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Technology

Next Gen TV Set Top Boxes are generalized platforms combining DVR + Cable + Receiver + Game Console

Under my TV I have two game consoles, a TiVo DVR with CableCard, a pre-amp and amp, Sonos, cable modem and wifi router. A big mess. If you follow the tech and TV industry, you already know companies have been trying for years to combine this mess into a single box. It’s more of question […]

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Technology

The Innovation/Monopoly axis

Last week’s post discussed why Microsoft built their Windows 8 hybrid interface, combining a touch screen and mouse/keyboard in a single device. The reason had to do with how Microsoft is situated on the Innovation-Monopoly axis above. They tried to extend their Windows desktop monopoly to tablets. Investors want a sure thing. They lust after […]

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Technology

The stock market blindly lusts after exploitative monopolies

Last week, Microsoft’s longtime CEO Steve Ballmer surprised people with his retirement announcement. A lot of the commentary on this has been insipid, but some has been great. In particular Ben Thompson’s wonderful posts helped me understand something I’ve long been puzzled about. Why did Microsoft build Windows 8 with both a touch screen interface […]

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Technology

Predictions about self-driving cars

Predictions are hard, especially when they’re about the future. With that said, self driving cars are almost certain. Why? Because going to the hospital is bad. Very bad. Quote: “More than 30,000 Americans are killed each year in road accidents, and another 240,000 or so have injuries severe enough to require hospitalization.” Let’s take a […]

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Technology

A future where it’s normal for all public spaces to be captured on video

I like science fiction well enough to occasionally indulge in the bad kind. By bad I mean stories where the science is so-so and the ideas are recycled. I recently finished a moderately bad book using a commonly recycled trope: a future where all public spaces are routinely captured on video. The plot turns on a […]

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10 Predictions for 2013

I’ve always had a soft spot for year end predictions, even though they usually turn out to be wrong. My favorite style is a mix of well researched topics with some whimsy. Plus the pundit is honest enough to go back and score previous years predictions (which most don’t). So my model would be someone […]

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Technology

Sifting through bad password advice to find the good stuff

The always wonderful xkcd has a great comic 792 starting as above, talking about the dangers of password re-use. Along those lines, comic 936 has the caption “Through 20 years of effort, we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess.” The point here […]

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Technology

The Apple maps kerfuffle means the opposite of what most of the press is saying

This is the third and last post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 1 here. Post 2 here. The press has been enjoying the Apple maps kerfuffle since Apple replaced Google maps on iOS6 a few weeks ago on Sep 19. Especially with Tim Cook apologizing. But on this one I’m more in line with fanboys […]

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Beyond the Touchscreen Interface, to Voice Interaction

This is the second post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 1 here. Post 3 here. The previous post, The Rise of the Touchscreen Interface, covered how radically new the touchscreen slab interface is. Then it went into some detail on the business implications of this new era. For this post, let’s return to defining eras of computing […]

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Technology

The Rise of the Touchscreen Interface

This is the first post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 2 here. Post 3 here. A common view of computer progress might go something like mainframe, PC, workstation, desktop publishing, email/web/internet, smart phone. But if you slice computing eras purely along the lines of human-computer user interface, ignoring everything else, you get Computing Interface […]