There was a kind of boredom that happened during the pandemic shutdown in 2020 that we may never feel again. It felt like you couldn’t go anywhere or do anything that didn’t involve puttering around your home like a 70-year-old. Knitting was suddenly hot. Home improvement projects abounded. Gardening was suddenly something a lot of us began to dig as a new hobby. We became more comfortable with puns.
“Hey, man, wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge?”
This con dates back to the turn of the 20th century, but today, thanks to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you really can buy the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, or even your own dream home. Sort of.
SuperWorld is an NFT startup that sells virtual real estate in an environment it calls the metaverse—an exact facsimile of the real world, except that every property, be it a house, commercial building, or famous landmark, is linked to an NFT and tracked via the blockchain. That allows SuperWorld’s users to virtually buy and sell nearly any…
Apple will hold this year’s highly anticipated spring product event on April 20, 1 p.m. ET, entirely online. As anticipated as spring blooms themselves, this year’s event promises to be one of Apple’s richest in terms of product strategy and device number.
Among the categories on the table are:
The surest bet is tablets. Most people expect Apple to update its iPad Pro line, which last saw a major update in March 2020 that added trackpad support, LiDAR, and the peppy A12Z Bionic CPU.
Roku just released a bunch of products and, I promise, I’m going to get to them but what I really want to talk about is remotes.
Our relationships with our television and streaming boxes are defined not so much by the interfaces, content, or even the big screens but by the remote controls. Our eyes see, but it’s our hands that touch these small pieces of plastic, metal, glass, and rubberized buttons. That tactile relationship isn’t fleeting. Raise your hand if you binge with the remote in or near your hand (how else can you go back 30 seconds to…
I’ve been pwned. You’ve been pwned. We’ve all been pwned. Somewhere, somehow, some digital bit of our persona has appeared in one of countless data breaches that happen across the internet with alarming regularity.
The most recent breach—an exploitation of what may be an old and now closed Facebook vulnerability—means that records from more than 500 million users are free-floating out in the wild.
I tend to be blasé about such hacks. These companies are bad at protecting our data, and to be fair, we’ve also freely shared insane amounts of our personal information on public and only semiprivate platforms…
I am staunchly against emoji reactions in online communication. In Instagram direct messages, reaction responses weaken conversations and compel participants to be lazy communicators. One-click communication, as likes and reactions are sometimes called, is cheap: easy to use, but you get what you pay for.
So when news came out that Twitter is currently testing adding reactions, including downvotes and upvotes, to tweets (not just in DMs, where they currently aggravate), my hackles rose — until I really thought about it for a minute. Part of what makes private DM reactions frustrating is that people use them, essentially, as read…
Do you remember, way back about six or seven years ago, when Ring just made video doorbells?
This was after the small startup company competed on Shark Tank but before it was swallowed up Amazon, which made the now-ubiquitous doorbells the center of a universe; last time I checked, that universe now includes stand-alone security cameras, driveway lighting, car alarms, home and business security systems, smoke alarms, and mailbox sensors.
I was an early fan of Ring: It felt like a piece of hardware whose time had come. Riding on a wave of increasingly useful smart-home gadgets, the Ring doorbell…
It’s not even on my current desktop. After more than a decade of using what is inarguably the world’s most popular web browser, Google’s Chrome doesn’t even have a spot on my taskbar. I switched to Microsoft Edge and I’m not looking back.
What started as a flirtation with Microsoft’s Edge browser and its meme-inducing name has turned into a rock-solid relationship, one that solidified when Microsoft swapped its proprietary engine for Chromium.
The truth is, I’d been looking for years to get out of what I considered a demanding browser relationship. Google’s Chrome is smart, compliant with virtually every…
There was a time when the aesthetics of listening to music on a computer could be bulbous, metallic, even downright alien. Sometimes the software glowed like a sinister stereo from an alternate, more advanced reality. Or it could look gaudy, garish, amateurish in its design. There were always hidden panels, visualizers lurking, more sliders than you’d ever need. If you wanted, you could coax music out of a green man’s bald head.
It seemed to make sense at the time.
This was the era of Winamp and MusicMatch Jukebox, a time in the late ’90s and early 2000s when streaming…
The key to a powerful messaging system is not just the tools to let you manage contacts and chat in a clear, concise way. We need flourishes like:
And we apparently need to break down every wall both outside and within messaging systems so we can all communicate with everyone all the time.
Facebook, for example, has been doing it across all their homegrown and acquired apps, making one giant messaging subsystem across Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Slack, one of the most important business messaging and process systems, decided last year that it would…