John C. Abell

A looking glass into the post-smartphone era

April 5, 2012

Permit me to not act my age.

I was all grown up already when the Internet became a big deal, scarcely two decades ago. I was like a kid in a candy store. Still, I’ve only had a couple of heart-stopping moments in those 20 years in which everything has changed.

Tech’s forbidden touch

March 29, 2012

“You can look, but you can’t touch” – great advice in most museums, and every strip club. But it makes no sense when it comes to our computers. We are getting very touchy-feely with our smartphones and tablets, and this is how it should be. Even BlackBerry and Amazon’s Kindle, which launched with hardware keyboards to differentiate it from the competition, have abandoned them.

Apple, the new iPad, and being ‘sanely great’

March 9, 2012

Sometimes it’s best to start with the obvious. The “new” iPad announced Wednesday will sell like mad when it goes on sale next Friday. So confident is Apple in what it isn’t calling the iPad 3 that it didn’t even bother to give it a special name. It’s just iPad, even though there is a first-generation iPad (a retronym, of course) and an iPad 2. When you’ve achieved one-name status — Bono, Cher, Liberace — you don’t give that up lightly.

Boohoo for Yahoo

March 2, 2012

Yahoo is taking on Facebook — but it’s not vying for the hearts and minds of the Internet cool kids. It’s for licensing fees over some patents. This is not how it was supposed to be.

Google’s unhealthy cookie habit

February 22, 2012

Google got its hand caught in the cookie jar last week — and this time it really does have some explaining to do.

Trolling for a tech showdown

February 10, 2012

The scene: A federal courtroom in Tyler, Texas.

The drama: A lawsuit by a patent troll who said he owned the rights to the “interactive web.” The troll says he’s owed some back rent for owning the Web we all use every day.

IPOverload: Facebook goes public

February 1, 2012

The least suspenseful waiting game in Silicon Valley is now over, thank heavens. Facebook, which began as a decidedly private Harvard hangout, has begun the process of going absolutely, totally, unabashedly public.

Fear not Google’s bid to rock ‘n’ rule your world

January 27, 2012

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Big social media company changes its privacy rules. The Internet goes nuts. The tech press fuels the flames. Much hand-wringing and shouts of promises not kept ensue.

SOPA, the Internet, and the benefits of a mutual enemy

January 20, 2012

That giant sucking sound you hear is the life being drained from SOPA and PIPA.

In an astonishingly effective campaign, a number of prominent websites decided on Jan. 18 to act as though they were being censored. SOPA — the House Stop Online Piracy Act , and PIPA, the Senate’s Protect IP Act  — would, in fact, have little or no impact on U.S. sites but the message was clear: The Net is one seamless organism. An attack on my friend, or even my enemy, is an attack on me.

TV 2012: A tale of two sets

January 18, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the era of big, it was the hour of small. It was the age of complexity, it was the era of simplicity. It was an epoch of freedom, it was a time of tyranny. It was the season of two dimensions, it was the moment of 3D. Everything was before us — and we have seen it all.