Latest stories - Harry McCracken

4 Days Ago   On Tuesday, Twitter rolled out a new version of Twitter for those of us who use the service in a desktop browser. (The company has been testing the new look for awhile, so you may have already had it.) The redesign is less about all-new features than cleaning up the existing experience and importing some functionality from the Twitter app.

8 Days Ago   VidCon is going on in Anaheim, California. The conference is the most important event of the year for YouTube creators—and therefore the video hub’s annual launchpad for features to help them turn their channels into money.

8 Days Ago   Building great search features for an e-commerce site is never simple. If it were, the results we get would feature a lot more irresistible gems—and fewer items we’d never buy.

10 Days Ago   As part of a refresh of its entry-level lineup of portable Macs, Apple has discontinued the 12″ MacBook—the last laptop it offered without a “Pro” or “Air” in its name.

10 Days Ago   Most of us will best remember Ross Perot, who died on Tuesday at 89, for his idiosyncratic runs for the presidency in 1992 and 1996. But the career of the Dallas billionaire, who made his fortune by founding computer automation company Electronic Data Systems in 1962, is full of fascinating sidelights.

22 Days Ago   If you want to know the legacy of Jonathan Ive, who announced today that he will step down as Apple’s design chief after 27 years at the company, you don’t need to look very far.

29 Days Ago   150 million businesses have taken advantage of Google’s My Business, which lets retailers, restaurants, and other local businesses enter information about themselves that shows up in Search results and Google Maps.

38 Days Ago   For years, the single best thing about Dropbox was that it was practically invisible. The service, which debuted in 2008, was far from the first to put a hard drive in the cloud, having been preceded by the likes of i-drive, X-drive, Driveway, and Microsoft’s OneDrive (née SkyDrive, née Windows Live Folders).

45 Days Ago   In recent years, Apple’s vision for the iPad has always been clear. Its tablet isn’t trying to be a Mac or a Windows PC. But it’s also not content with being something fundamentally less useful and versatile.

58 Days Ago   100 Most Creative People In Business The AI revolution has been led by a handful of tech giants—think Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft—but Jean-François Gagné‘s Element AI is forging an intrepid path to subvert their dominance.

59 Days Ago   The Washington Post’s Greg Bensinger has a fascinating story on Amazon’s attempt to make the physically demanding work in its fulfillment centers more engaging—and maybe boost productivity along the way—by letting warehouse works choose to play social games that turn being fast at their jobs into a form of play.

64 Days Ago   Radio Shack’s TRS-80 Model 100 computer—the first successful laptop, introduced in 1983–is both respected and loved. But it’s an even more important computer than it generally gets credit for.

66 Days Ago   Back in October 2017, Sonos unveiled a new speaker called the Sonos One. It aimed to meld the company’s traditional strength—great-sounding music with a multi-room approach—with the newer trend toward smart speakers that let you accomplish a variety of tasks through voice commands.

71 Days Ago   Instagram is many things to many people. For some, unfortunately, it’s a place to marinate in myths relating to the fallacy that vaccinations are dangerous. But the social network announced today that it’s going to tamp down on the spread of inaccurate information relating to vaccines by hiding hashtags with a high percentage of such content.

72 Days Ago   When I met with Rishi Chandra, Google’s VP of product for Nest/Home products, at the company’s I/O conference yesterday, he was wearing a jacket sporting both a multicolored Google “G” and a Nest logo.

73 Days Ago   Fifteen months ago, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh took charge of Nest, the smart-home pioneer that was formerly an independent arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

73 Days Ago   Here at Google’s I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, the company is announcing new features at a furious rate—and so far, many involve using augmented reality and voice commands to create an experience that feels less like the purely gesture-based interface we’ve used on iPhones and Android phones over the past dozen years: New search features embed AR content in results, so you can see what New Balance shoes or a shark look like in your real-world surroundings.

77 Days Ago   When Google senior VP of devices and services Rick Osterloh greets me at his offices and leads me up a sweeping staircase to a second-floor conference room, he doesn’t have to begin our chat by reminding me that the hardware team he leads has been busy.

79 Days Ago   In 2017, as Facebook was roiled by an array of controversies relating to content on its platforms—from fake news, hate speech, and more—it became clear that the company believed part of the solution involved the oldest information-processing device of them all: the human eyeball.

80 Days Ago   Here at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg devoted most of his keynote to emphasizing that the company really cares about privacy—though he acknowledges that some will be skeptical—and is working on end-to-end encryption, ephemerality, and other features that will keep users’ data from prying eyes (including those at Facebook itself).

92 Days Ago   The next version of Microsoft’s Surface Hub collaborative display—a giant-sized touch screen powered by Windows 10 and software for tasks such as videoconferencing and whiteboarding—is not due until June.

95 Days Ago   Over the years, there have been several Samsung smartphones with folding displays. There was the bleeding-edge prototype it showed off in a technology pavilion at its CES booth in 2009, for instance.

98 Days Ago   In his first letter to Amazon shareholders in 1998, Jeff Bezos declared that it was “Day 1 for the internet, and if we execute well, for Amazon.com.” He meant that the company, which was already four years old, should always think of itself as being at the beginning of its journey.

99 Days Ago   First of all, he is—I mean this as a statement of fact, not a criticism—a dumpy little blob. His arms are jointless, fingerless nubs. His legs are so vestigial that it’s not clear whether he’s ambulatory.

99 Days Ago   For most gigantic tech companies, the most furious growth happens early on. As in so many areas, however, Amazon is a fascinating exception to conventional behavior.

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