tile Your Wall With Video Screens →
A report from The Cable Show in Boston, where I saw a fascinating (but, for now, impractical) demonstration of how you could construct a giant flat-panel TV out of six separate screens—sort of the way we’ve built giant telescopes since the ’80s.
Ad Hoc Reactions to ‘Auto Hop’ Ad Skipping →
This week’s CEA post: Dish Network’s new Auto Hop commercial-hiding feature isn’t making it many friends in the TV business, but is it fair in general? And how does this fit into the debates over other cases of automating activities generally considered safe when done “by hand”—ignoring Web ads, facial recognition, issuing speeding tickets?
An old-school fix for a new Mac problem →
This week’s USAToday.com column relates how I employed Mac OS X’s little-known “single-user mode” to fix a weird problem with user accounts on a family member’s Mac, then offers a reminder about why you should avoid buying extra memory from a computer’s manufacturer whenever possible.
Why You Can Spell LCD “LED” →
An explainer on the Consumer Electronics Association’s blog about the LED backlighting now found on a rapidly-growing majority of LCD HDTVs, and how it compares to older CCFL backlights. (It’s not an automatic upgrade.)
Sprint's Evo 4G LTE: The Best Phone You Can't Buy? →
I reviewed Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G LTE—that carrier’s version of the HTC One X sold by AT&T. After seeing so many promising Android phones wrecked by awful battery life, this one was a pleasant surprise. Too bad nobody can buy one while Customs determines if it infringes on an Apple patent. (Would anybody like to suggest how we as customers are supposed to deal with that kind of...
It's not crazy to pay for an email account →
A friend e-mailed a while back, saying he wanted to move his e-mail from a Yahoo Mail account but didn’t want to take the theoretically obvious option of Gmail. Here’s my answer—plus a tip about not leaving an old e-mail account dormant.
The Shape Of Wireless To Come →
The second part of my CTIA wrap, this time at CEA’s Digital Dialogue blog, covers four themes I picked up on at the show: LTE will be the new way we spell wireless, mAh as the specification we (or, at least, Android users) obsess over instead of MHz, the growing push for extra subscription revenue from smartphone users, and the uncertainty over who’s going to give iOS and Android some...
Tales From The No-iPhone Zone →
A slideshow report (insert ritual Flash apology) from the CTIA Wireless 2012 show in New Orleans, where I got a good look at what’s coming in the non-iPhone part of the mobile universe. (BlackBerry was also a no-show, but… well, people just don’t seem to mind that so much these days.)
Will audio files kill my hard drive? →
The weekly USAToday.com column addresses a reader query about whether using a computer as a home studio will wear out its hard drive prematurely (I think not) and notes the uselessness of the proprietary USB cables included with most cameras.
The Borrow-At-Will, Park-Anywhere Smart Car →
After getting introduced to the car2go point-to-point car-sharing service in Austin during SXSW, I tried out the service in D.C. Verdict: a useful, affordable way to fill in gaps in the public/shared-transportation network, but it’s dumb to use this for routes that Metro already handles well.
Vivek Kundra: Boiling the Ocean →
I interviewed former federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra for Washingtonian magazine’s “What I’ve Learned” feature.
Cordless Charging Awaits A Jump Start →
Why the technology I first saw demoed back in 2007—charging devices through the air, without any metal-to-metal contact—still seems a long way from the not-quite-ubiquity of micro-USB charging, much less plain old wall outlets.
Rob’s April Podcast: Talking Tech Policy with... →
For my April podcast, I chatted with Brock Meeks, communications director at the Center for Democracy and Technology—and before that, a veteran tech-policy journalist with a long record of being clueful earlier than his peers. We discussed the state of tech policy, how the SOPA debate has influenced the CISPA argument, and whether tech journalism has been getting better.