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The Case of the Missing OS, or Did Apple Eat Pear?
January 27, 2014
Here in the Linux community, it's no secret that there are more flavors of our favorite operating system than most of us can keep track of. That doesn't mean, however, that one can just up and disappear without anyone noticing. Case in point: Pear OS. One day it's freely available for download, offering a remarkably Mac-like experience that's nevertheless based on Linux.
Apple TV: From High Hopes to Has-Been
January 24, 2014
When it comes to TV, Apple is starting to recede into the dark corners of my mind. Its relevance -- and even potential relevance -- is waning. A fancypants Apple-made big-screen HDTV device that seems to float in the air and function like a delightful work of art... . It not only seems unlikely any time soon, but also unlikely to really matter to anyone but rich Apple enthusiasts.
Christie vs. Clinton: What Would Watson Say?
January 20, 2014
IBM is putting a massive amount of resources into Watson, which has the capability to dramatically improve the quality of our decisions. Since most don't know how Watson works, I thought it would be interesting to emulate how it might think when tied to a topical subject. As the U.S. approaches its next election circus, two candidates have jumped to the top as both frontrunners and targets.
Microsoft May Breathe New Life Into Halo's Cortana AI
January 17, 2014
The hottest rumor for Microsoft Xbox Halo fans is that the voice and text-based virtual assistant service -- code-named "Cortana" and planned for release with Windows Phone 8.1 -- actually might be created with the real-life voice behind Cortana, Jen Taylor. There is no evidence to back up the rumor, but millions of Halo fans will be totally freakin' stoked if it's true.
French Cabbies Attack Uber Vehicles
January 14, 2014
French taxi drivers reportedly attacked vehicles linked to Uber, a smartphone app that helps people find shared rides and drivers-for-hire -- or, from cabbies' perspective, erodes a time-honored business model. Protestors blocked traffic and went after the service's vehicles, reported one Uber-using witness, Kat Borlongan. The vehicle she was in suffered significant damage, including a flat tire.
Microsoft's Next Windows May Be Dressed to the 9
January 13, 2014
Microsoft reportedly will discuss its vision for the future of Windows at its Build developer conference, to be held in San Francisco April 2-4. The company also will talk about the next version of its operating system, code-named "Threshold," which will be officially named "Windows 9" and will debut in April 2015. Windows 8 generally has been panned, and sales reportedly have been poor.
Retiring in Sanctuary Belize: Renewed Hope
January 13, 2014
After my Belize retirement update appeared last week, a number of things happened. Most initially were rather painful, but eventually I was placed on the phone with Rod Kazazi, the project CFO who is based in the United States. Since we both had a financial background, he was able to address most of my concerns by informing me of solid programs that ensure the project will be completed.
The CES 2014 Hotties List
January 11, 2014
The Internet of Things, wearables, mobile devices and the next generation of automobiles were the standouts at CES 2014. "The Internet of Things will probably have the broadest impact, since it includes quickly evolving, increasingly intelligent and highly mobile technologies of every kind," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
All Rumors 'Go' for the Widely Anticipated 'iPad Pro'
January 10, 2014
Rumors of a super-duper, amped-up, big-screen "iPad Pro" have been floating around at least as early as this summer, and that's before Apple surprised the tech community with its 64-bit A7 processors in September. Overall, most of the rumors seem to surround speculative predictions, where a financial analyst predicts a class of new product in an attempt to lend insight into how the market might shift.
CES 2014 Trends: The Weird and the Wonderful
January 07, 2014
Devices ranging from the sublime to the strange are debuting this week at International CES 2014. Products unveiled at the show suggest growing trends toward wearable health-tracking products and increased human-gadget interaction. There's a bed, for example, that tells owners how they slept the previous night and what they can do to sleep better in the future.
So Now China IS Lifting Videogame Console Ban
January 07, 2014
China reportedly will temporarily lift a sales ban on foreign videogame consoles, reversing a 14-year prohibition. Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo -- which long have salivated over the heretofore obstructed gold mine of Chinese videogamedom -- will be allowed to make game consoles in Shanghai's free trade zone and then sell them in China.
Retiring in Sanctuary Belize: Tarnished Dreams
January 06, 2014
I've been executing on a long-term dream of retiring in Belize. I've been putting some rigor into the effort to make sure the perception of the dream doesn't outpace reality. I've often been brought in on projects that should have been shut down early, largely because executive staff had lost track of reality. I don't want to make the same mistake with this important project.
4 Unsettling Prospects for 2014
December 30, 2013
As we're getting ready for the big New Year's Day hangover, I'm reminded of the Chinese curse, "May you be born in interesting times," because 2014 is likely to be a very interesting year. I expect the Democrats will be trying to distance themselves from their failed Affordable Care Act, while Republicans will be doing their best to avoid actually reading it before attacking.
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.
Apple's Sleek New Mac Pro Hits the Market
December 18, 2013
Apple has announced that its new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday. It unveiled the system in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, surprising attendees with its cylindrical design. The aluminum body is just an eighth of the size of a standard tower unit -- 9.9 inches tall, 6.6 inches in diameter and weighing in at around 11 pounds.
Brazil Shoots Down Snowden Asylum Speculation
December 18, 2013
Brazil reportedly does not plan to grant asylum to Edward Snowden. Snowden stoked the Brazil asylum speculation Tuesday when he offered, via an open letter, to help Brazil investigate the extent of spying on Brazilian citizens and President Dilma Rousseff. Snowden's temporary asylum in Russia, where he fled to after a stint in Hong Kong, is set to expire in August.
Tesla's More Affordable Model E May Hit the Road in 2015
December 17, 2013
Tesla plans to debut its Model E electric vehicle, with a price tag south of $40,000, at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, according to reports that surfaced Monday. Tesla has not confirmed the rumor, saying instead that it's made no change to its timeline, which would presumably place the vehicle's debut in 2016 or later.
Softbank May Be Gearing Up for T-Mobile Bid
December 16, 2013
SoftBank is considering a bid for T-Mobile USA, according to a new batch of rumors circulating in the press. Softbank shares were down 3.2 percent on Monday by the close of trading in Tokyo. SoftBank acquired Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile phone carrier, earlier this year, and now may be studying antitrust concerns prior to bidding for T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the U.S.
What Comes After Greed in Technology?
December 16, 2013
I just finished reading a very interesting book by Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson, Humanity in the Machine: What Comes After Greed? At the book's core is the idea that we eventually will use machines to make our lives better as opposed to coming up with creative ways to get more stuff. This seems an appropriate subject for this time of year.
The Maddeningly Painful, Pathetic Apple TV Experience
December 12, 2013
It's damn near 2014, and what's the most baffling computing experience we have? The Apple TV television experience. It's so disappointing. We get new so-called TV channels -- or little Applets -- that give us a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the content available from a particular broadcast network, but it's also locked down so we have to be a cable television subscriber to view it.

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